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U.S. must protect its people, interests

President Donald Trump made the correct and timely decision last week to eliminate Iranian general Soleimani and his cohorts. Had Trump not taken action, more Americans and Iraqi civilians would have been killed at the hands of this modern-day Stalin.

Soleimani was responsible for a recent attack on a military base that wounded four service members and killed a U.S. citizen. He also orchestrated the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Furthermore, prior to his demise, he was planning additional attacks on U.S. diplomats and military personnel.

Shame on those elected officials who are siding with the Iranian government.

The Islamic Republic of Iran does not follow its own constitution. Recent estimates claim almost 1,000 Iranians were killed by government agents merely for protesting this brutal, tyrannical regime. In January 2019, a 31-year-old Iranian man was publicly hanged for being homosexual.

Iran is a country with almost 83 million citizens. Over 24 million live in Tehran and its metropolitan area. At one time Persia (now Iran) was the center of civilization, having espoused human rights over 500 years B.C. Ancient Persians invented a water supply system and were a shining beacon of the arts and humanities.

The majority of Iranians do not support their oppressive leaders. The median age in Iran is 29.5. Thirty-eight percent of the population is under 24 and 47 percent of the population is between 25-54 years old. Most Iranians were either not born in 1979 or are too young to remember the Islamic Revolution.

Prior to 1979, the United States trained Iranian military personnel.

On May 15, 1976, a U.S. Navy F-14 crashed near Wrens, Georgia, in a remote wooded area. A naval aviator and his Iranian student pilot were killed. A platoon of military police from Fort Gordon, Georgia, was dispatched to secure the scene and recover the remains.

It was my first catastrophic death scene; it wouldn’t be my last.

The challenge for all of us was identifying and preparing the remains correctly. A third body bag was necessary because we couldn’t identify some remains as belonging to either pilot. The local coroner would be responsible for that task.

We returned to base three days later.

From this incident, and from the dozens of autopsies that I have attended, I inherited a greater appreciation for the fact that underneath a very thin layer of skin, we are all alike. Furthermore, being born a free person in America is a blessing that billions do not enjoy.

Prior to 1979, Iranians were very westernized. American music, clothing styles and movies were enjoyed by the populace.

More than 40 years after the current repressive regime came to power, it is no surprise that the majority of Iranians, suffocating under the weight of a lead boot on their collective windpipe, yearn for freedom.

Trump made the correct decision at the correct time for all Americans and those Iranians gasping to breath freely. We may not be able to directly save the decent Iranian citizens, but we must protect our own people, our interests and our nation because no one else will.

Dan Jennings is a retired Army captain and a retired BCPD lieutenant. He can be reached at bcpd267@cox.net.

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