7 Pillars of Color Revolution


You say you want a revolution…

~ The Beatles, “Revolution” (1968)

In the previous post, we touched on Color Revolution and some notable examples of where this tactic was implemented successfully to affect regime change in certain places around the world. Here, we will go into more depth about the playbook that was developed during the US presidential administration of Barack Obama.

The Obama Era

The platform that Obama ran on in 2008 was to “fundamentally transform” America.[1] At the time, few if any knew what Obama really meant or what such an idea would mean for certain freedoms, yet many people believed in him and took that phrase as a positive thing. However, one must understand that Obama’s view of America was the byproduct of a highly anti-America background in his family, life, and academic experience. Furthermore, Obama was influenced by leftist authors such as community activist Saul Alinksy, who wrote “Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals.” First published in 1971, the book is Alinksy’s impassioned counsel to young radicals on how to effectively run a movement for social change.[2] Based on his lessons learned over 30 years, Alinsky lays out strategies for grassroots community organizers to gain social, political, legal, and economic power. Obama recalled that the years he spent as a community organizer on the south side of Chicago in the late 1980s were “the best education I ever had.”[3] He applied that experience in the creation of Obama for America, which aided in his presidential election victory. 

In his victory speech on 4 November 2008, Obama said, “It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.”[4] His rhetoric up through his presidential election victory was patriotic and inspiring, but he struck a very different tone after his inauguration. Obama seemed to find very little good in America and focused instead on what he believed was wrong with America, both at home and abroad. 

In contrast to the way the founding fathers shaped America with the liberty of the individual being paramount, Obama grew the influence of government over individuals’ lives. He did this through extensive regulations and taxation, and took things like healthcare from the free market of the private sector and moved it under the control of the public sector (via the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare). He embraced globalism over nationalism, placing reliance on international institutions and international consensus in the conduct of foreign policy. Obama moved America away from free-market capitalism towards contemporary socialism, such as what is seen in Europe. The European socialist parties trace their origins to Reform Marxism, and so this is in line with Obama’s Marxist ideals.[5] As Obama famously said on the campaign trail in 2008, “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” 

Rather than being an uniter of Americans, he consistently sowed seeds of division and discontent through identity politics and victim narratives for minorities (e.g., Critical Race Theory). Black Americans who voted for Obama hoped that they would see a positive change in their personal lives and their communities but many became disillusioned with his platform and recognized that the victim mentality was keeping them down, as documented in the 2020 movie Uncle Tom.[6] 

Obama vowed to be a champion of the middle class, but he consistently pushed policies that were demonstrably detrimental to the very people he claimed to be fighting for. In reality, wage disparity in the United States reached an all-time high in 2016, the last year of Obama’s second term.[7] Over his eight years in office, he grew the government, hampered the private sector with overregulation, and, in reality, did nothing to improve ordinary American’s “chance at success.” It was in this context that Donald Trump decided to run for president promising reversals of Obama-era policies.

In his two terms as president, Obama started the “fundamental transformation” of America. The plan was for Hillary Clinton to win the 2016 presidential election and finish what Obama started, but Donald Trump threatened their plan. Much evidence has surfaced that the Obama administration, which included then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who was running for president, abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court process to secure warrants to conduct espionage against a presidential candidate -- their political opponent Donald Trump and his associates -- which is unprecedented in American history.[8] The operation was code-named Crossfire Hurricane. To deflect from her email scandal -- creating a private email server to circumvent the government records process and mishandling classified information -- Hillary Clinton created the narrative that Donald Trump was colluding with Russia to win the election. Ironically, the dossier paid for by the Clinton campaign and used to secure the FISA warrants was authored by Christopher Steele, who was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation for suspected contact with Russian intelligence officers.[9]  The FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane operation continued up until the day of the inauguration of President Trump and afterward.[10] Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA), then-Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee Intelligence (HPSCI), brought the FBI abuses of the FISA process to light in a February 2018 memo, after which Democrats launched a smear campaign against him. The Department of Justice Inspector General report released in December 2019 provided a damning indictment of the FBI’s use of the FISA process that vindicated Nunes’ memo and proved the Democrats’ smears and assertions were false.[11] Details of this operation and what transpired are revealed in the 2019 book “Plot Against The President” authored by award-winning investigative journalist Lee Smith, and in the subsequent 2020 documentary film of the same name.[12] 

The American citizens voted to elect Donald Trump as their next president. That was “the will of the people,” but not the will of the political elites, namely the progressive left. They immediately started an operation here in America that they had honed in Obama’s administration overseas -- Color Revolution.

The 7 Pillars of Color Revolution

A few years before Obama ran for president, Michael McFaul, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, associate professor of political science at Stanford University, and senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote a book called “After the Collapse of Communism: Comparative Lessons of Transitions.” Published in 2004, it was a collection of essays examining “the transitional decade following the Soviet collapse and the comparative lessons learned.”[13] In 2005, he published an academic paper entitled “Transitions from Postcommunism,” that effectively looked at the “lessons learned” and “best practices” of successful color revolutions.[14] McFaul identified “7 Pillars of Color Revolution,” which is a list of seven “factors for success” to incite the type of revolution used to overthrow the governments of Eastern European countries in the past two decades.

The 7 Pillars of Color Revolution are as follows: 

1. Semi-autocratic regime

2. An unpopular incumbent

3. A united opposition

4. Independent electoral-monitoring capabilities

5. A modicum of independent media

6. Mobilizing the masses

7. Splits among the “guys with guns” (the state’s military, police, and security forces)

Obama recruited McFaul into his administration, where he served as the ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014. With McFaul on the team, the Obama administration began to lay out the plan for an Eastern European style color revolution to completely upend the American system.[15] 

Transition of Power

One thing that has set America apart from other nations is the peaceful transition of power. That has happened after every presidential election, but did not happen after the 2016 presidential election.

