On January 2, 2020, Kassem Suleimani was killed in Baghdad. This event must be understood and the right conclusions drawn from it, and urgently because it has the most direct relation to our future. Direct.
Alas, the domestic public is not particularly good at “understanding”. Until now, the slain is simply called an Iranian general. Yes, it was strictly formally an Iranian general, but as early as 2009 he could have removed the Iranian president, even if not alone.
Of course, strictly formal, it was just the commander of a part of the Iranian special operations forces. But in fact, he controlled a huge transnational financial empire, rich enough to sponsor the entire Iranian war machine in the Middle East, without receiving a single rial from the country's budget. And a gigantic network of non-state armies, one of which was, for example, Hezbollah, but was not the only one. Even Christians fought for him, he was able to lure to his side the deadly enemies of Iran and all Shiites in the world - Al-Qaeda (banned in Russia). The Kurds, with the pacification of which began his military career in Iran, hid him in Iraq from their main allies - the Americans.
Yes, in terms of its official status, it was no match for many in Iran. But in fact, he gave orders to foreign presidents as his subordinates - and they implicitly carried them out.
Kassem Suleimani was once a boy trying to find at least some work to help save his peasant father from being arrested for debt. And the day before his death, the number of people with more power than he had was less than fingers on his hands. In the world, not in Iran. In Iran, however, too - only Ayatollah Khamenei could have resigned him if he wanted to. But he would not want to, because Suleymani was a national hero who will be remembered for many years after the name Khamenei is forever forgotten by everyone. Part of the national pantheon, a figure commensurate with Saladdin in the Shiite Muslim world. The man who ruled Iraq and the war in Syria at the same time. A person personally acquainted with Bashar al-Assad and, apparently, with Vladimir Putin. Friend of Hassan Nasrallah. In Iran, he is credited with the idea of calling Russia to Syria. This, apparently, is not true, but the scale of Suleymani’s personality quite gives grounds for such rumors.
In the world today there is almost no person proportional in scale. Putin if only. Xi Jinping is still possible. Even the one who killed Suleimani Trump does not hold out, however, it happens that people simply kill those who surpass them in their personal qualities. This is especially simple when, for no reason, around the corner.
Suleymani would have won the presidential election in Iran dry if he wanted to. But he at one time abandoned his political career with the words: "I want to remain a soldier of the revolution." In Iran, he was called the word "sardar" - the commander. Of course, this is also one of the Iranian traditions - the so-called high-ranking officers, in the press, for example. That's just all the commanders had surnames, but simply the commander in Iran was alone. And will be left alone.
It was a legend man. Pretty scary legend, one cannot but admit it, but a legend. Human symbol. And even his death is filled with symbols, like no one else. IN stories Russian large-scale personalities were also, for example, Ermak. But there were few of them. And no one had many of them.
He was the one who sought peace with the Americans and successfully led Iran to him, and then became the one who destroyed the largest number of American soldiers after Vietnam. And not of his own free will. He crushed American plans in Iraq and conquered Iraq for his country. He fought for the reincarnation of the Persian Empire like no other and almost won.
He died from weaponsspecially created for secret killings. Useless in war, but effective for secret killings of those who cannot defend themselves here and now. Weapons, which today in itself is a symbol, only a symbol of another country - the United States. Crystal clear symbol.
And in his death are lessons. And there are also a lot of them.
But first things first.
There is no point in retelling the biography of Kassem Suleimani. It is publicly available, including in Russian. But something worth commenting. Having gone to war with Iraq as a junior officer, Suleymani distinguished himself with such a level of courage and military ability that he received a phenomenal career growth. Having joined the IRGC at age 22, at thirty he already commanded a division, and received his first formation, an infantry brigade, at age 27. However, those who served with him noted that he retained that attitude to human life, which is more likely characteristic of a junior officer. Suleimani always suffered heavily from losses in his units. Then, in the eighties, he was one of the first officers in Iran who raised his voice against the "wasteful" methods of warfare practiced by the Iranians. It is possible that this influenced his style of operations in the future.
