Oh breakups are so messy. When control of the American government was seized by a confluence of neoconservatives and neoliberals in 2000, Bush declared “You are either with us or you are against us.” Either you clear the way for American hegemony or we’ll bomb you back to the Stone Age.
Since 2000 the various conservative think tanks in Washington, drunk with power have been on binge of hegemony in the Middle East and Eurasia. The European Union like an abused wife trapped in a loveless marriage has finally had enough. The choice is stark, break free and swim for the surface or you will drown with your abuser. Russia has provided a “Battered Wife” safe house and the European nations are flocking to the safety Russia has offered. For America the drunken binge is over, it’s Sunday Morning Coming Down.
In July, 2015 Russian President Vladimir Putin banned the NGO National Endowment for Democracies from Russia after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia for “human rights abuses”. From The Guardian:
The National Endowment for Democracy, a Washington-based nonprofit funded largely by the US Congress, has become the first group to be banned in Russia under a law against “undesirable” international nongovernmental organisations.
According to its website, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is “dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world” and has funded local non-governmental organisations in more than 90 countries. But in a statement on Tuesday, the prosecutor general’s office said it “poses a threat to the constitutional order of the Russian Federation and the defensive capability and security of the government”.
“Using Russian commercial and noncommercial organisations under its control, the National Endowment for Democracy participated in work to declare the results of election campaigns illegitimate, organise political actions intended to influence decisions made by the authorities, and discredit service in Russia’s armed forces,” the statement said.
Of course America’s boilerplate response was Putin is trying to quash dissent. From Fiscal Times:
The National Endowment for Democracy, a U.S.-based non-profit that promotes the spread of democratic government worldwide, is the first victim of a new law in Russia that allows the country’s prosecutor general to declare foreign entities “undesirable organizations” and bar them from operating in the country….
The decision appears to be the first use of the new authority granted to the Prosecutor General earlier this year, and which appears to be another effort by the government of President Vladimir Putin aimed at stifling dissent.
Though structured as an independent organization with a board of directors made up of private citizens, NED it is widely seen an arm of the United States government, receiving almost all of its funding from congressional appropriations. And while its board members are not current government employees, many have had considerable careers in the government prior to joining.
A grant-making organization, NED has provided millions of dollars in financial support to civil society groups in Russia, some of which have challenged official state policies. The decision makes it illegal for Russian citizens to interact with the organization, on pain of fines or prison time…..
…. when a group is designated as undesirable, “all its assets in Russia must be frozen, offices closed and distribution of any of its information materials must be banned. If the ban is violated, both the personnel of the outlawed group and Russian citizens who cooperate with them face punishments of heavy fines, or even prison terms in case of repeated or aggravated offence.”
My, my, my. Who to believe Putin or the NED? Let’s take a look at some of the previous handiwork of the NED spreading democracy. How about their democracy spreading work in Egypt and Syria. From Global Research:
National Endowment for Democracies Broke U.S. Laws by Funding Terrorists in Egypt and Syria
What's that you say? The National Endowment for Democracies broke U.S. Laws funding terrorists in Egypt and Syria? Hmmm,
Information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, interviews, and public records reveal Washington’s “democracy assistance” may have violated Egyptian law, which prohibits foreign political funding.
It may also have broken US government regulations that ban the use of taxpayers’ money to fund foreign politicians, or finance subversive activities that target democratically elected governments.
Washington’s democracy assistance programme for the Middle East is filtered through a pyramid of agencies within the State Department. Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars is channeled through the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), USAID, as well as the Washington-based, quasi-governmental organisation the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)….
A main conduit for channeling the State Department’s democracy funds to Egypt has been the National Endowment for Democracy. Federal documents show NED, which in 2011 was authorised an annual budget of $118m by Congress, funneled at least $120,000 over several years to an exiled Egyptian police officer who has for years incited violence in his native country.
This appears to be in direct contradiction to its Congressional mandate, which clearly states NED is to engage only in “peaceful” political change overseas.
Oh, dear. Are you saying the “non-profit” NED was given $118 million in American taxpayer money in 2011 to spread democracy in Syria and Egypt by congress? Isn’t 2011 when congress passed the Budget Control Act? From Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
The Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 imposed caps on discretionary programs that will reduce their funding by more than $1 trillion over the ten years from 2012 through 2021….
Broadly speaking, for 2013 the across-the-board cuts will mean about an 8.4 percent cut in most affected non-defense discretionary programs, a 7.5 percent cut in affected defense programs, an 8.0 percent cut in affected mandatory programs other than Medicare, and a 2.0 percent cut in Medicare provider payments.
For 2014 through 2021, the Medicare cut will remain at 2 percent while the percentage cuts in other programs will gradually shrink.
Well I’m sure the American people don’t mind cutting VA Benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, Social Security and all so that the National Endowment For Democracies can “spread democracy” in Egypt and Syria. So let’s see what the American people got for their money from the NED:
Colonel Omar Afifi Soliman – who served in Egypt’s elite investigative police unit, notorious for human rights abuses – began receiving NED funds in 2008 for at least four years.
During that time he and his followers targeted Mubarak’s government, and Soliman later followed the same tactics against the military rulers who briefly replaced him. Most recently Soliman set his sights on Morsi’s government.
Soliman, who has refugee status in the US, was sentenced in absentia last year for five years imprisonment by a Cairo court for his role in inciting violence in 2011 against the embassies of Israel and Saudi Arabia, two US allies.
He also used social media to encourage violent attacks against Egyptian officials, according to court documents and a review of his social media posts.
