Conveniently enough, and just at the moment that the U.S. might be preparing to work with the Revolutionary Guards in Iraq (either openly or tacitly), it seems that there has been a sea change in attitudes towards them in Iran itself.
This from a New York Times article – entitled ‘With War at Doorstep, Iran Sees Its Revolutionary Guards in a Kinder Light’ – published June 18th 2014:
. . . the well-documented mass killings by ISIS, which makes a point of producing graphic videos of its fighters executing Iraqi soldiers as they lie, hands bound and face down, in a ditch, have caused ordinary Iranians to rethink their views.
On websites such as the reformist Entekhab news site, where in the past anonymous commentators rarely missed an opportunity to criticize the Guards, the group is now regularly lauded.
The article goes on to quote various ‘ordinary Iranians’ singing the praises of the Guards.
Compare this to how The New York Times was portraying them in 2009, when the U.S. Political Establishment was trying to delegitimize the Iranian elections.
From an article published on July 20th 2009, and entitled ‘Hard Line Force Extends Grip Over A Splintered Iran’:
. . . the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps . . . has emerged as a driving force behind efforts to crush a still-defiant opposition movement.
From its origin 30 years ago as an ideologically driven militia force serving Islamic revolutionary leaders, the corps has grown to assume an increasingly assertive role in virtually every aspect of Iranian society.
And its aggressive drive to silence dissenting views has led many political analysts to describe the events surrounding the June 12 presidential election as a military coup.
And I don’t think you need to be a cynic to wonder whether it’s really attitudes towards the Guards in Iran that have changed, or whether it’s attitudes towards them in Washington D.C..
They might be useful as an ally for the time being, so they’ll get a nice corporate media makeover until such time as they need to be demonized again.
Hence: Oh, they used to be a hated force of political repression in Iran, but now ordinary Iranians love them, because of those evil ISIS guys we have to go bomb. Honest, guv’!
(The point here, incidentally, isn’t about whether Iranians do or don’t like the Guards. It’s about how they are portrayed based on U.S. political expediency)