After the war with Iraq ended, the Iranian authorities began to look for a way to “resolve issues” with neighbors at a not so terrible price as it was in the war with Iraq. In addition, Iran, which constantly fell under one or another sanction, simply did not have money for big wars. It was logical and, most importantly, in line with the local cultural paradigm, to create forces capable of waging an irregular war, exhausting and fettering the enemy, on the far approaches to Iran. The ideal basis for such forces was a formation that was mistakenly called in the press by the Arabic word Al-Quds. In fact, in Farsi it is called “Cods,” though it means the same thing, “Jerusalem.”
From the very beginning of the war with Iraq, the Cods fought an irregular war in Iraqi Kurdistan, and since 1982 began subversive anti-Israeli activities in Lebanon. It was then that Hezbollah was created, which “settled” anti-Israeli and anti-Christian sentiments in Lebanon after the events of 1982.
After the war with Iraq, the Cods was supposed to move to a new level. And for this he needed a new commander.
In 1998, Suleimani became such a commander. By that time, he had not only fought the Iran-Iraq war, and operations against Kurdish rebels in Iran, but also successful operations as part of a large-scale and bloody war on drugs on the Afghan border.
The domestic reader is also not aware of these events, but these were large-scale and bloody events. Suleimani finally built up his reputation precisely in the chaos of the war of all against all, where the Iranian military had to repel the attacks of drug-trafficked gangs and catch bullets in the back from their side, where the mountains were mined and paths were blocked with the help of engineering structures, where you had to go on raids on drug caravans, lie in ambush and win without outside help. No artillery or aviation. In a war where Iranian roadblocks and strongholds were systematically besieged and raided from Afghanistan, and on the streets of bordering Iranian cities, the drug mafia killed any military indiscriminately, even privates, even generals, for years.
It was in this hell that the infantry commander Suleymani showed himself to be a master of irregular warfare. After that, his appointment to a new post became logical.
After the appointment, Suleimani becomes involved and gradually expands anti-Saddam operations in Iraq, as well as subversive actions against the Taliban movement (banned in the Russian Federation) in Afghanistan. He also dramatically strengthened Kods’s ties with the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, gaining more help from Iran, including people.
But that takeoff in his career, which made him one of the unwritten rulers of the Shiite world, Suleimani became thanks to the Americans. It was the struggle with them that made him who he was.
But this was not what the Iranians sought, nor what Suleimani sought.
As you know, after the events of September 11, 2001 in the United States, Russia provided various support to the United States in its operations in Afghanistan. It is less known that Iran provided similar support.
From Iran, it was Suleimani, whom the Americans then knew as Haji Kassem, responsible for interacting with the United States. It was Iran that provided the United States with the most detailed information on the location of the Taliban bases and units, the very one that the Kods operatives obtained in their dangerous operations on Afghan territory. Suleimani even carried out the arrests of Al-Qaeda operatives in Iran and ensured their delivery to Afghanistan. As the Americans who worked with the Iranians later recalled, it was a very profitable collaboration.
Everything changed dramatically in January 2002, when US President George W. Bush declared Iran a part of some “axis of evil” in his annual address to Congress.
This shocked the Iranians, who already saw the United States as an ally in the fight against the Taliban, and the American diplomats who worked with them, too. But that was a fact. For Suleimani himself, this was also a problem because in a sense he bet on the Americans. And now they have done such a trick.
The Republicans, however, did not care who and what helped their country. They wanted to kill and destroy, they, by and large, were not even interested in the surrender of those countries that were designated victims of America, they were interested in corpses, and Iran was also on the list. But - after Iraq.
In 2003, the American army crushed Iraq. Iran did not particularly protest against the collapse of its sworn enemy, whose aggression claimed nearly half a million Iraqi lives. Moreover, under the leadership of Suleymani, after the American invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Iranians again got in touch with their old counterparts.
True, now fear was also felt in their behavior. It seemed to them that their country would be next, however, at the time of the American invasion of Iraq it was planned.
Few people know, but the first occupation government in Iraq was created by the Americans with the participation of Kassem Suleimani. He participated in the selection of candidates and coordinated them with the Americans. True, soon it was over.