US Internal Revenue Service documents reveal that NED paid tens of thousands of dollars to Soliman through an organisation he created called Hukuk Al-Nas (People’s Rights), based in Falls Church, Virginia. Federal forms SHOW HE IS THE ONLY EMPLOYEE.
Former Egyptian police colonel Omar Afifi works from his command center in his apartment in Falls Church, Va.
After he was awarded a 2008 human rights fellowship at NED and moved to the US, Soliman received a second $50,000 NED grant in 2009 for Hukuk Al-Nas. In 2010, he received $60,000 and another $10,000 in 2011.
Well, sounds like this Soliman guy doesn't have to worry about living on Social Security or relying on Wall Street profit drive Obama Care for his medical needs. Why old Soliman must be grateful to the NED for this largess he received for his “2008 human rights fellowship at NED” being a wanted man in Cairo and all.
In an interview with the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley, Soliman reluctantly admitted he received US government funding from the National Endowment for Democracy, but complained it wasn’t enough. “It is like $2000 or $2,500 a month,” he said. “Do you think this is too much? Obama wants to give us peanuts. We will not accept that.”
NED has removed public access to its Egyptian grant recipients in 2011 and 2012 from its website. NED officials didn’t respond to repeated interview requests….
US taxpayer money has also been sent to groups set up by some of Egypt’s richest people, raising questions about waste in the democracy programme.
Well, well, well. So Americans on Social Security Disability will have their benefits cut by 20% in 2016 as part of the “agreement between the Obama Administration and congress” to give Soliman $2,000 to $2,500 per month which he calls “peanuts.” And, that’s not all, the lawless Obama Administration also has broken an American law called the Leahy Amendment by arming terrorists in Syria to overthrow the elected government. From InformationClearing House:
Enacted in 1997, the so-called Leahy Amendment, named after its author Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., makes it illegal for the U.S. to arm or train foreign militaries credibly accused of human rights violations. While the law hasn’t stopped all U.S. support for atrocities, it is an eminently reasonable measure that now the Obama administration wants to do away with.
The president claims the arms will only be delivered to “vetted” rebel groups, avoiding the hundreds of other rebel factions said by United Nations investigators to have committed war crimes. But it’s virtually impossible to funnel weapons into a chaotic civil war without them getting into the wrong hands.
Milton Bearden, a 30-year CIA veteran who oversaw the $3 billion covert program to arm the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviets told Foreign Policy that the Obama administration should beware. “If you [arm the rebels], don’t try to convince yourself that you’re in control,” he said…
This makes it difficult for the Obama administration to abide by the spirit of the Leahy Law, given that many of Syria’s rebel groups have engaged in torture, extra-judicial killings, and mutilation of the dead. The leading rebel groups have close ties to al-Qaeda groups….
The U.S. has a long history of supporting extreme brutality, even genocide, through unsavory proxy militias. And now, as the Obama administration is increasing its support for fighters in places like Syria, Honduras and Nigeria, Washington is looking to revive that storied pastime.
When they say the “The U.S. has a long history of supporting extreme brutality, even genocide, through unsavory proxy militias” I assume that “storied history” goes back to 1983 when Reagan’s National Endowment for Democracies was started.
But there’s trouble in Paradise, the EU has sobered up and now Putin has provided a way out of this endless American made nightmare. Unfortunately the American government and the NED is addicted and the only hope for America is an intervention, tough love. And that tough love is now being imposed by Vladimir Putin. From PaulCraig Roberts:
A Decisive Shift In The Power Balance Has Occurred — Paul Craig Roberts
The world is beginning to realize that a seachange in world affairs occured on September 28 when President Putin of Russia stated in his UN speech that Russia can no longer tolerate Washington’s vicious, stupid, and failed policies that have unleashed chaos, which is engulfing the Middle East and now Europe. Two days later, Russia took over the military situation in Syria and began the destruction of the Islamic State forces.
Perhaps among Obama’s advisors there are a few who are not drowning in hubris and can understand this seachange. Sputnik news reports that some high-level security advisors to Obama have advised him to withdraw US military forces from Syria and give up his plan to overthrow Assad.
They advised Obama to cooperate with Russia in order to stop the refugee flow that is overwhelming Washington’s vassals in Europe. The influx of unwanted peoples is making Europeans aware of the high cost of enabling US foreign policy. Advisors have told Obama that the idiocy of the neoconservatives’ policies threaten Washington’s empire in Europe….
If you are an advisor to Obama and you are sane, there’s no chance that he will listen, especially with self-declared Zionist Joe Biden and John Kerry pushing for more arms to be given to “moderate rebel” terrorists.
The neoconservatives’ plan for a UN no-fly zone over Syria in order to push out the Russians is a pipedream. No such resolution will come out of the UN. Indeed, the Russians have already established a de facto no-fly zone.
Putin, without issuing any verbal threats or engaging in any name-calling, has decisively shifted the power balance, and the world knows it.
Washington’s response consists of name-calling, bluster and more lies, some of which is echoed by some of Washington’s ever more doubtful vassals. The only effect is to demonstrate Washington’s impotence.
If Obama has any sense, he will dismiss from his government the neoconservative morons who have squandered Washington’s power, and he will focus instead on holding on to Europe by working with Russia to destroy, rather than to sponsor, the terrorism in the Middle East that is overwhelming Europe with refugees.
If Obama cannot admit a mistake, the United States will continue to lose credibility and prestige around the world.
Well Dr. Roberts therein lies the problem, Obama’s ego will not allow him to admit a mistake and he’ll take America down with him. Obama’s America is drunk with power and has gone on a binge from which he has yet to wake up. When the sun comes up, the drunk is going to find his battered wife, European Union has fled to Putin’s safe house, and now it’s Sunday Morning coming down.
By Patricia Baeten