General Soleimani, the revolutionary, the martyr, the legend
Qassem Soleimani was far from being just a military leader. He was a revolutionary, jumping from one angle of the region to the other overnight. His sole goal seemed to be fighting off the US-Israeli aggression that the people of West Asia suffered.
Many called him the "Shadow commander," by others "Haj' Qassem," or "Sardar Soleimani" or just "Haji" depending on the describer's perspective, or his political views. This is the story of a revolutionary, of Qassem Soleimani, the simple man and the hero from Kerman.
Born to a poor farmer in 1957, Soleimani joined the Ranks of the IRGC following the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979. He quickly moved up the ranks as he was described as shrewd and courageous by his peers, even commanding a full division, the 41st Tharallah Division, during the Infamous Iran-Iraq war of the 80s when he was only in his 20'.
After the US-instigated war on the nascent revolution, Soleimani became the Head of the well-known al-Quds elite force in the IRGC in 1997. His main aim was focused on creating a regional basis from which the peoples of the region could rise and resist the western dominion that only produced war, death, and destruction for these people and their livelihood.
“Gen. Soleimani created very good relations between battlefield and diplomacy”
Quds force Commander, General Esmail Qaani
On the eve of his martyrdom anniversary, Soleimani is described in the words of his successor Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, as being "a man of logic" that "promoted ideas and theories." In the words of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Soleimani embodied two words "One was honesty and the other was sincerity." A man down to earth, rarely cared for his safety, as described by many of those who had the fortune to know him. A real hero, like the revolutionary icons that broke the barrier of the limited time they lived on this earth to bust the doors of eternity.
It is hard not to resort to poetry when speaking about revolutionaries, Ghassan Kanafani, the Palestinian revolutionary writer spoke about revolution and imagination, where both elements organically correlate. There can be no revolution without imagination. To rebel against the established unjust order, one needs to have the capability to imagine a better world. General Soleimani was a Man of vision, or else, how can a human rebel against it in the first place?
The martyr Qassem Soleimani had announced that he was in Lebanon during the war in an interview 3 months before his assassination. He just could not stay away from the heat of the combat, standing side by with his companions in the face of what he described as an attempt to change the demography of Southern Lebanon by brut force. Solemani shared the dangers and the challenges of the perilous journey with Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, moving from cover to cover, sustaining the Israeli bombing that was trying to find them. Soleimani told Sayyed Nasrallah “I either live with you or die with you.”
Following the War, Soleimani had a major role in the reconstruction efforts. The Quds Force commander returned to Tehran after the war and arranged aid to help build houses destroyed by the Israeli aggression. From the military aspect, he worked hastily to rebuild the resistance's capabilities after the war, as he perceived another aggression from their warmongering was always around the corner.
Syria, Iraq, West Asia
The story of General Soleimani in the Western-backed war that engulfed western Asia during the last few years can be reassured in on incident:
Breaking the arduous siege of Amerli was one of the most famous feats that General Soleimani and his brother-in-arms Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis (who was assassinated alongside General Soleimani) spearheaded. Amerli, a town encircled by Daesh terrorists, had roughly 20,000 families inside who had mounted a valiant armed fight against the jihadists.
General Soleimani and Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis, developed a plan that saw 50 armed Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades members airdrop into the town by helicopter. The insiders and the outsiders worked together to defeat the terrorists and break the siege. 20,000 inhabitants were prevented from being slaughtered and their women and children were most likely to be kidnapped, as Daesh had already done to other Iraqi Isolated communities.
Immediately after the siege of Amerli was broken, emotional footage showed Hezbollah Brigades officers crying with pleasure, including Abu Fadek (who replaced Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis following the latter's martyrdom), being embraced by General Soleimani.
When security officials told him not to advance against terrorists in Syria, he retorted, "Are we terrified of a few bullets?" and proceeded to go to the first fighting line. Never he was observed with a flak Jacket or body armor at the front lines. “I don't care if I fall as long as someone else picks up my gun and keeps on shooting,” Che Guevara, the international revolutionary, once said, General Soleimai was an embodiment of such belief. He melted in a sea of soldiers that were unknown to him. Iraqis, Iranians, Lebanese, Syrians... all cheered with joy when Soleimani rushed the front lines with them, equating himself with the most humble soldiers.
"In the 22 years that I knew General Soleimani, he or the Islamic Republic of Iran never asked anything from us ever," Sayyed Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah had once said. He always stressed that neither Iran nor General Soleimani had treated the resistance in Lebanon and like proxies, but as allies, brothers-in-arms fighting for the same cause.
The only time when Soleimani had made a request to the Lebanese resistance was he asked for military advisors to assist the Iraqi people in defending themselves against the Daesh terrorists. "I don’t want any fighters, just advisors to train the Iraqis,” Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani told the Lebanese resistance leader.
“He was very affected by what was happening in Iraq... and he was ready to die in Iraq a thousand times.”
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary General of Hezbollah
A New Reality: the West overmatched
In an article published in The NewYorker, Kenneth McKenzie Jr., a Marine general who headed US forces across the West and South Asia, spoke about an "overmatch." This "overmatch" is defined by the article as "a level of capability in which a country has weaponry that makes it extremely difficult to check or defeat." The Islamic Republic in Iran reached this level according to the US General. McKenzie stated that “Iran’s strategic capacity is now enormous,” the US General added, “They’ve got overmatch in the theatre—the ability to overwhelm.”
The US, a global hegemon, imagined that by illicitly assassinating a General of its adversary on the territory of a third country while he was on a diplomatic mission, will be able to flip the tables, but it failed to do so. The leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran, Ali Khamenei, said: “Today in our region, Soleimani is a symbol of hope, self-confidence, and bravery and a manifestation of resistance and victory. As some people have correctly pointed out, ‘Martyr’ Soleimani is more dangerous than ‘General’ Soleimani for his enemies.”
"Martyr Soleimani is more dangerous than ‘General’ Soleimani for his enemies."
Ali Khamenei, The leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran
The heavy price of resistance
In such a lengthy and costly fight against the biggest and wealthiest empire the world has ever seen, the "weaker" party is expected to give huge sacrifices. Against an empire that thrives off arms sales, pirating, colonization, the destruction of people's dreams, hopes, and progress to eliminate competition, a huge price is due. Qassem Soleimani, the altruistic revolutionary, was ready to pay that price.
"He spent many nights crying when he remembered the martyrs," Sayyed Nasrallah says in a speech commemorating General Soleimani's martyrdom, continuing that was always eager to meet his friends and companions that he missed dearly, and that had departed in that path long ago.
He lived like the hero who inspired people, and he died like a legend that peoples across civilizations write poetry, songs, and stories to tell their children, the children that are due to live and grow in peace after the hard battle with the colonizers is won, as Suleimani promised and predicted.