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September 21, 2003

The birth and death of Islamic Revolution
Yaser Kerachian  [info|posts]

soldiers praying.jpg
16 years ago, on this day, the Iraqi warplanes marked the beginning of the 8-year war by flying over the Tehran airport. The Iran-Iraq war not only ended up with hundreds of thousand casulties and devastated the economy of both Iran and Iraq but also had a great impact on the way Iran was proceeding toward its goals.

When the war started, it brought by itself its own culture, which was heavily promoted by the government. After the first major victory of Iran, the liberation of the city of Khoramshahr, a new stage in Iran's history began; Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, said his famous quote: "God freed Khoramshahr".

From that time, it was promoted everywhere that God is with us and has promised us the victory. The West and the East will be defeated soon, thanks to God's help. We just need to praise him and make sure that we do everything for his sake. It may sound very insane today, but it is a fact that God and his promise became the main slogan of the government. I remember, when I was a kid, I was never worried about the war and Iran's frequent loss since I was very confident that we would eventually win.

However, the war ended very differently from what Ayatollah Khomeini, his followers, and I expected. The destroyed economy, extensive use of chemical weapon by Iraq and the role of Ayatalloh Montazeri forced Ayatoallah Khomeini to finally accept the UN resolution 598. Khomeini compared the humiliating acceptance of the ceasefire in his letter to the nation with drinking "a cup of poison hemlock". He basically admitted that God was no longer on our side!

In my opinion, the whole idea of Islamic Revolution was about the God's role in the society. This idea fully died by the end of the war. After the ceasefire, the government came to the conclusion (even if they pretend otherwise) that they'd better take care of everyday's life of the people rather than their ideals such as freeing Jerusalem.

Senior Grad at September 21, 2003 04:18 PM [permalink]:

It's interesting how propaganda can affect the impressionable minds of the youth. I was not as young back then, but still I did *not* think of reaching Jerusalem through conquering Karbala, as they used to put it, an absurd impossibility. In fact, it was only after America's invasion of Iraq that I was fully awakened to the absurdity of what Islamic Republic claimed to be his goal during the Iran-Iraq war. In fact, I was in a way bothered by the fact that the US military was able to take care of Saddam's regime in 3 weeks or so, while we, or our rulers, were dreaming of toppling him but did not succeed for so many years, therefore losing so many lives.

It is as we were just fooling ourselves back then.

Having said that, I don't think the leader of the revolution had any doubts that it *was* possible for Iranians, if they believed and trusted in God, to transgress the Iraqi borders, reach Palestine and throw Isrealis in the Mediterranean sea. In a recent article (in Persian) Masoud Behnoud offered other reasons for why the war was prolonged by the ruling mullahs. The war, he claims, was used as the scape-goat for the failures of the mullahs in managing the economic affairs of a society they had started to rule not long ago. By prolonging the war they simply were buying time, Behnoud says, in order to learn how to manage a country.

As immoral as having hunders of thousands of a country's youth martyred just in order to gain some skills in management is, I would like to believe Behnoud's claim that they were actually smart enough to be buying time for tightening their grip on power. However, it seems to me that nobody at that time had the balls to oppose the inflexible dictums of Ayatollah Khomeini. Even today, a dozen or so years after his death, even some reformists refer to his word as having unquestionable authority and do not tolerate him questioned...

iranian-girl at September 22, 2003 03:48 AM [permalink]:

"war"... its the worst thing in all world,but in fact, its also a powerful tool in the hands of governments,, witout war, they will not be able to keep their power over people,,
those terrible 8 years are passed,, many people are killed,,just because the politics wanted so,, there are still many dark points about the war between iran and iraq, but nobody talks about them,, i myself still dont know why did it really start? ... the only thing they talk about it very much is the holy area in the front,, about that those men were great muslims ,,about that they went there and lost their lives, for Islam (!) (and not even their country or their people) ...

Kaveh Kh. at September 22, 2003 11:34 AM [permalink]:

Which government has reached the conclusion in your last paragraph? Which one is taking care of people's life? Maybe you wish to elaborate more on that.

Yaser at September 22, 2003 12:50 PM [permalink]:


I think the the executive part of the Governments of Rafsanjani and Khatami to some extent have reached to this conclusion. They may (are) not really taking care of people's life but they are not thinking of liberating Jerusalam which I think the cabinet of Moosavi were probably thinking about it. As an example, if there is any assistance to the Palestinian groups, I don't think it is done through the government but through SEPAH. What I tried to say in my post is that for those who are running the country, the ideal goals of Islamic Revolution has died after the war which is very fortunate. Ofcourse we got to there at extremly high price.

