The Centre for Applied Non Violent Actions and Strategies (CANVAS) is a non-profit, non-governmental, educational institution focused on the use of nonviolent conflict to promote human rights and democracy. It was founded in 2004 by Srdja Popovic and Slobodan Djinovic, former members of the Serbian youth resistance movement, Otpor!, which played a key role in the successful overthrow of Serbian dictator, Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000. Drawing upon the Serbian experience, CANVAS seeks to educate pro-democracy activists around the world in what it regards as the universal principles for success in nonviolent struggle.
Established in Belgrade, CANVAS has worked with pro-democracy activists from over 50 countries, including Iran, Zimbabwe, Burma, Venezuela, Belarus, Palestine, Western Sahara, West Papua, Eritrea, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Tonga and, recently, Tunisia and Egypt. It works only with groups with no history of violence and only in response to requests for assistance.
CANVAS’ training and methodology has reportedly been successfully applied by groups in Georgia (2003), Ukraine (2004), Lebanon (2005), The Maldives (2008) and Egypt (2011).
The core of CANVAS’s work is rather to spread the word of “people power” to the world than to achieve victories against one dictator or another. Our next big mission should obviously be to explain to the world what a powerful tool nonviolent struggle is when it comes to achieving freedom, democracy and human rights. Read more…
Otpor! (Serbian Cyrillic: Отпор!, English: Resistance!) was a civic youth movement that existed as such from 1998 until 2003 in Serbia, employing nonviolent struggle against the regime of Slobodan Milošević as their course of action. In the course of two-year nonviolent struggle against Milosevic, Otpor spread across Serbia and attracted more than 70,000 supporters. They were credited for their role in the successful overthrow of Slobodan Milošević on 5 October 2000.
Otpor boasted tremendous leverage in the months following Milosevic’s resignation, but failed to focus it into permanent political or social structure in the new transitional and more democratic reality of Serbia. An intensely heterogeneous movement of leftists and conservatives, monarchists and republicans, nationalists and cosmopolitans, after Milosevic’s departure, Otpor had lost the most important glue that bound it together. It was unclear whether the movement should continue as a watch-dog political party or just dissolve after its 2000 triumph. Acting against Milošević earned them wide praise, but when the time came to channel popular support into a clear ideological position, a definite disconnect occurred. In short, it was always clear what Otpor was against, but it was less clear what this movement represented in a new political era.
When three years later Otpor! eventually emerged as a political party, it failed to resonate with voters and received less than 2 percent of the national vote. This was not helped by wide media exposure of broad overt US support for the regime change in Serbia.
Revelation of U.S. involvement
Information started appearing about substantial outside assistance Otpor received leading up to the revolution. Otpor was a recipient of substantial funds from U.S. government-affiliated organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Republican Institute (IRI), and US Agency for International Development (USAID).
In a November 2000 article from the New York Times Magazine, Times journalist Roger Cohen talked to various officials from US based organizations about the extent of American assistance received by Otpor. Paul B. McCarthy from the Washington-based NED stated that Otpor received the majority of US$3 million spent by NED in Serbia from September 1998 until October 2000. At the same time, McCarthy himself held a series of meetings with Otpor’s leaders in Podgorica, as well as Szeged and Budapest. Read more…
Richard Miniter, OP/ED | 9/09/2011
George Soros is rich enough to buy his own foreign policy, but is it wise to let him have one?
Soros’ strange pattern of investments and gifts, especially in the former-Soviet states of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, amounts to a personal foreign policy.
While other rich men fund think tanks and charities abroad, the sheer scale of Soros’ spending sets him apart. Soros, through foundations and his Open Society Institutes, pours some $500 million per year into organizations in the former Soviet world, according to their own estimates. That, in many cash-starved countries, is enough capital to change who runs the capital.
And Soros gets results. Through strategic donations, Soros helped bring down the communist government in Poland, toppled Serbia’s bloodstained strongman Slobodan Milosevic, and fueled the “Rose Revolution” in Georgia. Soros has also funded opposition parties in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Croatia, Georgia, and Macedonia, helping them into either power or prominence. All of these countries were once Russian allies.
Of course, Soros doesn’t work alone. His investments often ride a populist wave of discontent or are made alongside American or European governments and non-profits. No amount of money can singlehandedly bring down a popular foreign leader. But a weak leader can be pushed from power—and Soros likes to give the humpty-dumpty shove to the world’s autocrats.
