In about two months, it will be one year since the Islamic Republic experienced its most disturbing phase. Large scale opposition rallies were held in Iran as well numerous protests by Iranian exiles in front of Iranian Embassies. Predictions were made…and most failed to materialize. The Iranian government was successful to put down or at least dampen the opposition’s spirit by a crafty blueprint that included:
} use of force against the rank and file in the opposition movement as well as ordinary people prostesting
} use of threats to intimidate local citizens from joining the movement
} widespread media crackdown as well as propogation of stories to undermine the opposition
} indirect threats against opposition leaders by plain cloth Basijis
} no arrest of opposition leaders ir. Mousavi, Khatami or Karroubi to avoid a potential backlash
} systematic cleansing of universities, ministries and the army from people seen as sympathetic to opposition
} distorting the truth and labeling opposition members and their leaders as stooges of the West
These actions and more were largely successful. The opposition currently has very little physical presence except from time to time at university campuses. The spirit of protest and anger may still be evident in the population at large but they currently feel that they would risk their livelihood and families if they joined any protest.
Iranian exiles were also non effective in bringing any change. Constant squablling amongst groups and lack of an effective centralized strategy made all efforts for naught. Other strategies used such as men wearing hijab, or protestors dancing and having fun trivialized the opposition and was used effectively by local Iranian media to mock the opposition movement and its leaders.
However, for a period of time, the opposition was able through chanting to shake the Islamic Republic’s foundation, however they soon forgot about it. It was this that made the Iranian government most worries.
Slogans like “Na Gaza, Na Lobnan, Janam Fadaye Iran” was the one slogan that rattled the regime more than any other.
If opposition members want to actually make any headway to realinfg their goals, they have to take their aims off of the regime and instead go after its allies.
Consider this: During the US-Iraq war, there were hugh rallies by the MoveOn organization against the war in DC as well as in London…In Some over 500,000 participated in Washington DC. Yet, despite all the protests against George W Bush, none changed his course. Now imagine, had the protests been squarely aimed against Jews and Israel. Imagine, just how far Congress and the Senate would have gone to at least make sure the protestors are to a degree placated.
Now imagine the same in Iran. If opposition members focus their attention on the Iranian government’s allies, they really can’t be arrested – since they didn’t insult Khamenei or Velayate Faqih. Indeed, authorities would be left powerless as they see masses rally against Iranian allies without being able to arrest them or charge them.
It is exactly this type of “soft-protest” that the Iranian government has used now and in the past to silence the opposition. They always try and do their best to avoid “direct” evidence from surfacing which implicates the government in the crackdown. Instead, the regime uses soft tactics in a way that it can always deny it even had a hand in suppressing the opposition.
The threats and articles against Karroubi and Mousavi are always done by people that touted as “independent” people- that way the government can deny it was involved.
The death of Neda was by a local plain cloth man- someone that the government can deny it was involved.
This government has done all it could to disturb peace and tranquility by using agents that it can always deny they ever had anything to do with it. This strategy of denial has worked wonders for the Iranian government to avoid scrutiny from its people and the world community at large.
In Summary, if the opposition is to have any hope of resurrection, it must refocus its efforts to target allies of Iran. Not China or Russia- they are not on Iranian payroll. Rather target allies that ARE on Iranian payroll. If adopted, you will see the regime tremble again. Things that can be done:
}Remember, never target Iranian leaders or government.
}Target, allies of Iran on Iranian payroll: mainly Muslim allies
}Target Hezbollah, Hamas, Egyptian Muslim brotherhoood and Sunni Islam
} Target Islam and specially controversial issues
By Not targeting Iranian leaders or government- they can’t spin your actions as “anti-iranian” and “anti-patriotic” and call for your execution
Focus on Hamas, Palestinians, Hezbollah, Lebanon:
If the Iranian government cracks down on protestors, assemble in front of the Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian embassies. Bring along your Iranian flags: preferably the one with an “Allah” in the middle- NOT the “Lion” one since that would give the government the excuse to label you as monarchist and anti-regime. Plus when Muslim and Arab media see you with the Lion flag, they will know that you are exactly what the Iranian regime is fighting.
