No Lamentation for a Devil

Two years have passed since a CIA drone took out General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, the special operations and dirty tricks terror arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. Soleimani, whose nickname was the “Shadow Commander,” was killed on January 3, 2020, shortly after arriving in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, to meet the Iraqi prime minister who was mediating the lowering of the temperature between proxies supported by Iran and those who answered to the Saudis.

Few outside the battlespace of the Middle East have ever had to emerge from the smoldering rubble of Soleimani’s handiwork. Soleimani killed Israelis, Americans, Christians, and fellow Muslims. His business was mayhem and devastation in the name of advancing the ever-growing Shiite Crescent from the waters of the Persian Gulf to the shores of the Mediterranean.

Soleimani was schooled in the dark arts of terror at a young age. He was a prodigious student in mayhem and murder.  He was 21-years-old when he enthusiastically volunteered into the ranks of Khomeini’s fanatic Revolutionary Guard Corps—the enforcing arm of a maniacal fundamentalist Shiite force that brought Iran back into the middle ages. Known for ruthlessness and ambition, he fought with distinction against Saddam Hussein’s army during the bloody battles of the Iran-Iraq War. He rose quickly through the ranks of the Guard and then he went to work for the Quds Force.

The Quds, or Jerusalem, Force was one of the five branches of the Revolutionary Guards responsible for irregular warfare and intelligence operation that, according to its official designation, would rescue Muslim lands from the nonbelievers. The Quds Force’s ultimate objective was the “liberation of Jerusalem from the Zionists and the destruction of the Jewish state.” And that’s where Soleimani’s special brand of destruction was focused. As a senior officer—and then commander—of the Quds Force, he played an instrumental role in turning Hezbollah into Iran’s global proxy army against Israel, against the West, and against any nation or individual that got in the way of Iran’s regional and strategic interests. Soleimani help to transform Hezbollah into a significant missile-rich military force—one of the most capable of all Arab armies. Soleimani expanded Hezbollah’s—and Iran’s—covert capabilities around the world—from Buenos Aires to Bosnia. Hezbollah developed into one of the world’s largest narcotics cartels in the world thanks to Soleimani. Soleimani was linked to the Hezbollah operations that sparked the 2006 Second Lebanon War. The result of his handiwork was pain and sorrow. He was directly responsible for the deaths of Israeli soldiers and civilians during the conflict.

The Arab Spring and the Syrian Civil War—as well as Quds Force acts of terror in Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan—placed Soleimani in the global spotlight. He led the Shiite special operations offensive in defense of the Assad regime in Damascus. He commanded Hezbollah and other terrorist forces in the conflict against anti-government forces and then later against ISIS and other Sunni groups. The men under his command—at his command—perpetrated war crimes in Syria, massacring enemies of the Assad regime, Sunni civilians, and anyone that got in the way of Tehran’s intentions. Soleimani excelled as a special operations commander in the internecine butchery of Syria and Iraq’s ethnic combustion.

Ultimately, like warlords and terror chieftains before him, Soleimani’s successes and made him feel invulnerable who reach was limitless. He was killed at the pinnacle of power. President Trump authorized his assassination ostensibly as retaliation for Shiite militia attacks in Iraq—including an assault against the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. He was killed to account for past crimes and to prevent future ones.

It should be noted that Hamas was able to develop a significant long-range missile arsenal for use against Israel and further its tunnel warfare capabilities thanks to the expertise it received from Soleimani’s emissaries of destruction. Soleimani became a master spy and diplomat who shuttled between the region’s capital cities to rally support for Hamas and get countries like Qatar and Turkey to foot the bill. The cooperation was a rare example of Sunnis and Shiites working together. It was all, of course, in the name of the unifying objective of murdering Jews and “liberating” Jerusalem.