Arash Jalali at September 22, 2003 03:22 PM [permalink]:
Yaser, thanks for the interesting topic you brought up but I'm afraid I do not quite agree with your narration of what happened in Iran during the 1980-1987 war with Iraq and subsequently after the ceasefire. I do not for a second believe that the people at the top, and by that I mean the real players especially likes of Rafsanjani and not necessarily the old man himself, actually believed in the nonsense they were feeding into their followers' minds. As you know the war could have been ended about a year after it started. It is a fact, which is actually confirmed by the Islamic Republic historians too, that Mr. Khomeini did not accept a truce back then simply because Rafsanjani convinced him that the war had better go on. It is also a fact that he accumulated much of his powers during the war. He was one of Mr. Khomeini's confidants and that was exactly the reason why he was named "Commander in Chief" of all the armed forces (a title which only belongs to the Supreme Leader) during the final stages of the war. For people like Rafsanjani, war was the best thing that could happen to them. Not only they had the opportunity of cashing in, which he and his Mafia still do, but war provided the whole regime a platform based on which they could justifiably suppress and eliminate all forms of opposition and freedom. In no way could they manage to pull off what they did had it not been for the war. Civil liberties are to some extent obscured during a war even at the best of democracies let alone a tyrannical regime run by fundamentalist clergies. The reason the old man had to gulp down the "poison hemlock" was due to the pressure put on Iran by the U.S. and the staggering defeats of the Iranian forces in the fronts and the continual missile attacks against cities like Tehran. So I think neither the war's prolongation nor its end, had anything to do with the rulers realizing God's real position with respect to the war. However, I believe a lot of people did in fact lost their faith during the course of this war not simply because war didn't turn out the way they thought it would but also because they little by little (some sooner and some very much later) found out about the true nature of the Mullahs' regime. So I completely agree with your comment that " this idea [of God's role in the society] fully died by the end of the war". Your use of the verb "died" reminds me of Nietzsche: "Whither is God?" he cried. "I will tell you. We have killed him—you and I! All of us are his murderers! …" … Do we not hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition?—Gods, too, decompose! God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him! - The Gay Science – § 125. Senior Grad, I can empathize with your being bothered by the 3 weeks-8 years contrast of the duration, not to mention the results, of the wars between Iraq and Iran, and Iraq and the U.S., but let us not forget that it was most of all the U.S. that tried its best to make the war between Iran and Iraq to be a fruitless effort that would only result in the exhaustion and the corrosion of both countries' resources and power. On one hand, they gave Saddam satellite pictures of the Iranian's positions in the front and on the other hand, they sold Iran antitank and antiaircraft missiles. I believe the Iranian Army (which was a left over of the Shah's military might) was quite capable of defeating Saddam, maybe n ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Senior Grad at September 22, 2003 03:58 PM [permalink]:


Glad to have you back. :-) I admit I was rather careless in expressing myself when I said I was bothered by America's swift triumph in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Here is an explanation:

I realized that, as you have said, the standoff between Iran and Iraq was some sort of an evil equilibrium balanced by the superpowers of the time, who sold a lot of weapons to both parties and drained our nations of their resources --life and property. I guess I was still somewhere deep down thinking that if Iran had just a little more power, then we actually could gain some sort of victory. It was after Iraq's invasion by the U.S. that I realized how naive I must have been:

America (and other countries that were enjoying and exploiting the standoff) wouldn't allow any of the parties to defeat the other one. I think this point was lost, not just on me, but also on Ayatollah Khomeini himself and possibly a bunch of other ruling mullahs. I think our rulers today are still suffering from some sort of blindness to the realities of the world they are living in. For example, I'm not sure if Khamenei is "evil", as Rafsanjani may be argued to have always been, but his ears and eyes seem to be blocked, almost the way God describes in the beginning of Koran.

