There’s an interesting tidbit in David Ignatius’s Washington Post column today in which he tries to plumb the mind of Brig. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, who, as Ignatius notes, “is responsible for Iran’s covert activities in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and other battlegrounds.” (For “covert activities,” read “terrorist activities.”) Writes Ignatius:
Soleimani is confident about Iran’s rising power in the region, according to an Arab official who met recently with him. He sees an America that is weakened by the war in Iraq but still potent. He has told visitors that U.S. and Iranian goals in Iraq are similar, despite the rhetoric of confrontation. But he has expressed no interest in direct, high-level talks. The Quds Force commander prefers to run out the clock on the Bush administration, hoping that the next administration will be more favorable to Iran’s interests.
I italicized the last line because it’s worth pondering its implication, which Ignatius doesn’t spell out. There is, of course, no earthly reason why the Quds Force commander could expect that a John McCain (whose campaign — full disclosure — I advise on foreign policy) would be more favorable to his interests. So the implication is that Iran’s top terrorist is hoping that Americans will elect Barack Obama this fall. If this is in fact the case, perhaps the Democratic nominee should ask himself what it is about his candidacy that one of our most dangerous enemies finds so encouraging. At the very least he should try to appear a little tougher so that the leaders of Iran don’t extend him a formal endorsement, the way that Hamas briefly did.