Saturday, June 27, 2009

digging in for a long-term struggle

While there might still be a slim chance for a resolution that would allow Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to save face, and a somewhat greater chance of him being turned out by the Assembly (Council) of Experts, at this point the most likely outcome of the current crisis in Iran appears to be a protracted, mainly clandestine struggle against a government that has squandered its last shred of legitimacy.

It's time for contingency plans for setting up refugee camps to be dusted off, and time to alert the ex-pat Iranian community to be ready to take in those who choose to flee, to keep the number who remain vulnerable along the borders small.

It's time for those within the country to start thinking about damage containment and organizing themselves for a long-term struggle, including such details as what they might use as detention centers for the Basij, when the time comes for that. More immediately, capturing small groups, subjecting them to criticism, and leaving them handcuffed, using the same sort of plastic straps that are commonly used in construction, strikes me as a useful tactic, to get across to the Basij that some people think they are the bad guys, deserving of punishment.

It's time for outsiders, such as ourselves, to shelve plans for destabilization and redirect our efforts to exercising a bit of control over the manner in which the Iranian government crumbles, as much as possible mitigating collateral damage.

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