Sunday, July 23, 2017

US taxpayer funding of Carl Gershman's National Endowment for Democracy (NED) must end. NED travels the world meddling in and destabilizing governments and wherever possible, such as in Ukraine, incites war and installs puppets. US taxpayers should never have been forced to fund this neocon group which at minimum creates hatred against Americans

Gershman's NED

Thanks to US taxpayer cash, Carl Gershman's NED spills blood in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela...leaves permanent suffering and hatred for Americans. Image above from, 2/27/2016, "State Department’s Mission: Coup d’etat," Vicky 

NED was first to be banned in Russia for excessive meddling: 7/28/2015, "National Endowment for Democracy is first ‘undesirable’ NGO banned in Russia," UK Guardian, Alec Luhn in Moscow..."Washington-based nonprofit funded largely by US Congress, is the first banned group under a law against ‘undesirable’ international organisations."

(Article below describes decades of misery and death engineered by Carl Gershman, his National Endowment for Democracy, and US taxpayer dollars:)

Jan. 30, 2017, "Firing America’s mischief-makers," Washington Times," Robert W. Merry

"The National Endowment for Democracy should be defunded."

"President Trump declared in his inaugural address, “We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone.” There’s one thing he could do, above all others, that would herald the seriousness of this pledge: kill the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

This federally funded institution, established in 1983, has been called a kind of “neocon slush fund,” sloshing tens of millions of dollars annually into the coffers of various nongovernment organizations (NGOs), so they can do what Mr. Trump says the United States now won’t seek to do — namely, spread our way of life into nations deemed insufficiently like us.

Killing the NED would have another big benefit to America and the world: It would end the meddlesome activities of the endowment’s longtime leader, Carl Gershman, who as president of the organization since its founding, has acted as a kind of grand-scale global busybody, dispensing some $100 million a year in behalf of efforts to undermine governments around the world. ["According to the NED website, it supports more than 1,000 non-government projects in more than 90 countries."]

Mr. Gershman and his organization played an instrumental role in the February 2014 Ukrainian coup that ousted the elected government of Viktor Yanukovych and sent him packing to Moscow just ahead of a gang of street fighters, who surely would have killed him had he stuck around. In the months before the coup, as Mr. Gershman distributed lavish funds to anti-Yanukovych forces, he wrote a piece in The Washington Post hailing Ukraine as "the biggest prize" in his ongoing democracy project.

But in the same column he indicated his regime-change ambitions actually extended to an even bigger prize. Once Ukraine could be pulled out of Russia’s sphere of influence through a Western-supported regime-change operation, he declared, “Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”

So here we had an American official, supported and sustained by federal funds, going around advocating the destabilization of a major regional power with a nuclear arsenal of ominous destructive capacity. This is incendiary — precisely what Mr. Trump was talking about in issuing his promise of U.S. forbearance on such matters....

Moscow’s propaganda newspaper RT (Russia Today) has argued that organizations such as the NED “are nothing but funding channels for activities that used to be run by the CIA under the title of ‘subversion.’” That allegation may seem easy to dismiss based on the source, but it happens to be correct. One of the NED’s early backers, Allen Weinstein (later U.S. archivist), once explained, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA. The biggest difference is that when such activities are done overtly, the flap potential is close to zero. Openness is its own protection.”

Indeed, the NED was created during the dark Cold War period of the early Reagan years at the behest of the CIA itself and its powerful director, William Casey, who wanted a substitute for the kinds of CIA operations that had led to scandal through abuse and were subsequently shut down by Congress. In his behind-the-scenes advocacy for such an organization, Casey wrote to White House counselor Edwin Meese III, “Obviously we here [at the CIA] should not get out front in the development of such an organization, nor should we appear to be a sponsor or advocate.”

That’s precisely what he was, though....The openness hailed by Weinstein and others hasn’t blunted the angers stirred abroad by the meddling of the NED and similar organizations in the internal dynamics of sovereign nations. After Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from office through massive street demonstrations, supported by idealistic Western entities such as those funded by NED, the Egyptian government raided the offices of 10 local civil-society organizations, including two core NED grantees. Some 43 NGO workers, including 19 Americans, were arrested and charged with crimes. It looked harrowing until the aid workers were released some months later. Russia also has taken steps to diminish the impact of such NGOs within its borders.

