Monday, June 25, 2007

TABLE OF CONTENTS {masterlist}

This was originally conceived as a book, or series of books, and some sections still flow into each other naturally, so I just realized I should put together a Table of Contents masterlist that can make the site as readable as a partially-assembled book. It'll fill in as we go, and the gaps will shrink. Some sections I never finished. Some I never will. Most are too verbose. Some have been altered a bit for this website, and some posts have been written or assembled outside the book format. I'll figure it all out.

I – Nonviolence and the New World Order: Between Cold Wars
“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival [and deter] potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.”
– Paul Wolfowitz, Defense Planning Guidance, 1992
“A plan to achieve that objective will usually consist of a phased series of campaigns […] designed to strengthen the oppressed population […] and to weaken the dictatorship.”
- Gene Sharp, From Democracy to Dictatorship

- Original Sub-Sections, -> Posted Sections, -> Addenda/New Divisions
-> East-West 1989: The Twin Pillars of Nonviolence
-> Iraq and the New World Order at the End of History
-> Euro-NATO: How the West was Run
-> Gene Sharp: Master of Noviloent Warfare
-> Weaponizing Nonviolence: Col. Helvey - a former soldier and officer turned man of peace helps translate Sharp for battlefield use.
-> The American End: Overt Ops/A Bi-Partisan Effort: National Endowment for Democracy, NDI, IRI, Arlington, Ackerman, etc...
-> Soros Money and the Open Society
-> Some Notes on Timing and Consent

II – Gotov Je: Yugoslavia and the Otpor Precedent
"Removing the authority of the ruler is the most important element in nonviolent struggle."
– Col. Robert Helvey, to Serbian activists in Budapest Hungary, mid-2000
“It should be clear to all, after the past ten years, that NATO isn't attacking Serbia because of Milosevic; it is attacking Milosevic because of Serbia.”
- Slobodan Milosevic, October 2 2000
“Regarded by many as Eastern Europe's last great democratic upheaval, Milosevic's overthrow may also go down in history as the first poll-driven, focus group-tested revolution.”
– Michael Dobbs, Washington Post, December 2000

- Original Sub-Sections, -> Posted Sections, -> Addenda/New Divisions
-> The Heart of Serbia / Point of No Return
-> Divide and Conquer / State Sponsors of Terror
-> The Limits of Air Power / The Pariah’s Club: Post-war Serbia: Milosevic still in charge, and making new friends. the time to move draws close...
->Milosevic's Pipeline Plans Prevented (brief - moved from another section)
-> Biting the System: Otpor's Origins
-> The Bulldozer Revolution: October 2000 - Milosevic has left the building
- Behind the Fist: Helping Hands at Hungarian Hotels
- Fallout: Radioactive, Political and Otherwise
->Otpor Fallout: Just Another Weapon
->- Radioactive Fallout
- Territorial Fallout
- Political Fallout: A prolonged, tragic sorting of loose ends

- A New Direction for Otpor: Eastward

III – No to Saddam, No to Peace: Why there was no Iraqi Otpor
“To achieve the third choice, we need help. Not with armies or with money. We need help in the form of nonviolent training to protect ourselves from Saddam and his agents. We can do it, but we need help now.” – Ismael Zayer, exiled Iraqi opposition leader, early 2003

- Original Sub-Sections, -> Posted Sections, -> Addenda/New Divisions
-> Zimbabwe / Iraq 2003: The Limits of Nonviolence
-> Zayer and Helvey: No to Saddam, No to War
- Washington: No to Zayer, Yes to Force Presence
- Transforming the Middle East

IV – Reviving Great Russia: Low Tide, Russia’s 9/11, and the Rise of Putin
- Original Sub-Sections, -> Posted Sections, -> Addenda/New Divisions
- Pipelines From the Black Hole - The Caspian Great Game as backdrop for the New Cold War
- Bleeding Russia: Oligarchs, Collapse, Bail-out... Then Revival
- The Terror of 9/99 / Putin Ascendant (see below)
-> The Terror of 9/99 {masterlist} - new masterlist with links to posts on another CL blogsite
- America's War on Terror, Meet Russia's (coming soonish - previously neglected in the shuffle)

- State Control and Oligarch Retrieval : Putin moves to Reverse the 90s.
- Reviving Great Russia / The Switch is Flipped

V – Roses and the Power of Conviction: A Bold First Move in the Caucasus
- Original Sub-Sections, -> Posted Sections, -> Addenda/New Divisions
- Georgia’s Place on the Chessboard / The Old Order
- The Story of Three Idealists: The Saakashvilis and Zhvania
- Kmara, Liberty Institute, and the Mark of Soros
- The Rose Revolution: Misha Takes Tbilisi
- The New Order in Tbilisi
- Mr. GasPutin, South Ossetia, and the Wine Wars

VI – The Bridgehead is Extended: Ukraine and the Orange Sunrise
- Original Sub-Sections, -> Posted Sections, -> Addenda/New Divisions
- Ukraine's Fate and the Brzezinski's Flanking It
- Ukraine: The State of Play in 2004: President Kuchma, PM Yanukovych, Russian influence, estern ambitions, Tymosheno and the emerging opposition. "Oligarch wars."
- Pora and the Yushchenkos: High Time for a Revolution
-> Pora! High Time for a Revolution
->The Yushchenkos: On the Right Path For Ukraine
- Like a John Le Carré Novel: Yush Poisoned!
- Blue Twilight / Orange Dawn
- Western Winds That Fed the Fire: Orange Revolution assistance from Europe and the US. Trying to keep an appearance of distance...
- A Preventive Operation: Help from Inside
- Away From Russia
- The Poisoning Investigation
- Splits and Reversals / An Uncertain Future
- The Geopolitics One More Time… Closing the Bridgehead

VII – The Bridgehead Meets the Bulkhead: Power Plays in Central Asia
- Original Sub-Sections, -> Posted Sections, -> Addenda/New Divisions
- The New Great Game History repeating itself: Russia's interests in Central Asia clash with the Anglo-American aliance
- From Shanghai with Love: Origins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
- After the First Snows in Afghanistan: The US Incursion, basing, and response
- Russia’s Grip on Kyrgyzstan: The scrable for Central Asian basing - Washington's post-9/11 interests vs. Russia's enduring interests.
- Bulb of Opposition / The Tulip Revolution
- An Uglier Turn / Akayev Flees
- Hopes of Reform Shot Dead / The SCO’s Controlled Burn
- The SCO Holdouts: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan

VIII – Showing America the Door: The Tide Turns in Uzbekistan
- Original Sub-Sections, -> Posted Sections, -> Addenda/New Divisions
- America’s New Ally: Terror vs. Terror
-> Andijan and the Truth Massacre
- Rakhimov’s Paradise: The Missing Link?
- After Andijan: A Victory for the Eurasian Bloc
-> International Order, 7/7, the First Eviction
- Peace Mission 2005: An Assault on the Unipolar World

The rest of the book - the revolutions that failed and on Oborona in Russia, on ethical and tactical issues, etc., was never even properly organized.

IX - Where the Fist Failed: The Regimes that Didn’t Crack or Weren’t Attacked
- Original Sub-Sections -> Addenda/New Divisions
- Turkmenistan: Turkmenbashi's Dreamland
- Azerbaijan:
- Armenia and Moldova: Not Ripe for Revolution
-> Armenia: Not Ripe for Revolution
-> Update: Election 2007 - Coming in May
- >Moldova: Grape Revolution Squashed - coming soon

- Zubr in Belarus: Outpost of Tyranny/Jeans on the 16th

X - untitled and unfinished chapter on Democracy Promotion etc. inside Russia and counter-trends

XI - untitled and unfinished chapter on further observations and criticisms of weaponized nonviolence in its current uses

- See from Ch I, "Some Notes on Timing and Consent" for a basic outline of my own gripes

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Adam Larson / Caustic Logic
Guerillas Without Guns / Chapter 2
Posted June 24 2007

As Milosevic’s tottering regime came up against the “NATO foot soldiers” of Otpor in 2000, the group and its allies also looked ahead and worked to co-opt as much of the security forces as possible. For example, the young members of Otpor sent bouquets of flowers to the military on Army Day. An article in Peace explained that “such tactics recruited sympathizers in numbers that would not be apparent until the final days of the regime, when soldiers and police stood by while massive crowds stormed the Serbian parliament.” [1]

As the September 2000 election neared, the Serbian president banned international observers from monitoring elections, which were carried out on Sunday the 24th. The opposition claimed victory, with DOS leader Vojislav Kostunica winning over 50 percent support and declaring himself the “people's president.” But others were not so sure, and the Federal Election Commission called for a second ballot set for October 8, saying neither candidate won an outright majority. [2] Another top DOS leader, Zoran Djindjic announced “we will call people onto the streets and tell them not to leave until [Milosevic] gives up power.” [3] Djindjic said the opposition would call for continued protests, including a strike campaign and boycotts of schools, offices, theaters and cinemas. [4]

By this time, Milosevic’s Red Berets had evolved into an independent, self-perpetuating power, and when the regime began to crumble in mid-2000, they switched sides and negotiated a nonaggression pact with Djindjic, assuring him that they would refuse any orders to crack down on demonstrators. [5] With this floodgate opened, a coal miners' strike set the ball rolling; when Milosevic sent Interior Ministry soldiers to break the strike, thousands more citizens turned out in solidarity, blocking streets with barricades and their bodies. [6]
Mass protests in front of the Parliament building, Belgrade, Oct. 5 2000.

The strikes spread and by the 5th the country had come to a virtual standstill, except in the capital, where crowds swelling into perhaps hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters marched and swarmed around, over, and into all the official buildings. The central square was hazed with smoke from fires started by the protesters, lending to the air of chaos as police simply refused to crack down and the insurgents took the whole area, notably the State-run broadcasting apparatus. [7] Kostunica told supporters at a Belgrade rally that Serbia had been “liberated,” a message broadcast to the world. European and world leaders called for Milosevic to admit the obvious and step down as he finally did the following day. [8]

Otpor’s Ivan Marovich proudly boasted that Otpor and the people of Serbia had thus “organized the control of the elections by the civil society.” [9] When that alone proved insufficient, with Milosevic declaring victory anyway, they also helped organize the control of Belgrade, which finally did the trick. The actions of Otpor could not be credited entirely with the results, but they were by all accounts a huge, probably decisive factor in this bloodless revolution that achieved what NATO’s bombs had not. And their spirit of fun was infectious, leaving its mark on the October 5 uprising, dubbed “the Bulldozer Revolution.” It got this unofficial title when a man inspired by Otpor’s lead drove his bulldozer into the building of RTS, Serbian state television, which had been a symbol of Milosevic's rule. (this was a new building, the original having been recently destroyed by NATO bombs).

In the months following, Otpor members were the cause celebré of Serbia and the world at large and their clenched fist logo started popping up everywhere. Especially in Europe, politicians, rock stars, soccer teams and more brandished it proudly. Representatives of the group were even handed a special “Free Your Mind” award at the November 2000 MTV Europe Music Video Awards in Stockholm. MTV Europe’s CEO praised the youngsters’ “constant struggle against injustice and oppression.” [10] Americans in general were faintly pleased but basically unaware of the entire episode. Serbs were by and large elated. It had all seemed so easy once they figured it out – “break the fear,” follow the lead of the superbly-trained and confident young activists, take a clever, flawlessly printed sign and join the thousands of others doing the same. Like a powerful drug secretly administered in their sleep, the whole episode was liberating and exhilarating, almost too good to be true.

[1] From Peace Magazine Apr-Jun 2003, p.10. Author=John Bacher; Title=Robert Helvey's Expert Political Defiance; URL=
Robert Helvey's Expert Political Defiance
John Bacher
[2], [3], [4] Fletcher, Philippa. “Opposition Pressures Milosevic To Resign.” Reuters. St. Petersburg Times (Russia). Issue #607 (0), Friday, September 29, 2000.
[5] Aaron, Paul. “The Anguish of Nation Building: A Report from Serbia.” World Policy Journal. Volume XXII, No 3, Fall 2005.
[6], [7], [8] A Force more Powerful: Films: Bringing Down a Dictator: Chronology of Events.
[9] Htet, U Min. “Serbia: Demise of a Dictator.” BBC News. September 16 2005.
[10] BBC News. “Madonna's MTV triumph.” November 17, 2000.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Adam Larson
Caustic Logic/Guerillas Without Guns
Posted 4/7/07

Absent the binding force of Soviet-era political and military control, a power vacuum that Zbigniew Brzezinski called in 1997 “the black hole” hovered over the void, once Soviet, “middle space” in the “Grand Chessboard” of Eurasia. Russia was eventually bound to regain its regional power and at least some of its global reach, so Western efforts were stepped-up to politically and economically integrate more former SSRs along the path to Europe taken by the Baltic states. The window of opportunity could be only so long before Russia got its shoelaces untangled and started closing the West’s lead, but until then it was largely land-locked and ice-bound; the USSR had enjoyed direct access to ice-free ports in the Baltic and near-total domination of the Black Sea, its window onto the Mediterranean and world markets. Now it had lost most of its south Baltic ports (retaining the Kaliningrad exclave and of course St. Petersburg in the north) while access to the Black Sea relied on close relations with independent Ukraine, which took a joint role in managing the Black Sea Fleet and maintained a fluctuating relationship with Moscow.

Unlike the Baltic and Black Seas, the Caspian’s value for shipping is only local; its prime value lay in that its littoral basin held the remains of a vast inland sea that left behind widespread oil and natural gas deposits, known since the 1970s at the latest and used by the Soviet Union to add to its vast Siberian gas reserves. The Caspian’s oil supplies are moderate, but its supplies of natural gas are huge, believed to be about 250 trillion cubic feet or 5% of world total, and well-placed to help feed the growing energy demands of Europe, Russia, China, or India. Like the Black Sea, the Caspian basin was once nearly totally dominated by the USSR, but after 1991 was dominated by Iran and the independent nations of the Caucasus and Central Asia, with Russia only maintaining a decent toehold on the north shore, from which pipelines carry Russia’s share of oil and gas north, near the war-torn Muslim autonomous region of Chechnya. (Brzezinski, it must be noted, is the chaorman of the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC), which calls itself “the only private, non-governmental organization in North America exclusively dedicated to promoting the peaceful resolution of the Russo-Chechen war.")

While the “black hole” and the Caspian’s promise beckoned Western interest in the 1990s, the Eurasian powers still had the clear advantage in Caspian export routes; Russia’s Soviet-era pipeline system provided the most established route to the vast markets of Europe. China had the possibility of eastbound landlines, if dauntingly long, mountainous, and set to feed in through its own Kosovo, Muslim-dominated Xinjiang. Southbound routes could feed markets in India, China, and all of East Asia by sea, most easily making their way to port and tanker via Iran. Indeed as the only nation with access to both Caspian and Persian Gulf supplies, Iran has among the world’s most developed pipeline systems, but so long as it was ruled by the Ayattolahs, Iran was not to be rewarded with Western investment.

Caspian export routes, existing and proposed. General contours of Russian-Iranian-Chinese-dominated systems vs. the American-led model.

So American and Western planners sought to get as much as possible of the fuels out right by China, Russia and Iran, and so looked in two directions for pipelines in open areas where they could muscle in on the action (see map). One direction is east and as south as possible, away from Russia and around Iran, with the ultimate target of markets in South and East Asia. The main problem with this route was that they would all of necessity cross Afghanistan, which was in the 1990s embroiled in civil war with no end in sight, and in 2007 much the same, although now with a solid US military boot in the door a favorble outcome seems possible - eventually.

