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Condemn Not Just North Korea; Deal with Global Nuclear Hypocrisy

WKOG Editor: One must note that while the international community is busy condemning both North Korea and Iran, the US corporation Westinghouse, in full collaboration & conspiratorial alliance with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, is going ahead with a massive nuclear power ‘park’ consisting of 6 units of 1000 MW – against a massive local resistance. Westinghouse continues to bulldoze popular resistance in order to thrust their dangerous reactors on millions of unwilling people, while Indian grassroots activists remain committed to stop the new reactors.

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MUST WATCH: MP Laurent Louis Exposes International Neo-Colonialists Behind “War on Terror” & “Humanitarian Interventions” in Belgian Parliament

“Fuck you to the leaders, left and right”

“Fuck you! – all the so-called do gooders, both left and right wingers or from the center who are today licking the boots of our corrupted powers and who will be pleased to ridicule me.”

Axis of Logic, Finding Clarity in the 21st Century Mediaplex

Jan 27, 2013

Editor’s Note (Axis of Logic): Laurent Louis, Minister of the Belgian Parliament delivers the truth about the French “total re-conquest” of Mali and the reasons that underlie this latest neo-colonial war in Africa. The 32 year old MP is one of the most vilified political figures in Europe and after viewing his speech it’s easy to understand why he’s being targeted. If the English subtitles do no appear on the video, click on “CC” on the bar at the bottom. Axis of Logic has also transcribed and done some mild editing with subtitles and added emphases for easier reading of this translation into English by Feuillien Geraldine*. Our transcription of the speech appears below the video. Les Blough, Editor

TRANSCRIPT:

Thank you, Mr. President. Dear Ministers, dear colleagues.

Belgium is indeed the land of surrealism. This morning we learned in the media that the Belgian army is incapable of fighting some extremist soldiers having radical Islamist beliefs existing within its own ranks and who cannot be dismissed by legal of legal means. However, at the same time, we decide to help France in its war against “Terror” by providing logistical support for its operation in Mali.

What wouldn’t we do in order to fight against terrorism outside our borders? I just hope we took care not to send for this anti-terrorist operation in Mali, these much talked about Belgian Islamist soldiers! I seem to be joking, but what is going on in the world today does not make me laugh at all. It doesn’t make me laugh because without any doubt, the leaders of our Western countries are taking the people for imbeciles with the help and support of the Media which are nothing more today than an organ of propaganda of the ruling powers.

Fighting “terrorism” for destabilization

Around the world, military actions and regime’s destabilization are becoming more and more frequent. Preventive war has become the rule. And today, in the name of democracy and the fight against terrorism our states grant themselves the right to violate the sovereignty of independent countries and to overthrow legitimate leaders. There has been Iraq and Afghanistan, the wars of the American lie. Came later, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya where thanks to your decisions, our country has been “first in line” to participate in crimes against humanity, in each case to overthrow progressive and moderated regimes and to replace them by Islamist regimes, and – isn’t it weird? – their first will was to impose Sharia law. This is exactly what is currently happening in Syria where Belgium is shamefully funding the arming of the Islamist rebels who are trying to overthrow Bashar Al Assad.

Thus in the midst of economic crisis, as more and more Belgians can no longer house themselves, feed, heat and cure themselves – Yeah, I can hear what a filthy populist I am – Well, the Minister of Foreign Affairs decided to offer the Syrian rebels 9 million euros! Of course, they’ll try to make us believe that this money will be used for humanitarian purposes … one more lie! As you can see, for months, our country is only participating to put in place, Islamic regimes in North Africa and the Middle East. So, when they come and pretend to go to war in order to fight against terrorism in Mali, well … I feel like laughing. It’s false! Under the appearance of good actions, we only intervene to defend financial interests and to complete a neo-colonialist mindset.

It’s real nonsense to go to help France in Mali in the name of the fight against Islamic terrorism when at the same time, we support in Syria the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad by Islamist rebels who want to impose Sharia law, as was done in Tunisia and in Libya. It is about time to stop lying to us and treating people like imbeciles. The time has come to tell the truth. Arming the Islamist Rebels, as Westerners have in the past armed Bin Laden, that friend of the Americans before they turned against him, well, the western countries are taking the opportunity to place military bases in the newly conquered countries while favoring domestic companies.

Everything is therefore strategic. In Iraq, our American allies have put their hands on the country’s oil wealth. In Afghanistan, it was its opium and drugs – always useful when it comes to make lots of money pretty quickly. In Libya, in Tunisia, in Egypt or then again in Syria, the aim was and still is today to overthrow moderate powers, to replace them by Islamist powers who very quickly will become troublesome and that we will shamelessly attack, pretending once again to fight terrorism or protect Israel.

Thus the next targets are already known. Within a few months I bet that our eyes will turn to Algeria and eventually to Iran. To go to war, to free people from an outside aggressor is noble. But to go to war to defend the interests of the USA … To go to war to defend the interests of big corporations such as AREVA … To go to war to put our hands on gold mines, has nothing noble at all and it reveals our countries to be attackers and thugs!

“Fuck you” to the leaders, left and right

No one dares to speak, but I will not shut up! And if my battle makes me look like an enemy of this system who flaunts the Human Rights in the name of financial, geo-strategic and neo-colonialist interests, so be it! Flaunting and exposing this regime is a duty and makes me proud. And honestly, I apologize for my low class speech, but fuck you, all the so-called do-gooders, both left and right wingers or from the center who are today licking the boots of our corrupted powers and who will be pleased to ridicule me. Fuck you all, leaders who are playing with your bombs as kids do in a playground! Fuck you! – you who pretend to be democrats while you are nothing more than low class criminals. I don’t have much respect either for the journalists who have the audacity to label the opponents as mentally retarded while basically, they know very well that these opponents are right. Finally, I despise at the highest point those who believe they are the kings of the world and who are dictating their laws because I am on the side of the truth, the side of justice, the side of innocent victims of looting at all costs.

Opposing the pro-war resolution

And it is for this reason that I have decided to clearly oppose this resolution. Since the beginning of the French operation, the lie has been organized. We are told that France is only answering the call for help of a Malian president. We almost forget that this president has no legitimacy and that he was put in place to ensure the transition following the coup of March 2012.

Who supported this coup d’état? Who started it? For whom is this president of transition actually working? This is the first lie! The French president, François Hollande dares to pretend to wage this war to fight against jijadists who threaten (Ohhh do you realize!) who threaten the French and European territory! But what an ugly lie! By taking the official argument, while taking the opportunity to frighten the population, increasing the terror alert level, implementing the Vigipirate plan our leaders and media are demonstrating an un-imaginable outrage! How dare they use such a point while France and Belgium have not hesitated to arm and support Jihadists in Libya and that these same countries continue to support these Jihadists in Syria. The pretext hides strategic and economic purposes.

