Some people achieve immortality through their deeds and sacrifices.
The martyr, General Qassem Soleimani was one such individual—indeed he has become an institution in his own right—after he achieved martyrdom.
He was martyred in a US missile strike outside Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.
Also martyred with him were Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of Hashd al Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) of Iraq, and six of their companions.
Millions of people in Iraq and Iran participated in their funeral processions.
Over the last several days, there have been commemoration ceremonies in Iran, Iraq and many other parts of the world to honor their memory.
What did martyr Soleimani achieve that he is so revered?
To fully understand his legacy, we have to consider three separate events.
The first is the Iraqi-imposed war on Iran that was launched on September 22, 1980 and lasted for nearly eight years.
The second was the attacks of September 11, 2001 following which the US drew up a list of seven countries that it would attack and destroy in the Middle East.
The third was Colonel Ralph Peter’s plan outlined in a paper published in the Armed Forces Journal in 2006 titled, Blood Borders, advocating the dismemberment of several countries to create new ethnic states in West Asia and the Middle East.
We will consider each one separately to see how the martyr Soleimani planned to neutralize their negative impact on Iran and the wider region.
First, let us consider the Iraqi-imposed war.
Though launched through Iraq, it was backed by virtually the entire world—the West and the East, Arabs and non-Arabs.
The US provided the regime of Saddam Husain with chemical and biological weapons, intelligence sharing through AWACS planes operating out of Saudi Arabia, as well as money.
Despite no diplomatic relations between the US and Iraq, then US president Ronald Reagan sent his special emissary, Donald Rumsfeld who later became Defence Secretary, to Iraq to meet Saddam Husain to offer support.
France provided Super Etendard planes as well as Exocet missiles and Germany provided chemical weapons.
The Arabian rulers pumped billions of dollars into Iraqi coffers to enable Saddam’s regime to prosecute the war.
Islamic Iran stood virtually alone. Nobody came to its help despite its being the victim of naked military aggression.
For eight years, it defended itself, its people and its territory all alone.
Haj Qassem Soleimani’s character was forged in the anvil of the Iraqi-imposed war.
As a young man, he joined the Islamic Revolutionary Guards and through his self-sacrificing spirit, immense courage and brilliance, quickly rose through the ranks.
If there is one lesson he learned from the war, it was that Islamic Iran had to rely on its own resources and strength for defence and survival.
This has served Tehran well but he also realized that Iran had to develop strategic depth if it wanted to defeat the imperialist and Zionist conspiracy to destroy the region by further dividing it.
Soon after the attacks of 911, the Pentagon drew up a list of seven Muslim countries that it would attack and destroy.
This was revealed by retired General Wesley Clark in numerous interviews.
The countries to be attacked and destroyed were: Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, Syria and ending with Iran.
Of the seven countries, Iraq was the first to be attacked after the US’ war on Afghanistan.
The Pentagon hawks talked of waging multiple wars simultaneously.
Somalia, Libya and Sudan have been destroyed.
Lebanon was attacked by the Zionist regime in July 2006 but instead of succeeding, the Hizbullah inflicted a crushing defeat on it.
Both in Iraq and Syria, Islamic Iran took a determined stand to defeat the imperialist-Zionist conspiracy.
In both countries, US-sponsored terrorists operating under the label of Daesh (aka ISIS) were defeated.
The martyr General Soleimani had played a major role in both.
That was the main reason why he was targeted and eliminated because he had defeated the West’s plan to dismember the region.
Colonel Peter’s plan of ‘Blood Borders’ was even more diabolical.
It suggested creating ethnic states: Kurdistan to be formed out of breaking Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria and Armenia.
The colonel’s criminal enterprise also included creating a Baloch state that would have carved territory out of Iran and Pakistan.
And then, there was his suggestion to create a Pashtun State that would include large chunks of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
That none of this came to pass was not for lack of trying.
In most cases, General Qassem Soleimani’s brilliant strategy frustrated these diabolical plots.
He understood that the ultimate purpose of all these plans was to destroy Islamic Iran by eliminating the Islamic system of governance.
To defend Islamic Iran, General Soleimani devised a strategy of external defense.
This explains his close links with the Hizbullah in Lebanon, the Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq, the Muslim-Christian-Druze militias in Syria, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine and Ansar-Allah in Yemen.
He even established a working relationship with the Afghan Taliban to enable them to defeat US imperialism and its partners in crime.
It was this strategy of fighting Iran’s defensive war outside its borders that made him a special target of US aggression resulting in his martyrdom.
Donald Trump committed a war crime for which he must be held accountable.
The strategy that General Soleimani devised for Iran’s defence has stood the test of time and is getting stronger.
He is stronger in death that he was when he was alive and, therefore, more dangerous for the enemies of Islam.
The Americans have suffered an ignominious defeat in Afghanistan.
In Syria, the Daesh terrorists are now confined to pockets of Idlib province. In Iraq they have been defeated.
In Yemen, the Ansar-Allah are inflicting crushing blows on the Saudi aggressors.
And in Occupied Palestine, the Islamic resistance is getting stronger.
All these achievements are the direct result of General Soleimani’s brilliant strategy that continues to be implemented by his successors.
He may have joined heavenly company but his legacy lives on and will surely bear fruit when US imperialism is driven out of the entire region and the Zionist regime is dismantled.