Yesterday, the Egyptians reportedly claimed that the Mossad was fueling demonstrations in Iran, and today James Glassman writes in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that the US should try to co-opt the "green movement" in Iran to serve US interests:
We should, for instance, publicize reports on what worked in Ukraine or Georgia, spread testimony by leaders like the Czech Republic's Vaclav Havel, and distribute, in Farsi, guides to nonviolent change like Gene Sharp's "From Dictatorship to Democracy" and Peter Ackerman's "A Force More Powerful." It's time to dub into Farsi documentaries on the fall of Ceausescu, Milosevic and Pinochet; the transitions in South Africa and Poland; and the achievements of the U.S. civil-rights movement.
The reference to Gene Sharp is sort of ironic because not so long ago we were told that Iran's warnings to its population about these sorts of tactics are simply the regime's "self-fulfilling paranoia" and should not be taken seriously...and yet here is Glassman extolling the same. If the Iranians were seen as paranoid, they won't be when the US does really step in with the sort of tactics that Glassman endorses.
However I suspect that the slick PR operations endorsed by Glassman won't really reach into Iran because Iranians are just tough customers and not so easily manipulated. I don't know if that makes a difference to the Glassman's of the world though - I suspect that their main "target audience" are not the Iranians but the policy-makers in the US. Remember, the real goals of the Glassmans of the world is not to bring democracy to Iranians (they couldn't care less!) but to prevent any sort of US-Iran rapprochement that would be contrary to Israeli interest. So, it doesn't matter if these tactics can ever be successful in overthrowing the regime in Iran, as long as they can portray the Iranian regime as weak and about-to-fall, and thus not worth negotiating with. After all, they've been promising the imminent demise of the IRI for 30-years now, and need something to justify the continuation of the same policy.
Anyway, what Glassman endorses here is essentially what advertisers call a marketing campaign. The use of colors, slogans, etc. are all part of branding used to gain consumer loyalty -- and whether the product is a washing machine or a revolution makes little difference. The people who fall for it are simply "the consumer". Essentially, Glassman is calling for the use of political marketing to help overthrow the regime to serve US interests. The Iranians may not be big in advertising and PR and may not know how to launch a counter-marketing campaign, and may respond with more repression -- which is the wrong way to go, since that only justifies the propaganda.
Interestingly, while he mentions the experience of the Czech Republic, Poland and S. Africa, there's no mention of the fact that the "colored revolution" in Georgia merely replaced one corrupt, authoritarian government with another, and that the new Ukranian government is considered by the people there to be worse than the previous one. As Justin Raimondo noted:
The Ukrainian Orange phenomenon was modeled quite explicitly on the example of the Rose Revolution [of Georgie], which featured a disputed election, massive youth-oriented street protests, and plenty of subsidies from U.S. government agencies. The evil neo-communist leftovers from the old order, led by Eduard Shevardnadze, were swept away by the rising tide of pro-Western, modernizing young “democrats,” exemplified by Saakashvili, said to be a Georgian combo of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Or so went the official narrative.
It wasn’t long, however, before the wolf disdained his sheep’s clothing and openly began to exhibit distinctly wolfish characteristics, imprisoning his political opponents and cracking down on the opposition in the name of “national security.”
Anyway, you have to admit that the events in Iran have a striking similarity to the other US-backed "coup-lite" carried out in other countires. So, is the Iranian regime "paranoid" for believing that US and Israeli intelligence is behind the demonstrations in Iran? Well, to quote an old saying (by Henry Kissinger?) "just because you're paranoid is no reason to believe they're NOT after you."