Mar 25, 2019 @ 15:46 – I had the opportunity to share my analysis on a sensational episode of Sputnik radio’s popular podcast ‘Trendstorm‘, hosted by Andrew Korybko, on the events now underway in Serbia. The podcast can be heard in the bar right below:
What you hear are two sides of a story, the first, my own, explaining the Western plot to remove Vucic. The other, you hear, are the talking points being used by the US backed ultra-nationalist opposition.
I explain my points succinctly enough in the podcast, what comes here is a deeper discussion of both sides of the debate.
I’m very glad the opposition spokesperson, whom I knew personally and worked alongside of in a few projects, was given the rope to hang himself on this podcast. He also perfectly represented every tactic in the talking points that I have been writing about for a number of years, and in that sense is an excellent text-book example.
I can’t speak for Mr. Korybko but I believe his introductory and summary comments for both interviews expresses his view in his own words, which are ones I recognized at least, as identical to my own.
You’ll note that I speak in terms of dynamic processes, give hard facts and statistics, whereas the opposition spokesperson speaks in vague and emotional terms, and then devolves into insubstantial anecdotal remarks about this or that person who the government arrested after they incited a group of protesters to storm the government TV station and then the president’s own residence – these are not ‘peaceful protest’ actions, but violent actions meant to seize from the public something they have voted for, and these are violent acts which destabilize not only the government but the state.
The opposition spokesperson also made reference to some ‘fire’ that was set allegedly by government ‘agents’ – we contacted both Trendstorm and had our legal department (of CSS) also make media inquiries, before making the following statement:
The only reports of any ‘fire’ in the last week in the country of Serbia, is a report from the northern city of Novi Sad that someone smelled smoke, but responders found no fire. It’s normal for people to burn garbage in Serbia, incidentally.
But on the face of this, this idea that the Serbian government would have to, or would think it would need to, rely on these types of cartoon-villain methods to govern the country and crack-down on law-breaking riot inciters, is beyond the pale of credibility. There are numerous tools at any ostensibly repressive government’s disposal, such as tax audits, normal police harassment (being targeted excessively by traffic police), business license ‘problems’ and so forth.
In 1st world countries, and countries with considerable hegemony, there is a government and a state. In such case, we can say that the state is held together by the deep state, which exists above and beyond the role of government. But in countries that are trying to build sovereignty, that have been largely under foreign control, or which have been weakened considerably, it is a different story. In this case, the state and government function practically as one. Whoever controls the government, will be able to, with the right moves and support and in short time, come to control the state. This is because things like banking institutions and global intelligence networks which control the ‘state’ (effectively, deep state) of a third tier sovereign country like Serbia, can only be mitigated and challenged in any way if the popularly elected government can penetrate into the state.
Because Serbia has already had a Color Revolution in 1999/2000 following the US bombing of its Capital Belgrade in the Spring of 1999, the strategy to pull off a color revolution in a country that’s already had one, has to take that into account in terms of how to accommodate the organizing tactics and talking points to popular and living memory of those events.
Few Serbians today are unaware that OTPOR! was a US backed movement, it’s no longer a question of conspiracy but a matter of open and readable financial statements, testimonies, official US statements, and the overt support from George Soros, USAID and the NED, and so forth. The historical record is clear and not debated by anyone except a few hold-out members and supporters of OTPOR like opposition leader Vuk Jeremic, and the older brother/cousin of the opposition representative (and himself) in the Trendstorm interview.
What the opposition spokesperson fails to reveal in the interview is that they themselves supported the removal of Milosevic, and are OTPOR! sympathizers and are related to the inner circle of organizers by blood.
Because much of the global Color Revolution phenomenon was trotted out first here in Serbia where its pro-western and western-backed planners like Popovic’s ‘OTPOR!’ , now called ‘CANVAS’, experts from Serbia under Popovic’s CANVAS group were openly organizing in Syria, Egypt, and Libya, to name a few.
They operate in many countries under an alphabet soup of western and pro-western NGO’s, and simply operate to keep a status quo they are happy with, or to organize to strike when the iron is hot, as we see now underway in Algeria.
