Sovereignty, Sedition And Russia’s Undesirable NGOs – F. William Engdahl
by F. William Engdahl, The News Doctors
On May 23, 2015 Russian President Vlaldimir Putin signed into law a new bill from the Duma that now gives prosecutors power to declare foreign and international organizations “undesirable” in Russia and shut them down. Predictably US State Department spokesperson, Marie Harf, said the United States is “deeply troubled” by the new law, calling it “a further example of the Russian government’s growing crackdown on independent voices and intentional steps to isolate the Russian people from the world.”
Under the new law Russian authorities can ban foreign NGOs and prosecute their employees, who risk up to six years in prison or being barred from the country. The EU joined the US State Department in calling the law a “”worrying step in a series of restrictions on civil society, independent media and political opposition.” The George Soros-funded NGO, Human Rights Watch, condemned the law as did Amnesty International.
As with many things in today’s world of political doublespeak, the background to the new law is worth understanding. Far from a giant goose-step in the direction of turning Russia into a fascist state, the new law could help protect the sovereignty of the nation at a time it is in a de facto state of war with, above all, the United States and with various NATO spokesmen who try to curry favor with Washington, such as Jens Stoltenberg, its new Russophobic civilian head.
Russia has been targeted by political NGO’s operating on instructions from the US State Department and US intelligence since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the beginning of the 1990’s. The NGOs have financed and trained hand-picked opposition figures such as Alexei Navalny, member of a group called Russian Opposition Coordination Council. Navalny received money from the Washington NGO National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an acknowledged front for CIA political dirty tricks in their “weaponization of human rights and democracy” project.
Prior to the new NGO law, Russia had a far softer law—actually based on an existing US law, the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)—that requires foreign-financed Russian NGOs to merely register as agents of a foreign country. Called the Russian Foreign Agent Law, it went into effect in November 2012, after US NGOs had been caught organizing numerous anti-Putin protests. That law requires non-profit organizations that receive foreign donations and serve as the instrument of a foreign power to register as foreign agents. The law was used to audit some 55 foreign-tied Russian NGOs, but to date has had little effect on the operations of those NGOs such as Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International.
The case of NED is illustrative. The NED is a huge global operation that, as its creator, Allen Weinstein, who drafted the legislation establishing NED, said in an interview in 1991, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” In fact NED was initially the brainchild of Ronald Reagan’s CIA director, Bill Casey, as part of a major “privatization” of the CIA. NED’s budget comes from the US Congress and other State Department-friendly NGOs like George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
The NED has sub-units: National Republican Institute, which is headed by Senator John McCain, the man who played a key role in the 2014 USA coup d’etat in Ukraine. The National Democratic Institute, tied to USA Democratic Party and chaired now by Clinton Secretary of State and Serbian bombing advocate, Madeline Albright. The NED Board of Directors includes the kernel of the Bush-Cheney neo-conservative warhawks like Elliott Abrams; Francis Fukuyama; Zalmay Khalilzad, former Iraq and Afghan US ambassador, and architect of Afghan war; Robert Zoellick, Bush family insider and ex-World Bank President.
In other words, this “democracy-promoting” US NGO is part of a nefarious Washington global agenda, using weaponized so-called Human Rights and Democracy NGOs to get rid of regimes who refuse to click their heels to commands of Wall Street or Washington. NED has been at the heart of every Color Revolution of Washington since their success toppling Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia in 2000. Their coups installed pro-NATO presidents in Ukraine and Georgia in 2003-4, attempted to destabilize Iran in 2009, ran the Arab Spring operations to redraw the political map of the Middle East after 2011, and more recently HongKong’s “Umbrella Revolution” last year to embarrass China. The list goes on.
