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National Endowment for Democracy and affiliated groups
NED Covert Action Cuba, China, Russia, VN

By R. McGehee, CIABASE, 14 January 1996

The below posting on the voting in the United Nations to condemn Cuba's human rights record fits in the worldwide pattern of the U.S. using "human rights abuses" as an excuse for political action operations. Human rights has replaced "Communist Conspiracy," as the generic catch phrase for U.S. political subversion.
We note that the National Endowment for Democracy, a U.S. government-funded entity, has assumed many of the politcal action responsibilities of the CIA. In NED's annual reports it lists extensive human rights organizations it has created and funded -- sometimes it funds multiple human rights organizations or activities in one country.
In A CIABASE update report covering the period from July through December 1995, it was noted that NED was funding political action operations in China, Vietnam and Russia and that these countries had protested NED's subversive operations -- which had used "human rights" guises.
Some of the entries on NED operations related to CUBA are listed below.
Cuba, 95-96 61 out of 185 nations voted with u.s. In condemning cuba's Human rights record - 33 percent. Of the other nations 23 voted against the Resolution and 73 abstained. Us lost by 96 to 61. Same proposal will be Voted on again in next un assembly. Another element noted by observers was The clear alignment between developed and undeveloped nations - the north And the south. Seventy-five percent of the anti-cuban votes came from us Allies or developed areas, but only fifteen percent of the 128 third world Nations did so. Between 1992 and 1995 support for cuba has increased from 17 to 23. Cuban rep. Jose fernandez defended cuba's clean human rights Record and accused the us govt of moral duplicity in promoting this type of Resolution while denying cuba access to food and medicine. Email jclancy 1/12/96
The national endowment for democracy (ned) is the reagan adm's efforts to Influence foreign journalists ala the cia in the fifties. The only Difference is that the gvt has found a new way to launder the money. In 9/84 ned gave leonard sussman's freedom house $200,000. Fh is a Conservative human rights org. To set up a net of democratic opinion end the isolation of democratic-minded intellectuals and Journalists in the third world. The idea to send articles to regional Editors on each continent to reprint the article. Ten to 12 articles each Month sent to 350 journalists in 50 countries. Authors of articles Neoconservatives. Articles sent to nicaragua from leiken, arturo cruz and Pedro chamorro. Fh also disseminated an attack on people in jamaica, an Investigation of the far left in australia and a feature on west europe's Peace groups' relations with the plo. All of the article on s. Africa have Argued against disinvestment. Articles on afghanistan, tibet, angola, Poland, grenada, ethiopia, the ukraine and cuba have been distributed. Fh Recv an additional $175,000 to operate the exchange. The nation 5/24/86 720
Cuba, 93-95 Mas canosa of the cuban american national foundation (canf) Was instrumental in pushing reagan adm to create ned. Canf received one of Institution's first grants. Between 83-88 canf received 390,000 in ned Grants. Ned and usaid programs to bring democracy to cuba - most money for Radio and tv marti and an array of anti-castro groups both inside and Outside of cuba receive ned funds. Ned projects include cuban committee for Human rights whose activity designed at hastening castro's departure from Power. Center for cuban democracy published newsletter un solo pueblo and Covers travel expenses of cuban opposition leader to international Conferences. Info bureau of human rights movements in cuba maintains Contact with dissident groups in cuba. Free trade union institute funds American institute for free labor development's programs. Freedom house Distributes books and assistance to cuban opposition groups. U.s. Gvt's Policy has hindered, not aided democratization process and supports most Extreme and undemocratic elements. Democracy backgrounder 9/95 3-8
Cuba, 60-93 Article, "the exiles in miami call the shots in washington, Cuba obsession," by jane franklin. Mentions cuban democracy act, Cuban-american national foundation (canf), led by jorge mas canosa. In 60 Mas was a mere underling in cia plan for bay of pigs invasion. Nexus of Cia, business and politics made mas a valuable instrument for reagan adm. Reagan's first national security adviser, richard allen, was instrumental In creating cuban-american national foundation, a tax-exempt org. Mas Shaped canf to fit white house agenda and reagan adm appointed him virtual President of cuban exile community. One of mas pet ventures was radio marti Funded by u.s. Gvt. Presidential advisory board for radio and tv marti Headed by mas canosa. A typical message urges cubans to get out pans, take To streets, and demand food, freedom, and coming of mas. Ned contributed Hundreds of thousands to canf front groups-the european coalition for human Rights in cuba for example. Ins in project exodus allows cubans from 3rd Countries to enter u.s. If canf sponsors them. Torricelli, chair of house Subcommittee on hemisphere affairs, collaborated with mas in drafting cuban Democracy act. Act outlaws trade with cuba by u.s. Subsidiaries in 3rd Countries. The progressive 7/93 18-22
Cuba, 84-87 Radio swan used armando valladares who when released from a Cuban prison swan falsely depicted him as paralyzed with his sponsors Sending him everywhere as a victim of castro tyranny. He then made u.s. Ambassador to u.n. On human rights matters. Ridenour, r. (1991). Back fire: The cia's biggest burn 35
Cuba, 84-88 Ned/cuban american national foundation to assist International coalition on human rights in cuba (ichrc). Directed by Armando valladares - rcvd previous ned grants in 84 and 86. Has a net of Citizen committees in europe and latin america. In 3/88 u.n. Human rights Commission directed a u.n. Delegation visit cuba. Ichrc formed work Commission, compiled extensive evidence, and organized an international Delegation to travel to cuba. National endowment for democracy annual Report 87 53,88 37
Cuba, 91 U.n. Appointed rep to observe human rights in cuba. Cuban amb Says initiative result of u.s.'s aggressive policy. U.n. Human rights Commission in geneva adopted resolution requesting action. Washington post 7/3/91 a23
Cuba, 92 Cuba's supreme court upheld death sentences against 2 cuban Exiles. Secretary state baker asked cuba to show mercy. Cuban gvt arrested Thee leading members of the committee for human rights, brothers gustavo And sebastian arcos and jesus yanes pelletier. Washington times 1/17/92 a9
Cuba, 92 Cuban police seize elizardo sanchez santa cruz head of the cuban Commission for human rights and national reconciliation. Washington times 10/11/92 a9
Cuba, 93 Ned, cuban committee for human rights received a ned grant. National endowment for democracy newsletter 7/93 10
Cuba, 94 Grant via freedom house to support human rights and dissident Organizations inside cuba, including the distribution in cuba of books and To provide info to international human rights bodies and the press. National endowment for democracy annual report 94 83
Cuba, 94 Grant via info bureau of the human rights movement in cuba to Maintain contact with dissident groups in cuba, and to disseminate info on Human rights in cuba. National endowment for democracy annual report 94 83
Cuba. Armando vallardes, head of the international coalition for human Rights (ichr) in cuba is prohibited by terms of ned grant from lobbying in U.s. Yet in 85 and 86, while in employ of the cuban american national Foundation (canf), vallardes testified before congressional subcommittees And collected signatures on a letter urging president reagan to support the Nicaraguan contras. Resource center groupwatch project
Cuba, 91 Cuban democratic convergence, a coalition of half a dozen human Rights and dissident organizations, called for democratic elections and Political amnesty just days before communist party officials met in a Convention on 11 oct 91. Washington post 10/8/91 a15
Cuba. Cuban american national foundation (canf) has used ned grants to Create and finance an international coalition for human rights in cuba. Project is based in madrid and disseminates info about alleged human rights Violations in cuba. Canf selected armando valladares, a poet and reportedly A police thug for batista, who was released from jail in cuba. Resource Center groupwatch project
Cuba, 84-86 Cuban american national foundation funded by ned to establish Citizen committees in european countries. Some already in sweden and spain - together all will constitute european coalition for human rights in cuba. Armando valladares is prime mover. Some now in france, spain, sweden, Norway and switzerland. Distributed thousands booklets and published books. National endowment for democracy annual report reports 84,85,86
Cuba, 88 Ned/human rights project to produce film "nobody listened," Produced by almendros and jorge ulla. Film indicts cuba on human rights. National endowment for democracy annual report 88 38
Cuba, 89-91 Ned, cuban american national foundation, for continued Assistance to international coalition for human rights in cuba. 1989 $100,000, 1991 $100,000. National endowment for democracy annual report 89 32, 90 39, 91 58-59
Cuba, 89 Ned, cuban american national foundation, to support an american Counterpart to havana-based cuban committee for human rights to disseminate Human rights info inside cuba and abroad. $20,000. National endowment for Democracy annual report 89 32
Cuba, 90 Ned, cuban american national foundation, for u.s. Counterpart to Havana based cuban committee for human rights in efforts to compile, Reproduce and disseminate human rights information and ideas. $30,000. National endowment for democracy annual report 90 39
Cuba, 90 Ned, puebla institute, to enable cuban committee for human Rights (cchr) to continue to focus international attention on cuba's Political, social and economic realities by sending delegation of cuban Rights activists to meet with broad spectrum of individuals in soviet union To discuss political developments in cuba. $20,000. National endowment for Democracy annual report 90 39
Cuba, 93 Ned/information bureau for human rights in cuba - to promote Opposition groups - working committee on human rights; association for Continental peace (asopazco), distribution of human rights material Internationally. National endowment for democracy annual report 9/93 69
Cuba, 93 Ned/iri grant to freedom house and jose marti liberal foundation To assist human rights activists. National endowment for democracy annual Report 9/93 69
Cuba, 93 Ned/center for cuban democracy grant to quarterly newspaper, un Solo pueblo. With puebla institute and cuban committee for human rights to Disseminate info and publication of bimonthly magazine siglo xxi. Support For el disidente, a monthly news digest of reprints of articles on cuba in International press for dissemination in cuba. [mighty wurlitzer-like op]. Aifld ops. National endowment for democracy annual report 9/93 68-9
83-94 Ned's discretionary grants aimed at nondemocratic countries such as Burma, china, cuba, and iraq. Grants small, and go to expatiate orgs to Publish books, newspapers, train journalists, carry out civic education, or Monitor human rights. Ned's discretionary grants reflect anti-communism - Particularly in asia where burma, china and vietnam get major attention. Ned projects cold war notion of democracy promotion as a crusade, a stark Struggle between good and evil. Ned's acts generally consistent with other U.s. Foreign policy and former senior gvt officials and other establishment Insiders with conventional view of america's world role. Foreign policy mag Summer (7) 94 129
Cuba, 91-92 International coalition for human rights in cuba funded by Ned published material for distribution in cuba. National endowment for Democracy annual report 1992 29
Latin america, 93 In 93, ned assigned high priorities to cuba and mexico - supporting transition to democracy. In cuba, ned funded human rights Activists and dissidents and media ops. In mexico ned supported opening up Political system through civic education, democratic training schools, open Forums and protection of civil liberties. In peru, ned supported public Education and a new constitution. In argentina, ned supported electoral Reform and training for women activists and a data bank on candidates. National endowment for democracy annual report 9/93 65
Latin america, 93 Clinton will make promotion of democracy and human Rights main elements of his policy. U.s. Will not seek to overthrow cuba. U.s. Will direct its aid and influence to advance human rights and Strengthen democratic institutions. Washington post 5/4/93 a15
Cuba, 94-95 Ned grants to cuban committee for human rights, freedom house For a human rights advocacy effort. Information bureau of human rights Movement in cuba to maintain contact with dissident groups. National Endowment for democracy newsletter summer 94-95
Cuba, 94 Grant via center for cuban democracy for quarterly newsletter, Un solo pueblo, maintain the presence of cuban opposition leaders at International cuban human rights conferences and meetings of international Political leaders; and, public info campaign re democratic reforms. National endowment for democracy annual report 94 82
Cuba, 94 Grant via cuban committee for human rights for miami-based Affiliate of human rights group in havana; publication of magazine siglo Xxi (twenty-first century); and to inform the media, the u.n. Human rights Commission in geneva, and others about the human rights situation and other Political developments in cuba. National endowment for democracy annual Report 94 82
Cuba, 94 The national endowment for democracy placed high priority on ops In cuba. Funding concentrated on supporting human rights groups and Dissidents reporting on conditions inside cuba and stimulating International solidarity for dissident movements. Specific acts included a Conference on how other countries transition experiences might apply to Cuba; international dissemination of info and editorials from inside the Island and distribution of info from the outside world; and promotion of Communication between cuban workers and the international labor movement. National endowment for democracy annual report 94 79
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
The “world’s democratic movement” is not another one of the transnational citizens’ movements, like the anti-globalization or anti-war movements, that prides itself on having no central structure, no dogma, or even an office.