And that creates problems for the U.S. Since Soros’ most significant dictator-toppling efforts are concentrated in the post-Soviet world, Soros’ foreign policy creates friction between the U.S and Russia and generates hostility from a range of energy-rich Central Asian states, which provide key bases for the Afghan war. Some nations, including Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, have even banned Soros or his philanthropic front-groups.
The bigger problem: Russia and other nations tend to see Soros as a tool of U.S. policy. While Soros is not, his high-profile involvement in the domestic affairs of these faraway lands poses problems for Washington. Soros has made it harder for President Obama to “hit the reset button” with Russia and has complicated relations with a host of other nations. Getting Russia’s vote on the U.N. Security Council to halt Iran’s nuclear-weapons program or further isolate North Korea is made more difficult by Soros. Bases for U.S. special forces or Predator drones are harder to get in Central Asia. Worse still, Soros’ foreign policy draws America into a clutch of ethnic and land disputes in Central Asia that are more fraught and more violent than Israel-Palestine and, unlike Israel, do not involve a vital U.S. interest.
There are good reasons not to privatize the dictator-toppling business. Elected governments are supposed to balance competing national interests (hence the seeming incoherence of some aspects of America’s foreign policy) and officials can be held accountable for their actions, either by voters, courts, legislatures or other governments. And democracies forge their foreign policies in public debates.
Soros’ foreign policy is different. He pursues his own vision, undisturbed by his effect on other nations or the interests of his own. It is hard for foreign governments to hold him accountable and his goals and methods are usually kept secret.
While the risks of Soros’ foreign policy to the U.S. are clear, they are clearly ignored by Washington policy makers and the White House press corps. Why? Read more…
On the 13th of October, at 11:09 a.m., Reuters published an article titled “Who’s Behind the Wall Street Protests” that alleged that George Soros was the secret backer of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Immediately Reuters came under fire from various Left wing American news networks (New York Times, The Atlantic, The New York Observer, The Salon and of course Washington Post).
The backlash was so strong that after 6 hours only, at 5:45 p.m., Reuters totally withdrew it’s earlier accusations! In the re-edited version, Reuters changed the article completely! They even modified the title of the article to: Soros: not a funder of Wall Street protests, the new article starts with this very clear statement: “George Soros is NOT a financial backer of the Wall Street protests”!!!
Later on Reuters went on to explain that the original article was a result of: “technical glitch” and an editor’s mistake!!! Utterly shameful news reporting, even if the original report was wrong!
This goes to tell us of the amount of pressure that a man like Soros posses over the global media and news networks, even as big as Reuters itself! And of course goes to show the amount of Hypocrisy present in today’s media!
Well, Here we will publish the original Reuters report and leave it to your judgment to decide whether Soros is really connected to the Occupy Wall Street protests or not. Read more…
Under the title “A Tunisian-Egyptian Link That Shook Arab History” the New York Times ran a report about links between the Tunisian revolt, the Egyptian Revolution, Otpor, April 6 & Wael Ghonim.
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and DAVID E. SANGER
Published: February 13, 2011
The Egyptian revolt was years in the making. Ahmed Maher, a 30-year-old civil engineer and a leading organizer of the April 6 Youth Movement, first became engaged in a political movement known as Kefaya, or Enough, in about 2005. Mr. Maher and others organized their own brigade, Youth for Change. But they could not muster enough followers; arrests decimated their leadership ranks, and many of those left became mired in the timid, legally recognized opposition parties. “What destroyed the movement was the old parties,” said Mr. Maher, who has since been arrested four times.
By 2008, many of the young organizers had retreated to their computer keyboards and turned into bloggers, attempting to raise support for a wave of isolated labor strikes set off by government privatizations and runaway inflation.
After a strike that March in the city of Mahalla, Egypt, Mr. Maher and his friends called for a nationwide general strike for April 6. To promote it, they set up a Facebook group that became the nexus of their movement, which they were determined to keep independent from any of the established political groups. Bad weather turned the strike into a nonevent in most places, but in Mahalla a demonstration by the workers’ families led to a violent police crackdown — the first major labor confrontation in years. Read more…
Under the title “Revolution U: What Egypt learned from the students who overthrew Milosevic”, Foreign Policy published an 8 pages investigation about the History of CANVAS, Otpor & their relation to April 6 Movement in Egypt, written by Tina Rosenberg in February 16, 2011.
The pages referring to Otpor’s relation with April 6 Movement and Mohamed Adel are Pages 1, 2 & 8.
Early in 2008, workers at a government-owned textile factory in the Egyptian mill town of El-Mahalla el-Kubra announced that they were going on strike on the first Sunday in April to protest high food prices and low wages. They caught the attention of a group of tech-savvy young people an hour’s drive to the south in the capital city of Cairo, who started a Facebook group to organize protests and strikes on April 6 throughout Egypt in solidarity with the mill workers. To their shock, the page quickly acquired some 70,000 followers. Read more…
Open Society Institute
In 1993, Soros created the Open Society Institute, which supports the Soros foundations working to develop democratic institutions throughout Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The “open society” basically refers to a “test and evaluate” approach to social engineering. The Open Society Institute has active programs in more than 60 countries around the world with total expenditures currently averaging approximately $600 million a year.
Regime Collapse in Egypt
In April of 2010, a weekly magazine aiming to link Arab bloggers with politicians, the elderly and the elite was launched in Egypt. The weekly Wasla – or “The Link” – is being heralded as a first for the Arab world, with plans for articles by bloggers as a way of giving them a wider readership.
In the 1st edition of Wasla, the cover featured Mohamed ElBaradei. ElBaradei is Wasla’s chosen candidate and he is also supported by the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran. George Soros and ElBaradei both sit on the Board of Trustees for the International Crisis Group. Radio talk show host Michael Savage lays out in detail the ICG’s ties to the current Islamic uprising in Egypt. In a June 2008 report entitled, “Egypt’s Muslim Brothers Confrontation or Integration,” ICG urges the Egyptian regime to allow the Muslim Brotherhood to participate in political life.
More from WND:
- In September, Soros’ group was looking to expand its operations in Egypt by hiring a new project manager for its Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, which is run in partnership with the Open Society Justice Initiative. The group is seeking to develop a national network of legal empowerment actors for referral of public-interest law cases. Such organizations in the past have helped represent Muslim Brotherhood leaders seeking election or more authority in the country.
- He stated the U.S. has “much to gain by moving out in front and siding with the public demand for dignity and democracy” in Egypt.
- Soros did not mention his ties to ElBaradei.
- In attempting to explain how lobbyists get U.S. foreign aid for Egypt, journalist Pratap Chatterjee of the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress writes that Tony Podesta, “the brother of a former White House chief of staff,” joined with Toby Moffett, a former Democratic Congressman, and Bob Livingston, a former Republican Congressman, to create a lobbying organization, the PLM Group, to represent Egypt in Washington.
More from Gulag Bound:
- Politico reported that Tony and John Podesta started Podesta Associates in the late 1980s and that it was later renamed the Podesta Group. So John Podesta was in on this money-making scheme from the start. Soros subsequently asked John Podesta to run the Center for American Progress, whose foreign policy expert, Brian Katulis, has been arguing on MSNBC that the U.S. ought to pull the plug on the Hosni Mubarak government in Egypt and deal with the Muslim Brotherhood.
- In other words, the Podesta brothers are on both sides of this international crisis.
For more on the El Baradei – Soros Connection, Watch The Great Deception Addendum
By Aaron Klein, March 23, 2011
© 2011 WorldNetDaily
The joint U.S. and international air strikes targeting Libya are widely regarded as a test of Responsibility to Protect – which is a set of principles, now backed by the United Nations, based on the idea that sovereignty is not a privilege, but a responsibility.
According to the principle, any state’s sovereignty can be overrun, including with the use of military force, if the international community decides it must act to halt what it determines to be genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing.
The term “war crimes” has at times been indiscriminately used by various U.N.-backed international bodies, including the International Criminal Court, or ICC, which applied it to Israeli anti-terror operations in the Gaza Strip. There has been fear the ICC could be used to prosecute U.S. troops.
by Heather Cottin, December 9, 2003
The tactic of creating political hysteria was necessary for the United States to carry out its Balkan policy. It was repeated in 1999 when HRW functioned as the shock troops of indoctrination for the NATO attack on Yugoslavia. The institutions of George Soros stood behind it.
This is not a case of narcissistic personality disorder; this is how George Soros exercises the authority of United States hegemony in the world today. Soros foundations and financial machinations are partly responsible for the destruction of socialism in Eastern Europe and the former USSR. He has set his sights on China. He was part of the full court press that dismantled Yugoslavia. Calling himself a philanthropist, billionaire George Soros’ role is to tighten the ideological stranglehold of globalization and the New World Order while promoting his own financial gain. Soros’ commercial and “philanthropic” operations are clandestine, contradictory and coactive. And as far as his economic activities are concerned, by his own admission, he is without conscience; a capitalist who functions with absolute amorality.
