Iran’s regime has lost its pilot after the death of IRGC General Qasem Soleimani. It’s hopes and dreams were invested in him and building up his persona as a threatening shadow across the Middle East. With Soleimani gone, the regime is flailing and its flailing is clear from its own media coverage of the hole left by his absence.
Four months ago Soleimani sat down for a monumental interview to tell the “untold story” of his relations with Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah and Imad Mughniyeh. In truth the interview was about Mughniyeh, the “general’s general” who Soleimani compared to great commanders of the past. “Women should give birth so such a person would be born again.” Mughniyeh was killed in 2008, Soleimani suffered the same fate on January 3, 2020.
Iran’s Tasnim News highlighted how important Soleimani was over the last days. Major General Hossein Salami, leader of the IRGC, said that it was a bitter tragedy for the IRGC. “We are today absent a great commander, an unforgettable [man] who embraced all the divine virtues.” He spoke of Soleimani in religious terms, speaking of his modesty and popularity.
He said that in his martyrdom Soliemani is “more dangerous to the enemy,” a kind of religious prophecy that in death he will be born again. This conjures up Soleimani’s own eulogy for Mughniyeh, but we know that Mughniyeh was also irreplaceable. So what Salami is really indicating is not that Soleimani will come again, but the degree to which he won’t and cannot be replaced.
The IRGC leader says that a large part of the Islamic world is more angry today with the US and Israel due to the killing. There is no real evidence of that. Instead the reality is just as Salami presents it. “Soleimani shifted the balance in the field against our enemies despite it being a field at the height of inequality. He was capable, thoughtful, resourceful, devout, courageous, open-minded and determined.” Indeed he “transformed a large part of the world into a field of resistance.” The term “resistance” is used to describe Iranian allies fighting the US and Israel.
Salami says that Hajj Qasem, the honorific for Soleimani, worked for decades to achieve this great power. He cleared a path with his strength, the IRGC says. “Today, experienced and faithful commanders with clear vision and aspirations will continue his path to ultimately defeat America and the enemies of our Islamic community.”
The new head of the IRGC Quds Force, replacing Soleimani, is Major General Esmail Ghaani, a 62-year old commander also eulogized Soleimani over the weekend. “Our enemies do not understand a language other than force so we must stand firm against them.” He said that the IRGC must continue the path that Soleimani walked and bring together its strength and authority. He felt it was worthwhile to emphasize this as if there was a question, as if there was a feeling of morale being weak.
The IRGC today has not only lost Soleimani but also has seen its elite and technologically sugnificantt Aerospace force tarnished by shooting down a Ukrainian passenger plane. IRGC commander Ali Hajizadeh, who was supposed to be planning operations abroad is now under a cloud and his entire command has been humiliated. He too will take time to recover, if he is capable of removing the cloud of failure. Taken together the comments in Iranian media show the regime has a huge hole in the wake of Soleimani’s death.
Source » jpost