Thursday, June 26, 2008

Iranian Machiavel

David Ignatius's June 8 Wash Post column "At the tip of Iran's Spear" is about the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force and chief foreign policy strategist for the regime, Brig. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Ignatius describes how Soleimani rode more than one horse in Iraq recently, temporarily switching allegiances from the Mahdi Army to Nouri al-Maliki in arranging the cease-fire after Iraqi forces entered Basra to take on the Mahdi Army in March. He showed similar flexibility in calling off shelling of the Green Zone by his Shiite militia allies after demonstrating how vulnerable the U.S. complex there remained. Soleimani emerges from this description as a clever tactician and strategist, one not to be underestimated, but also as someone with whom tough diplomacy might be possible, once the Bush administration has left office.


El Jefe Maximo said...

In the event that you haven't read the books, read Mr. Ignatius's fiction. His most interesting work is Tne Bank of Fear,

LFC said...

I knew he'd written novels but I haven't read 'em. Will put 'The Bank of Fear' on my list.