Symbolic seduction: Women’s rights, partisan politics, ethnocentrism and “American narcissism”

Global Research, February 03, 2017

In 1929, Edward Bernays, Sigmund Freud’s nephew, U.S./CIA war and coup propagandist, and the founder of public relations, conducted a successful mind-manipulation experiment for the tobacco industry. 

In those days there was a taboo against women smoking in public, and Bernays was hired to change that. 

He consulted a psychiatrist, A. A. Brill, who told him that cigarettes represented the penis and were a symbol of male power.  

If women could be tricked into smoking, then they would unconsciously think they “had” their own penises and feel more powerful. 

It was irrational, of course, but it worked. Bernays had, in his words, “engineered the consent” of women through symbolic prestidigitation. 

The age of the image was launched.

He did this by having a group of women hide cigarettes under their clothes at a Big Easter parade in New York.  At a signal from Bernays, they took out and lit up what he called “torches of freedom” (based on the Statue of Liberty).

The press had been notified in advance and dutifully photographed and reported the story.  The New York Times headline for April Fool’s Day 1929 was entitled “Group of Girls Puff at Cigarettes as a Gesture of Freedom.” 

This fake news story made cigarettes socially acceptable for women, and sales and advertising to them increased dramatically.

The institutional power structures smiled and continued on their merry way.  Women were no freer or more powerful, but they felt they were.

A symbolic taboo was breached as women were bamboozled.  Image triumphed over reality.

We have moved on from the symbol of the penis to that of the “pussy,” and now the symbol is displayed openly as an ironic postmodern spectacle in the form of a sea of pussyhats.

And the fake news stories continue apace; the mind manipulators labor on and are still successful.

Genitalia remain the rage.  In the 1920s there was no overt talk of the penis; the idea then was that there was an unconscious association that could sway women to smoke.  Today subtlety is gone.  “Pussy” power is out there, cutely symbolized by pink pussyhats (see image below), promoted by a group called the Pussyhat Project that on its website praises the Washington Post and the New York Times for their “high quality journalism” and “integrity.”  “In the midst of fake news sites,” the Pussyhat Project claims, “we need high quality journalism more than ever….newspapers that have integrity….[that] can continue reporting the truth” – i.e. the Times and the Post.

By “truth” and “integrity” do the women running the site mean that the Russians are behind Trump’s election, Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and there are 200 or so alternative websites that repeat Russian propaganda, a few of the lies reported by these papers of “integrity”?  Or do the Pussyhat women have something else in mind?

Most women demonstrators who marched against Trump were no doubt well intentioned within their limited perspective.  At the call of organizers, they were roused from their long liberal naps.  Reacting to Trump’s gross comments about “grabbing pussy” – sick words, macho aggressive in their meaning – they donned their pink hats, made signs, and took their newly awakened outrage to the streets.  Rightly disgusted by being verbally assaulted and afraid that their reproductive rights and services were threatened, they pounced like tigers on their verbal attacker.  Massive, very well organized, media friendly marches and demonstrations followed.  It was a hit parade.

Yet as others have forcefully written, something is amiss here. During the Obama years of endless wars, drone killings, the jailing of whistleblowers, including Chelsea Manning, etc., these demonstrators were silent and off the streets.

A large number of the women (if not the vast majority) who marched against Donald Trump – and the recent women’s marches can only be described as anti-Trump marches – were Hilary Clinton supporters, whether they would describe their votes as “the lesser of two evils” or not.  Thus, opposition to Trump’s aggressive statements toward “pussy” was implicit support for Clinton’s and Obama’s “feminism.”  In other words, it was support for a man and a woman who didn’t publicly talk aggressively about women’s genitals, but committed misogynist and misandrist actions by killing  thousands of women (and men and children) all over the world, and doing it with phallic shaped weapons.  Trump will probably follow suit, but that possibility was not the impetus for the marches.  The marches centered on Trump’s misogynist, macho language, and his threats to limit women’s access to health services – i.e. family planning and abortion.

Since the women who recently marched didn’t march against Obama and his Secretary of State Clinton while they slaughtered foreigners (others) and Clinton exulted at the sodomized killing of Muammar Gaddafi, it is quite clear the focus of their anger was a sense of personal outrage at Trump’s insulting remarks.

Where were they these last eight years?

Mike Whitney recently said it perfectly.

“They were asleep. Weren’t they?  Because liberals always sleep when their man is in office, particularly if their man is a smooth-talking cosmopolitan snake-charmer like Obama who croons about personal freedom and democracy while unleashing the most unspeakable violence on civilians across the Middle East and Central Asia….No one seems to care when an articulate bi-racial mandarin kills most people of color, but when a brash and outspoken real estate magnate takes over the reigns of power, then ‘watch out’ because here comes the protesters, all three million of them!”

