Otpor, Canvas and Terrorism
[We highly recommend that readers interested in this matter familiarize themselves with our prior articles on this most important subject. The terms ‘Gene Sharp’ and ‘Otpor’ can be entered into the search bar of this site, located on the upper right hand corner of this page – CSS Editor]
Last month the cabinet of prince Bin Zayed, the government of United Arab Emirates, in accordance to the federal anti terrorist law, published a list of terrorist organizations to arise awareness in media and society about their work and the danger that comes from them. On that list there are 85 names, including Al Qaeda, the infamous Boko Haram, Muslim Brotherhood, and others. So on that list they have the most radical Islamist and jihadist groups that endanger all secular and moderate regimes in Muslim world. The only non-Islamic organization on that list is Canvas from Belgrade.
Srdja Popovic, is the director and founder of that group operating under that name since 2004. Srdja Popovic, said in a press release, that it (being listed as a terrorist organization) is only a mistake. This case has for Serbia, some very worrying aspects: not only does it endanger the image of the country, and not only that it threatens or discourages future of investments from UAE, but also it is potential security threat for Serbia. Anyway, listing Canvas as terrorist organization is hardly a mistake.
Because of media censorship and for the sake of keeping the lie of 5th October alive in Serbia, the public knows very little about the work of Canvas. Canvas was created out of the model that US security structures developed in the process of bringing Slobodan Milosevic down. What they in Serbia still call a “democratic revolution”, in Russia, China, Iran and many other countries is now studied as a model of the so called “Color Revolutions” that Americans’ and their allies use to undermine and bring down unsuitable regimes all over the world. Nonviolent resistance as an important segment of state coup, has been developed by theoreticians Gene Sharp and legendary colonel Robert Helvi, was implemented in Serbia for the first time.
This model had proven itself effective, and after that it was developed and perfected so it could be used in more then thirty countries. Activists that where trained by Popovic and his associates worked in Ukraine, Georgia, Lebanon, Maldives and so on, and took part in numerous change of governments. From 2004 their work was formalized under the organization “Canvas” as a combination of NGO’s, secret service bodies, and consultant companies. With Popovic, the most important name in Canvas is businessman Slobodan Djinovic, owner of “Orion Telekom” company.
But why are they on the same list as Al Qaeda? Who ever has followed the history of Arab spring, knows that in this field there was a cooperation of western liberal foundations and NGOs with Islamist groups like Muslim Brotherhood. It’s a model that was used to topple Mubarak regimes in Egypt. Where nonviolent methods did not work, there that coalition was joined by armed jihadi forces, as it was in Libya and Syria.
Shocked reader must be reminded that it is not first time and that Americans, and before them the Brits, have long history of using radical Islamist groups. During First world war the now well known Lawrence of Arabia achieved fame by encouraging Islamism among various Arab fractions that lived in Ottoman Empire, that Great Britain was at war with. During the 1980’s CIA and other parts of US security apparatus trained and armed most radical Islamist groups in Afghanistan so the would fight against soviet forces. The nineties brought the spread of that model to the Balkans and Caucasus. In the war against Orthodox Serbs and Russians, the westerners tolerated the coming of Islamist groups that latter had direct connection to the terrorist attacks in Madrid, London and New York. And when the so called “Arab spring” started, the old partners where again at the same assignment.
Almost exactly the same model was used in Ukraine. Western intelligence agencies coordinated the work of liberal NGOs like Canvas and neonazi organizations like “Right Sector” and “Svoboda” party that played a major role in violent coup. Putting “Canvas“ to the terrorist list or the the list of organizations cooperating with terrorist is not a mistake, it’s a logical consequence of their work.
This status of “Canvas” (Popovic teaches “Nonviolent resistance” at the state university in Serbia, although he doesn’t have scientific qualifications), and other NGO activists from Serbia are used for undermining legal and legitimate governments around the world, and it is a big problem for state of Serbia. We must remember that some NGO’s from Belgrade have taken part in protests against Putin, and that then a few Serb citizens involved were deported from Russia because of that. They are undermining our relationships with friendly governments who in all actuality are the ones who who want to seriously invest in Serbia. Many states in the world will not sit down calmly and watch this, and they have started their own counter-intelligence activities on our territory, by taking the example of Americans that claim that they have the right to work against terrorism anywhere. That is something that Serbian government and our secret services should be aware of.
Prof. Dr Misha Djurkovic, PhD in philosophy , Senior Research Fellow at Institute of European Studies that is part of Serbian Ccademy of Sciences and Art. President of Center for Conservative studies. Ex adviser of president of Serbian government and ex state secretary for Kosovo and Metochia.