This movement is highly organized, better funded, and even has its own “secretariat.” Unlike other leaderless but world-shaking transnational citizens’ networks that emerged after the end of the Cold War, the “world’s democratic movement” is not a product of global civil society but a quasi-governmental initiative based in Washington, DC.

Carl Gershman, the longtime president of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) where the movement is headquartered, says that the U.S.-government-backed World Movement for Democracy is “an imaginative new mechanism that can facilitate networking, sharing, and solidarity among democrats around the world.”

The leading voice of this “movement” is President George W. Bush. Celebrating the 20 th anniversary of the neoconservative-led National Endowment for Democracy on November 6, 2003, President Bush said, “We’ve reached another great turning point [in history], and the resolve we will show will shape the next stage of the world democratic movement.”

Whereas the democratization strategy that President Ronald Reagan launched in 1982-83 targeted the Soviet Union and its “evil empire,” Bush has said that his administration’s democratization initiative would focus first on the Middle East, and that the “establishment of a free Iraq will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution.”

In the first State of the Union address of his second term, Bush took America’s self-imposed mission to spread democracy and freedom to new heights of idealism, committing the United States to the tasks of spreading democracy around the globe and “ending tyranny in our world.”

In keeping with the radical thrust of Bush’s foreign policy, the president often refers to this movement in military terms—“forward strategy of freedom” and “global democratic revolution.” Calling for a doubling of NED’s budget for its democratization work in the Middle East, the president declared, “The advance of freedom is the calling of our time. It is the calling of our country.”

NED and USAID Provide Political Aid Together with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Endowment for Democracy has functioned as an instrument of the U.S. government’s democratization strategy over the past two decades. Whereas USAID is an agency of the State Department, quasi-governmental NED is organized as a nonprofit but funded almost entirely by the U.S. government.

Since 1982, when President Reagan launched what he called a “crusade” to foster “free market democracies” and spread the a neoliberal version of the “magic of the marketplace,” both USAID and NED have channeled U.S. government development and public diplomacy funding into the democratization programs of the international institutes of the Republican and Democratic Parties, the AFL-CIO, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as a wide range of institutes, political parties, and nongovernmental organizations abroad.

As part of the Cold War, the U.S. government in 1947 began channeling political aid through the CIA to political parties, publications, policy institutes, academic institutions, and other nongovernmental actors. After Congress prohibited such covert funding in the 1970s, a U.S. government-funded task force called the Democracy Program, which was directed largely by neoconservatives, proposed a new political aid program that would overtly support the type of nongovernmental entities that previously received CIA funding.1

Soon after Ronald Reagan took office, the new administration put this proposal into action, assigning the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) and USAID as the chief sources of political funding. But rather than channeling the aid directly to foreign actors, the Reagan administration decided, in line with the Democracy Program proposal, that the “democracy-building” aid would flow through U.S. private organizations, mainly the newly created National Endowment for Democracy and its affiliates in the two political parties, labor, and business.

NED and other components of the Reagan administration’s democratization strategy were an attempt to revive the post-WWII international networks of congresses, publications, and intellectuals funded by the CIA, such as the Congress on Cultural Freedom, in which many neoconservative forerunners like Irving Kristol and Melvin Lasky were leading figures.

Since its first years NED’s “democracy-building” initiatives have had two main thrusts—one to promote U.S.-allied political actors against political parties and governments not closely aligned with the United States (such as Nicaragua, Haiti, Cuba, and Venezuela), and another to promote “free market democracy” in countries regarded as having an overly large government presence in the economy, notably in the “transitional” states of the former Soviet Union. As in the 1980s, when the U.S. government deployed NED to support surrogate “freedom fighters” in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, NED today is a central player in the new U.S.-led “global democratic revolution.”

The U.S. government’s funding for “democracy building” is closely tied to U.S. foreign policy priorities and generally goes to groups who fall in line with or at least do not oppose U.S. economic, diplomatic, and military initiatives.

“Network of Networks” In the mid-1990s, the U.S. government and NED concluded that the democracy-building strategy needed an overhaul. Taking its cue from the anti-globalization and other transborder citizens’ movements, NED began to establish networks of center-right foundations, research institutes, youth groups, parliamentarians, and nongovernmental organizations. In 1999 NED, with U.S. government and U.S. foundation support, organized the founding assembly of the World Movement for Democracy in New Delhi.

In the age of globalized communication and transnational cyber-networking, as exemplified by the anti-free trade movement, NED decided to start its own global citizens’ movement. Rather than just channeling U.S.-government funds to disparate groups, NED’s president Carl Gershman in 1999 established his office as the “secretariat” for a World Movement for Democracy.2

The movement’s objective is to “offer new ways to give practical help to democrats who are struggling to liberalize authoritarian systems and to consolidate emerging democracies.”3

According to NED, “The World Movement helps to fulfill one of the objectives of NED’s most recent strategic plan, namely ‘to create a community of democrats, drawn from the most developed democracies and the most repressive autocracies as well as everything in between, and united by the belief that the common interest is served by the gradual expansion of systems based on freedom, self-government, and the rule of law’.”

Just as the citizens’ global anti-globalization movement often described itself as a “movement of movements,” NED describes the World Movement for Democracy as a “network of networks,” that functions as an umbrella organization for an array of affiliated international networks of citizens’ groups, parliamentarians, research institutions, business groups, and foundations. What distinguishes this movement from citizens’ networks is that it was created as a U.S. government-supported initiative.

U.S. taxpayer revenues cover the cost of having NED function as the logistical and infrastructural secretariat for this multifaceted democracy movement. Annual State Department allocations cover the four NED staff members who oversee the network from their positions in the office of NED’s president. Most of the project funding for NED’s WMD, however, comes from right-wing foundations in the United States, led by the Bradley Foundation, which has provided the start-up and general support funding for an array of other neoconservative foreign policy projects, including the Project for the New American Century.

Although the World Movement for Democracy states that it “does not advocate positions on particular political issues,” the network’s website and publications, such as its ezine DemocracyNews, largely reflect the U.S. government’s foreign policy positions with respect to countries such as Venezuela and Cuba.

NED has created regional portals for participants in the network. For example, for Latin America and the Caribbean there is the “Portal de la democracia de las Américas,” which opens to the webpage of the Red Ciudadana por la Democracia en las Américas (Citizens’ Network for Democracy in the Americas).4

In addition to its regional portals to “citizens’ networks,” NED through the World Movement for Democracy has established regional forums with more restricted participation, such as the Democracy Forum in East Asia and the Africa Democracy Forum.

Also under the umbrella of the World Movement for Democracy are several other global “pro-democracy” networks that NED has been developing over the past decade, including International Movement of Parliamentarians for Democracy, Network of Young Democracy Activists, Democracy Information and Communications Technology Group, and the Network of Democracy Research Institutes. The latter, which includes as members think tanks and policy institutes throughout the world, receives research and technical assistance from NED’s Democracy Resource Center.

As part of its effort to function as a nexus for a “network of networks,” NED in 1995 convened a meeting in Taipei, Taiwan in conjunction with Taiwan’s Institute for National Policy Research that aimed to spark the creation of “democracy foundations” around the world. In 2003, Taiwan, “following a period of consultation with NED,” created the Taiwan Democracy Foundation.5

The Institute for National Policy Research is a think tank that is closely associated not only with NED but with the American Enterprise Institute, the premier neoconservative think tank. Today, there are three dozen foundations that participate in the NED-initiated World Conference of Democracy-Support Foundations.

One of the most recent movement-building exercises of NED is the Movement of Parliamentarians for Democracy, founded in Washington in February 2003. Among the main congressional supporters of this NED networking were Christopher Cox (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY), both closely associated with numerous neoconservative organizations.

A Neocon Product Neoconservatives inside and outside the Bush administration have been central players in an array of government-backed initiatives such as the World Movement for Democracy and the Community of Democracies, as well as in such strictly private democratization programs as that of the neocon American Enterprise Institute.

In early 2005 President Bush tapped neoconservative ideologue Elliott Abrams—infamous for his key role during the Reagan administration in the NED-funded efforts to support the Nicaraguan Contras—to direct his Global Democracy Initiative.

Penn Kemble, a longtime associate of Carl Gershman and Elliott Abrams and who, like Gershman, has his political roots in the Trotskyist Social Democrats/USA, served as deputy director of the now-defunct U.S. Information Agency, a stronghold of neoconservatives since the early 1980s. In 1999 President Clinton named Kemble the State Department’s special representative for the U.S.-led Community of Democracies Initiative, which established the Community of Democracies at a June 2000 meeting in Warsaw.

NED and the World Movement for Democracy are also promoters of the Community of Democracies—which has been greeted with widespread skepticism by many European nations who regard it as a U.S. strategy to skirt UN authority. Addressing the meeting of the Community of Democracies last April, Condoleezza Rice said that this forum with its commitment to “principled multilateralism” was creating a “balance of power that favors freedom.”

NED’s new democracy initiatives aim to foster a transnational citizens’ network funded and guided by the U.S. government and right-wing foundations that will counter the anti-free trade and anti-imperialist citizens’ networks that have emerged in this age of globalized communications.

The close identification of the U.S.-sponsored democracy movement with U.S. foreign and military policy has made great strides forward in incorporating hundreds of citizens’ groups around the world.

Already there signs that the movement may prove counterproductive in the region that is the main target of NED’s democratization agenda. Throughout the Middle East, as in Cuba and Venezuela, democracy-building is getting a bad name since it is so closely associated with U.S. “regime-change” efforts by undemocratic means.

End Notes
  1. [/url] The Democracy Program, an extension of a USAID-funded organization called the American Political Foundation included business and USIA officials, but its key movers were the neoconservatives: Eugenia Kemble (sister of Penn Kemble), George Weigel (later with the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a signatory of the founding statement of the Project for the New American Century), Raymond Gastil of Freedom House, and Allen Weinstein (member of neocon-led Coalition for Democratic Majority and later president of the NED-funded Center for Democracy).
  2. “Building a Community of Democracies,” NED
  3. World Movement for Democracy
  4. World Movement for Democracy, Portal de la democracia en las Américas
  5. [url=] David Lowe, “Idea to Reality: NED at 20,” NED, 2003. Lowe is a NED vice president, specializing in government and external relations.

Tom Barry is the policy director of the International Relations Center (IRC), online at

For More Information Right Web Profiles:

Elliott Abrams

Penn Kemble

International Republican Institute

National Endowment for Democracy

Social Democrats/USA
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Very good piece, with good references...too bad the references lead to Amazon, rather than places on internet to download or view them, however.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
Indeed - I rate Laughland.
He wrote a very good book "The Tainted Source" on the dubious historical antecedents of the European "project" .
The Technique of a Coup d’État
by John Laughland*
The technique of a coup d’état, more recently also referred to as "coloured revolution", finds its origins in abundant literature dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. It was successfully applied by the U.S. neo-conservatives to set the stage for "regime change" in a number of former Soviet republics. However, the technique backfired when it was tried in a different cultural environment (Venezuela, Lebanon, Iran). John Laughland, who reported on some of these operations for the Guardian, sheds new light on this phenomenon.