On the one hand, no goodwill gestures addressed to the United States worked. It seemed that the Yankees had turned into cannibalistic fanatics obsessed with the idea of annihilating everyone, meaning Iran in the first place. But on the other hand, and at the same time, it was clear that they were stalling in Iraq.
2004 is the year when the Iranians re-evaluated the situation. Now it looked different: the United States was still a maniac country, which had fallen into insanity, but now this maniac was clearly stuck in his two wars, for some unknown reason. Now, after the failure to cooperate with the Americans, another strategy has become logical - to make them stuck in a guerrilla war. And the Cods immediately set to work. The Suleymani people massively trained different, independent Shiite groups that immediately began to attack the Americans, and Iranian proteges in the Iraqi government were sabotaging American efforts to restore order. Over the year, the Iranians managed to raise a powerful wave of resistance.
They also managed to seriously arm the rebels. For example, Americans widely used armored cars protected from explosions and small arms, designated as MRAP - Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected. These vehicles protected the crews well, and the destruction of the American occupation was a problem for the Iraqis. The Iranians very quickly created portable mines with a warhead of the "strike core" type, and set up their production and delivery to Iraq. These mines easily hit monstrous American armored cars and claimed the lives of hundreds of American soldiers. And this was also the work of Suleimani.
His activity in Iraq is professionally effective and Persian insidious, deserves a separate description. The Americans tried to capture him - to no avail. He also had mistakes - for example, the involvement of Al-Qaeda in operations against the United States ended as a result of attacks by its militants and the Iraqi Shiites, which is Suleimani’s personal mistake. True, they also killed the Americans, so the mistake was not grave.
In addition to the war to weaken the United States, Suleymani was committed to ensuring that a strong government capable of threatening Iran would never emerge in Iraq, and also successfully.
The outcome of these efforts is known. In 2011, the United States officially ended the occupation of Iraq, minimizing its presence in this country. There was no longer any talk of an invasion of Iran, and Iraq itself was awash with Iraqi militias, which could easily defeat the official Iraqi army, while the Iraqi government itself was directly controlled from Tehran, with Sulejmani personally controlling it.
At the same time as the war, Suleimani created the economic basis for his operations. Putting banks and oil supplies under control in Iraq, and then elsewhere, he ensured that his military empire found itself in self-financing. This was exactly what the Iranians wanted after the war with Iraq: the issues of their defense were resolved, firstly, themselves, without involving large masses of Iranian troops, secondly, efficiently, thirdly, outside Iranian territory, and fourthly, still and for free.
The outbreak of the American-inspired terrorist war in the region made Suleimani even more in demand. In Iraq and Syria, the main burden of wars against terrorist groups, once created with the participation of the United States, was carried by various militias and Shiite groups created by the IRGC. In Syria, the Lebanese Hezbollah, the brainchild of the Cods, tutored by Suleimani, has become the most combat-ready units. At a certain point, Suleimani turned out to be the man who controlled all the wars in Iraq and Syria at once.
The Iranians, however, did not have enough resources. If Assad they were helped by Russia, the terrorists pumped money and resources the whole pro-Western world. In Iraq, the United States delayed the supply of weapons to the official Iraqi army until ISIS (banned in the Russian Federation) reached the borders allocated to it by puppeteers from Washington, and did not strike at terrorists until this happened. The IRGC used there both its aircraft and its armored vehicles. And if in Iran there were somehow enough Iranian resources to at least stop the terrorist attack, then things were going very badly in Syria. It got to the point that the routes along which the Assad family traveled in everyday life began to undergo mortar shelling - and no way out was visible.
But Russia soon appeared in Syria, the Americans in Iraq began to besiege their unbridled offspring - ISIS, and Suleymani was again able to achieve success. In Russia, everyone knows about the role of the Russian Air Force, but few people know that until 2016, almost the entire war on the earth was "taken out" by Iran - the Syrian army at some point lost its combat effectiveness almost completely. The Iranians did it poorly and stupidly, but there were no other troops then.
