Thinking outside the box on Iran

Even though the UN seems poised to strengthen sanctions against Iran, and unilateral sanctions by the US may be followed by some in the EU, the fact is that these options will not stop Iran from enriching uranium.

Bombing will delay, not destroy the Iranian's ability to make a bomb. Hence, as Michael Rubin points out in his AOL column, we need to "think outside the box" in order to find a solution:

Here, Iran's trade union movement provides an answer. The Bush administration missed a "Gdansk moment" in 2005 when Tehran bus driver Mansour Osanlou, the Iranian equivalent of Poland's Lech Walesa, organized the Islamic Republic's first independent trade union. Sugar processors in southwestern Iran soon followed suit.If bus drivers and factory workers can beat the regime at a local level, imagine the pressures Tehran would face from a dozen more trade unions? If unions can force the regime to pay eight months' worth of back salaries or invest in pension schemes, then the government might not have the funds to build centrifuges and missiles.

Here, Obama, his union allies and Europe's Social Democrats have an opportunity to lead by sponsoring strike funds and assisting organizers.

Time may be short, and there's no guarantee this would work to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power. But it would be irresponsible not to try.

Using unions to foment regime change is nothing new as was proved in Eastern Europe. But that was a process that took decades to bear fruit with the AFL-CIO being recruited as early as the Kennedy administration to make contact with potential labor leaders behind the Iron Curtain and facilitate the formation of unions independent of the communist governments.

And there is no guarantee that regime change will stop Iran's drive to build nuclear weapons. Ahmadinejad has made the nuclear issue one of state sovereignty - Iran has an absolute right to control the enrichment cycle. We have heard little from the opposition to dispute that.

It's good to think out side of the box. But when there are limited options - all of them bad - there isn't much inside or outside the box that presents itself as a solution.


Hat Tip: Ed Lasky



Even though the UN seems poised to strengthen sanctions against Iran, and unilateral sanctions by the US may be followed by some in the EU, the fact is that these options will not stop Iran from enriching uranium.

Bombing will delay, not destroy the Iranian's ability to make a bomb. Hence, as Michael Rubin points out in his AOL column, we need to "think outside the box" in order to find a solution:

Here, Iran's trade union movement provides an answer. The Bush administration missed a "Gdansk moment" in 2005 when Tehran bus driver Mansour Osanlou, the Iranian equivalent of Poland's Lech Walesa, organized the Islamic Republic's first independent trade union. Sugar processors in southwestern Iran soon followed suit.

If bus drivers and factory workers can beat the regime at a local level, imagine the pressures Tehran would face from a dozen more trade unions? If unions can force the regime to pay eight months' worth of back salaries or invest in pension schemes, then the government might not have the funds to build centrifuges and missiles.

Here, Obama, his union allies and Europe's Social Democrats have an opportunity to lead by sponsoring strike funds and assisting organizers.

Time may be short, and there's no guarantee this would work to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power. But it would be irresponsible not to try.

Using unions to foment regime change is nothing new as was proved in Eastern Europe. But that was a process that took decades to bear fruit with the AFL-CIO being recruited as early as the Kennedy administration to make contact with potential labor leaders behind the Iron Curtain and facilitate the formation of unions independent of the communist governments.

And there is no guarantee that regime change will stop Iran's drive to build nuclear weapons. Ahmadinejad has made the nuclear issue one of state sovereignty - Iran has an absolute right to control the enrichment cycle. We have heard little from the opposition to dispute that.

It's good to think out side of the box. But when there are limited options - all of them bad - there isn't much inside or outside the box that presents itself as a solution.


Hat Tip: Ed Lasky



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