Friday, July 17, 2009

A Prediction

Allow me to make a prediction:

With the current crisis in Iran, I think that we will start to hear rumors of the Baseej being used as a new SAVAK or a sort of Iranian Stasi.

When Ayatollah Khamanei came out and proclaimed the elections legitimate, and threatened the use of force to those who did not submit, he squashed any possibility of moderation or tolerance or dissent. He showed that the Iranian govnernment is not in the business of accepting criticism. The death toll and the hundreds still in prison attest to that.
However, with such widespread discontent, the government needs some way of keeping their angry populace in check. They need a way of controlling the anger. The most logical and efficient way to do that is to spread fear. Historically, this can be accomplished through a secret informant network, or the threat of a secret informant network. Let's give a quick list of historical precedent:

1. The Stasi in East Germany.
2. SAVAK during the Shah's rule in Iran.
3. The Gestapo in Nazi Germany.
4. The KGB in the Soviet Union.

The Baseej, a paramilitary organization often employed in combating riots, would be the perfect outfit to assume this role. They are un-uniformed, numerous (estimates range from 30,000 to 7 million, though the former is more likely [see "the Economist country report"-- I can't do footnotes in this blog]), young, and loyal to the Ayatollah, whom they ultimately report to.

I could be wrong that the Baseej will fulfill this role, but I think some group will. It's just that non-uniformed police groups scare the crap out of me. What use are they unless a government is trying to spread fear? Otherwise, they would be an official and uniformed police force.

Let's hope I am wrong.

Future posts:
-Holy Crap, Moussavi is Still Alive! Why? Answer: He is weak enough to be useful to the government.

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