[Marxism] Fw: [Central_Asia_Now] Inside the US's regime-change school

Louis R Godena louisgodena at ids.net
Mon Mar 20 03:16:45 MST 2006

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Haile Liekli 
To: XG-World_Today 
Sent: Sunday, March 19, 2006 1:41 PM
Subject: [Central_Asia_Now] Inside the US's regime-change school

     From a Special Correspondent of Asia Times Online, March 14, 2006:

                  TEHRAN - When the invitation to attend a human-rights workshop in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates came, it was a complete surprise for Nilofar, an attractive Iranian woman in her early 30s who works for an international organization in Tehran and claims to be apolitical.

                  Nilofar told Asia Times Online over a series of three interviews from last September to February: "When I arrived in Dubai, the other participants were very surprised to se e me and told me that these workshops are only for activists. So I don't know how I got in, really, except if their selection process is not as stringent as they would make it out to be." 

                  Once in Dubai, Nilofar was booked by one of two organizations running the program into the Holiday Inn. She recounts that the course organizers were a mixture of Los Angeles-based exiled Iranians, Americans who appeared to supervise the course and whose affiliation remained unclear throughout, and three Serbs who said they belonged to the Otpor democratic movement that overthrew the late Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. 

                  The highly secretive nature of the workshops meant that they were misleadingly advertised in the lobby of the hotel as a conference by the "Griffin Hospital". The organizers, instructors and students identified themselves through aliases and were instructed to communicate with one another after the course was over through Hushmail accounts, an encrypted e -mail service that claims to be hack-proof. 

                  In class, the Serbian instructors organized role-playing games in which the participants would assume the personas of characters such an Iranian woman or a Shi'ite cleric. Throughout these exercises in empathy and psychology, stress was laid on the importance of ridiculing the political elite as an effective tool of demythologizing them in the eyes of the people. 

                  "They taught us what methods they used in Serbia to bring down Milosevic," Nilofar said. "They taught us some of them so we could choose the best one to bring down the regime, but they didn't mention directly bringing down the regime - they just taught us what they had done in their own country." 

                  Cyrus Safdari, an independent Iranian analyst, said: "As I gather, the idea was to fund and train activists to be agents provocateurs along the lines of the Otpor movement in Serbia. Their job was to utilize various techniques, such as anti-government graffiti et c, to embolden the student movement and provoke a general government crackdown, which could then be used as a pretext to 'spark' a mass uprising in Iran that appeared to be spontaneous and indigenous." 


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