It is interesting to note that Obama is the first president in American history to not leave Washington D.C. after leaving the Oval Office. In his farewell address, Obama said, “I won't stop. In fact, I will be there right with you as a citizen for all my remaining days.”[16] He has been true to his word. 

After Obama completed his second presidential term, he returned to his roots in community organizing spearheading activities in the latest incarnation of Obama for America. After his first presidential win, his campaign apparatus, Obama for America, had morphed into Organizing for America, which is part of the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) campaign apparatus. After Obama was elected for a second term, it evolved to Organizing for Action (OFA).[17] OFA trains leftist organizers in the radical street tactics popularized by Alinsky, and these organizers pass along their knowledge to many additional people -- especially young people -- in communities from coast to coast. As of November 2015, OFA had trained more than 10,000 organizers who, in turn, were training over 2 million youths.[18] OFA uses social media to mobilize flash mobs, and holds regular “organizing summits” on college campuses.[19] 

It also runs its Community Organizing Institute (COI), which OFA describes as “a shared space for organizers, policy makers, advocates, and change-agents to come together for workshops, panel discussions, presentations, trainings, film screenings, and social gatherings—building a strong foundation for partnerships.” Investigative journalist Matthew Vadum offers the following translation of COI’s self-description: “[A]t COI you can learn how to spark riots, get arrested to make a political statement, organize lynch mobs and voter fraud on a massive scale, intimidate and shake down corporations, blackmail lenders, race-bait public officials and businesses into submission, smear and terrorize your opponents, shield illegal aliens from law enforcement, lead squatters to invade foreclosed homes, encourage welfare fraud, and use tax dollars to promote cockamamie social-engineering schemes.”[20]

OFA continues today as a community organizing project that advocates for the agenda of former president Obama.[21] The issue is, America voted for a different agenda when citizens chose not to elect Hillary Clinton and instead elected Donald Trump. In a February 2017 op-ed entitled “How Obama is scheming to sabotage Trump’s Presidency,”[22] acclaimed author Paul Sperry wrote: “Obama has an army of agitators — numbering more than 30,000 — who will fight his Republican successor at every turn of his historic presidency. And Obama will command them from a bunker less than two miles from the White House. In what’s shaping up to be a highly unusual post-presidency, Obama isn’t just staying behind in Washington. He’s working behind the scenes to set up what will effectively be a shadow government to not only protect his threatened legacy, but to sabotage the incoming administration and its popular “America First” agenda. He’s doing it through a network of leftist nonprofits led by Organizing for Action. Normally you’d expect an organization set up to support a politician and his agenda to close up shop after that candidate leaves office, but not Obama’s OFA. Rather, it’s gearing up for battle, with a growing war chest and more than 250 offices across the country.

One of those left-wing nonprofits in OFA’s network is Center for American Progress (CAP) founded by John Podesta, former White House Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton, Counselor to the President in the Obama White House, and chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.[23] Though CAP brands itself as a “nonpartisan” policy institute, in reality, it is not. Per their mission statement, they are “dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action. Our aim is not just to change the conversation, but to change the country.”[24] Put another way, their objective is to “fundamentally transform” America, and they do so by influencing policy and the media, and by shaping the national debate. Their activist arm is Generation Progress, whose slogan is “We seize power for our generation.”[25] OFA also joined together with Indivisible,[26] a protest organization that is part of the so-called “resistance” movement opposed to the Trump presidency and agenda.[27] 

Executing the Operation

Enter the misleadingly named Transition Integrity Project (TIP), which was ostensibly created to “conduct scenario-based exercises aimed at identifying potential risk to the integrity of the November 3, 2020 election and transition process.”[28] In June 2020, they ran a series of “simulations exploring what could possibly go wrong around the election, and what could be done to mitigate the identified risks.” There were four game scenarios: (1) Ambiguous result, (2) clear Biden win, (3) clear Trump win, (4) narrow Biden win. The wargame was run by Soros associates and former members of the Obama administration and current members of the Biden team participated (John Podesta of CAP played Biden). Though they claim to be nonpartisan, in reality, they are not because the only participants who were not democrats were a few “never Trump” republicans. 

They published their 22-page report entitled “Preventing a Disrupted Presidential Election and Transition” on 3 August.[29] In it, they craft what, to most, would be considered outrageous scenarios, and impute to Trump their revolutionary tactics. 

The following is a verbatim excerpt (minus sub-bullet details) from the TIP executive summary:

Among the findings we highlight in the report:

  • The concept of “election night,” is no longer accurate and indeed is dangerous.

  • A determined campaign has opportunity to contest the election into January 2021.

  • The administrative transition process itself may be highly disrupted.

These risks can be mitigated; the worst outcomes of the exercises are far from a certainty. The purpose of this report is not to frighten, but to spur all stakeholders to action. Our legal rules and political norms don’t work unless people are prepared to defend them and to speak out when others violate them. It is incumbent upon elected officials, civil society leaders, and the press to challenge authoritarian actions in the courts, in the media, and in the streets through peaceful protest. Specific recommendations include:

  • Plan for a contested election.

  • Focus on readiness in the states, providing political support for a complete and accurate count. 

  • Address the two biggest threats head on: lies about “voter fraud” and escalating violence. 

  • Anticipate a rocky administrative transition.

One must recognize that their scenarios and findings play perfectly into the Color Revolution framework. Though Donald Trump interrupted the “fundamental transformation” of America, the left is poised to continue that process one way or another. More on that in the next post…

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