March 15, 2007

THAT'S NOT WHAT WAS MEANT BY SEPARATION OF POWERS, FELLAS:

What Was Once a Revolutionary Guard Is Now Just a Mafia (Mohsen Sazegara | Fri. Mar 16, 2007, The Forward)

Back in October 1978, none of us in exile with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini imagined that victory for the Islamic Revolution would be attained only a few months later. It was during those days in Neuf-le-Chateau that the notion of starting a "people's army" first took hold, and expecting that our battle would be a long one, we took as models for our soon-to-be established army the forces in Algeria and Cuba.

But on February 1, 1979, we stepped off a plane from France into Tehran, and 10 days later we were in power. Suddenly we had a position to protect, and the model for our people's army changed dramatically. It seemed more appropriate to emulate such forces as the Swiss Armed Forces, United States National Guard or Israel Defense Forces.

The thought was that if the Islamic Republic had two separate armies with independent command structures, the country could insulate itself against a coup. If ordinary citizens were given military training in preparation for combat, we believed, then any military commander would think twice before contemplating overthrowing the government.

In the three decades since, there has not been a coup. That people's army, however, has grown into a multi-headed monster.

Today the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution -- known in Farsi as the Sepah-e Pasdaran and in English as the Revolutionary Guard -- is a mafia-like organization with a corrupting influence on Iran's army, police, media, industries, judiciary and government. It is imperative that every effort now be made to contain the Revolutionary Guard's powers, because its political and economic adventurism will ultimately lead to a serious crisis, not just in Iran but also across the Middle East.


They believed too much in revolution and not enough in republicanism. But the revolution having failed--as is their wont--it's not too late to save the latter.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 15, 2007 6:45 PM
Comments

They created a Praetorian Guard and are surprised it acts like one?

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 16, 2007 8:20 AM
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