The other main window of opportunity was due west across the Caucasus states of Azerbaijan and Georgia, the rocky alley between Russian and Iranian turf. These Caucasian pipelines could then connect via Turkey to the Mediterranean, to pipelines - running through the Balkans - into Europe and its vast energy markets. Other planned lines could snake beneath the Black Sea to enter Europe at Bulgaria, and flow west through Macedonia (split from Yugoslavia in 1991) and end on the Albanian coast.

(all this is covered in slightly greater depth here).

Saturday, June 2, 2007


Adam Larson
Caustic Logic/Guerillas Without Guns
Posted May 2 2007

The first time there was a general consensus in Washington on using Soros and NED money, IRI, NDI and OSI skills, and the principles laid out in From Dictatorship to Democracy in a battlefield setting would be in the year 2000. The “force more powerful” would rattle Serbia, the heart of a disintegrating Yugoslavia, to sever the supply of Slobodan Milosevic’s power, as we’ll see in detail in the following chapter. The key to the success of the tactic is in the timing, knowing when it will be effective. The timing considerations, as they were taken into account before the Serbian campaign, must be made on a number of levels, including historical, technological, biographical, and immediate political timing.

For an insight on historical timing, it must be noted that mass nonviolence as a way of achieving power is a relatively new phenomenon. Historically, most rebellions have been either violently victorious or violently suppressed. But with the evolution of global interconnectedness, greater media coverage, and political liberalism, wider avenues were opened in the 20th century, which saw the movements of Gandhi, King, Walesa, Mandela, Suu Kyi and on and on. Shifting public perception of war and peace also played a role. The horrors of total war as seen in the first World War had made pacifism incredibly popular, but the even greater horrors of the sequel conflict highlighted the dangers of pure pacifism – sometimes war was preferable to an unjust peace as agreed to disastrously at Munich. The advent of nuclear weaponry in the course of that monstrous war again made non-violence seem an attractive alternative by making violence so exceptionally dangerous to life on Earth itself. But this came just as the menace of Stalin’s Soviet Union made clear the need for continued struggle if not outright war. As we’ve seen, it is precisely this series of historical developments that drove the evolution of Gene Sharp’s thinking towards the peculiar notion of weaponizing mass non-violence.

The advent of nuclear weaponry is thus an important underpinning, but the other end of technological timing that could help aid these nonviolent actions came decades later. As Jonathan Mowat pointed out, the internet, cell phones, instant and text messaging, and the other communications breakthroughs have been used “to rapidly steer angry and suggestible ‘Generation X’ youth into and out of mass demonstrations and the like.” [1] This capability only developed in the mid-1990s, just in time to play a role in Serbia in 2000.

By 2005 American programmers were working with a Serbian activist in developing a computer game called A Force More Powerful, clearly a franchise of Ackerman’s book and TV series. Ian Traynor explained for the Guardian that the game is won “by outwitting and toppling regimes through techniques of non-violent guerrilla activism.” [2] Ackerman’s mark is also to be seen on his co-project with Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, the top US weapons designer. They hope to produce new communications technologies that could be used to facilitate “youth movement insurgencies.” “There is no question that these technologies are democratizing,” Ackerman stressed. “They enable decentralized activity. They create, if you will, a digital concept of the right of assembly.” [3]

By biographical timing I mean that activists of a certain age and class are called on to flesh out these insurgencies. The West’s planners looked to the American left as evidenced in the protest movements of the 1960s and after, and most recently at the “Battle of Seattle” in 1999. Middle class youth with a liberal education, internet access, a little energy and time to spare and a certain mixture of insulation and teen angst create the right mindset to throw a fist in the air at public rallies. Young people bring to the table energy, free time, rebelliousness and an optimism not yet ravaged by years in the adult world, and bring less of that desire for stability that often comes with age. The young are always ready to rebel against the forces of the old and the corrupt, and they are “cleaner,” more innocent, and more lovable than the old. All these are important elements in their primarily psychological campaign, but most importantly, the young represent the future, and so by manifesting Washington’s vision, they give it the mark of the inevitable course of events.