Our countries are no longer fearing inconsistency because everything is done to hide it. But the inconsistency is well present. It is not tomorrow that you’ll see a Malian citizen commit an act of terrorism in Europe. No, unless we’ll suddenly create one so we an justify this military operation. Haven’t we created September 11th, after all, to justify the invasions, arbitrary arrest, torture and massacre of innocent populations? Thus, to create a Malian terrorist is no big deal!

Protection of Human Rights as a pretext for war

Another pretext used these recent months to justify military operations is the protection of Human Rights AHHH! … This pretext is still used today to justify the war in Mali. But yes! We have to act, otherwise the evil Islamists will impose Sharia law in Mali, stoning women and cutting the thugs’ hands off. Oh! The intention is truly noble. Noble and salutary for sure. But then why is it, Good Lord, why is that our countries have contributed in Tunisia and Libya to the accession to power of Islamists who have decided to apply this Sharia Law in these countries which were still not so long ago, modern and progressive?

I invite you to ask the young Tunisians who have launched the revolution in Tunisia, if they are happy with their current situation? This is all hypocrisy. The purpose of this war in Mali is very clear. And since nobody will talk about it, I WILL. The purpose is to fight against China and allow our American ally to maintain its presence in Africa and the Middle East. This is what guides these new-colonialist operations. And you will see, when the military operation will be over, France will, of course, keep its military bases in Mali. These bases will be a benefit to the Americans as well. Western corporates will put their hands on juicy contracts that will once again deprive re-colonized countries of their wealth and raw materials.

Mali’s wealth and the beneficiaries of the war

So let’s be clear, the primary beneficiaries of this military operation will be the owners and shareholders of the French giant AREVA who has been trying for years to obtain a uranium mine in Falea, a town of 17,000 inhabitants located at 350 km from Bamako. And I don’t know why but my little finger is telling me that it won’t take long before AREVA will eventually exploit that mine. I don’t know, it’s an impression I have. It is therefore out of the question that I would take part in this colonialist mining – that modern times colonialism. And for those who have doubt about my arguments, I sincerely invite them to learn about the wealth of Mali. Mali is a major producer of gold, but recently it has been designated, recently, eh … – as being a country that offers a world class environment for the exploitation of uranium. How strange! One step closer to a war against Iran, it is obvious.

Time to get Belgium out of UN, NATO & EU

For all these reasons and in order to not fall into the traps of lies they are telling us, I’ve decided not to give my support to that intervention in Mali. Therefore, I will vote against it. And by doing so, I’m being consistent since I never supported in the past our criminal interventions in Libya or in Syria, and so being the only MP in this country to defend the non-interference and the fight against obscure interests. I really think it is about time to put an end to our participation in the UN or NATO and get out of the EU if Europe instead of providing peace becomes a weapon of attack and destabilization of sovereign countries, submissive to financial rather than human interests.

Opponents to Mali Regime are not “terrorists.”

Finally, I can only urge our government to remind President Hollande the obligations resulting from the Geneva Conventions regarding the respect of all prisoners of war. Indeed, I was shocked to hear on television from the mouth of the French President that his intention was to “destroy” – I say “destroy” – Islamist terrorists. So, I do not want the qualification to be used to name the opponents to the Malian regime – it is always convenient today to talk about Islamic terrorists – to be used to circumvent the obligations of any democratic state in terms of respecting the rights of prisoners of war. We expect such respect from the Fatherland of Human Rights.

In conclusion, let me emphasize how lightly we decide to go to war. First, the government acts without any consent from the Parliament. It appears as though it has the right to do so. It sends equipment, men to Mali. The Parliament subsequently reacts and when it responds, as today, well, this institution [today] happens to be composed of only 1/3 of its members. Much less if we speak of the French speaking MPs. It is therefore a guilty lightness which does not really surprise me, coming from a Parliament of Puppies, submitted to the dictates of political parties. Thank you.

*Translation: Geraldine Feuillien)

Mohawk Nation: Traitors Among Us

Cross-posted with Libya360

January 13, 2013

Introduction by Cory Morningstar Via Wrong Kind of Green

The tragedy of such a “successful” campaign which is supposed to belong/be representative of the Indigenous Peoples/First Nations, is that the very people the campaign is supposed to speak for – like the Mohawks – have had their voices completely crushed by the privileged liberal left. Such articles that voice a different opinion other than the narrative echoed in the media (like below) are given no platform whatsoever, while 350’s Bill McKibben & Naomi Klein’s opinions are obsessively shared via social media and “left” media.

 

It is of little surprise that the corporate NGOs such as Avaaz, Greenpeace, Amnesty International et al are all circling and embedding themselves in this campaign like vultures. They must pacify it to the best of their ability.

 

The question is just why the left is allowing the voices of the radical grassroots to be ignored and marginalized – replacing them with the voices of those who protect the system. Do we want systemic change or do we only want reform?

 

Criticisms such as outlined below, so carefully articulated, are screaming to be heard by those who wrote them – those who refuse to abandon their ancestral roots. There is no doubt that throngs of First Nations peoples feel completely isolated, ignored and alone in their very precious ideologies.

 

Will they EVER be heard? Who will share their voices? If not us, then who? Certainly not Avaaz, nor McKibben, nor Greenpeace, nor the AFN/band leaders who feed from Harper’s trough.

 

Time to drop the Black Wampum

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Mohawk Nation

The Indigenous People charge the Band Councils, Assembly of First Nations, provincial and territorial native organizations and all ‘Indian’ entities of the Corporation of Canada with “conspiracy” and “fraud”.

Wampum 44 of the Kaianerekowa, provides that the Women are the “progenitors of the soil”. Our duty is to preserve the land’s integrity on behalf of all our relatives.

Traditionals carry out penalty for treason

Wampum 58 provides that as you knowingly betrayed and violated the will of the People, you have conspired to commit treason. You worked with a foreign entity to try to dissolve and destroy our title and birthright. As corporate agents of Canada you have no authority to enter into any agreements or contracts for any of our lands or possessions with them or any corporate entities.  You represent only yourselves and those who voted for you. You are helping them to fraudulently use our land and resources as collateral to raise money on the international stock market to come in and rape our land.

“Any chief or other persons who submit to laws of a foreign people are alienated and forfeit all claims in the Iroquois nations, and to those of our Indigenous allies who abide by the law of the land, the Kaianerekowa”.  These traitors are not in but out of the canoe.

Your connections with these foreign entities should be thoroughly investigated, starting with the shareholder list of the Corporation of Canada.

If the Corporation of Canada wishes to enter into any formal agreement with the true Indigenous People, they must go through proper protocol with their Queen.  Order-in-Council UK [1704] affirms that a new impartial court can be set up to hear the land disputes on Onowaregeh.  We would be in agreement with countries such as Venezuela, Iran, Panama, Netherlands and Estonia setting up this impartial third party court.

When Canada has no traitors, the corporation cannot trade the resources they have been stealing from us.

