Here’s something that might surprise you: Qassem Soleimani, may Allah give him the peace of a thousand martyrs, really loved American politics. He read Axios, watched Morning Joe, and forwarded Vox articles with a passion. He used to fire off angry emails to staff demanding to know why Nate Silver still had a job. During one of many conference calls with John Kerry, Ben Rhodes, and Javad Zarif, he corrected the secretary of state on how many delegates Nevada would send to the Republican convention.
General Soleimani, may Allah's eternal essence cascade gracefully upon him, was keeping a close eye on the upcoming caucuses in Iowa before being martyred by the Great Satan's wicked missiles. Iranian electoral law prohibits Quds Force officers from publicly endorsing U.S. political candidates, but Soleimani was what you might call a "Bernie Bro."
The socialist from Vermont has been on Qassem’s radar since 1980, when Sanders joined our friends in the Socialist Workers Party, the only political party in America that had the stones to defend our revolution against the American nest of spies in 1979. More recently, the general asked me to convey a message to something called "Chapo Trap House," to see if they would do a live show for the troops in Aleppo (Qassem also loved podcasts) but we couldn't afford them.
It's easy to see why our late general, may Allah's almighty virgin harem sate his lusty soul, was "feeling the Bern" as the kids say. Just look at the campaign team Sanders has assembled. They've got Matt Duss, whose work to liberate al-Quds from the evil Zionists has not gone unnoticed in Qom. More important, Bernie has great instincts. All the Democrats talk about ending endless wars. So does Donald Trump. Bernie really means it, we are told. From Nicaragua to Cuba, Bernie has been on the right side of history.
As the man who has to follow in the footsteps of our martyr Qassem, may the tender figs of The Prophet dance eternally upon his tongue, you might think I would also be a Bernie Bro. It’s certainly a popular view inside the Quds Force. All the younger officers are trying to be mini Qassem Soleimanis, volunteering to train new insurgent groups, or make calls to likely New Hampshire voters at the Soros phone bank in Tehran.
Well, not me.
Bernie is great on paper. There's just one problem: He is a Jew. Do I really need to spell this out? Just read the Koran. If the Jews were not good enough for The Prophet (peace be upon him), then they are not good enough for me. I don't care if Bernie Sanders promises to lift all the sanctions and give us state-of-the-art centrifuges. So did Barack Obama! We trusted Obama even though he was a Sunni. At least he was a Muslim. He was also a man of science, and when it comes to the Jews, the science is clear: They can't be trusted. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright would agree. This is the Islamic Republic of Iran. That used to mean something. If we don't hold the line against the Jews, who will?
Now I'm not saying General Soleimani, may his severed body reassemble in the righteous kingdom of Allah, got what he deserved when the American CIA assassinated him. But I have to wonder if this was not Allah's will. He knew that our great general was getting soft. He saw Soleimani spending late nights at the office binge-watching YouTube videos of Bernie's "billionaires and millionaires" speeches. After a while, that kind of thing is going to catch up to you.
So who do I like in the Democratic primary? For now, I'm leaning Buttigieg. While it would be a great humiliation for the Great Satan to have a woman president, a gay president would be an even greater humiliation. That's at least what Khamenei is telling us. Nate Silver doesn't think he has much of a shot, for what that's worth.