The horror which is Iran's leadership

First off all, I am not warmongering, I am just clarifying the beast we are dealing with. I don't know what is the best strategy, I am "agnostic" about the best solution: I am not opposed to war, but I fear I must realize I will require proof in blood. As in that Iran will have to actually attack another country in something qualifying as "militarily". I'm not sure exactly what qualifies as the associated blood count.. But in any event I feel the attacks in Bulgaria quite evokes my emotions yet. Or perhaps they do?

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The Iran-Irak war is largely unknown in it's level of brutality. Wars are often associated by their brutality; Americans and Russians remember their brutal civil wars vividly, WW1 had the trenches, WW2 had holocaust. The Iran-Irak war had religiously brainwashed teenagers (down to 14 year old boys) be human "mine sweepers". They tried first dogs and donkeys, but they got scared. Teenagers didn't, they chanted of martyrdom while stepping on anti-personnel mines and deflecting bullets (their scarfs being the only and less than optimal armor) such that the regular army could advance. 10000 one morning, apparently, before their slightly elder brothers followed behind into the abattoir.

See, the Iraqi army was *vastly* superior to the Iranian one (not completely unhindered by the reintroduction of gas as a weapon), so the Iranians was forced to resort to the time old tested Human Wave Attack. Or BAANNZZZAAII! I am not joking, and a more historically apt comparison was the Russian mobilization in 1914 where only 2/3 of the soldiers were issued rifles. Essentially, someone's bringing a sword to a gunfight and that means someone's ordering swordsmen to what they know is a gunfight.

It takes a certain mindset of the leadership which can resort to this type of extremities of military tactics, a certain disregard of life which I am not personally familiar. It is widely uncertain what the casualty rate of the war was, but somewhere between 0.5 and 1.5 million (and probably tilting to the top, imho). From these numbers alone, someone clearly took some decisions I'm not quite sure I would be capable of, though I don't think I would have made the extremely calculated choice of sending humans as mine sweepers. And isn't such that the choice to brainwash them thus was done overnight either, it had to be a sustained effort over time to convince someone to die voluntarily (unless Iran has a massive Emo community).

The kids doing this was called the basij, which essentially are like brownshirts (and there's 10-15 million of them these days), commanded by the Supreme Leader himself. As for the President Ahmadinejad, he was a commander of sorts in the basij, perhaps he was a bit like a political commissar in the Red Army during WW2/The Great Patriotic War (+2 points on spin on the latter), overseeing the shooting of retreaters or something nefarious. He was probably more part of the brainwashing team than the brainwashed, and therefore must have, at least tacitly, callously endorsed butchery on such a scale.

That's a bit of the distilled version of some much wider events, it might be a good idea to get a bit of overview of whatever the powers that be are belligerent against. So.. Whatever does one do when this is what faces you at the negotiating table? A psychopath, clearly, but rational or open to rational arguments, perhaps?

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