NED in Russia today
Inside Russia, despite the foreign agents law, the well-financed NED continues to operate. Since 2012 NED doesn’t disclose names of organizations in Russia they finance, something they did previously. They only name the sector and rarely activities that they financing. Moreover, there is no Annual report for 2014, a critical year after the CIA coup in Ukraine when Washington escalated dirty tricks against Moscow and de facto declared a state of war against the Russian Federation by imposing financial sanctions designed to cripple Russia’s economy. In every US Color Revolution to date, the USA institutions, Wall Street banks and hedge funds always try to create economic chaos and use that to stir political unrest, as in Brazil today against BRICS leader President Dilma Rousseff.
What the NED is spending millions of American taxpayer dollars for in Russia is highly revealing. In their online abridged report for 2014 NED reveals that among numerous projects in Russia they spent $530,067 under a category, Transparency in Russia: “To raise awareness of corruption.” Are they working with Russian prosecutors or police? How do they find the corruption they raise awareness of? That naturally also has a side benefit of giving Washington intimate details of corruption, real or imagined, that can be later used by its trained activist NGOs such as Navalny groups. An American NGO financed by US Congress, tied to the CIA and Victoria Nuland’s State Department decides which Russian companies are “corrupt”? Please…
Another category where the Washington-financed NED spends considerable sums in Russia today is labeled Democratic Ideas and Values: $400,000 for something called “Meeting Point of Human Rights and History–To raise awareness of the use and misuse of historical memory, and to stimulate public discussion of pressing social and political issues.” That sounds an awful lot like recent attempts by the US State Department to deny the significant, in fact decisive, role of the Soviet Union in defeating the Third Reich. We should ask who decides what are “pressing social and political issues,” the NED? CIA? Victoria Nuland’s neo-cons in the State Department?
Shoe on other foot
Let’s imagine the shoe on the other foot. Vladimir Putin and the Russian FSB foreign intelligence service decide to set up something they call a “National Enterprise to Foster American Democracy” (NEFAD). This Russian NEFAD finances to the tune of millions of dollars the training of American black activist youth in techniques of swarming, twitter riots, anti-police brutality demos, how to make Molotov cocktails, use of social media to put the police in a bad light. Their aim is to put spotlight on human rights abuses of US Government, FBI, police, government, institutions of public order. They seize on an obscure ambiguous incident in Baltimore Maryland or Chicago or New York and send Youtube videos around the world, twitter messages about the alleged police brutality. It doesn’t matter if the police acted right or wrong. Thousands respond, and march against the police, riots break out, people are killed.
Dear readers, do you imagine that the US Government would permit a Russian NGO to intervene in the sovereign internal affairs of the United States of America? Do you think the FBI would hesitate one second to arrest all NEFAD persons and shut down their operations? This is just what the US Congress-financed, CIA-backed, National Endowment for Democracy is doing in Russia. They have no business at all being anywhere in Russia, a sovereign nation, nor for that matter in any foreign country. They exist to stir trouble. The Russian government should politely show them the door, as truly undesirable.
In October, 2001, days after the shock of the attacks on the World Trade towers and Pentagon, the Bush Administration passed a bill that essentially tears up the Bill of Rights of the American Constitution, one of the finest constitutions in history. The USA Patriot Act as it was cynically named by its sponsors, permits the US Government among other things to conduct “surveillance of suspected terrorists, those suspected of engaging in computer fraud or abuse (sic!), and agents of a foreign power who are engaged in clandestine activities.” Another provision of this Patriot Act allows the FBI to make an order “requiring the production of any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”
There was barely a peep of outrage over this de facto USA police state law, a law which is now up for renewal in Congress. The fact that the NED stopped showing who they give money to in Russia proves they have something to hide. NED is the heart of the “Weaponization of Human Rights” operations by CIA and US State Department to do regime change in the world, so they can get rid of “uncooperative” regimes. As I stated in a recent Russian interview on the NED, shortly before this new law was enacted, I am astonished that Russia has not made such a law long ago when it was clear those US NGOs were up to no good. The NED is indeed an “undesirable” NGO, as are Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, Open Society Foundations and the entire gaggle of US-government-fostered human rights NGOs.