SG at September 22, 2003 04:04 PM [permalink]:

"God has set a seal upon their hearts and on their hearing; and on their eyes is dimness, and for them is grievous woe." (Koran. 2:6 or 7, I guess)

hajir at September 22, 2003 04:41 PM [permalink]:

Actually god was with us. Our nation defended herself and as long as you defend yourself, god is with you. Trouble started and god left us when we didn't accept the ceasefire on time and went into Iraq dreaming of invading Iraq (or freeing Iraqis) and "that's" what god doesn't like!

saoshyant at September 22, 2003 04:55 PM [permalink]:

I would like to thank Hajir for representing god and relaying God's thoughts to us. At last besides the pope and the Tabliban and the Mullahs of Iran and Puritan Priests of the US we can be assured that through someone on the Free Thoughts we are going to have our postings sent directly to God.

Grand Vizier at September 22, 2003 06:44 PM [permalink]:

That indeed is reassuring.

hajir at September 22, 2003 11:00 PM [permalink]:

Well soshyant, this is a free forum and all thoughts are welcome. If you don't like one's comment you can argue against it; I don't think sarcastic comments about one's belief can get you anywhere.
I never claimed to represent god; this is just an unwise assumption made by yourself.

saoshyant at September 22, 2003 11:05 PM [permalink]:


I am glad that this is a free forum. I have not insulted anybody, and indeed I do not think I agreed with your comment as per telling us that "god was with us as long as we were defedning our land". You just issued a prophetic statement. I am glad that for issuing a Gol Agha type of response in response to you will not be able to send me before Judge Mortazavi!

Let us be friend and let us do not take the matter of God or Gods too seriously,

May light be with all


A Reader at September 23, 2003 02:04 PM [permalink]:

>hajir at September 22, 2003 04:41 PM:
>Actually god was with us. Our nation defended >herself and as long as you defend yourself, god >is with you. Trouble started and god left us >when we didn't accept the ceasefire on time and >went into Iraq dreaming of invading Iraq (or >freeing Iraqis) and "that's" what god doesn't >like!
Hajir, I used to think the same way about Iraq-Iran war (in terms of continuing the war after Iran managed to repel Iraq from its territory), though later on I came across some other documents (such as the one that I enclosed with this message) which made me think perhaps I was rushing to judge and condemn the government too quickly! the article is written by Francis Boyle. From the facts assreted by him I would find hard for the Iranian government to make peace with Iraq! here is the link though I should warn you that it's very long!

maryam at September 23, 2003 02:44 PM [permalink]:

hey, I just wanted to identify myself! :) since i didn't mean to be anonymous, but had to leave quickly and didn't get the chance to write my name.

saoshyant at September 23, 2003 02:54 PM [permalink]:


The article that you have cited does not tell us about the deal that Saudis presented to the Islamic Republic as per paying Iran's damages in the war. Nor does it tell us much about the Arab League and Conference of the Islamic states similar deals offered in support of the Saudis in the aftermath of the liberation of Khorramshahr.

Your citation reveals much about the US administration's opportunistic, narrow-minded and short-sighted, approach in supporting Iraq against Iran during the war. That is about it.

Unless you can show us why the deals that I have above-mentioned were not mentioned by Francis Boyle (in fact this guy who is a teacher at illinois does not appear to be a Middle East expert, a law professor expert in American foreign policy and International court of justice and above all Genocide:,%20Francis)

Hence, I find your citation not very related and the author of it not an expert in the specificity of the issue.

maryam at September 23, 2003 04:07 PM [permalink]:

Did you really read that article so quickly? or you just like to hear yourself talking?!!!
Do you consider yourself "The Middle East" expert?!
When I told Hajir about that article, I was not justfying everything related to the war! nor was I hinting that article is covering all the aspects! I was simply trying to say that the subject is not so easy to tackle!

"You Did Not Get My Message" becausae you didn't even bother to think for a second to understand the point! since you were busy preparng your answer! and to be honset with you I find discussing things with a type of person such as yourself, a waste of time!!!
I don't know you in person but it's not hard to see your type of character!!!

saoshyant at September 23, 2003 05:13 PM [permalink]:

Dear Maryam:

1) How do you know that I had not read the article before?

2) What are the "facts" in the article that you think point out that made it impossible for the then leadership of the Iranian govrernment the deal that the Saudis presented to them?

Point of Information: Mr. Mehdi Bazargan wrote one of the first critiques on the Foreign Policy of the regime in this regard in 1984. When in the early 1990s I read it, I dismissed it as being partisan as per his opposition to Khomein's stance.

I yet have to see if the Iraqi peace offer was substantially sanctioned by the Saudis, as it was claimed by Bazargan in that Miscellaneous Publication of the Freedom Movement of Iran.

