Archive for the ‘Profiles’ Category

The Academy of Change

02/01/2012 Leave a comment

The first mention of the Academy of Change (AOC) in relation to the Egyptian Revolution of 25 January, came in a Reuters report published on 13 April 2011, under the title of “Inside the Egyptian Revolution”.

In the report, Reuters stated that the Academy of Change was founded in London in 2005 by  Hisham Morsy, Wael Adel, and Adel’s cousin Ahmed Adel, and that the Academy moved to Qatar later on. Reuters claims that the AOC was involved in training Egyptian dissidents (Kefaya and April 6 Youth among others) ever since 2005. Reuters also claims that the Academy is one of those involved in the planning of the events that took place Tahrir, and the training of the revolutionaries, through a vague character with the name “Saad Bahaar“.

Reuters report wrote: 

“Inspired by the way Serbian group Otpor had brought down Slobodan Milosevic through non-violent protests in 2000, the trio studied previous struggles. One of their favorite thinkers was Gene Sharp, a Boston-based academic who was heavily influenced by Mahatma Gandhi. The group had set up a webpage in 2004 to propagate civil disobedience ideas in Arabic.

At first, the three young Egyptians’ activities were purely theoretical. But in November 2005, Wael Adel came to Cairo to give a three-day training session on civil disobedience. In the audience were about 30 members of Kefaya, an anti-Mubarak protest group whose name means “enough” in Arabic. Kefaya had gained prominence during the September 2005 presidential elections which Mubarak won by a landslide. During these protests, they had been attacked by thugs and some women members had been stripped naked. Bahaar joined Adel on the course and his career as an underground trainer in non-violent activism was born. Read more…

So you want a revolution: Meet the man who gives you the revolution!

29/12/2011 Leave a comment

Question: what do the so-called “colour” revolutions – Georgia (2003) and Ukraine (2004), and

the rest – have in common with the uprising that drove Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak from power? Answer: the great majority of the people involved avoided committing acts of violence; and the organisers took advice from a young Serbianrevolutionary called Srdja Popovic and his colleagues.

For many of us, the way that one deeply embedded Middle Eastern dictatorship after another has collapsed this year is a baffling mystery. But for Popovic, tall, lean and brimming with vitality, it was no great surprise. “How do we see political power?” he asks. “Mainly we see power as the state wants us to, as a monolith. So we believe power is fixed; and nothing can change except the people at the top.” But at an age when he was still tender enough to do something with the information, Popovic (pictured right) discovered that power is not like that. “The true nature of power is very different. In a society, power can change very swiftly. It can become fragile and can be redistributed, especially in non-democratic regimes… Ultimately, power in society comes from the obedience of the people. And those people – each of whom is individually a small source of power – can change their minds, and refuse to follow commands.” Read more…

CANVAS: Centre for Applied Non Violent Actions and Strategies

05/12/2011 6 comments

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…


05/12/2011 4 comments

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…

Freedom House

09/11/2011 1 comment

Freedom House is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Washington, D.C. that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights. It publishes an annual report assessing the degree of perceived democratic freedoms in each country, which is used in political science research.

The organization was founded in October 1941, and Wendell Willkie and Eleanor Roosevelt served as its first honorary chairpersons. Freedom House describes itself as “a clear voice for democracy and freedom around the world.” The group states “American leadership in international affairs is essential to the cause of human rights and freedom” and that this can primarily be achieved through the group’s “analysis, advocacy, and action”.

Human Rights activists have denounced Freedom House for being a political instrument used by hawkish circles in the United States to put pressure on countries that do not behave according to their standards.

The Financial Times has reported that Freedom House is one of several organizations selected by the State Department to receive funding for ‘clandestine activities’ inside Iran.

On June 8, 2006, the vice-chairman of Freedom House’s board of trustees asked the U.S. Senate to increase the share of NGO funding aimed at helping support non-violent foreign democratic activists organize for potential overthrows of their non-democratic governments. Palmer argued in favor of shifting funding away from NGOs working in already democratic nations to fund this effort.

On December 7, 2004, U.S. House Representative Ron Paul criticized Freedom House for allegedly administering a U.S.-funded program in Ukraine where “much of that money was targeted to assist one particular candidate.” Paul said that:

“one part that we do know thus far is that the U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), granted millions of dollars to the Poland-America-Ukraine Cooperation Initiative (PAUCI), which is administered by the U.S.-based Freedom House. PAUCI then sent U.S. Government funds to numerous Ukrainian non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This would be bad enough and would in itself constitute meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. But, what is worse is that many of these grantee organizations in Ukraine are blatantly in favor of presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko.” Read more…

Jared Cohen

01/09/2011 3 comments

Jared Cohen, an American Jew, (born November 24, 1981 in Weston, Connecticut) is the Director of Google Ideas, an Adjunct Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously he served as a member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff and a close advisor to both Condoleezza Rice and later Hillary Clinton. Initially brought in by Condoleezza Rice as the youngest member in history, he was one of the few people kept on under Hillary Clinton. In this capacity, he focused on counter-terrorism, counter-radicalization, Middle East/South Asia, Youth, and Technology.

