Happycrow’s Prognostication on Iran: Civil War or Thugocracy.

Sure, seems obvious now.  BUT, when I mean CW, I mean the whole throw-down, Marxists, students, everybody.

Here’s the scoop as I understand it from a lot of reading:  Ahmadinejad is Khamenei’s lap-dog.  We know that.  Khamenei uses his lieutenant to beef up the IRGC and Basij, for the explicit purpose of controlling the population — while the regular army, in classic mid-east fashion, is almost completely unfunded, and would likely lose to the IRGC.  Now, grain of salt #1:  as my active-duty guys know, I can’t make that statement for real w/o a coherent order of battle and disposition.  But there’s no question which of the two

  • is motivated
  • has been getting funded.

A clearer picture of Khamenei is emerging, and it seems that he’s in bad health.  Really bad health.  And that’s a problem, b/c his motivations are solely to get his son Mojtaba to inherit his position.

Yes, that’s right:  the whole thing is nothing but a tawdry coup attempt designed to create Iran’s version of an Egyptian* or North-Korean political regime.  Not that Rafsanjani, who’s called “The Crocodile” for a reason, is much, or even any, better.  But Rafsanjani isn’t heading up a complete and total realignment of power inside the state — Ahmadinejad is.  And there’s a very good chance he’ll pull this off.

This is one of those plays engaged in by Wily Bad Guys, and unfortunately, usually seems to work (c.f. Slobodan Milosevic’s replacement of Yugoslav power structure with an entirely-Serb cadre personally loyal to him, and whose Chetnik philosophical structure contains numerous elements psychologically and ideologically similar to the Basij/IRGC).

I don’t want to say the students are screwed:  but that’s my tea-reading right now unless the Marxists running the labor unions not only jump in, but jump in hard.  Khamenei will crush them, and Moussavi’s speech describing “supporting national industry” can only have been aimed at this audience.  It’ll have to be more than the bus-drivers, too.  K&A don’t care about public misery — fine, shut down Tehran and let people starve, they’re presiding over unemployment that’s long past the point where American (aka, heavily-armed) citizens would already be shooting people.

The faction is steering the country onto the Zimbabwe/Nork Road, and unless the guys controlling the economic levers lean hard, I see this ending very, very badly.

Side Note Follows

*As a side note, fuck Mubarak.  If the Muslim Brotherhood wants to take over Eypt and demonstrate that it’s just as hopeless at governing as all the other islamists lately, I say let ’em duke it out, rather than spending $5B/yr propping the ugly sob and his son up (it’s well-known in foreign-policy circles that this is a bribe to keep Egypt from attacking Israel, but I believe this is counterproductive, just like much of our current NATO activity lets France and Germany screw over our actual allies while free-riding on our blood and lucre).

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4 Comments

  1. Mike

     /  June 22, 2009

    Well, I agree. The Regular Armed Forces are probably about as bad as NK. Better fed and paid, but their gear is crap, and training more so. If you wanted to get real technical about it, Iran is probably in a worse gear situation than the Norks. This is due to the mix. The Iranians have a 3 way mix of US (up to 1979 stuff to include F14s, FB 111s, M-60A2 and 3 tanks, M113 APCs, and M109 A2 SP Howitzers), French (varity of sources, usually second hand stuff) and Russian (purchased in the 1980s, enough said). All of the gear is old (at least 15 years if not more), parts are impossible to get (especially US, example is that while they started with 80 F14s, they now have 1, maybe 2 flyable), training is heavily restricted so you don’t bust anything and anyone with any real talent is grabbed by the RG. Now, one thing that the Regulars actually have is heavy equipment. The RG does not have much of the heavy fighting equipment (few if any tanks, apcs, cannons and so on), so that does make for an interesting wild card.

    But not enough I think.

    Reply
  2. Given known RG AT capacity? Nowhere near.

    Reply
  3. Mike

     /  June 23, 2009

    Eh, its not anything really amazing. But when you are up against a force that is certainly less than amazing, it will do fine. I might get a chance to find out soon enough as I just got my next assignment news.

    Reply

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