But there’s still plenty of potential for mischief. Consider the ongoing Ukraine drama. By wresting that tragically split country out of Russia’s sphere of influence, the West forced Russia into entirely predictable actions aimed at protecting its regional interests. That included the annexation of Crimea, with its crucial Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol, and actions to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine’s eastern sectors. That, in turn, seriously tattered relations between Russia and the United States, with sanctions, recriminations, hoof pounding and military maneuvers.

Democracy in Ukraine is never going to be easy or smooth, given the country’s ethnic mix and cultural split. But it had a duly elected government until the West moved to undermine it, with Mr. Gershman leading the cheers and his federally supported Paladin operation financing the opposition. The result has been not only the destabilization of Ukraine but also serious and potentially ominous tensions in the region and even more ominous tensions in U.S.-Russian relations.

All this was unnecessary, the result of a cultural sanctimony and international intrusiveness reflected so revealingly in Carl Gershman and his National Endowment for Democracy. If President Trump really is serious about ensuring that America won’t seek to impose its way of life on other nations, he will move to shut this thing down and escort Mr. Gershman into the private sector."

• "Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C., journalist and publishing executive, is editor of The American Conservative. His next book, due out from Simon and Schuster in September, is a biography of William McKinley."


Added: Bloody neocons: "As the blood flowed and the suffering worsened, the neocons just sought out someone else to blame." 

Longtime State Dept. neocon Victoria Nuland is married to fellow neocon, Washington Post columnist Robert Kagan:

7/28/2015, "National Endowment for Democracy is first ‘undesirable’ NGO banned in Russia," UK Guardian, Alec Luhn in Moscow 

"“The radicals and rioters got the money where such suspicious people usually get it, in Washington. As it turns out, the National Endowment for Democracy paid for the cookies,” the news agency said, referring to a December 2013 incident in which assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland handed out cookies to demonstrators....

NED and USAID, along with eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Ukrainian organisations advocating European-style reforms."...


Added: More on NED: "U.S. citizens fund the NED with public money, for the most part without their knowledge or consent."

March 12, 2015, "How the US Funds Dissent against Latin American Governments," (Venezuela)

"NED (National Endowment for Democracy, created in 1983, funded by US taxpayers via Congress) and USAID, also a US taxpayer funded group which nevertheless functions outside of US government and has a board of directors:

"Only recently has there been wider acknowledgement about the role that U.S. funding to nongovernmental organizations — particularly via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) — plays in furthering U.S. foreign policy.

For example, in 2012 governments of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) collectively signed a resolution to expel USAID from each of the member countries.

Those countries include Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Dominica, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. 

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

The NED was created by the administration of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1983, operates as a foundation that provides grants for “democracy promotion.” The foundation is structured as an umbrella with an almost corporatist flavor.

It houses four other organizations reflecting U.S. sectoral and party interest: the U.S. labor-affiliated American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS); the Chamber of Commerce-linked Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE); and the other two, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI), reflect Democrat and Republican affiliations respectively.

In many ways the NED resembles previous CIA efforts in the 1950s, 60s and 70s to provide mostly public money for secret operations aimed to bolster pro-U.S. governments and movements abroad. In South America for example, between 1975 and 1978 the U.S. helped with the creation and implementation of Operation Condor. The U.S. provided right-wing dictatorships in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador with technical and military support for the goal of hunting down and killing political opponents. Some estimate that Operation Condor killed between 60,000 and 80,000 people.

In 1986, the then president of the NED, Carl Gershman, explained to the New York Times, “We should not have to do this kind of work covertlyIt would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the C.I.A. We saw that in the 60s, and that's why it has been discontinued. We have not had the capability of doing this, and that's why the endowment was created.”

U.S. citizens fund the NED with public money,
for the most part without their knowledge or consent. The U.S. government allocates part the budget of the U.S. Department of State to USAID, which in turn provides most of the NED’s funding. Although it receives practically all of its funding from the U.S. government, the NED is technically a nongovernmental organization, headed by a board of directors. The current board includes:

  • Francis Fukuyama, a political economist, author and free-market universalist;
  • Elliott Abrams, former deputy assistant and deputy national security adviser on Middle East policy in the administration of George W. Bush;
  • Moises Naim, Venezuelan Minister of Trade and Industry during the turbulent early 1990s and former executive director of the World Bank;
  • Robert B. Zoellick, former deputy secretary of state under George W. Bush and Vice Chairmanship at Goldman Sachs Group.
The scope of activity of the NED is truly impressive. According to the NED website, it supports more than 1,000 non-government projects in more than 90 countries. 

