- The Washington Times
Tuesday, January 7, 2020


In between all the Democrats’ mourning for the murderous Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in between all the apologies being issued by Hollywood leftists like Michael Moore and Rose McGowan for President Donald Trump’s dare-to-be-pro-America drone takedown of the terror leader, comes this bit of sad news: 40 died and more than 200 were injured — at last count — during funeral services for the killed Quds chief.

Don’t know about funerals in your neck of the woods. But typically, in more civilized sections, stampedes and angry rallying and loud vows to take out Americans and attack U.S. spots are not part and parcel of the whole funeral procession experience.

True, those long vehicle backups on the roads as mourners make their way from funeral hall to gravesite can spark some nasty middle-finger waving, among the more uncouth and impatient segments of society, that is. And no doubt, the inner-circle members of say, Mafia and MS-13 outfits may express some sentiments of revenge when their loved ones turn up dead — but these are more private conversations. They’re not really put out there for public consumption. On the other hand, it’s true, the Westboro Baptists can get pretty vocal, cemetery site and all, with their condemnations of certain segments of society.

But even the Westboro Baptists don’t stampede.

Let’s face it. Even all the protesters at Westboro Baptists’ event emerge alive.

Not so the Soleimani mourners.

These guys, thousands of ‘em, an estimated million of ‘em, rallied, protested, waved flags, vowed revenge, hurled epithets at America, at Trump, at the West — and generally, promised to kill, kill, kill until Soleimani’s death was avenged. And then they underscored their vows to kill by killing a few of their own — accidentally, in the heat of the moment, of course.

“Unfortunately,” said Pirhossein Koulivand, the head of Iran’s emergency medical services, in a statement reported by The Associated Press that could very well go down in history as the most underemphasized summation of tragedy, well, ever, “as a result of the stampede, some of our compatriots have been injured and some have been killed during the funeral processions.”


In the grander scheme of things, in light of the 1 million-plus who flocked to Tehran to take part the funeral procession, maybe that’s not considered too bad. Maybe 32 dead and 90 injured aren’t numbers, statistically speaking, that rise to the level, for Iran’s leaders, of worrisome.

Maybe Iran doesn’t get upset about funeral procession deaths-due-to-stampeding-attendees until the ratio of living-to-killed of participants reaches 10-to-1.

But this is illuminating. This is interesting. This is a teaching moment.

In 2004, more than 100,000 filed past the coffin of Ronald Reagan in the National Cathedral, to pay their respects to one of America’s most loved presidents. In 2018, thousands and thousands of people lined the streets of Capitol Hill, in the wee hours of the night — and overnight — to pay their respects to George H.W. Bush at the Capitol Rotunda. In 2005, tens and tens of thousands gathered in Saint Peter’s Square for a mass memorial for Pope John Paul II, whose body had been lying in repose in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace. An estimated 4 million ultimately gathered for the pope’s funeral proceedings in Vatican City. In 2002, more than 1 million mourners in London assembled to pay their respects at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth’s mother.

And here’s the interesting part: Those massive mournings weren’t marked by deaths and injuries.

All in all, they were pretty peaceful affairs, where grieving with tears seemed the order of the day — not stampeding like herds of angry bulls. Or zealots. Or radical Muslim terror-minded fanatics simply using the death of their lead Muslim terror-minded fanatic as an excuse to carry out the Muslim terror-minded fanaticism longer, farther and even more focused on anti-Americanism.


More insightful: The deaths and injuries at Soleimani’s funeral procession show how savage, how barbaric, how filled with hate and anger and viciousness, America’s enemies in the Middle East are, at root. We shouldn’t forget that.

No matter how many of those on the left want to pretend America and Iran and the terrorist regimes of the Middle East are all one and the same on the scale of moral equivalencies — we shouldn’t forget the truth. Here in America we grieve death, because we revere life; overseas, our enemies glorify death, because they don’t respect life. You can see it in their funerals. And that makes all the savage difference.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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