[Image: transpix.gif]
[Image: transpix.gif] [Image: 1-891-0417a.jpg]Otpor logo - Serbian youth movement funded by the U.S. Government, which greatly contributed to the overthrow of Slobodan Miloševi?. In recent years, a number of "revolutions" have broken out all over the world.
In November 2003, the president of Georgia Edward Shevardnadze was overthrown following demonstrations, marches and allegations that the parliamentary elections had been rigged.
In November 2004, the "Orange Revolution" of demonstrations started in Ukraine as the same allegations were made, that elections had been rigged.
The result was that country was ripped away from its previous geopolitical role as a bridge between East and West, and put it on the path to becoming a fully-fledged member of NATO and the EU. Considering that Kievan Rus is the first Russian state, and that Ukraine has now been turned against Russia, this is a historic achievement. But then, as George Bush said, "You are either with us or against us." Although Ukraine had sent troops to Iraq, it was evidently considered too friendly to Moscow.
Shortly after the US and the UN declared that Syrian troops had to be removed from Lebanon, and following the assassination of Rafik Hariri, demonstrations in Beirut were presented as "the Cedar Revolution." An enormous counter-demonstration by Hezbollah, which is the largest political party in Syria, was effectively ignored while the TV replayed endlessly the image of the anti-Syrian crowd. In one particularly egregious case of Orwellian double-think, the BBC explained to its viewers that "Hezbollah, the biggest political party in Lebanon, is so far the only dissenting voice which wants the Syrians to stay." How can the majority be "a dissenting voice"?
After the "revolutions" in Georgia and Ukraine, many predicted that the same wave of "revolutions" would extend to the former Soviet states of Central Asia. So it was to be. Commentators seemed divided on what colour to label the uprising in Bishkek – was it a "lemon" revolution or a "tulip" revolution? They could not make up their minds. But on one thing, everyone was in agreement: revolutions are cool, even when they are violent. The Kyrgyz president, Askar Akayev, was overthrown on 24th March 2005 and protesters stormed and ransacked the presidential palace.
When armed rebels seized government buildings, sprung prisoners from gaol and took hostages on the night of 12th–13th May in the Uzbek city of Andijan (located in the Ferghana Valley, where the unrest had also started in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan) the police and army surrounded the rebels and a long standoff ensued. Negotiations were undertaken with the rebels, who kept increasing their demands. When government forces started to move on the rebels, the resulting fighting killed some 160 people including over 30 members of the police and army. Yet the Western media immediately misrepresented this violent confrontation, claiming that government forces had opened fire on unarmed protesters – "the people."
This constantly repeated myth of popular rebellion against a dictatorial government is popular on both the Left and the Right of the political spectrum. Previously, the myth of revolution was obviously the preserve of the Left. But when the violent putsch occurred in Kygyrzstan, The Times enthused about how the scenes in Bishkek reminded him of Eisenstein films about the Bolshevik revolution, The Daily Telegraph extolled the "power to the people," and the Financial Times used a well-known Maoist metaphor when it praised Kyrgyzstan’s "long march to freedom."
One of the key elements behind this myth is obviously that "the people" are behind the events, and that they are spontaneous. In fact, of course, they are often very highly organised operations, often deliberately staged for the media, and usually funded and controlled by transnational networks of so-called non-governmental organisations which are in turn instruments of Western power.
The literature on coups d’état
The survival of the myth of spontaneous popular revolution is depressing in view of the ample literature on the coup d’état, and on the main factors and tactics by which to bring one about.
It was, of course, Lenin who developed the organisational structure for overthrowing a regime which we now know as a political party. He differed from Marx in that he did not think that historical change was the result of ineluctable anonymous forces, but that it had to be worked for.
But it was probably Curzio Malaparte’s Technique of a Coup d’état which first gave very famous expression to these ideas. Published in 1931, this book presents regime change as just that – a technique. Malaparte explicitly took issue with those who thought that regime change happened on its own. In fact, he starts the book by recounting a discussion between diplomats in Warsaw in the summer of 1920: Poland had been invaded by Trostky’s Red Army (Poland having itself invaded the Soviet Union, capturing Kiev in April 1920) and the Bolsheviks were at the gates of Warsaw. The debate was between the British minister in Warsaw, Sir Horace Rumbold, and the Papal nuncio, Monsignor Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti – the man who was elected Pope as Pius XI two years later. The Englishman said that the internal political situation in Poland was so chaotic that a revolution was inevitable, and that the diplomatic corps therefore should flee the capital and go to Posen (Poznán). The Papal Nuncio disagreed, insisting that a revolution was just as possible in a civilised country like England, Holland or Switzerland as in a country in a state of anarchy. Naturally the Englishman was outraged at the idea that a revolution could ever break out in England. "Oh never!" he exclaimed – and was proved wrong because no revolution did break out in Poland, according to Malaparte because the revolutionary forces were simply not well organised enough.
This anecdote allows Malaparte to discuss the differences between Lenin and Trotsky, two practitioners of the coup d’état/revolution. Malaparte shows that the future Pope was right and that it was wrong to say that pre-conditions were necessary for a revolution to occur. For Malaparte, as for Trotsky, regime change could be promoted in any country, including the stable democracies of Western Europe, providing that there was a sufficiently determined body of men determined to achieve it.
Manufacturing consent
This brings us onto a second body of literature, concerning the manipulation of the media. Malaparte himself does not discuss this aspect but it is (a) of huge importance and (b) clearly a subset of the technique of a coup d’état in the way regime change is practised today. So important, indeed, is the control of the media during regime change that one of the main characteristics of these revolutions is the creation of a virtual reality. Control of this reality is itself an instrument of power, which is why in classic coups in a banana republic the first thing that the revolutionaries seize is the radio station.
People experience a strong psychological reluctance to accept that political events today are deliberately manipulated. This reluctance is itself a product of the ideology of the information age, which flatters people’s vanity and encourages them to believe that they have access to huge amounts of information. In fact, the apparent multifarious nature of modern media information hides an extreme paucity of original sources, rather as a street of restaurants on a Greek waterfront can hide the reality of a single kitchen at the back. News reports of major events very often come from a single source, usually a wire agency, and even authoritative news outlets like the BBC simply recycle information which they have received from these agencies, presenting it as their own. BBC correspondents are often sitting in their hotel rooms when they send despatches, very often simply reading back to the studio in London information they have been given by their colleagues back home off the wire. A second factor which explains the reluctance to believe in media manipulation is connected with the feeling of omniscience which the mass media age likes to flatter: to rubbish news reports as manipulated is to tell people that they are gullible, and this is not a pleasant message to receive.
There are many elements to media manipulation. One of the most important is political iconography. This is a very important instrument for promoting the legitimacy of regimes which have seized power through revolution. One only need think of such iconic events as the storming of the Bastille on 14th July 1789, the storming of the Winter Palace during the October revolution in 1917, or Mussolini’s March on Rome in 1922, to see that events can be elevated into almost eternal sources of legitimacy.
However, the importance of political imagery goes far beyond the invention of a simple emblem for each revolution. It involves a far deeper control of the media, and generally this control needs to be exercised over a long period of time, not just at the moment of regime change itself. It is essential indeed, for the official party line to be repeated ad nauseam. A feature of today’s mass media culture which many dissidents lazily and wrongly denounce as "totalitarian" is precisely that dissenting views may be expressed and published, but this is precisely because, being mere drops in the ocean, they are never a threat to the tide of propaganda.
Willi Münzenberg
One of the modern masters of such media control was the German Communist from whom Joseph Goebbels learned his trade, Willi Münzenberg. Münzenberg was not only the inventor of spin, he was also the first person who perfected the art of creating a network of opinion-forming journalists who propagated views which were germane to the needs of the Communist Party in Germany and to the Soviet Union. He also made a huge fortune in the process, since he amassed a considerable media empire from which he creamed off the profits.
Münzenberg was intimately involved with the Communist project from the very beginning. He belonged to Lenin’s circle in Zurich, and in 1917 accompanied the future leader of the Bolshevik revolution to the Zurich Hauptbahnhof, from whence Lenin was transported in a sealed train, and with the help of the German imperial authorities, to the Finland Station in St. Petersburg. Lenin then called on Münzenberg to combat the appalling publicity generated in 1921 when 25 million peasants in the Volga region started to suffer from the famine which swept across the newly created Soviet state. Münzenberg, who had by then returned to Berlin, where he was later elected to the Reichstag as a Communist deputy, was charged with setting up a bogus workers’ charity, the Foreign Committee for the Organisation of Worker Relief for the Hungry in Soviet Russia, whose purpose was to pretend to the world that humanitarian relief was coming from sources other than Herbert Hoover’s American Relief Administration. Lenin feared not only that Hoover would use his humanitarian aid project to send spies into the USSR (which he did) but also, perhaps even more importantly, that the world’s first Communist state would be fatally damaged by the negative publicity of seeing capitalist America come to its aid within a few years of the revolution.
After having cut his teeth on "selling" the death of millions of people at the hands of the Bolsheviks, Münzenberg turned his attention to more general propaganda activities. He amassed a large media empire, known as "the Münzenberg trust," which owned two mass circulation dailies in Germany, a mass circulation weekly, and which had interests in scores of other publications around the world. His greatest coups were to mobilise world opinion against America over the Sacco-Vanzetti trial (that of two anarchist Italian immigrants who were sentenced to death for murder in Massachusetts in 1921) and to counteract the Nazis’ claim in 1933 that the Reichstag fire was the result of a Communist conspiracy. The Nazis, it will be remembered, used the fire to justify mass arrests and executions against Communists, even though it now appears that the fire genuinely was started on his own by the man arrested in the building at the time, the lone arsonist Martinus van der Lubbe. Münzenberg actually managed to convince large sections of public opinion of the equal but opposite untruth to that peddled by the Nazis, namely that the Nazis had started the fire themselves in order to have a pretext for removing their main enemies.
The key relevance of Münzenberg for our own day is this: he understood the key importance of influencing opinion-formers. He targeted especially intellectuals, taking the view that intellectuals were especially easy to influence because they were so vain. His contacts included many of the great literary figures of the 1930s, a large number of whom were encouraged by him to support the Republicans in the Spanish civil war and to make that into a cause-célèbre of Communist anti-fascism. Münzenberg’s tactics are of primary importance to the manipulation of opinion in today’s New World Order. More then ever before, so-called "experts" constantly pop up on our TV screens to explain what is happening, and they are always vehicles for the official party line. They are controlled in various ways, usually by money or by flattery.
Psychology and the manipulation of opinion
There is a second body of literature, which makes a slightly different point from the specific technique which Münzenberg perfected. This concerns the way in which people can be made to react in certain collective ways by psychological stimuli. Perhaps the first major theoretician of this was Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, whose book Propaganda in 1928 said that it was entirely natural and right for governments to organise public opinion for political purposes. The opening chapter of his book has the revealing title – "Organising chaos" – and Bernays writes:
"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised opinions and habits of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country." [my italics]
The text continues: "We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ... In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons ... who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind."
Bernays says that, very often, the members of this invisible government do not even know who the other members are. Propaganda, he says, is the only way to prevent public opinion descending into dissonant chaos. Bernays continued to work on this theme after the war, editing Engineering consent in 1955, a title to which Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky alluded when they published their seminal Manufacturing Consent in 1988. The connection with Freud is important because, as we shall see later, psychology is an extremely important tool in influencing public opinion. Two of the contributors to Engineering consent make the point that every leader must play on basic human emotions in order to manipulate public opinion. For instance, Doris E. Fleischmann and Howard Walden Cutler write:
"Self-preservation, ambition, pride, hunger, love of family and children, patriotism, imitativeness, the desire to be a leader, love of play – these and other drives are the psychological raw materials which every leader must take into account in his endeavour to win the public to his point of view … To maintain their self-assurance, most people need to feel certain that whatever they believe about anything is true."
This was what Willi Münzenberg understood – the basic human urge for people to believe what they want to believe. Thomas Mann alluded to it when he attributed the rise of Hitler to the collective desire of the German people for "a fairy tale" over the ugly truths of reality.
Other books worth mentioning in this regard concern not so much modern electronic propaganda but the more general psychology of crowds. The classics in this regard are Gustave Le Bon’s work The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1895), Elias Canetti’s Crowds and Power (Masse und Macht) (1980); and Serge Tchakhotine’s Le viol des foules par la propagande politique (1939). All these books draw heavily on psychology and anthropology. There is also the magnificent oeuvre of one of my favourite writers, the anthropologist René Girard, whose writings on the logic of imitation (mimesis), and on collective acts of violence, are excellent tools for understanding why it is that public opinion is so easily motivated to support war and other forms of political violence.
The technique of opinion-forming
After the war, many of the techniques perfected by the Communist Münzenberg were adopted by the Americans, as has been magnificently documented by Frances Stonor Saunders’ excellent work, Who Paid the Piper?, published in America under the title The Cultural Cold War.
In minute detail, Stonor Saunders explains how, as the Cold War started, the Americans and the British started up a massive covert operation to fund anti-communist intellectuals. The key point is that much of their attention and activity was directed at left-wingers, in many cases Trotskyites who had abandoned their support for the Soviet Union only in 1939, when Stalin signed his non-aggression pact with Hitler, and in many cases people who had previously worked for Münzenberg. Many of the figures who were at this juncture between Communism and the CIA at the beginning of the cold war were future neo-conservatives luminaries, especially Irving Kristol, James Burnham, Sidney Hook and Lionel Trilling.
The left-wing and even Trotskyite origins of neo-conservatism are well-known – even if I still continue to be astonished by new details I discover, such as that Lionel and Diana Trilling were married by a rabbi for whom Felix Dzherzhinsky – the founder of the Bolshevik secret police, the Cheka (forerunner of the KGB), and the Communist equivalent of Heinrich Himmler – represented a heroic paragon. These left-wing origins are particularly relevant to the covert operations discussed by Stonor Saunders, because the CIA’s goal was precisely to influence left-wing opponents of Communism, i.e. Trotskyites. The CIA’s view was simply that right-wing anti-communists did not need to be influenced, much less paid. Stonor Saunders quotes Michael Warner when she writes:
"For the CIA, the strategy of promoting the Non-Communist Left was to become ’the theoretical foundation of the Agency’s political operations against Communism over the next two decades’."
This strategy was outlined in Arthur Schlesinger’s The Vital Center (1949), a book which represents one of the cornerstones of what was later to become the neo-conservative movement. Stonor Saunders writes:
"The purpose of supporting leftist groups was not to destroy or even dominate, but rather to maintain a discreet proximity to and monitor the thinking of such groups; to provide them with a mouthpiece so that they could blow off steam; and, in extremis, to exercise a final veto over their actions, if they ever got too ’radical’."
Many and varied were the ways in which this left-wing influence was felt. The USA was determined to fashion for itself a progressive image, in contrast to the "reactionary" Soviet Union. In other words, it wanted to do precisely what the Soviets were doing. In music, for instance, Nicholas Nabokov (the cousin of the author of Lolita) was one of the Congress’ main agents. In 1954, the CIA funded a music festival in Rome in which Stalin’s "authoritarian" love of composers like Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky was "countered" by unorthodox modern music inspired by Schoenberg’s twelve-tone system.
For Nabokov, there was a clear political message to be imparted by promoting music which announced itself as doing away with natural hierarchies …
Support for other progressives came when Jackson Pollock, himself a former Communist, was also promoted by the CIA. His daubs were supposed to represent the American ideology of "freedom" over the authoritarianism of socialist realist painting. (This alliance with Communists pre-dates the Cold War: the Mexican Communist muralist, Diego Rivera, was supported by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, but their collaboration ended abruptly when Rivera refused to remove a portrait of Lenin from a crowd scene painted on the walls of the Rockefeller Center in 1933.)
This cross-over between culture and politics was explicitly promoted by a CIA body which went under an Orwellian name, the Psychological Strategy Board. In 1956, it covertly promoted a European tour by the Metropolitan Opera, the political purpose of which was to encourage multiculturalism. Junkie Fleischmann, the organiser, said:
"We, in the United States, are a melting-pot and, by being so, we have demonstrated that peoples can get along together irrespective of race, colour or creed. Using the "melting-pot" or some such catch phrase for a theme we might be able to use the Met as an example of how Europeans can get along together in the United States and that, therefore, some sort of European Federation is entirely practicable."
This, by the way, is exactly the same argument employed by, among other people, Ben Wattenberg, whose book The First Universal Nation argues that America has a special right to world hegemony because she embodies all the nations and races of the planet. The same view has also been expressed by Newt Gingrich and other neo-cons.
Other themes promoted include some which are at the forefront of neo-conservative thinking today. First among these is the eminently liberal belief in moral and political universalism. Today, this is at the very heart of George W. Bush’s own foreign policy philosophy: he has stated on numerous occasions that political values are the same all over the world, and he has used this assumption to justify US military intervention in favour of "democracy." Back in the early 1950s, the director of the PSB (the Psychological Strategy Board was quickly referred to only by its initials, no doubt in order to hide its real name), Raymond Allen, had already arrived at this conclusion.
The principles and ideals embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are for export and … are the heritage of men everywhere. We should appeal to the fundamental urges of all men which I believe are the same for the farmer in Kansas as for the farmer in Punjab.
To be sure, it would be wrong to attribute the spread of ideas only to covert manipulation. They have their force in large-scale cultural currents, whose causes are multiple. But there is no doubt that the dominance of such ideas can be substantially facilitated by covert operations, especially since people in mass-information societies are curiously suggestible. Not only do they believe what they have read in the papers, they also think they have arrived at these conclusions themselves. The trick of manipulating public opinion, therefore, lies precisely in that which Bernays theorised, Münzenberg initiated, and which the CIA raised to a high art. According to CIA agent Donald Jameson:
"As far as the attitudes that the Agency wanted to inspire through these activities are concerned, clearly what they would like to have been able to produce were people who, of their own reasoning and conviction, were persuaded that everything the United States government did was right."
To put it another way, what the CIA and other US agencies were doing during this period was to adopt the strategy which we associate with the Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci, who argued that "cultural hegemony" was essential for socialist revolution.
Finally, there is a huge body of literature on the technique of disinformation. I have already referred to the important fact, originally formulated by Tchakotine (Chakotin), that the role of journalists and the media is key in ensuring that propaganda is constant: "Propaganda cannot take time off," he writes, thereby formulating one of the key rules of modern disinformation, which is that the required message must be repeated very frequently indeed if it is to pass. Above all, Tchakotine (Chakotin) says that propaganda campaigns must be centrally directed and highly organised, something which has become the norm in the age of modern political "spin": British Labour Members of Parliament, for instance, are not allowed to speak to the media without first asking permission from the Director of Communications in 10, Downing Street.
Sefton Delmer was both a practician and theoretician of such "black propaganda." Delmer created a bogus radio station which broadcasted from Britain to Germany during the Second World War, and which created the myth that there were "good" patriotic Germans who opposed Hitler. The fiction was sustained that the station was actually an underground German one, and was put on frequencies close to those of official stations. Such black propaganda has now become part of the US government’s armoury of ‘spin’: the New York Times revealed that the US government makes news reports favourable to its policies which are then carried on normal channels and presented as if they were the broadcast company’s own reports.
There are many other such authors, some of whom I have discussed in my column, "All News is Lies". But perhaps the most relevant to today’s discussion is Roger Mucchielli’s book, Subversion, published in French in 1971, which shows how disinformation had moved from being an auxiliary tactic in war to a principal one. The strategy had developed so far, he said, that the goal was now to conquer a state without even attacking physically, especially through the use of agents of influence inside it. This is essentially what Robert Kaplan proposed and discussed in his essay for The Atlantic Monthly in July/August 2003, "Supremacy by Stealth." One of the most sinister theoreticians of the New World Order and the American empire, Robert Kaplan, explicitly advocates the use of immoral and illegal power to promote US control of the whole world. His essay deals with the use of covert operations, military power, dirty tricks, black propaganda, hidden influence and control, opinion-forming and other things like political assassination, all subject to his overall call for "a pagan ethic," as the means to ensuring American domination.
The other key point about Mucchielli is that he was one of the first theoreticians of the use of bogus non-governmental organisations – or "front organisations" as they used to be known – for effecting internal political change in another state. Like Malaparte and Trotsky, Mucchielli also understood that it was not "objective" circumstances which determined the success or failure of a revolution, but instead the perception created of those circumstances by disinformation. He also understood that historical revolutions, which invariably presented themselves as the product of mass movements, were in fact the work of a tiny number of highly organised conspirators. In fact, again like Trotsky, Mucchielli emphasised that the silent majority must be rigorously excluded from the mechanics of political change, precisely because coups d’état are the work of the few and not the many.
Public opinion was the "forum" in which subversion was practised, and Mucchielli showed the different ways in which the mass media could be used to create a collective psychosis. Psychological factors were extremely important in this regard, he said, especially in the pursuit of important strategies such as the demoralisation of a society. The enemy must be made to lose confidence in the rightness of his own cause, while all effort must be made to convince him that his adversary is invincible.
The role of the military
One final historical point before we move onto a discussion of the present: the role of the military in conducting covert operations and influencing political change. This is something which some contemporary analysts are happy to admit is deployed today: Robert Kaplan writes approvingly of how the American military is and should be used to "promote democracy." Kaplan says deliciously that a phone call from a US general is often a better way of promoting political change in a third country than a phone call from the local US ambassador. And he approvingly quotes an Army Special Operations officer saying, "Whoever the President of Kenya is, the same group of guys run their special forces and the President’s bodyguards. We’ve trained them. That translates into diplomatic leverage."
The historical background to this has recently been discussed by a Swiss academic, Daniele Ganser, in his book, Nato’s Secret Army. His account begins with the admission made on 3rd August 1990 by Giulio Andreotti, the then Italian Prime Minister, that a secret army had existed in his country since the end of the Second World War, known as "Gladio"; that it had been created by the CIA and MI6; and that it was coordinated by the unorthodox warfare section of NATO.
He thereby confirmed one of the most long-running rumours in post-war Italy. Many people, including investigating magistrates, had long suspected that Gladio was not only party of a network of secret armies created by the Americans across Western Europe to fight in the resistance to a putative Soviet occupation, but also that these networks had become involved in influencing the outcome of elections, even to the extent of forming sinister alliances with terrorist organisations. Italy was a particular target because the Communist Party was so strong there.
Originally, this secret army was constructed with the aim of providing for the eventuality of an invasion. But it seems that they soon moved to covert operations aimed at influencing the political process itself, in the absence of an invasion. There is ample evidence that the Americans did indeed interfere massively, especially in Italian elections, in order to prevent the PCI from ever winning power. Tens of billions of dollars were funded to the Italian Christian Democrats by the US for this very reason.
Ganser even argues that there is evidence that Gladio cells carried out terrorist attacks in order to blame Communists, and to frighten the population into demanding extra state powers to "protect" them from terrorism. Ganser quotes the man convicted of planting one of these bombs, Vincenzo Vinciguerra, who duly explained the nature of the network of which he was a foot soldier. He said that it was part of a strategy "to destabilise in order to stabilise."
"You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security. This is the political logic which remains behind all the massacres and the bombings which remain unpunished, because the state cannot convict itself or declare itself responsible for what happened."
There is an obvious relevance to the conspiracy theories swirling around 9/11. Ganser presents a host of good evidence that this is indeed what Gladio did, and his arguments shed light on the intriguing possibility that there might also have been an alliance with extreme left-wing groups like the Red Brigades. After all, when Aldo Moro was kidnapped, shortly after which he was assassinated, he was physically on the way to the Italian parliament to present a programme for a coalition government between the Socialists and the Communists – precisely the thing the Americans were determined to prevent.
Today’s revolutionary tacticians
These historical works help us to understand what is going on today. My colleagues and I from the British Helsinki Human Rights Group have personally witnessed how the same techniques are used today.
The main tactics were perfected in Latin America during the 1970s and 1980s. Indeed, many of the operatives of regime change under Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. have happily plied their trade in the former Soviet bloc under Bill Clinton and George Bush Jr. For instance, General Manuel Noriega reports in his memoirs that the two CIA-State Department operatives who were sent to negotiate and then engineer his downfall from power in Panama in 1989 were called William Walker and Michael Kozak: William Walker resurfaced in Kosovo in January 1999 when, as head of the Kosovo Verification Mission, he oversaw the artificial creation of a bogus atrocity which proved to be the casus belli for the Kosovo war, while Michael Kozak became US ambassador to Belarus, where in 2001 he mounted "Operation White Stork" designed to overthrow the incumbent president, Alexander Lukashenko. During an exchange of letters to The Guardian in 2001, Kozak brazenly admitted that he was doing in Belarus exactly what he had been doing in Nicaragua and Panama, namely "promoting democracy."
There are essentially three branches to the modern technique of a coup d’état. They are non-governmental organisations, control of the media, and covert operatives. Their activities are effectively interchangeable so I will not deal with them separately.
Serbia 2000
