The Globalist Web of Subversion

The Globalist Web of Subversion

by Dr. K R Bolton

February 7, 2011

…It is this power structure which the Radical Right in the US has been attacking for years in the belief that they were attacking the Communists.[1]

When Professor Carroll Quigley, the eminent Harvard historian, wrote those words in 1966 he was referring to a “network” (sic) of plutocrats largely centered around the Council on Foreign Relations. Since then this “network” has increased exponentially into a vast, interlocking apparatus that has the ability to bring down regimes by manipulating those who believe themselves to be shaping a new and more humane future.

This international subversive apparatus would have turned the old Bolsheviks of the Comintern[2] red with envy. Indeed, when things turned sour for bolshevism with the advent of Stalin, many Marxists joined forces with America in the Cold War via such institutions as the Congress for Cultural Freedom, attracting sundry Bolsheviks, ex-Bolsheviks, Trots, pro-Marxists, crypto-Marxists and social democrats.[3]

From out of the Cold War emerged organizations committed to spreading the “American Dream” throughout the world in the formation of a “new world order.”[4] The eclipse of the Soviet bloc provided an opportunity for this “new world order” to be created, but there remained the Islamic world, the danger of the resurgence of nationalism and traditionalism in the former Soviet bloc states, and other regimes that are regarded as anachronistic roadblocks in creating a “new world order.” One of these was Serbia under Milosevic, who wished to retain state control over the mineral rich region of Kosovo.[5]

When eliminating Milosevic the use of “Muslim terrorists” was considered expedient by the USA, and the Kosovo Liberation Army went from being listed as a heroin-pushing “terrorist organization” by the US State Department, to being noble freedom fighters.[6] They were an example of “good Muslims,” just as bin Laden was a “good Muslim” when he was needed to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.

“Neo-conservatism” also emerged out of the Cold War. The term is a misnomer, however. Neo-conservatism is neither “new” nor “conservative.” There is nothing conservative about the “neocons” (a more apt term). The version of “American tradition” advocated by the neocons is that of global Americanization, Sen. McCain stating the doctrine in 2007 as President of the International Republican Institute:

The promotion of freedom is the most authentic expression of our national character. To accept the abridgement of those rights for other societies should be no less false to the American heart than to accept their abridgment in our own society.[7]

The American tradition was to keep out of foreign entanglements,[8] which was reiterated by the “isolationists.”

Neocons are antithetical to “palaeoconservatives” such as Prof. Paul Gottfried,[9] the late Joe Sobran, Pat Buchanan, et al, who are opposed to American globalism and interference in the affairs of other states. They and politicians such as Ron Paul stand for the traditional American outlook. Neocons are the ideological heirs to Wilsonian internationalism, and his revolutionary manifesto of The Fourteen Points, which in the aftermath of World War I sought to create a new international order based on American hegemony, via the League of Nations, just as the same stunt was tried in the aftermath of World War II by the USA via the United Nations Organization, but was squashed by the intransigence of Stalin.[10]

Indeed the position of palaeoconservatism contra the neocons was cogently expressed by the recently deceased columnist Joe Sobran when he stated that:

Anti-Americanism is no longer a mere fad of Marxist university students; it’s a profound reaction of traditional societies against a corrupt and corrupting modernization that is being imposed on them, by both violence and seduction. The very word values implies a whole modern culture of moral whim, in which good and evil are matters of personal preference and sodomy and abortion can be treated as “rights.” Confronted with today’s America, then, the Christian Arab finds himself in unexpected sympathy with his Muslim enemy.[11]

It should not be too difficult to see – if one can think beyond the mass media hype – that the “color revolutions” and the “spontaneous revolts” that have taken place, and are now taking place in the Arab world, have not arisen from “traditional Christian and Muslim Arabs” in a revolt against Americanization and capitalist moral nihilism, as per the statement by Sobran, but rather arose among bourgeois secular youth under the long-term influence of American globalists. Whether the current revolts will be captured by Arab traditionalists and turned into a genuine liberation movement against Americanization remains to be seen.

Genuine stirrings against global Americanization referred to by Sobran constitute the major roadblock to the “new world order,” whether as regimes such as those of Iran or as grass roots phenomena such as the re-emergence of nationalism and traditionalist movements in the former Soviet bloc states, wishing to revive what American globalists consider to be anachronistic ideas, such as those of religion, ethnic identity and nationalism. Against these they postulate a counter-idealism, concentrating on the youth generation, in the same manner by which the American Establishment sought to co-opt and experiment with American youth via the “New Left” during the 1960s.[12]

The American Establishment, or – if you prefer – what Eisenhower in his presidential “farewell” speech called the “military-industrial complex,”[13] seeks to direct the emergence of revolutionary and reform movements throughout the world, albeit presented by media and political commentators as rebelling against America. Hence the present phenomena of “revolt” that has “spontaneously” (sic) swept North Africa, with the public being simplistically told that this is causing the fall of “pro-American dictators.” As I have previously pointed out, the “spontaneous revolts” in Egypt and Tunisia, for example, portrayed with such unrestrained enthusiasm by the Western news media, are the culmination of years of planning, training, networking, and funding “activists,” following exactly the same pattern as that seen in the “color revolutions” of the former Soviet bloc states.[14] A far-reaching network of interlocking organizations has emerged, funded in part by the US Government, and in part by corporate sources, to foment “world revolution.”

International Republican Institute (IRI)

The IRI is a neocon version of the Comintern. Its by-line is “Advancing Democracy Worldwide” (even if you don’t want their version of it, and then that’s when the bombs start landing). The creation of IRI was supposedly inspired by the words of President Ronald Reagan, who in 1982 called for a “crusade for freedom” throughout the world, stating before the British Parliament that America’s version of democracy, and one might add its concomitant versions of culture[15] and economics, is “the inalienable and universal right of all human beings.” Like Communism, it provides ideological justification for interference in the life sovereign nations, including ultimately the use of force as per Serbia and Iraq.

IRI states that Reagan provided the ideological impetus for the formation in 1983 of the National Endowment for Democracy (which helps fund IRI) to “support democrats worldwide.” This led to a network of fronts: National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Center for International Private Enterprise, and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity.[16]

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K R Bolton is a Fellow of the Academy of Social and Political Research, and an assistant editor of the peer reviewed journal Ab Aeterno. Recent publications include ‘Trotskyism and the Anti-Family Agenda,’ CKR website, Sociology Dept., Moscow State University (October 2009); ‘Rivalry over water resources as a potential cause of conflict in Asia,’ Journal of Social Political and Economic Studies, and Russia and China: an approaching conflict?, Vol. 35, No. 1, Spring 2010; Vol. 34, no. 2, Summer 2009. Read more articles byDr. K R Bolton.

Loose Cannon: The National Endowment for Democracy

Loose Cannon: 
The National Endowment for Democracy

by Barbara Conry

Barbara Conry is a foreign policy analyst at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.

Executive Summary

The National Endowment for Democracy is a foreign policy loose cannon. Promoting democracy is a nebulous objective that can be manipulated to justify any whim of the special-interest groups–the Republican and Democratic parties, organized labor, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce–that control most of NED’s funds. As those groups execute their own foreign policies, they often work against American interests and meddle needlessly in the affairs of other countries, undermining the democratic movements NED was designed to assist. Moreover, the end of the Cold War has nullified any usefulness that such an organization might ever have had. There is no longer a rival superpower mounting an effective ideological challenge, and democracy is progressing remarkably well on its own.