According to New York Times Magazine, Cohen was one of the principal architects of what became known as “21st century statecraft.” Prior to his work at the State Department, Cohen received his BA from Stanford University and his M.Phil in International Relations from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Read more…

Relation Maps: The Key Players

25/05/2011 2 comments

Diagrams showing the relations of Mohamed El Baradie, to International Crisis Group, George Soros & Zbigniew Brzezinski

International Crisis Group & Mohamed El Baradei

Zbigniew Brzezinski

George Soros

Relation maps via

Read more on Mohamed El Baradie connection to George Soros

Zbigniew Brzezinski: The man standing behind Obama & Osama!

21/05/2011 4 comments

Zbigniew Brzezinski (born March 28, 1928 in Warsaw, Poland) is a Polish American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman who served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981.

Major foreign policy events during his term of office included the normalization of relations with the People’s Republic of China (and the severing of ties with the Republic of China), the signing of the second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II), the brokering of the Camp David Accords, the transition of Iran from an important US client state to an anti-Western Islamic Republic, encouraging dissidents in Eastern Europe and emphasizing certain human rights in order to undermine the influence of the Soviet Union, the financing of the mujahideen in Afghanistan in response to the Soviet deployment of forces there (allegedly either to help deter a Russian invasion, or to deliberately increase the chance of such an intervention occurring—or for both contradictory reasons simultaneously being embraced by separate US officials) and the arming of these rebels to counter the Soviet invasion.

He was chosen by Barack Obama’s as top Foreign Policy Advisor on the Middle East, and is also a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and a member of various boards and councils, including the International Crisis Group.

Read more…

Soros: Philanthropist? Spook? or Philanthropist spook?

05/05/2011 2 comments

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.”

George Soros

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.


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

Read more…

Osama bin Laden obituary

02/05/2011 Leave a comment

“Leader of al-Qaida and the mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he became the world’s most wanted man...”

Jason Burke and Lawrence Joffe wrote:

To his enemies, whatever colour or creed, he was a religious fanatic, a terrorist with the blood of thousands on his hands, a man who had brought war and suffering to a broad swath of the Islamic world and come close to provoking a global conflagration on a scale not seen for decades. To his supporters, whose numbers peaked in the few years after the attacks of 11 September 2001 in America that he masterminded, he was a visionary leader fighting both western aggression against Muslims and his co-religionists’ lack of faith and rigour. For both, Osama bin Laden, who has been killed at the age of 54 by US special forces at a compound near Abbottabad, a town about 40 miles north-east of Pakistan‘s capital Islamabad, was one of those rare figures whose actions changed the course of history.

His life was one of extremes and of contradictions. Born to great wealth, he lived in relative poverty. A graduate of civil engineering, he assumed the mantle of a religious scholar. A gifted propagandist who had little real experience of battle, he projected himself as a mujahid, a holy warrior. A man who called for a return to the values and social systems of the seventh century as a means of restoring a just order in today’s world, he justified the use of advanced modern technology to kill thousands through a rigorous and anachronistic interpretation of Islamic law. One of the most notorious people on the planet, Bin Laden lived for years in obscurity, his public presence limited to intermittent appearances in videos on the internet. A man who professed to have sacrificed all for others and to care nothing for himself, he was fiercely conscious of posterity.

Bin Laden’s story started in the remote, poor, deeply conservative Hadramawt region of south-east Yemen, from where his father, Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, set out for the Saudi city of Jeddah to seek his fortune around 1930. By the time Osama was born there, the 17th of 52 children, his father was a rich construction magnate. His connections to Saudi Arabia‘s ruling family, the al-Sauds, won him lucrative contracts to build palaces in Riyadh and the highway from Medina to Jeddah. The crowning achievement of the family firm, the Saudi Binladen Group, was reconstructing Islam’s holiest mosque in Mecca. Osama’s father was an austere patriarch; his mother, a beautiful, educated young woman from Syria who shunned the veil in favour of Chanel suits. Because of her foreign origin and as the 10th wife, her prestige in the household was low. Raised in a palace in Jeddah, Osama grew up polite, courteous, diligent and, from an early age, pious. His father died in a helicopter crash when he was 11. Read more…