Yet again, What are the facts that complicated the situation? I really would like to know them so that "I can get YOUR MESSAGE".

3) Professor Boyle is an expert in what is known as international justice, I have mentioned in previous postings, under Arash Bateni's, that I have done research in that area, so I have evidence prior to your posting that shows I could have run into his work previously.

4) I have done my graduate and undergraduate work in North America, I have learned how to read fast, how to verify fast, and how to back up my claims fast as in Internatioanl Relations and Politics they have one reading around a hundred pages for each session on average per term.

5) It is not apporpriate for me to respond to your rage and attack on my character. I value freedom more than anything else. Thanfully, rage does not get one in a debate, it just weakens one's ability to argue.

maryam at September 23, 2003 06:40 PM [permalink]:

5) It is not apporpriate for me to respond to your rage and attack on my character. I value freedom more than anything else. Thanfully, rage does not get one in a debate, it just weakens one's ability to argue

You decieve yourself by thinking that I attacked your very person out of rage! I don't even know you in person. Your explanation of doing your undergrad and grad in the North America is not so impressive for me! neither your previous knowledge of Boyle's works! as I knew who he was! I didn't send that article to impress anyone! I'll let people read it as an interesting source and decide for themselves.
I just don't see any point to discuss things with people who just vomit out the undigested materials that once they saw or read to flatter their own ego!
As for your valuing freedom, I suggest to free yourself from your own ego first.
Finally, I assure you that the comments are not out of rage,
good day

saoshyant at September 23, 2003 07:17 PM [permalink]:
Dear Maryam: Your previously said: "I find discussing things with a type of person such as yourself, a waste of time!!! I don't know you in person but it's not hard to see your type of character!!! " and then said: "I just don't see any point to discuss things with people who just vomit out the undigested materials that once they saw or read to flatter their own ego!" The phrases that you used such as discussing things with me as "waste of time" or referred to people who "vomit out the undigested material" and "flattering their own ego", which is an indirect reference to me again. In view of what you have stated, I do not think I am deceiving myself in seeing that you are enraged and keep attacking me without responding to my inquiry. You have not still told us which facts that you have found in Boyle's article support a view that other than what has been presented by Yasser. You asked how I was able to read Boyle's article that fast, and I found it appropriate to respond as to why and how I was able to do so. If that makes you think that I am flattering myself, I suppost that is yet another conclusion that comes from your anger, since you yourself questioned my ability to have read the article in the first place. I do not need to impress those who have not seen me and/or do not know who really I am, by the same token it is amazing for me to see that you and often a few others, who I do not know and I have not seen become so offended when they are asked to substantiate their arguments. I have once become emotional before and found that it was not productive, and I posted my regrets about that on that occasion accordingly. The record is there for you to look under Mehrad's WMD. I still hope you tell me how you arrived at the conclusion that the situation was so complex that the Iranian government could not accept compensations offered to them after the liberation of Khorramshahr from the facts that have been presented in Boyle's. I told you I saw nothing of this substantive compensation and the peace making efforts by Arab and Islamic states in that article. You could have easily told us which part of that article showed you that Iran was right in not accepting the peace deal after liberating Khorramshahr. I am continuing the debate with the hope that you address my question directly. What is the relationship? Where are those facts that address the issue at least implicitly? I still find the article not a very good reference: First of all the writer attaches this disclaimer to the article in post-script: "The research and writing for this paper were finished as of February 1, 1986, when it was submitted in advance to the organizers of the University of New Orleans Symposium on Neutrality for distribution and delivery at the conference two weeks later. Hence, the paper did not take into account the numerous facts surrounding the Reagan Administration's foreign policy toward the Iraq-Iran War that have emerged into the public record since the outbreak of the Iran-contra scandal in October of 1986. " Then he proceeds that "Iran had no reason to pursue peace" in the post-1985 period of the war. In sum, his study just pays attention to overall 8 year war and especially the latter part of the war, as well as the conduct of the US's not-really-neutral foreign policy towards both Iran and Iraq. I rest my case here, and hope you still can tell me which part of that article points to one of the major arguments presented ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Babak S at September 23, 2003 07:26 PM [permalink]:

I invite everyone to keep their tempers, as it's not a war we are fihting here. We are just talking about one. I have not looked at the article maryam referred us to, but I'm definitely going to. If opinions are different on the substance of that article, it's just fine. `You must at least agree to disagree!' Please also read "Nice Talking to You" by our friend Kaveh Kh.