In general, in the success of the fight against terror in Syria, the role of the people of Suleymani is comparable to the role of Russia. Now the situation is different, Russia was able to create its own ground forces not controlled by Iran in this country, but at the beginning of our intervention in the conflict, everything was different.
And if in our public consciousness the symbol of the Syrian fracture is a bomber with red stars on the planes, then in Iran this is a portrait of Kassem Suleimani. Commander
In the West, he is considered a terrorist. And indeed - neither he nor his people were restrained in the means. But one should not condemn them all - without exception, all the participants in the wars in the region, except for Russia, are deeply imprisoned in war crimes that they committed voluntarily and deliberately. And it is unlikely from the point of view of common sense that the passage of ISIS militants from Iraq to Syria by the Americans before the re-capture of Palmyra is something worse than the help of Hezbollah Iranians in obtaining missiles that are guaranteed to fly to residential areas. Israeli phosphorus bombs over Gaza kill far more than the Iranians killed in all the years since the Islamic Revolution. And when someone gives everything that is happening hysterical moral assessments, then such a person should start from the side that he considers his own.
Israeli Air Force strike on Gaza residential areas using white phosphorus. What is better than a bomb in a backpack? Nothing
Neither the Iranians nor Suleymani were and are not angels with wings. But amid the Americans and Israelis, these are just children. It is worth remembering this when someone will arrange another tantrum.
Kassem Suleimani died in a situation where neither he nor his organization had been conducting any military operations against the United States for a long time and when the United States had not conducted any military operations against the Iranian forces for a long time. He died in the course of a long unspoken truce. He, in fact, was therefore not hiding, but calmly flew to Baghdad Airport by plane, got into the car without hiding, and drove around the city at night.
The idea that he behaved this way before giving the command to carry out an indiscriminate harassing shelling of an American base that did not lead to any serious casualties of the enemy looks, to put it mildly, silly.
Yes, the Americans themselves formulate the reason for his murder differently. You must understand that their words are in any case a lie.
Kassem Suleimani was killed by a rocket, unofficially called by the Americans "Ninja" - Hellfire 9X. Its specific feature is that in order to hit a target, instead of a warhead with explosives, it uses knives - six long blades of this size, so that when a typical passenger car is hit, cut into pieces all who ride in the cabin. This weapon, specially created for murders, is useless in a war with a real enemy. Such missiles cannot hit armored vehicles. They are designed specifically to open cars and kill their passengers.
AGM-114 Hellfire 9X. Guided missile for killing, not for war. One of a kind
This is symbolic. If Kassem Suleimani is a symbol of Iran, then his death is a symbol of the United States. The murder of a former adversary with whom there has been no war for a long time and who has not been hiding, moreover, an adversary who once sought American friendship, but whose country the United States sentenced to death, using weapons specially created for the secret killings of people who are unable to defend themselves. A symbol of American culture as it is. Yes, some of the ninja-chopped people are actually terrorists.
Even those who were once trained and trained by the Americans themselves.
But Suleimani was not on this list.
Why did Trump do this?
This article is written on Saturday, January 4th. And on Sunday, January 5, the Iraqi parliament must decide: to remain with American troops in the country after this or not. We venture to suggest the following.
Trump promised to withdraw troops from both Iraq and Syria. At the same time, he needs any support during the ongoing impeachment process. This impeachment, of course, is doomed, but the pressure that the neocons exert on Trump is truly scary.
Trump was already trying to get out of Syria, but this impulse was successfully sabotaged. And he cannot overcome the resistance of the neocons.
But what if the further presence of troops there becomes technically impossible? Then the neocons will have to come to terms. There will be no choice. And Trump will become the person who fulfilled the promise to leave Iraq and Syria. But how to do that? How to make the finding of troops in Iraq and Syria impossible? Here, no neocons can handle it.
In such circumstances, to do something for which the Iraqis themselves push the United States out of their country is quite a decision. And that means that they will have to leave Syria as well, because it is possible to supply a group there only through Iraq.
So it turns out that Trump could well have "framed himself." Kill the old enemy and at the cost of his life solve his domestic political problems. Why not?
