‘“Suleimani’s orchestration of brutal military campaigns in both Syria and Iraq set the stage for the Sunni Arab response turning to extremism,” explains Derek Harvey, a longtime Iraq intelligence analyst who now teaches at the University of South Florida. Harvey lists some of Suleimani’s mistakes: “He missed opportunities for moderation while still protecting Iranian interests. His partnership with extremism in Syria resulted in the threat growing in Syria and rebounding to Iraq. His refusal to counsel some moderation and inclusion by [Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-]Maliki developed a fertile environment for [the Islamic State] and others to exploit.” Suleimani’s reversals are significant because he has become something of a cult figure among those who follow the paramilitary Quds Force he directs. I have likened him in past columns to John le Carré’s fabled spymaster, Karla. The New Yorker’s Dexter Filkins chronicled what Arabs call Suleimani’s “khilib, or understated charisma,” in a memorable profile in September. Suleimani seemed a man who could run circles around rival commanders.……………”
Also sprach David Ignatius who has access not only to reliable unnamed high U.S. intelligence officials, but also to highly unreliable unnamed Arab Wahhabi princes and high officials. What is almost endearing about these relationships is that he believes everything that they tell him and tries to sell it to us. Occasionally I think he has converted to Wahhabism (which is neither Sunni nor Shi’a, but wayyyy out there).
If this Qassem Suleimani were head of government he would be labeled public enemy number one in Western media. In the same way that Ahmadinejad was, except that Ahmadinejad often asked for it with his big mouth. Or Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez or many others of the Third World.
But no need to worry: his organization, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), I believe, is listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government while the U.S.
Knesset Congress considers it Satan’s twin, even though it is an official military organization of a sovereign country (the North Korean or French or Ukrainian equivalents are NOT listed as a terrorist organizations). Oddly, the IRGC have never shot in anger at any American (well, not directly), unlike the Israeli IDF (remember the USS Liberty?), or the German Wehrmacht many of whose officers served along Americans later on, or the Viet Cong some of whom….. you get the point. Not only that: anyone who deals with them is also listed as terrorist. The bank where IRGC commanders deposit their pay and finance their homes, the baker who sells them hot oven-baked Iranian bread in the morning, the butcher who provides them with lamb for the chelo kebab, and the Afghani barber who trims their beards (he is also probably a Taliban agent). Anyway, it has become hard to separate fact from fiction when we read about him. More on this Suleimani later…….
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum