Tuesday, December 6, 2011

OTPOR Youth Provided Cover for NATO War Machine; Trained by CIA to be Regime Change 'Commandos' (2000)

Bulgarian Paper Says: "CIA is Tutoring Serbian Group, Otpor"
From the Bulgarian Newspaper, The Monitor
Translated by Blagovesta Doncheva
With Commentary by Jared Israel
Originally published in Emperor's Clothes, September 8, 2000
Images and captions added by Color Revolutions and Geopolitics

Introductory note [by Jared Israel]: The following article from the Bulgarian newspaper, 'The Monitor' raises serious charges about the Yugoslav 'opposition' group, Otpor. My commentary, 'Otpor: the Message Ain't hidden Any more', follows 'The Monitor' piece. Please let me make two things clear.

First, I think Yugoslavia, like every country, needs a viable opposition. If only one view is heard, or even if only one view is credible, decay sets in. Second, I do not think Americans should meddle in Yugoslavia's internal affairs. I do not think Americans should meddle in the internal affairs of any other country. Period.

But the US is already meddling; that presents a problem. The meddling must be addressed by US citizens even though it involves a sort of interference in Yugoslavia's internal affairs.

The US has poured vast sums into destabilizing Yugoslavia. No one knows exactly how much; surely it is over $100,000,000. (1) The intent is to corrupt. How can this help but distort the Yugoslav political process, especially since draconian sanctions, imposed on Serbia by the US, have greatly multiplied the value of US dollars. Absent this bribe money and an honest opposition could develop. There could be real debate. The Yugoslavs would gain. But in the presence of vast sums, dangled to lure people, especially young people, to treason, how can there be productive political struggle? This is a crime, no less than NATO's 78 day bombing campaign. -- Jared Israel

From 'The Monitor'

"I hate to be first!" This Bruce Willis line applies to everything we at 'The Monitor' have said about the US presence in the Balkans in general and in Bulgaria in particular.

(click on image to enlarge)

Several times we've published the truth about US intrusions. We've noticed that following our exposes, events seem to proceed in a predictable fashion..

In the first stage those in power deny that anything is happening.

In the second stage they make a few admissions, though painfully.

This was the case when the Yankees demanded bases in Bulgaria. While one member of the ruling "elite" denied it, another had already admitted it. In the end everything we said proved true..

It was the same with the CIA center in Sofia, whose existence we exposed last year. And it was the same with the meetings between Yugoslav 'opposition' activists and Ambassador [Richard] Miles and his covert agents, a meeting that took place last year, in the Sheraton Hotel in Sofia.

Sheraton Hotel in Sofia, Bulgaria

"No such thing happened," Ambassador Miles said at first. He was of course lying. Later he had to admit he had shared a meal with Yugoslavs.

Ambassador Miles
Now our warning, announced while US CIA head Tenet was still in Sofia, has proved true as well.

All the pretentious analyses about the reasons for the CIA boss's visit are reduced to (and exposed as) just another brutal order to today's Bulgarian rulers - to keep selling our country's sovereignty, providing another country's spy organizations with a center for operations against a neighboring country. Yugoslavia.

The latest admission comes in the BBC report that a ten-day special course starts in Sofia today (August 28).

In that course U.S. spies will lecture and instruct Serb activists from the group "Otpor."

Lecture and instruct in what?

Will they tell them how to create the appearance of a mass movement by banging pots and pans? A CIA trade mark, accompanying its coups, this was used in Brazil in 1961, in Chile in 1973, and in Bulgaria in 1990. Or, maybe, the Serbs will be taught how to destroy and set fire to a Parliament building? That was tried in Sofia in 1997. There are many ways to destabilize a Balkan country, but the specialists from beyond the ocean don't rack their brains uselessly or rely on imagination. They strictly follow tried and true methods - it's all modular, plug and play.. If it worked before, use it again. This style of work is a matter of principle with the Great Spies.

No offense to the chimp, but here is the CIA 'template revolution' formula, demystified: "There are many ways to destabilize a Balkan country, but the specialists from beyond the ocean don't rack their brains uselessly or rely on imagination. They strictly follow tried and true methods - it's all modular, plug and play.. If it worked before, use it again."
It seems that for the U.S.A., Latin America has moved to the Balkans. And Bulgaria's ruling men and women are now no more than puppets of the same type as those colonels whom Washington used with such gusto when they colonized south of the Panama Canal. The sad thing is that both our rulers and we ourselves know full well what lies in store for those who serve as puppets and go-betweens in the US elite's dirty game...

-- 'The Monitor' 8-28-00

Otpor: The Message Isn't Hidden Anymore
[commentary by Jared Israel]

According to the Bulgarian newspaper, 'Monitor', the Yugoslav group, Otpor, is being trained by the CIA to provoke and destabilize Yugoslavia.

What exactly is this Otpor? What are its beliefs? Does it have a program?

Otpor brings the media circus to town, claiming to represent the whole of the Serbian people. And Western media 'reporters' from organizations such as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America stand ready with cameras, hopeful of convincing Serbs (and the world!) that this "people power" revolution is real.  (Serbia, March 2000)
Otpor lists some demands on its website: "Free University; Free elections; Free media." These demands suggest Otpor opposes the Yugoslav status quo. But what does Otpor stand for?

Clicking on "Who we are" doesn't help. Other than attacking Slobodan Milosevic, the closest Otpor gets to a position statement is a discussion of its cartoon-like symbol:
a revolution ...in marketing?
"The symbol of the student RESISTANCE is the clenched fist.. The fist itself is conceived as the symbol of individual initiative, that the time and energy of every single person should be invested to bring about change. This symbol of personal courage was born with the first public manifestation of RESISTANCE, a leaflet called "Bite the System". (our emphasis)
Where's the beef?

