By Ulson Gunnar
The United States has spent over a year now leveling accusations against the Russian Federation regarding alleged political meddling during the 2016 US elections. While accusations range from everything including “fake news” spread across the Internet to direct ties to the administration of US President Donald Trump used to assist him into power, no evidence has yet to surface to prove Russia has meddled at all in America’s internal political affairs.
And while Russia certainly possesses a large and growing presence across the international media, concerted attacks against this presence stems more from the fact that decades of uncontested control over global public opinion by the US and Europe is now shifting toward a multipolar balance of power in information space.
In stark contrast to the whispers of shadows cited by the US and Europe regarding Russia, to begin understanding the scope of US political meddling abroad, one needs only to visit the US State Department and corporate-funded National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) own website.
US meddling is so extensive that NED is broken into multiple subsidiaries (National Democratic Institute (NDI), International Republican Institute (IRI) and Freedom House) which in turn, are joined by parallel organizations such as George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, USAID, the UK’s DFID and many more.
Central and Eastern Europe;
Latin America and Caribbean and;
Middle East and Northern Africa.
Within each region, NED lists its extensive funding for organizations and fronts in over 100 different nations around the globe.
Within each nation, NED funds between a handful to several dozen organizations posing as legal firms, media platforms, environmental groups and human rights advocates. They collectively create the components of a political machine used to pressure incumbent governments to heed US interests, or overthrow them if they fail to.
Because the NED and recipients of its funding are increasingly exposed as a form of political subversion, NED has opted to list its funding in some nations in very general terms, never revealing the actual organizations or individuals receiving US money. Many organizations in targeted nations refuse to disclose their funding to the public. Many even possess the gall to solicit public donations despite receiving (and concealing) extensive funding from the US government.
Entire opposition parties have been created by NED. One example is that of the current government in Myanmar headed by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD). From the party’s senior leadership, down to its rank and file, many NLD members are the direct recipients of indoctrination and training provided by programs funded by the US NED.
Current Minister of Information Pe Myint, was trained in a US NED-funded program hosted by the Bangkok-based Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT), which the FCCT would later deny despite evidence appearing on their own website confirming otherwise.
Elsewhere in Asia, the current anti-government opposition in Thailand consists of a small network of NED-funded organizations which dovetail into the US and European media organizations operating out of Bangkok. Small protests consisting of only 5-10 individuals are transformed into international headlines by NED’s army of media fronts including Prachatai, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, the Cross-Cultural Foundation and their partners in the US and European press as well as Western diplomats who all openly collaborate and coordinate daily across social media.
When agents of foreign interests are arrested, they are often accompanied by US, British, Canadian and European Union diplomatic staff to police stations.
In next door Cambodia, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) is led by Kem Sokha who previously and repeatedly traveled to Washington to openly conspire against the government in Phnom Penh before being arrested by Cambodian authorities. Ironically, while the US punishes Russia for mere allegations of political interference, it demands Cambodia release opposition members caught openly discussing their plans with opposition media to overthrow their own nation with America’s assistance.
Hong Kong, since returning to China after an extended period of occupation by the British, is also home to a large network of US NED-funded opposition aimed at Beijing. A similar hypocrisy is demonstrated by Washington as it protests the exposure and disruption of these foreign-funded networks of subversion Washington itself would never tolerate upon its own shores.
The Middle East
It is a fact, admitted by prominent US media platforms such as The New York Times, that the entire 2011 Arab Spring was a result of extensive preparations directed by the NED, its partners and subsidiaries.
After helping create the conflicts currently consuming the Middle East, NED now funds a variety of activities in nations like Syria to help prolong the conflicts. This is done by aiding and abetting militants fighting Damascus under the guise of providing humanitarian aid. It also includes assisting in the administration of territory seized by militants from Damascus’ control.
The nation of Iran, yet to be consumed by the violence sweeping across Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq, is host to networks of both NED-funded and CIA-backed groups ranging from supposed activists, to militant groups aimed at the violent overthrow of the government in Tehran.
It was in Eastern Europe that NED perfected what is now called the “color revolution.” It is now admitted that the US NED and other US agencies played a pivotal role in overthrowing the governments of Georgia, Ukraine and Serbia. It was in fact the US-backed overthrow of the Serbian government in 2000 that Cambodia’s Kem Sokha cited as a model to replicate in Southeast Asia with US assistance.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the NED’s color revolutions swept through Eastern Europe like a plague, consuming national sovereignty and bending the former Soviet territories to new masters in Washington, London and Brussels.
More recently, as Russia has begun to reassert itself and court nations in both Eastern and Western Europe, NED has stepped in once again to oust leaders who refuse to reduce or eliminate economic, military and diplomatic ties with Russia at Washington’s behest. A prime example of this includes the 2013-2014 Euromaiden protests in Ukraine. During 2013-2014, US senators including John McCain would literally take to the protest stages in Kiev to offer direct political support for the unrest which was spearheaded by Neo-Nazi political circles.
Remarkably, as Washington accuses Russia of political meddling within the United States, the NED openly lists nearly 100 subversive activities or organizations they are funding inside of Russia itself. Beyond what is listed on NED’s website is support the US and Europe is providing unpopular opposition figures like Alexei Navalny, the now deceased Boris Nemtsov, Yevgeniya Chirikova (NED-funded Strategy 31), Lev Ponomarev (NED-funded Moscow Helsinki Group), Liliya Shibanova (NED-funded GOLOS) and many others who have been repeatedly caught conspiring with American diplomats and financiers backing their subversive activities.
Were evidence to surface that Russia did any of the above forms of meddling, including maintaining entire stables of opposition figures who regularly filter in and out of the Russian Embassy in a targeted nation, it would be categorically condemned by Washington. Yet Washington flagrantly engages in overt political subversion, not just in Russia, but in (at least) 100 other nations around the globe, including nations the US is currently, outright occupying militarily.
For empire, what it fears the most is competition. It seeks to be the sole hegemon with all else beneath it. The US does not oppose political meddling in a sovereign nation’s affairs, it opposes the obstruction of its own meddling worldwide and seeks to eliminate others offering better alternatives to coercive subjugation by Washington, thus why it has singled out nations like Russia, China and others who are increasingly successful in doing just that.
For those tempted to join the bandwagon in condemning nations like Russia and China of political meddling, first they must recognize and account for the industrial scale meddling the US and its European partners are engaged in.
For those who are taking NED money worldwide in the belief that they are somehow advancing a liberal progressive agenda, particularly democracy, they must ask themselves what about a foreign nation meddling in their nation’s political affairs is “democratic” or conducive to the principles of self-determination democracy is built upon? One cannot honestly conclude that NED money is meant to support a nation’s capacity to determine its own destiny when clearly Washington is spending these vast amounts of money in order to determine it for that nation.