Rev Guard Auxillary opens fire on Tehran protest crowd

They are called "The Basij" and sometimes referred to as "the moral police." That's something of a misnomer because the 13 million strong force of fanatical religious zealots are also used as bully boys and thugs to break up anti-regime demonstrations and protests. They are a paramilitary auxillary of the Revolutionary Guards.

They were the main element in Iranian "human wave" attacks during the Iran-Iraq War where they were also used by the thousands to clear mine fields.

In 2005, they endorsed a presidential candidate for the first time - one of their own - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who had served with the Basij during the Iran-Iraq War. It is thought that more than a million of them spread out in the countryside during that election and intimidated many to vote for the current president.

Now they have come to Ahmadinejad's rescue as more than a million (some estimates say 2 million) Iranians defied an order not to protest and went into the streets. For their trouble, they were fired upon by the Basij in what appeared to be random attacks.

Hot Air has a video of the aftermath of one of the shootings.


Meanwhile, Michael Ledeen reports at NRO that Mousavi has called for a general strike tomorrow. He wants his followers to confront police and Basij with flowers not guns.

Right strategy. But my guess is the Basij will care less whether they have flowers or guns and shoot them anyway.

Ahmadinejad may be forced to do what the Shah didn't have the stomach for back in 1979 - mass killings of peaceful protestors in order to put the revolution genie back in the bottle - for a while anyway. Mass arrests and mass killings is all the regime has at this point to stop what is clearly a mass reform movement that has as its goal, the overturning of the clerical-fascist regime.

I fear massive bloodshed before this ends - one way or the other.

Gene Schwimmer adds:

Seeing photos and reports of 100,000-plus strong crowds of protesters, triggered a thought.  The protests, some drawing hundreds of thousands, in Iran, where such protests are forbidden and met with deadly force from the authorities, are far larger than any anti-American protests in Iraq, where such demonstrations were, and are, legal. What do Bush critics think of this?
They are called "The Basij" and sometimes referred to as "the moral police." That's something of a misnomer because the 13 million strong force of fanatical religious zealots are also used as bully boys and thugs to break up anti-regime demonstrations and protests. They are a paramilitary auxillary of the Revolutionary Guards.

They were the main element in Iranian "human wave" attacks during the Iran-Iraq War where they were also used by the thousands to clear mine fields.

In 2005, they endorsed a presidential candidate for the first time - one of their own - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who had served with the Basij during the Iran-Iraq War. It is thought that more than a million of them spread out in the countryside during that election and intimidated many to vote for the current president.

Now they have come to Ahmadinejad's rescue as more than a million (some estimates say 2 million) Iranians defied an order not to protest and went into the streets. For their trouble, they were fired upon by the Basij in what appeared to be random attacks.

Hot Air has a video of the aftermath of one of the shootings.


Meanwhile, Michael Ledeen reports at NRO that Mousavi has called for a general strike tomorrow. He wants his followers to confront police and Basij with flowers not guns.

Right strategy. But my guess is the Basij will care less whether they have flowers or guns and shoot them anyway.

Ahmadinejad may be forced to do what the Shah didn't have the stomach for back in 1979 - mass killings of peaceful protestors in order to put the revolution genie back in the bottle - for a while anyway. Mass arrests and mass killings is all the regime has at this point to stop what is clearly a mass reform movement that has as its goal, the overturning of the clerical-fascist regime.

I fear massive bloodshed before this ends - one way or the other.

Gene Schwimmer adds:

Seeing photos and reports of 100,000-plus strong crowds of protesters, triggered a thought.  The protests, some drawing hundreds of thousands, in Iran, where such protests are forbidden and met with deadly force from the authorities, are far larger than any anti-American protests in Iraq, where such demonstrations were, and are, legal. What do Bush critics think of this?