Obviously partisan politics, self-interest, hypocrisy, and incredible ethnocentrism are involved. Would women’s marches have occurred if Hillary Clinton had been elected?  Of course not.  She would have been applauded and regaled as the first woman president, and her war-mongering history against women and men would have been excused and supported into the future, just as Obama’s has been.

This is liberal war porn by default; complicity through silence.

“Hands off my pussy.”  “My pussy bites back.”  These are funny repartees to Trump’s comments, but they are totally ineffectual and harmless.  Trump’s objectives are larger, as were Obama’s and Clinton’s.  Symbolic protests attract attention, but result in the stasis of structural power arrangements, or worse.   Edward Bernays’  “torches of freedom” campaign resulted in more women smoking, more disease, and more profits for the tobacco companies.  He preyed on the gullible.  What was learned?

The Pussyhat Project resulted in a sea of pink adorned women and made for colorful images.  Images, Daniel Boorstin wrote in his prescient 1960 book, The Image , were the future.  That future is now.  The language of images is everywhere, and it is tied to what Boorstin termed “pseudo-events” and our “demand for the illusions with which we deceive ourselves.”

Symbolically wearing your genitals on your head is surely an arresting image, but it is misplaced and duplicitous when one has not opposed the systematic brutality of the American empire’s ravaging around the world under Obama and Clinton.

Boorstin argued that this world of images would displace our ability to think clearly and understand the ways we were being manipulated.  An image, he said, was “synthetic, believable, passive, vivid, simplified, and ambiguous.”  Contrived and appealing to the senses – there are no pink pussycats as far as I know – they side-step thought and cannot, strictly speaking, be unmasked.  “An image, like any other pseudo-event, becomes all the more interesting with our every effort to debunk it.”  The contrivance of the image and our knowledge of its ingenuity – e.g. pussyhats – convince us that we are smart to be taken in, even when we’re not.  It’s interesting to note that the word image (Latin, imago) is related to the word imitate (Latin, imatari).  It’s as though certain images can serve as mirrors (“to mirror” being cognate with “to imitate”) in which we can see and mimic ourselves, “though we like to pretend we are seeing someone else.”  And seeing our images in the images, we can imitate ourselves in an endless cycle of self-love and navel gazing.  Selfie culture has triumphed.  The society of the spectacle marches on.

The focus on genital imagery is a reflection of American narcissism, an inward gazing, while out “there,” others are being slaughtered by our masters of war.  This is the start of a pink color revolution.

Edward Bernays would be proud.

Armenia: Electric Yerevan and lessons on the Color-Spring tactic

by Joaquin Flores
June 27, 2015
A Fort Russ and Greanville Post Feature

The Electric Yerevan protest provides us with an excellent opportunity to review some of the basic underlying mechanics and psychology of the Color-Spring tactic.  It is important to share these publicly, for it is indeed probable that the Color-Spring tactic will be increasingly applied in the world as a “hybrid soft-power/hard-power tactic”.
A moral principle held by Gene Sharp, who was one of the tactic’s main developers, was that violence is not necessary for revolution. What is strange, contradictory, even dishonest here is that violence is reduced taxonomically to the physical violence of the state’s gendarmes against the civilians.  But we know that violence comes in many forms.
We live in a time of great violence; physical, psychological, legal, economic, spiritual violence.  Not only has the Color Revolution tactic engendered the latter four, but its mutation into the Arab Spring tactic also employs heinous physical violence.  We can see today, tens of thousands dead in Libya, hundreds of thousands in Syria, and a mounting figure in Ukraine which threatens to surpass the precedents.
“Non-violent” change in Syria
Novices to political science and political activism may be lured by the spectre and spectacle of the Color Revolution method that has characterized ostensible movements for radical social change in the last generation.  The symbols have become iconic and clichéd: the tent city, the die-in, the girl placing flowers in the gendarme’s gun barrels, water cannons and tear-gas, the fist flag.
What is missing of course from this view is an understanding of the real social forces in a society, class and economic forces.  For forty years, genuine activism, labor union militancy, has been marginalized.  In place of direct action against the ruling class at the very places that make their wealth, is a strange simulation of late 1960’s student activism; shown to us on a never-ending film reel loop.
Others have caught on to the fact that the US has been funding these protest movements, and that these ‘grass-roots’ movements are in fact astroturf movements.  Still, it is misunderstood how the US viewed these governments before they tried to destabilize them.
One thing which is often popularly misunderstood about the Color-Spring tactic, by those who know that the US is behind them, is that governments being targeted for regime change by the US are not just those which have apparently bad relations with the US, but may in fact be generally US-friendly governments.  By and large, in fact, the latter is the case.  We will be exploring this aspect as it relates to Armenia.
Also we will look at some of the methods used in the application of this tactic in Armenia, and at the general psychological and technical framework of the organizing methods.
Gene Sharp – a man of ‘Non-Violence’
Why the US Targets ‘Regimes’ for ‘Change’
In the Color-Spring tactic, the US may target countries for ‘regime change’ that it has had generally constructive relations with, but whose other ties are increasingly problematic.  It may be also generally friendly countries who refuse to commit resources to reshaping regional power balances, such as with Mubarak in Egypt, who was reluctant to interfere with Syria.  Another reason may be that the targeted country has a natural relationship with other countries in its region which, regardless of the official position of the government, promotes certain economic and meta-political relationships and developments which are contrary to US interests.  In the latter case, it may be desirable to employ a scorched earth policy, known as the ‘failed state’, in order to destroy the material foundations of economic and political coherency.
Given the failure of the Orange Revolution to frustrate relations with Russia, the situation in Ukraine may be an example of this scorched earth/failed state strategy.   Conclusively, the Color-Spring tactic is compatible with any number of strategies, and can be a part of producing any number of desired outcomes, and as such is a very useful weapon to possess.
How the US Sets up a ‘Regime’ for ‘Change’