Aside from a vaguely free market-ish reference to "every single person" being "invested to bring about change" - what's the program?

The stenciled image of a clenched fist was first produced during the Harvard Strike of 1969. I was a student activist at Harvard. The fist was drawn by kids at the Graduate School of Design. It appeared on posters with a very clear list of demands: Strike to get the Reserve Officer Training Corps off campus; Strike to stop the expansion of the Harvard Medical School into working class neighborhoods. (Harvard was evicting people from their homes.) And so on. You could agree or disagree, but there was no ambiguity.

Does Otpor merely posture, imitating symbols of student protests past? Or is there a hidden message?

Sometimes you can find the message hidden in the details. Otpor's outlook emerges clearly when it describes its actions. The title of one of their web pages is: "Hey, Chief, when are you going to Hague?"

'The Hague' refers to the War Crimes Tribunal for Yugoslavia. The 'Chief', of course, is Milosevic.

Here's the text:

Anti-Milosevic poster
"On August 8th, 1999 OTPOR! activists in Nis held a birthday 'celebration' for president Slobodan Milosevic. The protesters (over 2000 citizens of Nis) had a chance to write down their birthday wishes on a big birthday-card located next to the main stage. One of the OTPOR! Activists received presents on behalf of president Milosevic. The presents included a one way ticket to Hague, prisoner cover-all's, books written by Mira Markovic (his wife), handcuffs, and a big red-star shaped cake. The cake was later given away to the protestors."
Ahh, now we're getting somewhere.

Chomsky: "Bin Laden did 9-11" We grow older; we wait
The indictment of Slobodan Milosevic by the ICTY (War Crimes Tribunal) is based on claims that Yugoslav forces under his command committed war crimes in Kosovo. This of course is the heart of NATO's justification for the 78 bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. We have argued that these accusations are lies. We are awaiting refutation. We have asked one of the accusers, Noam Chomsky, to provide evidence. We grow older; we wait.

We at Emperor's Clothes have studied the evidence and we conclude: it was NATO, not Yugoslavia which committed war crimes in Kosovo. We conclude: the ICTY's purpose is to blame the victim and thereby blunt opposition to NATO. If someone can prove we're wrong, we'll drop the issue. We defend truth, not war criminals.

It is impossible (or at least grotesquely unprincipled) to support the indictment of Milosevic unless one also supports the justification for that indictment, NATO's claim that Serbian forces deliberately murdered civilians in the village of Racak and elsewhere.

Indeed, the indictment was brought in order to provide the Western mass media with talking points to justify the attack on Yugoslavia.

Given Otpor's support for the War Crimes Tribunal, which is truly hated in Yugoslavia for its Star Chamber methods, (2) it's clearly anti-Serb purpose and its open control by and dependence on NATO (3), how much support could Otpor have in Yugoslavia?

mostly high-brow propaganda...mostly
I would suggest Otpor has precious little support inside Yugoslavia, but it is looked at with misty eyes by some people in the Serbian Diaspora, who are torn between opposition to NATO and to Milosevic, and also by certain non-Serbs, such as the editors of Z magazine, who profess opposition to NATO policy while arguing that Yugoslavia is guilty of war crimes.

Otpor appeals to these rather different groups precisely because it combines symbols of rebellion with vagueness of demands and ambiguity about who is guilty in Yugoslavia - the West and its proxy forces or "the Milosevic regime".

By the way, why is the Yugoslav government more of a 'regime' than any other government? Yugoslav political life certainly allows a greater divergence of opinion than, for example, the US where neither of the two main candidates for President seems to be aware that the US bombed a sovereign country for 78 days, or that the US is sponsoring the slaughter of civilians in Colombia. What major newspaper in the US has allowed the antiwar opposition to publish its side? Indeed, the percentage of Yugoslavs who voted for the different parties in Yugoslavia's governing coalition is probably as high as or higher than the percentage of US voters who vote for anyone in US presidential elections. But nobody talks about 'the Clinton regime' do they?
"Do you think this technique will work in Belarus?"
Getting back to Otpor, what kind of people would help the bombers of their country divert blame to their country's leaders and people? Because clearly, if Milosevic is a new Hitler, as Mr. Clinton wants us to believe, then wouldn't that make the Serbs the new Nazis? What is the word for someone who betrays his own people while they are under attack?

Perhaps the fact that the CIA is apparently training Otpor in Sofia will clarify things for people who are fooled by Otpor's image. Hopefully they will realize that Otpor's purpose is to take provocative actions in concert with US covert agents inside and outside Yugoslavia, especially around the upcoming elections. All the better if this forces the Yugoslav government to crack down. Such a crackdown, no matter if justified, could be portrayed by the Western media as proof that "the Milosevic regime" is dictatorial. The aim: to weaken antiwar feeling among ordinary people and to confuse some members of the Serbian Diaspora and some non-Serbs in the antiwar movement. 

The intended effect: to prevent organized opposition to NATO attacks on Yugoslavia.

It is most important that the antiwar movement expose this game. The CIA is apparently once more illegally meddling in Yugoslavia's internal affairs. These misguided young people are being used as a foil.

Or perhaps they are being used as a decoy. Maybe the CIA is training Otpor to be a good, wooden decoy, constructed to ambush a duck.

Maybe the hunter is NATO. Let's expose the trap.

- Jared Israel (September 8, 2000) 

Editors' Video Addendum: OTPOR co-founder Ivan Marovic at 2011 School for Authentic Journalism: