Loving Men in Uniform « The Washington Independent
A great point from Matthew Yglesias:
[S]trategic nonviolence is a vital tactic. If you were to try to fight the security forces—shoot some policemen, say—you’d encourage a more serious crackdown. It’s through nonviolent resistance that you heighten the psychological contradictions, and encourage the regime and its enforcers to blink. From the Velvet Revolution to Tiananmen Square to the Orange Revolution to what’s happening today in Iran, the brave dissidents are essentially daring the security forces to beat or kill them. The bet is that when push comes to shove, people in the Iranian security forces have some humane and patriotic instincts and will recoil from the idea of using mass violence against their fellow citizens. And it’s a terrifying bet.
Gary Sick, a former Iran expert at the National Security Council, wrote the other day that the brazen theft in the election indicated that the regime had abandoned a previously cherished rule — to “at least [pay] lip service to the voice of the Iranian people.” Whether the military is ready to follow its lead is an untested proposition. This is one of the reasons it’s better to be cautious about appearing to lend external support to the Iranian opposition. The security services are more likely to massacre people they believe to be foreign puppets than people they believe to be their neighbors and cousins and countrymen.