Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s wife, Ho Ching, has shared retired diplomat Bilahari Kausikan’s view that the liberal politicians in the US who oppose the Soleimani assassination are sickening, on her personal Facebook page.
Following attacks on the American embassy in Baghdad by supporters of an Iran-backed Iraqi Shia militia and the 2019 K-1 Air Base attack, Qasem Soleimani – a top Iranian major general – was killed on 3 January 2020 by missiles shot from American drones which targeted his convoy near Baghdad International Airport.
The U.S. Defense Department said the strike was carried out “at the direction of the President” and asserted that Soleimani had been planning further attacks on American diplomats and military personnel and had approved the attacks on the American embassy in Baghdad in response to U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on 29 December 2019, and that the strike was meant to deter future attacks.
The pentagon added that the decision to kill Soleimani was based on both his past actions and as a deterrent to his future action.
The Soleimani assassination is controversial and has drawn both strong support for US President Donald Trump as well as fierce opposition.
Democrat politicians, who are gearing up to face President Trump at the 2020 US presidential election, have made the legality of the assassination a campaign issue since the strike was not approved by the U.S. Congress or consented to by the Iraqi government.
Sharing an article about Democratic frontrunner Elizabeth Warren’s criticism of the assassination, former Singapore Ambassador-at-Large Bilahari Kausikan wrote on Facebook on Monday (6 Jan) that such “self-loathing liberals” make him sick.
He said: “These self-loathing liberals make me sick. Their knee-jerk reaction is to say ‘nay’. Yes the assassination of Soleimani adds to the complexities and risks of the Middle East. But was the ME free of complexities and risks in the first place? Was this guy a nice, benign grandfather? Was he a friend of the US?
“There is no course of action anywhere that is free of risk. Sometimes the biggest risk is to try and avoid all risk. Anyway, the response of the nay-sayers is much more about American domestic politics in an election year than international relations and I would bet that it could backfire electorally.
“So quit carping and get real. This is a national issue not a partisan issue, or ought to be!”
Mdm Ho – who serves as chief executive of Singapore sovereign wealth fund, Temasek – subsequently shared Mr Bilahari’s post on her personal Facebook page.
This is not the first time Mdm Ho has appeared to concur with the ex-ambassador’s views. She has shared his views on world politics on her personal social media page several times in the past and has even commented on his posts, sharing her own views on topics that have to do with Singapore and beyond.