NED, which also has a history of corruption and financial mismanagement, is superfluous at best and often destructive. Through the endowment, the American taxpayer has paid for special-interest groups to harass the duly elected governments of friendly countries, interfere in foreign elections, and foster the corruption of democratic movements.


This is a demonstration that you can have the most egregious abuse in the world for taxpayers’ dollars under [a] program and bring it here [to Washington] and you would find support for that program. . . . If we cannot cut this, Lord, we cannot cut anything.

–Sen. Byron L. Dorgan

The buzzwords of the budget season have been “cut spending first.” We could, perhaps, begin with the National Endowment for Democracy. Its past is rife with scandals, financial and otherwise. It has absolutely no “hometown” constituency; not one member of Congress would face angry voters demanding to know why “their” program had been cut. Very few voters would even have heard of it. Moreover, NED is emblematic of inside-the-beltway political logrolling, the type of enterprise that Washington-weary and government wary voters–including the coveted Perot constituency–would love to see abolished. Such a victimless cut would appear the perfect candidate for the budgetary ax. Yet many mem bers of Congress seem to think that the program should get yet another hefty funding boost, its fourth consecutive increase, which would allow NED’s budget to more than double in four years.

NED is a little-known foreign aid program intended to promote democracy abroad. It is a nominally private organization, but all of its funds come from the federal treasury. Although small in comparison with other federal programs- its annual budget has ranged from a low of $15 million in 1987 to a high of $27.5 million in 1992–NED has been con troversial throughout its 10-year history, engendering intense congressional debate that cuts across party lines. Moreover, although it is a child of the Cold War, NED continues to be a strong point of contention in the post-Cold War era. This year, for instance, NED represented only $35 million of a $23 billion Senate appropriations bill, yet it attracted more speakers to the floor than any other item in the bill.(1)

During deliberations on the fiscal year 1994 budget in the summer of 1993, the Senate approved an appropriation of $35 million, a decrease from the $50 million recommended by the Foreign Relations Committee and included in the foreign aid authorization bill. NED fared worse in the House appropriations bill. Its entire budget was deleted even though $17.5 million had previously been allocated in the House authorization bill. But even the Senate figures represent a sharp rebuff to Clinton’s proposal to increase NED’s budget by 66 percent from FY93, which would have brought the NED budget to $50 million. The final fate of NED’s FY94 budget will be decided in conference committee.

The debate over NED is not a debate about democracy; no one is disputing that democracy and liberty are worthwhile goals. Rather, the controversy surrounding NED questions the wisdom of giving a quasi-private organization the fiat to pursue what is effectively an independent foreign policy under the guise of “promoting democracy.” Proponents of NED maintain that a private organization is necessary to over come the restraints that limit the activities of a government agency, yet they insist that the American taxpayer provide full funding for this initiative. NED’s detractors point to the inherent contradiction of a publicly funded organization that is charged with executing foreign policy (a power expressly given to the federal government in the Constitution) yet exempt from nearly all political and administrative controls. Still another aspect of the debate is whether NED is simply a relic of the Cold War that should be eliminated for that reason. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union led a powerful ideological campaign against democracy, but there is no longer any such pervasive, systemic threat to freedom. Critics contend, therefore, that even if there was once a national security rationale for funding NED, that rationale no longer exists.

NED’s Quasi-Private Status

Founded in 1983 following an impassioned call by President Ronald Reagan for renewed efforts to promote global democracy, NED was designed to assist democratic movements abroad in ways that were beyond the reach of established federal programs. NED’s founders were concerned that traditional democracy-building agencies such as the Agency for International Development (AID) and the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), as official government programs, faced legal and political restrictions that limited their activities.

Proponents argued that a private aid agency would be able to operate more freely and at the same time escape the stigma attached to U.S. foreign aid in many parts of the world. With that in mind, Congress created NED as a private, nonprofit corporation, although its funding came directly from the federal government as an earmarked item in the USIA budget. From NED, approximately 70 percent of available grant money goes to four “core” grantees: the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute, the Free Trade Union Institute of the AFL-CIO (FTUI), and the Center for International Private Enterprise of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Those organizations, deliberately chosen to convey a sense of balance between left and right, labor and big business, then determine which groups abroad receive grants for their activities to further democracy. The remaining 30 percent of available grant money is designated “discretionary” funding to be distributed directly by NED.

That convoluted organizational structure seems to be based on the premise that government money, if filtered through enough layers of bureaucracy, becomes “private” funding, an illogical and dangerously misleading assumption. In effect, the NED structure allows private organizations (in this case organizations with very distinct and disparate interests) to pursue their own foreign policy agendas with out regard to official policy. The vague public-private status of NED blurs the line between U.S. foreign policy and those special-interest agendas. Consequently, NED initia ives have often been misconstrued–understandably–by foreign populations as official policy. In view of NED’s affinity for controversial programs, such confusion between official and private policy is decidedly contrary to the best interests of the United States.

The NED structure also distorts accountability, making it difficult to ascertain at what level mismanagement and poor judgment have occurred in any particular instance. Moreover, despite all attempts to camouflage the government funding, NED continues to suffer from the tarnished image associated with U.S. foreign aid in general. Indeed, NED is resented as American interference; it is often further resented because it attempts to deceive foreigners into viewing its programs as private assistance. In the final analysis, the endowment embodies the most negative aspects of both private aid and official foreign aid–the pitfalls of decentralized “loose cannon” foreign policy efforts combined with the impression that the United States is trying to “run the show” around the world.

NED as Political Pork

When NED was created, some of the more perceptive members of Congress warned of those dangers, only to be dismissed as short-sighted isolationists. Recalling those debates, Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.) noted that NED’s defenders still tar opponents in that fashion:

We critics of NED are somehow categorized as people who cannot quite see over the horizon. We just do not get it when it comes to these big international things like the National Endowment for Democracy. . . . If you do not agree with the democracy-speak or the international-speak or the trade-speak here in Washington, D.C., then you are an isolationist.(2)

NED’s 10-year history has proven the skeptics right, however. On a number of occasions the lack of coordination between NED and the federal government has resulted in NED programs that undermine official U.S. foreign policy. Examples of NED failures are ubiquitous, but NED’s defenders are hard-pressed to cite definitive successes.

At its most innocuous, NED is a slush fund for politicians.(3) Journalist David Corn has described it as “a porkbarrel for a small circle of Republican and Democratic party activists, conservative trade unionists and free marketeers who use the endowment money to run their own mini-State Departments.”(4) The distribution of money to opposing interest groups helps NED deflect charges of partisanship in the distribution of pork, but the fact remains that the taxpayer is picking up the tab for politicking.

Moreover, although the four core grantees appear to represent diverse constituencies, Corn and other liberal critics accuse NED of leaning too far to the right, because the Republican party, business (represented by the Chamber of Commerce group), and organized labor all generally adopt a conservative stance when it comes to foreign policy. That leaves only the National Democratic Institute to represent more liberal views.

At the same time, conservative critics bring up the issue of proportion among the four main recipients: the AFL CIO receives approximately 40 percent of available funding, while each of the other groups receives around 10 percent. That imbalance has prompted speculation that NED is in the hands of the neo-Trotskyite Social Democrats/USA, whose membership includes both NED president Carl Gershman and a number of AFL-CIO officials involved with the endowment.(5) Such political rancor is inevitable when an organization is authorized to pursue partisan agendas abroad at taxpayers’ expense.