Corporate traitors on the hunt

Senator Patrick “House Injun” Brazeau said that the chiefs have to be prepared with a “business plan solution”.  Our solution is to get rid of assimilated Indians like you.

The settlers to legally enter our land made agreements according to The Great Peace of Montreal 1701 based on the Guswentha. The Royal Proclamation 1763 affirmed this arrangement.  Parliament represents the party that agreed to live here, but reneged on it. At this point we have no choice but to control our own destiny.

Traitors are worse than the enemy, the lowest of the low.  Every culture loathes them.  They help foreign governments overthrow, make war against and seriously injure their own people. They undermine us from within.

Traitors have been punished by public execution, hanging, shooting at dawn and beheading. Russians shot their traitors in the head and made the family pay for the bullet.  In our way, the women make the decision to drop the black wampum in front of the traitor. Traitors would be banished and shunned forever, their name never to be heard ever again. Their family has no rights and no voice.  The seed dies.

Among many, one of the foremost traitors among us is Oren Lyons from Onondaga.  He requested Canada to send the army on us in the 1990 Mohawk Oka Crisis.  We were peacefully protesting the expansion of a golf course on our burial and ceremonial site.

As the Field Warriors say:  “You want a statue, or get an Order of Canada, be a traitor.”

Indian Traitors soon to be extinct

Dedicated to the soon-to-be-extinct corporate Indian traitors,  Mick Jagger sang:  “I’m on the run, I hear the hounds.  My luck is up, my chips are own.  So good-bye baby, so-long now.  Wish me luck, I’m going to need it, child.  The hand of fate is on me now.  The hand of fate is heavy now”.

 

[MNN Mohawk Nation News kahentinetha2@yahoo.com  For more news, books, workshops, to donate and sign up for MNN newsletters, go to www.mohawknationnews.com  More stories at MNN Archives.  Address:  Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0]

BOLIVIA: “THIS IS A COP OF CLIMATE CHANGE NOT A COP OF CARBON TRADE”

December 4, 2012

Censored News

 
UNBALANCED NEGOTIATIONS AND VERY PARTIAL VISIONS
Bolivia continues the fight against carbon markets, and the bias that prevents the voice of developing countries from being heard

By Plurinational State of Bolivia
Censored News

DOHA, Qatar — 4 December 2012 — During the plenary of Cooperation Actions of Long Term (ACL), or table of financing that summarizes the prospect of this working group, the text of conclusions has been proposed, which supposedly reflect the positions and proposals of countries forming part of the working group.

However the Vice-Chancellor of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Juan Carlos Alurralde said, “The text was imbalanced and did not include the position and proposals of developing countries, since it was not adaptation, transfer of technology, attention to disaster, or financing that were the fundamental agreements in Bali,” said Alurralde.

“Ironically in the document are the mechanisms based on the carbon market, and exclude the proposal uploaded for Bolivia, the mechanism of no market within financing, a topic of great concern for those who support this proposal, countries such as China, Cuba, Egypt, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, India, Iraq, Iran, Malaysia, Mali, Sudan, Venezuela and others,” said the Vice Chancellor.

“These had not considered the proposal to not market, by the Facilitator, who is Chilean. This concerned the Vice-Chancellor, since no one wants to think that there is some sort of discrimination or bilateral rematch, to an issue such as the sea that is bilateral.”

“However it is very evident that the facilitator of the ACL has overlooked entirely the proposals to not market, that’s why Bolivia with a very strong position going to trace the theme and raise the formation of working groups that raise profound decisions, and does listen to the voices of the world” pointed out Alurralde.

Regarding the actions to be taken by Bolivia, the Vice Chancellor noted that: “Bolivia has a very strong visible voice and together with the countries that worked on the proposals to not market, will hear criticisms to the head of the ACL group and the respective claim to the facilitator, to organize in working groups that make listening to the voice of our countries to the world and this Conference negotiators, urged the Vice-Chancellor.

BOLIVIA: “THIS IS A COP OF CLIMATE CHANGE NOT A COP OF CARBON TRADE”

UNIDAD MADRE TIERRA Y AGUA / MINISTERIO DE RELACIONES EXTERIORES ESTADO PLURINACIONAL DE BOLIVI
DOHA, Qatar — December 4th

The day of the COP inauguration, a conference about CARBON TRADE took place facilitated by Nicholas Stern. The event had the presence of ministers and other authorities of different countries. Surprisingly the center of the discussion was how to allow developed countries that are not going to be part of the second commitment period of KP to have access to market mechanisms of the same KP that they deny to be applicable to them.

Another central issue was how to solve the crisis of the carbon market. Half of the 100 billion dollars to be provided for climate change by 2020 would come from carbon credits, commented Mr. Stern. The collapse of prices in carbon market is a menace to financial provision for climate change, expressed Stern. A dynamic debate took place in the event in order to bring solutions to the carbon crisis.

This debate is beginning to dominate the agenda of discussion in COP18, pushed by developed countries. Are we going to allow this COP about climate change to become a COP of carbon trade?

That was a question raised by Juan Carlos Alurralde the Vice Chancellor of Bolivia, who was present in the conference. When he took the floor he expressed the following words: “… Carbon markets are not a solution to the climate change crisis… Instead of discussing one of the instruments for supporting mitigation actions, which is carbon markets.; I repeat: ONE of the instruments which effectiveness is still pending of analysis, but from our view is a complete mistake, instead of that, we should discuss the structural elements of a comprehensive response to Climate Change Crisis.
It’s seems that developed countries are more interested in the carbon markets business that in the ultimate goal of this conference which is the structural solutions for this planet and future generations Carbon markets are just business for some but a bad solution for Mother Earth, facilitating developed countries not to make real domestic reductions.

We have to say that at least four realistic predictable risks are linked to the application and generalization of carbon markets: 1. Double counting implying an additional 1,6 Gigatones (GT) to the atmosphere. 2. Non aditionalities with an increase of 0,4 GT Gigatones 3. The use of the carry over which implies 11 GT 4.

The opening of opportunities for creating bilateral trading carbon agreements without accounting for the rules, monitoring and regulation. We came from very far to try to find solutions and alternatives to bring the opportunity to future generations to live with dignity in this planet, and definitely the Carbon market mechanisms are not the solution…”

Beware the Anti-Anti-War Left

December 04, 2012

Why Humanitarian Interventionism is a Dead End

by JEAN BRICMONT

Louvain, Belgium

Ever since the 1990s, and especially since the Kosovo war in 1999, anyone who opposes armed interventions by Western powers and NATO has to confront what may be called an anti-anti-war left (including its far left segment).  In Europe, and notably in France, this anti-anti-war left is made up of the mainstream of social democracy, the Green parties and most of the radical left.  The anti-anti-war left does not come out openly in favor of Western military interventions and even criticizes them at times (but usually only for their tactics or alleged motivations – the West is supporting a just cause, but clumsily and for oil or for geo-strategic reasons).   But most of its energy is spent issuing “warnings” against the supposed dangerous drift of that part of the left that remains firmly opposed to such interventions.  It calls upon us to show solidarity with the “victims” against “dictators who kill their own people”, and not to give in to knee-jerk anti-imperialism, anti-Americanism, or anti-Zionism, and above all not to end up on the same side as the far right.  After the Kosovo Albanians in 1999, we have been told that “we” must protect Afghan women, Iraqi Kurds and more recently the people of Libya and of Syria.

