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US ‘Democracy Promotion’ Destroys Democracy Overseas

By Ron Paul| March 23, 2014

It was almost ten years ago when, before the House International Relations Committee, I objected to the US Government funding NGOs to meddle in the internal affairs of Ukraine. At the time the “Orange Revolution” had forced a regime change in Ukraine with the help of millions of dollars from Washington.

At that time I told the Committee:

We do not know exactly how many millions—or tens of millions—of dollars the United States government spent on the presidential election in Ukraine. We do know that much of that money was targeted to assist one particular candidate, and that through a series of cut-out non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—both American and Ukrainian—millions of dollars ended up in support of the presidential candidate…

I was worried about millions of dollars that the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its various related organizations spent to meddle in Ukraine’s internal affairs. But it turns out that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Last December, US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland gave a speech in which she admitted that since 1991 the US government has:

[I]nvested more than 5 billion dollars to help Ukraine…in the development of democratic institutions and skills in promoting civil society and a good form of government.

This is the same State Department official who was caught on tape just recently planning in detail the overthrow of the Ukrainian government.

That five billion dollars appears to have bought a revolution in Ukraine. But what do the US taxpayers get, who were forced to pay for this interventionism? Nothing good. Ukraine is a bankrupt country that will need tens of billions of dollars to survive the year. Already the US-selected prime minister has made a trip to Washington to ask for more money.

And what will the Ukrainians get? Their democracy has been undermined by the US-backed coup in Kiev. In democracies, power is transferred peacefully through elections, not seized by rebels in the streets. At least it used to be.

The IMF will descend on Ukraine to implement yet another of its failed rescue plans, which enrich the well-connected and international bankers at the expense of the local population. The IMF adds debt, organizes sweetheart deals for foreign corporations, and demands that the local population accept “austerity” in exchange for “reform” that never seems to produce the promised results.

The groundwork for this disaster has been laid by NED, USAID, and the army of NGOs they have funded over the years in Ukraine.

Supporters of NED and its related organizations will argue that nothing is wrong with sending US dollars to “promote democracy” overseas. The fact is, however, that NED, USAID, and the others have nothing to do with promoting democracy and everything to do with destroying democracy.

It is not democracy to send in billions of dollars to push regime change overseas. It isn’t democracy to send in the NGOs to re-write laws and the constitution in places like Ukraine. It is none of our business.

How should we promote democracy overseas? First, we should stop the real isolationists — those who seek to impose sanctions and blockades and restrictions that impede our engagement overseas. We can promote democracy with a US private sector that engages overseas. A society that prospers through increased trade ties with the US will be far more likely to adopt practices and policies that continue that prosperity and encourage peace.

In 2005, arguing against funding NED in the US foreign assistance authorization bill, I said:

The National Endowment for Democracy…has very little to do with democracy. It is an organization that uses US tax money to actually subvert democracy, by showering funding on favored political parties or movements overseas. It underwrites color-coded ‘people’s revolutions’ overseas that look more like pages out of Lenin’s writings on stealing power than genuine indigenous democratic movements.

Sadly, matters are even worse now. To promote democracy overseas, NED and all other meddling US government funded NGOs should be disbanded immediately.

March 23, 2014 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Imperialism and NGOs in Latin America

By James Petras :: 12.18.1997

By the early 1980s the more perceptive sectors of the neoliberal ruling classes realized that their policies were polarizing the society and provoking large-scale social discontent.

Neoliberal politicians began to finance and promote a parallel strategy “from below,” the promotion of “grassroots” organization with an”anti-statist” ideology to intervene among potentially conflictory classes, to create a “social cushion.” These organizations were financially dependent on neoliberal sources and were directly involved in competing with socio-political movements for the allegiance of local leaders and activist communities. By the 1990s these organizations, described as “nongovernmental,” numbered in the thousands and were receiving close to four billion dollars world-wide.

Neoliberalism and the NGOs

The confusion concerning the political character of the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) stems from their earlier history in the 1970s during the days of the dictatorships. In this period they were active in providing humanitarian support to the victims of the military dictatorship and denouncing human rights violations. The NGOs supported “soup kitchens” which allowed victimized families to survive the first wave of shock treatments administered by the neoliberal dictatorships. This period created a favorable image of NGOs even among the left. They were considered part of the “progressive camp.”

Even then, however, the limits of the NGOs were evident. While they attacked the human rights violations of local dictatorships, they rarely denounced the U.S. and European patrons who financed and advised them. Nor was there a serious effort to link the neoliberal economic policies and human rights violations to the new turn in the imperialist system. Obviously the external sources of funding limited the sphere of criticism and human rights action.

As opposition to neoliberalism grew in the early 1980s, the U.S. and European governments and the World Bank increased their funding ofNGOs. There is a direct relation between the growth of social movements challenging the neoliberal model and the effort to subvert them by creating alternative forms of social action through the NGOs. The basic point of convergence between the NGOs and the World Bank was their common opposition to”statism.” On the surface the NGOs criticized the state from a “left” perspective defending civil society, while the right did so in the name of the market. In reality, however, the World Bank, the neoliberal regimes, and western foundations co-opted and encouraged the NGOs to undermine the national welfare state by providing social services to compensate the victims of the multinational corporations (MNCs). In other words, as the neoliberal regimes at the top devastated communities by inundating the country with cheap imports, extracting external debt payment, abolishing labor legislation, and creating a growing mass of low-paid and unemployed workers, the NGOs were funded to provide “self-help” projects, “popular education,” and job training, to temporarily absorb small groups of poor, to co-opt local leaders, and to undermine anti-system struggles.

The NGOs became the “community face” of neoliberalism, intimately related to those at the top and complementing their destructive work with local projects. In effect the neoliberals organized a “pincer” operation or dual strategy. Unfortunately many on the left focused only on “neoliberalism” from above and the outside (International Monetary Fund, World Bank) and not on neoliberalism from below (NGOs, micro-enterprises). A major reason for this oversight was the conversion of many ex-Marxists to the NGO formula and practice. Anti-Statism was the ideological transit ticket from class politics to “community development,” from Marxism to the NGOs.

Typically, NGO ideologues counterpose “state” power to “local” power. State power is, they argue, distant from its citizens, autonomous, and arbitrary, and it tends to develop interests different from and opposed to those of its citizens, while local power is necessarily closer and more responsive to the people. But apart from historical cases where the reverse has also been true, this leaves out the essential relation between state and local power—the simple truth that state power wielded by a dominant, exploiting class will undermine progressive local initiatives, while that same power in the hands of progressive forces can reinforce such initiatives.

The counter position of state and local power has been used to justify the role of NGOs as brokers between local organizations, neoliberal foreign donors (World Bank, Europe, or the United States) and the local free market regimes. But the effect is to strengthen neoliberal regimes by severing the link between local struggles and organizations and national/international political movements. The emphasis on “local activity” serves the neoliberal regimes since it allows its foreign and domestic backers to dominate macro-socio-economic policy and to channel most of the state’s resources toward subsidies for export capitalists and financial institutions.

So while the neoliberals were transferring lucrative state properties to the private rich, the NGOs were not part of the trade union resistance. On the contrary they were active in local private projects, promoting the private enterprise discourse (self-help) in the local communities by focusing on micro-enterprises. The NGOs built ideological bridges between the small scale capitalists and the monopolies benefiting from privatization—all in the name of “anti-statism”and the building of civil societies. While the rich accumulated vast financial empires from the privatization, the NGO middle class professionals got small sums to finance offices, transportation, and small-scale economic activity.

The important political point is that the NGOs depoliticized sectors of the population, undermined their commitment to public employees, and co-opted potential leaders in small projects. NGOs abstain from public schoolteacher struggles, as the neoliberal regimes attack public education and public educators. Rarely if ever do NGOs support the strikes and protests against low wages and budget cuts. Since their educational funding comes from the neoliberal governments, they avoid solidarity with public educators in struggle. In practice, “non-governmental” translates into anti-public-spending activities, freeing the bulk of funds for neoliberals to subsidize export capitalists while small sums trickle from the government to NGOs.

In reality non-governmental organizations are not non-governmental. They receive funds from overseas governments or work as private subcontractors of local governments. Frequently they openly collaborate with governmental agencies at home or overseas. This “subcontracting”undermines professionals with fixed contracts, replacing them with contingent professionals. The NGOs cannot provide the long-term comprehensive programs that the welfare state can furnish. Instead they provide limited services to narrow groups of communities. More importantly, their programs are not accountable to the local people but to overseas donors. In that sense NGOs undermine democracy by taking social programs out of the hands of the local people and their elected officials to create dependence on non-elected, overseas officials and their locally anointed officials.

NGOs shift people’s attention and struggles away from the national budget and toward self-exploitation to secure local social services. This allows the neoliberals to cut social budgets and transfer state funds to subsidize bad debts of private banks, and provide loans to exporters. Self exploitation (self-help) means that, in addition to paying taxes to the state and not getting anything in return, working people have to work extra hours with marginal resources, and expend scarce energies to obtain services that the bourgeoisie continues to receive from the state. More fundamentally, the NGO ideology of “private voluntaristic activity” undermines the sense of the “public”: the idea that the government has an obligation to look after its citizens and provide them with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that the political responsibility of the state is essential for the well-being of citizens. Against this notion of public responsibility, the NGOs foster the neoliberal idea of private responsibility for social problems and the importance of private resources to solve these problems. In effect they impose a double burden on the poor who continue to pay taxes to finance the neoliberal state to serve the rich, but are left with private self-exploitation to take care of their own needs.

NGOs and Socio-political Movements

NGOs emphasize projects, not movements; they “mobilize” people to produce at the margins but not to struggle to control the basic means of production and wealth; they focus on technical financial assistance of projects, not on structural conditions that shape the everyday lives of people. The NGOs co-opt the language of the left: “popular power,” “empowerment,” “gender equality,” “sustainable development,” “bottom-up leadership.” The problem is that this language is linked to a framework of collaboration with donors and government agencies that subordinate practical activity to non-confrontational politics. The local nature of NGO activity means that “empowerment” never goes beyond influencing small areas of social life, with limited resources, and within the conditions permitted by the neoliberal state and macro-economy.

The NGOs and their post-Marxist professional staff directly compete with the socio-political movements for influence among the poor, women, and the racially excluded. Their ideology and practice diverts attention from the sources and solutions of poverty (looking downward and inward instead of upward and outward). To speak of micro-enterprises, instead of the elimination of exploitation by the overseas banks, as the solution, is based on the notion that the problem is one of individual initiative rather than the transference of income overseas. The NGO’s aid affects small sectors of the population, setting up competition between communities for scarce resources, generating insidious distinctions and inter- and intra-community rivalries, thus undermining class solidarity. The same is true among the professionals: each sets up its NGO to solicit overseas funds. They compete by presenting proposals more congenial to the overseas donors, while claiming to speak for their followers.

The net effect is a proliferation of NGOs that fragment poor communities into sectoral and sub-sectoral groupings unable to see the larger social picture that afflicts them and even less able to unite in struggle against the system. Recent experience also demonstrates that foreign donors finance projects during “crises”—political and social challenges to the status quo. Once the movements have ebbed they shift funding to NGO-style “collaboration,” fitting the NGO projects into the neoliberal agenda. Economic development compatible with the “free market” rather than social organization for social change becomes the dominant item on the funding agenda.

The structure and nature of NGOs, with their “apolitical” posture and their focus on self-help, depoliticizes and demobilizes the poor. They reinforce the electoral processes encouraged by the neoliberal parties and mass media. Political education about the nature of imperialism, and the class basis of neoliberalism, the class struggle between exporters and temporary workers, are avoided. Instead the NGOs discuss “the excluded,” the “powerless,” “extreme poverty,” “gender or racial discrimination,” without moving beyond the superficial symptom to the social system that produces these conditions. Incorporating the poor into the neoliberal economy through purely “private voluntary action,” the NGOs create a political world where the appearance of solidarity and social action cloaks a conservative conformity with the international and national structure of power.

It is no coincidence that as NGOs have become dominant in certain regions, independent class political action has declined, and neoliberalism goes uncontested. The bottom line is that the growth of NGOs coincides with increased funding under neoliberalism and the deepening of poverty everywhere. Despite the claims of many local successes, the overall power of neoliberalism stands unchallenged and the NGOs increasingly search for niches in the interstices of power.

The problem of formulating alternatives has been hindered in another way too. Many of the former leaders of guerrilla and social movements, trade union and popular women’s organizations have been co-opted by the NGOs. Some have undoubtedly been attracted by the hope—or the illusion—that this might give them access to levers of power which would allow them to do some good. But in any case, the offer is tempting: higher pay (occasionally in hard currency), prestige and recognition by overseas donors, overseas conferences and networks, office staff, and relative security from repression. In contrast, the socio-political movements offer few material benefits but greater respect and independence and, more importantly, the freedom to challenge the political and economic system. The NGOs and their overseas banking supporters (Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank) publish newsletters featuring success stories of micro-enterprises and other self-help projects—without mentioning the high rates of failure as popular consumption declines, low-priced imports flood the market, and interest rates spiral, as in Mexico today.

Even the “successes” affect only a small fraction of the total poor and succeed only to the degree that others cannot enter the same market. The propaganda value of individual micro-enterprise success, however, is important in fostering the illusion that neoliberalism is a popular phenomenon. The frequent violent mass outbursts that take place in regions of micro-enterprise promotion suggests that the ideology is not hegemonic and the NGOs have not yet displaced independent class movements.

Finally NGOs foster a new type of cultural and economic colonialism and dependency. Projects are designed, or at least approved, based on the “guidelines” and priorities of the imperial centers and their institutions. They are administered and “sold” to communities. Evaluations are done by and for the imperial institutions. Shifts of funding priorities or bad evaluations result in the dumping of groups, communities, farms, and co-operatives. Everything and everybody is increasingly disciplined to comply with the donors and project evaluators’ demands. The new viceroys supervise and ensure conformity with the goals, values, and ideologies of the donor as well as the proper use of funds. Where “successes” occur they are heavily dependent on continued outside support, without which they could collapse.

In many ways the hierarchical structures and the forms of transmission of “aid” and “training” resemble nineteenth-century charity, and the promoters are not very different from Christian missionaries. The NGOs emphasize “self-help” in attacking “paternalism and dependence” on the state. In this competition among NGOs to capture the victims of neoliberals, they receive important subsidies from their counterparts in Europe and the United States. The self-help ideology emphasizes the replacement of public employees by volunteers, and upwardly mobile professionals contracted on a temporary basis. The basic philosophy of the NGO intellectuals is to transform “solidarity” into collaboration and subordination to the macro-economy of neoliberalism, by focusing attention away from state resources of the wealthy classes toward self-exploitation of the poor.

But, while the mass of NGOs are increasingly instruments of neoliberalism, there is a small minority which attempt to develop an alternative strategy that is supportive of anti-imperialist and class politics. None of them receive funds from the World Bank, European, or U.S. governmental agencies. They support efforts to link local power to struggles for state power. They link local projects to national socio-political movements: occupying large landed estates, defending public property and national ownership against multinationals. They provide political solidarity to social movements involved in struggles to expropriate land. They support women’s struggles linked to class perspectives. They recognize the importance of politics in defining local and immediate struggles. They believe that local organizations should fight at the national level and that national leaders must be accountable to local activists.

Some Examples

Let us examine some examples of the role of NGOs and their relation to neoliberalism and imperialism in specific countries:

Bolivia

In 1985 the Bolivian government launched its New Economic Policy (NEP) by decree: freezing wages for four months while inflation raged at a 15,000 percent annual rate. The NEP annulled all price controls and reduced or ended food and fuel subsidies. It also laid the basis for the privatization of most state enterprises and the firing of public-sector employees. Massive cutbacks in health and education programs eliminated most public services. These structural adjustment policies (SAP) were designed and dictated by the World Bank and the IMF and approved by the U.S. and European governments and banks. The number of poverty stricken Bolivians grew geometrically. Prolonged general strikes and violent confrontations followed. In response the World Bank, European, and U.S. governments provided massive aid to fund a “poverty alleviation program.” Most of the money was directed to a Bolivian government agency, the Emergency Social Fund (ESF), which channeled funds to the NGOs to implement its program. The funds were not insignificant: in 1990 foreign aid totaled $738 million.

The number of NGOs in Bolivia grew rapidly in response to international funding: prior to 1980 there were 100 NGOs; by 1992 there were 530 and growing. Almost all the NGOs are directed toward addressing social problems created by the World Bank and the Bolivian government’s free market policies, which the dismantled state institutions no longer can deal with. Of the tens of millions allocated to the NGOs, only 15 to 20 percent reached the poor. The rest was siphoned off to pay administrative costs and professional salaries. The Bolivian NGOs functioned as appendages of the state and served to consolidate its power. The absolute levels of poverty stayed the same and the long-term structural causes—the neoliberal policies—were cushioned by the NGOs. While not solving the poverty problem, the NGO-administered poverty programs strengthened the regime and weakened opposition to the SAP. The NGOs, with their big budgets, exploited vulnerable groups and were able to convince some leaders of the opposition that they could benefit from working with the government. According to one observer, commenting on the NGO role in the “poverty program”: “If this (NGO programs) did not create direct support, it at least reduced potential opposition to the government and its program.”

When the public school teachers of La Paz went on strike to protest $50-a-month wages and crowded classrooms, the NGOs ignored it; when cholera and yellow fever epidemics raged in the countryside, the NGO self-help programs were helpless where a comprehensive public health program would have been successful in preventing them. The NGOs did absorb many of Bolivia’s former leftist intellectuals and turned them into apologists for the neoliberal system. Their seminars about “civil society” and “globalization” obscured the fact that the worst exploiters (the private mine owners, new rich agro-exporters, and high paid consultants) were members of “civil society” and that the SAP was an imperial design to open the country’s mineral resources to unregulated pillage.

Chile

In Chile under the Pinochet dictatorship in 1973-1989, the NGOs played an important role denouncing human rights violations, preparing studies critical of the neoliberal model and sustaining soup kitchens and other poverty programs. Their numbers multiplied with the advent of the massive popular struggles between 1982 and 1986 that threatened to overthrow the dictatorship. To the extent that they expressed an ideology, it was oriented toward “democracy” and “development with equity.” Of the close to two hundred NGOs, fewer than five provided a clear critical analysis and exposition of the links between U.S. imperialism and the dictatorship, the ties between World Bank funded free market policies and the 47 percent level of poverty.

In July of 1986 there was a successful general strike—a guerrilla group almost succeeded in killing Pinochet—and the United States sent a representative (Gelbard) to broker an electoral transition between the more conservative sectors of the opposition and Pinochet. An electoral calendar was established, a plebiscite was organized, and the electoral parties re-emerged. An alliance between Christian Democrats and Socialists was forged and eventually won the plebiscite, ending Pinochet’s rule (but not his command of the armed forces and secret police); this alliance subsequently won the presidency.

The social movements which played a vital role in ending the dictatorships were marginalized. The NGOs turned from supporting the movements to collaborating with the government. The Socialist and Christian Democratic NGO professionals became government ministers. From critics of Pinochet’s free market policies they became its celebrants. Former President of CIEPLAN (a major research institute) Alejandro Foxley publicly promised to continue managing the macro-economic indicators in the same fashion as Pinochet’s minister. The NGOs were instructed by their foreign donors to end their support for independent grassroots movements and to collaborate with the new civilian neoliberal regime. Sur Profesionales, one of the best known research NGOs, carried out research on the “propensity for violence” in the shantytowns—information that was useful to the police and the new regime in repressing independent social movements. Two of its chief researchers (specialty: social movements) became government ministers administering economic policies that created the most lopsided income inequalities in recent Chilean history.

The NGOs’ external links and the professional ambitions of its leaders played a major role in undermining the burgeoning popular movement. Most of its leaders became government functionaries who co-opted local leaders, while undermining rank-and-file style community assemblies. Interviews with women active in the shantytown Lo Hermida revealed the shift in the post-electoral period. “The NGOs told us that because democracy has arrived there is no need to continue the (soup-kitchen) programs. You don’t need us.” Increasingly the NGOs conditioned their activities on supporting the “democratic” free market regime. The NGO functionaries continued to use their participatory rhetoric to hustle votes for their parties in the government and to secure government contracts.

One striking impact of the NGOs in Chile was its relationship to the “women’s movement.” What started as a promising activist group in the mid-1980s was gradually taken over by NGOs who published expensive newsletters from well-furnished offices. The “leaders” who lived in fashionable neighborhoods represented a shrinking number of women. During the Latin American Feminist Conference in Chile in 1997, a militant group of rank-and-file Chilean feminist (”the autonomists”) provided a radical critique of the NGO feminists as sellouts to government subsidies.

Brazil

The most dynamic social movement in Brazil is the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST). With over five thousand organizers and several hundred thousand sympathizers and activists, it has been directly involved in hundreds of land occupations over the past few years. At a conference organized in May 1996, by the MST, at which I spoke, the role of NGOs was one of the subjects of debate. A representative from a Dutch NGO appeared on the scene and insisted on participating. When he was told the meeting was closed, he told them that he had a “proposal” for funding ($300 thousand) community development, and insisted on entering. In no uncertain terms the MST leaders told him that they were not for sale and that anyway, they, the MST, design their own “projects” according to their own needs and don’t need NGO tutors.

Later the women’s caucus of the MST discussed a recent meeting with rural-based feminist NGOs. The MST women pushed for a class struggle perspective, combining direct action (land occupations) and the struggle for agrarian reform with gender equality. The NGO professionals insisted that the MST women break with their organizations and support a minimalist program of strictly feminist reforms. The end result was a tactical agreement opposing domestic violence, registering women as heads of families, and encouraging gender equality. The MST women, mostly daughters of landless peasants, perceived the NGO professionals as divisive careerists, not willing to challenge the political and economic elite that oppressed all peasants. Despite their criticisms of their male comrades, they clearly felt greater affinity with the movement than with the class-collaborationist “feminist” NGOs.

In our discussion, the MST distinguished between NGOs that contribute to the movement (money, resources, etc.) to finance class struggle, and NGOs that are essentially missionary outfits that fragment and isolate peasants, as is the case with many pentecostal and USAID and World Bank sponsored NGO projects.

El Salvador

Throughout Latin America peasant militants have voiced serious criticisms of the role and politics of the vast majority of NGOs, particularly about the patronizing and domineering attitude that they display behind their ingratiating rhetoric of “popular empowerment” and participation. I encountered this directly during a recent visit to El Salvador, where I was giving a seminar for the Alianza Democratica Campesino (the ADC, or Democratic Peasant Alliance) which represents 26 peasant and landless workers’ organizations.

Part of our collaboration involved the joint development of a project to fund a peasant-directed research and training center. Together with the leaders of the ADC we visited a private Canadian agency, CRC SOGEMA, which was subcontracted by CIDA, the Canadian government’s foreign assistance agency. They administered a $25 million (Canadian) aid packet for El Salvador. Before our visit, one of the ADC leaders had held an informal discussion with one of the Salvadoran associates of CRC SOGEMA. He explained the proposal and its importance for stimulating peasant-based participatory research. The CRC SOGEMA representative proceeded to draw a figure of a person on a piece of paper. He pointed to the head. “That,” he said, “is the NGOs: they think, write, and prepare programs.” He then pointed to the hands and feet, “that’s the peasants: they provide data and implement the projects.”

This revealing episode was the background to our formal meeting with the head of CRC SOGEMA. The director told us that the money was already earmarked for a Salvadoran NGO: FUNDE (Fundacion Nacional para el Desarrollo, the National Foundation for Development), a consulting firm of upwardly mobile professionals. She encouraged the peasant leaders to co-operate and to become involved because, she said, it would be “empowering.” In the course of our conversation, it emerged that the Salvadoran associate of CRC SOGEMA who had expressed that outrageous view of the relation between NGOs (the head) and peasants (the hands and feet) was a “link” between FUNDE and SOGEMA. The ADC leaders responded that, while FUNDE was technically competent, their “courses” and research did not meet the needs of the peasants and that they had a very paternalistic attitude toward the peasants. When the Canadian director asked for an example, the ADC leaders related the incident of the “political drawing” and the role to which it relegated peasants.

