Otpor! leader was working for Stratfor, by Voltaire Network

Otpor! leader was working for Stratfor, by Voltaire Network

Postby admin » Tue May 16, 2017 11:59 pm

Otpor! leader was working for Stratfor
by Voltaire Network
December 5, 2013

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Srda Popovic—one of the founding members of Otpor! (the group that organized the coloured revolution in Serbia) and the current director general of CANVAS (the group that trains activists throughout the world with the aim of promoting coloured revolutions)—and his wife were Stratfor employees, a private intelligence firm based in Texas.

According to Carl Gibson and Steve Horn, who scrutinized the Stratfor e-mails outed by Wikileaks and have verified the facts with those concerned, Srda Popovic had secretly passed on to Stratfor his list of addresses plus a copy of his e-mails. Consequently, the firm was able to make contact and spy on all sorts of activist organizations and, when necessary, forewarn it’s clients (multinationals) of the operations being prepared against them.

Furthermore, Srda Popovic counselled the firm, notably by elaborating a plan for unseating Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

Otpor! and CANVAS are ’’non-violent’’ organizations, supported by NATO to overthrow governments for the benefit of CIA-sponsored teams [1].

“Exposed: Globally Renowned Activist Collaborated With Intelligence Firm Stratfor”, by Carl Gibson and Steve Horn,Occupy.com, December 2nd 2013.


Translation: Alizée Ville

_______________

Notes:

[1] « The Albert Einstein Institution: non-violence according to the CIA », by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, June 4th 2007.
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Re: Otpor! leader was working for Stratfor, by Voltaire Netw

Postby admin » Wed May 17, 2017 12:03 am

Globally Renowned Activist Collaborated with Intelligence Firm Stratfor
by Carl Gibson and Steve Horn
December 2, 2013

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


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Serbia’s Srdja Popovic is known by many as a leading architect of regime changes in Eastern Europe and elsewhere since the late-1990s, and as one of the co-founders of Otpor!, the U.S.-funded Serbian activist group which overthrew Slobodan Milošević in 2000.

Lesser known, an exclusive Occupy.com investigation reveals that Popovic and the Otpor! offshoot CANVAS (Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies) have also maintained close ties with a Goldman Sachs executive and the private intelligence firm Stratfor (Strategic Forecasting, Inc.), as well as the U.S. government. Popovic’s wife also worked at Stratfor for a year.

These revelations come in the aftermath of thousands of new emails released by Wikileaks' “Global Intelligence Files.”
The emails reveal Popovic worked closely with Stratfor, an Austin, Texas-based private firm that gathers intelligence on geopolitical events and activists for clients ranging from the American Petroleum Institute and Archer Daniels Midland to Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, Northrop Grumman, Intel and Coca-Cola.

Referred to in emails under the moniker “SR501,” Popovic was first approached by Stratfor in 2007 to give a lecture in the firm's office about events transpiring in Eastern Europe, according to a Stratfor source who asked to remain confidential for this story.

In one of the emails, Popovic forwarded information about activists harmed or killed by the U.S.-armed Bahraini government, obtained from the Bahrain Center for Human Rights during the regime’s crackdown on pro-democracy activists in fall 2011. Popovic also penned a blueprint for Stratfor on how to unseat the now-deceased Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in September 2010.

Stratfor’s Global Activist Connector

Using his celebrated activist status, Popovic opened many doors for Stratfor to meet with activists globally. In turn, the information Stratfor intended to gain from Popovic’s contacts would serve as “actionable intelligence” — the firm billed itself as a “Shadow CIA” — for its corporate clients.

Popovic passed information to Stratfor about on-the-ground activist events in countries around the world, ranging from the Philippines, Libya, Tunisia, Vietnam, Iran, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Tibet, Zimbabwe, Poland and Belarus, Georgia, Bahrain, Venezuela and Malaysia. Often, the emails reveal, Popovic passed on the information to Stratfor without the consent of the activists and likely without the activists ever knowing that their emails were being shuttled to the private security firm.

In the U.S., this investigation's co-author, Carl Gibson (representing US Uncut), and the Yes Men’s Andy Bichlbaum had a meeting with Popovic shortly after their two respective groups used a media hoax to play a prank on General Electric, ridiculing the company over its non-payment of U.S. taxes.