It cannot be denied that the anti-anti-war left has been extremely effective. The Iraq war, which was sold to the public as a fight against an imaginary threat, did indeed arouse a fleeting opposition, but there has been very little opposition on the left to interventions presented as “humanitarian”, such as the bombing of Yugoslavia to detach the province of Kosovo, the bombing of Libya to get rid of Gaddafi, or the current intervention in Syria.   Any objections to the revival of imperialism or in favor of peaceful means of dealing with such conflicts have simply been brushed aside by invocations of “R2P”, the right or responsibility to protect, or the duty to come to the aid of a people in danger.

The fundamental ambiguity of the anti-anti-war left lies in the question as to who are the “we” who are supposed to intervene and protect.  One might ask the Western left, social movements or human rights organizations the same question Stalin addressed to the Vatican, “How many divisions do you have?”  As a matter of fact, all the conflicts in which “we” are supposed to intervene are armed conflicts.  Intervening means intervening militarily and for that, one needs the appropriate military means. It is perfectly obvious that the Western left does not possess those means.  It could call on European armies to intervene, instead of the United States, but they have never done so without massive support from the United States.  So in reality the actual message of the anti-anti-war left is: “Please, oh Americans, make war not love!” Better still, inasmuch as since their debacle in Afghanistan and in Iraq, the Americans are leery of sending in ground troops, the message amounts to nothing other than asking the U.S. Air Force to go bomb countries where human rights violations are reported to be taking place.

FLASHBACK: DEEPER DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE OF U.S. BACKED COLOR REVOLUTIONS

US Department of Imperial Expansion

March 6, 2011

Tony Cartalucci

Believe it or not, the US State Department’s mission statement actually says the following:

“Advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system.”

A far and treasonous cry from the original purpose of the State Department – which was to maintain communications and formal relations with foreign countries – and a radical departure from historical norms that have defined foreign ministries throughout the world, it could just as well now be called the “Department of Imperial Expansion.” Because indeed, that is its primary purpose now, the expansion of Anglo-American corporate hegemony worldwide under the guise of “democracy” and “human rights.” That a US government department should state its goal as to build a world of “well-governed states” within the “international system” betrays not only America’s sovereignty but the sovereignty of all nations entangled by this offensive mission statement and its execution.

The illegitimacy of the current US State Department fits in well with the overall Constitution-circumventing empire that the American Republic has degenerated into. The current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, gives a daily affirmation of this illegitimacy every time she bellies up to the podium and further makes a mockery of America, its people and its destiny.

Recently she issued a dangerously irresponsible “warning” to Venezuela and Bolivia regarding their stately relations with Iran. While America has to right to mediate its own associations with foreign nations, one is confounded trying to understand what gives America the right to dictate such associations to other sovereign nations. Of course, the self-declared imperial mandate the US State Department bestowed upon itself brings such “warnings” into perspective with the realization that the globalists view no nation as sovereign and all nations beholden to their unipolar “international system.”

It’s hard to deny the US State Department is not behind the
“color revolutions” sweeping the world when the Secretary of
State herself phones in during the youth movement confabs
her department sponsors on a yearly basis.

If only the US State Department’s meddling was confined to feckless secretaries squawking behind podiums attempting to fulfill ridiculous mission statements, we could all rest easier. However, the US State Department actively bolsters its meddling rhetoric with very real measures. The centerpiece of this meddling is the vast and ever-expanding network being built to recruit, train, and support various “color revolutions” worldwide. While the corporate owned media attempts to portray the various revolutions consuming Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and now Northern Africa and the Middle East as indigenous, spontaneous, and organic, the reality is that these protesters represent what may be considered a “fifth-branch” of US power projection.

CANVAS: Freedom House, IRI, Soros funded Serbian color revolution
college behind the Orange, Rose, Tunisian, Burmese, and Egyptian protests
and has trained protesters from 50 other countries.

As with the army and CIA that fulfilled this role before, the US State Department’s “fifth-branch” runs a recruiting and coordinating center known as the Alliance of Youth Movements (AYM). Hardly a secretive operation, its website, Movements.org proudly lists the details of its annual summits which began in 2008 and featured astro-turf cannon fodder from Venezuela to Iran, and even the April 6 Youth Movement from Egypt. The summits, activities, and coordination AYM provides is but a nexus. Other training arms include the US created and funded CANVAS of Serbia, which in turn trained color-coup leaders from the Ukraine and Georgia, to Tunisia and Egypt, including the previously mentioned April 6 Movement. There is also the Albert Einstein Institute which produced the very curriculum and techniques employed by CANVAS.

2008 New York City Summit (included Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement)
2009 Mexico City Summit
2010 London Summit

As previously noted, these organizations are now retroactively trying to obfuscate their connections to the State Department and the Fortune 500 corporations that use them to achieve their goals of expansion overseas. CANVAS has renamed and moved their list of supporters and partners while AYM has oafishly changed their “partnerships” to “past partnerships.”

Before & After: Oafish attempts to downplay US State Department’s extra-legal
meddling and subterfuge in foreign affairs. Other attempts are covered here.

Funding all of this is the tax payers’ money funneled through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and Freedom House. George Soros’ Open Society foundation also promotes various NGOs which in turn support the revolutionary rabble on the ground. In Egypt, after the State Department’s youth brigades played their role, Soros and NED funded NGOs began work on drafting Egypt’s new constitution.

It should be noted that while George Soros is portrayed as being “left,” and the overall function of these pro-democracy, pro-human rights organizations appears to be “left-leaning,” a vast number of notorious “Neo-Cons” also constitute the commanding ranks and determine the overall agenda of this color revolution army.

Then there are legislative acts of Congress that overtly fund the subversive objectives of the US State Department. In support of regime change in Iran, the Iran Freedom and Support Act was passed in 2006. More recently in 2011, to see the US-staged color revolution in Egypt through to the end, money was appropriated to “support” favored Egyptian opposition groups ahead of national elections.

Then of course there is the State Department’s propaganda machines. While organizations like NED and Freedom House produce volumes of talking points in support for their various on-going operations, the specific outlets currently used by the State Department fall under the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). They include Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, Alhurra, and Radio Sawa. Interestingly enough, the current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sits on the board of governors herself, along side a shameful collection of representatives from the Fortune 500, the corporate owned media, and various agencies within the US government.

