From the Other Media: Why they fear the Qods Force
The US administration’s focus on the Qods Force –and its commander General Qasem Soleymani- is no new story, even if it has been brought into the limelight in recent days. Washington has been in dread of the Qods Force for more than a decade, expressing the fear in different ways. Americans had a particular taste of confrontation with the Qods Force in 2001, when their troops stepped into the Middle East and occupied Iraq and Afghanistan. It took Washington more than a decade to find out who its real contender in the region was. The US’ apprehension of what is dubbed ‘Iran's regional clout’ came mainly –if not totally- from its face-off with the Qods Force. Undoubtedly, when Americans opted for an extensive military presence in the region ten years ago, they had no idea who was their main challenger. For them, the Middle East was a fertile, rival-free land, which would better serve their interests if not ‘remote-controlled’, but ‘field-managed.’ Nonetheless, after ten years, Americans have recognized their intelligence, discursive, operational and political restrictions in the region. In fact, the only solution visible in prospect is to leave the Middle East. For many, this could be brand-new information, but it is undeniable that the Qods Force –and General Qasem Soleymani- have played the most significant role in cutting down to size the US’ war machine in the Middle East.
The Americans’ problem with the Qods Force is just a minor case among the whole range of problems they have experienced with the totality of the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic Republic. Americans cannot comprehend the nature, the modus operandi and the objectives of the Qods Force, as much as they have failed to understand the essence of the school founded by Imam Khomeini, in which Haj Qasem and his companions, in brief, are the top students. For this very reason, those who possess a scintilla of knowledge about Revolutionary Guards –the Sepah, regard the whole gamut of Washington’s attempts to advance the Sepah-phobia project as nothing but a preposterous struggle. We will further elaborate on this point in the following paragraphs.
Despite what the Americans assume, more than being an elite military force –which it is- the Qods Force is the embodiment of a paradigm; one which knows no boundaries and is laden with keywords and propositions which are diametrically and constantly at odds with the most fundamental values and methodologies of the Western civilization. To understand the cause of the Qods Force’s power and its success in confrontation with them, Americans should brush off James Bond-ish theories.
Fear of the Qods Force is first and foremost fear of the inspirational, irreconcilable power of ‘revolutionary Islam’. Despite the unsophisticated mentality of the American rulers, the Qods Force’s key mission is not to provide arms or launch intelligence operations, but to awaken Muslims to the fact that Islam is not a religion which copes with shirk (1) and injustice or approves of being low in number [of devotees] as an excuse for ineptitude and shunning a battle. In essence, genuine Islam is based on fighting shirk and the biggest shirk today is to cave in to the US’ and Zionists’ hegemony. What has bogged down the US in the region and made for their permanent expulsion from the Muslim lands is not fear from Hamas’ missiles or Hezbollah guerillas, but fear of a frame of mind that emboldens thirty Hezbollah fighters to stay up in the Eit al Shab village for thirty-three days boxed in by Israeli forces, dauntless in such a manner that the village –just a few hundred meters away from the Israeli border- did not fall in the hand of Israel throughout the war. Americans can know about the Qods Force, Haj Qasem Soleymani and Sayyid Hassan Nasrullah whenever they capture the essence of that resistance.
Fear of the Qods Force confirms the massive hatred for the usurper, criminal regime of Israel. Fighting Israel -and whatever symbolizes the US- is the basic impulse of revolutionary Islam in the Middle East. This was a reality largely unknown to the White House rulers before the outbreak of Islamic revolutions in the region. Outwardly stable dictatorships had obscured the West’s vision, preventing them sensing the intensity of hatred towards Israel and the US in the hearts of Middle East denizens. Throughout all the years that Washington harbored the delusive thought that Mubarak, Bin Ali and King Abdullah have secured its grip on the region and have turned the Middle East into a haven for Israel, the Qods Force’s finesse sustained and intensified the ‘fire’ in the heart of Muslims to fight against Zionists. The flames of that fire have now leaped, burning Washington’s roots in the region. Americans can uncover the secret of Qasem Soleymani and his men’s success and popularity whenever they recognize the massive hatred against Israel in the Middle East.
Washington’s dread of the Qods Force also stems from their fear that the Islamic Revolution model could be replicated in the region. In one of his atypically open remarks, Haj Qasem Soleymani stated that the Iranian nation was the only nation deserving to inflict a historical defeat on the US. Five years ago, when Haj Qasem uttered those remarks, many found it a great, pleasant, yet distant dream. But today, even the words of Imam Khomeini clang in Netanyahu’s head, and Robert Gates confesses that waging a battle against Iran means that the US has to fight with the ‘children’ of Iran's Revolution inside its own territory. How can one defy Haj Qasem’s comments and call it a distant dream anymore? Americans are aware that their largest, and most strategic future challenge is how to cope with the resurrection of ‘political Islam’ in the Middle East. What makes this more overwhelming is that the return of ‘political Islam’ and a subsequent integration of religion and state means nothing but replication of the Iranian model. Iran is the only country in the world where a successful, effective merger of religion and state has materialized and its most significant product, as Qasem Soleymani has said, is that “Iran has knocked the US off its pedestal.” Indeed, the Qods Force is equipping fighters in the region, not with arms, but with a paradigm which is far more forceful than any weapon. Haj Qasem has delivered no weapons to anyone in the Middle; there is no need for that. He has taught them how to think such that they can tease out the most effective means to strike blows against Imperialism. This is the most powerful weapon ever. Americans can know the Qods Force whenever they decode the secret of political Islam’s return to the region.
Fear of the Qods Force means fear of the prospect of ideological behavior overriding pragmatist behavior. Americans are quite cognizant of this fact. For the sake of illustration, let us compare two dossiers in their temporal context: the nuclear dossier of Iran during the Reformist era and the Iraq dossier. While the first was handled by pragmatists, the second was undertaken by Haj Qasem’s disciples -men with sunburnt faces who knew rugged mountains and deserts better than posh, eye-catching neighborhoods of metropolises. "Which dossier was handled better?” Americans can know the Qods Force whenever they can answer this question.
Finally, the fear of the Qods Force lies in its power to transcend borders. The Qods Force teaches Muslims not to stay put at home, but to fight enemies in their own home. The US did not take this seriously until lately, but hearing the chants of ‘Death to Israel’ in the heart of New York could have taught them the true meaning of ‘overseas operation.’ Americans can discover the Qods Force’s pattern of conduct in the Middle East whenever they find out how hatred against Israel has reached New York.
This was only a prelude: any talk about the Qods Forces should deeply reflect upon another concept, that is the concept of shahadat-talabi [“thirst for martyrdom”.] Americans are of course familiar with its meaning: their analysts have probably told them that nearly all that is quoted from Haj Qasem Soleymani has been recorded during his attendance in ceremonies held to pay homage to the martyrs [of the eight-year war with Iraq], ceremonies which Haj Qasem never neglects to attend. “Pray for me not to lag behind [the line of martyrs]” is what he always says. Americans can know the Qods Force whenever they know the secret of Haj Qasem’s deep affection for Ahmad Kazemi (2).
Briefly, fear of the Qods Force means fear of Iran's best and bravest men who in absolute anonymity appear in the most dangerous operational zones to serve people who have nothing to present but their sufferings; men who luxuriate in promoting Islam. Could such a deep, overwhelming concept fit in the small, digitalized minds of the American rulers?
(1) Shirk, a Qur’anic term originally means polytheism –belief in many different gods- which is obviously against the teachings of Islam, which is a monotheistic faith. Within this text the author may have referred to an insincere belief in Islamic teachings.