The pair gave Popovic information about both groups’ plans for the coming year and news later came out that Stratfor closely monitored the Yes Men’s activities.
(The below photograph taken by Bichlbaum in April 2011 shows Popovic (L) and US Uncut’s Carl Gibson.)

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During the Arab Spring, in Egypt in January 2011, Popovic received an interview invitation for an appearance on CNN. The first people he turned to for talking points were Stratfor employees, who provided him with five talking points to lead with.

Stratfor said Popovic’s main use for the firm was his vast array of grassroots activist contacts around the world.

“A little reminder that the main utility in this contact is his ability to connect us to the troublemakers around the world that he is in touch with. His own ability to discern situation on the ground may be limited, he mainly has initial contact with an asset and then lets them do their own thing,” reads a May 2010 email written by former Stratfor Eurasia Analyst Marko Papic. “He does himself have information that may be useful from time to time. But, the idea is to gather a network of contacts through CANVAS, contacts that we can then contact independently.”

Popovic was so well-received by Stratfor that he even got his wife, Marijah, a job there. She worked for a year from March 2010 through March 2011 as the weekend open source intelligence analyst at Stratfor. The other candidate for the job, Jelena Tancic, also worked for CANVAS.

“The Canvas guy [Popovic] is a friend/source [for Stratfor], and recommended her to us,” Stratfor’s Vice President of Analysis Scott Stewart said in a March 2010 email, leaving out that the two were dating at the time.

Popovic and his wife grew so close to Stratfor, in fact, that Popovic invited numerous members of the Stratfor staff to their wedding in Belgrade, Serbia.

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Helping Stratfor Manufacture Revolutions

Stratfor saw Popovic’s main value not only as a source for intelligence on global revolutionary and activist movements, but also as someone who, if needed, could help overthrow leaders of countries hostile to U.S. geopolitical and financial interests. So useful was Popovic to Stratfor that the firm gave him a free subscription, dubbed “legit sources we use all the time as a company” by Papic.

In a June 2011 email, Papic referred to Popovic as a “great friend” of his and described him as a “Serb activist who travels the world fomenting revolution.”

“They...basically go around the world trying to topple dictators and autocratic governments (ones that U.S. does not like; ),” Papic says in one email. Replying to a follow up to that email, he states, “They just go and set up shop in a country and try to bring the government down. When used properly, more powerful than an aircraft carrier battle group.”


In response to the “aircraft battle group” email, Stratfor Vice President of Intelligence Fred Burton sardonically said that perhaps they could be sent into Iran. Emails also reveal Popovic served as an information source intermediary for on-the-ground activists in Iran, also informing Stratfor of the funding struggle for “democracy programs” there, as the U.S. government pushed a “soft power” agenda.

Another March 2010 email from Stewart to Burton said that CANVAS was “trying to get rid of Chavez,” referring to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. In 2007, CANVAS trained activists to overthrow Chavez.

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“If I remember correctly, we use hushmail communication to contact him regarding Venezuela due to the sensitivity of using a revolutionary NGO as a source considering we have clients who operate in country,” Papic said in a January 2011 email of Popovic.

Stratfor grew so enamored of CANVAS’s ability to foment regime change abroad that it invited Popovic to its Austin headquarters in 2010 to give seminars on the subject, and paid for his trip there.

CANVAS’s Goldman Sachs Cash

One of CANVAS’s major allies is Muneer Satter, a former Goldman Sachs executive who stepped down from that position in June 2012 and now owns Satter Investment Management LLC. Stratfor CEO Shea Morenz worked for ten years at Goldman Sachs as well, where he served as Managing Director in the Investment Management Division and Region Head for Private Wealth Management for the Southwest Region.

Satter is meanwhile a major funder of the Republican Party, giving over $300,000 to Karl Rove’s Super PAC Crossroads GPS before the 2012 election, and another $100,000 to the Republican Governors Association in the first half of 2013 prior to the 2014 mid-term elections.

Living in a massive, $9.5 million mansion in Chicago's North Shore suburb of Lake Michigan, Muneer also gave $50,000 toward President Obama’s inaugural fund in 2009.

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When it came time to connect Muneer with the global intelligence firm, Popovic served as the middle man introducing Satter to Stratfor Chairman George Friedman.

"Whenever I want to understand the details behind world events, I turn to Stratfor,” reads an endorsement from Satter on Stratfor's website. “They have the most detailed and insightful analysis of world affairs and are miles ahead of mainstream media."