Ghazal at September 23, 2003 11:13 PM [permalink]:

I am interested to know more about the Saudi offer to Iran as I have always heard about it but I don’t know the details. Could someone please give me a reference about when exactly it happened and what exactly was in the official proposal?

saoshyant at September 24, 2003 01:36 AM [permalink]:

Dear Ghazal et al.:

This is from: Chehabi, H. E., "Iranian Politics and Religious Modernism: The Liberation Movement of Iran Under the Shah and Khomeini", (IB Tursi and CO, Copy Rights for the Cornell University Press: London 1990), Chapter 8, Liberation Movement of Iran (LMI) as Loyal Opposition, p. 299:

"In the summer of 1984 the LMI published its first major study on the war, but distribution on a wide scale was prevented by the Ministry of Islamic Guidance.

The LMI study maintained that the recon quest of Khorramshahr (which is around May 1982 Saosh) had had a tremendous political and psychological effect and that Arab countries had offered both peace and reparations at that point: Iran should have seized the opportunity then.

The text also revealed that the LMI had privately warned Hashemi Rafsanjani against pursuing the Iranian offensive beyond Iranian territory because Iran was not equipped for conventional warfare, and if the offensive failed, Iran might have to accept peace on unfavourable terms. But the Speaker of Parliament had responded that Khomeini himself insisted on the seizure of Basra."

Chehabi cites two major Nehazateh Azadi sources. One is a set of open letters (to Khomeini which he says Khomeini rebuked it immediately) and the other are two reports to the people as follows:

Shesh Nameh-ye Sargoshadeh. Teheran: LMI, 1983

Tahlili piramun-e jang va solh. Teheran: LMI, 1984

Towzihati piramun-e mozakereh, atash-bas, solh. Teheran: LMI, 1984

Still, in all the research that I have done, secondary sources indicate that Arab states attempted to mediate, but they do not elaborate in details in regards to the type of the bargain/deal offered to the Islamic Republic leadership.

The archives of the New York Times in 1982 and Time are a good place to start for those interested.

Siavash at September 24, 2003 04:31 PM [permalink]:

1. I agree that the war lasted more than it should. but I think the main guilt of Iran's leaders was not contniuing the war, rather it was their weakness to prevent the war (or in a pessimistic view willingness to start it). They did not have the ability nor the knowledge to manage the crisis between the two country at the time.

This point is what is overlooked in almost all arguments dealing with this issue in this forum.

2. I dont think any peace deal after the liberatation of Khoramshar would last long as the history of Saddam's actions shows. Dont forget that Iran and Iraq had been on the verge of a full scale war at end of 1960's ( Saddam was not the officially the president of Iraq at the time though he was the de factu ruler) and the struggle setteled down in 1975. The only reason that Iraq accepted that deal was the miliary might of iranian army plus international position of iran at the time.

3. Be sure that any so called peace deal by arab nations would be in favor of Iraq, the sympathy of Arab countries for iraq does not need any explanation, besides the international community was against Iran. This latter reason was again the biggest guilt and fault of iran's rulers.
To have a feeling of the world's opinion about iran at that time, just think of Taleban images in western media: A bunch of fanatic mullas who does not respect human rights, women and international laws and occupy civilized countries' embassies and take their diplomats as hostages.

Shiraz at September 24, 2003 05:38 PM [permalink]:

Well as much as I know, the war started by Iraq. Sadam wanted to invade Iran for several years but since at the time of Shah Iran was backed up by US and Europe so he didn't have much chance. But when the situation of Iran became unstable (which has been the case for any other revolution) he had a good opportunity and he used it.
I must say that if it wasn't for the well organized brainwashing of Islamic republic, which made the youth fight with "chang o dandaan" then we would have lost the war and some parts of the country to Iraq.

In every war there should be some motivation for the army to fight. Usually it is nationalism, in our case it was the power of religion. All those ideas of liberating Palestine, etc. seems to have been just ways to make people believe they were doing their great religious duty by going to war. I honestly don’t believe the leaders were thinking they would be able to liberate Palestine nor even invade Iraq.

I personally am against any war, but the truth is, it happens because of leaders’ ambitions and international political plays. When it happens then the leader of the attacked country has to find a way to make his people defend their country, in this sense I guess Khomeini and Co. did a good job.