It is possible that the reason for the murder of Suleymani is precisely this. It was a significant figure, and the Iranians simply cannot close their eyes to his death - not on that scale. It is possible that the expulsion of the Americans from Iraq as a “response” - this is what the American president actually wants.
According to regional media outlets, there are already leaks that Pompeo offers the Iranians to respond proportionally and calm down on this, that the United States is "breaking through" the future Iranian reaction and is generally not interested in the war. Then what did they achieve?
Lessons and challenges for Russia.
The way the United States treated Iran and its general is an example confirming the rule of life on this planet that has already been voiced many times: no peaceful coexistence with the United States is possible. No way, in principle. No concessions, no help, no help will force the Americans to abandon plans to destroy those countries that they “sentenced”. It is impossible to agree with them, it is impossible to come to an understanding. It's impossible.
Suleimani tried, and his country tried. The result is obvious. The USSR tried, and it is not there either. Saddam Hussein was a welcome guest in the United States in the 80s - the Americans even supplied him with chemical weapons. His country was destroyed, the children were killed, and he himself later too. Gaddafi made a lot of efforts to normalize relations with the United States, and everyone knows what he ended up with, and in Libya today there are slave markets in place of schools and hospitals. Assad tried to establish relations with the United States, handed over terrorists to them, shared information and began negotiations with Israel on the Golan. The result is known. Russia supported the United States after September 11th. Today, the number of ethnic Russians killed in Ukraine amounts to many thousands, and they are killed with US support. A lot of examples.
Once again - no peaceful coexistence with the United States is possible, trying to achieve one is a waste of time.
This is the lesson we again see in the biography of Kassem Suleimani. As previously seen in other examples.
Findings for the future is more difficult. If the US motives are really what they seem, then Trump can really get out of the Middle East quagmire. And then his hands will be untied. Today, the fix idea for Americans is the desire to “besiege” China. But China has behind its back, according to the United States, a backing country - Russia. If knocked out, then China’s position in the confrontation with the United States will be greatly weakened.
And it doesn’t matter how true this train of thought is: both Napoleon and Hitler thought the same way, but this did not stop the second of them from repeating the mistake of the first. Americans think in a similar way.
So, Trump's untied hands can come out to us sideways - and hard. His words about the desire for a good relationship with Russia are just words, the Americans are not able to understand by them something other than our surrender, as the USSR used to be. At least within the political elite.
However, the idea of using the Russians as a battering ram against the Chinese and “resolving the Chinese question” with the wrong hands there also excites some minds. And he even finds supporters-traitors in Russia itself, alas.
Thus, our interest is not to let Trump's hands loose. They should further be connected by Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq. The United States needs to be stuck there for the longest possible time.
In the American-built world, many dead Americans mean few dead Russians, and vice versa. We willy-nilly have to play by these rules.
So, all the efforts of Russia in the conditions of the crisis provoked by the assassination of Suleimani by the Americans should contribute to a simple thing - they should not be allowed to leave the region quickly. They must stay there, they must spend their resources and money there ...
There is one more thing. Iran, thanks to the efforts of people like Suleimani, is actively strengthening, and soon, if everything goes as it goes, we will face a new edition of the Persian Empire. Historical experience says that this is not good for Russia. Iran already has expansionist plans in the post-Soviet space, and some - together with China. The combined resources of Iran and China are incommensurably greater than ours.
It is cynical, but how much we need America’s eternal war, it’s not clear why and where it is not clear, it would be useful for us if this very America would besiege Iran. Moreover, playing in such a mess on the side of the Iranians, you can finally make the Americans pay for their past atrocities. Take a direct tax on blood, as, for example, in Korea. And the ideal outcome is the bleeding wound of the United States that will not allow them to wage their undeclared war against us for at least some time, and Iran weakened and safe for Russia, which can be made a very profitable economic partner in this case.
We did not create a world that is structured in this way. So, we can and must protect ourselves from both real and future threats, without experiencing any special remorse about this. Because in relation to us no one will experience such remorse.
This is what we need to think about in connection with the death of Kassem Suleimani.