This was, said the director of SOGEMA, a “very unfortunate incident,” but they were nonetheless committed to working with the FUNDE. If the ADC wished to have an impact they would best attend FUNDE meetings. The ADC leaders pointed out that the project’s design and goals were elaborated by middle class professionals, while peasants were invited to collaborate by providing data and attending their “seminars.” In a fit of annoyance, the director called the meeting to an end. The peasant leaders were furious. “Why were we led to believe that they (the Canadian agency) were interested in peasant participation, democracy, and all the other crap, when they are already plugged into the NGOs, who don’t represent a single peasant? That study will never be read by any peasant, nor will it be at all relevant to our struggle for land. It will be about “modernization” and how to swindle the peasants out of their land and turn them into commercial farms or tourist areas.”

The managers of NGOs have become skilled in designing projects. They transmit the new rhetoric of “identity” and “globalism” into the popular movements. Their activities and texts promote international cooperation, self-help, micro-enterprises, and forge ideological bonds with the neoliberals while forcing people into economic dependency on external donors. After a decade of NGO activity these professionals have “depoliticized” and de-radicalized whole areas of social life: women, neighborhoods, and youth organizations. In Peru and Chile, where the NGO’s have become firmly established, the radical social movements have declined.

Local struggles over immediate issues are the food and substance that nurture emerging movements. NGOs certainly emphasize the “local,” but the crucial question is what direction local actions will take: whether they will raise the larger issues of the social system and link up with other local forces to confront the state and its imperial backers, or whether they will turn inward, while looking to foreign donors and fragmenting into a series of competing supplicants for external subsidies. The ideology of NGOs encourages the latter.

NGO intellectuals frequently write about “co-operation” but without dwelling on the price and conditions for securing the co-operation of neoliberal regimes and overseas funding agencies. In their role as mediators and brokers, hustling funds overseas and matching the funds to projects acceptable to donors and local recipients, the “foundation entrepreneurs” are engaged in a new type of politics similar to the “labor contractors” (enganchadores) of the not too distant past: herding together women to be “trained”; setting up micro-firms subcontracted to larger producers or exporters employing cheap labor. The new politics of the NGOs is essentially the politics of compradores: they produce no national products; instead, they link foreign funders with local labor (self-help micro-enterprises) to facilitate the continuation of the neoliberal regime. The managers of NGOs are fundamentally political actors whose projects and training workshops do not make any significant economic impact in raising workers’ and peasants’ incomes. But their activities do make an impact in diverting people from the class struggle into forms of collaboration with their oppressors.

To justify this approach, NGO ideologies will often invoke “pragmatism” or “realism,” citing the decline of the revolutionary left, the triumph of capitalism in the East, the “crisis of Marxism,” the loss of alternatives, the strength of the United States, the coups and repression by the military. This “possibilism” is used to convince the left to work within the niches of the free market imposed by the World Bank and structural adjustment, and to confine politics to the electoral parameters imposed by the military.

The pessimistic “possibilism” of the NGO ideologues is necessarily one-sided. They focus on neoliberal electoral victories and not on the post-electoral mass protests and general strikes that mobilize large numbers of people in extra-parliamentary activity. They look at the demise of communism in the late eighties and not to the revival of radical social movements in the mid-nineties. They describe the constraints of the military on electoral politicians without looking at the challenges to the military by the Zapatista guerrillas, the urban rebellions in Caracas, the general strikes in Bolivia. In a word, the possibilists overlook the dynamics of struggles that begin at the sectoral or local level within the electoral parameters of the military, and then are propelled upward and beyond those limits by the failures of the possibilists to satisfy the elementary demands and needs of the people.

The pragmatism of the NGOs is matched by the extremism of the neoliberals. The 1990’s has witnessed a radicalization of neoliberal policies, designed to forestall crisis by handing over even more lucrative investment and speculative opportunities to overseas banks and multinationals: petroleum in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela; lower wages and less social security payments; greater tax exemption; and the elimination of all protective labor legislation. Contemporary Latin American class structure is more rigid and the state more directly tied to the ruling classes than ever. The irony is that the neoliberals are creating a polarized class structure much closer to the Marxist paradigm of society than to the NGO vision.

This is why Marxism offers a real alternative to NGOism. And in Latin America, there do exist Marxist intellectuals who write and speak for the social movements in struggle, committed to sharing the same political consequences. They are “organic” intellectuals who are basically part of the movement—the resource people providing analysis and education for class struggle, in contrast to the “post-Marxist” NGO intellectuals, who are embedded in the world of institutions, academic seminars, foreign foundations, international conferences and bureaucratic reports. These Marxist intellectuals recognize the centrality of local struggles, but they also acknowledge that the success of those struggles depends to a large extent on the outcome of the conflict between classes over state power at the national level.

What they offer is not the hierarchical “solidarity” of foreign aid and collaboration with neoliberalism, but class solidarity, and within the class, the solidarity of oppressed groups (women and people of color) against their foreign and domestic exploiters. The major focus is not on the donations that divide classes and pacify small groups for a limited time, but on the common action by members of the same class, sharing their common economic, predicament struggling for collective improvement.

The strength of the critical Marxist intellectuals resides in the fact that their ideas are in tune with changing social realities. The growing polarization of classes and the increasingly violent confrontations are apparent. So while the Marxists are numerically weak in the institutional sense, they are strategically strong as they begin to connect with a new generation of revolutionary militants, from the Zapatistas in Mexico to the MST in Brazil.

March 3, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War

Part one, section one of an investigative report by Cory Morningstar | Wrong Kind of Green | September 10, 2012

“I wish you a refreshing bath of conscience, I wish that you may be able to try out looking at others eye to eye, I wish that the spring of truth makes life more humane for you.” – Excerpt from the profound message to Avaaz by poet Gabriel Impaglione of Argentina

The Art of Social Engineering | The Art of Social Genocide

Image: U.S. President Barack Obama with Avaaz co-founder and former U.S. Representative Tom Perriello.

The Ivy League bourgeoisie who sit at the helm of the non-profit industrial complex will one day be known simply as charismatic architects of death. Funded by the ruling class oligarchy, the role they serve for their funders is not unlike that of corporate media. Yet, it appears that global society is paralyzed in a collective hypnosis – rejecting universal social interests, thus rejecting reason, to instead fall in line with the position of the powerful minority that has seized control, a minority that systematically favours corporate interests.

This investigative report examines the key founders of Avaaz, as well as other key sister organizations affiliated with Avaaz who, hand in hand with the Rockefellers, George Soros, Bill Gates and other powerful elites, are meticulously shaping global society by utilizing and building upon strategic psychological marketing, soft power, technology and social media – shaping public consensus, thus acceptance, for the illusory “green economy” and a novel sonata of 21st century colonialism. As we are now living in a world that is beyond dangerous, society must be aware of, be able to critically analyze, and ultimately reject the new onslaught of carefully orchestrated depoliticization, domestication of populace, propaganda and misinformation that is being perpetrated and perpetuated by the corporate elite and the current power structures that support their agenda. The non-profit industrial complex must be understood as a mainspring and the instrument of power, the very support and foundation of imperial domination.

Within part I of this investigative report:

  • The Simulacrum
  • Modus Operandi: The 21st Century NGO
  • 2004: The Soft Power Imperative | 2011: Mission Accomplished
  • Introduction: The Non-profit Industrial Complex: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War
  • Historical Amnesia
  • Corporate “Green” Pedophilia
  • The Commerce of Trust
  • The Cat is Out of the Bag
  • New York City Occupy Wall Street Embraces Otpor and Bombing for Peace
  • The WikiLeaks Connection
  • Unidentified “Freedom of Speech”
  • 15M – Europe’s Occupy Movement
  • The Commerce of Exploitation: Change.org
  • Indoctrinated Subservience & Whitism
  • Avaaz’s Founder and MoveOn.org Announce the U.S. “Spring”

Part II:

  • Bread and Circuses
  • Avaaz: The Emperor of the NGO Network
  • Did Libya’s Citizens Demand Foreign Intervention?
  • The Avaaz Gate-Keepers
  • Avaaz Co-Founder and Executive Director: Ricken Patel
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Tom Perriello
  • Indoctrination of the Youth is Essential
  • The Humanitarian Industrial Complex: The Ivory Towers Within the Dark Triad
  • The Empire
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Tom Pravda
  • Avaaz Co-founder: David Madden
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Eli Pariser
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Jeremy Heimans

Part III:

  • Behavioural Change
  • May 2010: Avaaz’s Co-Founders Seek a Purpose-Driven Consumer Life | Behavioral Economics
  • The Behavioral Economics of Hatred
  • Purpose
  • Res Publica
  • Avaaz Founding Board Member: Ben Brandzel
  • Purpose: James Slezak
  • MoveOn.org
  • GetUp
  • The 21st Century Social Movements
  • The Non-Profit Industrial Complex Finally Finds “Success”
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Andrea Woodhouse
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Paul Hilder
  • The Avaaz “Core Campaign Team Members”

The Simulacrum

“As regards the ‘foundations’ created for unlimited general purposes and endowed with enormous resources, their unlimited possibilities are so grave a menace, not only as regards to their own activities and influence but also the numbing effect which they have on private citizens and public bodies, that if they could be clearly differentiated from other forms of voluntary altruistic effort, it would be desirable to recommend their abolition.” – Senator Frank Walsh, 1915

In his Sophist, Plato speaks of two kinds of image-making. The first is a faithful reproduction, a precise copy of the original. The second is distorted intentionally in order to make the copy appear correct to viewers. Plato gives the example of Greek statuary, which was crafted larger on top than on bottom so that viewers from the ground would see it correctly, whereas if they could view it in scale, they would realize it was malformed.

This latter representation serves as a visual art metaphor for the non-profit industrial complex. A semblance of entities, united in an ideology encompassing truth, justice and ethics – which is false. This is the simulacrum, distorted in such a way that it appears accurate unless viewed from the proper angle. This report aims to allow you, the reader, to view the matrix from such an angle. By denying the reliable input of our senses while accepting the non-profit industrial complex’s manipulative constructs of language and “reason,” global society has arrived at a grossly distorted copy of ethics and intrinsic worth – a warped simulacrum of thespian complexity, a vast work of superficial depth.

Modus Operandi: The 21st Century NGO

 “What a cluster-fuck of disinformation this world has become. The sinister forces of greed and avarice are, through consolidation of wealth and power, more powerful than ever. Humankind has a huge uphill battle to wage.” — Comment at How Avaaz is Sponsoring Fake War Propaganda from Syria

The 21st century NGO is becoming, more and more, a key tool serving the imperialist quest of absolute global dominance and exploitation. Global society has been, and continues to be, manipulated to believe that NGOs are representative of “civil society” (a concept promoted by corporations in the first place). This misplaced trust has allowed the “humanitarian industrial complex” to ascend to the highest position: the missionaries of deity – the deity of the empire.

Modus operandi (plural modi operandi) is a Latin phrase, approximately translated and backronymed as “mode of operation.” The term is used to describe someone’s habits or manner of working, their method of operating or functioning. In English, it is frequently shortened to M.O.

The expression is often used in police work when discussing a crime and addressing the methods employed by the perpetrators. It is also used in criminal profiling, where it can help in finding clues to the offender’s psychology. It largely consists of examining the actions used by the individual(s) to execute the crime, prevent its detection and/or facilitate escape. [Source: Wikipedia]

2004: The Soft Power Imperative | 2011: Mission Accomplished

“Existing soft power initiatives and agencies, particularly those engaged in development and strategic communications, must be reinvigorated through increased funding, human resources and prioritization. Concurrently, the U.S. government must establish goals, objectives and metrics for soft power initiatives. Furthermore, the U.S. government can better maximize the effectiveness of soft power instruments and efforts through increased partnerships with NGOs. By providing humanitarian and development assistance in areas typically inaccessible to government agencies, NGOs are often able to access potential extremist areas before the government can establish or strengthen diplomatic, developmental or military presence, including intelligence.” — Joseph S. Nye, former US assistant secretary of defense, June 2004

The non-profit industrial complex represents a rich portfolio of soft power tools readily available to the ruling elite. Today we witness the near complete metamorphosis of the complex having successfully morphed into the absolute idyllic clearinghouse for the collective and coordinated imperialist agenda shared by a broad spectrum of government institutions, dominated by the financial industrial complex, corporate power and hegemonic rule – all under the guise of a global conscience reflective of “civil society” via self-appointed NGOs.

