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Is the Balkans the new Latin America?
Bulgarian paper says: 'CIA is tutoring Serbian group, Otpor'

From the Bulgarian newspaper, "The Monitor"
Translated by Blagovesta Doncheva
(Posted 9-8-00)

Commentary by Jared Israel follows "The Monitor' article.

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Introductory note: The following article from the Bulgarian newspaper, 'The Monitor' raises serious charges about the Yugoslav 'opposition' group, Otpor. My commentary, 'Otpor: the Message Ain't hidden Any more', follows 'The Monitor' piece. Please let me make two things clear.

First, I think Yugoslavia, like every country, needs a viable opposition. If only one view is heard, or even if only one view is credible, decay sets in. Second, I do not think Americans should meddle in Yugoslavia's internal affairs. I do not think Americans should meddle in the internal affairs of any other country. Period.

But the US is already meddling; that presents a problem. The meddling must be addressed by US citizens even though it involves a sort of interference in Yugoslavia's internal affairs.

The US has poured vast sums into destabilizing Yugoslavia. No one knows exactly how much; surely it is over $100,000,000. (1) The intent is to corrupt. How can this help but distort the Yugoslav political process, especially since draconian sanctions, imposed on Serbia by the US, have greatly multiplied the value of US dollars. Absent this bribe money and an honest opposition could develop. There could be real debate. The Yugoslavs would gain. But in the presence of vast sums, dangled to lure people, especially young people, to treason, how can there be productive political struggle? This is a crime, no less than NATO's 78 day bombing campaign. -- Jared Israel

From 'The Monitor'

"I hate to be first!" This Bruce Willis line applies to everything we at 'The Monitor' have said about the US presence in the Balkans in general and in Bulgaria in particular.

Several times we've published the truth about US intrusions. We've noticed that following our exposes, events seem to proceed in a prediabt4le fashion..

In the first stage those in power deny that anything is happening.

In the second stage they make a few admissions, though painfully.

This was the case when the Yankees demanded bases in Bulgaria. While one member of the ruling "elite" denied it, another had already admitted it. In the end everything we said proved true..

It was the same with the CIA center in Sofia, whose existence we exposed last year. And it was the same in with the meetings between Yugoslav 'opposition' activists and Ambassador Miles and his covert agents, a meeting that took place last year, in the Sheraton Hotel in Sofia.

"No such thing happened," Ambassador Miles said at first. He was of course lying. Later he had to admit he had shared a meal with Yugoslavs.

Now our warning, announced while US CIA head Tenet was still in Sofia, has proved true as well.

All the pretentious analyses about the reasons for the CIA boss's visit are reduced to (and exposed as) just another brutal order to today's Bulgarian rulers - to keep selling our country's sovereignty, providing another country's spy organizations with a center for operations against a neighboring country. Yugoslavia.

The latest admission comes in the BBC report that a ten-day special course starts in Sofia today (August 28).

In that course U.S. spies will lecture and instruct Serb activists from the group "Otpor."

Lecture and instruct in what?

Will they tell them how to create the appearance of a mass movement by banging pots and pans? A CIA trade mark, accompanying its coups, this was used in Brazil in 1961, in Chili in 1973, and in Bulgaria in 1990. Or, maybe, the Serbs will be taught how to destroy and set fire to a Parliament building? That was tried in Sofia in 1997. There are many ways to destabilize a Balkan country, but the specialists from beyond the ocean don't rack their brains uselessly or rely on imagination. They strictly follow tried and true methods - it's all modular, plug and play.. If it worked before, use it again. This style of work is a matter of principle with the Great Spies.

It seems that for the U.S.A., Latin America has moved to the Balkans. And Bulgaria's ruling men and women are now no more than puppets of the same type as those colonels whom Washington used with such gusto when they colonized south of the Panama Canal. The sad thing is that both our rulers and we ourselves know full well what lies in store for those who serve as puppets and go-betweens in the US elite's dirty game...

-- 'The Monitor' 8-28-00

Otpor: The Message isn't Hidden Anymore

According to the Bulgarian newspaper, 'Monitor', the Yugoslav group, Otpor, is being trained by the CIA to provoke and destabilize Yugoslavia.

What exactly is this Otpor? What are its beliefs? Does it have a program?

Otpor lists some demands on its website: "Free University; Free elections; Free media." These demands suggest Otpor opposes the Yugoslav status quo. But what does Otpor stand for?

Clicking on "Who we are" doesn't help. Other than attacking Slobodan Milosevich, the closest Otpor gets to a position statement is a discussion of its cartoon-like symbol:

"The symbol of the student RESISTANCE is the clenched fist.. The fist itself is conceived as the symbol of individual initiative, that the time and energy of every single person should be invested to bring about change. This symbol of personal courage was born with the first public manifestation of RESISTANCE, a leaflet called "Bite the System". (our emphasis)

Where's the beef?

Aside from a vaguely free market-ish reference to "every single person" being "invested to bring about change" - what's the program?

The stenciled image of a clenched fist was first produced during the Harvard Strike of 1969. I was a student activist at Harvard. The fist was drawn by kids at the Graduate School of Design. It appeared on posters with a very clear list of demands: Strike to get the Reserve Officer Training Corps off campus; Strike to stop the expansion of the Harvard Medical School into working class neighborhoods. (Harvard was evicting people from their homes.) And so on. You could agree or disagree, but there was no ambiguity.

Does Otpor merely posture, imitating symbols of student protests past? Or is there a hidden message?