Ghazal at September 25, 2003 01:44 AM [permalink]:

I am not an expert on war but I think we did loose lots of our youth in the war that might have not been necessary to defend us at all and actually if we had been more obsessed with training and using tactics than just encouraging children to go forward for death we might have had less death. If it wasn’t because of our trained army in the beginning we would have lost the war pretty soon. I read somewhere the tactics our air force used to
push back Iraqis were very impressive. Hatamikia was once saying that it is wrong to say Iranian soldiers were defending Iran by throwing themselves on the mine fields so that they can go to heaven it just shows that our soldiers were stupid and didn’t know how to fight effectively.

AIS at September 25, 2003 01:48 AM [permalink]:

"A bunch of fanatic mullas who do not respect human rights, women and international laws and occupy civilized countries' embassies and take their diplomats as hostages."

And this was (and still is) a very accurate picture of the regime in Iran. :)
The problem was (and is) they usually didn't let this affect their friendly policies towards these mullahs.

Saoshyant, most of us respect well made arguments.
Just ignore the extra noise!

saoshyant at September 25, 2003 02:19 AM [permalink]:

AIS and Ghazal:

AIS: I most apprecite your input.

Ghazal: I do not know if personal accounts can be cited properly, but one of the most famous Iranian pilots who was for some time deputy chief of the Air Force's Headquarters: General Jamshid Shahram-Rostami; in an IRIB documentary that I saw on the BBC in the early 1990s (I don't remember the name of the movie) claimed that General Fakoori and General Falaahi decided until the the Armoured Battallions from Khorassan and major Infantary units from Kerman and Isfahan could be re-grouped, the Iranian Air Force had to slow the advance of the Iraqi Army. Iranian bombed Iraqis columns for 86 days, at the same time fighting with them in the air and attacking their bases as far as the border of Jordan. Abadan could have been lost a long time ago if it were not because of them. Ironically, many of them were executed in the aftermath of Nodjeh coup plot.

The funny thing is that in the end of that documentary they also mentioned Iran's Air Defence was effectively reduced to 24 operational fighters and bombers between 1986-1988.

AIS (it's an acronym) at September 25, 2003 04:22 AM [permalink]:

How could you have ever believed such crap, even as a child? I remember nobody I knew in my elementary school back then ever believed (or cared about) such islamic propaganda anyway!

saoshyant at September 25, 2003 08:37 AM [permalink]:

Siavash et al:

I appreciate that the regional Arab countries could not be sincere in their offer and Saddam could have attacked again.

But my question is: perhaps at least the regime leadership could have consolidated its efforts and could have come up with better plan of reorganizing itself in the interim and elevating the legitimacy of Iran's claims over the Forever Persian Gulf and the Arvand Rood.

2) Many at the time in the Iranian circles claimed that Iraqis too could have regrouped. But in the end the same thing happened:

A) Iran did not allow Iraqis easily sell their oil; Iraqis in turn attacked Iranian tankers.

B) While we still do not know what kind of a bargain Arabs offered, they became even more frightened and paranoid as per Iranian regime's intentions, especially when Khomeini clearly declared that after Saddam all of them would be removed. Hence, they become even more determined pay for Saddam's continuous adventures but also invited Americans to protect their tankers upon the same pretext.

3) I certainly concede that sooner or later the US would have found a way to make a stronger presence in the region. But the question is that why would not the regime's leadership, at least, declare a cease fire and reconsider their options? If the situation was a catch-22, why not just pause a bit?

What was it that the leadership was afraid to lose?

A Reader at September 25, 2003 09:05 AM [permalink]:

If they knew how to do the tactics that you mentioned, the war would have never happened in the first place. This again brings us to the question that I posed in my first comment: What mistakes or mismanagements lead the country to the war at the begining?

BHS at September 25, 2003 02:04 PM [permalink]:

I think, it was not a matter of tactics or war strategies that was amiss when the clerics did not accept the peace offer. Saoshaynt asks "What was it that the leadership was afraid to lose?" My answr is their entire reason for existance. They were revolutionaries, religious ones, with religious claims and ideas. If the had had the kind of mindset that uses tactics and startegies to come up with the best deal they could, they would not have won the battle of power inside the country in the first few years after the Shah was toppled. If they had wanted to let a period of peace follow, they would have to restart fighting over the control of the government, and that's basically what they could not afford.