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By Jay Taber
Jul 24, 2012
Seducing as photo ops with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at summer camps funded by convicted inside trader George Soros might be, the idea of young missionaries sowing seeds of democracy along side CIA operatives might seem a little bit silly. Yet, missionaries worldwide — desperate for a chance to do something important and worthwhile with their lives — enroll in programs choreographed to provide cover for covert ops conducted by the NSA and CIA aimed at overthrowing governments and undercutting democratic movements that don’t heel to Wall Street and the Pentagon.
While U.S. agencies with names like USAID, United States Institute of Peace, and National Endowment for Democracy woo the innocent with t-shirts, flags and exotic trips abroad, the fact is they are about as likely to foment democratic revolutions as other American teenagers in helicopter gunships mowing down civilians in the streets of Baghdad. At least the Peace Corps didn’t act like toy Che brigades.
I only saw one CIA-sponsored NGO live, and that was at the 2003 anti-war demonstration in San Francisco’s UN Plaza. With tens of thousands filling the streets converging on the plaza to protest the imminent invasion of Iraq, the small contingent on the edge of the plaza holding expensive pro-war signs, and using amplified noisemakers in order to disrupt peace presenters on stage, was clearly not a genuine grassroots group.
In the Wrong Kind of Green article on fake revolutions in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, we learn how Wall Street think tanks merge seamlessly with US Government front groups to create the spectacular illusions of rainbow revolutions and Arab Spring. With funding from the CIA, NED, Soros’ Open Society Institute, and the Ford Foundation, the toy Che brigades have become instrumental in whitewashing Wall Street’s dirty deeds around the globe.
This reality may be hard for American liberals to swallow, but better this bitter pill than raising the specter of another blowback like 9/11. What goes around comes around.
For Americans who want to exercise their responsibilities as citizens or as human beings, there really are very few opportunities to do so effectively without taking enormous risks way out of proportion to what they are capable of handling. You see them repeatedly attempting to assuage their frustrations with this state of affairs by donating money to philanthropies, but the sad truth is that these are merely another form of chaneling dissent controlled by the individuals and institutions that cause all the problems in the first place.
Giving to MoveOn or becoming a Soros baby is an act of acquiescing to this brutal system; trying to actually change that system makes one an outsider–marginalized to the land of no resources.
Until a sufficient number recognize the charade for what it is, and begin helping and funding resistance rather than reform, nothing substantive will change. There are those willing to take large risks, but they cannot endure without backing from those who lack the courage.
Fortunately, it isn’t all that difficult to find them once one realizes that mainstream philanthropy is a farce. The real fighters are the ones demonized by the market and the media daily; I could probably pick up any local newspaper and tell you where your money would be well-spent and where it would just go down the drain.
In the old days of the CIA and National Security Agency (NSA), official US Government organizations were more candid about overthrowing governments that did not succumb to domination by US corporate or military misadventures. Then Wikileaks happened upon US State Department cables and our view of international diplomacy changed forever.
Today, CIA-sponsored rainbow revolutions — financed by National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) — use puppet NGOs to destabilize non-compliant foreign regimes. Thanks to whistle-blowers and Wikileaks, we now know how US embassy diplomatic pouches are used to smuggle currency to these Trojan horses.
In an ironic twist of fate, we also get a glimpse of how the US State Department strategically undermines the world indigenous peoples’ movement and human rights in general. To put it mildly, it isn’t a pretty picture.
Reading the December 2010 IPS report on COP 16, I was reminded of earlier conferences, where the European forces of globalization divided up other peoples’ lands by international agreement. Not having transcripts from those 16th-19th century proceedings, I can only imagine the invocation of church, state and market interests that combined in setting forth those self-congratulatory plans.
Watching the privileged and powerful at the climate change talks in Cancun, religious bigotry took a back seat to state and market propaganda, but the contempt for indigenous peoples and their sense of the sacred was front and center. With only the state of Bolivia dissenting from the state and market narrative, the concept of saving the planet or extending human rights through this international forum was trampled by hoards of self-congratulatory bureaucrats and career activists whose funding depends on maintaining this progressive hoax.
While expecting such behavior from craven opportunists like BINGO delegates, I was surprised to see progressive media falling so quickly into line. Perhaps they were simply playing up to their social milieu; maybe they were hoping to get a NED grant for covering the back of US Secretary of State Clinton. Whatever the reason, it was a sorry display of lackey journalism; my only response is that if they’re not with us, then they’re against us.
Even the Mother Jones article on Cancun read like a press release from the US State Department. After successfully undermining Kyoto and setting the stage for the REDD Ponzi scheme, the only task left in the climate charade was to marginalize the indigenous nations whose lands are to be recolonized. With all the current notoriety from Cablegate, I’m sure that Secretary Clinton appreciated the progressive media support.
Back in 2006, an article in En Camino observed,
Though democracy is often conceived of as a political form based on popular sovereignty and participation, its most commonly understood meaning is a thoroughly streamlined version–a system in which a small elite rules by confining mass participation to leadership choice in controlled elections.
Polyarchies — a form of restricted democracy that accommodates capitalist principles in otherwise threatening contexts — permitted the US to make a relatively smooth transition from supporting dictatorships in the Philippines and Nicaragua, for example, to supporting democratization movements in those same countries. As it turns out, limited “democracy” often serves US interests more effectively than authoritarianism.
In the Philippines and Nicaragua, the US began financing ostensibly pro-democracy groups, facilitating their rise to positions of power out of proportion to their numbers or the strength of their ideas, within broader democratization movements. Selected Philippine and Nicaraguan NGOs and political parties received financing (direct and indirect) from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and sister organizations that allowed them to create a much higher profile than their left-wing competitors.
When the dictatorships ended, these pro-US elite groups were well-placed to take power, as the examples of Corazon Aquino (Philippines) and Violeta Chamorro (Nicaragua) illustrate. The replacement of dictatorships in Latin America with polyarchies brought with it the widespread implementation of neoliberal economic reforms.
Americans, as we see time and time again, are incredibly naive about world politics. By and large, they accept government propaganda, no matter how absurd. They bought the Cold War script, the drug war script, and the War on Terror script, mostly without a second thought. They even bought the Hope and Change script, electing a Wall Street toady to fight as their champion against the powers that be.
Apparently, American gullibility knows no bounds. As evidenced by the popularity of the color-coded revolutions myth, they enthusiastically embrace the notion that a few thousand people armed with nothing but iphones can topple dictators, replacing them with authentic democracies due solely to their sincerity and good wishes.
Of course, power vacuums are filled by those who are prepared, not to mention connected. And when you’re talking about reorganizing a society of tens or hundreds of millions of people, those connections — be they economic, religious, or military — count. How many times have we seen righteous indignation betrayed by notorious factions in cahoots with the IMF, World Bank, or CIA?
Whatever one might think about Egypt’s Mubarak or other dictators who’ve fallen out of favor with the US and the EU, popular uprisings have political backgrounds, social context, and often unintended consequences. And when you’re talking about regime change within totalitarian states, there is always a back story of international intrigue, as well as conspiracies to seize power.
In other words, things are never what they seem, especially if one’s sources of information are the governments of intervening world powers, or the corporate media that does their bidding.
To state it bluntly, when the U.S. government and the former colonial powers of Western Europe decide to abandon dictators and proxy governments, they have to fabricate a narrative that conceals their sordid past, as well as reveals disingenuous outlines of their desired future. Both require distortion of the present. In the case of Egypt, that distortion is aided by not asking key questions.
Writing at Cyrano’s Journal a year ago, Jared Israel examined the media narrative of the insurrection in Egypt, what it does and doesn’t tell us, and how it is even contrived to fit a preconceived pattern. Patterns exist, but in order to see them, one has to open one’s eyes.
[Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, an author, a correspondent to Fourth World Eye, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as the administrative director of Public Good Project.]