Joseph S. Nye (quoted above) is a former US assistant secretary of defense, former chairman of the US National Intelligence Council and professor at Harvard University. A world renowned scholar of international relations, Nye co-founded the liberal institutionalist approach to international relations, theorizing that states and other international powers possess more or less “soft power” (a term first coined in the 1980s). In a 2004 article titled The Rising Power of NGO’s, Nye peddled his soft-power theory as the quintessential element that must be employed in order to protect the American public from “terrorists.” Of course, Nye neglected to include the fact that the true “terrorists” are those who hold power within our very own EuroAmerican governments/establishments, waging violence upon sovereign, resource-rich states. It’s an easy sell as it enables one to conveniently deny their assent to (our own) state-sponsored terrorism and continued collective and voluntary servitude as well-behaved, rapturous consumers under the influence of American (non) culture.

If a state can present its power as legitimate in the eyes of others, it will encounter far less resistance to its foreign policies and agendas. Further, if the Western states’ (non) culture and (illusory) ideology are desirable, other states will more willingly acquiesce. This is an area where the NGOs excel. They do so by never referring to their own “leaders” as dictators or fascists, yet more than willing to apply these derogatory terms to leaders targeted for regime change. Simultaneously, while reporting on human rights abuses or environmental violations in states exploited by industrialized capitalism, the NGOs neglect to comment on their own states’ escalating assault on “democracy.” Most important, the non-profit industrial complex certainly does not address the fact that industrialized and globalized capitalism (imposed by hegemonic rule) is the crux of most all suffering and ongoing crisis in the very states they criticize and deem culpable. A continuous subtle undertone of support/belief in their own states’ democracy is achieved simply by never opening a dialogue on the legitimacy of power structures within their own (imperialist) states.

In essence, soft power is “the universalism of a country’s culture and its ability to establish a set of favourable rules and institutions that govern areas of international activity [that] are critical sources of power” or, more simply, the ability to attract and co-opt rather than coerce and rather than using force or money as a means of persuasion. This is where states such as Bolivia (and Libya until its recent annihilation) are very real threats to the American superpower. States such as Bolivia and Libya (past-tense) serve the people to advance themselves to a more enlightened, more democratic existence in a very real sense, while democracy and freedoms in the Americas mean little more than “freedom to shop” and buy as much sweatshop junk as one can(not) afford. If corporate-owned/controlled media and corporate-funded/controlled educational institutes actually educated the American public on intellectual enlightenment and progressive advances in other countries – Americans would truly wonder what the fuck was going on. Rather, we are kept in the dark; doped up by big pharma and stupefied by Big Brother, all while such states and leaders are continually vilified and demonized in the media (both corporate and foundation-funded “progressive”), all while NGOs remain silent on their own accelerating fascist governments. American “exceptionalism” is, undoubtedly, the biggest lie ever told sold.

Introducing the Non-Profit Industrial Complex: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War

Packaging – Uncle Sam is the best in packaging and selling illusions.

 “I am convinced that some NGOs, especially those funded by the U.S.AID, are the fifth column of espionage in Bolivia, not only in Bolivia, but also in all of Latin America.” — Evo Morales, February 2012

In 2001, it was George W. Bush who propelled an illegal invasion of Iraq by way of relentless pounding of repetitive messaging of discovered weapons of mass destruction in Iraq coupled with incessant images of the Twin Towers being destroyed. This psyop (or psychological operation, a new form or warfare) reverberated throughout a mainstream media that obediently fed the lies to the masses. The role of the media was absolutely essential. Yet, in spite of Bush calling for the invasion of Iraq, citizens of the globe, in united cohesion, held the largest mass protests and peace vigils the world had ever witnessed.

Today, however, the push to invade under the guise of humanitarianism is no longer a message from predominantly imperialist governments alone. Rather, there is a new game in town. Flash forward one decade to 2011 and the push for war no longer comes from the lone vacuity of despised war criminals such as George Bush or his charismatic alter-ego, Barack Obama. Rather, the message is now being spoon-fed to global society via the “trusted” NGOs, with Avaaz, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch at the forefront, as documented prior to and during the attack on and subsequent occupation of Libya, and more recently, the destabilization of Syria. [One of many reports of such malfeasance include “HUMAN RIGHTS” WARRIORS FOR EMPIRE | Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch“, by Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report.]

“While much was made of the United Nations decision to establish a Human Rights Council in 2006, those who’ve witnessed the evolution of this institution are well aware that the UN was designed by (and functions to serve) the interests of modern states and their supplicants, not the Indigenous nations they rule. For those attached to charitable organizations like Human Rights Watch and other pashas of the piety industry, this is a bitter pill to swallow.” — Jay Taber, Obstacles to Peace, 13 July 2012

“The UN Human Rights Council stands as one of the significant obstacles to dynamic political development in the Fourth World. Many individuals and the peoples they represent in the Fourth World have come to believe that the UN Human Rights Council will relieve their pain from the violence of colonialism. It cannot, and it will not.” — Dr. Rudolph Ryser, Chair of the Center for World Indigenous Studies

A decade later, thanks to the non-profit industrial complex awash in an influx of money that flows like the river Nile, partnered with the corporate media complex, it is now “the people” – having been swayed by fabrications, omissions and lies – who lead the demand for invasion of these sovereign states. And, most ironic, it is not the so-called “right” at the vanguard; rather, it is the “progressive left.”

Historical Amnesia

“False reality” requires historical amnesia, lying by omission and the transfer of significance to the insignificant. In this way, political systems promising security and social justice have been replaced by piracy, “austerity” and “perpetual war”: an extremism dedicated to the overthrow of democracy. Applied to an individual, this would identify a psychopath. Why do we accept it? — John Pilger, awardwinning journalist, in History is the Enemy as “Brilliant” Psy-ops Become the News, 21 June 2012


Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, David Hilliard, Fred Hampton, and Erica Huggins – forgotten heroes indeed. The Black Panthers, who emerged on the scene in 1966, drew much inspiration from the ideologies of Malcolm X. Rejecting pacifism and reformism, under the leadership of Fred Hampton, the Panthers recognized the necessity of militant action and self-defense (“by any means necessary”) against racists and the state. The Panthers were effective in organizing the struggle towards a true revolutionary faction, with the state full-well recognizing the very real potential the Panthers held to gain mass support for their revolutionary movement. The state was terrified at this very real threat. It must be noted that during this same time period, white youth were demonstrating against the Vietnam war while 45% of Blacks fighting in Vietnam proclaimed they would be prepared to take up arms within their own state to secure justice for the American people. Considering that in 1960 almost half of America’s population was under 18 years of age, the ample surplus of youth made the threat of a widespread revolt against the status quo a very real possibility. By 1967, the rise in militancy and “Black Power” drew a very tactical response from very anxious foundations. Rockefeller and Ford created the National Urban Coalition (NUC) with the intent of transforming “Black Power” into “Black capitalism.” This was the vehicle designed/created to crush the building momentum that was confronting/challenging the prevailing system of economic control and oppression. By 1970, as Black capitalism took hold, foundations were funneling over $15 million into “moderate” Black organizations in order to effectively deflect the Black Power movement into non-threatening channels. With Black Power successfully transitioning itself into Black capitalism, American corporations utilized the opportunity to cast themselves in a liberal, progressive light by financing Black Power conferences.

The evidence that the Panthers’ revolutionary movement was a very real threat to the American state is indisputable: the FBI (under J. Edgar Hoover) declared the Panthers the number one threat to the internal security of the US. The state tried to eradicate the Panthers “by any means necessary,” gunning down scores of Panthers in the street.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was also closely affiliated with the Rockefellers via the 1957 founded Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), which received money from the church and the Rockefellers. Although quite radical, elites considered SCLC moderate and “workable” because of its stance on nonviolence (which protects the state), alongside goals of integration rather than revolution. However, by the late 1960′s, Martin Luther King, Jr. had embraced militancy and radical positions espoused by both the Panthers and Malcolm X. As Martin Luther King, Jr.’s refusal to compromise increased, the foundation funding decreased. A respected man of such stature, speaking out, thus educating a vast public of the oppression caused by the capitalist system/racism, was indeed (and remains so today) a great threat to the powers that dominate. Thus, King was assassinated. Today, in united cohesion, the states work ardently with “progressive” (foundation-funded) media and the non-profit industrial complex, in ensuring that the King legacy is continually and relentlessly sanitized, watered down and co-opted to serve the elitist agenda. The pacifist doctrine, fondly funded by hegemonic rule, is continuously pumped through and circulated throughout the gentrified “movement” like fluoride in the city water – a neutral benevolence of slow poison we drink in voluntary servitude. [June 27, 2012: Black On The Old Plantation | Civil Rights Organizations Enslave Themselves to Corporate Funding]

“We do not fight racism with racism. We fight racism with solidarity. We do not fight exploitative capitalism with black capitalism. We fight capitalism with basic socialism. We fight imperialism with proletarian internationalism.” — Bobby Seale, a founder of the Black Panthers

While Huey P. Newton advocated armed struggle, his ideology did not mean that the end product would be a world in which violence reigns. Rather, Newton believed that the oppressed must use guns as the means to a peaceful end of the oppression. He quoted Mao Tse-tung: “We are advocates of the abolition of war, we don’t not want war; but war can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun.” Within the Panther Party, the gun was not upheld as a means of violence, rather, it was a symbol for empowerment and self-determination. [Huey P. Newton :: Philosophy :: Armed Self-Defense]

In October of 1969, hundreds of youth clad in football helmets marched through an elite shopping district of Chicago. Utilizing lead pipes, they shattered shop windows and demolished parked cars. This was the first demonstration known as the “Days of Rage” – organized by a group who called themselves the Weather Underground. Outraged by the war on Vietnam and the rampant racism in America, the Weather Underground waged a strategic low-level war against the state that continued throughout much of the seventies. The Underground had the state on the run. Members of the Underground bombed state property including the Capitol building (never incurring a single casualty) and even broke Timothy Leary out of prison all while successfully evading one of the largest FBI manhunts ever conducted in US history.

Weather Underground Bombs the Capitol, Pentagon, and State Department (Running time 10:00)

Today, most all the past revolutionary leaders of the Weather Underground, now conformed, apologize for their “tactics,” having been isolated and framed as “violent” by the co-opted left and status quo. [http://youtu.be/S6kPGh0w_-c]

It was during this time of true revolutionary uprising that money and “opportunities” began to siphon into the movements. The art of co-optation had begun with the only weapon (palatable to the public) the oligarchy possessed – money. This money would serve to indulge, thus co-opt, inflated egos scouted from within the left. Co-opting was an absolute necessity for the state to protect the dominant power structures from true systemic change that would effectively transfer power to the people. Examples of revolutionary movements in history, as evidenced in The Weather Underground, the Panthers and others, demonstrate unequivocally that the left became more jingoistic for war only after an influx of money began pouring in from the state and plutocrats via their foundations, which were in many cases set up for this very purpose.

A case in point: Roy Innis of the Congress of Racial Equality/CORE (who advocated “Black control of Black communities” in order to allow for the manifestation of “Black capitalism”) was named a Ford Foundation fellow and became a board member of the Rockefeller/Ford-created NUC/National Urban Coalition. Ford granted CORE Cleveland $175,000 in 1967 to help elect Carl Stokes, who was very much pro Black-capitalism.