Master-builder of the new bribe sector systematically bilking the world He thrusts himself upon world statesmen and they respond. He has been close to Henry Kissinger, Vaclav Havel and Poland’s General Wojciech Jaruzelski. 4
He supports the Dalai Lama, whose institute is housed in the Presidio in San Francisco, also home to the foundation run by Soros’ friend, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. 5
Soros is a leading figure on the Council of Foreign Relations, the World Economic Forum, and Human Rights Watch (HRW). In 1994, after a meeting with his philosophical guru, Sir Karl Popper, Soros ordered his companies to start investing in Central and Eastern European communications.
The Federal Radio Television Administration of the Czech Republic accepted his offer to take over and fund the archives of Radio Free Europe. Soros moved the archives to Prague and spent over $15 million on their maintenance. 2 A Soros foundation now runs CIA-created Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty jointly with the U.S. and RFE/RL, which has expanded into the Caucasus and Asia. 3
Soros is the founder and funder of the Open Society Institute. He created and maintains the International Crisis Group (ICG) which, among other things, has been active in the Balkans since the destruction of Yugoslavia. Soros works openly with the United States Institute of Peace-an overt arm of the CIA…
“Yes, I do have a foreign policy…my goal is to become the conscience of the world.”
He thrusts himself upon world statesmen and they respond. He has been close to Henry Kissinger, Vaclav Havel and Poland’s General Wojciech Jaruzelski. 4 He supports the Dalai Lama, whose institute is housed in the Presidio in San Francisco, also home to the foundation run by Soros’ friend, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. 5
When anti-globalization forces were freezing in the streets outside New York’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel in February 2002, George Soros was inside addressing the World Economic Forum. As the police forced protesters into metal cages on Park Avenue, Soros was extolling the virtues of the “Open Society” and joined Zbigniew Brzezinski, Samuel Huntington, Francis ***uyama and others.
WHO IS THIS GUY?
George Soros was born in Hungary in 1930 to Jewish parents so removed from their roots that they once vacationed in Nazi Germany. 6
Soros lived under the Nazis, but with the triumph of the Communists moved to England in 1947. There, Soros came under the sway of the philosopher Karl Popper, at the London School of Economics. Popper was a lionized anti-communist ideologue and his teachings formed the basis for Soros’ political tendencies. There is hardly a speech, book or article that Soros writes that does not pay obeisance to Popper’s influence.
Knighted in 1965, Popper coined the slogan “Open Society,” which eventually manifested in Soros’ Open Society Fund and Institute. Followers of Popper repeat his words like true believers. Popperian philosophy epitomizes Western individual ism. Soros left England in 1956, and found work on Wall Street where, in the 1960s, he invented the “hedge fund.”
“…hedge funds catered to very wealthy individuals… The largely secretive funds, usually trading in offshore locations. . produced astronomically superior results. The size of the “bets” often became self fulfilling prophecies: ‘rumors of a position taken by the big hedge funds prompted other investors to follow suit,’ which would in turn force up the price the hedgers were betting on to begin with.” 7
George Soros at a Glance:
Source: hedge funds, self-made
Residence: Katonah, NY
Country of Citizenship: United States
Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, London School of Economics
Marital Status: Divorced
Net Worth $22 Bln as of September 2011
#7 Forbes 400
#46 Forbes Billionaires
#20 in United States
George Soros; born August 12, 1930, as Schwartz, George Soros is a notorious Hungarian-American financier, businessman and “philanthropist” focused on supporting liberal ideals and spreading “Democracy”.
He became known as “the Man Who Broke the Bank of England” after he made $1 billion during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crises.
Soros is the founder & Chairman of the Soros Foundation and the Open Society Institute, he is also one of 8 members of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group and a former member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations.
He played a significant role in the peaceful transition from communism to capitalism in Hungary (1984–89) and provided Europe’s largest-ever higher education endowment to Central European University in Budapest. Later, the Open Society Institute’s programs in Georgia were considered by Russian and Western observers to have been crucial in the success of the Rose Revolution.
The Open Society Institute has active programs in more than 60 countries around the world with total expenditures currently averaging approximately $600 million a year. Read more…