The overthrow of Slobodan Miloševic was obviously not the first time the West used covert influence to effect regime change. The overthrow of Sali Berisha in Albania in 1997 and of Vladimir Meciar in Slovakia in 1998 were heavily influenced by the West and, in the case of Berisha, an extremely violent uprising was presented as a spontaneous and welcome example of people power. I personally observed how the international community, and especially the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), fiddled its election observation results in order to ensure political change. However, the overthrow of Slobodan Miloševic in Belgrade on 5th October 2000 is important because he is such a well-known figure, and because the "revolution" which unseated him involved a very ostentatious use of "people power."
The background to the putsch against Miloševic has been brilliantly described by Tim Marshall, a reporter for Sky TV. His account is valuable because he writes approvingly of the events he describes; it is also interesting because this journalist boasts of his extensive contacts with the secret services, especially those of Britain and America.
At every turn, Marshall seems to know who the main intelligence players are. His account is thick with references to "an MI6 officer in Priština," "sources in Yugoslav military intelligence," "a CIA man who was helping to put together the coup," an "officer in US naval intelligence," and so on. He quotes secret surveillance reports from the Serbian secret police; he knows who the Ministry of Defence desk officer is in London who draws up the strategy for getting rid of Miloševic; he knows that the British Foreign Secretary’s telephone conversations are being listened to; he knows who are the Russian intelligence officers who accompany Yevgeni Primakov, the Russian prime minister, to Belgrade during the Nato bombing; he knows which rooms are bugged in the British embassy, and where the Yugoslav spies are who listen in to the diplomats’ conversations; he knows that a staffer on the US House of Representatives International Relations Committee is, in fact, an officer in US naval intelligence; he seems to know that secret service decisions are often taken with the very minimal ministerial approval; he describes how the CIA physically escorted the KLA delegation from Kosovo to Paris for the pre-war talks at Rambouillet, where Nato issued Yugoslavia with an ultimatum it knew it could only reject; and he refers to "a British journalist" acting as a go-between between London and Belgrade for hugely important high-level secret negotiations, as people sought to betray one another as Miloševic’s power collapsed. (My suspicion is that he may be talking about himself at this point.)
One of the themes which inadvertently runs through his book is that there is a thin dividing line between journalists and spooks. Early on in the book, Marshall refers casually to "the inevitable connections between officers, journalists and politicians," saying that people in all three categories "work in the same area." He then goes on jokingly to say that "a combination of ‘spooks’, ‘journo’s’ and ‘politicos’, added to ‘the people’" were what had caused the overthrow of Slobodan Miloševic. Marshall clings to the myth that "the people" were involved, but the rest of his book shows that in fact the overthrow of the Yugoslav president occurred only because of political strategies deliberately conceived in London and Washington to get rid of him.
Above all, Marshall makes it clear that, in 1998, the US State Department and intelligence agencies decided to use the Kosovo Liberation Army to get rid of Slobodan Miloševic. He quotes one source saying, "The US agenda was clear. When the time was right they were going to use the KLA to provide the solution to the political problem" – the "problem" being, as Marshall explains earlier, Miloševic’s continued political survival. This meant supporting the KLA’s terrorist secessionism, and later fighting a war against Yugoslavia on its side. Marshall quotes Mark Kirk, a US naval intelligence officer, saying that, "Eventually we opened up a huge operation against Miloševic, both secret and open." The secret part of the operation involved not only things like stuffing the various observer missions which were sent into Kosovo with officers from the British and American intelligence services, but also – crucially – giving military, technical, financial, logistical and political support to the KLA, which, as Marshall himself admits, "smuggled drugs, ran prostitution rackets and murdered civilians."
The strategy began in late 1998 when "a huge CIA mission (got) underway in Kosovo." President Miloševic had allowed the Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission to enter Kosovo to monitor the situation in the province. This ad hoc group was immediately stuffed with British and American intelligence agents and special forces – men from the CIA, US naval intelligence, the British SAS and something called "14th intelligence," a body within the British army which operates side by side with the SAS "to provide what is known as ‘deep surveillance’." The immediate purpose of this operation was "Intelligence Preparation of Battlefield" – a modern version of what the Duke of Wellington used to do, riding up and down the battlefield to get the lie of the land before engaging the enemy. So as Marshall puts it, "Officially, the KDOM was run by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe … unofficially, the CIA ran (it) … The organisation was just packed with them … It was a CIA front." Many of the officers in fact worked for another CIA front, DynCorp, the Virginia-based company which employs mainly "members of US military elite units, or the CIA," as Marshall says. They used the KDOM, which later became the Kosovo Verification Mission, for espionage. Instead of doing the monitoring tasks assigned to them, officers would go off and use their global positioning devices to locate and identify targets which would be later bombed by Nato. Quite how the Yugoslavs could allow 2,000 highly trained secret service agents to roam around their territory is difficult to understand, especially since, as Marshall shows, they knew perfectly well what was going on.
The head of the Kosovo Verification Mission was William Walker, the man deputed to oust Manuel Noriega from power in Panama, and a former ambassador to El Salvador whose US-supported government ran death squads. Walker "discovered" the "massacre" at Racak in January 1999, the event which was used as a pretext for starting the process which led to the bombing which began on 24th March. There is much evidence to suggest that Racak was staged, and that the bodies found were in fact those of KLA fighters, not civilians as was alleged. What is certain is that Walker’s role was so key that the country road in Kosovo which leads to Racak has now been renamed after him. Marshall writes that the date for the war – spring 1999 – was not only decided in late December 1998, but also that the date was communicated to the KLA at the time. This means that when the "massacre" occurred and when Madeleine Albright declared, "Spring has come early," she was behaving rather like Joseph Goebbels who, on hearing the news of the Reichstag fire in 1933, is supposed to have remarked, "What, already?"
At any rate, when the KVM was withdrawn on the eve of the Nato bombing, Marshall says that the CIA officers in it gave all their satellite phones and GPS equipment to the KLA. "The KLA were being trained by the Americans, partially equipped by them, and virtually given territory," Marshall writes – even though he, like all other reporters, helped propagate the myth of systematic Serb atrocities committed against a totally passive Albanian civilian population.
The war went ahead, of course, and Yugoslavia was ferociously bombed. But Miloševic stayed in power. So London and Washington started what Marshall happily calls "political warfare" to remove him. This involved giving very large sums of money, as well as technical, logistical and strategic support, and including arms, to various "democratic opposition" groups and "non-governmental organisations" in Serbia. The Americans were by then operating principally through the International Republican Institute (a branch of the National Endowment for Democracy), which had opened offices in neighbouring Hungary for the purpose of getting rid of Slobodan Miloševic. "It was agreed" at one of their meetings, Marshall explains, "that the ideological arguments of pro-democracy, civil rights and a humanitarian approach would be far more forceful if accompanied, if necessary, by large bags full of money." These, and much else besides, were duly shipped into Serbia through the diplomatic bags – in many cases of apparently neutral countries like Sweden who, by not participating formally in the NATO war, were able to maintain full embassies in Belgrade. As Marshall helpfully adds, "Bags of money had been brought in for years." Indeed they had. As he earlier explains, "independent" media outlets like the Radio Station B92 (who is Marshall’s own publisher) were, in fact, very largely funded by the USA. Organisations controlled by George Soros also played a crucial role, as they were later to do, in 2003–4, in Georgia. The so-called "democrats" were, in reality, nothing but foreign agents – just as the Yugoslav government stolidly maintained at the time.
Marshall also explains something which is now a matter of public record that it was also the Americans who conceived the strategy of pushing forward one candidate, Vojislav Koštunica, to unite the opposition. Koštunica had the main advantage of being largely unknown by the general public. Marshall then describes how the strategy also involved a carefully planned coup d’état, which duly took place after the first round of the presidential elections. He shows in minute detail how the principal actors in what was presented on Western TV screens as a spontaneous uprising of "the people" were, in fact, a bunch of extremely violent and very heavily armed thugs under the command of the Mayor of the town of Cacak, Velimir Ilic. It was Ilic’s 22 kilometre-long convoy carrying "weapons, paratroopers and a team of kick boxers" to the federal parliament building in Belgrade. As Marshall admits, the events of 5th October 2000 "looked more like a coup d’état" than the people’s revolution of which the world’s media so naïvely gushed at the time.
Georgia 2003
Many of the tactics perfected in Belgrade were used in Georgia in November 2003 to overthrow President Edward Shevardadze. The same allegations were made, and repeated ad nauseam, that the elections had been rigged. (In the Georgian case, they were parliamentary elections, in the Yugoslav case presidential.) Western media uncritically took up these allegations, which were made long before the actual voting took place. A propaganda war was unleashed against both presidents, in Shevardnadze’s case after a long period in which he had been lionised as a great reformer and democrat. Both "revolutions" occurred after a similar "storming of the parliament," broadcast live on TV. Both transfers of power were brokered by the Russian minister, Igor Ivanov, who flew to Belgrade and Tbilisi to engineer the exit from power of the incumbent president. Last but not least, the US ambassador was the same man in both cases: Richard Miles.
The most visible similarity, however, came in the use of a student movement known as Otpor (Resistance) in Serbia and Kmara (It’s enough!) in Georgia. Both movements had the same symbol, a black-on-white stencil of a clenched fist. Otpor trained people from Kmara, and both were supported by the US. And both organisations were ostensibly structured along communist lines – combining the appearance of a diffuse structure of autonomous cells with the reality of highly centralised Leninist discipline.
As in Georgia, the role played by US money and covert operations has been revealed – but only after the event. During the events, the television was full of wall-to-wall propaganda about how "the people" rose up against Shevardnadze. All images which counteracted the optimistic view were suppressed, or glossed over, such as the fact that the "march on Tbilisi" led by Mihkail Saakashvili started off in Gori, Stalin’s birthplace, beneath a statue of the former Soviet tyrant who remains a hero to many Georgians. The media was equally unconcerned when the new president, Saakashvili, was confirmed in office by elections which awarded him the Stalinist score of 96%.
Ukraine 2004
In the case of Ukraine, we observe the same combination of work by Western-backed non-governmental organisations, the media and the secret services. The non-governmental organisations played a huge role in de-legitimising the elections before they occurred. Allegations of widespread fraud were constantly repeated. In other words, the street protests which broke out after the second round, which Yanukovich won, were based on allegations which had been flying around before the beginning of the first round. The main NGO behind these allegations, the Committee of Ukrainian Voters, receives not one penny from Ukrainian voters, being instead fully funded by Western governments. Its office was decorated with pictures of Madeleine Albright and indeed the National Democratic Institute was one of its main affiliates. It pumped out constant propaganda against Yanukovich.
During the events themselves, I was able to document some of the propaganda abuses. They involved mainly the endless repetition of electoral fraud practised by the government; the constant cover-up of fraud practised by the opposition; the frenetic selling of Viktor Yushchenko, one of the most boring men in the world, as a charismatic politician; and the ridiculously unlikely story that he had been deliberately poisoned by his enemies. (No prosecutions have been brought to date on this.) The fullest account of the propaganda and fraud is given by the British Helsinki Human Rights Group’s report, "Ukraine’ Clockwork Orange Revolution." An interesting explanation of the role played by the secret services was also given in The New York Times by C. J. Chivers who explained that the Ukrainian KGB had been working for Yushchenko all along – in collaboration with the Americans of course. Other important articles on the same subject include Jonathan Mowat’s "The New Gladio in Action: Washington’s New World Order ‘Democratization’ Template," which details how military doctrine has been adapted to effect political change, and how various instruments, from psychology to bogus opinion polls, are used in it. Mowat is particularly interesting on the theories of Dr. Peter Ackermann, the author of Strategic Non-Violent Conflict (Praeger, 1994) and of a speech entitled "Between Hard and Soft Power: the Rise of Civilian-Based Struggle and Democratic Change," delivered at the State Department in June 2004. Mowat is also excellent on the psychology of crowds and its use in these putsches: he draws attention to the role of "swarming adolescents" and "rebellious hysteria" and traces the origins of the use of this for political purposes to the Tavistock Institute in the 1960s: that institute was created by the British Army as its psychological warfare arm after World War I and its illustrious alumni include Dr. David Owen, the former British Foreign Secretary and Dr. Radovan Karadžic, the former President of the Bosnian Serb Republic. Mowat recounts how the ideas formulated there by Fred Emery were taken up by one Dr. Howard Perlmutter, a professor of "Social Architecture’’ at the Wharton School, and a follower of Dr. Emery, (who) stressed that "rock video in Katmandu," was an appropriate image of how states with traditional cultures could be destabilized, thereby creating the possibility of a "global civilization." There are two requirements for such a transformation, he added, "building internationally committed networks of international and locally committed organizations,’’ and "creating global events" through "the transformation of a local event into one having virtually instantaneous international implications through mass-media.
None of this is conspiracy theory – it is conspiracy fact. The United States considers as a matter of official policy that the promotion of democracy is an important element of its overall national security strategy. Large sections of the State Department, the CIA, para-governmental agencies like the National Endowment for Democracy, and government-funded NGOs like the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which publishes several works on "democracy promotion." All these operations have one thing in common: they involve the interference, sometimes violent, of Western powers, especially the US, in the political processes of other states, and that interference is very often used to promote the quintessential revolutionary goal, regime change.