Macedonia: Patriots defeat the “color revolution”

Posted on Global Research, June 3, 2015
By Andrew Korybko
Oriental Review


We are publishing the exclusive English translation of the interview given by our regular correspondent Andrew Korybko to the Macedonian edition “NetPress” on the threat of Macedonia division, political background of Kumanovo incident and baseless ambitions of the Western-funded opposition leader Zoran Zaev: 

“This is not Ukraine” is one of the headlines in part of the world media after the failed color revolution attempt in Macedonia conducted by some Western powers and supported by NGOs and the opposition. It seems that the state, the security forces, and the Macedonian people are constantly winning the battles, and slowly but surely, they are emerging as winners in the war against the imperialistic agenda, against fake democracy fighters, and against the millions of dollars poured into the domestic fifth column. According to you, what is this great and historical victory of the Macedonian people and truth attributable to?

The most important factor in effectively combating any Color Revolution, not just Macedonia’s, is a patriotic population, and Macedonians of all kinds streamed into the street to support their country during the massive rally on 18 May. They were already aware of the Color Revolution attempt by Zaev, and the presence of irredentist Albanian supporters and the Macedonia-hating Sergey Stanischev during the ‘opposition’s’ small gathering contributed to the patriotic reaction the day afterwards. What can be learned by this is that a proactive information campaign educating citizens about the looming threat to their country, coupled with soft power failures by the Color Revolutionaries, can solidify the population in opposing the regime change attempt. All of this would be for naught, however, if Macedonians didn’t already value their identity and were confident with it, since one can’t properly defend what they don’t truly love. Finally, it must be pointed out that the government’s preemptive anti-terrorist operation in Kumanovo and the sacrifices of its brave security forces foiled the terrorists’ plans to stage attacks throughout the country on 17 May (the same day as Zaev’s rally), which could have triggered such destabilization that foreign powers (Albania, Bulgaria) may have exploited it in an attempt to conventionally intervene and partition the country.

 In our last interview, you emphasized the strategy to divide Macedonia between Albania and Bulgaria, and since then, some of the Greek media are also noting that all of a sudden we have intrigues, turmoil, and turbulence in all the possible Russian gas transit states in the region, except in Bulgaria and Albania. At the same time, the bodies of the dead terrorists who attacked Kumanovo were buried in Kosovo with heroic honors by people wearing the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) uniforms, while Bulgaria defensively states that in the past they have recognized our independence under the constitutional name. However, it’s not a secret that the current Bulgarian regime is quite pro-American. So, do you think that the fact that the Russian MFA S. Lavrov also shared information about the plan to divide Macedonia was in a way a definite conformation of the monstrous scenario?

lavrov-2301_1431688597.jpg.600x450_q85Yes, it definitely was. Russia was very smart in publicizing the very realistic fears about a possible Macedonian partition because it drew immediate attention to the actions of Albania and Bulgaria, thereby making it more difficult for them to pull off their plot. It must be underscored that Albania and Bulgaria operate in a ‘good cop, bad cop’ tandem, with Albania and some of its national representatives being the openly aggressive party while Bulgaria behaves more indirectly and covertly. Bulgarian media and commentators have evoked a witty tactic of self-effacing humor in criticizing their armed forces, saying they’re in no capacity to invade anyone. That’s surely true, but what they leave out of the conversation is that a partition doesn’t necessarily have to have a conventional component in initiating it, and that possible Bulgarian involvement (even the death of one of its servicemen, for example) is a trip wire for a large-scale NATO and/or American military response, especially if terrorism is involved (whether it truly is or is simply claimed to be in order to ‘justify’ the reaction). Bulgaria makes no secret out of the fact that it’s the EU and NATO reference point for all things related to the Macedonian Crisis, so the scenario of Bulgaria being used as bait for bringing other countries into a wider military conflict is disturbingly real. Also, amidst this scandal, everyone is forgetting the conspiracy that Bozhidar Dimitrov first suggested which is a manipulated perversion of the Crimea reunification events in order for Bulgaria to occupy most of Macedonia after Albania moves in first.