NED’s handling of its discretionary grant money has also met with harsh criticism. Audits have indicated that much of that money is used to subsidize travel–“political tourism”–for NED board members and friends, although the four core grantees also spend money on junkets. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) recalled: “They would go down in the wintertime, back in 1983, 1984, and 1985, and they would meet in the Bahamas and swim out on the nice sandy beaches. . . . They would call it very important meetings.”(6) In 1990 the AFL-CIO’s FTUI reported excursions to Romania every few months, where NED visitors stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel, the most expensive lodging in Bucharest. Two Romanian labor leaders also traveled–courtesy of NED–to Las Vegas for a Postal Workers Union convention.(7) Sen. Dale Bumpers (D-Ark.) has described NED’s largesse as “first class airfare for everybody.”(8)

NED’s Mischief Overseas

Unfortunately, the types of substantive projects that NED has promoted may make many people nostalgic for the comparative insipidity of paying for political junkets. On a number of occasions, for example, NED has taken advantage of its alleged private status to influence foreign elections, an activity that is beyond the scope of AID or USIA and would otherwise be possible only through a CIA covert operation. Such activities, it may also be worth noting, would be illegal for foreign groups operating in the United States. As columnist Mary McGrory mused:

What if a public-spirited group of Italians, whose turnout rate in national elections is in the 90’s, should decide to come over here and run a campaign to induce more Americans to participate in their democratic practices? Our last score in our most important civil rites was a pitiable 55 percent. But let another country tell us what to do? Not, as Eliza Doolittle said, bloody likely.(9)

What finally drew public attention to NED’s meddling in foreign elections was an aborted attempt to provide opposition candidate Violeta Chamorro with $3 million in funding for her 1989 election campaign against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. The plan was abandoned after it was determined that NED’s charter, which expressly forbids campaign contributions, would be violated. In the end, the money was channeled to programs that aided Chamorro indirectly rather than through direct campaign contributions. That incident illustrated that NED had no qualms about interfering in elections in general and stopped short in the Nicaragua case only because of blatant illegality. In 1988, for example, the endowment had given $600,000 to organizations working to defeat Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet. NED considered that endeavor entirely appropriate, even though the recipients themselves lamented it as American intervention in the electoral process. One recipient, contemplating the “hard moral dilemmas” involved in accepting U.S. funds, admitted his reluctance to accept the money, which he bemoaned as a “lesser evil” than the reelection of Pinochet.(10) NED was involved in similar activities in 1990 in Czechoslovakia, where it was criticized for funding 2 parties close to Vaclav Havel to the exclusion of 22 other legitimate parties.(11) So while NED may stop short of violating the letter of its charter by giving direct contributions to specific candidates, it clearly does use funds to interfere with foreign democratic processes. Its willingness to do so ignores the innate contradiction between free elections and outside interference in the electoral process. As George Washington warned in his farewell address, “Foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican govern ment.”(12)

Those particular examples of intervention in foreign elections, if ethically questionable, at least appear consistent with U.S. interests and foreign policy objectives, which is more than can be said for many NED initiatives. In a number of instances, NED activities have worked against official U.S. policy and sometimes even against democratic values. In Panama’s 1984 elections, for instance, the endowment funded a military-backed candidate, Nicholas Ardito Barletta, in direct contradiction of U.S. policy toward Panama, which was to oppose military rule. The U.S. ambassador at the time, James E. Biggs, objected vehemently in a secret cable, “The embassy requests that this hair brained project be abandoned before it hits the fan.”(13)

An even more dubious initiative was NED’s involvement in Costa Rica. Not only is Costa Rica a well-established democracy–former president George Bush visited the country in 1989 to celebrate 100 years of democracy there–it is the only stable democracy in Central America. But Costa Rican president Oscar Arias had opposed Ronald Reagan’s policy in Central America, especially his support of the Nicaraguan Contras. Arias received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to dampen conflicts in the region, but he incurred the wrath of right-wing NED activists. So from 1986 to 1988 NED gave money to Arias’s political opposition, which was also strongly supported by Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. As Rep. Stephen Solarz (D-N.Y.) commented: “They may technically have been within the law, but I felt this clearly violated the spirit. . . . The whole purpose of NED is to facilitate the emergence of democracy where it doesn’t exist and preserve it where it does exist. In Costa Rica, neither of these [conditions] applies.”(14)

Sometimes NED grants have worked in ways that are simply bizarre. In the mid-1980s, for example, the AFL CIO’s FTUI approved a grant of $1.5 million to defend democ racy in France, which was astonishing for several reasons. First of all, French democracy in the 1980s did not appear to be so fragile that it required financial assistance from American taxpayers to sustain itself. The government of Franáois Mitterrand was duly elected within a democratic system nearly as old as America’s. The AFL-CIO, however, determined that France’s socialist government was permitting a dangerous rise of communist influence. According to the late Irving Brown, Paris-based director of international relations for the AFL-CIO at the time of the incident: “France . . . is threatened by the Communist apparatus. . . . It is a clear and present danger if the present is thought of as 10 years from now.”(15)

That mentality has resulted in AFL-CIO support for highly controversial causes. One of the French groups that received funding, the National Inter-University Union, was widely viewed as a cauldron of rightist extremism and xenophobia and rumored also to have ties to terrorists.(16) Sure ly, the U.S. government did not intend to fund authoritarian groups that work to undermine the government of a stable democratic nation.

Indeed, when NED’s activities in France were publicized in an expose by the French newspaper LibÇration, the U.S. government disassociated itself from the endeavor. While no serious rift in American-French relations seems to have resulted from that diplomatic faux pas, it certainly illustrates the peril of allowing the AFL-CIO (or any other private group) to pursue an independent foreign policy with taxpayers’ money.

The policy is especially dangerous in view of the ambiguity that often surrounds the origins of grants that go through NED. Even the recipients do not always know the precise source of their funding. If NED obscures the sources of funds to the grantees, confusion between NED’s “private” foreign policy and official U.S. policy is to be expected. One grantee, the Committee for Transatlantic Understanding, received $49,000 from what it thought was the American Youth Council. The committee later found out the money was actually from NED. In another instance, a grant of $10,000 was given for three leaders of Equity, the actors’ union, to attend a conference on international ex change of stage actors.(17) While Equity realized the money came from the federal government, the recipients were unaware of the NED connection. If the recipients cannot clearly identify the source of NED funds, foreign governments or political movements certainly will have problems identifying the instigators of NED’s foreign policy ven tures.

Harming Fragile Democracies

It is the height of arrogance to assume that America’s international reputation is so secure that the United States can afford to risk misunderstandings caused by private organizations’ representing their agendas as American policy. It is true that the State Department, the National Security Council, and the other agencies of the federal government responsible for foreign policy can make grave mistakes. They are at least theoretically accountable for their errors, however. As Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) said during recent congressional debate on the issue,

If we are going to make fools of ourselves around the world with our foreign policy and our involvement in the internal political affairs of foreign nations, let our State Department and let our president make that mistake, not a private entity funded by the . . . taxpayers of the U.S.(18)

The favoritism exhibited in the private conduct of foreign policy raises further complications. By dealing with private groups abroad rather than foreign governments, NED invariably ends up playing favorites, engendering strife within the very democratic movements it seeks to assist. When the Bush administration funded anti-Sandinista groups in an attempt to dethrone Daniel Ortega, the competition for U.S. funds splintered the opposition, strengthening some factions at the expense of others. Unfortunately, it was often the strongest anti-Sandinista organizations that were loath to “feed at the U.S. trough,”(19) and as a result those cornerstone groups, which should have led the movement, were ultimately weakened. NED’s blatant involvement was further destructive in that it seemed to validate Ortega’s charge that the anti-Sandinistas were, from the outset, pawns of the U.S. government. For any foreign organization or polit ical movement to be perceived as an American puppet is fatal, particularly in the Third World. NED’s involvement in Nicaragua probably hindered rather than helped the effort to oust Ortega.

