Sunday, August 29, 2010

Total Transparency With My Iran Work

IranImage via WikipediaI am going to keep all my work transparent except in those rare cases when people I might communicate with might not want their identities revealed.

My goal is to raise $100,000 for my Iran work, and I am going to publicly state how much money I have raised at my main Iran Democracy page. So if I have raised $500, I am going to say I have raised $500. If I have raised $50K, I will say so. I want to raise the money through the netroots/grassroots.

But the key part is not the money. I need the money, so go donate. My PayPal ID is Donate $100 now! But the real action will be the political moves I will make. My style is to stay digital, stay transparent. With a transparent blog post, all interested individuals anywhere can chime in. Having to email people is not the style of a mass movement.

I intend to apply to Iran the principles I applied to Nepal. I believe those same principles can be applied everywhere where there is no democracy. The principles can be applied to Burma. But a democracy movement is a highly dynamic situation and it is imperative you mutate as the virus mutates. You have to be one step ahead of the virus to be able to win.

The basic principles have staying power, but their applications will be slightly unique to each country, to each theater of action. The thing about total transparency, all digital is every interested person will have the option to contribute to the conversation. Everyone who wants to discuss strategy can. And that is important.

When you do the work in a transparent fashion, you are much more likely to be able to go out there and collect the information you need. More than 99% of the information is going to be publicly available. But with your transparent work you build credibility and so when you have to make a phone call, or when you have to email a person or organization, you are more likely to get a response.

Your digital, transparent work gives you the digital persona that you need to be effective.

I am seeking no formal leadership position. I have no desire to launch an organization. I have no desire to join any existing organization. My ways are those of the digital ninja/commando. I necessarily have to work solo. Although I am constantly seeking page hits for my blog posts. I want to feel like I am functioning in a sea of people.

What are the principles that I seek to apply? They are quite simple actually. They read more like a plan of action.

The first step is to enter into debate and discussion with the Iranian global diaspora and all the many global netroots/grassroots organizations and online groups that have sprung up in support of the democracy movement in Iran. You want to achieve a broad agreement as to the goal of the movement.

The goal is not to request the mullahs to hold re-election. Because that was the goal the last time around, the movement crashed and burned. It failed.

The goal is to shut down the country completely until the people in power bow out and make way for an interim government that will hold elections to a constituent assembly. Those currently in power may not be part of the interim government, but they will have the option to organize political parties and contest the elections to the constituent assembly. But even that only applies to those who did not perform barbaric acts against peaceful demonstrators, either directly or through order.

All acts of atrocities are to be documented and all such perpetrators are to be brought to justice by the interim government, either at home or by carting them off to the International Court Of Justice.

Once you achieve a broad agreement on the goal of the movement, you work to build a large global organization, organizations of organizations, umbrella organizations, small and big organizations everywhere, more the merrier.

Then you work on the logistics. A mass movement is like sending an army into a country to invade it. There are numerous logistical details involved. And all those have to be thought out in advance. You need communication gear. You need digital equipment. You need medical services in place for those in need, for those injured, for those dying and dead. You want to create funds for the families of those martyred.

Then you work to build the domestic organizations. That includes all political parties that will join the interim government. The interim president has to be decided on before the movement can be launched. That person need not be in Iran right now.

Then you ask the people to come out into the streets and stay out into the streets until the goal of regime change is achieved.

That is the basic roadmap, and it can be applied everywhere, not just in Nepal, not just in Iran.

A big reason, perhaps the biggest reason why you want to keep as much work transparent as possible is to send out the message that the same work can be done everywhere else too. The global netroots/grassroots has the power to spread democracy everywhere, and it has that power now, today. The basic principles can be applied everywhere.

For the next theater of action, I don't have to the prime mover/shaker. I don't even have to be involved. People committed to the basic principles and to democracy can do it with or without someone like me.

Transparency is about crowdsourcing democracy movements. You want dictatorship after dictatorship to fall like a house of cards. It can be done.

I am in love with America's mission. America was born with a mission. That mission is a total spread of democracy. But the beauty of going the constituent assembly route is democracy does not feel like an American export. If the constituent assembly in Iran decides to declare it an Islamic republic by a two thirds vote, I will be like, so be it. I will disagree with the proclamation, and I would hope there would be a future amendment to the constitution, but I will be okay with that. It is just that I don't see a popularly elected assembly going for anything but a secular republic.

(Please donate $100 or more to my work for Iran democracy. You can send the money over PayPal to my PayPal ID
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