Islamists in Lebanon have reportedly built an unusual memorial to mark the one-year anniversary of top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani’s assassination.
From memorial to meme: The tribute, apparently erected by Hezbollah members in southern Lebanon, captures the moment Soleimani and others were killed in a Jan. 3, 2020 U.S. drone strike in Iraq.
- A photo of the memorial has been circulating online and was a hit with the r/ATBGE, a subreddit that celebrates instances of “Awful Taste But Great Execution.”
- “The goofy smile as he looks out the window adds so, so much,” one user commented.
In the photo, a cutout of Soleimani can be seen grinning in the front passenger-side window of what looks to be a silver mid-2000s Honda CR-V that is floating on fake clouds as a massive missile lands on the hood.
- The compact crossover SUV is encircled by images of Soleimani, Iranian and Hezbollah flags and red rope barriers.
Soleimani — who directed Iran’s Middle Eastern proxies as the head of the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force — died in real life while traveling in a convoy of a Hyundai Starks minibus and a Toyota Avalon sedan.
Road rage: Ahead of the first anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination, Iranian officials issued a stream of threats against the U.S. and accused President Donald Trump of seeking a “pretext” for war.
- So far, however, Iran has settled for announcing plans to resume uranium enrichment up to 20% at its underground Fordo nuclear facility “as soon as possible,” a violation of the nuclear deal that Trump left.
- After the U.S. strike, Iran later retaliated with a ballistic missile barrage against American troops in Iraq, concussing dozens of U.S. soldiers but killing none.
The blowback has not lived up to the warnings of Democrats and liberal analysts who a year ago warned Trump’s authorization of the drone strike could trigger all-out war.
- “President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox,” said Joe Biden, who wants to return to the nuclear deal. “We could be on the brink of a major conflict across the Middle East.”
Instead, peace has been breaking out across the region, with the Trump administration brokering a series of deals between Iran’s bitterest rivals.