Sometimes you can find the message hidden in the details. Otpor's outlook emerges clearly when it describes its actions. The title of one of their web pages is: "Hey, Chief, when are you going to Hague?"

'The Hague' refers to the War Crimes Tribunal for Yugoslavia. The 'Chief', of course, is Milosevich.

Here's the text:

"On August 8th, 1999 OTPOR! activists in Nis held a birthday 'celebration' for president Slobodan Milosevic. The protesters (over 2000 citizens of Nis) had a chance to write down their birthday wishes on a big birthday-card located next to the main stage. One of the OTPOR! Activists received presents on behalf of president Milosevic. The presents included a one way ticket to Hague, prisoner cover-all's, books written by Mira Markovic (his wife), handcuffs, and a big red-star shaped cake. The cake was later given away to the protestors."

Ahh, now we're getting somewhere.

The indictment of Slobodan Milosevic by the ICTY (War Crimes Tribunal) is based on claims that Yugoslav forces under his command committed war crimes in Kosovo. This of course is the heart of NATO's justification for the 78 bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. We have argued that these accusations are lies.

Our arguments are not based on air. We have studied the record and concluded that it was NATO, not Yugoslavia which committed war crimes in Kosovo. Not Yugoslavia and NATO (as some people say) but NATO alone.

We have asked some of those who support NATO's charges to justify their accusations. Give us some hard evidence. We await a meaningful response. We grow older. We wait.

The ICTY's purpose in indicting Mr. Milosevich (and slandering the Yugoslav Army) is to blame the victim and thereby blunt opposition to NATO. If someone can prove we're wrong, we'll drop the issue. We defend truth, not war criminals.

It is impossible (or at least grotesquely unprincipled) to support the indictment of Milosevich unless one also supports the justification for that indictment, NATO's claim that Serbian forces deliberately murdered civilians in the village of Racak and elsewhere.

Indeed, the indictment was brought in order to provide the Western mass media with talking points to justify the attack on Yugoslavia.

Given Otpor's support for the War Crimes Tribunal, which is truly hated in Yugoslavia for its Star Chamber methods, (2) it's clearly anti-Serb purpose and its open control by and dependence on NATO (3), how much support could Otpor have in Yugoslavia?

I would suggest Otpor has precious little support inside Yugoslavia, but it is viewed with misty eyes by some people in the Serbian Diaspora, who are torn between opposition to NATO and to Milosevich, and also by certain non-Serbs, such as the editors of Z magazine, who profess opposition to NATO policy while arguing that Yugoslavia is guilty of war crimes.

Otpor appeals to these rather different groups precisely because it combines symbols of rebellion with vagueness of demands and ambiguity about who is guilty in Yugoslavia - the West and its proxy forces or "the Milosevich regime".

By the way, why is the Yugoslav government more of a 'regime' than any other government? Yugoslav political life certainly allows a greater divergence of opinion than, for example, the US where neither of the two main candidates for President seems to be aware that the US bombed a sovereign country for 78 days, or that the US is sponsoring the slaughter of civilians in Colombia. How many major newspapers in the US have allowed the opposition to the war against Yugoslavia to publish? The percentage of Yugoslavs who voted for the different parties in Yugoslavia's governing coalition is probably as high as or higher than the percentage of US voters who vote for anyone in US presidential elections. But nobody talks about 'the Clinton regime' do they?

Getting back to Otpor, what kind of people would help the bombers of their country divert blame to their country's leaders and people? Because clearly, if Milosevich is a new Hitler, as Mr. Clinton wants us to believe, then wouldn't that make the Serbs the new Nazis? What is the word for someone who betrays his own people while they are under attack?

Perhaps the fact that the CIA is apparently training Otpor in Sofia will clarify things for people who are fooled by Otpor's image. Hopefully they will realize that Otpor's purpose is to take provocative actions in concert with US covert agents inside and outside Yugoslavia, especially around the upcoming elections, to give the false impression that the Yugoslav government is a "dictatorial regime" deserving punishment. We must put the blame for provocations where it belongs: on the US government and its proxy forces, such as Otpor.

Many people in the US and other countries now say they want to build an antiwar movement which opposes Western intervention on a "humanitarian basis" in other people's affairs.

Excellent. But an anti-interventionist movement earns that name by action. The US government is now using forces in Yugoslavia which the Western media has mislabeled 'democratic' to launch provocations in order to justify further US intervention. Everything that has gone on in Kosovo and Montenegro, and recent developments in the Yugoslav 'opposition' ( including the apparent training sessions in Sofia for Otpor) confirm this. To be anti-intervention it is not enough for a movement to oppose open attacks on target countries such as the 78 day bombing campaign unleashed last year on Yugoslavia. It is necessary to expose the lies and provocations used by Imperial elements in the Western elite, working through their proxies, to create a political base of support for intervention. People who say they are against intervention but support the lies that serve as the justification for intervention are in fact providing a critical support for the interventionists - for they aid it in isolating the intended victims of attack even as if they say "This attack is the wrong method for solving this problem."

The CIA is illegally meddling in Yugoslavia's internal affairs. The misguided young people in Otpor are apparently being used as a foil.

Let's expose this trick.

- Jared Israel, 9-10-00

Further reading:

(1) On July 29, 1999 the US Senate held hearings on how to most effectively use the Serbian 'opposition' to effect US plans in Yugoslavia. Go to http://emperors-clothes.com/analysis/hearin.htm

(2) 'Back to the dark ages?' at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/jared/bac.htm

(3) An Impartial Tribunal? Really? at http://emperors-clothes.com/analysis/Impartial.htm

(4) Otpor's website is www.otpor.com

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