The elections are a masquerade, of course. Not only because the ostensible rivals are not real rivals, but also because only about half of the eligible voters could theoretically cast their vote. The other half of Syrians are either refugees in neighboring countries, incarcerated in prisons, or live in areas held by the rebels.
Moreover, al-Assad himself is a mere puppet of the Iranian regime. Sepah Qods, a division of Sepah Pasdaran (the Iranian Revolutionary Guards) responsible for operations outside Iran, commands the Syrian army troops and paramilitary groups like the National Defence Forces. Sepah Qods also funds and controls the thousands of Hezbollah Lebanon gunmen and Iraqi militias fighting in Syria.
The real ruler of Syria today is the chief of Sepah Qods, Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Thus, we at Naame Shaam think that Gen. Soleimani should step out of the shadow and also stand for the elections. We all know he is camera-shy. So, to get round this problem, Naame Shaam has decided to run an election campaign on his behalf. Yes, an election campaign!
In early May 2014, Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani, who oversees Sepah Qods’ operations in Syria, bluntly admitted that al-Assad was in fact “fighting this war [in Syria] as our deputy.”
“Our” here obviously refers to the Iranian regime and Sepah Qods.
Hamedani’s statement was only an official admission of a reality familiar to many in Syria:
– Iranian and Hezbollah officials have stated that Bashar al-Assad’s regime would not survive long without the massive military and economic support from the Iranian regime.
– Sepah Pasdaran commanders have boasted about being in charge of all major military operations in Syria.
– All big battles in Syria are now being fought by Sepah Pasdaran and Hezbollah Lebanon, rather than the Assad forces. Many checkpoints in Damascus and elsewhere are manned by Iraqi militias.
– It is estimated that billions of Iranian Tomans are being spent every month to keep al-Assad in power. The Iranian regime has been financing a big part of the economy in regime-controlled areas, pumping billions of dollars into the Syrian Central Bank so that the regime can pay salaries and import food and other goods for its supporters.
– The Iranian regime has also been paying all the bills for the Russian arms shipped to al-Assad’s forces, as well as funding all the military operations of Sepah Pasdaran, Hezbollah and the Iraqi militias fighting in Syria.
Now, in a ‘real democracy’, such as that in Syria and Iran, an elected government should reflect the balance of power on the ground. The only logical conclusion, therefore, is that Gen. Qassem Soleimani should be the president of Syria, and Bashar al-Assad his deputy – if Gen. Soleimani sees him fit for this post, of course.
Who is Qassem Soleimani?
Born in 1957, Major General Qassem Soleimani grew up in the southeastern province of Kerman, Iran. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, he joined Sepah Pasdaran (the Iranian Revolutionary Guards). A few years later, he joined Sepah Qods, a division of Sepah Pasdaran that conducts special operations abroad in order to “export the Islamic revolution”. He was later promoted to major general by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The relationship between the two is said to be “very close”.
Here are some highlights from Gen. Soleimani’s eventful military career:
– Early in his career as a guard in his 20’s, he was stationed in northwestern Iran and helped crush a Kurdish uprising. He later actively took part the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq (1980-1988).
– He spent his early years at Sepah Qods combating Central Asian drugs smugglers and the Taliban in Afghanistan – which provided him with a considerable experience in the inner workings of international trafficking and terrorism.
– He was reportedly one of the principal architects and brains behind restructuring of Hezbollah Lebanon in 1990s.
– He is said to have been the mastermind behind a bomb plot aimed at killing the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the US in Washington D.C., which later led the US and some EU countries to include him in their sanctions regime.
– Between 2004 and 2011, he was in charge of overseeing Sepah Qods’ efforts to arm and train Shiite militias in Iraq.
– This provided him with a rich experience, which he skillfully applied in Syria after the start of the revolution there in March 2011. He is responsible for arming, training and directing Bashar al- Assad’s forces, as well as Hezbollah fighters and the Iraqi militias fighting in Syria.
Gen. Soleimani has been described as “the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today” and the principal military strategist and tactician in Iran’s effort to combat its numerous enemies. His leadership of Sepah Qods gives him a unique portfolio: intelligence operative, diplomat, strategist, battlefield commander and planner of ruthless attacks against civilians. There is hardly anyone in the world more suitable to be the president of Syria.
