How many millions of troops are deployed to Iran, such as the response of the US military to shake the United States?Before his death last Thursday evening Qasem Soleimani was the most feared man in the Middle East.
Iraqi, Lebanese, Syrian, Gulf Arab & even Israeli leaders spoke of him with a combination of terror & respect unlike that shown to any other figure in recent memory.
Iranians treated him with a degree of pride even reverence that was exceptional for a leader of the increasingly unpopular regime.Soleimani deserved all of it.
For 22 years he led the al-Quds Force an elite unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps responsible for exporting the Iranian revolution & securing Iran’s interests across the Middle East.
Soleimani himself was simultaneously Iran’s chief military commander chief diplomat & chief aid administrator for the entire region.
He held powers & responsibilities more like a Roman pro-consul than anything comparable in the American system.He possessed a unique set of skills & relationships that were critical to Iran’s many successes over the past 2 decades.
He was highly intelligent decisive & pragmatic.
Those who worked with him willingly or not all noted his soft-spoken demeanor his coolness under pressure his quiet authority & his ability to know how to make people offers they could not refuse or did not want to.Because of his longevity Soleimani had gotten to know & know extremely well the leaders & peoples of many countries across the Middle East.Yet few had his ability to read them & understand their ultimate motives desires & fears.More than that Soleimani came to understand the complex web of relations within & among the elites of these countries.
That is far more difficult to do & it was his ability to manipulate those opaque & tangled skeins that enabled him to consistently shape outcomes to Iran’s advantage.
It is a talent that few if any Americans or Israelis or even Arabs have ever acquired.
Soleimani mastered it.It was Soleimani who effectively saved the Assad regime in Syria after 2012 by pushing Hezbollah to pitch in building up local militias then bringing in Afghan & Iraqi fighters & finally convincing the Russians to intervene.It was Soleimani who raced to Baghdad with several thousand Quds force advisors in 2014 when ISIS struck in Iraq to organize the defenses of the capital stiffen the spines of the tottering Iraqi security forces & convince Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani to call on average Iraqis to aid their military in halting the flagging ISIS juggernaut.Watch full video right here: