The Sandman Cometh
Tehran’s master of clandestine operations, Qassem Suleimani, could hold the key to Iraq’s future—if he were not so busy back in Iran.
By Christopher Dickey
Friday, March 05, 2010
“The text message was cryptic and sent through an intermediary, but its spookiness has become legendary among the Americans tasked with trying to stabilize Iraq. The moment was May 2008, and once again all hell was breaking loose. Shiite militias had gone to battle against each other. The fighting threatened to spread to Baghdad. Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker were scrambling to find somebody to broker a truce. Then the text message was passed to the American commander. “General Petraeus,” it began, “you should know that I, Qassem Suleimani, control the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, and Afghanistan.” Within days it was Suleimani who brokered the truce.”