Lesser known are the events led by CIA operant Gloria Steinem. The “Black Feminist” movement was created, funded and manipulated by the CIA from the very beginning with Steinem leading the charge. Steinem planted faux “Black feminists” in revolutionary Black Power movements/grassroots organizations in order to instill division and hatred and, ultimately, to dismantle the growing movement. Steinem’s “success” would assist the state’s crushing of the Black Power movement itself. [Read: BLACK FEMINISM, THE CIA AND GLORIA STEINEM]

Throughout the world, there are organizations identifying themselves as the Black Panthers and other true revolutionary movements in existence. However, blinded by the shiny veneer of the big NGOs, few people are aware that such revolutionary movements even exist today. It is the job of the non-profit industrial complex, while waving the pacifist bible in one hand, to deliberately ensure that these groups are not only marginalized, but ignored altogether. Such movements, which have to potential to disrupt (or even dismantle) the power structures that enslave us, must remain invisible or framed in a negative light – if co-opting them is not possible, that is.

And that is something that the Western culture has perfected: co-optation. Forrest Palmer writes: “I am writing a blog post called ‘Malcolm X on a postage stamp.’ It is exactly what you see here [http://www.movements.org/pages/team]. If you know that something is happening at the grassroots and you can’t stop it, the West accepts it, places their handpicked leaders in the forefront who appease the masses into thinking what they are doing is still ‘revolutionary,’  negotiate with the ‘leaders’ ensuring they acquiesce to the state, compromise and either end up with things status quo or so watered down that the compromise doesn’t help the masses at all, but instead helps the state. The best example of a singular event of this: The March on Washington. It went from a black mass rebellion to a benign walk in the park masquerading as a movement. They had all their speeches proofread by the state, including King’s ‘great’ I Have a Dream speech. If the speeches weren’t what the state wanted, they either changed them (John Lewis) or weren’t allowed to speak (James Baldwin).”

“Malcolm predicted that if the civil rights bill wasn’t passed, there would be a march on Washington in 1964. Unlike the 1963 March on Washington, which was peaceful and integrated, the 1964 march Malcolm described would be an all-Black ‘non-violent army’ with one-way tickets.” [Wikipedia, speaking of Malcolm X and his speech The Ballot or the Bullet.]

And so it goes. Malcolm X was assassinated on 21 February 1965. And while our brothers and sisters in Africa, the Middle East and the Global South continue to be grossly exploited or altogether annihilated by the imperialist forces, the movement is ever-so acquiescent. Five hundred dollars a day for lodging at the Rio+20 Summit has never been so easy for those within the champagne circuit. And with a Democratic administration and a Black American president in the White House, the modern civil rights movement and dominant left organizations have never found it so easy to remain silent, with little to no criticism from civil society who, self-appointed, they falsely claim to represent.

“While in the US those puppets have traditionally taken on the form of talking heads on corporate and public television, they are increasingly represented in the form of NGO PR puppets employed in the moral theatrics industry…. As the credibility of politicians and pundits plummets, it is these PR puppets that are increasingly responsible for bolstering public support for militarism in general and militarized humanitarian intervention in particular.” — Jay Taber, Intercontinental Cry; Pious Poseurs, 24 June 2012

Although now seemingly normalized, one must consider it slightly ironic that it is in fact no longer the dominant “progressive left” beating the drums against war. [Exceptions include legitimate grassroots groups such as Peacelink in Italy.] Rather, as in the case of climate change, it is primarily the countries seeking to free themselves from the chains of imperialist enslavement that vocally oppose the escalating destabilization campaigns, inclusive of the most recent, in Syria. On 16 February 2012, the 12 sovereign states who voted against the resolution to condemn Syria at the United Nations included North Korea, China, Russia, Iran and Syria, along with states who primarily compose ALBA; Bolivia, Belarus, Cuba, Ecuador, Venezuela and Nicaragua. And it is not coincidence that most all the leaders of all these same states, who continue the struggle for autonomy, are all similarly vilified and demonized by the corporate-media complex, joined recently by the non-profit industrial complex. It is critical to note that the imperialist powers (inclusive of the UN) do not criticize or demonize or withdraw their support from such leaders on any ethical or moral ground. Denunciation of state leaders and emotive language is merely theatre. Rather, the imperialist states strategically set out to destroy any state leader that is unwilling to be controlled by US interests and foreign policy. A case in point is unwavering support of the Saudi royal family responsible for atrocious human rights violations to which the imperialist countries turn a blind eye.

Demonization is a key psyop, directly sponsored by the US Pentagon and intelligence apparatus to influence and sway public opinion and build consensus in favour of invasion. [Prof. Michel Chossudovsky] A recent example can be extracted from the failed 2011 destabilization campaign against the Morales government in Bolivia led by US-funded NGOs including the “Democracy Centre,” which declared: “But the abuses dealt out by the government against the people of the TIPNIS have knocked ‘Evo the icon’ off his pedestal in a way from which he will never fully recover, in Bolivia and globally.” [Further reading: U.S. Funded Democracy Centre Reveals Its Real Reason for Supporting the TIPNIS Protest in Bolivia: REDD $$$. ¿Por qué se defiende el tipnis?, http://youtu.be/RPiw3cDotHA]

A similar situation (developing nations, rather than the “environmental movement,” taking the lead) has taken place on the issue of climate change. ALBA nations, with Bolivia at the forefront, led while the non-profit industrial complex purposely and grossly undermined the strong positions necessary to mitigate the climate emergency. The climate justice movement was acquiescent and thus kowtowed to the “big greens”; “big greens” such as Avaaz, 350.org and Greenpeace who had partnered with HSBC, Lloyds Bank, nuclear giant EDF, Virgin Group, Shell (via TckTckTck partner, the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change) and other corporate giants constituting the “TckTckTck campaign” whereby “the objective was to make it become a movement that consumers, advertisers and the media would use and exploit” (Havas Press Release). There was no justice to be found, only a cohesive hypocrisy amongst the professional left that flourished like a cancer.

Next: Part one, section II.

Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I | Part II | Section II

July 21, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Environmentalism, Progressive Hypocrite, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Apartheid State or Criminal Project? BDS or Resistance?

Compiled by Niqnaq | June 10, 2013

Partial List of NGOs Involved in BDS and Their Funders

NGO Monitor, Jul 14 2011

(Originally produced Apr 7 2010, updated Jul 14 2011)

NGO
Primary Funders Funding Amount Central Involvement
Addameer
Sweden €207,000 (2009)
 Signatory to 2005 BDS call (http://www.bdsmovement.net/)
NDC* $127,000  (2010-12)
Al Haq Holland $426,201 (funding ceased in 2008) Signatory to 2005 BDS call (http://www.bdsmovement.net/)
Ireland $88,928 (2009)
Norway $156,163 (2009, funding ceased)
Ford Foundation $600,000 (2009-10)
Diakonia $120,490 (2009)
NDC* $134,000 (2010-12)
Al Mezan Sweden €105,000 (2007-9) Signatory to 2005 BDS call (http://www.bdsmovement.net/)
NDC* $425,000 (2010-12)
Norway, EU funding not transparent
Alternative Information Center Belgium funding not transparent  ”Yes to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Against Israel
ICCO 434,024NIS (2009)
Sweden (via Diakonia) 164,225NIS (2009)
Spain and the Basque gov’t (via MUNDUBAT) 711,182NIS (2009)
Catalan gov’t (via Sodepau) 173,271NIS (2009)
Alternatives (Montreal) Canada $2,000,000CAN (2008-10) (unclear if ceased)  Signatory to 2005 BDS call (http://www.bdsmovement.net/)
Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (PA) EU €374,174 (2009-11)  Signatory to 2005 BDS call (http://www.bdsmovement.net/)
Spain €98,347 (2009)
Switzerland  funding not transparent
Badil (PA) NDC* $575,000 (2010-12)  Leader of BDS movement
Christian Aid Ireland, EU 24,521,692£ (2009-10) Partner supporting” calling for BDS and “pursuing parastata Zionist orgs”
Coalition of Women for Peace EU €247,954 (2005-7)  Runs “Who profits?” website, which is central in the Norwegian BDS campaign
NIF $294,129 (2006-9)(funding ceased 2011)
Defence of Children International – Palestine Section Sweden (via Save the Children) 459,000SEK (2009-11)  Signatory to 2005 BDS call (http://www.bdsmovement.net/)
European Union 600,000 (2009-12)
NDC* $639,000  (2010-12)
England £12,500
Diakonia Sweden $52.7 million (2009)  Advocates for divestment strategy against Israel, lobbies against EU-Israel upgrade
EU 10,500,000SEK
Human Rights Watch
Soros’ Open Society Institute $2,353,895 (2007-8)$100,000,000 (2010-20) Supported Caterpillar boycott, Call for cuts in U.S. foreign aid to Israel
Ford Foundation $445,000 (2009-11)
Netherlands via Oxfam-NOVIB $987,818 (2007-8)
Israel Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) Spain €105,000 (2009)  Leader in BDS activism
NDC*EU $76,000  (2010-12)€169,661 (2010-12)
KAIROS Canada – funding was halted in 2009 $1,575,966 (2008)  Main supporter of church divestment campaign
Machsom Watch
EU €251,650 (2007-2010)  Norwegian Pension Fund divestment campaign
NIF $204,698(2006-9)
Miftah EU $79,906 (2010) Signatory to 2005 BDS call (http://www.bdsmovement.net/)
Denmark $28,077 (2010)
AustriaNDC* $60,624 (2010)$110,000 (2010-12)
Mossawa NIF $517,642 (2006-8) Norwegian Pension Fund divestment campaign
EU €298,660 (2006-8)
UK funding not transparent
Norwegian Association of NGOs for Palestine (incl. Norwegian People’s Aid)
Norway €57,000 (2008) Coordinates Norwegian Boycott Israel Campaign
USA €8,000 (2008)
Sweden, Netherlands  funding not transparent
Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) NDC* $130,000  Leader of BDS movement
Received France’s Human Rights Prize
Sabeel Sweden €76,000 (2006-8) Leader of global church divestment movement
Trocaire Ireland €23,499,837 (2008) Supports BDS movement, lobbies against EU-Israel upgrade, calls for review of arms export licenses
UK €640,682 (2008)
EU €1,698,692 (2008)
War on Want UK €256,000 (2008) Advocates for sanctions, including arms boycott
Ireland €77,000 (2008)
EU €266,000 (2008)
Palestinian Center for Human Rights (Gaza) NDC* $425,000 (2010-12) Leader of BDS movement
EU, Holland, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden funding not transparent

*The NDC mechanism is the Human Rights and Good Governance Secretariat, established and funded by Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, and managed by the NGO Development Center in Ramallah. Governmental funding provided in 2008-2013.


BDS, For Whose Sake?

Daniel Mabsout, Deliberation, Mar 2 2013

Our concerns with organizations like BDS is not mainly because of what they say or what they do or the kind of affiliations they have. Our concern is that BDS and EI and other organizations as well are speaking in the name of the cause and acting on behalf of Palestinians to the point of preventing others from having a say in the matter. In other words, BDS wants to solve the Palestinian problem in its own way and has embraced for this reason anti Apartheid policies under the attractive label of Boycott, Divest and Sanction, trying to suggest that these policies that were presumably successful regarding the Apartheid state of South Africa could also reap the same success on the Palestinian front. We will not discuss the success of these policies in South Africa and whether the goals of the revolution were attained, but we will shed a light on the implications of such endeavor on behalf of BDS on the Palestinian Cause itself in terms of internationalization and globalization of the cause, something that Arabs and Palestinians always feared. This is due to the involvement of such NGOs like BDS and its like in global policies and World Order agendas, due to the financing they get from European governments and other institutes, which make them serve the World Order at the expense of Palestinians. Our conclusion is that because of its financial affiliations BDS does not qualify to solve the Palestinian problem, because one cannot serve the World Order and Palestine at the same time. This, not to speak of the fact that Israel is not an Apartheid and Palestinians do not suffer from segregation alone. Palestinians need to go back to their homes and retrieve their land, they need to get in possession of what is theirs and whoever thinks that this thing can be achieved by economic pressures and anti racist policies alone must be an ignorant or a fool. This is Israel, my friend, this is not Apartheid and there is nothing like it. This is not some elephant that has gone mad, this is madness itself. This is the usurping state of Israel, the most advanced military base of the criminal World Order, this is all predator countries joined together from Europe to the New continent, this is a state that orders the United Nations and many other Nations as well, the country that kills and slaughters and never fears sanctions, that commits genocides without hesitation, that wants to kill each and every Palestinian and each and every Arab who will not normalize or recognize. This is Ariel Sharon and Golda Meir and Tsipi Livni, this is not Apartheid. This has no other label in all seasons and instances other than that of criminal. This is the criminal state of Israel and is supported by the whole world order and will outwit and outsmart Barghouthi and Abunimah and all NGOs joined together.