Although NED’s defenders frequently boast that the organization helped topple the communist dictators in Eastern Europe, the role of NED in that momentous development was marginal at best and in some cases actually counter productive. Poland is offered as the premier example of the endowment’s effectiveness. Yet Solidarity had begun to challenge communism in 1980, three years before NED’s creation. The decisive events leading to Poland’s liberation a decade later also had little to do with modest NED subsidies. Only when Moscow decided that it would no longer prop up its Leninist puppets throughout Eastern Europe did it prove possible for Polish anti-communist factions to dislodge the communist regime in Warsaw. NED was, at most, a bit player in the process.

There are some critics who question whether NED’s involvement in Poland was beneficial at all. Howard Phillips, chairman of the Conservative Caucus, a grassroots lobbying organization, is one such skeptic.

While I am delighted that communism has fallen in Poland, that [former communist strongman Wojceich] Jaruzelski is no longer running Poland, I am not persuaded that the opposition factions favored by the AFL-CIO were the ones that reflected the republican aspirations of the Polish people.(20)

Criticism of NED’s involvement in Romania is even stronger. The AFL-CIO’s FTUI Romanian representatives selected FRATIA, a trade union confederation, as their player in the Romanian democratic process. According to leaders of other independent trade unions, FTUI then proceeded to actively undermine all unions not associated with FRATIA.

Uneven distribution of aid money, an inevitable result of favoritism, also disturbs the financial equilibrium in the opposition community. Echoing critics of NED’s Nicaraguan involvement, opponents of the endowment’s activities in Eastern Europe believe that NED’s sowing of dissention has harmed democracy far more than its financial support has promoted it. Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky has written about the problems that ensue when private foreign organizations favor one dissident group over another:

When the NED, as it does, singles out this or that Emigre magazine or Moscow newspaper to underwrite, it corrupts both the market and the independence of the press; as the prices of paper and printing get pumped up, the unofficial publications find themselves competing for foreign grants, rather than Soviet readers, to survive.(21)

Administrative Problems

In addition to the political problems, a number of administrative problems are inherent in NED’s quasi-private status. One of those problems is oversight. Since NED is not a government entity, it is not subject to the same oversight as an official agency. It does, however, have to submit to audits on occasion, always with scathing results. In March 1991, for instance, both the General Accounting Office (GAO) and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of USIA audited the endowment and revealed a number of major problems.(22) Among the most serious charges were that NED used inadequate procedures for evaluating the effectiveness of its programs, made questionable decisions on awarding grants, and mismanaged federal funds. Many of those irregularities had also been cited in previous audits, but few discernible improvements had been made.

The GAO and OIG specifically criticized NED’s judgment in its selection of programs. In addition to renewing grants to organizations that had previously failed to demonstrate success, NED approved funding for projects for which no feasibility studies or other preliminary work had been completed and therefore funded projects that were inviable from the start. It further erred in awarding grants that duplicated support from other agencies, primarily AID and USIA. Since NED’s very raison d’àtre is its supposed ability to operate where official agencies cannot, the fact that it supported the same programs as AID and USIA should be a clear indication that the endowment is superfluous. NED’s failure to coordinate with other agencies and the consequent duplication of awards to groups that were already receiving significant U.S. support is yet another example of its sloppy administration.

The audits have also identified serious financial mismanagement, which has occurred at all levels. Some problems apparently have been innocent misunderstandings; others seemed to stem from a cavalier attitude toward book keeping; still others have been clear, willful misuse of federal funds. Although NED has been criticized for having financial controls that are too lenient, both internally and for its grantees, even the controls that are in place are routinely violated.

The GAO found that NED subrecipients do not comply with NED’s minimal financial controls. In one case, a South African group received $18,000 to sponsor an international conference but used the money to finance office renovations instead. On other occasions, NED grants were used for personal expenses, including credit card payments and loans. The four core grantees have violated a number of the financial controls as well. All four core recipients, particu larly the International Republican Institute, have charged unallowable travel, per diem, and entertainment costs, including first-class airfare and alcoholic beverages.

There has also been financial mismanagement within the endowment. NED has failed to take appropriate action when abuses at the recipient levels have been apparent. For example, NED was aware that FTUI was not signing the required grant agreements with foreign subgrantees, yet the endowment continued to fund those grants. In another instance, NED’s own internal audit identified the accounts of one grant recipient, China Perspective, as “unauditable” and in violation of the terms of the grant. Yet the endowment continued to authorize the publication’s funding, totaling $482,000, for another two years. Financial mismanagement is thus clearly a problem at the level of the endowment itself just as it is at the recipient levels.


NED’s labyrinthine organizational structure is an administrative and financial disaster. Its “democracy promoting” activities, which have ranged from extraneous to perplexing to counterproductive, are similarly unimpressive. Even if one ignores such indications that NED is a failure, and believes that NED has succeeding in using its unique public-private status to support democracy abroad, the endowment is a relic of the Cold War, and funding for the endowment should be discontinued for that reason alone.

At one time it seemed that Congress realized that. As Senator Bumpers pointed out in his recent congressional testimony, NED was first funded in 1984, at the height of the Cold War, with $18 million. By 1986, Gorbachev’s first year in power, funding was cut to $17.2 million, and by the next year of Gorbachev’s rule it seemed safe to cut NED’s funding to $15 million. Those cutbacks occurred during a time of strong national economic growth when fiscal concerns were given low priority. Inexplicably though, the appropriation jumped dramatically once the Soviet Union dissolved: in 1991 NED’s budget grew from $17 million to $25 million and in 1992 it increased to $27.5 million; in 1993 it grew to $30 million. For FY94 NED appears likely to get $35 million.(23) Moreover, those tremendous increases have come during a recession, and during a call for national sacrifice, when budget constraints should be of utmost impor tance. There is simply no justification for maintaining, much less increasing, NED’s funding.

It is true, as Heritage Foundation analyst James A. Phillips stressed in his defense of NED as “an important weapon in the war of ideas,” that communist dictatorships remain in control of China, Cuba, North Korea, and Vietnam. It is also true that some of the former Soviet republics are led by communists who have cynically assumed the mantle of nationalism.(24) But that argument ignores the fact that in virtually all of those countries, communism is losing, not gaining, strength. Moreover, the remaining communist enclaves are not attempting to export their ideology in the aggressive Cold War style of the Soviet Union, nor do any appear to have the resources to do so. Quite simply, the democratic West has won the war of ideas against its communist adversaries.

NED was always an ineffectual weapon in that war of ideas. Even when funds were not lost, either to poor management or pork-barrel politics, the substantive activities that NED supported caused many more problems for American foreign policy than it solved. Indeed, paying for political tourism is almost an attractive alternative to funding European extremists or intervening in elections in Central America. Now that the Cold War is over, the slightest ghost of justification for NED has disappeared. Congress should recognize that and eliminate funding for the endowment.


(1) Congressional Record, 103rd Cong., 1st sess., July 28, 1993, p. S9637.

(2) Congressional Record, July 28, 1993, p. S9642.

(3) Martin Morse Wooster, “This Is No Way to Promote Democracy,” Wall Street Journal, July 17, 1991, p. A6.

(4) David Corn, “Beltway Bandits: Better Dead Than N.E.D.,” Nation, July 12, 1993, p. 56.

