Many readers likely never heard the name of the remarkable Serbia-born political operator named Srđa Popović. Yet he and his organization, CANVAS, have played a lead role in most every CIA-backed Color Revolution since he led the toppling of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic in 2000, at least fifty according to last count. Now he has turned his sights on Hungary and Hungary’s popular and defiant Prime Minister Victor Orban.
On September 8, the professional regime-change specialist Srđa Popović came to Budapest and joined with the anti-Orban opposition groups in front of the Hungarian Parliament. It‘s clear that Popović was not in town to promote his Hungarian book on nonviolent regime change but rather to give aid to the anti-Orban parties before Hungarian elections in spring of 2018. Many in Hungary smell the oily hand of Hungarian-born regime-change financier George Soros behind the Popović appearance now in Budapest.
Because of the manufactured aura of “hip doer-of-good-deeds” surrounding the personality of Srđa Popović, it’s useful to look closely at who sponsored his remarkable career since he founded a tiny Belgrade student opposition NGO called Otpor! in 1998 with its now famous clenched fist logo. The career of Srđa Popović from 2000 until today suggest a remarkably dishonest manipulator in the service of foreign intelligence agencies and governments, despite his vehement claims otherwise.
Popović first came to international notice as the founder of the Belgrade student political activist organization Otpor! which means “Resistance!” in Serbian. In October 1998 Popović founded Otpor!, initially as a student protest group at Belgrade University dealing with student grievances. That was soon to change. He and other Otpor founders were trained in the methods of US regime-change specialist Gene Sharp founder of the Albert Einstein Institute in Cambridge Massachusetts and by US State Department soft coup specialists such as Belgrade Ambassador Richard Miles and other trained US intelligence operatives, including election specialists and public relations image makers.
Guiding Otpor!’s Milošević ouster operation, US Ambassador to Serbia Richard Miles was a specialist in regime change, far more so than in classical diplomacy. He orchestrated the CIA coup in Azerbaijan that brought Aliyev to power in 1993 before arriving in Belgrade, and after that went on to orchestrate the CIA coup in Georgia that brought US asset Mikheil Saakashvili to power.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID), widely known as a CIA front, had channeled the Serb Otpor! Millions of dollars in funds through commercial contractors and through the US-government-financed NGOs: the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the National Democratic Institute, and the International Republican Institute. The Open Society Institute of George Soros was also funneling money into Popović ’s Otpor! for the toppling of Milosevic. I have yet to find a CIA and US State Department regime change or Color Revolution in which the “democracy-building” foundations of Soros were not in a kind of harmony with the Washington State Department and CIA agenda. Maybe just a coincidence.
The NED with all its affiliates was a project of Ronald Reagan CIA head, Bill Casey, in the early 1980’s to conceal CIA regime change operations around the world behind the front of a “private” democracy NGO, the NED. Allen Weinstein, cofounder of the NED admitted to the Washington Post, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”
According to Michael Dobbs, who was foreign investigative reporter for the Washington Post during the Milosevic ouster, the IRI paid for Popović and some two-dozen other Otpor! leaders to attend a training seminar on nonviolent resistance at the Hilton Hotel in Budapest in October,1999. There Popović and the other handpicked Serbian students received training in such matters as how to organize a strike and how to communicate with symbols, such as the clenched fist that became their logo. They learned how to overcome fear and how to undermine the authority of a dictatorial regime.
The principal lecturer at the secret Hilton Hotel meeting was Gene Sharp’s associate, retired US Army Col. Robert Helvey, a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst who trained and then used the Otpor! activists to distribute 70,000 copies of a manual on nonviolent resistance in Serb translation. Helvey worked with Gene Sharp, founder of the controversial Albert Einstein Institution, teaching techniques to the US government to conceal its coup d’états under the guise of nonviolence. Sharp was described by Helvey as “the Clausewitz of the nonviolence movement,” a reference to the renowned Prussian military strategist.
Popović and his Otpor! NGO were recipients of a major share of over $41 million US government money for their “democracy-building” campaign in Serbia. Dobbs describes the US involvement:
Behind the seeming spontaneity of the street uprising that forced Milošević to respect the results of a hotly contested presidential election on September 24 was a carefully researched strategy put together by Serbian democracy activists with active assistance of Western advisers and pollsters… US-funded consultants played a crucial role behind the scenes in virtually every facet of the anti-drive, running tracking polls, training thousands of opposition activists and helping to organize a vitally important parallel vote count. US taxpayers paid for 5,000 cans of spray paint used by student activists to scrawl anti-Milošević graffiti on walls across Serbia.
In short, Popović began his revolution-making career as a regime change specialist in an operation funded by the CIA, US State Department, US Government NGOs including the infamous NED and George Soros’ Open Society Institute. The question is what did Srđa Popović do after his first helpful service to Washington in 2000?
Globalization of revolutions
After his success in getting rid of Milosevic for his US Government sponsors, Popović created a new organization called CANVAS. He decided to globalize his business model that worked so well in Belgrade in 2000, to make himself an international “go to” person for making US State Department fake democracy regime change. CANVAS or the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies calls itself a non-profit, non-governmental, “educational institution focused on the use of nonviolent conflict.” According to Wikipedia, CANVAS seeks to “educate pro-democracy activists around the world in what it regards as the universal principles for success in nonviolent struggle.”
Popović and CANVAS claim that at least 50% of their obviously substantial funding for this philanthropic work comes from Pop