Let us assume that BDS is working earnestly for Palestinians and conducting these activities for the sake of the cause, at the exclusion of others, and in order to solve the Palestinian issue as it pretends, what has it achieved on the ground for Palestinians since its foundation in 2005? Has it stopped the expansion of Israel in any way? Has it stopped the colonization and the proliferation of settlements? Has it stopped the eviction of Palestinians and demolition of their houses? Has it freed the prisoners from their prisons? Has it relieved Gaza from its siege? Has it done away with the wall of segregation? Has it stopped the flow of weapons and money destined to Israel? Has it worked against normalization? Has it retrieved any of Palestinian rights? Has it protected Jerusalem? Has it improved in any way the lives of Palestinians? The answer to all this is NO. BDS has not achieved anything of this and has not harmed in the least Israel’s economy or welfare. This is what speaks volumes for BDS. If one wants to rejoice over the boycott of such and such company or of such singer and dancer, or over boycotting West Bank dates, one can do that and one can boycott if one wants and this does not need BDS, this needs personal commitment on one’s behalf. Boycott is good but Boycott cannot retrieve Palestine, nor defeat Israel, nor bring back the people to their land and to pretend otherwise is to cheat people. BDS should be exposed for what it is: A World Order Organization financed by the World Order and working under the banner of Palestine, pretending to be in charge of the cause while achieving nothing for Palestinians. The merit of such organization, and other NGOs as well in the eyes of the World Order, lies in giving up the armed Resistance as a choice and a means for liberation and in alienating the Arab masses and people from the victories achieved by this Resistance. This attitude of shunning the victorious Resistance that defeated Israel benefits Israel in the first place and sheds a light on whom BDS really serves. Meanwhile Israel is given enough time to recover from its two consecutive defeats and to figure out and plan its next scheme of occupation expansion and extermination. THANK YOU BDS!


BDS AMBIVALENCE

Daniel Mabsout, Deliberation, Mar 7 2013

People following BDS activities and functions should be informed about the latest innovation of the BDS movement (BOYCOTT DIVEST SANCTION) whereby the BDS has adopted two different versions of its amendment, one in English and one in Arabic, and the funny thing is that they say two different things: the one in English calls for ending occupation of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, and the one in Arabic calls for ending occupation of the Palestinian territories full stop. It is important to say that BDS boasts about grouping 170 organizations and Palestinian movements and is supposed to be accountable before them. Instead, it has adopted a different English version from the original one, in which it recognizes the legitimacy of Israel within the 67 borders and asks Israel to withdraw only from the land occupied in 1967 and this without informing the organizations that work with it about this change. The original text in Arabic though that asks for ending the occupation of all Palestinian territories remained unchanged for some mysterious reason. BDS is required on the spot to explain this duplicity and why it has adopted two versions of the same thing in two different languages and two radically different stands? Why is it addressing the Arab public in one way and foreigners in another recognizing Israel in one instance and calling for ending occupation in the other? What is the goal behind this misleading policy of adopting two antagonistic stands and whom is this supposed to serve? Or are they both fake and meant to mislead people? Either BDS is betting on the ignorance and the stupidity of people which is stupid and ignorant or it is working on a separate agenda that does not give importance to these “Palestinian” details?

http://bdsarabic.net/نداء-2005/

http://www.bdsmovement.net/bdsintro


BDS, Boycott The Armed Struggle

Daniel Mabsout, Deliberation, Mar 9 2013

The birth of the Boycott movement that started the PCACBI happened at a crucial moment in year 2002, after Israel has been defeated and its vulnerability exposed due to losing the first war since its foundation. The Resistance had triumphed and succeeded in liberating Lebanon and called Palestinians to get inspired from the Lebanese victory and resume the struggle in Palestine to achieve a similar result. It is around this time some strange hybrid started taking birth in the West Bank under the name PCACBI, which is a boycott campaign following the South African model. Not only PCACBI never related to this victory over Israel, but broke suddenly with a whole tradition of armed resistance that marked the Palestinian struggle. Recognizing the right of Israel to exist, the PCACBI asks for withdrawal to the 67 borders and dismantling of settlements and for the right of return of refugees, and calls for application of boycott policies, namely cultural and academic, against the Apartheid state of Israel. Mind you, this boycott called for by the PCACBI never followed the usual channels of Boycott as prescribed and carried on by the Arab League and applied by Arab governments. Who ever wants to consider the birth of such a movement, that took place in the West Bank, as a natural birth must check himself and ask himself why this movement has broken with the Palestinian armed struggle in general and why, instead of getting inspired from the first military victory achieved over Israel, endorsing it, investing in it and identifying with it, chose to travel to South Africa and draw parallels with the previous Apartheid state and project this Apartheid on the Palestinian condition. Founded by a handful of Palestinian academicians and intellectuals, some of them living abroad, the boycott movement does not seem to represent Palestinians in general, but seems to be removed from the Palestinian social and cultural reality and connected to foreign groups instead, mostly located outside. The public addressed by this movements is not native Palestinian, and no refugee living in camps can identify with this anti Apartheid trip. This has a foreign audience, no doubt, that includes Jews as well. The actual BDS movement that is a product of the PCACBI is oriented the same way towards foreigners, and even if it is endorsed by Palestinian societies, these societies are mostly NGOs with foreign affiliations. So we are at the same point we started from. BDS came to add more confusion to the whole thing and while the PCACBI was clear in its objectives regarding the recognition of Israel within the 67 borders, the BDS remains indecisive as to what territories Israel is supposed to withdraw from, whether the 67 or the whole Arab land, sometimes being specific sometimes not. This fluctuation may be due to a fluctuating agenda that wants to cater to all tendencies and affiliations. As for the refugee issue, it is being stated in confusing terms, whereby the issue is to be promoted, protected and respected instead of being enforced on Israel. In what way this whole boycott trip is beneficial to the cause we don’t know. Certainly it is beneficial to Israel to become recognized so broadly as a legal state. Because of this, the whole Apartheid story seemed to be one of the designs of the enemy as a means to acquire recognition and as an alternative to the military option that has failed drastically in Lebanon and, finally, what is left to be known is whether this boycott is as harmful to Israel as is to Palestinians the forsaking of the armed struggle. What BDS wants to boycott, finally, under the attractive label of boycott, is the armed struggle itself.


Is Palestinian Solidarity An Occupied Zone?

Daniel Mabsout, Deliberate, Mar 10 2013

BDS OR RESISTANCE / THE LESSON THAT WAS OMITTED

The BDS was born in a hybrid womb, that is not an Arab womb but an Israeli foreign womb, after Sayyed Hassan Nasrullah celebrating the liberation of the South in year 2000 stood in Bint Jbeil in south Lebanon in the proximity of occupied Palestine and addressed the Palestinians thus, offering them the victory over Israelis, saying: “People of Palestine, your way to Palestine and to liberty is the path of resistance and insurrection, which means a serious resistance and a real insurrection rather than the insurrection in the shadow of Oslo or in the service of the concessive negotiation in Stockholm. You should take the path of the insurrection and the resistance that only accept the perfect right, as Lebanon has done, whereby the whole Lebanese people refuse to keep a small part of their land occupied. Hence, we offer this noble Lebanese model to our people in Palestine.” This happened in Year 2000, in the glorious victory over the Israelis after 18 years of occupation. Sayyed Hassan Nasrullah added, addressing Palestinians: “To free your land, you don’t need tanks, a strategic balance, rockets, and cannons; you need to follow the way of the past self-sacrifice martyrs who disrupted and horrified the coercive Zionist entity. You, the oppressed, unarmed, and restricted Palestinians, can force the Zionist invaders to return to the places they came from. Let the Falasha go to Ethiopia, and let the Russian Jews return to Russia. The choice is yours, and the model lies right in front of your eyes. An honest and serious resistance can make the freedom dawn arise. Our brothers and beloved Palestinians, I tell you, ‘Israel’, which owns nuclear weapons and the strongest war aircraft in the region, is feebler than a spider’s web. I swear to God.” Two years after this fiery speech was born the Boycott movement in the West Bank, where the whole achievement of the Lebanese Resistance was overlooked and their addressing on behalf of Sayyed Hassan totally ignored and his invitation to copy the successful model of the Resistance totally discarded. The answer to Sayyed Hassan invitation was the Boycott movement whereby, instead of turning to Lebanon and getting inspired from the Lebanese victory, the Boycott turned to South Africa to copy the anti Apartheid model replacing the real with the unreal and the resistance by surrender, If this is not an Israeli scheme, then what is it? The whole speech of Sayyid Hassan in English:

http://www.english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=14178&cid=231


Partial List Of Endorsers And Financers Of BDS

Daniel Mabsout, Deliberation, Mar 11 2013

bds-new-2

BEFORE YOU EMBARK ON AN ENDEAVOR SEE WHO SITS IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT

The enemy nowadays is coming dressed in many garbs. He has been acquainted with our ways and learned about our tastes. This whole Arab spring was possible because the enemy knew how to cater to our tastes. He knew about our longings and he addressed them. Thus, the whole Arab Spring was a deceit. It turned into a shabby winter, into instability and chaos and social unrest. In Syria it turned bloody and destructive and is still going on causing more bloodshed and more destruction. The enemy knows how to cater to our tastes, and we should not fall an easy prey to its schemes and designs. Look at the international solidarity movement around Palestine and the role of internationally affiliated NGOs. Look at how the cause is being slowly and surely liquidated in a process of total globalization. Look at the attractive labels used by these NGOs of Boycott and Protests and Dismantle of the wall and Freedom for prisoners and Jerusalem and Apartheid and you name it. What is happening in Palestine is NGO work and supporters of the cause are falling for them. The Palestinian Organizations and factions whose emblem is armed struggle have lost their role in favor of NGOs and are losing slowly their say in many matters related to Palestinians. What can NGOs do to the cause? What are NGOs doing? Are they progressing with the cause? Are they improving the living conditions of Palestinians? What are their achievements on the ground? Do they carry exclusively a Palestinian agenda or they carry different ones? In order to answer this question about NGOs and whether they qualify to lead the Palestinian cause, as they claim, there is but one way and it is to look at how they are financed. Tell me who funds you and I will tell you who are, the money one gets will decide for the orientation of the whole endeavor, I think we all agree on that. Please find in this partial list the financers of the endorsers of the Boycott movement called BDS which is waging for anti Apartheid policies, see if the financers are real supporters of the cause or whether they support something else, like Israel for example, and decide for yourself whether BDS and other NGOs qualify to lead the cause.


Come Join The Apartheid Show My Friend!

Daniel Mabsout, Deliberation, Mar 12 2013

Palestine has become an entertainment, if you are not aware. The plight of the people, the suffering, the homelessness, the abuse, the violations, the massacres and the incarcerations, the shelling, the siege and the occupation have become source of entertainment funded by Soros and company. And this has acquired a new name and is no more Palestine. It has become Apartheid, if you know what Apartheid is. So now when you think Palestine you ought to think Apartheid. Thus you have to remove yourself from the Arab and Palestinian Reality to the magic land of Apartheid, the fictitious place called Apartheid where you are no more yourself but a magic character in one of Soros’ fairy tales. Apartheid is the Disneyland Soros has especially designed for Palestinians with its full show of BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) conducted by Palestinian NGO Omar Barghouthi who refuses to apply the rules of Boycott himself since he is a registered student at Tel Aviv University. The circus is then running and the show designed for Palestine is the Apartheid Show. And it is Soros who is funding the show so that, when you boycott, it is on behalf of Soros that you are boycotting, and when you divest or sanction it is on behalf of Master Soros that you are doing so. This is how Palestinians can at last make a living, by handing their cause to Master NGO. From One city to another the Apartheid Show seems flourishing and is organizing a week in Beirut, and Soros will be speaking and performing and exhibiting through many people, artists and poets and speakers some of them notorious fighters for the cause like Leila Khaled herself. Bravo Apartheid! And it sounds so well, “Apartheid”, especially when one has grown tired of repeating uselessly the same old words of occupation and violation and massacres and extermination. Apartheid comes in handy; one can figure oneself in some Hollywood production, in an altogether different story and setting that will appeal to many people.

