Saturday, July 31, 2010


Iran Democracy
The First Time I Heard The Obama Name

When I was doing what I was doing for Nepal, I had the option to eat into my savings. I want to do for Iran what I did for Nepal. And I am looking for sponsors. I am looking for people and organizations that will fund my work.

To Iran, With Love (3)
There is no peace in the Middle East because Israel is the only democracy around there. When a democracy tries to talk to a neighborhood of non democracies, you get The Mother Of All Culture Clashes. .... Israel today feels an existential threat from Iran's possible nuclear weapons. That threat is primarily political. Russia still had all the nuclear weapons, but once the Cold War ended, America was no longer feeling the threat from those weapons, Europe was not feeling the threat. Israel is not going to feel an existential threat from an Iran that is a democracy...... It is like in the movie The Matrix. You sit in front of your computer, your terminal, and you transport yourself to the theaters of action. You observe and study the reality, the ever changing reality, in all theaters of action, and you propose action plans everywhere you can. You have no institutional authority, noone elected you, you are not doling out money, and so you have to be extra, extra right, extra convincing before people will do your bidding, before people, the key players, will listen to you to do what needs to get done.
To Iran, With Love (2)
I ended up giving a name to the method: nonviolent militancy. Not only are you strictly nonviolent, you are almost all digital. The battles take place on the screen for a big part. But the method is not the message. Unless you have a very high level of political consciousness, unless you have super political instincts, unless your political knowledge is robust, unless you are a disrupter in the best tradition of entrepreneurs, unless you have a firm commitment to the basic principles that underly any democracy movement, you can't do what I did for Nepal. My political credentials were outstanding, and so the technology behind the digital tools I ended up using came to be of service to me. The medium is not the message. On the other hand without the digital medium my work would not have been possible. The Internet allowed me the utter fearlessness that I exhibited at all junctures because it allowed me to be in the safety of New York City without many of the disadvantages of distance.
To Iran, With Love (1)
To: Brad Feld, Subject: Iran And Me (Digital Ninja/Commando)
There are a few steps that the democracy movement in Iran needs to take, the most important is to shift the goal post. The goal can not be to get the existing regime to hold the presidential election all over again. The goal has to be regime change. The goal can not be to take the brutality lying down. The goal has to be to document every act of brutality to bring the perpetrators to justice once a new, interim government takes over power. The goal can not be to keep coming out into the streets. A democracy movement is supposed to last a few weeks at most, not months and years. You shut the country down completely until the regime gives way to an interim government with the mandate to hold elections to a constituent assembly within a year of taking over power.
Happy July 4 Fred Wilson, Brad Feld
I have done this before, I can do this again. I did this for Nepal in 2006. ..... There is a concrete mathematical theory called the butterfly effect. A butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon forest could be the reason a cyclone hit Bangladesh. What happened in Nepal in April 2006 was a political cyclone. I was the butterfly flapping my wings in New York City. In April 2006, over a period of 19 days, about eight million people out of the country's 27 million came out into the streets to shut the country down completely to force a dictator out. ..... Iran is a low hanging fruit. The hardest part of a democracy movement is getting people to come out into the streets. Well, that has been happening in Iran. This world is connected enough by now that one Digital Ninja/Commando based out of New York City could make that fundamental difference. ..... I ask for 100K and 15 months. That would be enough time. If I succeed, you get to put in another 2.5K each for a 50K bonus to me. This 5K you might put into this is the equivalent of 5 million you might put into Kiva. Democracy is the ultimate fishing net you can give to a people.

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