(5) Michael Massing, “Trotsky’s Orphans,” New Republic, June 22, 1987, p. 22.

(6) Congressional Record, July 28, 1993, p. S9635.

(7) Eleanor Kennelly, “Labor: After the Fall,” Insight, July 27, 1992, p. 8.

(8) Congressional Record, July 28, 1993, p. S9635.

(9) Mary McGrory, “Dollars for Democracy,” Washington Post, August 5, 1993, p. A2.

(10) Shirley Christian, “Group Is Channeling Funds to Parties Opposing Pinochet,” New York Times, January 15, 1988, p. A1.

(11) See, for example, Stephen Engelberg, “U.S. Grant to 2 Czech Parties Is Called Unfair Interference,” New York Times, June 10, 1990, p. A8.

(12) John Spicer Nichols, “Get the NED Out of Nicaragua,” Nation, February 26, 1990, p. 268.

(13) David Pallister and Andy Weir, “Britons Get Reagan `Slush Money,'” Financial Times, December 9, 1985.

(14) Robert S. Greensberger, “U.S. Group Aided Arias’ Costa Rica Foes,” Wall Street Journal, October 14, 1989, p. A11.

(15) Stanley Meisler, “Allocation of Funds in France Embarrassing,” Los Angeles Times, February 6, 1986, p. 25

(16) Paul E. Kanjorski, “Group Cloaked in Secrecy Meddling in Foreign Affairs,” Atlanta Constitution, May 24, 1991, p. A17.

(17) Pallister and Weir.

(18) McGrory, p. A2.

(19) Nichols, p. 267.

(20) Kennelly, p. 8.

(21) Vladimir Bukovsky, “Drowning Democracy,” National Review, September 23, 1991, p. 32.

(22) For a full account of the NED’s history of financial mismanagement, see General Accounting Office, “Promoting Democracy: The National Endowment for Democracy’s Management of Grant Needs Improvement,” March 1991; and U.S. Information Agency, Office of the Inspector General, “Review of National Endowment for Democracy, Its Core Grantees and Selected Discretionary Grantees,” March 31, 1993.

(23) Congressional Record, July 28, 1993, p. S9634.

(24) James A. Phillips, “The National Endowment for Democra cy: An Important Weapon in the War of Ideas,” Heritage Foundation Executive Memorandum no. 360, July 8, 1993.

© 1993 The Cato Institute

NED, CIA, and the Orwellian Democracy Project

NED, CIA, and the Orwellian Democracy Project

By Holly Sklar and Chip Berlet, Covert Action Number 39 (WInter 1991-92)

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) was first funded in fiscal 1984, an appropriate year for an Orwellian agency making the world safe for hypocrisy. The quasi-private NED does publicly what the CIA has long done and continues to do secretly. Despite successive scandals, U.S. meddling in the internal affairs of other nations — including their “democratic” elections — has not only thrived, it has become respectable.

U.S. manipulation of foreign elections was standard operating procedure well before the CIA’s creation. In 1912, for example, the highly-decorated Marine Corps General Smedley Butler wrote his wife Ethel, “Today, Nicaragua has enjoyed a fine ‘free election’ with only one candidate being allowed to run… In order that this happy event might be pulled off without hitch and to the entire satisfaction of our State Department, we patrolled all the towns to prevent disorders…” In 1935, reporter John Spivak interviewed the then retired Butler, who became a vocal anti-interventionist after being approached to assist a now-forgotten domestic coup attempt against President Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Butler spilled over with anger at the hypocrisy that had marked American interference in the internal affairs of other governments, behind a smokescreen of pious expressions of high-sounding purpose. ‘We supervised elections in Haiti,’ he said wryly, ‘and wherever we supervised them our candidate always won.’ ” ^ Butler would recognize the old policy of interference behind the new NED smoke screen.

Contemporary covert and overt operatives, working for or with the U.S. presidency, also intervene in the American political process — from manipulating media and public opinion to working to unseat administration critics in Congress. Constitutional checks and balances are voided as Congress exercises its oversight responsibility largely by overlooking wrongdoing, and the courts defer to Congress and the Executive in “national security” matters.



Fronts and More Fronts

The covert side of foreign intervention was officially institutionalized in June 1948, when President Truman signed a National Security Directive (NSD 10/2). “The overt foreign activities of the U.S. Government must be supplemented by covert operations,” it read, “(including) any covert activities related to: propaganda, economic warfare, preventative direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements,’ guerrillas and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.”

The Orwellian democracy machine grew quickly in the warm shadow of the Cold War. The ClA provided a home for the “Gehlen Network” of former German Nazi spies with experience in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Under the guise of “liberationism,” CIA fronts such as the Crusade for Freedom promoted these emigre fascist leaders and collaborators to the U.S. public as democratic freedom fighters in the war against communism ^ Some became leaders in the Republican Party’s Ethnic Heritage Groups Council. ^ Others assisted Radio Free Europe and the various propaganda instruments known collectively as the “mighty Wurlitzer” by its proud conductors. The CIA also influenced U.S. and foreign labor organizations through such bodies as the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and AFL-CIO affiliates.

With the help of front groups espousing anti-communism and democracy, the U.S. interfered in elections and destabilized governments in many countries, among them Italy, Greece, Iran, the Philippines, Guatemala, Brazil, Indonesia, Chile, Portugal, Jamaica, and EI Salvador. As then National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger said on June 27, 1970, speaking in support of secret efforts to block Salvador Allende’s election in Chile, “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people.” ^

In 1967, there was a public outcry when Ramparts magazine exposed secret CIA funding of the National Student Association’s international activities. Follow-up stories and congressional hearings exposed a network of ostensibly private labor, student, cultural media and other organizations that were funded by the CIA, using conduit foundations, under its Psychological; Political and Paramilitary Division.

Faced with mounting criticism, President Johnson appointed the three-member Katzenbach Commission which included CIA Director Richard Helms. This commission laid the groundwork for a new funding technique. It recommended that “The government should promptly develop and establish a public-private mechanism to provide public funds openly for overseas activities of organizations which are adjudged deserving, in the national interest, of public support.” ^ A bill was introduced in Congress in 1967 to create an “Institute of International Affairs,” but it was not approved, and the matter of CIA funding of front groups faded from public scrutiny until Watergate.

The CIA quietly continued covert operations involving front groups and more scandals erupted in the Nixon administration. The congressional Church (Senate) and Pike (House) committees investigated CIA and FBI operations in Watergate’s wake and exposed a wide variety of illicit and antidemocratic programs. Domestic operations included CIA propaganda activities and Operation CHAOS, and the FBI’s COINTELPRO. Foreign operations ranged from CIA programs to manipulate elections and overthrow governments, to plots to assassinate foreign leaders. Amid calls for placing limitations on the CIA or even abolishing it, George Bush was appointed CIA director, serving from 1976 to 1977. His mandate was to mollify his former colleagues in Congress while actually limiting CIA reform.

“Project Democracy”

In the 1980s, with former CIA Director Bush in the vice presidency, the Reagan administration legalized through Executive Order many of the covert activities previously condemned as illegal immoral and antidemocratic. The Katzenbach recommendation of a “public-private mechanism” finally bore fruit in the National Endowment for Democracy.

NED was the public arm of the Reagan administration’s “Project Democracy,” an overt-covert intervention and “public diplomacy” operation coordinated by the National Security Council (NSC). In a speech to the British Parliament on June 8, 1982, President Reagan announced that the U.S. would launch Project Democracy to “foster the infrastructure of democracy, the system of free press, unions, political parties, universities, which allows a people to choose their own way.”