And the foreigners can now join in and jump in the Apartheid boat, as they jumped previously in great numbers in the Flotilla boats, without succeeding in lifting the siege from Gaza. Now, in the Apartheid boat, they can show their solidarity to the Palestinian Cause, which they could never show to the successful armed Resistance or to the victorious Hizbullah of Lebanon who defeated Israel and liberated the land without concession. But it is too costly to salute the Armed Resistance and to embark on a strange trip to a strange land, a Muslim land. And who knows if one will not end up in Iran, for example, in “theocracy” land with hateful Mullahs all over the place, or in HAMAS land. This Apartheid thing is much safer and not too costly for Israel. With Apartheid one can identify, and see in it the continuation of the premises of peace as introduced by Gandhi and his likes and embraced by most westerners worried more about Israel’s safety than about Palestinians’ rights. Apartheid is the Model and the parallel that the World Order has projected on the Palestinian Cause, not in order to solve it according to the South African model, but in order to leave it pending with no solution, because Israel is not an Apartheid. All this turbulence of boycotting dancers and singers and musicians and boycotting companies and academicians and students is but a maze that will lead to nowhere and definitely not to the liberation of Palestine or to the restitution of any of the Palestinian rights. This is nothing but blurring the vision and giving Israel more time to continue its scheme of occupation and domination. By the time Palestinians finish their performance in the West Bank streets and finish coloring and dancing in front of the wall of separation, Israel would have finished carrying on its evil schemes of hegemony and expansion. This is the Apartheid show, nourished by the World Order, after the Arafat show nourished by oil money, and it will bear the same bitter fruits in terms of recognition and normalization with the enemy and liquidating the cause itself.


The Undefined Purpose Of BDS

Daniel Mabsout, Deliberation, Mar 13 2013

Let’s read thoroughly the Arabic BDS text which is the original text as it was written in year 2005. The text says literally that Israel should submit to the International Law and this in:

  1. Ending the occupation and colonization of ALL Arab land and dismantling the wall.
  2. Recognizing the fundamental right of Arab Palestinian citizens to full equality.
  3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the right of the Palestinian Refugees to return home as stipulated in UN resolutions.

This is the original version, which is a confusing version, because it gives the impression that Israel is to withdraw from all Arab land, and if it were to withdraw from all Arab land, to where would it withdraw? To the sea? To Europe? While in fact what is meant is that it will withdraw from certain Arab territories, probably those that will be decided upon by the world order or the peace talks. The territories to be evacuated turned out to be the lands occupied in 67, but if withdrawing from all Arab land was meant in the first place, then also the 2nd and 3rd amendment would be irrelevant. This means that the BDS is not a serious movement with precise goals and objectives, and the Recognition of Israel within its 1948 borders goes back to the foundation of the BDS movement in 2005, because the withdrawal from the 67 occupied land that showed up 8 years later in the English version was already implicit in the original version even if not clearly expressed. What remains to be known is why BDS has chosen to be explicit about this matter in the version addressed to its foreign audience at this time precisely, while the Arabic text retained its original confusing statement of ending occupation of all Arab land. BDS had nothing precise in its mind, no position and no ideology, which is quite surprising for a liberating movement that wants to retrieve Palestinians’ rights. BDS is waiting for others to determine their position and then take a stand accordingly. For this BDS cannot lead nor speak for the Palestinian Cause because it has no authority or independent position.

June 16, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NGOs find loopholes in Foreign Agents’ Law, officials urge corrections

RT | June 13, 2013

Russian NGOs that receive funding from abroad have developed several methods that allow them to bypass the obligatory registration as ‘foreign agents’.

Currently the law obliges all NGOs engaged in political activities and receiving funding from abroad to register as “foreign agents”under threat of fines.

One possible option is to register an ordinary commercial company that would receive funds from abroad and employ NGO staff as workers to pay their salaries, Kommersant daily wrote quoting the head of a Russian NGO who spoke on the condition of total anonymity.

The source noted that about 15 Russian groups had already switched to this method.

Another possible loophole, suggested by the daily itself, is to set up an endowment that would properly register as a foreign agent and receive foreign funding which would then be transferred to one or several Russian groups, allowing them to skip the registration as they are formally sponsored by a Russian company.

The third way has been outlined in a recent report by the Civil Initiatives Committee, an influential expert group chaired by former finance minister Aleksey Kudrin, which said that under growing pressure Russian NGOs could re-register in neighboring states.

Some Russian officials already called for changes in the recently approved law, saying that the flaws of the original bill are being exposed as it is applied. Mikhail Fedotov, chairman of the Presidential Council on Human Rights, said that the practice was only showing one thing – that the law had been poorly written and that it was in need of corrections.

Fedotov added that the council had already prepared several suggestions on corrections, but he did not go into detail.

Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has said that the law needs changes and called for activists to draft their amendments. But Dvorkovich added that the law is in force and must be observed by all members of the community until it is altered in the desired way.

Russia introduced the so-called Foreign Agents Law in November last year.

Prosecutors and the Justice Ministry launched a major nationwide program in March this year in order to check how the fresh law is being applied. The inspections caused protests from NGOs, rights activists and the international community, which claimed they were a form of government pressure on independent critics.

Russian officials, including the president, have repeatedly stated that the law is not banning any NGOs and simply requires disclosure of the sources of their income. Such transparency would give Russian citizens and voters some clues about possible motives of the groups’ political actions, the officials added.

Currently no organization is registered as a foreign agent in Russia.

June 14, 2013 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | Comments Off on NGOs find loopholes in Foreign Agents’ Law, officials urge corrections

Egypt sentences 43 NGO staffers for working illegally

Al-Akhbar | June 4, 2013

A Cairo court on Monday sentenced 43 Egyptian and foreign employees of several non-governmental organizations to jail sentences ranging from one to five years for working illegally.

Twenty-seven of the defendants were sentenced in absentia to five years by the Cairo criminal court.

Five defendants who were present in the country, including one American, were sentenced to two years behind bars while the remaining 11 defendants were given one-year suspended sentences, an AFP reporter in court said.

Judge Makram Awad also ordered the closure of the NGOs where the sentenced staff worked.

These include US-based NGOs Freedom House and the National Democratic Institute, as well as the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

The defendants were charged with receiving illicit foreign funds and operating without a license.

The trial began last year following raids of the groups’ offices which led to a crisis in relations between Egypt and Washington.

The raids in December came after an order from judges tasked with investigating the groups’ foreign funding.

The groups allegedly did not obtain licenses to operate or permission from the foreign and social solidarity ministries, the prosecutor general’s office had said in a statement.

A travel ban was issued denying the accused of traveling out of Egypt in January 2013. It was lifted a month later.

(AFP, Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

June 4, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , , , | Comments Off on Egypt sentences 43 NGO staffers for working illegally

Russia instructs ‘Foreign Agent’ NGOs to report spending quarterly

RT | April 30, 2013

The Russian Justice Ministry has published an order for all NGOs that register as foreign agents, telling them to detail the spending of their funds every three months.

The ministry also instructs those groups with foreign agent status to prepare reports on their activities and management every six months and a full audit of their accounting books once a year.

So far, no organization has registered as a foreign agent in Russia even though the corresponding law came into force in November last year. This year the authorities launched a major inspection throughout the country and the prosecutors and the Justice Ministry now claim that 18 groups must receive the status.

The NGO audit is still underway.

This decision only led to protests from the groups who said that the inspection was ill-founded and any foreign sponsorship had taken place before the law came into force.

International organizations and rights groups, as well as foreign governments, have criticized the Russian Law on Foreign Agents as such, saying that it can be used as means of pressure and lead to underfunding of Russian rights organizations.

Russian sponsors of the law, including senior officials, replied that the law simply required the activists to clearly indicate the sources of their funding in order to better inform the public. The Russian side several times emphasized that no organization can be closed under the existing law.

President Vladimir Putin said in a recent interview with the German broadcaster ARD that the number of foreign-funded non-governmental organizations operating in Russia amounted to 654. He also said that these organizations received 28.3 billion rubles, or almost $1 billion, from their foreign sponsors in just four months that passed after the adoption of the Foreign Agents Law.

April 30, 2013 Posted by | Corruption | , , , | Comments Off on Russia instructs ‘Foreign Agent’ NGOs to report spending quarterly

Canadian “Aid” as Tool for Foreign Policy

By Yves Engler | Dissident Voice | April 18, 2013

The Canadian International Development Agency is no longer. In its recent budget the Conservative government collapsed CIDA into Foreign Affairs, creating the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

While there was plenty of commentary on the Tories’ move, no one — from the mainstream right to the development NGO left — pointed out that Canadian aid has primarily been about maintaining and/or extending the grip the world’s richest one percent holds over the entire globe.

Canada began its first significant (non-European) allocation of foreign aid through the Colombo Plan. With Mao’s triumph in China in 1949, the 1950 Colombo Plan’s primary aim was to keep the former British Asian colonies, especially India, within the Western capitalist fold.

To justify an initial $25 million ($250 million in today’s dollars) in Colombo Plan aid External Affairs Minister Lester Pearson told the House of Commons:

Communist expansionism may now spill over into South East Asia as well as into the Middle East … it seemed to all of us at the [Colombo] conference that if the tide of totalitarian expansionism should flow over this general area, … the Free World will have been driven off all but a relatively small bit of the great Eurasian landmass. … We agreed at Colombo that the forces of totalitarian expansionism could not be stopped in South Asia and South East Asia by military force alone.

Two years later Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent was even more explicit about the carrot and stick approach to defeating left wing nationalism (“communism”). In September 1952 St. Laurent explained:

In South East Asia through the establishment of the Colombo plan not only are we trying to provide wider commercial relations but we are also fighting another Asiatic war against Communism in the interests of peace, this time with economic rather than military weapons. We Canadians know that in the struggle against Communism there are two useful weapons, the economic and the military. While we much prefer to use the economic weapons as we are in the Colombo plan, we know that we may have no choice but to use the military weapons as we have been forced to do in Korea [27 000 Canadian troops participated in this war that left 3 million dead].

In other words, if some of India’s post-colonial population had not set their sights on a socialistic solution to their troubles — with the possibility of Soviet or Chinese assistance — Canada probably would not have provided aid. Five years into the Colombo Plan, Pearson admitted “Canada would not have started giving aid if not for the perceived communist threat.”

The broad rationale for extending foreign aid was laid out at a 1968 seminar for the newly established Canadian International Development Agency. This day-long event was devoted to discussing a paper titled “Canada’s Purpose in Extending Foreign Assistance” written by Professor Steven Triantas of the University of Toronto. Foreign aid, Triantas argued, “may be used to induce the underdeveloped countries to accept the international status quo or change it in our favour.” Aid provided an opportunity “to lead them to rational political and economic developments and a better understanding of our interests and problems of mutual concern.” Triantis discussed the appeal of a “‘Sunday School mentality’ which ‘appears’ noble and unselfish and can serve in pushing into the background other motives … [that] might be difficult to discuss publicly.”

A 1969 CIDA background paper, expanding on Triantas views, summarized the rationale for Canadian aid:

To establish within recipient countries those political attitudes or commitments, military alliances or military bases that would assist Canada or Canada’s western allies to maintain a reasonably stable and secure international political system. Through this objective, Canada’s aid programs would serve not only to help increase Canada’s influence within the developing world, but also within the western alliance.

This type of thinking continues to drive aid policy. Largely ignored in recent commentary, there are innumerable documented instances of Canadian aid advancing highly politicized geopolitical objectives over the past 25 years.

