The article, in The New Republic by German political scientist Matthias Kuntzel, is a chilling reminder that the lives of Iran's most innocent citizens, their children, will be the first forfeited in a lust for blood and glory in any nuclear confrontation with the West or Israel.
After Iraq invaded in September 1980, it had quickly become clear that Iran's forces were no match for Saddam Hussein's professional, well-armed military. To compensate for their disadvantage, Khomeini sent Iranian children, some as young as twelve years old, to the front lines. There, they marched in formation across minefields toward the enemy, clearing a path with their bodies.
At one point, however, the earthly gore became a matter of concern. "In the past," wrote the semi-official Iranian daily Ettelaat as the war raged on, "we had child-volunteers: 14-, 15-, and 16-year-olds. They went into the minefields. 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 would henceforth be avoided, Ettelaat assured its readers. "Before entering the minefields, 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 chief combat tactic employed by the Basiji was the human wave attack, whereby barely armed children and teenagers would move continuously toward the enemy in perfectly straight rows. It did not matter whether they fell to enemy fire or detonated the mines with their bodies: The important thing was that the Basiji continue to move forward over the torn and mutilated remains of their fallen comrades, going to their deaths in wave after wave. Once a path to the Iraqi forces had been opened up, Iranian commanders would send in their more valuable and skilled Revolutionary Guard troops.
Gives a new horrific new meaning to the phrase "women and children first" does it not?
As the Iran nuke issue heats up, there is a wanton call from the left to say that "Iran couldn't be so crazy" as to use a nuke. But would a country that uses children to clear minefields care if another couple of hundred thousand of it's citizens dies in a nuclear holocaust which that nation's leaders initiate?
Mutual Assured Destruction, or MAD, worked as deterrence against the Soviet Union precisely because Soviet leaders were relatively rational. Considering the history of Iranian leaders under the mullahs, not to mention the constant ravings from current Iranian President Amadjihad (my name for him), that deterrence will have no effect.
The only course is to stop these crazies from turning the Middle East, or some other corner of the world into an oven of Islamic martyrdom.
How many times has the world defeated great evil and said "Never Again" only to lose the will to prevent a repeat of such monumental calamity?