[Image: transpix.gif] John Laughland
Former administrator of the British Helsinki Human Rights Group, Laughland is currently European Director of the European Foundation (Think Tank). He has a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Oxford and has been a lecturer at the Sorbonne and at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris.

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
The Albert Einstein Institution: Non-Violence According to the CIA

by Thierry Meyssan

Unknown to the public, Gene Sharp formulated a theory on non violence as a political weapon. Also he first helped NATO and then CIA train the leaders of the soft coups of the last 15 years. Since the 50s, Gene Sharp studied Henry D. Thoreau and Mohandas K. Gandhi's theory of civil disobedience. For these authors, obedience and disobedience were religious and moral matters, not political ones. However, to preach had political consequences; what could be considered an aim could be perceived as a mean. Civil disobedience can be considered then as a political, even military, action technique.

In 1983, Sharp designed the Non Violent Sanctions Program in the Center for International Affairs of Harvard University where he did some social sciences studies on the possible use of civil disobedience by Western Europe population in case of a military invasion carried out by the troops of the Warsaw Pact. At the same time, he founded in Boston the Albert Einstein Institution with the double purpose of financing his own researches and applying his own models to specific situations. In 1985, he published a book titled "Making Europe Unconquerable "*[1] whose second edition included a preface by George Kennan, the Father of the Cold War. In 1987, the association was funded by the U.S. Institute for Peace and hosted seminars to instruct its allies on defense based on civil disobedience. General Fricaud-Chagnaud, on his part, introduced his "civil deterrence" concept at the Foundation of National Defense Studies.*[2]

General Edward B. Atkeson, well-known by CIA director,*[3] incorporated the Institute to the American interference stay-behind network in allied States. To focus on the moral issues of an action helped to avoid all doubts on the legitimacy of an action. Therefore, non violence, recognized as good-natured and assimilated to democracy, offered a suitable aspect to antidemocratic secret actions.