Continue reading

The war on Yugoslavia and the U.S. regime change model — the real face of American “diplomacy”

“The lethality of American ‘diplomacy’ and the uncountable costs that can be incurred from resisting Washington’s will.”

From Sputnik, March 25, 2014
By Andrew Korybko

The 16th anniversary of NATO’s War on Yugoslavia gives cause to reflect on what American ‘diplomacy’ is really all about.

The US has long trumpeted itself as the only paragon of virtue and ‘defender of freedom’ in the world, going into overdrive with this message in the years following the Cold War. Millions of people were duped during this time, but their illusions were quickly dispelled after the 1999 War on Yugoslavia.

This tragedy exposed the true face of American ‘diplomacy’ as a duplicitous front for pursuing predetermined geopolitical ends. The war wasn’t so much about a ‘humanitarian intervention’ (the reality surrounding which was grossly exaggerated by the Western media) as it was the establishment of a pro-Western proxy state in the heart of the Southern Balkans.

The War on Yugoslavia also marked a turning point where the US began ramping up its aggression all across Eurasia and perfecting the first actual version of Hybrid Warfare.

Uncle Sam’s Sins

The US did a lot of horrible things during its War on Yugoslavia, but here’s three of the most audacious:

Supporting Terrorism:

The so-called ‘Kosovo Liberation Army’ (KLA), the armed wing of Albanian nationalists fighting in the Serbian province of Kosovo, was deemed a terrorist organization by the Yugoslav authorities. UNSC Resolution 1160, which was supported by the US, even condemned the group for its terrorist activity and urged it to immediately halt such actions. Be that as it may, the KLA served an decisive role in destabilizing Serbia, and was thus not only supported by the US throughout the conflict, but its leader Hashim Thaci was even recognized by Washington as the province’s ‘Prime Minister’ afterwards.

Lying to the World:

The US tried to convince the world that the Albanians in Kosovo were experiencing genocide at the hands of the Serbs, but this was nowhere near the reality on the ground. Although some Albanians were certainly killed during their violent uprising against the federal government, Serbs were too, and neither demographic experienced the ‘tens of thousands’ of deaths that the State Department evoked as the US’ excuse for bombing Yugoslavia.

Tens of thousands of more people have died during Mexico’s drug war in recent years, for example, but America’s southern neighbor has yet to experience a ‘humanitarian intervention’.

Bombing Civilian Infrastructure:

The US-led NATO bombing campaign killed hundreds of civilians and destroyed apartment buildings, farms, schools, hospitals, churches, and bridges. The Pentagon’s explanation for such horrors (when it chose to address them) was that its ‘precision-targeted munitions’ malfunctioned, but the surviving victims refused to believe this.

BONUS: Bombing China And Getting Away With It:

The US hit the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade (officially recognized as the sovereign territory of the country, as is any state’s embassy abroad) on 7 May, 1999, killing 3 people and injuring about 20 others. One need only imagine the militant response from the Pentagon if the shoe was on the other foot.

The Foreign Policy Toolkit

The War on Yugoslavia represented the first testing ground for the application of the US’ integrated regime change strategy, however sloppily applied. It combined the following characteristics that would later be developed and perfected in forthcoming conflicts:

Unconventional War:

In order to stir up chaos and create a pretext for an ultimatum and eventual military intervention, the US supported the KLA during its terrorist war in the Serbian Province of Kosovo.


The US gave President Milosevic the ultimatum to pull all Yugoslavian police and army forces out of Kosovo Province or face the pulverizing consequences.

Conventional Intervention:

The destabilization came to a dramatic climax when NATO launched its ‘humanitarian intervention’ against Yugoslavia, which ultimately led to its fragmentation and destruction.

Color Revolution:

American intelligence services and Gene Sharp’s teachings organized and directed the Bulldozer Revolution of October 2000, which has since been acknowledged as the first Color Revolution.

Nowadays, the methods above have been perfected and patterned in the following order:

1. Ultimatum:

The US gives an explicit/public or implicit/behind-the-scenes ultimatum to a targeted country or leader. If they refuse and a ‘palace coup’ can’t be pulled off, then the next step is initiated.

2. Color Revolution:

This ‘street coup’ attempt seeks to oust the targeted country’s leadership through the carefully constructed façade of ‘people’s power’, whereby the international media is fed the misleading impression that the majority of a country’s citizens are revolting against their government. Other than the ultimatum or conventional coup, it’s the most cost-effective tool for regime change.

3. Unconventional War:

The third step can be evoked in the midst of the second one before turning into its own full-fledged destabilization when the Color Revolution fails. It capitalizes off of some of the social infrastructure built during the street coup attempt, and then arms the participants and encourages them to commit to terrorism and insurgency in overthrowing their government. Foreign mercenaries can also be involved.

4. Conventional Intervention:

While the previous two steps typically involve a deep level of covert commitment, the final step purposely brings the external destabilizer’s actions into the open by initiating an open war. This is the most expensive form of regime change, but is always clothed in grand ‘humanitarian’ or ‘democratic’ rhetoric to hide its true intent.

