Gene Sharp Q&A (CIA, Soros, etc.)

Iranian Propoganda

When governments in the Middle East (and around the world) say that protesters are operating under foreign agendas and protesting for money, etc - it always strikes me as odd the transparency that these regimes offer vs what is offered by those that they throw allegations at. 

Anyway - regarding the baseless allegations.. Compare the two clips above and the questions/quotes that arise:

Iranian Propaganda Video (youtube link)
Two questions that arise for me are: 
  1. How come this type of conspiracy theory does not apply to the Arab government supporters? (i.e. intellectuals, propaganda, TV, radio, etc.) 
  2. Is there not one Western intellectual who may disagree and not play along? 
  3. Is there not one Arab intellectual/journalists who cares about his country enough to not facilitate its colonization?
  4. What does it say about the Arab youth and general citizenry if they are willing to conspire with any foreign element to cause disorder and neo-colonization? 

The last question is something that I have struggled with.  Even if the government does not believe the allegations of being a foreign agent, it disturbs me that many of my fellow compatriots readily believe this allegation when thrown at any of our youth.  However, it becomes more obvious why they think this if one assesses the word 'citizen'.  It is defined as an individual belonging to society with associated rights and responsibilities.  Given that historically we have had little/no rights then, by definition, there is little expectation for fulfilling any societal responsibilities (streets clean, no corruption, etc.) - the most extreme of this is being a traitor, when one is driven to forgo his/her own people for financial gain.  The most frustrating thing for me though is how Jewish Israelis can travel to Sinai, Egypt, anywhere they are allowed and the Israeli government does not automatically assume they are spies and interrogate them, given them a hard time, etc. - however, if any Egyptian were to visit Israel (or even Palestine proper) I think we all know the suspicions that would arise from fellow the government and, consequently, fellow citizens. 

At the end of the day, the Egyptian government during Jan25 protests was trying to peddle the message that the people in Tahrir squared are betraying their country for a KFC meal... The real question arises though: If one is willing to betray their country for some fried chicken, then what society do we really have??

Gene Sharp Interview (full video link here)

While you should watch the whole interview in the link above (it is around 1 hr 20min, but if you have a video program put it at 1.2 speed, it's still comprehensible and saves some time).  Anyway, the above clip I selected simply in response to the above allegations by the Iranian regime (and various other governments when they speak out against protesters).  Gene Sharp clearly advocates "RELY ON YOURSELVES ALONE  - DON'T DEPEND ON SOMEONE ELSE COMING TO SAVE YOU, THEY MAY NEVER GET THERE AND THEY MAY COME WITH SHACKLES AS WELL"   

Moreover, he speaks out against the CIA, foreign government's interests, etc. While one can claim this is all talk, he has also written books to that regard (i.e. the Anti-Coup which can be applied to the CIA-puppet governments in the 1960s-1990s in Latin America).  Finally, to top it all off, he even has writing on civilian based defense and how to prevent war, etc.  (i.e. he is agianst the military-industrial complex which I believe is what all of the corpiracy thoritests understand is driving the NWO, Masonic Groups, FreeMasons, etc.)  Maybe it is all a facade and his life work was all a cover up and his real motives are in support of the CIA and that military-industrial complex. Maybe.

First of all, it strikes me as funny how the people they accuse (e.g. Gene Sharp and George Soros) are frequently on TV and in conferences discussing their works, messages, etc. (just saw George Soros interviewed on Fareed Zakaria a few weeks back see HERE).  