According to a secret White House memo setting the agenda for a Cabinet-level planning meeting on Project Democracy, officials decided in August, “We need to examine how law and Executive Order can be made more liberal to permit covert action on a broader scale, as well as what we can do through substantially increased overt political action.” ^

On January 14, 1983, Reagan signed NSDD 77, a secret National Security Decision Directive instructing the NSC to coordinate interagency efforts for Project Democracy. “Public diplomacy,” it stated, “is comprised of those actions of the U.S. Government designed to generate support for our national security objectives.” ^

When legislation was introduced to authorize “Project Democracy” in February 1983, administration officials promised Congress that the CIA would not be involved. A separate bill authorizing funding for NED was introduced in April. The public NED record generally traces its origins to a government funded feasibility study by the bipartisan American Political Foundation (APF) headed by Allen Weinstein. He served as NED’s first acting president until February 1984 and is currently president of the Center for Democracy, an NED grantee. ^

“A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA,” Weinstein told Washington Post foreign editor David Ignatius.” ^ Calling NED “the sugar daddy of overt operations,” Ignatius writes enthusiastically of the “network of overt operatives who during the last ten years have quietly been changing the rules of international politics… doing in public what the CIA used to do in private.”

Actually; CIA footprints are all over Project Democracy, from NED to the Iran-Contra operations. The CIA-NED connection is personified by Walter Raymond Jr. who supervised NED under Reagan. A propaganda expert and senior officer in the CIA Directorate of Operations, Raymond was first detailed by the CIA to the NSC in 1982 as Senior Director of Intelligence Programs. He resigned from the CIA in April 1983 in order to become a special assistant to the President as director of International Communications and Public Diplomacy at the NSC. In mid-I987, he became deputy director of the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), where he now heads the Eastern European Initiatives Office.

John Richardson, the current and past (1984-88) chair of the NED board of directors, is an old hand in the CIA’s front group network. He was president of the CIA-sponsored Radio Free Europe from 1961 to 1968. From 1963 to 1984, he was variously president and director of Freedom House, a conservative/neoconservative research, publishing. networking, and selective human rights organization. Freedom House is now heavily endowed with NED grants. Richardson later became counselor of the congressionally-funded U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) which is governed by a presidentially-appointed board of directors dominated by past and present government officials, including Defense and CIA, and members of right-wing organizations such as the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. ^

(more HERE)

USAID in Bolivia and Venezuela: The Silent Subversion

[Government institutions tasked with overthrowing foreign governments, both friend and foe, for the sake of American domination and exploitation.  This is the war machine engaged in waging war against every member of the human race, for the sake of American corporate profit–capitalist fascism at its finest.  The American Reich shows no hint of ever slowing down, unless it just collapses from the weight of its own gluttony.]

USAID in Bolivia and Venezuela: The Silent Subversion

By EVA GOLINGER, September 12th 2007

The United States government has almost perfected a method of intervention that is able to penetrate and infiltrate all sectors of civil society in a country which it deems to be of economic and strategic interest. In the case of Venezuela, this strategy began to take form in 2002. Now it is also being applied to Bolivia.The United States government has almost perfected a method of intervention that is able to penetrate and infiltrate all sectors of civil society in a country which it deems to be of economic and strategic interest. In the case of Venezuela, this strategy began to take form in 2002, with the increase in financing of sectors of the opposition via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the opening of an Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) of USAID in Caracas.

These efforts were able to achieve the consolidation of an opposition movement during those moments, which, despite the failure of the coup d’etat, was able to cause severe damage to the oil industry and the national economy via economic sabotage and a “stoppage” by managers and business owners. Following the division in the opposition, the strategy reoriented its principal focus towards poor communities, the ‘Chavista’ sectors, media and the necessities in the interior of the country. The US embassy in Caracas opened up a series of “satellite consulates” (American Corners) in five states across the country – without the authorisation of the Ministry of Foreign Relations – it has an official presence in regions seen as important to the energy vision of Washington. These states, Anzoátegui, Bolívar, Lara, Monagas, and Nueva Esparta (Margarita) are rich in oil, minerals and other natural resources, which the US is seeking to control. These US headquarters found spaces inside lawyers associations and municipal councils controlled by the opposition, and continue to function as centres of propaganda, conspiring against the Bolivarian revolution.

The work of USAID and its OTI in Venezuela has led to a deepening of the counterrevolutionary subversion in the country. Up until June 2007, more than 360 “scholarships” have been granted to social organisations, political parties, communities and political projects in Venezuela through Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI), a company contracted by USAID, which opened an office in the El Rosal sector of Caracas in June 2002. From the centre of Caracas, the DAI/USAID has given more than US$11,575,509 to these 360 groups and projects in Venezuela, under the program “Venezuela: Initiatives for the Construction of Trust” (VICC). The majority of the programs funded by DAI focus (according to their materials) on “political dialogue, public debate, citizen’s participation and the training and capacitation of democratic leaders”. Participating and funded organisations include Súmate, Primero Justicia (Justice First), Un Nuevo Tiempo (a New Time), la Alcaldía de Chacao (Mayoralty of Chacao), Liderazgo y Visión (Leadership and Vision), Los del Medio (Those from the Middle), Convive, Transparencia Internacional (International Transparency), Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (Media and Society Institute), Queremos Elegir (We Want to Chose), la Universidad Metropolitana (Metropolitan University), and other groups generally tied to the opposition sector.

USAID-OTI also funded opposition political parties, such as Primero Justicia (Justice First), Un Nuevo Tiempo (A New Time), Acción Democrática (Democratic Action), COPEI, MAS (Movement Towards Socialism), amongst others, through its international arms of US parties: the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI). Since 2002, more than seven million dollars have been invested as “technical assistance” to this opposition parties in Venezuela by USAID, together with IRI and NDI.

The so-called “defenders of human rights” in Venezuela, and NGOs (non-government organisations), receive a large part of their funding through Freedom House, another group contracted by USAID-OTI in Venezuela. Freedom House has sponsored events such as “The threats to freedom of expression in the 21st century” with the participation of Marcel Granier, president of the coup-plotting television station RCTV, together with Karen Hughes, the Sub secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (the propaganda office of the State Department that supervises Voice of America and other propagandistic media coming from Washington) and the US Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL, Republican- Florida)

Freedom House also funds US institutions, such as the International Centre for Non-violent Conflict (ICNVC) that gives courses in Gene Sharp’s techniques of “resistance”, and which has advised youth and students movements in Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia, Belorussia and Venezuela. Its president during 2003-2005 was James Woolsey, ex-Director of the CIA and its current president, Peter Ackerman, is a multimillionaire banker who has sponsored “regime changes” in Serbia, Ukraine, and Georgia through the Albert Einstein Institute and its ICNVC. The son of Ackerman participated in the massacre of the Iraqi people in Fallujah.

The last company to be contracted by USAID in Venezuela was the Foundation of Pan-American Development (PADF), whose mission is to “support civil society”. The PADF has granted $937,079 to fourteen Venezuelan NGOs since the end of 2006. For now, the names of these groups are unknown.

The last public reports of USAID point out that in August 2007, they organised a conference with 50 mayors from all the country to cover the issue of “decentralisation” and the “popular networks”. This issue seems very much like the project that Leopoldo Lopez, opposition mayor of Chacao, is currently promoting. The USAID program in Venezuela promises to continue in its efforts to “strengthen civil society and political parties”, “promote decentralisation and municipal councils” and “train human rights defenders”. The US Congress has already approved $3.6 million for this office in Venezuela for the year 2007-8, which indicated that this subversion will continue increasing and threatening the Bolivarian revolution.