Otpor!: A Counter-History

To understand how Popovic came to aide Stratfor in its intelligence-gathering efforts, it’s crucial to examine Otpor! and CANVAS critically. A close examination demonstrates that Popovic was a natural choice to be a Stratfor informant and close advisor.

Often valorized by grassroots activists and Western media, there was far more to the “Bulldozer Revolution” that led to the overthrow of Milošević and subsequent Eastern European regimes than meets the eye.

“In principle, [Serbia] was an overt operation, funded by congressional appropriations of around $10 million for fiscal 1999 and $31 million for 2000. Some Americans involved in the anti-Milosevic effort said they were aware of CIA activity at the fringes of the campaign, but had trouble finding out what the agency was up to,” explained a 2000 investigative piece appearing in The Washington Post.

“The lead role was taken by the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, the government's foreign assistance agency, which channeled the funds through commercial contractors and nonprofit groups such as NDI and its Republican counterpart, the International Republican Institute (IRI).”


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Papic’s statement about CANVAS being “more powerful than an aircraft carrier” wasn’t mere hyperbole, but was based on the Otpor! Serbia experience in the late-1990s.

“In fact between 1997 and 2000 the National Endowment for Democracy and US government may have accomplished what NATO’s 37,000 bombing sorties had been unable to do: oust Milosevic, replace him with their favoured candidate Vojislav Kostunica and promote a neoliberal vision for Serbia,” independent scholar Michael Barker wrote for Z Magazine. “In much the same way as corporate front groups and astroturf groups recruit genuinely committed supporters, strategically useful social movements can potentially dominate civil society when provided with the right resources (massive financial and professional backing).”

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Otpor! was so successful that it was ushered into Ukraine to help manufacture regime change there in 2004, using the template applied originally in Serbia with $65 million in cash from the U.S. government.

"We trained them in how to set up an organization, how to open local chapters, how to create a 'brand,' how to create a logo, symbols, and key messages," an Otpor! activist told U.S.-funded media outlet Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty. "We trained them in how to identify the key weaknesses in society and what people's most pressing problems were—what might be a motivating factor for people, and above all young people, to go to the ballot box and in this way shape their own destiny."

The overthrow of Milošević was accompanied by U.S.-funding for the creation of a robust media apparatus in Serbia, and Popovic’s wife worked at one of the U.S.-funded radio and TV outlets as a journalist and anchor B92 from 2004-2009.

“By helping Radio B92 and linking it with a network of radio stations (ANEM), international assistance undermined the regime’s direct and indirect control over news and information,” a January 2004 policy paper released by USAID explained. “In Serbia, independent media supported by USAID and other international donors facilitated the regime change.”

Critics point out that what happened in Eastern Europe was regime change, not revolution in any real sense of the term.

“[They] were not revolutions at all; actually, they were little more than intra-elite power transfers,’” Portland State University Professor of Urban Studies and Planning, Gerald Sussman, explained in his book, “Branding Democracy: U.S. Regime Change in Post-Soviet Eastern Europe.”


“Modern tactics of electioneering were employed to cast regime change as populist, which took advantage of the unstable and vulnerable situations in those regions following the breakup of the Soviet Union,” he wrote.

Given Otpor!’s ties to powerful factions in the U.S. government, perhaps it’s unsurprising that Popovic felt comfortable giving a lecture to the Air Force Academy in May 2010, and attending a National Security Council meeting in December 2009.

A powerful individual who lobbied the U.S. government to give money to CANVAS early on was Michael McFaul, the current U.S. Ambassador to Russia for the State Department and someone who “worked closely with” Popovic while serving as a Senior Fellow at the right-wing Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Critics Chime In, Popovic Responds

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Maryam Alkhawaja, director of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, said she had known Popovic for several years as an activist and had no knowledge of his outside relationships before the Wikileaks release of Stratfor emails.

“Srdja is someone I’ve met more than once. He was very supportive of the Bahrain revolution, supportive of the human rights fight,” Alkhawaja said in a phone interview. “When he gave me their information, that’s what surprised me the most.”

Alkhawaja said that at the time she wasn’t aware of what kind of firm Stratfor was, but she became immediately suspicious after reading Stratfor’s questions to her. She never corresponded with Stratfor due to what she felt was the suspicious nature of the emails coming from the firm.

“It was a series of really weird intelligence agency-like questions, given that they knew I was working in a human rights group. They were asking questions like, who’s funding the party coalition, how many members do they have, questions that even I didn’t know the answers to,” she said. “The fact that they asked questions like that, made me question the motive behind the email I received. Thats why I never responded.”