Some quotes/ideas I liked from the discussion with Mr. Sharp:
  • It's a great advantage to know what you don't know - because it is an opportunity to learn, if you want to & if you are not arrogant"
  • The key was in studying the sources of power, what is power, what is the nature of revolutions and dictatorships..
  • 25:00 "Because you are non-violent, don't assume your opponent will be also.  There are people who naively assume that - its pure romanticism" Gene Sharp 
  • 25:19 "Dictators do not like the people to learn that they have power potential" 
  • 26:00 People sometimes justify violence: because we are getting killed, we might as well do something. Just know that is a suicidal step you are taking, because your enemy always has greater power for violent than you do.  So don't be stupid, don't do the thing he wants you to do, because he knows he can crush you if you go over to violence. That's why the political police put agents into the resistance groups " Gene Sharp
  • They [regimes] always have the military option, non-violence just makes it harder for them to use it
  • Lord Stephen King Hall (1957-1959): general in the British military who advocated nonviolent resistance to defend against invaders and occupiers (i.e. can be a national policy that protects a country)
  • There are sources of power - these sources are uncertain! you can regulate the degree to which the regime gets those sources of power - if you can shrink the availability of those sources of power by restricting the obedience and cooperation of the people and of institutions - then the power of that regime, however dictatorial, will be limited and potentially cut off.  (40:38?)
  • Something so simple as distributing a banned book - that is part of gnawing away at the foundations of that illegitimate regime - in this case, namely the lies and propaganda. Very simply - terrifyingly simple to the regime.
  • Question: Why do you think it was successful? 
    Gene Sharp: We didn't expect that - I thought that the end of the Burmese edition thats it.  These other things just started happenings and we dont know exactly how they happened (he had previously been discussing some of the individual activists who translated and transported the writings).  I think its been successful because people have been quietly desperate, they have been hungry... Is there something that can be done so we do not suffer these terrible plights that people before us for several decades have been suffering?  That we don't have to go through another war with all that distribution that ends up killing more people than it could be supposedly saving.  It was the hunger for that.
  • We were surprised - people were writing to us, I don't know how many people, sayiung the same thing: "we thought this was written for us."  And from totally different countries, religious groups, societies - the piece is now in four indiginous African languages.  
  • Non-violence scares regimes, it is harder to attack a non-violent movement's legitimacy because when people are sacrificing their lives not only for a better life but for higher principles - it is hard to doubt their faith.
  • You need to illustrate the solidarity of the people - that scares them, and you need to think through how to do this effectively.
  • "Internal issues with the power dynamics are very important and can really mess up a movement - there will be groups looking to take over the group for their own political purpose.  There are other who have the unanimity policy and - to me - that is nonsense and is disruptive to the, for example, occupy movements in the US in my opinion - although I am not an authority on those movements.  That is a knowledge that needs to be studied/developed and would be very useful."
  • 1:00:30 Discusses the negative of Western government involvement in the coups and his distrust of the CIA....
  • 1:03:00 discussion of corporate America, fake democracies, worry of revolutionary regimes being authoritarian as well, solutions to internal discord.
  • "Individuals cannot get rid of dictators.  just being good or committed is not enough, you have to work with other people - you have to get rid of the sources of power.  The source of power are not made available by individuals, they are by group s and by institutions."
  • You do not get rid of regimes/war by confronting - you need to undermine it.  More importantly, you need to have an alternative that is credible.  You get rid of regimes by not needing them anymore."  (Chapters of that in his book Sources of Power and Political Freedom)
  • On mix of violence and non-violence (i.e. different groups in Syria): "It is what the oppressor wants, because the violence will spread - it is confident and equpiied and prepared to use the regimes violence which is much gfreater than anything the rebel can produce." 
  • 1:13:00 Libya-related: Interesting hypothesis about Yunan Luis as an agent provaceteur put by Gaddagi to push for violent rebel opposition being supported by NATO.  Outcome is that: 1. there is intense violence there today when compared with Egypt and Tunisia 2. It took longer than it did in Egypt and Tunisia 3. Brought in foreign forces which delegitimized the opposition 4. he ws killed  mysteriously two weeks later 6. Two weeks propr to his flipping gaddafi and son predicted civil war (its flimsy but an interesting take - i.e. he hypothesizes that non-violence would have had better long-term outcome for Libya)
I am planning to meet with Mr. Gene Sharp in a few weeks to discuss options that non-violent protesters have during this transition period to ensure sustained pressure on authoritarian forces (i.e. SCAF) while not alienating larger society (i.e. most polls show that citizens desire martial law to deal with criminals and that they view protests unfavorably).  I would greatly appreciate any additional questions that 

Just as an unnecessary addition relating to the first video, I thoroughly dislike MEMRI and hate using their clip here given their appalling ability to nitpick on the smallest detail of negative Arab media yet I do not think (and pls correct me if I am wrong) I have ever seen anything shown of negative Israeli propoganda - whose effects can be seen HERE.
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