But Venezuela is not the only target of US subversion and intervention via USAID and its millions of dollars poured into funding opposition movements. In March 2004, USAID opened up another Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) in Bolivia, to supposedly help “reduce tensions in zones of social conflict and help the country with preparations for electoral events”. In this case, USAID contracted the US company Casals & Associates, Inc. (C&A) to manage the more than $13.3 million that they had already granted to 379 organisations, political parties and projects in Bolivia. C&A plays the role in Bolivia which the DAI does in Venezuela, and just like the DAI, C&A is a company with large contracts with the Defence Department, the US Army, US Navy, the Energy Department, Broadcasting Board of Governance, the Voice of America, the Office for Transmissions (of propaganda) to Cuba, the Interior Security Department, the State Department and many more. Up until today, C&A has worked on executing interventionist programs for the different Washington agencies, in more than 40 countries across the world, including Albania, Armenia, Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay.

In Bolivia, USAID-OTI has focussed its efforts on combating and influencing the Constituent Assembly and the separatism of the regions rich in natural resources, such as Santa Cruz and Cochabamba. The majority of the $13.3 million has been given to organisations and programs working towards “reinforcing regional governments”, with the intention of weakening the national government of Evo Morales; “creating links between indigenous groups and democratic structures”, “offering economic opportunities and communitarian development”; “civic education for emergent leaders”; and “the spreading of information”. The noble themes of these programs indicate that Washington is seeking to suffocate the national power of Evo Morales in Bolivia, penetrate and infiltrate the indigenous communities, which constitute the majority of the country, promote the capitalist model, and have influence over the mass media, promoting pro-US, pro-capitalist and anti-socialist propaganda.

The USAID-OTI program in Bolivia is openly supporting the autonomy of certain regions, such as Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando and Tarija, and therefore promoting separatism and the destabilisation of the country and the government of Evo Morales. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), another one of Washington’s financial organs, which promotes subversion and intervention in more than 70 countries across the world, including Venezuela, is also funding groups in regions such as Santa Cruz, which fight for separatism. The current US ambassador in Bolivia, Philip Goldberg, is an expert in issues of separatism, having been the head of the US mission in ex-Yugoslavia that was divided into two countries: Bosnia and Serbia, with US “help”.

The Evo Morales government has already publicly denounced this subversion via USAID in Bolivia, giving notice to the US government that it must obey the laws of the country or chose to leave. “The door is open”, declared the Bolivian government spokesperson recently, making reference to US intervention in his country.

Nevertheless, Washington will not go so easily. This network of intervention and subversion will not be so easily eradicated. President Chavez has proposed in his constitutional reform, a change to article 67 which included the prohibition of funding of groups with political aims and political campaigns by public or private foreign entities. It is essential to define the concept of “political aims”, because in many cases, the NGOs and groups that work for human rights would attempt to evade being classified as organisations with “political” motives. But no one can deny that human rights is fundamentally a political issue, and it is the terrain, more than any other, where today Washington’s subversion hides, using NGOs as a cover.

What is clear is the urgent necessity of developing strategies to impede and shake this subversion in Venezuela, Bolivia and all our sister countries, today in the sights of the empire, and which are fighting to express their own will and sovereignty.

Translated by Federico Fuentes for Bolivia Rising

Qatar Safe from Obama’s Wrecking Crews, As Long As Al Jazeera Remains His “Pied Piper”

Obama: ‘No big move toward democracy in Qatar’

By David Jackson, USA TODAY

President Obama and the emir of Qatar at the White House on Thursday.
By Pool, Getty Images

During the day Thursday, President Obama met with the emir of Qatar, praising his help in Libya and his leadership “when it comes to democracy in the Middle East.”

That night, Obama provided political donors in Chicago with a somewhat different view of the emir and Qatar.

“Pretty influential guy,” Obama said of Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, noting that he basically owns the Al Jazeera television network. “He is a big booster, big promoter of democracy all throughout the Middle East. Reform, reform, reform — you’re seeing it on Al Jazeera.”

But Obama: “Now, he himself is not reforming significantly. There’s no big move towards democracy in Qatar. But you know part of the reason is that the per capita income of Qatar is $145,000 a year. That will dampen a lot of conflict.”

Having banished the press pool from a q-and-a session with the donors, Obama did not realize he was still speaking on an open mike. Mark Knoller of CBS News recorded his comments.

Serbian Testimony of International Terrorism Pushed By West

“Serbian people have to say that it is enough of terror by the international community in this country. We no longer accept any blackmailing and threats and we especially do not accept to be deprived of authorities given to us by the Dayton Treaty’.”

[Here we have testimony of the true nature of NATO “Humanitarian Intervention,” twenty years after the fact.  The Intervention in Serbia, under the pretense of “preventing the slaughter” of civilians in civil war, was a cynical, hypocritical geopolitical move by the West to capitalize on the suffering of the people of the former Yugoslavia.  The intensive high-altitude bombing of Yugoslavian facilities and the Yugoslav Army, intended to destroy the former Soviet ally, with very few NATO casualties gave Bill Clinton’s war a sanitized feel, killing thousands, while keeping our hands apparently clean.  This fit the new formula devised to adapt the American military to US plans for global interventionism, as long as it is not Americans who are dying, anything goes.  In the end, in the name of international justice, American state terrorism is instituted in place of Constitutional law, so that each state which is saved from itself becomes just another satellite faux-republic—and the world calls the result “Democracy.”]

Dodik: We shall stop terror by international community

Milorad Dodik, President of the Republic of Srpska is very satisfied with results of voting at the RS National Assembly the day before yesterday. The deputies adopted by vast majority of votes Decision on referendum in which voters are to reply to the referendum question: ‘Do you support laws enforced by the BiH High Representative, especially those concerning the Court and Prosecution of BiH and their unconstitutional verification at the BiH Parliament?’

‘I have no doubt that the citizens of the Republic of Srpska, too shall go to the
referendum in vast majority and vote’, Dodik said for the ‘Blic’.

What, according to your opinion, are effects of such decision by the RS National Assembly?
‘Above all this is the strongest message to the international community that elected representatives of the Serbian nation do not accept any longer anti-constitutional and anti-Dayton Treaty acting by the High Representative. Decisions made by those representatives were mainly ungrounded. Bosnia/Herzegovina is not exercising its power either since certain important issues could not be decided about because of interference by the OHR. We have been pointing out for years that such damaging policy must stop but found no understanding at the Office of the High Representative. I believe that the voting at the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska is a strong message to them, too about unity of the Serbian nation but also about their unconstitutional acting until so far’.

If the citizens vote positively about the referendum question, what next steps are you going to take?
‘We are not interested what institutions of BiH are going to say about the referendum and its outcome as some experts claim. After the referendum we shall request that the National Assembly is in session again, that it adopts new laws which shall cancel all anti-Dayton and anti-constitutional laws enforced by high representatives. Serbian people have to say that it is enough of terror by the international community in this country. We no longer accept any blackmailing and threats and we especially do not accept to be deprived of authorities given to us by the Dayton Treaty’.

What if the High Representative places himself again above the RS institutions and for example, cancels result of voting in the referendum?
‘I do not expect the OHR to do so, although anything is possible in this country. The High Representative has already ‘broken teeth’ on unconstitutional decision in the Bosnia/Herzegovina Federation when he was tricked by provocations of one side, so I do not believe that he has the courage to make decisions again as per dictation of that side. Everything going on in Sarajevo is a part of identical scenario which should make the RS weaker so that it is an entity without authority and its institutions. We shall not allow that happen. By this referendum we do not set the question of the BiH status, we do not seek secession. We seek equality and a position guaranteed to us by the Dayton Treaty’.