At its inception in the early 1980s, the NED’s funding allocation was set at US$18 million and reached its peak in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Allocations for 2014 and 2015 have been approved for US$103.5 million, while over US$7 million was directed primarily to opposition organizations in Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba in 2013.

Within the U.S. Department of State’s “Justification of Request” documents, which outline the reasons for funding requests, it is clear that funding priorities in Latin America and the Caribbean reflect the NED’s modern strategy of overtly carrying out old covert objectives. 

Michel Chossudovsky, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Ottawa in Canada, sees this funding as an element in manufacturing dissent” against governments that the U.S. government dislikes. However, these funders do not work alone.

“The NED (and USAID) are entities linked with the U.S. State department, but they operate in tandem with a whole of other organizations,” said Chossudovsky.

In May 2010 the Foundation for International Relations and Foreign Dialogue released their report “Assessing Democracy Assistance in Venezuela,” which revealed that in addition to NED and USAID funding, a broad range of private and European-based foundations funded opposition-aligned nongovernmental organizations in the country with some US$40-50 million annually....

The United States Agency for International Development
Created in 1961 as a foreign assistance program under President John F. Kennedy, USAID commands a much larger budget and broader scope than the NED. While U.S. diplomats continue to stress that USAID funding does not have a political basis, USAID documents nonetheless acknowledge its role in “furthering America's interests” while carrying out “U.S. foreign policy by promoting broad-scale human progress at the same time it expands stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United States.” But critics are skeptical of USAID’s missionary work, noting how its strategy has changed over time.

USAID’s mandate is “to provide development aid and historically it has provided development aid, tied into debt negotiations and so on. Subsequently with the evolution of the development aid program it has redirected its endeavours on funding NGOs,” said Chossudovsky....

The extent of U.S. political ambitions recently came into the international spotlight with the revelation that USAID had secretly spent US$1.6 million to fund a social messaging network in Cuba called ZunZuneo, with the stated purpose to "renegotiate the balance of power between the state and society." The project was headed up by Joe McSpedon of the USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI).

Other USAID officials accused of active political meddling in the affairs of sovereign countries include regional head Mark Feierstein. According to Venezuelan investigative journalist Eva Golinger, in 2013 Feierstein met Venezuelan opposition figures including right-wing politicians Maria Corina Machado, Julio Borges and Ramon Guillermo Avelado, as well as political strategist Juan Jose Rendon, to devise a plan to undermine the Venezuelan government.

At the State Department budgetary hearing, Feierstein also confirmed “a long-standing program in place to support those who are advocating and fighting on behalf of democracy and human rights in Venezuela…and we are prepared to continue those under any scenario.”

State Department cables revealed by WikiLeaks also brought to light previous activities by USAID/OTI in Venezuela, including the development of a five-point, anti-government strategy for U.S. embassy activities, as well as the confirmation that grantees had been active in promoting street demonstrations in 2009....

In Bolivia, local rural workers’ groups and the government expelled the U.S.-based Chemonics International Inc. after their US$2.7 million USAID-funded "Strengthening Democracy" program was accused of financing destabilization attempts against the government. Chemonics operates in approximately 150 countries, offering various technical services and “consulting.”
The Bolivian government publicly outlined what they argued was proof of USAID-funded programs to mobilize the indigenous population against the government, in particular an indigenous march protesting the construction of a highway. USAID-funded programs were active in these areas, and had funded some of the leading organizations, such as the Eastern Bolivia Indigenous Peoples and Communities Confederation (CIDOB).
“USAID refused to reveal who it was funding and the Bolivian government had strong reasons to believe that it had ties and coordination with opposition groups in the country which at the time was involved in violence and destructive activities aimed at toppling the Morales government,” said Beeton. Now we know through WikiLeaks that that’s what really was going on.” 

President Evo Morales also revealed transcripts of phone calls between the anti-highway march organizers and U.S. embassy officials. The U.S. embassy confirmed the calls, but explained that they were merely trying to familiarize themselves with the country’s political and social situation.

Officials also denounced the lack of accountability to the Bolivian government or to the recipient constituencies of USAID funds. The head of the CIDOB, Lazaro Taco, confirmed that they had received “external support for our workshops," but would not identify the source.

These and other USAID activities led Bolivian President Evo Morales to claim that the agency was conspiring against his government.
The government expelled USAID from the country in May 2013, while USAID denied any wrongdoing."...



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