From the Basiji to the Nuclear Suicide Bomber?
Ahmadinejad said on Sunday 'those who voted for a U.N. nuclear resolution against the country would soon regret it', the official IRNA news agency reported. Iran vowed to push forward with efforts to enrich uranium and to change its relations with the international nuclear watchdog after the U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions designed to stop the country's disputed nuclear efforts.
Where is all this heading? No one can predict but I highly recommend these essential articles by Matthias Küntzel for some background and analysis on the Madman of Iran. Like Hitler, he didn't simply rise out of a vacuum.
"The child-Basiji in the mine fields during the 1980-88 war with Iraq with their plastic keys hung round their necks to open the gates of heaven. They went into the mine fields. Their eyes saw nothing. Their ears heard nothing. And then, a few moments later, one saw clouds of dust. When the dust had settled again, there was nothing more to be seen of them. Somewhere, widely scattered in the landscape, there lay scraps of burnt flesh and pieces of bone.” Such scenes could henceforth be avoided, Ettela’at assured its readers. “Before entering the mine fields, the children [now] wrap themselves in blankets and they roll on the ground, so that their body parts stay together after the explosion of the mines and one can carry them to the graves.” The children who thus rolled to their deaths formed part of the mass “Basij” movement that was called into being by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. "The young men cleared the mines with their own bodies," one veteran of the Iran-Iraq War recalled in 2002 to the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine. "It was sometimes like a race. Even without the commander's orders, everyone wanted to be first."
The sacrifice of the Basiji was ghastly. And yet, today, it is a source not of national shame, but of growing pride. Since the end of hostilities against Iraq in 1988, the Basiji have grown both in numbers and influence. They have been deployed, above all, as a vice squad to enforce religious law in Iran, and their elite "special units" have been used as shock troops against anti-government forces. In both 1999 and 2003, for instance, the Basiji were used to suppress student unrest. And, last year, they formed the potent core of the political base that propelled Mahmoud Ahmadinejad--a man who reportedly served as a Basij instructor during the Iran-Iraq War--to the presidency.
Ahmadinejad revels in his alliance with the Basiji. He regularly appears in public wearing a black-and-white Basij scarf, and, in his speeches, he routinely praises "Basij culture" and "Basij power," with which he says "Iran today makes its presence felt on the international and diplomatic stage." Ahmadinejad's ascendance on the shoulders of the Basiji means that the Iranian Revolution, launched almost three decades ago, has entered a new and disturbing phase. A younger generation of Iranians, whose worldviews were forged in the atrocities of the Iran-Iraq War, have come to power, wielding a more fervently ideological approach to politics than their predecessors. The children of the Revolution are now its leaders.
Nowadays, Basiji are sent not into the desert, but rather into the laboratory. Basiji students are encouraged to enroll in technical-scientific disciplines. According to a spokesperson for the Revolutionary Guard, the aim is to use the “technical factor” in order to augment “national security”.
But what is the implication of atomic weapons in the hands of those who interpret death in the battle field as a spiritual triumph?"
It is not a matter of if he'll make good on his threats, but when...