You need to show up with the Iranian “Allah” flag and burn Lebanese, Hezbollah, Palestinian, Syrian flags. Show up with pictures of Hassan Nasrallah, Bashar Assad and Khaled Meshal as the devil. Bring along Korans, rip the pages, make balls out of them and attack the embassy walls with these Koranic balls.
Make Youtube videos: Not against Khamenei or AHmadinejad (none of that has changed a thing). Rather make videos of you trashing a Koran, attacking Mohammed and his wives and frineds that are considered highly by Sunnis. Don’t attack Shia figures since you might lose Shia support in Iran. Attack Sunni Islam, desecrate the Koran and make sure you kiss the Iranian “Allah” flag.
Create slogans that attack Palestinians, Lebanese and Syria.
These type of actions will have widespread consequences. It will be widely carried by Arab and Muslim media which will show how Iranian people are turning against Islam and neighboring countries becasue of the policies of Iran.
It will make the Iranian government lose its support amongst Arabs and Muslims in the street (these are the people that the Iranian government really cares about not the Iranian people).
Iran is very sensitive to what Arab and Muslim media broadcast to their people. The Iranian government can care less about what BBC, CNN and Fox broadcast because these channels are widely seen as suspicious by Arabs and Muslims. If CNN attacks Iranian regime, Arabs and Muslims will tend to side with Iran because they feel CNN is a Western tool.
The idea is very simple:
do what it takes to hurt and embarrass Iranian allies while showing yourself as an Iranian regime supporter.
Do what it takes to attack Islam, Mohammed and Sunnis and show yourself as a Shiite Iranian.
These type of actions will quickly present to Arabs and Muslims that Iranians are NOT one of them. It will show that Iranian “regime supporters” hate on Arabs and Muslims.
Attacks on Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, Hamas and Palestinians will be widely broadcast via Arab media which will show that the Iranian people are not supporters of Palestine.
These actions will little by little deprive the Iranian regime of its image as a defender of Islam, Palestine and oppressed Arabs. It will create a chasm between Muslims especially Sunnis and Iran. They will more and more see the Iranians and the Iranian regime as “non Muslims” and “heretics”.
These type of actions will over time make Iran’s clout in the Arab and Muslim world shrink to the point where Muslims and Arabs will attack Iran and Iranians. This will be extremely important as it will:
}make the iranian government lose legitimacy in the Islamic world
}create walls between Iranians and other Muslims with back and forth volleys attacking one another
Overtime, the Iranian government will realize that it has no support amongst the Arabs and Muslims it caters to. And, it will make Arabs and Muslims look at Iranians with mistrust and vice versa. Ultimately, these walls of mistrust will force future Iranian generations care less and less about Arabs and Muslims and will make them seek allies in the Western hemisphere which will force Iranians to adopt to the notions of twentieth century human rights, civil society and democracy.
PS: If you take a look at Iraq and the Shiites governing it, you will realize that they are widely seen as suspect and collaborators by the rest of Arabs and Muslims. This have made the Iraqi government seek allies in the Western world to replace the “Arab ones” and to cater to democracy!
The way forward is to separate Iran from Arabs and Muslims as much as possible without “direct” involvement in calling for the overthrow of the Iranian regime or call for its leaders to be put on trial.
You all witnessed what happened in the Islamic world when the Danish cartoonist portrayed Muhammed as a suicide bomber. The anger of Muslims worldwide was quickly directed at the Danish government and people and not so much the cartoonist. Now imagine if it had been an Iranian. Imagine all the hate from Muslims against the Iranian government and people had the cartoonist been an “Iranian-regime” supporter.
Now can you do something that will top off what the Danish cartoonist did and at the same time, kiss Khamenie’s picture and the Iranian”Allah” flag. Can you make a series of Youtube videos that would make the Danish Cartoon’s look like child’s play. Can you top it off? but make sure you come across as an Iranian regime supporter. Then let the chip fall where they may!
Don’t work Hard, WORK SMART!