In a rather confusing move from the drunken diabetic know as the US Empire, the United States designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization. In an interview, Secretary of State Pompeo equated the head of the IRGC to the head of ISIS al-Baghdadi and called him a terrorist. This is a strange move to designate a branch of a nation’s armed forces as such an organization and name to call the head of one branch of a nation’s armed forces. Beneath the surface, it is obvious this is another step in the national security state that is behold to an Israel First middle east policy. It is another revelation of how America is an imperial system and no longer a nation.
This is another example of the sell outs that occupy the peak of American foreign policy. Pompeo, Bolton, and their crew of neoconservatives all drink from the same well and push the same policies despite years of failure. Oded Yinon must be realized. The man they target now, Qassem Soleimani, is not their counterpart. It would be unfair to him to equate him with the rotating cast of policy men who come and go with American administrations. Soleimani is also not their counterpart for what drives him. The blood of Americans is on his hands, and he has allied with what America has called terrorist organizations, but his motivations are for the survival and security of his nation first and foremost.
An engrossing read from the height of the Syria war was the New Yorker profile of Soleimani. This was in September of 2013, one month after the first reported chemical attack in Syria by the Assad regime. This was a year after Obama’s red line speech. The expectations for intervention were high. What better way to educate the right thinking people to a leading figure commanding of what would be the opposing forces for the next American intervention than a New Yorker profile?
The profile itself reveals a man and system that can produce such a man that is alien to America. America’s military brass from colonel on up is made up of political animals. They have an eye on their post-military consulting careers if they do not want to climb the ladder. On top of this, these are the boys of West Point, who have grown up in the post-war prosperity empire. Their service has been in the wars of choice enforcing the empire’s will. Everything about Soleimani revealed in the profile is counter to this.
Soleimani was a young adult during the Iranian Revolution, volunteering for the newly formed revolutionary guard as Khomeini’s regime needed to consolidate its coup versus the Marxists and socialists that it had temporarily allied with to receive American support in deposing the last Shah. Soleimani is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq War, which was both a religious and nationalist struggle for survival in the early stages of the new regime. The martyrs and the foolish loss of lives are not just cliches but true losses that Soleimani experienced that we in the West having not faced an existential war in decades have no possibility understanding.
Soleimani’s position and stature within the Quds force is also far removed from the American process. Soleimani has not just been in charge for over two decades of the Quds force but per the profile, “Suleimani has been endowed with a personal fortune by the Supreme Leader“. As if confirming the BAP Mindset thesis, “Suleimani spent hours lifting weights in local gyms, which, like many in the Middle East, offered physical training and inspiration for the warrior spirit“. This would carry on through the Iran-Iraq War, where “he was put in charge of a brigade from Kerman, with men from the gyms where he lifted weights“. The warrior and pirate spirit was within him.
While not described as an especially pious man, Soleimani is described as a fervent nationalist and committed to the political goals of the regime as envisioned by Khameini. Khameini himself was made Supreme Leader for political reasons after the initial successor to Khomeini was considered qualified spiritually but not as reliable to the regime’s desires. Khameini has had a paralyzed right arm since a failed assassination attempt in 1981. The unique construction of the Shia faith thanks to Persian nationalists’ needs centuries ago has made the faith and nationalism a fused spirit for any regime in charge of the land. The sacrifices that both men have taken for the regime are imprinted on not just their souls but their bodies.
How far from Gen. Petraeus does Soleimani appear? Post-war America and ’70s Iran are different worlds. Existential conflict? Petraeus climbed the system’s pole, and led the CIA after leading the efforts behind the successful Iraq Surge. Pious? Petraeus managed to end his career with sloppy message security with his mistress. He now is a consultant for investment firms and leads a non-profit for gun control. He has regime loyalty but a sense of nationalism? No.
That comparison drives it home though on the nature of the American regime’s men and Iran’s. Works with terrorists for dirty ops in the Middle East. Which regime is that? Corrupt and money hungry. Once again, which nation are we discussing? America’s regime designates Soleimani a terrorist and the media arm of the regime spreads this with the same menacing photo, and a piece of the rationale for some future conflict is built. What is lost is that a military figure like Soleimani is alien to the military system that America has now and is no longer possible to not only find but generate even if it desired one such man.