Where Are They Now?

Let’s take a look at the most notable example of each stage of the US’ regime change template and see how these countries have since coped with the Hybrid War waged against them:

Steps 1-2: Ukraine

The implicit ultimatum against President Yanukovych was that he had to sign the EU Association Agreement, and when he delayed doing so at the last minute, a Color Revolution was unleashed against him. In some ways, the urban terrorism of EuroMaidan even fulfills the requirements for Step 3.

Nowadays, the country lies in ruin and bankruptcy, and the oligarchs (Poroshenko and Kolomoiskyi) are poised to fight a fratricidal war amongst themselves at the expense of more Ukrainian lives.

Steps 1-3: Syria

President Assad refused to allow a gas pipeline from pro-American Qatar to transit Syrian territory en route to the Mediterranean, preferring instead to opt for the Friendship Pipeline with Iraq and Iran. As a punishment, Syria was thus dragged into the theater-wide ‘Arab Spring’ Color Revolutions spearheaded by the US, but when the people resolutely stood by their democratically elected leadership and secular authorities and refused to allow the street coup to succeed, an Unconventional War was unleashed on the country.

As it stands, the most notorious terrorists from every corner of the world have infested the country, slaughtering tens of thousands of innocent people and turning entire cities to rubble in their four-year-long rampage.

Steps 1-4: Libya

Muammar Gaddafi refused to fully integrate his country into the EU-led ‘Union For the Mediterranean’, instead choosing to remain an observer member. Despite having surrendered Libya’s weapons of mass destruction during an earlier ultimatum in 2007, Gaddafi’s reluctance to move forward with Euro-Mediterranean integration made him a marked man.

The US-organized ‘Arab Spring’ Color Revolutions subsequently targeted him in 2011, and events in the country quickly spiraled into Unconventional Warfare as terrorists surged into the main cities and started killing civilians and government representatives.

NATO decided to commence a bombing campaign against the country shortly thereafter under a false ‘humanitarian intervention’ pretext, which consequently destroyed the state’s social and physical infrastructure and turned it into the fearsome terrorist battleground that it is today.

Remember, these above-cited tragedies would not have been possible had it not been for the US’ War on Yugoslavia and the ‘perfection’ of the regime change techniques that were first applied there. It is for this reason that the memory of 24 March should serve as a somber reminder each year of the lethality of American ‘diplomacy’ and the uncountable costs that can be incurred from resisting Washington’s will.

Azerbaijan should be very afraid of Victoria Nuland

[Victoria Nuland’s] role in the Ukrainian events forever marks her as an agent for US-supported regime change in the former Soviet sphere, and her visit anywhere in that space should be seen as the bad omen that it is.

By Andrew Korybko, March 1, 2015
Posted on Oriental Review

The US’ Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, visited Baku on 16 February as part of her trip to the Caucasus, which also saw her paying stops in Georgia and Armenia. While Azerbaijan has had positive relations with the US since independence, they’ve lately been complicated by Washington’s ‘pro-democracy’ rhetoric and subversive actions in the country. Nuland’s visit, despite her warm words of friendship, must be looked at with maximum suspicion, since it’s not known what larger ulterior motives she represents on behalf of the US government.

A Bad Omen

Nuland is most infamously known for her “Fuck the EU!” comment that was uncovered during a secretly recorded conversation with the American Ambassador in Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. The two were conspiring to build a new Ukrainian government even before democratically elected (but unpopular and corrupt) president Viktor Yanukovich was overthrown by the US-supported EuroMaidan coup. Nuland played a direct role in events, not only behind the scenes, but also on the streets, since she proudly handed out cookies and other foodstuffs to the ‘protesters’ that would violently seize power just over two months later. Her role in the Ukrainian events forever marks her as an agent for US-supported regime change in the former Soviet sphere, and her visit anywhere in that space should be seen as the bad omen that it is.

Like Husband, Like Wife

Normally an individual’s personal life doesn’t have any bearing on their professional one, but in the case of Nuland, it’s the opposite because her husband is the leading neo-conservative thinker Robert Kagan. He and his ilk are known for their expertise in exploiting foreign geography to maximize US power, regardless of the regional cost. Also, he previously referred to Azerbaijan in 2006 as a “dictatorship” and said the US will “pay the price” for dealing with it when responding to a user-submitted Q&A session with the Financial Times:

“During the Cold War, both Europeans and Americans had to compromise with dictators around the world in order to weaken the Soviet Union and communism. What would be, in your view Mr Kagan, the new sort of compromises that the US government is willing to make to defeat terrorism?
Corneliu, Bucharest

Robert Kagan: Clearly we are making such kinds of compromises all over the place in the war on terrorism, although I must say I doubt they are proving very useful.

