[The following, by a former RAW chieftain, is a daring assessment of America’s foreign policy of fomenting democratic-revolution, or outright terrorism by the NED, Reagan’s privatized CIA. It is brutally honest about the repercussions for India for supporting such a policy in Asia, without condemning the criminal American policies that are discussed. This position of the author is predicated on the prevailing wisdom in India that the American side will be victorious in its grand game. My own assessment is in RED, embedded within Mr. Raman’s work.–Peter C.]
The post-Watergate enquiries into the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the US exposed details of its covert political activities in other countries in order to promote US foreign policy objectives. Amongst such activities were the secret funding of individuals, political parties and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) favourable to US interests and funneling of money to counter the activities of those considered anti-US.After taking over as the President in January, 1977, Mr.Jimmy Carter banned such activities and imposed strict limits on the CIA’s covert operations in foreign countries. During the election campaign of 1980, Mr.Ronald Reagan used effectively against Mr.Carter the argument that the post-Vietnam and post-Watergate decline of the US under Mr.Carter was due to the emasculation of its military and intelligence apparatus. [The real reason for the American decline was the period of national shame we had entered into, for what we had sent our sons to Vietnam to do, and what we, as a people, had become in the process. The falsehoods at the base of every Reagan Doctrine, both economic and military, created the national delusion that we had not become monsters in our lust to kill and dominate the world. The national Republican delusion must be brought to an end, by clarifying the moral focus of what monsters we have become, by highlighting our monstrous crimes against humanity that take place everyday, all over the world.]After his election in November, 1980, and before his taking-over as the President in January, 1981, Mr.Reagan appointed a transition group headed by the late William Casey, an attorney and one of his campaign managers, who was to later take over as the CIA Director, to recommend measures for strengthening the USA’s intelligence capability abroad. [Mr. Raman tends to hide the worst truths about the lone superpower, in this case, covering-up Casey’s purloining of Jimmie Carter’s debate preparation book, as well as his helping George Bush pull-off the October Surprise and the deal to hold the Iranian hostages until after Carter left office. Wm. Casey was an amoral monster who created the menace of international “Islamic” terrorism and set it loose upon the world, in a concerted plan to gain total American world dominion. That plan (later dubbed by others, the New American Century) included future false flag “Pearl Harbor type attacks to shock the American people into accepting the final steps into a militarized garrison state as the ultimate price tag for totally dominating the world by seizing control over limited energy reserves. The United States has been on the course to total world war set by Mr. Casey and all his collaborators in the greatest crime wave that the world has ever seen.]
One of its recommendations was to revive covert political activities. Since there might have been opposition from the Congress and public opinion to this task being re-entrusted to the CIA, it suggested that this be given to an NGO with no ostensible links with the CIA. [Right here is the point in the narrative of an insane Republican foreign policy, where the Constitution was subverted, international law was thrown out the window, and the American anti-Communist right wing created a private CIA, beyond the control and oversight of the American people. With the help of America’s foreign partners in previous CIA crimes (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, France, Israel and others), an international organization was begun, that worked through the subversive NED, dedicated to helping Reagan’s CIA bypass the American Congress and Constitution. The new multinational entity, called the “Safari Club” was a secret funding and recruitment effort for illegal foreign wars. The international “Islamic” army organized by it, was known as bin Laden’s “International Islamic Front,” Arabic elements of this group later became known as “al Qaida.”]
The matter was further examined in 1981-82 by the American Political Foundation’s Democracy Programme Study and Research Group and, finally, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) was born under a Congressional enactment of 1983 as a “non-profit, non-governmental, bipartisan, grant-making organisation to help strengthen democratic institutions around the world.”
Though it is projected as an NGO, it is actually a quasi-governmental organisation because till 1994 it was run exclusively from funds voted by the Congress (average of about US $ 16 million per annum in the 1980s and now about US $ 30 million) as part of the budget of the US Information Agency (USIA). Since 1994, it has been accepting contributions from the private sector too to supplement the congressional appropriations.
Thirty per cent of the budgetary allocations constitute the discretionary fund of the NED to be distributed directly by it to overseas organisations and the balance is distributed through what are called four “core organisations”—the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and the Free Trade Union Institute (FTUI).
In 1994, the NED set up two other organisations called the International Forum for Democratic Studies (IFDS) and the Democracy Resource Centre (DRC), both largely funded by the private sector.
Since its inception, the NED and its affiliates have been mired in controversy in the US itself as well as abroad. Amongst its strongest supporters in the US is the Heritage Foundation of Washington DC, a conservative think tank, which played an active role in influencing the policies of the Reagan and Bush Administrations. [The Heritage Foundation is at the center of the American brainwashing campaign/arms venture described in the Iran/Contra reports’ “Lost Chapter,” entitled “Launching the Private Network.”]
It brought out two papers on the justification for the NED, when questions were raised in the US on the continued need for it after the collapse of the communist regimes of East Europe. In the first paper of July 8,1993, (Executive Memorandum No. 360) it described the NED as “an important weapon in the war of ideas” and said:
In the second paper of September 13, 1996, (Executive Memorandum No.461), it said:
Testifying before the Sub-committee on International Operations and Human Rights of the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives on March 13,1997, Mr.Carl Gershman, President of the NED, said:
Amongst the critics of the NED are Ms. Barbara Conry, a foreign policy analyst at the Cato Institute of Washington D.C. and Mr. Ralph McGehee, stated to be a former CIA official.