Another key feature of the 18-24 age bracket, the prime recruiting pool, is their lack of wisdom and general malleability. As with military recruiters, these are apparently also positive traits for the recruiters of nonviolent insurgents. And they’re more prone to peer pressure and illogical mass psychosis; Jonathan Mowat noted a 1967 report from the UK’s Tavistock Institute (the psychological warfare arm of the British military) that noted the then-new phenomenon of “swarming adolescents” found at rock concerts. Author Dr. Fred Emery reported the swarming was associated with “rebellious hysteria,” and predicted that with more study the phenomenon could be controlled effectively. By the end of the 1990s, he predicted, these hormonal mobs could be used at will to bring down a national government. [4] Jonathan Mowat, in his brilliant synthesis, noted “the tactic of swarming” at work as a “a new philosophy of war, which is supposed to replicate the strategy of Genghis Khan as enhanced by modern technologies […] intended to aid both military and non-military assaults against targeted states through what are, in effect, ‘high tech’ hordes.”

And what brought this approach to warfare to the streets of Belgrade, Serbia in 2000 is the final consideration, immediate political timing. Once the technology and the right activist demographic has been identified, mass political resistance is a powerful force that can indeed “restrict or sever the supply” of a dictator’s power, as Sharp noted, but not always “when needed,” as if on cue. First, the behind-the-scenes plotters must be in agreement with the wishes of the mobilized citizenry, or the citizens must be brought around to supporting the plotter’s decisions. In order for support from Washington to flow to a viable movement willing to support its agenda, the political goals of both parties must be synchronized and manifested in the opposition leader(s). This is one of the trickier parts, but deals can be and would be made time after time.

Non-violent resistance can drive a corrupt regime from power, but more often such attempts at a widespread uprising end in mass arrests or even mass killings - think Rangoon 1988, Tiananmen Square 1989, and a thousand smaller, less bloody examples spanning human history. Far more potential rebellions are simply not even attempted due to citizen apathy or fear, as in the 21st century USA; so a mass movement could do better if it had a good “marketing department” to excite involvement, or was helped by a powerful and sympathetic outside force to neutralize the terror of state power. Such help could be either indirect (diplomatic support, etc) or direct (financial or tactical support). There would be no troublesome weapons shipments to learn of as with the debacle of illegal US support to the Contras in Nicaragua, but the idea is still much the same – support the opposition to destabilize and hopefully sever the targeted regime. There’s no law against that yet.

This can lead to charges of engineering other country’s affairs, an action that carries unpleasant aftertastes of Imperialism. However, as supporters would argue, only part of the equation can be engineered from without – a revolution also must have, first and foremost, a fertile soil of political discontent in order to take root, and to appear legitimate, the new leadership must be voted on by the subjected people.

Thus a good metaphor for this type of intervention is a consensual sexual tryst – both partners may well agree to the act (the revolution) after a period of intense courtship, mutual flattery, and heavy petting (financial and diplomatic support, promises of obedience to the West’s aims). Appropriately, the teeming hordes of turned-on activist teenagers would play the part of the hormones, coursing through the body politic of the targeted partner and driving to the inevitable end. Even two consenting adults may not enter into sex with the same set of facts or the same motives. One may be drunk or otherwise impaired, or there may be a serious power imbalance in which one partner is clearly, creepily compelling the other, pushing himself on her in the motel hallway. And no matter the mood right before and during the act, the two may be left with very different feelings about the whole thing in the morning. But still, it’s not rape – that would be war.

Next: The Heart of Serbia/Point of No Return

[1], [3], [4], [5] Mowat, Jonathan. “Coup d'État in Disguise: Washington's New World Order "Democratization" Template.” Global Research. Center for Research on Globalization. February 9 2005.
[2] Traynor, Ian. “Young Democracy Guerillas Join Forces: From Belgrade to Baku, activists gather to swap notes on how to topple dictators.” The Guardian. June 6 2005.,,1499871,00.html