A War of Ideas?

Azar Nafisi: "In other words, the main beneficiary of an attack on Iran would be the most militaristic and reactionary elements in the Iranian ruling hierarchy." I'm afraid I don't entirely understand the counterproposal:

The most effective war against the tyrants in Iran is through giving voice to the workers asking for their rights, to women fighting for equality and to students, journalists, writers and intellectuals fighting for freedom of expression.

To miss this opportunity not only would be disastrous for the Iranian people, it would have dire consequences for the United States and the world.

I'm all for it, I think, but what would it mean in practice? It seems to me that America's practical ability to impact this situation gets overstated.