Hillary Clinton: color revolutionary field marshal & propagandist,
two current roles that defy her duties as Secretary of State in any
rational sense or interpretation.

Judging from Radio Free Europe’s latest headlines, such as “Lieberman: The West’s Policy Toward Belarus Has ‘Failed Miserably’ ” and “Azerbaijani Youth Activist ‘Jailed For One Month,’” it appears that hope is still pinned on inciting color revolutions in Belarus and Azerbaijan to continue on with NATO’s creep and the encirclement of Russia. Belarus in particular was recently one of the subjects covered at the Globsec 2011 conference, where it was considered a threat to both the EU and NATO, having turned down NATO in favor of closer ties with Moscow.

Getting back to Hillary Clinton’s illegitimate threat regarding Venezuela’s associations with Iran, no one should be surprised to find out an extensive effort to foment a color revolution to oust Hugo Chavez has been long underway by AYM, Freedom House, NED, and the rest of this “fifth-branch” of globalist power projection. In fact, Hugo Chavez had already weathered an attempted military coup overtly orchestrated by the United States under Bush in 2002.

Upon digging into the characters behind Chavez’ ousting in 2002, it
appears that this documentary sorely understates US involvement.

The same forces of corporatism, privatization, and free-trade that led the 2002 coup against Chavez are trying to gain ground once again. Under the leadership of Harvard trained globalist minion Leopoldo Lopez, witless youth are taking the place of 2002?s generals and tank columns in an attempt to match globalist minion Mohamed ElBaradei’s success in Egypt.

Unsurprisingly, the US State Department’s AYM is pro-Venezuelan opposition, and describes in great detail their campaign to “educate” the youth and get them politically active. Dismayed by Chavez’ moves to consolidate his power and strangely repulsed by his “rule by decree,” -something that Washington itself has set the standard for- AYM laments over the difficulties their meddling “civil society” faces.

Chavez’ government recognized the US State Department’s meddling recently in regards to a student hunger strike and the US’s insistence that the Inter-American Human Rights Commission be allowed to “inspect” alleged violations under the Chavez government. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro even went as far as saying, “It looks like they (U.S.) want to start a virtual Egypt.”


The “Fifth-Branch” Invasion: Click for larger image.

Understanding this “fifth-branch” invasion of astro-turf cannon fodder and the role it is playing in overturning foreign governments and despoiling nation sovereignty on a global scale is an essential step in ceasing the Anglo-American imperial machine. And of course, as always, boycotting and replacing the corporations behind the creation and expansion of these color-revolutions hinders not only the spread of their empire overseas, but releases the stranglehold of dominion they possess at home in the United States. Perhaps then the US State Department can once again go back to representing the American Republic and its people to the rest of the world as a responsible nation that respects real human rights and sovereignty both at home and abroad.

Tony Cartalucci can be contacted via email at cartalucci@gmail.com

Human Rights and Humanitarian Imperialism in Syria

A view from an African American human rights defender

“This perspective is the cornerstone of white supremacist ideology that has been internalized by the mass populations in Europe and the US, no matter the ethnicity or race. It is an essential element of the normalization and universality of white supremacy as an ideological and cultural phenomenon. From the point of view of the psychologically decolonized ‘other,’ the projection of Western liberal society as the model for all of humanity is absurd. But what makes White supremacy so powerful as an instrument of social conformity and national identity in the US, and dangerous for the non-white world, is not just its ubiquity but also its invisibility….”

by Ajamu Baraka

2012-09-27, Issue 599

Pambazuka

Syria is just the latest in a long line of international crimes perpetrated by Western powers. But what makes the crimes in Syria, as those in Libya, even more offensive, is the cynical use of human rights to advance the diabolical interests of Western imperialism.

As the corporate media beat the drums of war with Syria, led this time by CNN and the New York Times with support from the rear coming from the confused white left/liberal likes of Democracy Now, a now familiar line is conjured up to rationalize intervention – humanitarian intervention as a basis to exercise the ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P). David Gergen, the ‘soft neocon’ advisor to both republican and democratic presidents, made the claim on CNN recently that human rights groups would love to see the US intervene in Syria. A claim that is probably accurate for the US-based white, middle-class human rights mainstream. But this position certainly does not represent the positions of the growing, but largely ignored, ‘new human rights movement’ of grassroots organizations of people of color, informed by an African American radical human rights tradition, [1] who are reclaiming and redefining human rights as an anti-oppression, anti-imperialist ‘people-centered’ movement. But before I touch on this new movement let me briefly explore how this new version of the white man’s burden emerged to become the main device for mobilizing public opinion in the US to support war in the guise of humanitarianism.

In a meticulous examination of thousands of national security documents, James Peck demonstrated empirically what many of us already understood from our position in the margins of the human rights movement and from direct experiences with the US settler state. And that was that the human rights idea was severed from its radical potential in the late 1940s and early 1950s, co-opted by ruling class forces in the US and Western Europe in 1970s as a weapon in the ideological battles of the Cold War and had become a ‘new language of power designed to promote American foreign policy’ with little to do with human rights and everything to do with providing a rationale for protecting and advancing US and Western imperialism. [2] Why was the human rights idea important for US propagandists?

Before the 1990s it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to persuade the American people to support intervention into another state with the claim that the intervention was necessary to protect lives or human rights.

The idealism of former President Ronald Reagan’s ‘moral’ crusades against Communism and the success of a new phenomenon in the post Cold War era – a North-South war in the form of the United Nations endorsed war against Iraq – suggested to the ruling elements that significant progress had been made moving public opinion away from the geo-political restraints imposed by the ‘Vietnam syndrome,’ (the irrational, from the point of view of the ruling elites, reluctance to support military actions outside of the US). However, it was still not certain that public opinion would support the violence and brutality of war if the terms and interests were more murky than the simple ‘good versus evil’ binary offered by the anti-Communism of the Cold War. What was needed in this period – when it seemed that growing numbers of people in the US would become more inwardly-looking, concerned with issues of domestic economic development, inequality, and environmental justice among a number of domestic issues – was an ideological weapon that would mask US geo-political and economic interests while simultaneously providing a moral rationale for US intervention. Human rights activists gave them the perfect weapon – humanitarian intervention to protect human rights.

FLASHBACK: Reporters Without Democracy

Media Watchdog as Democracy Manipulator (Part 4 of 4)

December 16, 2007

[The first two parts of this article firstly investigated Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ‘democratic’ funding ties, and then went on to look at the ‘democratic’ credentials of some of their current and former staff.  The third installment of this article extended this investigation and examined the ‘democratic’ ties of some of the earlier recipients of RSF’s annual Fondation de France Prize, and this concluding part of the article will now continue in this vein and examine the ‘democratic’ ties of some of RSF’s more recent prize winners. Finally, the article will conclude by offering some suggestions for how the issues raised within this article may be acted upon by progressive activists.]

