We have spoken at length about how Iran’s influence is growing in the region, but a 5-point summing up of their tactics will do no harm, right?
Thomas Friedman, It’s all about leverage, New York Times:
The “Iran & Friends” strategy is built on five principles:
Principle No. 1: Always seek “control without responsibility.” In Lebanon, Gaza and Iraq, Iran & Friends have veto power over the politics, without being held fully responsible for the electricity. America’s allies, by contrast, tend to have “responsibility without control.”
Principle No. 2: Always insist on being able to both run for political office and bear arms. In Lebanon, Gaza and Iraq, America’s opponents are both in the government and have their own militias.
Principle No. 3: Use suicide bombing and targeted assassinations against any opponents who get in your way. In Lebanon, Syria is widely suspected to have been behind the spate of killings of anti-Syrian journalists and parliamentarians. One suicide attack on a major official in Iraq can neutralize superior U.S. power.
Principle No. 4: Use the nternet as a free command and control system for raising money, recruiting and operations.
Principle No. 5: Cast yourself as the “resistance” to Israel and America, so any opposition to you is equal to support for Israel and America and so no matter how badly you are defeated the mere fact that you “resisted” means you didn’t really lose.
My favorites are No 1 and No 5. I would add one more principle:
Principle No. 6: After coup operations that secure more political power, always consolidate with a swift tactical peace that will mollify your traumatized opponents who will jump at anything that resembles peace.