“Whenever we get emails like that or were contacted by people who seemed very interested in asking intelligence agency-like questions, we usually block them, because we know they probably work for the government,” Alkhawaja continued. “Journalists know the kind of work we do so they wouldn’t ask those questions in the first place. I just found the email very weird and thats why I actually never responded.”

In a Skype interview, one of Otpor!’s co-founders, who left the movement and asked to maintain his confidentiality, said his primary concern from the Wikileaks emails was that Popovic was giving out activists’ information to a third party without their prior consent.

An interview with Popovic sang a different tune about CANVAS. He stated, “We definitely wouldn’t jeopardize any of our activists' safety, so we always follow their lead and never expose them to anybody without their consent.”

Popovic also said CANVAS would speak to anyone and everyone—without any discrimination—about nonviolent direct action.

“CANVAS will present anywhere — to those committed to activism and nonviolent struggle, but also to those who still live in the Cold War era and think that tanks and planes and nukes shape the world, not the common people leading popular movements,” he said.

“If we can persuade any decision maker in the world, in Washington, Kremlin, Tel Aviv or Damascus that it is nonviolent struggle that they should embrace and respect –- not foreign military intervention, or oppression over own population -– we would do that.”

Yet, given Popovic’s track-record—and specifically, who buttered his bread during the long professional career he pursued in activism—critics say Popovic fit like a glove at Stratfor.

“A group of Serbs cannot lead a protest movement anywhere outside Serbia, but his techniques are nonetheless instrumental in helping achieve certain political aims,” Professor Sussman said in an interview. “He also serves as an intelligence gatherer in the process—of use to private and state intelligence agencies. That's what Stratfor saw as his use.”

Carl Gibson, is a spokesman and organizer for US Uncut, a nonviolent, creative direct-action movement to stop budget cuts by getting corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. Contact Carl on the Commons or read his other articles on occupy.com.
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Re: Otpor! leader was working for Stratfor, by Voltaire Netw

Postby admin » Wed May 17, 2017 12:46 am

The Albert Einstein Institution: non-violence according to the CIA
by Thierry Meyssan
Voltaire Network
January 4, 2005

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Non violence as a political action technique can be used for anything. During the 1980s, NATO drew its attention on its possible use to organize the Resistance in Europe after the invasion of the Red Army. It’s been 15 years since CIA began using it to overthrow inflexible governments without provoking international outrage, and its ideological façade is philosopher Gene Sharp’s Albert Einstein Institution. Voltaire Network reveals its amazing activity, from Lithuania to Serbia, Venezuela and Ukraine.

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Unknown to the public, Gene Sharp formulated a theory on non violence as a political weapon. Also he first helped NATO and then CIA train the leaders of the soft coups of the last 15 years. Since the 50s, Gene Sharp studied Henry D. Thoreau and Mohandas K. Gandhi’s theory of civil disobedience. For these authors, obedience and disobedience were religious and moral matters, not political ones. However, to preach had political consequences; what could be considered an aim could be perceived as a mean. Civil disobedience can be considered then as a political, even military, action technique.

In 1983, Sharp designed the Non Violent Sanctions Program in the Center for International Affairs of Harvard University where he did some social sciences studies on the possible use of civil disobedience by Western Europe population in case of a military invasion carried out by the troops of the Warsaw Pact. At the same time, he founded in Boston the Albert Einstein Institution with the double purpose of financing his own researches and applying his own models to specific situations. In 1985, he published a book titled "Making Europe Unconquerable " [1] whose second edition included a preface by George Kennan, the Father of the Cold War. In 1987, the association was funded by the U.S. Institute for Peace and hosted seminars to instruct its allies on defense based on civil disobedience. General Fricaud-Chagnaud, on his part, introduced his "civil deterrence" concept at the Foundation of National Defense Studies. [2]

General Edward B Atkeson, seconded by the US Army to the Director of the CIA, [3] integrates the institute into the apparatus of the US stay-behind network interfering in the affairs of allied states. Focusing on the morality of the means of action avoids debate on the legitimacy of the action. Non-violence, accepted as good in itself and an integral part of democracy, facilitates whitewashing of covert actions which are intrinsically non-democratic.

