It feels like only yesterday the American media confidently reported that President Trump’s killing of an Iranian terror leader, Qasem Soleimani, was certain to arouse the anger of average Iranians.
After all, we were told, this blood-soaked Quds Force leader was a “revered figure.”
The morning Soleimani’s killing was first reported, CBS’s Holly Williams described him as a “revered figure” and a “war hero.”
“He wasn’t well-known in the United States, but he was one of the most powerful figures in the Middle East, sometimes even touted as a possible future leader of Iran,” Williams said. “For America, though, General Soleimani was a problem.”
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews likened Soleimani’s killing to the deaths of Elvis Pressley and Princess Diana.
“When Princess Diana died, for example, there was a huge emotional outpouring,” Matthews said amit a stream of consiousness. “These kinds — Elvis Presley in our culture. It turns out that this general he killed was a beloved hero of the Iranian people to the point — look at the people. We have pictures of it now. These enormous crowds coming out.”
It’s true Iranians came out in mass numbers for Soleimani’s funeral procession. Less reported, though, was that Iranian authorities required the public’s attendance.
Events shifted dramatically on Thursday when Iran admitted that it had in fact shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet earlier in the week, a tragedy that claimed 176 lives. Iranian authorities had earlier claimed they had nothing to do with the incident and suggested it must have been a mechanical failure.
After Iran made the admission, people rose up, angry that they had once again been lied to. Thousands have since flooded the streets of Tehran protesting not just the regime’s downing of a passenger aircraft, but the regime itself.
What’s most impressive about these street protests is that — unlike with Soleimani’s funeral procession — these Iranians are not being compelled to speak out. In fact, it’s the opposite: they’re risking their own lives to protest the very regime the U.S. media has spent the last week telling us they revere.
Check out the montage above for more.