The most confusing thing for most people at first glance, is the human need to either sanctify or vilify a leader being targeted for removal by the US using the Color/Spring tactic. They will not find a saint in any of the people that the US is trying to remove, depending on how people grade these things and understand real-existing relationships and the management of power under conditions of chaos. Therefore, people polarize it, and want to find the opposition as sanctified. Confronted with the reality that we do not live in a world run by or opposed by saints, we have to look at the real, practical, geopolitical, and internal factors which lend us to understanding whether a given protest movement is entirely legitimate, or is having its legitimacy high-jacked and re-directed towards the aims of Atlanticist imperialism, or finally, was entirely concocted from the start through the problem-reaction-solution process (entirely illegitimate).
In the last case, this is where the grievances are extraordinarily exaggerated by the western backed groups, or when the grievances are at face value legitimate, but upon looking it is easily discernible that the primary problems the government is facing are those being imposed by the very same forces that are supporting the opposition.
These events take the shape of a Color Revolution, for reasons I lay out in the interview and in a score of articles over the last three years, as this process has been underway for sometime. The two factions being supported by the U.S to carry out a coup against the democratically elected government of Vucic and his Progressive Party in coalition with the Socialist Party, are the ultra nationalists such as Dveri and the liberal extremists led by Vuk Jeremic’s ‘People’s Party. This is a ‘winning strategy’ employed by the U.S in post-soviet states, the alliance of liberals and nationalists, as seen for example in Ukraine.
There has been a strong attempt to forge a single ‘liberal-conservative’ ideology to tie together the liberal and nationalist wings of this otherwise divided opposition, even though the moderate tendencies of nationalism and liberalism are already represented within Vucic’s own government.
This episode of Trendstorm was particularly interesting because it offered two perspectives, the other being a representative of the ‘liberal nationalist’ opposition, and here is why it is indeed very interesting.
All of the statements made by the other guest were all text-book talking points of prepared speakers whose job it is to promote the color revolution. The general framework is to delegitimize the government when it engages in entirely rational and necessary public safety, and constitutional measures.
The aim of these ‘non-violent protests’ which are indeed quite violent indeed, is for the protesters to commit violence against the public – by blocking public passage ways, etc., storming public government buildings where the constitutional functions of the duly elected government must take place, and in so doing, to force the hand of the gendarmerie to protect the public from a violent and mis-representative minority who only claims to represent a fictitious majority position.
Serbian opposition engaged in the non-violent protests of knocking over police lines and storming the president’s residence.
Obradović,Đilas i Jeremić probijaju ogradu ispred zgrade Predsedništva Srbije (KURIR TV) https://t.co/2LFBOAru1J
— Fort Russ News (@FortRussNews) March 25, 2019
Serbian Opposition not being touched by police, despite fantastical claims
Boško Obradović ispred Predsedništva Srbije (KURIR TV) https://t.co/qu0ONtnw91
— Fort Russ News (@FortRussNews) March 25, 2019
The most overt were either gross exaggerations that falsified factual events, or entirely ‘made-up’ events, meant to create a climate of chaos and panic.
In particular were claims that the police had ‘beat-up’ opposition leaders who were arrested – this was a gross exaggeration of an actual event, an arrest – the video is clear in the below, that police are doing almost nothing while protesters hurl themselves at police in an attempt to provoke a meme-able reaction from the police. Fortunately, the police were prepared for this type of psychological operation, but nevertheless the liberal-nationalist opposition went with their pre-concocted story anyway, because what else were they going to do but throw it on the wall and see if it sticks.
At the same time, the FRN team is familiar with the individual giving the opposition talking points who is featured in the second part after Flores. The Russian government today particularly supports and endorses the present Serbian government. When the Russian foreign ministry has interactions with opposition groups, they are loyal opposition groups such as the Radical Party or Zavetnici. This is important, because sometimes these opposition groups participate in protests, but the role they serve is different. These loyal opposition groups – similar to the Communist and Syrian Social Nationalist parties in Syria – understand that under present conditions, attacks on the government’s functioning are actually attacks on the state institutions.
Given that there is existing kompromat on this individual, who is featured in part II in the above podcast, which the responsible Russian authorities are aware of, and given that all nationalist opposition parties in Serbia must be viewed as nominally pro-Russian (though one will find often that they ‘love Slavic brother Orthodox Russia‘ but ‘hate Putin’s betrayals‘, etc.), there are good reasons to believe that the individual is consciously or unconsciously aiding Russian intelligence vectors with information on the opposition.