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Gene Sharp

In 1989, when the Albert Institution became well known, Gene Sharp began to advise anticommunist movements. He participated in the establishment of Burma’s Democratic Alliance -- a coalition of notable anticommunists that quickly joined the military government -- and Taiwan’s Progressive Democratic Party -- which favored the independence of the island from communist China, something U.S. officially opposed. He also unified the Tibetan opposition under Dalai Lama and tried to form a dissident group within PLO so that Palestinian nationalists would stop terrorism [4] (he made the necessary arrangements with Colonel Reuven Gal, [5] director of the Psychological Action division of the Israeli armed forces, to train them secretly in the American Embassy in Tel Aviv).

When CIA realized how useful could the Albert Einstein Institution be, it brought Colonel Robert Helvey into play. An expert in clandestine actions and former dean of the Embassies’s Military Attachés Training School, "Bob" took Gene Sharp to Burma to educate the opposition on the non violent strategy for criticizing the cruelest military junta of the world without questioning the system. By doing this, Helvey could identify the "good" and the "bad" opponents in a critical moment for Washington: the true opposition, led by Mrs. Suu Kyi, was labeled as a threat to the pro-American regimen.

"Bob’s" job was easily done. Since he was military attaché in Rangoon from 1983 to 1985 and helped to structure the dictatorship, he knew everybody. By playing a double game, Colonel Helvey simultaneously directed a classical action of military support to Karen resistance: by providing weapons and controlling a limited guerrilla, Washington wished, indeed, to maintain the military junta under pressure.

Since that moment, Sharp has always been present everywhere American interests are put at risk. In June 1989, he and his assistant, Bruce Jenkins, went to Beijing, two weeks before Tiananmen events. They were both expelled by Chinese authorities. In February 1990, the Albert Einstein Institution hosted a Conference on Non Violent Sanctions that brought together 185 experts of 16 countries under Colonels Robert Helvey and Reuven Gal. This marked the beginning of an international anticommunist crusade to involve peoples in non violent action.

Professor Thomas Schelling, [6] well known economist and CIA consultant, joined the Administrative Council of the Institution whose official budget was still stable though it was also funded by the International Republican Institute (IRI), one of the four branches of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED/CIA). [7]

At the same time, Baltic countries proclaimed their independence but, after a test of endurance with Mijail Gorbatchov [Mikhail Gorbachev], they postponed their decision for 2 or 3 years to negotiate their terms. In October 1990, Gene Sharp and his team traveled to Sweden and trained several Lithuanian politicians in the organization of a popular resistance against the Red Army. Months later, in May 1991, when the crisis broke out and Gorbatchov deployed his special forces; Gene Sharp was the adviser of Sajudis separatist party (Perestroika Initiative Group) and remained close to Vytautas Landsbergis. In June 1992, independent Lithuania Minister of Defense, Audrius Butkevicius, hosted a symposium to thank Albert Einstein Institution’s key role during the independence process of the Baltic countries.

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Srdja Popovic (left), Serbian leader of the Otpor movement, Gene Sharp (center) and Robert Helvey

When the U.S began its rearmament in 1998, [8] the Albert Einstein Institution became part of an expansionist strategy. It provided ideology and technique to Otpor ("Resistance"), a group of Slobodan Milosevic’s young opponents. Simultaneously, it intervened in Kosovo province to train Ibrahim Rugova’s LDK, but it turned useless for Washington during the Kosovo war. Then, Otpor quickly became a choice to overthrow Milosevic who was very popular for resisting NATO. Colonel Helvey trained Otpor’s leaders through seminars hosted at Hilton Hotel in Budapest. Money was not a problem to overthrow Europe’s last communist government. The person in charge of commanding the operation was agent Paul B. McCarthy, discreetly settled at Moskva hotel in Belgrade until Milosevic’s resignation in October 2000.

In September 2002, Gene Sharp went to The Hague to train the members of the Iraqi National Council who were preparing themselves to return to Iraq, along with the American army.

In September 2003, it was also the Albert Einstein Institution who advised the opposition to question the electoral results and go on demonstrations to force Eduard Shevardnadze’s resignation [9] during the "revolution" of the roses in Georgia.

When the CIA-organized-coup against Venezuela failed in April 2002, the State Department counted again on the Albert Einstein Institution which advised the owners of enterprises during the organization of the revocatory referendum against President Hugo Chávez. Gene Sharp and his team led the leaders of Súmate during the demonstrations of August 2004. As done before, the only thing they had to do was questioning the electoral results and demanding the resignation of the president. They managed to get the bourgeoisie out in the street but Chavez’s popular government was too strong. All in all, international observers had no other choice but to recognize Hugo Chávez’s victory.