Reporting on ETA

In 2000, Carmen Gurruchaga Basurto, a political reporter for El Mundo, a Madrid-based daily newspaper won the RSF award. Her biography notes that she “writes frequently about the Basque separatist group, ETA.” However, it goes on to note that because “Gurruchaga’s stories have so threatened the terrorist group… since 1984 it has waged a campaign against her, hoping to intimidate her into stopping reporting on their activities.” In 2001, Gurruchaga received awards from two ‘democratically’ connected organizations, Human Rights Watch (from whom she obtained a Hellman/Hammett Grant), and the International Women’s Media Foundation (from whom she was awarded their annual Courage Award).

Regime Change in Iran?

In 2001, Reza Alijani, the editor of Iran-e-Farda – an Iranian newspaper that was banned in 2000 – received RSF’s press freedom award. Although I cannot demonstrate that Alijani has any ‘democratic’ ties, one of his former Iran-e-Farda colleagues, Hojjatoleslam Hasan Yousefi Eshkevari, “was arrested on August 5, 2000 in connection with his participation at an academic and cultural conference held at the Heinrich Boll Institute in Berlin on April 7-9 [2000] entitled ‘Iran after the elections,’ at which political and social reform in Iran were publicly debated”. This is significant because the German political foundations (Stiftungen) are according to Stefan Mair (2000) “without a doubt among the oldest, most experienced and biggest actors in international democracy assistance”. Indeed NED historian David Lowe writes that these Stiftungen provided an “important model for democracy assistance” which helped catalyse the creation of the US’s own democracy promoting organ, the NED.[1]

Armed with this knowledge it is perhaps not so astonishing that the Iranian government would choose to imprison many of the activists who participated in the aforementioned Heinrich Boll conference. Furthermore, it is also predicable that some of the other conference attendees would have ties to the NED and the democracy manipulators: these activists included Akbar Ganji (who in 2000 received an International Press Freedom Award from the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, that is, the group that manages the ‘democratically’ linked IFEX network, and after spending six years in prison – after attending the conference – Ganji was awarded Rights and Democracy’s 2007 John Humphrey Freedom Award), Ali Afshari (who was a visiting fellow at the NED’s International Forum for Democratic Studies from October 2006 to February 2007), and Mehrangiz Kar (who from 2000 to 2001 held a senior fellowship with the Toda Institute for Global Policy and Peace Research, from October 2001 to August 2002 was a NED Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow, in late 2002 served as a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and between September 2005 and June 2006 was a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy).

A number of other Iranian journalists – who did not attend the Berlin conference – were also arrested in April 2000, and the two who can be linked to the ‘democracy’ community are Mashallah Shamsolvaezin (who in 2000 then received the Committee to Protect Journalists’ International Press Freedom Award), [2] and Emadeddin Baqi (who in 2004 was awarded the Civil Courage Prize, and in 1999 co-wrote a series of articles with Akbar Ganji criticizing the government which “galvanized the public and, within one year of their publication, forced the closing by the government of nearly every reform newspaper in the country”).

Environmental ‘Democracy’ for Russia

The 2002 RSF Fondation de France Prize was awarded to Russian journalist Grigory Pasko, who at the time of receiving the award was serving a prison sentence for exposing the dumping of radioactive waste by the Russian fleet in the Sea of Japan, “expos[ing] corruption inside the fleet” and pass[ing] on public information about both issues to Japanese journalists”. Pasko was eventually set free in 2003, and in 2004 he became the editor-in-chief of the Environmental Rights Center’s (otherwise known as Bellona) Environment and Rights Journal – which has been published since February 2002 and is supported by the NED.

Bringing Human Rights to Haiti, Zimbabwe, and Morocco

In 2003 RSF Fondation de France Prize was given to the following individuals and groups, exiled Haitian journalist, Michèle Montas, to the Zimbabwean newspaper, The Daily News, and to the Moroccan journalist, Ali Lmrabet.

In addition, to being a former director of Radio Haiti Inter, the first RSF winner, Michèle Montas, is also a director of the National Coalition for Haitian Rights – a group that was initially known as the National Emergency Coalition for Haitian Refugees when it was created in 1982. Two of the better known (now deceased) ‘democracy promoting’ founders of the NCHR are Lane Kirkland (who is a former Rockefeller Foundation trustee, and from 1979 to 1995 served as the president of the AFL-CIO – which is a core NED grantee) and Bayard Rustin (who was a former chairman of the executive committee of Freedom House, and former president of the NED-funded A. Philip Randolph Institute). [3] Other notable former directors of NCHR include Michael H. Posner (who is the president of Human Rights First), Michele D. Pierre-Louis (who is the Executive Director of FOKAL which “is the Open Society Institute foundation in Haiti”), and Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. (who is a former director of the Rockefeller Foundation).

The current executive director of NCHR is Jocelyn McCalla, who has held this position since 1988 (except for a one year break in 2002) and presently serves on Human Right Watch’s ‘democratically’ connected Americas Advisory Board. Other current NCHR directors with ‘democratic’ ties include Mark Handelman (who is a director of the NED-funded International Campaign for Tibet), Max J. Blanchet (who is a director of the Lambi Fund of Haiti which although progressive is a chapter of USAID-funded Partners of the Americas), Muzaffar A. Chishti, (who is the director of the Migration Policy Institute’s office at New York University School of Law), and Herold Dasque (who is the executive director of the progressive Haitian American United for Progress, but is also connected to Dwa Fanm – a group which has two directors who have previously worked with George Soros’ Open Society Institute).

The second recipient of the 2003 RSF Fondation de France Prize was the Zimbabwean newspaper, The Daily News. This paper was launched by Geoffrey Nyarota in 1999, and it “quickly became the largest selling and most influential newspaper” in Zimbabwe. Therefore, it is significant to note that Nyarota – who “now lives in exile in the United States from where he publishes thezimbabwetimes.com” –was awarded the Committee to Protect Journalists International Press Freedom Award in 2001. In addition, the following year he received the World Association of Newspapers Golden Pen of Freedom award, from 2004 to 2005 he served as a fellow at the US-based Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, and he is presently a director of the World Press Freedom Committee. [4] (The Daily News closed operations in 2004 after “constant harassment by state monitors” and is now being published by the Amnesty International’s Irish Section.)

The third RSF prize for 2003 was awarded to the Moroccan journalist and editor of Demain magazine, Ali Lmrabet, while he was “serving a three-year jail sentence, in part for publishing cartoons critical of King Mohammed VI”. However, while Lmrabet was sentenced in May that year he was released from prison one month after he received the RSF award (which he obtained in December 2003). Here it is perhaps relevant to note that he is presently a member of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights, although he does not appear to hold any leadership role. This is significant because this association is a member of a broader network known as the International Federation for Human Rights – a group whose work is supported by Rights and Democracy, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, the Ford Foundation, and the Heinrich Boll Foundation.