For more on information on Gen. Qassem Soleimani, see:
Qassem Soleimani’s election programme
1. EXTERNAL SECURITY
I will dismantle the Syrian army and replace it with a much better organised and fully loyal force, the Syrian Sepah Pasdaran. The Syrian army cannot be trusted with major battles, as we’ve seen since the start of the troubles in Syria in March 2011.
We have already established in Syria the ‘National Defence Forces’, modeled on the Iranian Basij, and they have done a great job. A Syrian Sepah Pasdaran will be a culmination of these efforts to guarantee security for all Syrians.
Like in Iran, Syria’s Sepah Pasdaran will have the final say. Power should be in the hands of strong military generals who know how to rule, not weak civilian presidents and ministers.
2. INTERNAL SECURITY
I will guarantee security and stability in Syria. I will eliminate all trouble-makers and defeat all our numerous enemies (see point 7).
Let’s face it, Bashar al-Assad was, and still is, too weak to achieve this alone. As my deputy, I will teach him how to run a country. I will show him what a real president looks like and how he should act.
3. REGIONAL SECURITY
Regionally, stability will only be achieved if Syria and Hezbollah Lebanon remain a threat and a deterrent against our greatest enemy, the Zionist Entity. I will ensure that Syria continues to be a safe route for Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah in Lebanon, which I promise to dramatically increase. I will never fail our Lebanese brothers.
4. NUCLEAR SECURITY
I will turn Syria into a sub-nuclear power to accomplish Iran’s nuclear programme.
I will build well-hidden military nuclear reactors in Syria and dump our nuclear waste in the desert near Palmyra. In 2007, the wicked Zionists destroyed a building that hosted a small nuclear plant near Deir al-Zor, Syria. I promise to rebuild it, along with others, and safeguard them with thousands of missiles.
In addition, keeping Iranian arms flowing to Hezbollah via Syria will provide another safeguard to these new nuclear plants. Like in Iran, our message to the West and the Zionist Entity will be: if you bomb our Iranian and Syrian nuclear facilities, our Hezbollah foot soldiers will rain Tel Aviv with our missiles.
In case the so-called international community makes a fuss about our nuclear plans in Syria, we will negotiate with them about it, like we do now in Vienna and Geneva about Iran’s nuclear programme. We will negotiate and negotiate and negotiate, but we will never give up our dream to build nuclear bombs.
5. ECONOMIC SECURITY
I will rebuild Syria after destroying it. It’s the best way to revitalise the economy. And the Syrian Sepah Pasdaran will control all the country’s resources and strategic sectors, like Sepah Pasdaran in Iran. Because everything and everyone must be mobilised for our great battle against our numerous enemies.
Just in case some smartass jumps and claims: But people in Iran are suffering economic hardship because of wide-scale corruption, incompetence and the nuclear programme that has cost Iran more than $100 billion since 1979 and more of this nonsense. Read my lips, you sophists: Building a strong state and guaranteeing security for all comes with a lot of sacrifices. If the good citizens of Iran and Syria did not sacrifice themselves – I mean their economic welfare – for their country, who will?
6. POLITICAL SECURITY
I will reform the elections law so that only candidates we know and trust can stand for any future local and general elections and win them. The democratic game has often been used by our enemies as a Trojan horse.
Of course no matter how deep the reforms are, there will always be cases where some undesired candidate slips through the net or our preferred candidate does not win enough votes. We know very well how to deal with such situations – don’t you worry yourselves. Remember the 2009 elections in Iran.
7. JUDICIAL SECURITY
I will introduce capital punishment for a long list of totally unacceptable crimes. The criminals who should be hanged in public squares include: apostates, mentally sick gays, disobedient women, hopeless leftists, Westernised and decadent liberals, so-called human rights activists, pseudo-intellectuals, misguided free thinkers, freedom dreamers and so on.
I promise to arrest, jail and torture them before executing them, like we did in Iran during the 2009 troubles. We have to be ruthless with these alien infiltrators and traitors. There will no place for these types in future Syria.
P.S. Apologies if my election programme is not very elaborate. I’ve been very busy lately sorting things out in Syria with an iron fist. But I am confident that all sensible Syrians will vote for me anyway, so why waste more words?
#Vote_for_Qassem_Soleimani – Vote for security and real power!