October 16, 2007


The geopolitical stakes of 'Saffron Revolution' (F William Engdahl, 10/16/07, Asia Times)

The tragedy of Myanmar, whose land area is about the size of George W Bush's Texas, is that its population is being used as a human stage prop in a drama scripted in Washington by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the George Soros Open Society Institute, Freedom House and Gene Sharp's Albert Einstein Institution, a US intelligence asset used to spark "non-violent" regime change around the world on behalf of the US strategic agenda.

Myanmar's "Saffron Revolution", like the Ukraine "Orange Revolution" or the Georgia "Rose Revolution" and the various color revolutions instigated in recent years against strategic states surrounding Russia, is a well-orchestrated exercise in Washington-run regime change, down to the details of "hit-and-run" protests with "swarming" mobs of monks in saffron, Internet blogs, mobile SMS links between protest groups, well-organized protest cells which disperse and re-form. CNN made the blunder during a September broadcast of mentioning the active presence of the NED behind the protests in Myanmar.

In fact the US State Department admits to supporting the activities of the NED in Myanmar. The NED is a US government-funded "private" entity whose activities are designed to support US foreign policy objectives, doing today what the CIA did during the Cold War. As well, the NED funds Soros' Open Society Institute in fostering regime change in Myanmar. In an October 30, 2003 press release the State Department admitted, "The United States also supports organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the Open Society Institute and Internews, working inside and outside the region on a broad range of democracy promotion activities." It all sounds very self-effacing and noble of the State Department. Is it though?

In reality the US State Department has recruited and trained key opposition leaders from numerous anti-government organizations in Myanmar. It has poured the relatively huge sum (for Myanmar) of more than $2.5 million annually into NED activities in promoting regime change in Myanmar since at least 2003. The US regime change effort, its Saffron Revolution, is being largely run, according to informed reports, out of the US Consulate General in bordering Chaing Mai, Thailand. There activists are recruited and trained, in some cases directly in the US, before being sent back to organize inside Myanmar. The US's NED admits to funding key opposition media including the New Era Journal, Irrawaddy and the Democratic Voice of Burma radio.

The concert-master of the tactics of Saffron monk-led non-violence regime change is Gene Sharp, founder of the deceptively-named Albert Einstein Institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a group funded by an arm of the NED to foster US-friendly regime change in key spots around the world. Sharp's institute has been active in Myanmar since 1989, just after the regime massacred some 3,000 protestors to silence the opposition. CIA special operative and former US military attache in Rangoon, Col Robert Helvey, an expert in clandestine operations, introduced Sharp to Myanmar in 1989 to train the opposition there in non-violent strategy. Interestingly, Sharp was also in China two weeks before the dramatic events at Tiananmen Square.

Who knew you could take that many crazy pills and still type?

Japan turns economic screw on Burma (Ian MacKinnon, October 16, 2007, Guardian Unlimited)

Burma's military regime came under further economic pressure today after Japan halted aid for a multimillion-pound humanitarian project in protest at the bloody suppression of last month's pro-democracy protests.

The cut in grants by one of the Asian regions most influential players followed the EU's decision to toughen sanctions, and signals from the US that it will shortly stiffen its measures against the junta's leadership.

Japan, once Burma's largest aid donor, said it had decided to cut funding in response to international outrage over the crackdown. It hoped the move would encourage the regime to change course and move towards democracy.

The macarthurbots always do our evil bidding....

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 16, 2007 9:02 AM

So supporting democracy is now a bad thing? Advocating it instead of supporting a strong man is now the bad thing?

The Left has nothing left but its anti-Americanism, and they will ride that crazy train into the long good-night and good-riddance.

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 16, 2007 10:51 AM

I would like to correct the false accusations made by F. William Engdahl in the above-quoted article, "Chokepoint! The geopolitical stakes of the Saffron Revolution" (Oct. 15, 2007).

Mr. Engdahl alleges that "The tragedy of Burma, ... is that its population is being used as a human stage prop in a drama which has been scripted in Washington by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the George Soros Open Society Institute, Freedom House and Gene Sharp's Albert Einstein Institution, a US intelligence asset used to spark 'non-violent' regime change around the world on behalf of the US strategic agenda," Mr. Engdahl also claims that Gene Sharp is the "concert master" for revolution. He gives no evidence, and indeed there is none for these spurious assertions.

As a volunteer who has worked with the Albert Einstein Institution, I can assure your readers that Dr. Sharp is a scholar, a writer of books and articles, who did travel to Burma a number of years ago, but is not at all in control of the Burmese monks and civilians who so bravely marched against the regime. People in Burma are capable of mounting protests by themselves! The Albert Einstein Institution is not a US intelligence asset, nor is it funded by an arm of the NED, and indeed does not work on behalf of the US government, but rather it is a small nonprofit institution that engages in scholarly work on the history, theory and strategic use of nonviolent resistance.

Mr. Engdahl's claim that Dr. Sharp's colleague Robert Helvey is a "special CIA operative" is also without basis.

Readers interested in a factual account of work by Dr. Sharp and Mr. Helvey work in Burma and elsewhere would do well to read the following articles in Peace Magazine:

[First, Second]

and examine the Albert Einstein Institution's website, aeinstein.org, themselves.

Arthur D Edelstein
Berkeley, CA

Posted by: Arthur Edelstein at October 16, 2007 1:49 PM

Sounds and looks like a piece penned by Chicom.

Sharp in Tiananmen in '89. Another evil Bush was president.

It's hard to believe that Soro was in cahoots with the Bush Administration. It's more likely that he'd scream bloody murder against Bush. I guess we live to learn, eh?

In conclusion, the Burmese have nothing against the junta if evil Bush had not pushed them.

Posted by: ic at October 16, 2007 1:58 PM

If Soros were to weigh in on Burma, he'd be siding with the junta.

Posted by: Mike Morley at October 16, 2007 4:36 PM

I suppose that the Dalai Lama is in cahoots w/Bush as well.

Posted by: Dave W at October 16, 2007 4:39 PM