I have explained in my piece about the psychology of protesters in ‘Electric Yerevan‘ and in ‘How to Start a Revolution‘ how mass psychology is manipulated. Regarding the opposition spokesperson, he genuinely wants the Russian factor to weigh in to support the opposition against Vucic, and does not want Serbia to spiral in the direction of Western-style modernity and the loss of its culture or institutions. For these reasons there is a fair chance he is a Russian asset on a number of particulars, even if broadly the opposition he supports is an American endeavor.
The problem with playing with opposition fire, which is backed by the US, but which Russia no doubt has several strategies to redirect or subvert through misleading or by offering better deals, is that it can be difficult to know how events will play out, and who will be left holding the bag. It may end up being very difficult for this opposition spokesman individual in the mid to long term to establish that they were helping the Russians all along, given the layers of personal motives, changes in staffing, confusion, the manners by which the dossiers on various assets can be misinterpreted or mishandled during the change-of-guard, and the open rule of chaos that characterizes the media-intelligence sphere.
While the Russians in fact do openly support the Radical Party and Zavetnici as loyal nationalist oppositions, they do not (at least openly) do so with respect to the ultra nationalist Dveri or the liberal-nationalist DSS, as these are known to receive their financing and political guidance from overtly American vectors. The factor at work here is that the US openly supports the liberal-conservative ‘People’s Party’, led by Vuk Jeremic. Jeremic is considered the ‘largest’ and most popular of the opposition leaders.
In the 2017 election, the U.S openly and vigorously endorsed his campaign, all while the ‘Rubber Ducky’ protest movement at the same time was operationalized by the US-AID and NED supported CANVAS organization, which is composed of the same people who created OTPOR!, who Jeremic also supported against Milosevic. Jeremic’s own habits and combination of lavishing upon himself in explicable perks and luxury at the expense of tax payers, and extraordinary in effectiveness during his tenure as foreign minister between 2007 and 2012, cuts against his attempted public image in Serbia as either being right on Kosovo or against corruption.
Jeremic was Foreign Minister of Serbia when Kosovo illegally declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, and yet for all that travel and for all his banter about Kosovo and his attacks on Vucic that Vucic might recognize the independence of Kosovo, it was on Jeremic’s watch as FM, and when his party governed, that Kosovo in fact declared its independence from Serbia. And back during his support for OTPOR!, Jeremic’s father was the CEO of a prominent state-owned oil company who had all the interest in the world to claim it as his private holding after Milosevic and socialism was overthrown in Serbia, the round of privatizations, making the family even more wealthy and entrenched in the Western system than they were before.
These are among the many reasons that voters reject the liberal-conservative opposition in the name of Jeremic, because Serbians are aware of their own recent history.
The opposition spokesperson in the Trendstorm interview displays extraordinary historical and strategic illiteracy over the events in Syria, in his crippled attempt to make an analogy that Vucic is not Assad.
It may be a surprise to the individual interviewed that prior to the overt western invasion stage of the Syrian war, that is from about 2011 until about 2013/14, there was no perception that Assad was any kind of anti-imperialist, let alone west-skeptic Arab leader. Until that transformative period of 2013/14, Assad was your standard fence-sitting, two-horse riding Arab ‘moderate’ westernizer, in both the perception of Syrians and in the perception of global anti-imperialist forces. His credibility was established in the trenches, not beforehand. Many who were actual Syrian opposition in 2010 and 2011 that protested Assad, legitimately opposed his bending towards Western powers over a number of questions. These forces were reconciled a few years later, and their actual demands were met by Assad in the historic agreement that should have ended the conflict, but for its real aims. But it is not a surprise to the opposition spokesperson, because I have personally spent hours at length explaining this process to him, which he understood intellectually at the time when we had operational purposes to talk on the subject, back when our work co-aligned, and it’s evident that his analysis is serving some other interest than the truth in the immediate sense.
That’s why it’s so important to have a nuanced understanding of how the Color-Spring tactic works, and who it targets. It is very effective against the Assads until they are transformed in the trenches of struggle and, very ineffective against the Maduros who are seen as in the trenches before the opposition can get its gears moving. The opposition likes to make memes where Vucic is Kim Jong-un, which is interesting because in the DPRK there are no foreign NGO’s making any Color Revolutions.