Tajik Forces Kill Militant Agitator Mullah Abdullo and Ten Supporters

In a special operation killed Mullah Abdullah

Dushanbe. April 15. Asia-Plus »- | In the east, Tajikistan in a special operation of the Tajik security services was killed Abdullah Rakhimov, better known as Mullah Abdullah, and 10 of its supporters. Reported by the Tajik service “Ozodi” referring to the press center of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan.

According to the press center, the details of the raid, which began April 14 in the village Samsolik Nurabad district, will be shown on the evening of the Tajik Central Television.

Recall that in the special operation of Tajik law enforcement agencies were involved heavy armored vehicles and aircraft.

Today, as it became known that in a special operation killed at least two members of the Interior Ministry and intelligence agencies in Tajikistan.

Mullah Abdullah accused of a September 19, 2010 armed attack on a convoy of the Ministry of Defence of Tajikistan. As a result of grenade attack in the gorge Kamarob Rasht district killed 28 officers and soldiers of the Tajik army, more than 10 were injured.

According to official sources, the attack also involved Alovuddin Davlatov, known as Ali Bedaki and his supporters who were killed in Rasht January 4, 2011.

Obamanomics – Waging War On American Workers

Since taking office, Obama shamelessly betrayed his constituents by:
— ignoring popular needs during America’s greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression;
— giving Wall Street crooks trillions of taxpayer dollars;
— spending another $1.5 trillion annually on militarism, imperial wars, and related policies at a time America has no enemies;
— waging war on organized labor and public education, as well as civil and human rights; and
— claiming “tough choices” demand class warfare through neoliberal austerity for working Americans, mainly middle and lower income ones least able to afford it.
On April 13, he announced his latest plan through $4 trillion in largely social spending budget cuts over the next 12 years. More on them below.
The same day, New York Times writers Mark Landler and Michael Shear headlined, “Obama’s Debt Plan Sets Stage for Long Battle Over Spending,” saying:
Obama’s Wednesday George Washington University speech “propos(ed) a mix of long-term spending cuts, tax increases, and changes to social welfare programs,” omitting that they harm working Americans most.
A Times editorial headlined, “President Obama, Reinvigorated,” saying:
“The man America elected president has re-emerged.” His budget speech “was a reasonable basis for a conversation and is far better than its most prominent competitors. That is because it is grounded in themes of generosity and responsibility….(I)t was a relief to see Mr. Obama standing up for the values that got him to the table.”
These aren’t surprising comments from a broadsheet long associated with wealth and power interests, now pretending hammering working Americans is fair and just.
A supportive Washington Post editorial headlined, “President Obama’s deficit plan: Benefits and drawbacks,” saying:
Obama “made an important and welcome contribution to the debate over deficit reduction Wednesday…(S)orely needed presidential engagement on the nation’s fiscal crisis has arrived at last.”
A Wall Street Journal editorial, however, called Obama “The Presidential Divider,” saying:
His speech was “toxic,” “dishonest,” (and) even worse (for) deficits and debt” by not matching Rep. Ryan’s (R. WI) slash and burn plan even more draconian that his own – “in the midst of a fiscal crisis” both parties refuse to address responsibly, nor do major media reports, op-eds, and editorials explain it.
In fact, Obama largely embraces plans proposed by Republicans and his own deficit cutting commission, offering a different mix for the same purpose – protecting America’s super-rich while hammering working Americans through “shared sacrifice.”
In other words, middle and low income households “sacrifice” to let wealthy ones “share,” his agenda since day one in office.
For example, his proposed tax increase plan is a sham, knowing Republicans won’t agree. Moreover, since taking office, he broke every major campaign pledge, and twice, since December alone, capitulated to Republicans on taxes and spending:
— last December, with Democrats controlling both Houses, by extending Bush’s tax cuts to the rich after promising to end them; and
— in April, agreeing to $38 billion in largely vital social services cuts after promising to preserve them, rationalized by arguing for “a willingness to give on both sides.”
Representing wealth and power, his promises are empty. His April 8 budget deal includes significant social spending cuts including:
— $3.5 billion from Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding;
— $2.2 billion from nonprofit health insurance cooperatives;
— $600 million from community healthcare centers;
— $1 billion from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other disease prevention programs;
— $1.6 billion from EPA’s clean/safe drinking water and other projects;
— $950 million from community development grants;
— $504 million from nutrition aid for poor Women, Infants, and Children (WIC);
— $500 million from education programs;
— $390 million from home heating subsidies to the poor, as well as $2.5 billion for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) announced in February;
— $350 million from labor programs, including grants for community service jobs for seniors;
— other social service cuts;
— $786 million from FEMA first-responder funding;
— $407 million from energy efficiency and renewable energy programs;
— $260 million from National Institutes of Health (NIH) medical research;
— $127 million from the National Park Service; and
— billions less for public infrastructure and transportation spending, while increasing war appropriations by multiples more, including for conquering and controlling Libya.
Moreover, Obama agreed to more draconian FY 2012 cuts and corporate tax breaks as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling before its limit is reached in mid-May. Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press April 10, senior White House advisor David Plouffe said he’d consider new austerity measures to raise the debt ceiling and reduce the deficit – an oxymoronic compromise, especially with unlimited defense spending and generous corporate handouts instead of major reductions.
Obama Proposes Draconian Cuts on Working Americans
According to White, Obama’s plan over 12 years includes:
— $4 trillion overall;
— $770 billion from education, environmental, transportation, and other infrastructure cuts, as well as lower wages and benefits for federal workers when they need more, not less;
— $480 billion from Medicare and Medicaid, besides another $1 trillion from Obamacare;
— $360 billion from mandated domestic programs, including food stamps, home heating assistance, income for the poor and disabled, federal pension insurance, and farm subsidies;
— $400 billion from military-related spending from unneeded weapons, as well as healthcare and other benefits for active service members and veterans – not priority items the Pentagon and war profiteers want to protect generous annual defense spending increases and supplemental add-ons, plus black-hole black budgets for intelligence and other nefarious purposes.
Like all his demagoguery, Obama hypocrically stressed we’re broke and have to make shared sacrifices, suppressing how he’s served wealth and power interests at the expense of working Americans during the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.
The times demand stimulus, job creation, help for the working poor and unemployed, and much more, including:
— programs to prevent banks from foreclosing on homeowners they defrauded;
— slashing defense spending;
— ending imperial wars and occupations;
— using the funds for vital domestic programs;
— breaking up the too-big-to-fail banks; prosecuting their officials guilty of grand theft;
— reinvigorating public education;
— strengthening Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as assuring universal healthcare;
— guaranteeing every qualified student affordable higher education;
— supporting organized labor;
— instituting tough regulations to end monopoly and oligopoly power, punish corporate theft, curb speculation, end subsidies, and assure they all pay their fair share in taxes;
— replacing today’s dysfunctional tax system with a progressive one, making the rich share the burden they now avoid;
— making social justice issue one at a time none exists, Democrats as mean-spirited as Republicans; and
— instituting real government of, by and for the people, what’s never existed and doesn’t now under corrupted duopoly governance, ignoring people needs to serve Wall Street, war profiteers, and other corporate favorites.
The alternative assures greater militarism, social inequality and decay, growing poverty, eroding freedoms, police state harshness, and overall conditions too dire to imagine because public apathy let elected officials do nothing to change things.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.