Color Revolutions, Old and New

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research, July 1, 2009

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 decades.

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.”

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” concepts.

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.

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.

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