Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Iran Pits Child Soldiers Against Protesters

Child soldiers being trained to fight anti-government protests.

The Guardian/Observer this Sunday exposed Tehran's use of boys, some as young as twelve, as anti-riot squads to quell a resurgence of Green Movement protests. "The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran says troops aged between 14 and 16 have been armed with batons, clubs and air guns and ordered to attack demonstrators who have tried to gather in Tehran. The youths – apparently recruited from rural areas – are being deployed in regular riot police roles and comprise up to one-third of the total force, according to witnesses.

"One middle-aged woman, who said she was attacked by the youths, reported that some were as young as 12 and were possibly prepubescent. They had rural accents, which indicated they had been brought in from villages far from Tehran, she said.


"Some told her they had been attracted by the promise of chelo kebab dinners, one of Iran's national dishes."
This is a horrific reminder of the hundreds of thousand boys sent out as cannon-fodder during the Iran-Iraq War. According to a Brookings Institution report, Iran was the first nation in the Middle East to use child soldiers:
“The first modern use of child soldiers in the region was actually during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Iranian law, based on the Koranic sharia, had forbid the recruitment of children under 16 into the armed forces. However, a few years into the fighting, the regime began to falter in its war with its neighbor, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. So it chose to ignore its own laws, and in 1984, Iranian President Ali-Akbar Rafsanjani declared that “all Iranians from 12 to 72 should volunteer for the Holy War.”

"Thousands of children were pulled from schools, indoctrinated in the glory of martyrdom, and sent to the front lines only lightly armed with one or two grenades or a gun with one magazine of ammunition. Wearing keys around their necks (to signify their pending entrance into heaven), they were sent forward in the first waves of attacks to help clear paths through minefields with their bodies and overwhelm Iraqi defenses. Iran’s spiritual leader at the time, Ayatollah Khomeini, delighted in the children’s sacrifice and extolled that they were helping Iran to achieve “a situation which we cannot describe in any way except to say that it is a divine country.”

So, we have here a sign that the Tehran regime may be getting nervous and realizes that the opposition, at least in Tehran, is reviving. As Hadi Ghaemi of the International Campaign for Human Rights remarked, the children are "...being used to ensure there is a good ratio of government forces to protesters and because the average policeman in Tehran could have some kind of family connection to the people they have to beat up. It's a classic tactic to bring people from outside, because they have no sense of sympathy for city dwellers."

And how interesting it is that, once again, the regime is willing to discard Sharia Law when the going gets rough.

4 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more: one brief glance at the photo reminded me immediately of the child cannon-fodder of the Iran-Iraq war even before reading the post. Can't help wondering if we'll soon hear 'khameini's Nightingale' belting out a couple of verses and sending these little automatons off to do Allah's bidding on foreign soil again - but who's soil?

    All-in-all a well-timed reminder of what the child-sacrificing Shiite death cult looks like in action. May I urge all readers to remember the following:

    'Everyday is Ashura...everywhere is Kerbela'

    Good God! It's like a recurring nightmare!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is good that you mentioned Shariah law's position in the topic

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the comment, Crusader. That's a very audacious name you've chosen. I hope everyone gets your irony! Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Iraq used nerve gas from chemicals provided by America, dumped out of helicopters provided by America, using military intelligence and satellite photos provided by America. Google Rumsfeld + Saddam. Iraq had American backing, Iran had nothing but kids to fight them with. War sucks.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are moderated so kindly keep it clean and respectful. All racisms -- including anti-Muslim hate speech -- will be denied a place here, as well as terms like Nazi used to designate anyone other than an actual living or past member of a Nazi or neo-Nazi organization.