Gene Sharp failed in Belarus and Zimbabwe for he could not recruit and train in the proper time the necessary amount of demonstrators. During the orange "revolution" in November 2004, [10] we met again with Colonel Robert Helvey in Kiev. Finally, we must point out that the Albert Einstein Institution has begun to train Iranian agitators.

But, why Albert Einstein? It is an unsuspicious name. Gene Sharp’s first book on Gandhi’s methods began with a preface signed by Albert Einstein, though the book was written in 1960, five years after the genius’s death. Therefore, Albert Einstein did not write anything for Sharp’s work. All that Sharp did was reproducing an article on non violence written by the scientist.

Thierry Meyssan

Attached documents: Open letter from Gene Sharp to Thierry Meyssan (June 12, 2007).

The Albert Einstein Institution
P.O. Box 455
East Boston, MA 02128 USA
tel: 617-247-4882
fax: 617-247-4035
e-mail: einstein@igc.org
http://www.aeinstein.org

CORRECTIONS

An open letter from Gene Sharp

June 12, 2007

Dear M. Thierry Meyssan,

I am Gene Sharp, Senior Scholar of the Albert Einstein Institution. You wrote about us in January 2005.

We appreciate attention to the technique of nonviolent action, or as I prefer to call it, nonviolent struggle.

In a world of so much violence and injustice, it is crucial that people have access to information about a different means of conducting conflicts and struggling against oppression. No one should, for lack of accurate information, or exposure to inaccurate information, believe that passive submission to oppression and injustices is the only alternative to resort to greater violence.

Your presentation of this technique in the International Edition of Voltaire 4 January 2005 is a prime example of inaccuracies about nonviolent action and about myself. Why and how this came to be is somewhat puzzling. Perhaps you were given false information.

Your article contains so many inaccuracies that it is surprising to me that some people can believe much of its contents. It appears, however, that some do. That will have serious consequences to the detriment of future events. Therefore, I feel obliged to point out some of the factual errors that you have presented.

Nonviolent action is a technique for conducting conflicts, as is military warfare, parliamentary government, and guerrilla warfare. This technique uses psychological, social, economic, and political methods. This technique has been used for a variety of objectives, both “good” and “bad” ones. It has been used both to change governments and to support governments against attacks.

Nonviolent struggle provides realistic alternatives to violence by which people can lift oppression and confront and defeat violence against themselves. Nonviolent struggle is not magical and does not easily produce miracles. However, if used wisely with understanding and good judgement, it can be of great benefit to humanity, in ways compatible with freedom and justice.

The Albert Einstein Institution receives no funding from any government, including the United States. The Albert Einstein Institution has no government funders or masters. I have never worked for NATO. I have never worked for the CIA or received money from it. When writing my doctoral dissertation for Oxford University in the 1960s I did indirectly receive partial financial support from the Department of Defense through a grant to a Harvard University professor, as acknowledged in my Preface to The Politics of Nonviolent Action.

The Albert Einstein Institution neither creates conflicts, nor becomes a participant in a conflict once one exists, nor does it take ideological sides in conflicts. It simply conducts research, generic policy studies, and education.


The term “soft coups” is erroneous and distorting. More accurate are the terms “nonviolent action,” “nonviolent struggle,” or “people power.” “Soft coup” links this type of action to the very different anti-democratic coups d’état by military, political, or intelligence groups. Coups are one of the main ways dictatorships are established.

I have studied Mohandas K. Gandhi in depth, and have written two books about his work. The first, printed finally in 1960, was completed when I lived in Brooklyn in February 1953. It carries a Foreword by Albert Einstein, who wrote it in 1953 at my invitation before I was imprisoned as a conscientious objector to military conscription. This is documented in Einstein on Peace, edited by Otto Nathan and Heinz Norden.

I did study Henry David Thoreau and wrote an Introduction to his essay on civil disobedience. However, that was a very minor part of my studies.

Many of the sources of my doctoral studies in political theory at Oxford University are footnoted in my 1973 book The Politics of Nonviolent Action, that was based on my 1968 doctoral thesis. However, the references to political theorists do not include additional important studies that I did on dictatorships, totalitarianism, coups d’état and other forms of conflict.

I did hold research appointments for nearly thirty years at Harvard University, primarily in the Center for International Affairs. and for several years directed a Program on Nonviolent Sanctions in Conflict and Defense. I also founded the independent Albert Einstein Institution in 1983. I am Professor Emeritus of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. I also taught at the Institute of Philosophy and the History of Ideas of the University of Oslo in Norway.

I have by invitation met with a variety of groups facing acute conflicts to share with them information about the nature of nonviolent action, and to explore its significance and potential as an alternative to violence in struggles for greater freedom and justice.

However, as Albert Einstein Institution policy, we never tell people facing conflicts in another country what they should do. We can provide knowledge and understanding when requested. We stress the importance of careful study, independent thinking, and self-determination. We do not know other countries in depth and therefore, by offering detailed advice, we could make serious errors. What people in other countries decide to do is their responsibility and prerogative.

In this educational and consultative work we have never had the backing of any agency of the United States government and have not conducted courses in any US embassy.

We did go to Beijing in 1989, but the purpose was only to learn why the students were employing nonviolent protests. We gave no advice to anyone about what the students should do. We were not expelled, but left voluntarily after the massacre when we could no longer conduct interviews.


Your article attributes opinions and activities to several other persons that are not accurate or relevant.

Your statements on my contacts with Sweden and the three Baltic countries are not accurate. Our main influence in the Baltic countries was through page proofs of the then forthcoming Princeton University Press book Civilian-Based Defense: A Post-Military Weapons System. We did meet with defense officials of the pro-independence Baltic governments, but did not tell them what they should do.

I have never met members of the Iraqi National Council and never “trained” them anywhere. The Albert Einstein Institution did not advise opposition to the Shevardnadze government in Georgia.
They did have access to my booklet “From Dictatorship to Democracy,” in Georgia but we only learned this after the struggle was complete. This essay is also available in twenty-seven translations, on web sites or in print, including the languages of Eritrea, the Maldives, Nepal, and other countries, always at the request of people in those countries and even though we had almost no money to facilitate this. The subtitle of that booklet is generic, “A Conceptual Framework for Liberation.

I do not know your motivation for attacking me and the Albert Einstein Institution. You may find my publication list and biographical notes on our website: www. aeinstein.org When you include falsehoods in your comments, you lose credibility. If you offer corrections to errors in earlier writings your stature will grow.

Regretfully,

Gene Sharp


Notes:

[1] Making Europe Unconquerable: The Potential of Civilian-based Deterrence and Defense. Taylor & Francis Publishing House, London, 1985. Its second edition included a preface by George F. Kennan, Ballinger Publishing House, Massachusetts, 1986.

[2] General Georges Fricaud Chagnaud had been military attaché at the Embassy of France in Washington, and some time later he was appointed Chief of NATO’s French military mission.

[3] General Edward B. Atkeson is currently a CSIS expert and manager of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO).

[4] Mubarak Awad, one of the agents formed by Sharp, is currently (January 2005) in charge of the American aid sent to Indonesia after the tsunami.

[5] Nowadays, Colonel Reuven Gal is deputy head of the National Security Council of Israel in charge of molding Palestine society.

[6] In March 2004, Thomas Schelling was one of the drafters of the Copenhagen Consensus. Sponsored by The Economist, this document questioned the UN Millenium Program and the Kyoto Protocol. Mr. Schelling formulated a theoretical model which suggested that economic growth is the best way to combat global warming for, in the future, it should guarantee the development of the necessary techniques to solve the problem.

[7] Thierry Meyssan : "The Networks of “Democratic” Interference", Voltaire (text in French), November 21, 2004.

[8] In 1998 and despite the lack of enemy, the Congress forced President Clinton to implement a rearmament policy.

[9] See Paul Labarique : "Les dessous du coup d’État en Géorgie", text in French, Voltaire, January 7, 2004.

[10] See Emilia Nazarenko: "Moscow and Washington confronting each other in Ukraine", Voltaire (Text in French), November 1st, 2004. This article was published by Red Voltaire before the first part of the presidential elections and described the organization of the pretended spontaneous movement of the following weeks.

Thierry Meyssan Political consultant, President-founder of the Réseau Voltaire (Voltaire Network). Latest work in French – Sous nos Yeux. Du 11-Septembre à Donald Trump (Right Before our Eyes. From 9/11 to Donald Trump).
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