In a paper of November 8,1993(Foreign Policy Briefing No.27), Ms.Conry said:
In a statement of January 19,1996, Mr.McGehee described the post-1991 activities of the NED as “political action operations targeting China and Cuba.” Another NGO of the US has said:
Initially, the NED’s activities were directed mainly against the communist regimes of East Europe, but, subsequently, it started combating the communist parties in multi-party democracies of West Europe too. In the 1980s, when the late Francois Mitterrand was the French President, an NED report showed an expenditure of US $ 1.5 million “to promote democracy in France.”
There was an uproar in France when the French press discovered that part of this amount had been given by the NED, through the FTUI, to the National Inter-University Union of France, allegedly a right-extremist and xenophobic organisation, in an attempt to use it to defeat communist candidates in the elections to the National Assembly. Embarrassed by the controversy, the Reagan Administration dissociated itself from the NED activities in France.
After the collapse of the communist regimes of East Europe, the NED has been focussing its activities against the communist regimes of Cuba, Vietnam, China and North Korea and the Myanmarese military regime and against the resurgence of the communist parties in East Europe due to the economic difficulties there.
Its activities relating to China are of two kinds: Those, which are legitimate in the Chinese perception such as training of local village officials in the holding of elections, training of local business executives in better management practices, advice on the drafting of economic reform legislation etc and those, which are legitimate in the US perception, but interference in internal affairs in the Chinese view, such as support to political dissidents, human rights activists and Tibetan exiles and projection of Taiwan as a democratic model worthy of emulation.
The first type of activities is carried out by workers of organisations affiliated to the NED, either based in China or visiting the country and the second by off-shore offices of the NED, which were located in Hong Kong before its reversion to China in June, 1997, and which were thereafter reportedly shifted to Australia since the ASEAN countries would not host them. Finding Australia not a convenient place, the NED has reportedly been eyeing India as a possible base for its activities directed against China.
Beijing has reasons to be concerned over what it considers as the illegitimate activities of the NED. Of the 28 NGOs of Asia funded by the NED, 14 focus on China, four of them of Tibetan exiles, five on Myanmar, two on Cambodia, and one each on Vietnam and North Korea and the remaining five on the Asia-Pacific region as a whole.
In his testimony of March 13,1997, before the House Sub-committee on International Operations and Human Rights, Mr.Gershman said:
The trans-border activities of the NED against the Myanmarese military regime seem to be directed mainly from Thailand and India. This is evident from a testimony given by Ms.Louisa Coan, NED’s Programme Officer for Asia, before the House Sub-committee on Asia and the Pacific on September 17,1997.
It is not known whether New Delhi was aware of the India-based activities of the NED against the Yangon regime.
Before the recent visit of the US President, Mr.Bill Clinton, to India, the NED headquarters in Washington issued the following press release:
The press release said the expenditure on the initiative would be shared by the CII and the NED.
It is an interesting case of an important member of the Clinton Cabinet, announcing on behalf of a self-proclaimed NGO of the US funded by the Congress, a non-governmental initiative in collaboration with a non-governmental Indian business organisation with which an office of the Indian Parliament would also be associated.
This launching was duly done at New Delhi.
There are three likely implications of this unusual venture:
The US has also announced the association of India as co-sponsor with a forthcoming conference of “communities of democracies ” in Poland being funded by the Stefan Batory Foundation of Poland, set up by George Soros in 1998, to counter the resurgence of communism in East Europe, and the Freedom House of the US.
The Freedom House was founded in the 1940s “to strengthen free institutions at home and abroad”. It played an active role in carrying on a psychological warfare (psywar) against the troops of the USSR and the late President Najibullah in Afghanistan during the 1980s through the Afghanistan Information Centre set up by it, allegedly with CIA funds. The offices of this centre at Peshawar in Pakistan trained the Afghan Mujahideen groups and Pakistani organisations such as the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (formerly known as the Harkat-ul-Ansar) and the Lashkar-e-Taiba, presently active in Kashmir, in techniques of media management and psywar. [Freedom House is the instrument for all the colored revolutions in Central Asia. The MAK office in Peshawar was bin Laden’s supply and recruitment headquarters. The following was the address for bin Laden’s MAK office: MAKHTAB AL-KHIDAMAT/AL KIFAH, House no. 125, Street 54, Phase II, Hayatabad, Peshawar, Pakistan]
Since 1983, part of the funds voted by the Congress to the NED are funneled to the Freedom House, which also gets contributions from the private sector. The Freedom House focuses its activities on media and communications and, according to a 1990 study by the Interhemispherique Resource Centre of the US, more than 400 journalists in 55 countries were collaborating with the Freedom House in its activities against communist parties and regimes.
Before going ahead with these projects, there is an urgent need for an examination of the implications of our collaboration with such organisations from the point of view of our national security and political stability.