Promoting ‘Democracy’ in Algeria, China, and Mexico

Three RSF awards were distributed in 2004. The first recipient of the RSF prize was Algerian journalist Hafnaoui Ghoul, who at the time was a correspondent for the daily paper El Youm and was head of the regional office of the Algerian Human Rights League (LADDH). Ghoul’s affiliation to the latter group is noteworthy because LADDH received their first grant from the NED in 2002, and then received further NED grants in both 2004 and 2005.

The second person to receive a RSF award in 2004 was the “former Beijing University philosophy teacher Liu Xiaobo, who heads the Independent Writers’ Association”. At the time of receiving the award Xiaobo was also the chair of the Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPC), whose members include two members of the editorial board of the NED-funded magazine, Beijing Spring, Kuide Chen and Zheng Yi. It is also significant that Louisa Coan Greve (who is the senior program officer for Asia for the NED) congratulated Xiaobo on receiving his RSF prize, and noted that the award “also honors the ICPC itself, and NED is gratified and humbled to be a supporter of those efforts.” [5]

Finally, the third winner of the RSF’s 2004 award was the weekly newspaper Zeta – a Mexican paper which was cofounded by the 1998 RSF award nominiee J. Jesus Blancornelas. Blancornelas is currently Zeta’s editor in chief, and his previous nomination for the RSF prize is no accident, as throughout his career he has been showered with numerous journalism awards, the earliest of which appears to be the Committee to Protect Journalists International Press Freedom Award which he received in 1995. Zeta appears to have quite an affinity with the Committee to Protect Journalists, because in 2007, Zeta’s director, Navarro Bello, was also awarded the Committee to Protect Journalists International Press Freedom Award.

A Helping Hand for Somali, Afghanistan, and China

In 2005, Omar Faruk Osman received the RSF award on behalf of National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ). This is significant because in 2002 Osman was elected as the secretary-general of the Somali Journalists Network (SOJON), which under his guidance was transformed into NUSOJ. This group is linked to the NED in a number of ways. In 2005 they obtained a grant from the NED to train journalists and “nominate journalists as National Press Freedom Protectors to monitor free press abuses”, while in the same year the International Federation of Journalists received a separate grant from the NED to work with them to organize a journalism conference. More recently, in 2006, Osman “was chosen to be a member of the international jury of the RSF Press Freedom Award”.

Other winners of the RSF’s 2005 Fondation de France Press Freedom Award include the Afghanistan-based Tolo TV (which was launched in 2004 with starter funds provided by USAID, and is reported to be the “most popular station in Kabul” boasting of a “81 percent share of the market”), and New York Times contributor, Zhao Yan.

Zhao Yan is a journalist who worked for China Reform Magazine (from 2002 to March 2004), and has also written for the NED-funded Human Rights in China. Yan stopped working for the China Reform Magazine in March 2004 and “the magazine was subsequently shut down by the government in December 2004”. However, just before the magazine closed down Yan was arrested by the Chinese government for allegedly disclosing state secrets, and then kept in prison until September 2007.

Note that the China Reform Magazine is linked, albeit tenuously, to a NED-supported organization through Professor Tiejun Wen, who is based at the Renmin University of China and was formerly the editor-in-chief for China Reform Magazine. The NED link arises through Professor Wen’s employment as the chief-economist of the China Macroeconomics Network, where he is also a member of their expert group of “more than 130 renowned Chinese macroeconomists” known as The Macrochina Economists 100. It is significant that three other members of this elite group of macroeconomists currently work for the Beijing-based Unirule Institute of Economics – an organization that has received four grants from the NED (which were channelled via the Center for International Private Enterprise in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999): these three macroeconomists are the Unirule’s president and co-founder Mao Yushi, their director Sheng Hong, and the Institute’s director-general Zhang Shuguang. [6]

Democracy for Four: Burma, Cuba, Russian, the and Democratic Republic of Congo

In 2006 there were four RSF laureates, the Burmese journalist U Win Tin, the Cuban writer Guillermo Farinas Hernandez, the newspaper Novaya Gazeta (Russia), and the group Journaliste En Danger (Democratic Republic of Congo).

U Win Tin, a former member of the central executive committee of the National League for Democracy (where he acted as their secretary), and a close friend of former RSF awardee San San Nweh, received the 2006 RSF press freedom prize. He has been in prison since 1989 because of his affiliation to Burma’s main opposition party, and while San San Nweh was released from prison in 2001, he still languishes behind bars today. As mentioned previously, in 2001 the World Association of Newspapers awarded U Win Tin its annual press freedom prize.

Another recipient of RSF’s 2006 award was the Cuban cyber-dissident Guillermo Farinas Hernandez, who heads the small Cubanacán Press news agency. As before, RSF support of Cuban dissidents is hardly surprising given the financial support they receive from the NED-funded Center for a Free Cuba, thus it is also not so astonishing that the NED-funded CubaNet media project would publish Guillermo’s work.

The Russian biweekly newspaper Novaya Gazeta is now most famous for formerly being home to Anna Politkovskaya (the journalist who was murdered in October 2006), a journalist whose work was recently recognized by the NED who awarded her one of their 2007 Democracy Awards. [7] In addition, in September 2007 Dmitry Muratov, the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, was given the Committee to Protect Journalists International Press Freedom Award.

RSF’s “partner organization” Journaliste En Danger (JED), is a member of the IFEX network, was founded in 1997, and is headed by journalists Donat M’Baya Tshimanga and Tshivis Tshivuadi. In what might be considered a conflict of interest, Tshimanga – who is presently JED’s president – also serves on the RSF’s international jury for their Press Freedom Award (and has done so since at least 2002). Also in 2004, Tshivuadi, who is the secretary general of JED, attended an inter-regional workshop that was convened by the NED-linked Panos Institute. [8]

Ending Media Interference Now

It is very dangerous when press freedom organizations get themselves politically compromised by accepting payment from any government. It is really vital that all such organizations are truly independent.” UK National Union of Journalists

While this article had not demonstrated that RSF receives funding from any government, it has shown how RSF has received funding from the Congressionally funded NED, and it has illustrated how RSF’s work is highly integrated with that of the ‘democracy promoting’ community, much of which is linked to the activities of the NED. Whether RSF is being manipulated to serve as a useful tool of the ‘democracy promoters’, or whether it is itself guiding the media-related priorities of the global ‘democratic’ community is beside the point. What is certain is that RSF’s activities are intimately entwined with those of the NED. The revelations in this article alone therefore provide more than enough reasons for disbanding RSF immediately. However, this is unlikely to happen in the near future given the useful role that RSF currently provides for elite interests determined on promoting low-intensity neoliberal forms of democracy globally.

