Michael Moore just can’t stop loving on Soliemani.
He decided to post this:
Just wondering – is there an American General for whom millions of us would turn out for his funeral? Mad Dog? Kelly? Colin Powel? William Westmoreland? Can anyone even name the chair of the Joint Chiefs?We all support those who serve but would we pour into the streets like this? pic.twitter.com/L1Y5Bb9iys
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) January 8, 2020
I want to tackle this bullshit in a few parts:
First, the last two high ranking government officials I remember dying were President George HW Bush and Justice Antonin Scalia.
Here is what the news reported on them:
Bush has lied in state since Monday evening. On Tuesday, he was visited by family, including former President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and old rivals, like Bob Dole, who was helped out of his wheelchair to salute the World War II veteran.
But the lion’s share of the visitors were everyday Americans — and they came out by the thousands. Some waited three or four hours or more.
People streamed into the rotunda all night. The line was still thousands of people deep well after midnight. By the time it started to thin around 6 a.m., 42,000 people had paid their respects, according to a U.S. Capitol Police source.
Thousands of mourners gathered at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on Saturday for the funeral of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
An estimated 4,000 people attended the funeral, which came after a week of mourning for Scalia, who died last Saturday at 79. He was remembered as an intellectual giant on the Supreme Court, known for his clear legal writing.
So in fact, Americans do publicly mourn the deaths of and pay respects to beloved political figures.
The last general to die, according to the Internet was Major General Harold J. Greene, in Afghanistan in 2014.
I don’t remember him getting the fanfare that Bush or Scalia did, but I will stipulate that it is a good thing. The United States is not a junta or military dictatorship. We are a civilian republic. Our military leaders shouldn’t be political.
Perhaps Colin Powell or James “Mad Dog” Mattis might, but they are the exception, not the rule. They were charismatic leaders, much beloved by the Soldiers and Marines that followed them, as opposed to the many bureaucratic generals in administrative positions that few people ever hear about. They were also both high ranking cabinet members, Powell was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of State, while Mattis was Secretary of Defense.
Soliemani was not just a general but the second most significant person in Iranian leadership, after the Ayatollah. There is no equivalent role in the US Government. He could be described as a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, VP, and Speaker of the House all rolled into one.
Saying that Americans do not support our troops the way the Iranians do because we don’t flood the streets when a general dies (in the rare occasion that happens), is next level horse shit.
Second, I don’t know many of those people in the streets are doing that because the love Soliemani or because they don’t want to be shot by the IRGC for disloyalty.
The stories of Stalin having the first person that stopped applauding him seem to be apocryphal, but they do capture the reality of the fear of people living under a totalitarian regime.
This is what the BBC is reporting:
Only seven weeks ago, Iran witnessed the most violent anti-government demonstrations in decades. Security forces killed anywhere between 330 and 1,500 protesters in more than 100 cities across the country. Thousands more were injured and arrested.
So why have so many people come out to pay homage to Soleimani?
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif took to Twitter with a message to President Donald Trump: “Have you seen such a sea of humanity in your life?… Do you still think you can break the will of a great nation and its people?”
But it is also clear that the government launched a massive effort to mobilise as many people as possible. The huge turnout sent a strong signal to President Trump that the government enjoys widespread support.
People turn up in large numbers because they feel required to do so.
Even the Washington Post had to run this article:
Over the next few days, it will be hard to escape footage of huge crowds gathering in Iranian cities to mourn the death of Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian general killed by a U.S. drone strike. For anyone watching, I have one piece of advice: Don’t take what you’re seeing at face value.
The regime is not taking any chances, though. In the city of Ahvaz, where large numbers of people turned out to mourn Soleimani, the government has forced students and officials to attend. It provided free transport and ordered shops to shut down. According to videos sent to me by people inside the country, the authorities are making little kids write essays praising the fallen commander. First-graders who didn’t know how to write were encouraged to cry for Soleimani.
Some Iranians have compared the funeral services for Soleimani to those held for the Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich, the Butcher of Prague, killed by Allied agents during World War II.
The media in the Islamic Republic is heavily controlled. Public gatherings are allowed only if they are pro-regime. Critics are jailed or shot. (Even I, living outside the country, have received a death threat on Iranian national TV for my coverage of Soleimani’s killing.) So it’s not hard to use all the tools and resources of the state to stage a funeral procession.
So Michael Moore has swallowed the Iranian propaganda, hook, line, sinker, pole, fisherman, and boat, and argues that makes the Iranian people better than Americans.
Lastly, I will argue that I don’t want to live in an America where a general who did not serve as an elected official is celebrated with “millions” of people pouring out into the streets. Frankly, I don’t want to live in an America where any politician is so important to the fabric of society that his or her death causes “millions” of people to flood the street and shut down the nation for days.
That is a sign of unrelenting despotism.
But being a good Leftist, that’s what Moore seems to want. An oppressive government that is so powerful and overbearing in everyday life that the death of a high ranking official drives a substantial percent of the population into the streets to mourn… or else they get shot for disloyalty.