Saturday, July 11, 2009

Here come the Basij

Tough lads on motorcycles make a show of force on a Tehran street. The batons are for bashing the heads of students, women, and children. The excellent Farnaz Fassihi has a story about the Basij militia in today's Wall Street Journal. The hero, or villain, of the piece is one Mehdi Moradani, a 24-year-old whose story reminded me of the Sturmabteilung--the SA 'Brownshirt' volunteers who did so much to bring Hitler to power in the early 1930s. 'The revolution and Islam need me,' he says. 'I will give my life in a heartbeat if the regime asks me.' But first he will smash a few skulls. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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