Undoubtedly future studies will furnish further details concerning RSF’s less than noble ‘democratic’ liaisons, but the question to ask is, will this be enough to close it down permanently, or to even delegitimize their work in the corporate media? Unfortunately, it is all too obvious that such information, without determined action (in the form of grassroots activism) to back it up, will probably not affect the conduct of RSF’s work one iota. This can explained to a large extent by the bipartisan nature (but nonetheless highly political and regressive work) of most ‘democracy promoting’ efforts, which acts to shield their work from critical enquiry. We only have to look to the work of the core NED grantee, the AFL-CIO, to see that ongoing critical reports filed over the past few decades [27] – that have comprehensively documented the AFL-CIO’s involvement in implementing the US’s antidemocratic foreign policies – have had little visible effect on their practices. Indeed, a number of unionists and other activists joined together in the Worker to Worker Solidarity Committee (www.workertoworker.net) have been continuing to campaign to get the AFL-CIO to break any ties it has with the NED. To date, they have been unsuccessful, even though getting the California AFL-CIO State Convention – one-sixth of the entire membership at the time – to unanimously repudiate the AFL-CIO foreign policy program in 2004. At the 2005 National AFL-CIO Convention in Chicago, the AFL-CIO leadership first changed the California resolution to praising their Solidarity Center’s work, and then actively refused to allow anyone to speak on the convention floor in favour of the actual California resolution condemning AFL-CIO foreign policy.

On a more positive note, ideally, the results of this paper will help initiate further critical inquiries into the democracy manipulators colonization of journalism organizations. Yet it is surely an indictment of media scholars and journalists that similar studies have not been conducted years ago. That said, perhaps this judgement is overly harsh, as ignorance concerning antidemocratic funding seems to be a problem of progressive groups’ more generally. Indeed, progressive activists’ seem to have become so fixated on critiquing their ideological opponents that they have neglected to watch the right-ward slide of their would-be-allies. This tactical lapse appears to have left democratic media organizations open to the insidious cooptive assaults waged by those intent on promoting a polyarchal public sphere.

One way to counter the democracy manipulators cynical use of journalism against democracy is for progressive groups to thoroughly investigate the activities of each and every media group working to strengthen the public sphere. This would be a simple project if journalists and media scholars across the world critically examined the work of their local journalism organizations. In this way, a global database might be built up which would enable progressive scholars, activists, and journalists, to lift the rhetorical veil that has so far shielded many media groups’ from criticism. Completion of such studies will then enable keen media reformers to support (and where necessary create new) truly participatory journalism organizations that can effectively challenge the corporate medias’ global hegemony.

 

[Michael Barker is a doctoral candidate at Griffith University, Australia. He can be reached at Michael.J.Barker [at] griffith.edu.au. All four parts of this article and some of his other recent articles can be found right here.[

 

Endnotes

[1] By the 1990s Germany’s Stiftungen or party foundations, “had resident representatives in more than 100 countries and field offices in some of them for well over 30 years. Between 1962 and 1997 they handled in total over DM4.5 billion reaching around DM290 million annually by the 1990s. Although in the period before 1990 it is debatable how much can be called democracy support rather than activities primarily intended to meet other purposes  In Pinto-Duschinsky’s words they were ‘powerful instruments not only for promoting democracy, but also for furthering German interests and contacts’.” Stefan Mair, Germany’s Stiftungen and Democracy Assistance: Comparative Advantages, New Challenges, In: Peter J. Burnell (ed.) Democracy assistance: International Co-operation for Democratization (London, Frank Cass: 2000), pp.128-149.

Heinrich Boll representative, Sascha Müller-Kraenner, was also a signatory to a recent letter (dated November 11, 2004) which was sent by the NED to Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez to urge him “to reconsider the prosecution of the leadership of Sumate, as well as the proposal to criminalize democracy assistance from abroad”. Sumate is the Venezuelan group that received assistance from the NED to facilitate the unsuccessful ouster of Chavez in 2002.

[2] Another recipient of the Committee to Protect Journalists’ International Press Freedom Award in 2000 was Steven Gan who at the time was the co-founder and editor of the online publication Malaysiakini, a publication which was launched in 1999 by the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (a group that since their founding in 1999 has received annual grants from the NED to support their work in Malaysia).

[3] Also see Tom Barry, ‘The New Crusade of the Democratic Globalists’, International Relations Center, August 3, 2005; Other NCHR leaders in the early 1980s included Father Antoine Adrien, Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Ira Gollobin, Vernon Jordan, Rev. Benjamin Hooks, Rep. Shirley Chisholm, and Bishop Paul Moore.

[4] In 2006 Geoffrey Nyaro published the book Against the Grain: Memoirs of a Zimbabwean Newsman, and in 2006 he also attended the 7th International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees – a conference that was also attended by the NED’s president Carl Gershman.

[5] http://www.cicus.org/news/newsdetail.php?id=3514 Accessed December 2006.

[6] The Unirule Institute president, Mao Yushi, while based at the Unirule Institute between 1996 and 1997 was also an executive officer for the NED-linked Chinese Economists Society, and “[i]n November 2004, Mao was elected by the International Business Review as one of the ten most influential economists in China”. Other well-known ‘democratic’ funders of Unirule’s work include the major liberal philanthropist the Ford Foundation, the Institute for International Economics (whose most ‘democratic’ directors are David Rockefeller and George Soros), “many foreign embassies in Beijing”, and “international public institutions, such as World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank and African Development Bank”. For further analysis of the Unirule Institute’s ‘democratic’ ties see, Michael Barker, Promoting a Low Intensity Public Sphere: American Led Efforts to Promote a ‘Democratic Media’ Environment in China. A paper to presented at the China Media Centre Conference (Brisbane, Australia: Creative Industries Precinct, 5-6 July 2007).

[7] Novaya Gazeta: “The privately-owned newspaper in which the staff holds 51% of the shares, saw two political figures take over 49% of its capital in June 2006. They were the former Soviet president and originator of glasnost (openness), Mikhail Gorbachev, and Alexander Lebedev, wealthy businessman and member of the Duma.”

[8] The Panos Institute received one grant from the NED in 1997, while more recently in September 2007, the NED’s “Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) and Panos London launched the Panos Institute’s report entitled At the Heart of Change: The Role of Communication in Sustainable Development.”

The Ambiguous Avaaz

Originally published in Italian by il manifesto

TERRA TERRA – Marinella Correggia

2012.03.06

In 2011 the organization Avaaz, which calls itself the “global civic organization” and promotes activism on the Internet, has stood for two highly successful initiatives: the demand for international intervention “to protect civilians” in Libya and the ‘ support for the struggle of some indigenous groups in Bolivia against government plans to build a road in Tipnis (National Park Isidore Secure Indigenous Territory).

In the Libyan case, Avaaz has acted very quickly, good for taking the media lies about the “massacre of thousands of civilians by Gaddafi.” We have not seen subsequently make appeals to stop the war or NATO to protect civilians and Tawergha of Sirte. (It is now very active – even how to request funds – the demonization of the Syrian regime).