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Color Revolutions, Old and New

By       Message Stephen Lendman       (Page 1 of 5 pages)     Permalink

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In his new book, "Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in 
the New World Order," F. William Engdahl explained a new form of US
covert warfare - first played out in Belgrade, Serbia in 2000. What
appeared to be "a spontaneous and genuine political 'movement,' (in
fact) was the product of techniques" developed in America over

In the 1990s, RAND Corporation strategists developed the concept of
"swarming" to explain "communication patterns and movement of" bees
and other insects which they applied to military conflict by other
means. More on this below.

In Belgrade, key organizations were involved, including the National
Endowment for Democracy (NED), the International Republican Institute
(IRI), and National Democratic Institute. Posing as independent NGOS,
they're, in fact, US-funded organizations charged with disruptively
subverting democracy and instigating regime changes through
non-violent strikes, mass street protests, major media agitprop, and
whatever else it takes short of military conflict.

Engdahl cited Washington Post writer Michael Dobbs' first-hand account
of how the Clinton administration engineered Slobodan Milosevic's
removal after he survived the 1990s Balkan wars, 78 days of NATO
bombing in 1999, and major street uprisings against him. A $41 million
campaign was run out of American ambassador Richard Miles' office. It
involved "US-funded consultants" handling everything, including
popularity polls, "training thousands of opposition activists and
helping to organize a vitally important parallel vote count."

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Thousands of spray paint cans were used "by student activists to
scrawl anti-Milosevic graffiti on walls across Serbia," and throughout
the country around 2.5 million stickers featured the slogan "Gotov
Je," meaning "He's Finished."

Preparations included opposition leader training in nonviolent
resistance techniques at a Budapest, Hungary seminar - on matters like
"organiz(ing) strike(s), communicat(ing) with symbols....overcom(ing)
fear, (and) undermin(ing) the authority of a dictatorial regime." US
experts were in charge, incorporating RAND Corporation "swarming"

GPS satellite images were used to direct "spontaneous hit-and-run
protests (able to) elude the police or military. Meanwhile, CNN (was)
carefully pre-positioned to project images around the world of these
youthful non-violent 'protesters.' " Especially new was the use of the
Internet, including "chat rooms, instant messaging, and blog sites" as
well as cell phone verbal and SMS text-messaging, technologies only
available since the mid-1990s.

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Milosevic was deposed by a successful high-tech coup that became "the
hallmark of the US Defense policies under (Rumsfeld) at the Pentagon."
It became the civilian counterpart to his "Revolution in Military
Affairs" doctrine using "highly mobile, weaponized small groups
directed by 'real time' intelligence and communications."

Belgrade was the prototype for Washington-instigated color revolutions
to follow. Some worked. Others failed. A brief account of several
follows below.

In 2003, Georgia's bloodless "Rose Revolution" replaced Edouard
Shevardnadze with Mikhail Saakashvili, a US-installed stooge whom
Engdahl calls a "ruthless and corrupt totalitarian who is tied (not
only to) NATO (but also) the Israeli military and intelligence
establishment." Shevardnadze became a liability when he began dealing
with Russia on energy pipelines and privatizations. Efforts to replace
him played out as follows, and note the similarities to events in Iran
after claims of electoral fraud.

Georgia held parliamentary elections on November 2. Without evidence,
pro-western international observers called them unfair. Saakashvili
claimed he won. He and the united opposition called for protests and
civil disobedience. They began in mid-November in the capital Tbilisi,
then spread throughout the country. They peaked on November 22,
parliament's scheduled opening day. While it met, Saakashvili-led
supporters placed "roses" in the barrels of soldiers' rifles, seized
the parliament building, interrupted Shevardnadze's speech, and forced
him to flee for his safety.

Saakashvili declared a state of emergency, mobilized troops and
police, met with Sherardnadze and Zurab Zhvania (the former parliament
speaker and choice for new prime minister), and apparently convinced
the Georgian president to resign. Celebrations erupted. A temporary
president was installed. Georgia's Supreme Court annulled the
elections, and on January 4, 2004, Saakashvili was elected and
inaugurated president on January 25.

New parliamentary elections were held on March 28. Saakashvili's
supporters used heavy-handed tactics to gain full control with strong
US backing in plotting and executing his rise to power. US-funded NGOs
were also involved, including George Soros' Open Society Georgia
Foundation, Freedom House, NED, others tied to the Washington
establishment, and Richard Miles after leaving his Belgrade post to
serve first as ambassador to Bulgaria from 1999 - 2002, then Georgia
from 2002 - 2005 to perform the same service there as against

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Ukraine's "Orange Revolution" followed a similar pattern to Georgia
and now Iran. After Viktor Yanukovych won the November 21, 2004
run-off election against Viktor Yushchenko, it erupted following
unsubstantiated claims of fraud. Yanukovych favored openness to the
West but represented a pro-Russian constituency and was cool towards
joining NATO. Washington backed Yushchenko, a former governor of
Ukraine's Central Bank whose wife was a US citizen and former official
in the Reagan and GHW Bush administrations. He favored NATO and EU
membership and waged a campaign with the color orange prominently

The media picked up on it and touted his "Orange Revolution" against
the country's Moscow-backed old guard. Mass street protests were
organized as well as civil disobedience, sit-ins and general strikes.
They succeeded when Ukraine's Supreme Court annulled the run-off
result and ordered a new election for December 26, 2004. Yushchenko
won and was inaugurated on January 23, 2005.

In his book, "Full Spectrum Dominance," Engdahl explained how the
process played out. Under the slogan "Pora (It's Time)," people who
helped organize Georgia's "Rose Revolution" were brought in to consult
"on techniques of non-violent struggle." The Washington-based Rock
Creek Creative PR firm was instrumental in branding the "Orange
Revolution" around a pro-Yushchenko web site featuring that color
theme. The US State Department spent around $20 million dollars to
turn Yanukovych's victory into one for Yushchenko with help from the
same NGOs behind Georgia's "Rose Revolution" and others.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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