In 1989, when the Albert Institution became well known, Gene Sharp began to advice anticommunist movements. He participated in the establishment of Burma's Democratic Alliance - a coalition of notable anticommunists that quickly joined the military government - and Taiwan's Progressive Democratic Party - which favored the independence of the island from communist China, something U.S. officially opposed. He also unified the Tibetan opposition under Dalai Lama and tried to form a dissident group within PLO so that Palestinian nationalists would stop terrorism*[4] (he made the necessary arrangements with Colonel Reuven Gal,*[5] director of the Psychological Action division of the Israeli armed forces, to train them secretly in the American Embassy in Tel Aviv).

When CIA realized how useful could the Albert Einstein Institution be, it brought Colonel Robert Helvey into play. An expert in clandestine actions and former dean of the Embassies's Military Attachés Training School, "Bob" took Gene Sharp to Burma to educate the opposition on the non violent strategy for criticizing the cruelest military junta of the world without questioning the system. By doing this, Helvey could identify the "good" and the "bad" opponents in a critical moment for Washington: the true opposition, led by Mrs. Suu Kyi, was labeled as a threat to the pro-American regimen.

«Bob's» job was easily done. Since he was military attaché in Rangoon from 1983 to 1985 and helped to structure the dictatorship, he knew everybody. By playing a double game, Colonel Helvey simultaneously directed a classical action of military support to Karen resistance: by providing weapons and controlling a limited guerrilla, Washington wished, indeed, to maintain the military junta under pressure.

Since that moment, Sharp has always been present everywhere American interests are put at risk. In June 1989, he and his assistant, Bruce Jenkins, went to Beijing, two weeks before Tiananmen events. They were both expelled by Chinese authorities. In February 1990, the Albert Einstein Institution hosted a Conference on Non Violent Sanctions that brought together 185 experts of 16 countries under Colonels Robert Helvey and Reuven Gal. This marked the beginning of an international anticommunist crusade to involve peoples in non violent action.
Professor Thomas Schelling,*[6] well known economist and CIA consultant, joined the Administrative Council of the Institution whose official budget was still stable though it was also funded by the International Republican Institute (IRI), one of the four branches of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED/CIA).*[7]
At the same time, Baltic countries proclaimed their independence but, after a test of endurance with Mijail Gorbatchov, they postponed their decision for 2 or 3 years to negotiate their terms. In October 1990, Gene Sharp and his team traveled to Sweden and trained several Lithuanian politicians in the organization of a popular resistance against the Red Army. Months later, in May 1991, when the crisis broke out and Gorbatchov deployed his special forces; Gene Sharp was the adviser of Sajudis separatist party (Perestroika Initiative Group) and remained close to Vytautas Landsbergis. In June 1992, independent Lithuania Minister of Defense, Audrius Butkevicius, hosted a symposium to thank Albert Einstein Institution's key role during the independence process of the Baltic countries.

When the U.S began its rearmament in 1998,*[8] the Albert Einstein Institution became part of an expansionist strategy. It provided ideology and technique to Otpor («Resistance»), a group of Slobodan Milosevic's young opponents. Simultaneously, it intervened in Kosovo province to train Ibrahim Rugova's LDK, but it turned useless for Washington during the Kosovo war. Then, Otpor quickly became a choice to overthrow Milosevic who was very popular for resisting NATO. Colonel Helvey trained Otpor's leaders through seminars hosted at Hilton Hotel in Budapest. Money was not a problem to overthrow Europe's last communist government. The person in charge of commanding the operation was agent Paul B. McCarthy, discreetly settled at Moskva hotel in Belgrade until Milosevic's resignation in October 2000.

In September 2002, Gene Sharp went to The Hague to train the members of the Iraqi National Council who were preparing themselves to return to Iraq, along with the American army.

In September 2003, it was also the Albert Einstein Institution who advised the opposition to question the electoral results and go on demonstrations to force Eduard Shevardnadze's resignation*[9] during the «revolution» of the roses in Georgia.

When the CIA-organized-coup against Venezuela failed in April 2002, the State Department counted again on the Albert Einstein Institution which advised the owners of enterprises during the organization of the revocatory referendum against President Hugo Chávez. Gene Sharp and his team led the leaders of Súmate during the demonstrations of August 2004. As done before, the only thing they had to do was questioning the electoral results and demanding the resignation of the president. They managed to get the bourgeoisie out in the street but Chavez's popular government was to strong. All in all, international observers had no other choice but to recognize Hugo Chávez's victory.

Gene Sharp failed in Belarus and Zimbabwe for he could not recruit and train in the proper time the necessary amount of demonstrators. During the orange «revolution» in November 2004,*[10] we met again with Colonel Robert Helvey in Kiev. Finally, we must point out that the Albert Einstein Institution has begun to train Iranian agitators.

But, why Albert Einstein? It is an unsuspicious name. Gene Sharp's first book on Gandhi's methods began with a preface signed by Albert Einstein, though the book was written in 1960, five years after the genius's death. Therefore, Albert Einstein did not write anything for Sharp's work. All that Sharp did was reproducing an article on non violence written by the scientist.
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
Quote:As done before, the only thing they had to do was questioning the electoral results and demanding the resignation of the president.
Also the US Bush election 2000.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Quote:General Edward B. Atkeson, well-known by CIA director,*[3] incorporated the (Albert Einstein) Institute to the American interference stay-behind network in allied States. To focus on the moral issues of an action helped to avoid all doubts on the legitimacy of an action. Therefore, non violence, recognized as good-natured and assimilated to democracy, offered a suitable aspect to antidemocratic secret actions.

Fascinating and important.

More tentacles of Gladio...
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
On Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered "global intelligence" company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor's web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.


Released on 2013-11-15 00:00 GMT[TABLE="class: cable, width: 100%"]
[TD]2010-05-14 20:20:09[/TD]
Take a look at this, change whatever you want and send to secure.

- - - - - - -

This is guidance on how to conduct intel collection with our contact at

A little reminder that the main utility in this contact is his ability to
connect us to the troublemakers around the world that he is in touch with.
His own ability to discern situation on the ground may be limited, he
mainly has initial contact with an asset and then lets them do their own
thing. He does himself have information that may be useful from time to
time. But, the idea is to gather a network of contacts through CANVAS,
contacts that we can then contact independently.

Because each regional analyst may have utility in contacting CANVAS
directly Marko will not be the point of contact. Each regional analyst
will conduct intelligence on their own. If you are interested in the
CANVAS contact and you don't have his information, please contact Marko.
It will not be publicized (although he has given many of you individual
contact information).

However, as a company, we will use a single asset code for him. We will
use SR501.


Marko Papic

Geopol Analyst - Eurasia
700 Lavaca Street, Suite 900
Austin, TX 78701 - U.S.A
TEL: + 1-512-744-4094
FAX: + 1-512-744-4334
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Good news if true.


Baku officially closes office of U.S. National Democratic Institute

The office of the U.S. National Democratic Institute in Baku was officially closed, writes Turan referring to an informed source in Washington.

According to the article in fact, the office ceased to function in March, after the authorities accused this structure of financing subversive youth against the government of Azerbaijan.

"In particular, the head of the presidential administration, and previously, the law enforcement agencies have stated that with money from the NDI youth groups prepared in Azerbaijan the analogue of the "Arab Spring." The NDI representative in Baku, Alex Grigorevs, was declared the chief "saboteur", and the government was so afraid of him, that banned his return to Baku and pick up his personal belongings and dog," the agency writes.

As noted in the article a number of sites working for the Azerbaijani authorities "suddenly" got copies of bank documents proving that the representative of NDI debited during the year about 2 million dollars. Those sites who call themselves human rights, argued that money was sent to Facebook revolution in Azerbaijan. Irrefutable "proof", according to the authors of publications, was that NDI has provided a grant for the youth organization NIDA, seven members of which were arrested and announced the organizers of the failed revolution.

In her interview with Turan agency, the NDI regional director for Eurasia, Laura Dzhyuet, said that the NDI activities in Azerbaijan are completely transparent and the organization fully complies with local laws.

Therefore, the assumption that the NDI is involved in any other activities is "completely false," she said.

In turn, President of the NDI, Kenneth Wollack, stated that "such articles are a complete fabrication and discredit the professionalism of the authors." Regarding the funds allocated to projects in Azerbaijan, they were spent on the infrastructure projects, including roads, lighting, utilities, parks, education and ecology.

In its turn, according to the Azerbaijani news portal "" the OSCE special representative for the South Caucasus Joao Soares stated that there are serious problems in the field of democracy and human rights in Azerbaijan.

According to him, the OSCE is doing everything possible to create democratic values in the South Caucasus. "For example, we will continue to promote dialogue between the authorities and civil society in Azerbaijan. We call on the Azerbaijani authorities to provide civil society with democratic development. True pluralism is means a need to respect fundamental freedoms," he said.

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.

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