We are turning a mostly blind eye to the Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt, despite much rhetoric to the contrary, as well in Saudi Arabia. We have been forgiving of the dictatorships in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Nor have we been very critical of the Putin dictatorship in Russia, no matter how many people he assassinates.

This is all largely in the service of the war on terror. During the Cold War I actually believed that we wrong to support so many dictators, for it often did not help but hurt in the struggle against communism, in addition to being a violation of the principles we were struggling to defend.

I am equally unpersuaded today that our support for these dictatorships will help us fight terrorism, and once again we pay the price of moral and ideological inconsistency.”

revolution-starts-in-the-streets-110007-500-381_large_0Given the ideological context in which Nuland likely sees eye-to-eye on with her husband, plus her experience in instigating the Color Revolution in Ukraine, it is not likely that she came to Baku with positive intentions, or even with a positive image of the country in her mind. This is all the more so due to the recent scandal over Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Foreign Agent, Domestic Punishment

The US-government-sponsored information agency was closed down at the end of December under accusations that it was operating as a foreign agent. While the US has harshly chided the Azeri government for this, at the end of the day, it remains the country’s sovereign decision and right to handle suspected foreign agents as it sees fit. Azerbaijan’s law is similar to Russia’s, in that entities receiving foreign funds must register as foreign agents, and interestingly enough, both of these laws parallel the US’ own 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Continue reading

Washington stalks its next victim, sends color revolution expert “male Nuland” to Kyrgyzstan

From Oriental Review, March 5, 2015
By Andrew Korybko


Image: Richard Miles a.k.a father of Color Revolution

One of the most prominent Color Revolution experts in America’s coup d’état toolkit has been hurriedly recalled from retirement for immediate deployment to Kyrgyzstan. Richard Miles, the engineer of the first Color Revolution in Serbia and the Rose Revolution in Georgia, has been appointed as charge d’affaires in Kyrgyzstan until a new ambassador is confirmed by the Senate, because the former one, Pamela Spratlen, has been reassigned as the US Ambassador to Uzbekistan. While it is not known how long Miles will remain in Kyrgyzstan, which will be the Eurasian Union’s weakest economy when it joins in May of this year, ordinary citizens there already suspect that foul play is being planned against their country and have protested his arrival. Given that Miles’ track record of regime change makes him worthy of the ‘Male Nuland’ moniker, it’s appropriate to investigate what tricks the US may be up to in Central Asia, and how it may be trying to force the Ukrainian scenario onto Russia’s southern doorstep.

“The Male Nuland”

Richard Miles has kept a relatively low profile throughout the years and hasn’t garnered the notoriety that his ideological protégé Nuland has, but this doesn’t mean that he’s any less dangerous for the countries he visits. In fact, since he’s the individual who spearheaded the Color Revolution tactic in the first place, he can even be referred to as a ‘proto Nuland’, owing to his ‘successes’ in Serbia and Georgia that helped make EuroMaidan possible in the first place. While he was no longer the American Ambassador to Yugoslavia when the 2000 Bulldozer Revolution overthrow Slobodan Milosevic, he certainly paved the way for its implementation during his work over the three years prior, including overseeing the NATO War on Serbia. As regards Georgia, he served as US Ambassador from 2002-2005 and repeated the Belgrade template in Tbilisi.

Afterwards, he became the Executive Director for the Open World Leadership Center for most of 2006, during which he fostered the creation of thousands of pro-American ‘leaders’ in the former Soviet Union. To Center’s own mission statement concisely describes the type of work that it does:

“Begun as a pilot program in 1999 and established as a permanent agency in late 2000, the Center conducts the first and only international exchange agency in the U.S. Legislative Branch and, as such, has enabled more than 17,000 current and future leaders from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan to meaningfully engage and interact with Members of Congress, Congressional staff, and thousands of other Americans, many of whom are the delegates’ direct professional counterparts.”

The above statement can be read as an admission that the Center’s purpose is to create pro-American proxies that can seamlessly interact with and do the bidding of their Washington patrons, thereby essentially making it an NGO front for the US intelligence community’s cultivation of Color Revolution assets. The organization doesn’t hide the fact that its purpose is to promote American interests and profit, brazenly bragging that:

“Open World offers an extraordinary “bang for the buck” in terms of efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and value. The Center boasts an overhead rate of about 7 percent, every grant contains cost-shared elements, and more than 75 percent of our appropriation is plowed back into the American economy every year. The Center might best be described as both a mini-stimulus plan as well as a true international exchange program.”

Bearing in mind Miles’ experience in running this Color Revolution recruitment front, as well as his contribution to managing two ‘successful’ regime change operations in Serbia and Georgia, he can easily be identified as one of the most dangerous people in the US deep state establishment, and the fact that he was recalled from retirement to urgently take the ‘temporary’ post in Kyrgyzstan during these tense geopolitical times must absolutely be seen as a warning about Washington’s nefarious intentions.

Uzbekistan’s Role In The US’ Central Asian Strategy

While Washington is poised to destabilize Kyrgyzstan, it’s showing strong signals that it’s ready to do the opposite in neighboring Uzbekistan, and has been reingratiating itself with Tashkent over the past couple of years in a bid to shore up what it intends to become its Lead From Behind proxy in the region. Continue reading

Great embarrassment for Washington if Saakashvili Is convicted — experts

From Sputnik News, November 11, 2014

New criminal charges have been pressed against Georgia’s ex-president Mikhail Saakashvili. What are the accusations and how good are the chances that the case gets into court? Radio Sputnik is discussing it with Nana Devdariani (Tbilisi) and Mikhail Alexandrov (Moscow).

On Monday new charges were brought against former President Mikhail Saakashvili and former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili. This time the ex-President and his minister have been linked to the beating up of lawmaker Valery Gelashvili in July 2005, according to Prosecutor General’s Office report.

Merabishvili held the ministerial post from December 2004 to July 2012. He was arrested in Tbilisi in July last year and is still kept in custody, charged with abuse of power and several other offences.

Saakashvili was president of Georgia from January 2004 to November 17, 2013. He has already been charged with misappropriation of funds, with abuse of power and other criminal offences.

Nana Devdariani, former Head of Georgian Central Electoral Committee, now the Director of the Center for Global Studies (Tbilisi):

If we consider the majority, well, figures tell the whole story.  The population of our country is four and a half million people. Of these more than three hundred thousand have been detained, jailed or have been otherwise repressed by the state law enforcement system. These people have families, relatives and friends.

So, the majority of people in Georgia have already been demanding – and for quite some time, too — that justice must be restored. Yet, there are people, who are quite clearly in the minority, who still support the nationalist movement, and who grow sarcastic asking – from which moment in our history do we need to start restoring justice? Their point is that even the Communist Party of Georgia has not been put on trial, whereas you can often hear that nationalist movement should be banned.

Now, coming to Saakashvili. Saakashvili was a ruler who had all power under his personal control. It was he who used to decide on virtually every matter, including which color houses had to be painted in Tbilisi…

So, naturally enough, he was well informed, if not directly involved, in all major criminal acts committed by his government. It’s a well-known fact. And everyone here has been expecting criminal investigation into his role for quite some time, yet, sometimes, it starts to resemble a comedy, or a farce.

It’s little surprise that Saakashvili has long ago taken all his billions, everything he stole and looted, out of the country. So, when, in compliance with the legislation he himself had introduced, the property which allegedly belonged to him and his family, was to be arrested, there appeared to be only an old and beaten car which used to belong to his grandmother. It could have been amusing if it hadn’t been so sad. In fact, people here are waiting for Saakashvili, and his team, to be held accountable for what they had committed…

But how realistic are these expectations? After all, Saakashvili can count on strong support from the US?

Nana Devdariani: Well, that’s true, that they had used all their PR skills heavily on Saakashvili. But even that might not be of great help. Look, to make it short, if we look at all dictators who lost their power in the course of the so-called ‘velvet’ or ‘color’ revolutions, almost all of them had enjoyed some support from the West. So the support from the West has come to sound comic. Every time we discuss democracy we end looking into the national interests of the United States.

But on the other hand, more corruption schemes have been revealed not only in Georgia, but in other countries. For instance, the recent case of Carl Bildt, high ranking European official.  As it turned out Saakashvili paid Bildt’s lobbyist company several million dollars for lobbying [while Mr. Bildt held the position of the Foreign Minister of Sweden]. So, Mr. Bildt and his company continue to lobby Saakashvili. There’s a good saying – there is nothing secret that would not come to light. Now coming to light are the facts which some ten years ago used to be known to merely a couple of people.

Saakashvili who left Georgia in mid-November 2013, several days before the expiration of his presidential term (and immunity), has since stayed mainly in the United States and Europe. He said he had no intentions of cooperating with the investigation, neither would he turn up for being questioned. 

Mikhail Alexandrov, Senior expert at the Center for military and political studies, MGIMO, Russia:

I must say that it is very serious. The whole situation around Saakashvili is very serious. The point is that Saakashvili was not just a leader of a small country, he was a protégé of the US, which actually supported him in various ways and gave him a go-ahead for various things that he did. And later they covered him from the criticism inside the country and outside of it, when he left his post.

And now it turns out that Mr. Saakashvili is a criminal. And not simply a corrupt official, but a person who can be accused of murder, who can be accused of torture and who is actually regarded as a thief in his own country, and it turns out that Mr. Saakashvili was supported by the official Washington. And everybody around will naturally ask – did they support a criminal, a thief, a murderer?

It is very discrediting information that discredits the US and its policies, because they claim that they support democracy, human rights, good governments. And what we see is vice versa – an absolutely different situation. They simply supported not even a dictator – a person who violated human rights, but the person who used such techniques as political repression, even killing his political opponents, torturing them, putting them into jail and, moreover, stealing the Government’s money.

It will be a great embarrassment for Washington if he is actually convicted of these crimes. That’s why we see that Washington is very unhappy about these court procedures that started in Georgia concerning Saakashvili.

Dr. Alexandrov, do you think we could remind our listeners of how it all started? 

Mikhail Alexandrov: I think it started with the fact that the US was not satisfied with Shevardnadze. Shevardnadze was a very experienced and a cunning politician who managed to maneuver in various ways. And he didn’t want to become simply an American puppet. He tried to conduct what we call a multi-vector policy and maintained very good relations with the US, but also he didn’t break up the relations with Russia.

And just before he was ousted from the office, he made a number of very serious economic deals with Russia – with the Russian electric energy companies, with the Russian gas companies. And also, he insisted on withdrawing only two Russian military bases from Georgia, leaving the two others. And this didn’t correspond with the actual plans of the US to advance NATO to the east and to draw Georgia into this military\political combination against Russia.

They needed a person who would break up the relations with Russia completely and more unequivocally towards the West. They started to look around and Saakashvili seemed to be a very appropriate person. He was an opportunist, he also was married to the Westerner and he lived and worked in the West for some time, I think, at that moment. Later he moved to the political elite of Georgia.

He was actually promoted by Shevardnadze himself, who regarded him as a person who had some potential. Shevardnadze wanted to rule the country for some time to come, but the US wanted to take simple and drastic decisions. And that’s why they saw that Saakashvili is a suitable candidate to take Shevardnadze’s place and they supported him.

We remember this first so-called color revolution in the post-Soviet space happen in Georgia. It was an illegal coup, actually. At that time the Russian Government didn’t understand what was happening. It actually helped the US to perform this coup d’état. Our Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov came to Tbilisi and actually calmed down the tensions, because he talked Shevardnadze out of using force against those demonstrators and protestors who ousted him from the office.

So, this ended like that. But then, we saw that Saakashvili started to undermine the Russian interests in Georgia one by one. First, he went after Adjara, then he tried to take control of South Ossetia. In 2004 there was the first small war there. And then, he ousted the Russian military bases from Georgia. Of course, he subdued all the opposition, even those who were not exactly pro-Russian, but simply against him.

They were all subdued and threatened, and even Burjanadze was silenced, because she was afraid. If Zhvania was killed, anybody could be killed either. And also, some prominent figures from the former Saakashvili allies, they actually fled the country, like Alasania, for example, who went to Paris, and other smaller figures in the political establishment also fled the country. Some of the people were charged with preparing a pro-Russian coup d’état and were put into jail for 10-13 years, which is a tremendous period of jail sentence. So, these were quite cruel methods of the subjugation of the opposition.

Precisely! But, somehow, Saakashvili was there, he ruptured all the ties with Russia but Georgia has not become a NATO member.

Mikhail Alexandrov: Yes, because of the question of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. As a matter of fact, NATO cannot admit Georgia into its membership, because the next day Georgia would say that – look, our territories are occupied and NATO should defend us against the Russian aggression. So, admitting Georgia means starting a war with Russia. That’s why NATO actually doesn’t want to admit Georgia at this point of time.

So, Georgia should recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. And then, probably, NATO will accept it. But at this moment and with the current Georgia policies of regarding these two territories as part of Georgia, I don’t think NATO will ever admit Georgia.

Now that you’ve mentioned Nino Burjanadze, the ex-speaker of the Georgian Parliament, the other day she said that Kiev authorities are committing all the mistakes and all the blunders Saakashvili had committed…

Mikhail Alexandrov: Burjanadze is now positioning herself as the real opposition not only to Saakashvili, but to the present authorities in Georgia who are unsure in what direction they should move. These new authorities of Georgia are very timid with regards to Saakashvili and his associates who are actually responsible for various crimes against the Georgian people.

And Burjanadze sees the political opportunity here, where she could move. Of course, she criticizes not only Saakashvili by saying that, but she criticizes the policies of the current Georgian Government, because she says that the Georgian Government didn’t condemn the war of 2008 against the South Ossetia, which was the major crime committed by Saakashvili. And look, if this happens, if the Georgian Government condemns this war, it will mean putting part of the blame on the West for supporting Saakashvili and supporting this war. And that’s why the current Government of Georgia is a bit timid and doesn’t want to recognize this obvious fact.

But Burjanadze sees the political opportunity and she goes further, than the current Government. And she also wants to take revenge over Saakashvili who actually removed her from power, and actually put a political pressure on her, intimidated her when she was in opposition.

Now it is a good chance to show everybody that the advice that Saakashvili is giving to Ukraine is wrong and what actually has led to this situation now in Ukraine, where Crimea has detached itself from Ukraine and Donbass is also detaching itself from Ukraine, it is the result of the advice that Saakashvili is giving to the current Ukrainian Government. Basically, his advice is wrong and counterproductive, and leads not to the effective results but quite the opposite. I think that is the reason why she made this statement.