As an early advocate of International Monetary Fund/World Bank structural adjustment programs, since the early 1980s Canada has channeled hundreds of millions in “aid” dollars to supporting privatization and economic liberalization efforts in the Global South. At the start of the 2000s Ottawa plowed millions of dollars into supporting the Western-backed “coloured revolutions” in Eastern Europe and opposition to Jean Bertrand Aristide’s elected government in Haiti. More recently, the Conservatives have ramped up aid spending in Latin America to combat independent-minded, socialist-oriented governments. Barely discussed in the media, the Harper government’s shift of aid from Africa to Latin America was largely designed to stunt Latin America’s recent rejection of neoliberalism and U.S. dependence by supporting the region’s right-wing governments and movements.

An entirely unacknowledged, though increasingly obvious, principle of Canadian aid is that where the USA wields its big stick, Canada carries its police baton and offers a carrot. Or to put it more bluntly, where U.S. and Canadian troops kill Ottawa provides aid.

During the 1950-53 Korean War the south of that country became a major recipient of Canadian aid and so was Vietnam during the U.S. war there. The leading recipient of Canadian aid in 1999/2000 was the war-ravaged former Yugoslavia and Iraq and Afghanistan were top two recipients in 2003/2004. Since that time Afghanistan and Haiti (where Canadian and U.S. troops helped overthrow the elected government in February 2004) have been the leading recipients. Tens of millions in Canadian “aid” dollars have been spent to reestablish foreign and elite control over Haiti’s security forces.

There are a number of reasons for the lack of discussion about aid being used as a tool to maintain/extend Western capitalist dominance. NGO critics of aid policy are generally unwilling to point out the geopolitical underpinnings of Canadian aid because their jobs depend on keeping quiet. They stick to criticizing the ways in which foreign assistance is used to benefit specific corporate interests. This stakeholder criticism generally amounts to no more than NGOs saying: “Give the aid money to us not the corporations, because we’ll do a better job of whatever it is you want to accomplish.”

If you tell truth to power by saying Canadian aid is largely designed to maintain Western capitalist dominance of the Global South, you’re not likely to have your grant renewed.

The funny thing is, with the Conservatives in power, if you’re doing anything remotely useful to ordinary people, you’re not likely to anyway.

Yves Engler is the author of Lester Pearson’s Peacekeeping: The Truth May Hurt. His latest book is The Ugly Canadian: Stephen Harper’s foreign policy.

April 18, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Economics | , , , , , | Comments Off on Canadian “Aid” as Tool for Foreign Policy

Putin: No plans to close NGOs, public has right to know

RT | April 5, 2013

Recent checks in Russian NGOs are completely in line with the law and have the sole objective of informing the Russian public on these groups’ activities, according to President Vladimir Putin.

In an interview with the German broadcaster ARD, Putin said that the recently-approved law on foreign agents that caused the major NGO audit had parallels in international practice. He also noted the extremely disproportionate representation of non-governmental presence from foreign countries in Russia.

In the very beginning of the interview, the Russian President noted that it was not the objective of the NGO inspections to scare the public or the activists, adding that the mass media was performing that function.

Putin added that the real situation differed greatly from what was presented by the Western mass media. In particular, the fresh Russian law demanding that non-government organizations engaged in Russia’s internal political processes and sponsored from abroad must be registered as foreign agents was noting new. The United States has had a very similar law since 1938.

Putin noted that the US law is enforced by the Department of Justice. All groups operating in the US must regularly submit information about their activities and this information is then reviewed by the counterespionage section.

The German reporter admitted he was not aware of such practices in the United States.

Putin went on to point out that there were 654 foreign-funded groups operating in Russia, while Russia sponsored only two foreign NGOs – one in France and one in the United States.

He also disclosed that foreign diplomatic missions transferred $1 billion. Eight hundred and fifty-five million was to the accounts of Russian-based NGOs in just the four months that passed since the approval of the Foreign Agents Law.

Putin told the interviewer that in his view, Russian society had the full right to know about the extensive network of foreign-sponsored organizations operating in the country, as well as about the amount of funding these groups were getting from their foreign sponsors.

The Russian leader then again stressed that the Russian authorities did not intend to pressure or shut down any organizations.

We only ask them to admit: ‘Yes, we are engaged in political activities, and we are funded from abroad,’” Putin said. “The public has the right to know this.”

Putin also emphasized in his interview that the Russian authorities fully supported political competition, as without it the development of the country and the people is impossible. He said that the opposition had every right to protest, but even during these protests the rally-goers must abide by the law.

There must be order. It is a well-known rule. It is universal and applicable in any country,” he stated, noting that the recent events in North Africa were a vivid example of what might happen if this principle is neglected.

The president recalled the recent changes in the law on political parties that drastically simplified both the registration and the work of these organizations. He also spoke of as other moves to liberalize the political system, such as the return of the gubernatorial elections, saying that this was proof that he and his supporters encouraged political competition.

‘Feeling the Cyprus pinch’

When asked about the scope of Russian investment in Cyprus, Putin said it was “absurd” to view private Russian business interests operating in an EU country as having any connection with the activities of the Russian government itself.

He did, however, state that following the $13 billion bailout agreement with Cyprus, which included a one-time tax on deposits held in Cypriot banks, foreign investors feeling the pinch in the EU were more likely to “come to our financial institutions and keep their money in our banks.”

Reacting to claims that Cyprus was a safe haven for dirty money, Putin stressed that Russia neither created the offshore zone, nor had anyone provided evidence of financial misconduct on the Mediterranean island. But while no criminal wrongdoing has been proven, people who had merely deposited their money without breaking any laws now risk forfeiting 60 percent of their deposits as a result of the Cyprus bailout deal.

The Russian president continued that apart from Cyprus, other zones had been created by the European Union, and it was a red herring to place the blame for illicit activities on investors who benefited from them.

“If you consider such zones a bad thing, then close them. Why do you shift responsibility for all problems that have arisen in Cyprus to investors irrespective of their nationality (British, Russian, French or whatever else).”

When asked if he had felt snubbed by the EU when it opted not to turn to Russia for help despite the number of Russian nationals affected, Putin resolutely answered no.

“On the contrary I am even glad, to some extent, because the events have shown how risky and insecure investments in Western financial institutions can be.”

‘We trust the Euro’

Despite previous criticism of certain aspects of the European financial system, Putin stated emphatically that “we trust the euro.”  

Putin was unwilling to comment in depth on the internal workings of the EU that had no direct bearing on Russia, as it would be disrespectful to EU leaders.

He did say, however, that despite several points of contention between the EU and Russia, they “are fundamentally moving in the right direction” and Russia had made the right decision in keeping such a large share of its gold and currency reserves “in the European currency.”

Reiterating Russia’s trust in the economic policy of major European countries, Putin remains confident that Europe will overcome the difficulties it is currently facing.

Click here to read the full transcript of the interview

April 5, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Economics | , , , , , | Comments Off on Putin: No plans to close NGOs, public has right to know

Russia slams US ‘interference’ for vowing to continue NGO funding

RT | March 30, 2013

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has condemned the US over its plan to continue financing certain Russian NGOs. Moscow has accused Washington of meddling in its domestic affairs.

“We consider the statement by the US State Department official representative Victoria Nuland, saying the US is going to continue financing some of Russia’s NGOs through intermediaries in third countries, avoiding the Russian legislature, a blatant interference into our internal affairs,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aleksandr Lukashevich said in a statement on Saturday.

Mass audits of Russian NGOs started on March 21, on orders from the Justice Ministry and the Prosecutor General’s office.

The checks immediately sparked criticism in the international rights community, which labeled them an attempt to pressure activists. Russia has maintained the checks are regular inspections to see if NGO work complies with Russian law – legislation was recently amended to require that NGOs receiving foreign funding register as ‘foreign agents.’

Victoria Nuland, US State Department spokesperson, said that Washington’s NGO funding will continue unabated: “We are providing funding through platforms outside of Russia for those organizations that continue to want to work with us,” she said at a Thursday briefing.

The Russian Foreign Ministry believes the US is engaged in “direct instigating of certain non-governmental and public structures to violate legislation related to the work of non-governmental organisations in the Russian Federation,” according to Lukashevich’s statement.

Russian diplomats were also incensed by Victoria Nuland’s description of the NGO raids as a “witch hunt.” Lukashevich’s statement described his American counterpart’s choice of words as “cynical and provocative.”

Moscow has said that its NGO policy is in line with generally accepted international practices. So far, auditors have reported no infractions in the activities of non-governmental groups, apart from one incident. On Thursday, ‘For Human Rights’ leader Lev Ponomaryov refused to turn over working documents to inspectors, saying that his organization had already been subjected to a recent check.

Law enforcers said the act was a refusal to comply with lawful demands, and started an administrative case against the activist.

President Putin on Friday asked Russia’s top Human Rights Commissioner, Vladimir Lukin, to monitor the situation with the NGO raids. “I would like to rule out any excesses there,” Putin said.

March 30, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , , | 2 Comments

US worried by Russia ‘foreign agent’ bill for NGOs

Press TV – July 12, 2012

The US says it has been worried by a Russian bill that would force non-governmental organizations (NGOs) financed by other states to register as “foreign agents.”

“The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to be heard and have a voice in government. That’s why we’ve raised our concerns about the potential passage of this new NGO legislation,” said Patrick Ventrell, a spokesman for the US Department of State.

The comments came after Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, has passed the bill in its first reading.

The bill, if passed in the second reading of the state Duma on Friday, would force the NGOs to publish a report of their activities twice a year and carry out an annual financial audit.

The founders of the non-governmental organizations would face four-year jail sentences and/or fines of up to 300,000 rubles (USD 9,200) if they failed to comply with the law.

The legislation is expected to be reviewed by the Federation Council upper house on July 18.

The use of the term of “foreign agents” in the law was equivalent with “spying and treason” in the Soviet era.

Disputes over who has been funding Russian NGOs have increased after some controversial remarks made by the US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul who said in April that the Obama administration would like to set up a ‘civil society fund’ in Russia.

Rejecting reports about US involvement in anti-government protests that hit Moscow during the country’s presidential elections, McFaul said the US government funds no organization in Russia except independent NGOs.

July 12, 2012 Posted by | Corruption | , , , | 1 Comment

ALBA Expels USAID from Member Countries

ALBA-TCP | June 21, 2012

Resolution from the Political Council of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) for the immediate withdrawal of USAID from member countries of the alliance.

On behalf of the Chancellors of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Federal Republic of Brazil, on June 21st 2012.

Given the open interference of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the internal politics of the ALBA countries, under the excuse of “planning and administering economic and humanitarian assistance for the whole world outside of the United States,” financing non-governmental organizations and actions and projects designed to destabilise the legitimate governments which do not share their common interests.

Knowing the evidence brought to light by the declassified documents of the North American State Department in which the financing of organisations and political parties in opposition to ALBA countries is made evident, in a clear and shameless interference in the internal political processes of each nation.

Given that this intervention of a foreign country in the internal politics of a country is contrary to the internal legislation of each nation.

On the understanding that in the majority of ALBA countries, USAID, through its different organisations and disguises, acts in an illegal manner with impunity, without possessing a legal framework to support this action, and illegally financing the media, political leaders and non-governmental organisations, amongst others.

On the understanding that through these financing programmes they are supporting NGOs which promote all kind of fundamentalism in order to conspire and limit the legal authority of our states, and in many cases, widely loot our natural resources on territory which they claim to control at their own free will.

Conscious of the fact that our countries do not need any kind of external financing for the maintenance of our democracies, which are consolidated through the will of the Latin American and Caribbean people, in the same way that we do not need organisations in the charge of foreign powers which, in practice, usurp and weaken the presence of state organisms and prevent them from developing the role that corresponds to them in the economic and social arena of our populations.

We resolve to:

Request that the heads of state and the government of the states who are members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, immediately expel USAID and its delegates or representatives from their countries, due to the fact that we consider their presence and actions to constitute an interference which threatens the sovereignty and stability of our nations.

In the city of Rio de Janeiro, Federal Republic of Brazil, June 21st 2012.

Signed by:

The government of the Pluri-national state of Bolivia.

The government of the Republic of Cuba.

The government of the Republic of Ecuador.

The government of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

The government of the Republic of Nicaragua.

The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Translated by Rachael Boothroyd for Venezuelanalysis

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Corruption | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments