NGOs as brain trust of color revolutions

News Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite (Silent Coup or Revolt of the Rich) Recommended Links NGOs as brain trust of color revolutions Human rights as color revolutions attack vector Neoliberal Demagogy
Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Compradors Color revolutions Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Khodorkovski Litmus Test Foreign Agents Registration Act
American Exceptionalism National Security State New American Militarism      
Neocons  Mayberry Machiavellians Neo-Theocracy The delusions of global hegemony  Russian  Fifth column  Humor  Etc

Russia lost sovereignty under Yeltsin gang and its resources were stolen. Now there are efforts to restore remnant of Yeltsin criminal gang in power or at least to block nationalists. Attempts were made to neoliberal regime of Yeltsin II pushed down the  throat of Russian people, so that country can be again mercilessly raped economically. 

After Medvedev became president Russian politics again became more neoliberal and the USA and other Western countries were determined not to allow Putin's return to power. To achieve that Russian White Revolution of 2011-2012 was staged by usual suspects.  Unlike Orange revolution in Ukraine, it failed. Parcially because Moscow fifth column did not have critical mass necessary for this event. But it produced wealth of documents helping to understand mechanisms and methods used in modern color revolution. To some expent it was the end of efficiency of color revolution, because as soon as methods are known the state can neutralize the threat more efficiently. .

The idea of organizing civil protest via NGO as a brain trust goes to early 90th (Color Revolutions, Old and New):

"Swarming" to Produce Regime Change

In his book, "Full Spectrum Dominance," Engdahl explained the RAND Corporation's groundbreaking research on military conflict by other means. He cited researchers John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt's 1997 "Swarming & The Future of Conflict" document "on exploiting the information revolution for the US military. By taking advantage of network-based organizations linked via email and mobile phones to enhance the potential of swarming, IT techniques could be transformed into key methods of warfare."

In 1993, Arquilla and Ronfeldt prepared an earlier document titled "Cyberwar Is Coming!" It suggested that "warfare is no longer primarily a function of who puts the most capital, labor and technology on the battlefield, but of who has the best information about the battlefield" and uses it effectively.

They cited an information revolution using advanced "computerized information and communications technologies and related innovations in organization and management theory." They foresaw "the rise of multi-organizational networks" using information technologies "to communicate, consult, coordinate, and operate together across greater distances" and said this ability will affect future conflicts and warfare. They explained that "cyberwar may be to the 21st century what blitzkrieg was to the 20th century" but admitted back then that the concept was too speculative for precise definition.

The 1993 document focused on military warfare. In 1996, Arquilla and Ronfeldt studied netwar and cyberwar by examining "irregular modes of conflict, including terror, crime, and militant social activism." Then in 1997, they presented the concept of "swarming" and suggested it might "emerge as a definitive doctrine that will encompass and enliven both cyberwar and netwar" through their vision of "how to prepare for information-age conflict."

They called "swarming" a way to strike from all directions, both "close-in as well as from stand-off positions." Effectiveness depends on deploying small units able to interconnect using revolutionary communication technology.

As explained above, what works on battlefields has proved successful in achieving non-violent color revolution regime changes, or coup d'etats by other means. The same strategy appears in play in Iran, but it's too early to tell if it will work as so far the government has prevailed. However, for the past 30 years, America has targeted the Islamic Republic for regime change to control the last major country in a part of the world over which it seeks unchallenged dominance.

If the current confrontation fails, expect future ones ahead as imperial America never quits. Yet in the end, new political forces within Iran may end up changing the country more than America can achieve from the outside - short of conquest and occupation, that is.

A final point. The core issue isn't whether Iran's government is benign or repressive or if its June 12 election was fair or fraudulent. It's that (justifiable criticism aside) no country has a right to meddle in the internal affairs of another unless it commits aggression in violation of international law and the UN Security Council authorizes a response. Washington would never tolerate outside interference nor should it and neither should Iran.

In this respect Putin's interview to German TV channel  is worth reading, especially for people who do not read Russian ( Full transcript of the interview).

Here is a summary

In the very beginning of the interview, the Russian President noted that it was not the objective of the NGO inspections to scare the public or the activists, adding that the mass media was performing that function.

Putin added that the real situation differed greatly from what was presented by the Western mass media. In particular, the fresh Russian law demanding that non-government organizations engaged in Russia's internal political processes and sponsored from abroad must be registered as foreign agents was noting new. The United States has had a very similar law since 1938.

Putin noted that the US law is enforced by the Department of Justice. All groups operating in the US must regularly submit information about their activities and this information is then reviewed by the counterespionage section.

The German reporter admitted he was not aware of such practices in the United States.

Putin went on to point out that there were 654 foreign-funded groups operating in Russia, while Russia sponsored only two foreign NGOs – one in France and one in the United States.

He also disclosed that foreign diplomatic missions transferred $1 billion. Eight hundred and fifty-five million was [added] to the accounts of Russian-based NGOs in just the four months that passed since the approval of the Foreign Agents Law.

Putin told the interviewer that in his view, Russian society had the full right to know about the extensive network of foreign-sponsored organizations operating in the country, as well as about the amount of funding these groups were getting from their foreign sponsors.

The Russian leader then again stressed that the Russian authorities did not intend to pressure or shut down any organizations.

We only ask them to admit: ‘Yes, we are engaged in political activities, and we are funded from abroad,’” Putin said. “The public has the right to know this.”

Putin also emphasized in his interview that the Russian authorities fully supported political competition, as without it the development of the country and the people is impossible. He said that the opposition had every right to protest, but even during these protests the rally-goers must abide by the law.

There must be order. It is a well-known rule. It is universal and applicable in any country,” he stated, noting that the recent events in North Africa were a vivid example of what might happen if this principle is neglected.

The president recalled the recent changes in the law on political parties that drastically simplified both the registration and the work of these organizations. He also spoke of as other moves to liberalize the political system, such as the return of the gubernatorial elections, saying that this was proof that he and his supporters encouraged political competition.

In comparison with a swarm of foreign NGOs operating in Russia with huge sums of money on their account that they received from foreign governments and other sources, Mr. Putin pointed out that the Russian Federation has two NGO’s operating in the west; one in Paris, and one in the USA. Just two. Balanced against more than 650 in Russia just counting those who qualify for the Foreign Agent label by virtue of being funded from abroad.

He also points out that the voluminous documents the USA requires to be completed by the single Russian NGO in the USA originate with Counterintelligence, not the State Department.

On Cyprus, Mr. Putin points out that Russia did not create Cyprus as a tax haven – it merely used it for that purpose, but it was set up by the Eurozone. He went on to suggest the shenanigans in Cyprus do not damage Russia in the least, but that they undermine the credibility of banking in the Eurozone as a whole.

As to Russia’s financial system and the implication that Russians are motivated by a mistrust of Russian banks to put their money in offshores, Mr. Putin points to the fact that not one Russian bank collapsed in the global financial crisis of 2008/09. What happened in the USA (he didn’t suggest that, I am)? Should the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers be taken as a warning of the instability in the American financial system?

To the suggestion that Russia is supplying weapons to Assad, he puts the rejoinder that weapons transfers by legitimate governments to legitimate governments are not currently restricted; there is no embargo in place. However, he calls attention to the 3.5 thousand tons of weapons and ammunition recently gifted to the opposition – a mercenary force – by its western backers.

His German host appeared to have gone into it with a “just watch this” attitude, in which he intended to outmaneuver Putin by asking him difficult questions that would have him either squirming with embarrassment or purple with rage in minutes. Nothing like that appears to have happened, and his German questioner merely looked like a prick trying for a “gotcha” situation. That did not reflect very well on Germany, in my opinion.

The analysis of Russian variant of FARA from the US positions can be found in Russia - NGO Law Monitor - Research Center - ICNL

Organizational Forms Non-commercial organizations; public associations; foundations; institutions; non-commercial partherships; and autonomous non-commercial organizations
Registration Body Ministry of Justice
Approximate Number Of 220,000 NCOs, 50% are public associations
Barriers to Entry Certain persons, including foreign persons and stateless persons, may not become founders, members, or participants.

Registration procedures are overly bureaucratic, with excessive documentation requirements.
Barriers to Activities Burdensome reporting requirements.

Supervisory power allowing for interference with internal affairs of public associations and NCOs
Barriers to Speech and/or Advocacy Potential restrictions against NCO advocacy activity may arise through application of criminal or administrative penalties codes
Barriers to International Contact No legal barriers
Barriers to Resources Foreign or international organizations wishing to make tax-exempt grants to Russian citizens or NCOs must be on a list of organizations approved by the Russian Government; access to this list is severely limited.

NCOs that carry out political activities and receive foreign funding are labeled "NCOs carrying functions of a foreign agent."

Pending NCO Legislative / Regulatory Initiatives

On December 19, the Duma passed in the second reading the draft of FEDERAL LAW № 186614-6 On Measures of Influence of Persons, Relating to Violation of Human Rights, Rights and Freedoms of Citizens of the Russian Federation. It was initiated by a large group of deputies and is designed as a countermeasure to the Magnitsky bill, which is intended to punish Russian officials that were thought to be responsible for the death of Russian attorney Sergei Magnitsky by prohibiting their entrance to the United States and use of their banking system. The present text includes provisions restricting American citizens who violated human rights or the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens from entering Russia and from owning property in Russia. In addition, the present text restricts the adoption of Russian children by American citizens and a number of other provisions restricting the activities of NGOs. Such provisions are summarized below:

The third reading and adoption is scheduled for December 21. It is likely that the law will come into effect shortly after.

Please help keep us informed; if you are aware of other pending initiatives, write to ICNL at

Pending NCO Legislative / Regulatory Initiatives

On December 19, the Duma passed in the second reading the draft of FEDERAL LAW № 186614-6 On Measures of Influence of Persons, Relating to Violation of Human Rights, Rights and Freedoms of Citizens of the Russian Federation. It was initiated by a large group of deputies and is designed as a countermeasure to the Magnitsky bill, which is intended to punish Russian officials that were thought to be responsible for the death of Russian attorney Sergei Magnitsky by prohibiting their entrance to the United States and use of their banking system. The present text includes provisions restricting American citizens who violated human rights or the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens from entering Russia and from owning property in Russia. In addition, the present text restricts the adoption of Russian children by American citizens and a number of other provisions restricting the activities of NGOs. Such provisions are summarized below:

The third reading and adoption is scheduled for December 21. It is likely that the law will come into effect shortly after.

Please help keep us informed; if you are aware of other pending initiatives, write to ICNL at

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Legal Analysis

Organizational Forms

The Russian Federation (Russia) recognizes a large number of organizational forms of non-governmental, non-commercial organizations (NCOs), resulting in a complex and oftentimes contradictory regulatory framework. The Civil Code and the Federal Law on Non-commercial Organizations (NCO Law) establish the primary NCO legal framework and define a variety of NCO forms (approximately 27), including public organizations, foundations, institutions, non-commercial partnerships; and autonomous non-commercial organizations. The primary requirements are that NCOs, whatever their type, do not have the generation of profit as their primary objective and do not distribute any such profit among their participants (Article 50(1), Civil Code). The Federal Law on Public Associations builds upon this framework and carves out a sub-category of NCOs called "public associations" which consist of public organizations, mass movements, public foundations, public institutions, and several other forms. Some 220,000 NCOs are registered in Russia; approximately 50% of them are public associations.

Public Benefit Status

NCOs may register as a charity pursuant to the Charities Law. Federal law, however, does not provide any benefits that are particular to registered charities. Although legislation at the regional and local levels offers tax benefits to charities, they do not necessarily require the organization to be registered as a charity at the federal level. Tax benefits under Russian law are primarily tied to the support or performance of particular activities specified in the Tax Code. Registration of an NCO as a charity pursuant to the Charities Law provides the organization with a particular status and subjects the organization to heightened scrutiny, but this status does not in itself provide any unique tax benefits.

Amendments enacted to the NCO Law in April 2010 introduced the status of "socially oriented" organizations ("SOOs"). Under the new law, SOOs are potentially eligible for governmental support. SOOs engage in a broad range of activities, including traditional charitable work, the provision of free-of-charge legal aid and the protection of human rights,.

Barriers to Entry

Russian law defines certain restrictions regarding potential founders of NCOs. Regarding non-citizens, only those foreign nationals and stateless persons who are "legally domiciled in the Russian Federation" may be founders, members, or participants in public associations or NCOs. Certain persons may not become founders, members or participants, including:

Public associations, such as public organizations and public foundations, by definition can be created only by natural persons. These organizations cannot be founded by legal persons, but other public organizations may join as members (Articles 18 and 19, Law on Public Associations). By comparison, legal persons, including commercial entities, may found all other forms of NCOs.

A non-commercial organization shall be subject to state registration in compliance with the NCO law. Public associations shall be subject to state registration in compliance with the Law on Public Associations. The registration process for all types of NCOs is overly bureaucratic, with a long list of documents required to be submitted to the authorized governmental body. The same is true for foreign NCOs seeking to establish a branch office.

Barriers to Operational Activity

Non-commercial organizations, as a rule, have virtually no restrictions on the activities they may pursue as their primary objectives including mutual benefit activities (Article 6(1), NCO Law, and Articles 5, 8, Law on Public Associations).

All foundations are required to engage in public benefit activities (Article 118(1), Civil Code, Article 7(1), NCO Law, and Article 10, Law on Public Associations). The primary activities of institutions are broadly defined as any managerial, socio-cultural or other activities of a not-for-profit nature (Article 120, Civil Code, Article 9, NCO Law, and Article 11, Law on Public Associations). Charities are required to promote at least one of the enumerated charitable activities indicated in the law (Article 2, Charities Law). Certain restrictions apply to activities of certain specialized organizations, such as political organizations and labor unions.

Articles 29 and 38 of the Law on Public Associations impose burdensome reporting requirements on public associations (PAs), by requiring them to submit information about the funding and property they receive from foreign and international organizations and foreign persons to the registration authority. Article 32 of the Law on NCOs imposes reporting requirements for NCOs and requires NCOs to report on their use of funds and other assets received from both foreign and local sources. Repeated failure on the part of a PA or an NCO to provide the information required in a timely fashion is grounds for the registration authority to bring a claim in court requesting a ruling that the organization terminate its activities as a legal entity, which then leads to its exclusion from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities. More recently, new electronic reporting forms for NCOs, prepared by the Ministry of Justice, have substantially simplified the reporting process.

Articles 29 and 38 of the Law on Public Associations and Article 32 of the NCO Law authorize governmental registration authorities to engage in highly intrusive means of scrutiny of public associations and NCOs without appropriate procedural protections. The registration authority may use the following tools to interfere in the internal operations of a PA or NCO:

Article 23 of the NCO Law also provides the registration authority with two additional intrusive supervisory powers over the branches, representative offices, and affiliates of foreign NCOs. The government can issue a written decision banning the implementation of any existing program of a branch office of a foreign NCO. The Law does not provide any guidance with respect to the grounds on which the government may make this decision, which appear to be entirely discretionary. Upon receipt of a decision, the office of the foreign NCO must terminate the activity, and if it fails to do so, it risks exclusion from the register and liquidation of the office. The Law also allows the registration authority to issue a written decision banning the transfer by an foreign NCO's branch, representative office, or affiliate of funds or other resources to particular recipients for the purposes of protecting the basis of the Constitutional system, morality, health, rights and lawful interests of other persons, and with the aim of defending the country and the state security. The Law does provide foreign NCOs the right to appeal against actions taken against them by the government.

Recent changes to the NCO Law and to the Law on Public Associations, which relate to NCOs performing functions of "foreign agents," further increase the administrative burden on NCOs by requiring NCOs designated as "foreign agents" to: 1) maintain separate accounting of funds and other property generated through local and foreign sources; 2) submit activity reports on a biannual basis; and 3) submit reports on expenditures of funds and other property on a quarterly basis (unlike other Russian NCOs which are required to submit activities and expenditures reports annually) . NCOs-foreign agents are also required to pass through an annual independent audit. Reporting forms are to be determined by the authorized government agency and could be burdensome if overly complex. In addition, the Law gives to the government invasive powers to interfere in the internal operations of an NCO and even to suspend their activities. These include:

( Article 32.3, NCO Law)
The MoJ has the discretion to decide whether an NCO qualifies as a "foreign agent" (i.e. whether an NCO received or has the intent to receive funding from foreign sources and whether a NCO conducted or has the intent to conduct political activities). An authorized government official, at his/her discretion, can decide to suspend the activities of any NCO, if, according to his/her opinion, the NCO carried out the functions of a foreign agent but failed to apply for registration in the registry of NCOs carrying out the functions of foreign agents, regardless of how defensible this decision might be.

An NCO whose activities have been suspended has the right to appeal the MoJ's suspension decision to either the highest body of the MoJ or to a court. The NCO Law does not determine what will happened to a NCO if, after the suspension of its activities, it does not apply for registration within the timeframe set by the MOJ. The NCO Law also provides an unclear description of legal consequences of suspending an NCO's activities. An NCO whose activities have been suspended will also be prohibited from conducting mass actions and public events and making bank deposits, with the exception of settling accounts related to economic activities and labor contracts, paying assessed damages, resulting from its activities, and paying taxes, dues and penalties.

Under the NCO Law, foreign organizations operating in Russia through registered offices will be subject to the following new requirements:

Barriers to Speech / Advocacy

Neither the Civil Code nor the NCO Law limits the ability of NCOs to engage in advocacy or political activities. All forms of public associations may participate in advocacy and lobbying activities. Under the law, NCOs generally may also engage in election campaigns for federal and local elections, subject to federal election laws (Article 27, Law on Public Associations).

Recent amendments to the NCO Law, relating to NCOs performing functions of a foreign agent, may potentially restrict political activities of NCOs. According to these amendments NCOs carrying political activities and receiving foreign funding, or, even intending to do so, are required to register in a special registry, maintained by the Ministry of Justice. Such registration, and, especially, labeling as "foreign agent" may result in additional administrative burdens for NCOs, as well as in damaging reputation of NCOs ( i"foreign agent" in Russian translation is perceived by general public as a "foreign spy). The threat of being labeled a "foreign agent" may discourage many organizations to carry political activities.

An NCO is considered to carry out political activity, if, regardless of its statutory goals and purposes, it participates (including through financing) in organizing and implementing political actions aimed at influencing the decision-making by state bodies intended for the change of state policy pursued by them, as well as in the shaping of public opinion for the aforementioned purposes. Such activities are considered political, regardless of whether a NCO is conducting them in the interest of foreign funding sources or without such purpose. A NCO carries political activities for the purpose of the Law if such activity takes place on the territory of the Russian Federation. (Article 2, NCO Law). An NCO is considered to be carrying out political activity if it even participates in such activities organized and financed for by other organizations.

Charities are expressly prohibited from using their assets to support political parties, movements, and campaigns (Article 2(2), Charities Law). In addition, religious organizations, governmental and municipal institutions, international public associations, and international movements are prohibited from making donations to candidates (Article 58 (6), Federal Law No. 19-FZ "On RF President elections," January 10, 2003, and Article 66 (7), Federal Law No. 175-FZ "On RF State Duma deputies elections," July 20, 2002, as amended). However, these prohibitions do not appear to extend to involvement in lobbying or other politically-related activities.

In June 2012, increases to existing fines for violating rules on participation in and organization of public protests were enacted when President Putin signed into law amendments to Code of the Russian Federation on administrative violations and to the Federal Law "On Assemblies, Meetings, Demonstrations, Marches and Picketing on June 8. These fines have a deterrent effect on the right to peaceful assembly. Fines for breaching provisions on holding public assemblies were increased by 150 times for individuals and 300 times for organizations. The new maximum penalty for participation in a protest that is not in accordance with government regulations is up to 300,000 rubles (approximately $9,000) for individuals and up to one million rubles (approximately $32,000) for organizations.

In July 2012, defamation was reintroduced as a criminal offence in Russia. The law was likely enacted to inhibit media criticism of Russia's leaders since media outlets can be fined up to two million rubles (approximately $61,000) for producing defamatory public statements.

Also in July 2012, changes introduced to the Law on Protecting Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development mandated the creation of a registry of websites that contain information which has been prohibited by a court order. Once a website is placed on this registry it can then be shut down without a court order. Government officials can interpret the law in a way that would increase Internet censorship and curb the freedom of expression of organizations that hold views that are different from the government's or the majority's views.

Barriers to International Contact

There are no legal barriers to international communication and contact.

Barriers to Resources

Foreign Funding

Russia enacted the law On Introducing Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Regarding the Regulation of Activities of Non-commercial Organizations, Performing the Functions of Foreign Agents in November 2012. According to these amendments, NCOs carrying out "political activities" and receiving foreign funding, or, even intending to do so, are required to register in a special registry maintained by the Ministry of Justice. Such registration, and, especially, being labeled as a "foreign agent" may result in additional administrative burdens for NCOs, as well as in damaging the reputation of NCOs. The threat of being labeled a "foreign agent" may discourage many organizations to seek foreign funding.

Another formidable legal barrier against foreign funding relates to the giving of tax-exempt grants. Foreign or international organizations wishing to make tax-exempt grants to Russian citizens or NCOs must be on a list of organizations approved by the Russian Government. Such grants may be made only for purposes specified by Russian Tax Code: for the implementation of specific programs in the sphere of education, art, culture, health care (AIDS, drug addiction, children oncology, including oncohematology, children endocrinology, hepatitis, tuberculosis) environmental protection, protection of human and civil rights, social services of the disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of citizens, as well as for holding specific scientific research.

In June of 2008, the Russian Government adopted Decree #485, regarding the Government's pre-approved list of foreign grantors (hereinafter referred to as the "List"). Decree #485 contained a reduced number of approved international organizations and made clear that as of January 1, 2009, only international organizations mentioned in the Decree could remain on the List. Grants from foreign organizations not included on the List are considered taxable income for Russian recipients, unless they otherwise qualify as donations under Russian law. (The current regulation is applicable only to grants; donations, including those from foreign organizations to non-commercial organizations are tax exempt.)

On March 24, 2009, Prime Minister Putin signed Decree #252, amending Decree #485. Decree #485 empowered the Ministry of Finance to make changes and additions to the List. Decree #252 instead authorizes interested ministries – and not solely the Ministry of Finance – to initiate changes and additions to the List.

In addition, NCOs must provide information regarding donations obtained from foreign organizations to the Ministry of Justice.

Domestic Funding

An NCO may engage in economic activities to the extent they advance the purposes for which the organization was created, but may not pursue the generation of profit as its primary purpose (Article 50(3), Civil Code, Articles 2 and 24(2), NCO Law, Article 37, Law on Public Associations, and Article 12, Charities Law). Profit from the economic activities of NCOs, including charities, is generally taxed in the same manner as for commercial organizations. Lower tax rates may be offered by regional or local authorities for qualifying NCOs. Registration as a charity does not affect or limit the right of an NCO to engage in economic activities (Article 12, Charities Law).

In July 2011, the Russian Parliament adopted amendments to the Russian Tax Code that substantially improve the taxation of NCOs. For example, NCOs no longer have to pay profit tax or value added tax (VAT) on the value of in-kind contributions (services or property rights) they receive. Moreover, the amendments extend VAT exemptions previously applied to state budget funded institutions providing social services (i.e. in the areas of culture, art, health care, education, and services to the needy) to NCOs providing the same services.

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[Oct 30, 2017] The think-tank topics and views tend to dominate discussions and steal the oxygen from outside ideas

Milton Friedman and George Stigler – with the help of corporate and political support – found the adequate tool to empower their ideas, which was the network of think-tanks, the use of scholarships provide by them, and the intensive use of media. This think-tank network wasn't for creating new ideas, but for being a gatekeeper and disseminating the existing set of ideas, and the "philosophy of freedom".
Notable quotes:
"... the successful businessmen created The Atlas Economic Research Foundation in 1981, which established 150 think-tanks around the globe. These institutions were set up based on the model of Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA), a think tank founded in 1955 by Fisher, which is a good example how the marginalized group of neoliberal thinkers got into intellectual and political power. ..."
"... Today, "more than 450 free-market organizations in over 90 countries" serve the "cause of liberty" through the network. The network of Fisher was largely directed by the members of Mont Pelerin Society (Djelic, 2014). ..."
"... This think-tank network wasn't for creating new ideas, but for being a gatekeeper and disseminating the existing set of ideas, and the „philosophy of freedom". ..."
"... Awareness of gatekeeper roles and their ramifications is one issue of grave concern to many citizens. There are variations of the role playing in different parts of society whether in the Ivory Tower, Think Tanks (self-designated with initial capitals), media or other areas. Recently, that role in media has come under scrutiny as seen during and after the US campaign and election. Who gets to control what appears as news ..."
"... The increasing impact of social media in dissemination of information and use of influencers represents a type of Barbarians at the Literal Gate. The boards and think tanks won't easily relinquish their positions, any more than the gatekeepers of prior eras would willingly do so. ..."
Oct 30, 2017 |

Not only Backhouse (2005) , but also Adam Curtis(2011) , the British documentary film-maker also researched how Fisher created his global think-tank network, spreading the libertarian values of individual and economic – but never social and political – freedom, and also the freedom for capital owners from the state.

According to Curtis (2011) , the „ideologically motivated PR organisations" intended to achieve a technocratic, elitist system, which preserves actual power structures. As he notes, the successful businessmen created The Atlas Economic Research Foundation in 1981, which established 150 think-tanks around the globe. These institutions were set up based on the model of Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA), a think tank founded in 1955 by Fisher, which is a good example how the marginalized group of neoliberal thinkers got into intellectual and political power.

Today, "more than 450 free-market organizations in over 90 countries" serve the "cause of liberty" through the network. The network of Fisher was largely directed by the members of Mont Pelerin Society (Djelic, 2014).

Enquiring Mind , October 29, 2017 at 10:48 am

This think-tank network wasn't for creating new ideas, but for being a gatekeeper and disseminating the existing set of ideas, and the „philosophy of freedom".

Awareness of gatekeeper roles and their ramifications is one issue of grave concern to many citizens. There are variations of the role playing in different parts of society whether in the Ivory Tower, Think Tanks (self-designated with initial capitals), media or other areas. Recently, that role in media has come under scrutiny as seen during and after the US campaign and election. Who gets to control what appears as news , and will the NY Times editorial board cede any of that, for example?

The increasing impact of social media in dissemination of information and use of influencers represents a type of Barbarians at the Literal Gate. The boards and think tanks won't easily relinquish their positions, any more than the gatekeepers of prior eras would willingly do so.

This era is unsettling to the average person on the street, and particularly to those living on the street, because they have been told one thing with certainty and gravitas and then found out something else that was materially opposed. In the meantime, truth continues to seek an audience.

Jeremy Grimm , October 29, 2017 at 3:50 pm

The assertion you selected from today's post seems clearly false to me. The think-tank organizations definitely create new ideas and often conflict with each other. Their topics and views also tend to dominate discussions and steal the oxygen from outside ideas.

They are schools of agnotology flooding discussion of every policy with their "answers" and contributing to the Marketplace of ideas.

[Aug 18, 2017] How think tanks sell war...

Notable quotes:
"... The idea behind offset agreements is simple: When a country buys weapons from a firm overseas, it pumps a large amount of money out of its economy, instead of investing in its own defense industry or in other domestic projects. So to make large weapons deals more attractive, arms companies offer programs to "offset" that effect. As part of a weapons package, they often sign an agreement to invest in the country's economy, either in defense or civilian sectors. ..."
"... According to an email from Clarke, the UAE accepted unpaid offset obligations as cash payments to a large financial firm called Tawazun Holding. Tawazun sent the $20 million to a UAE think tank called the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research . ECSSR then began sending that money to the Middle East Institute, a prestigious D.C. think tank that has a history of promoting arms sales to Gulf dictatorships. ... ..."
"... So essentially, in a roundabout way, the UAE took money from international firms that was meant for economic development and funneled it to a supportive think tank in the United States. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 |

Weapons Money Intended for Economic Development Being Secretly Diverted to Lobbying Alex Emmons Aug 18, 2017 undefined

The United Arab Emirates created a "slush fund" using money meant for domestic economic development projects and funneled it to a high-profile think tank in the United States, emails obtained by The Intercept show.

Last week, The Intercept reported that the UAE gave a $20 million grant to the Middle East Institute, flooding a well-regarded D.C. think tank with a monetary grant larger than its annual budget . According to an email from Richard Clarke, MEI's chairman of the board, the UAE got the money from offset investments -- development investments by international companies that are made as part of trade agreements.

The idea behind offset agreements is simple: When a country buys weapons from a firm overseas, it pumps a large amount of money out of its economy, instead of investing in its own defense industry or in other domestic projects. So to make large weapons deals more attractive, arms companies offer programs to "offset" that effect. As part of a weapons package, they often sign an agreement to invest in the country's economy, either in defense or civilian sectors.

Offsets provide a way to sell weapons at inflated prices, when companies offer juicier offset packages. Critics say the lack of transparency in how offset investments are carried out leaves a window open for a form of legalized corruption. The emails lift a veil on what has long been an obscure element of the arms trade.

According to an email from Clarke, the UAE accepted unpaid offset obligations as cash payments to a large financial firm called Tawazun Holding. Tawazun sent the $20 million to a UAE think tank called the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research . ECSSR then began sending that money to the Middle East Institute, a prestigious D.C. think tank that has a history of promoting arms sales to Gulf dictatorships. ...

So essentially, in a roundabout way, the UAE took money from international firms that was meant for economic development and funneled it to a supportive think tank in the United States.

Fair use excerpt. Full article here .

[Jan 02, 2017] Neoliberals hate government policies, unless they increase thier ability to make profits

Free market is a neoliberal myth, the cornerstone of neoliberal secular region.
Notable quotes:
"... Well, duh. "Policy" and "Capitalism" don't go together and never have. When you enact policy, you destroy the ability to make profit and you get the 1970's. ..."
Gibbon1 -> anne... , December 31, 2016 at 10:21 PM
Two of my criticisms about Krugman/Friedman, etc is that is 'free markets' are supposed to substitute for policy in the government sphere. Except very telling except when we're talking about funding the security state.

The other is that the real power of markets is that in a real free market (not a Potemkin one) decisions are made often at the point where needs, information, incentives, and economic power come together. But the large scale decisions the governments have to make, markets fail. Policy though doesn't.

But Neoliberals hate policy.

AngloSaxon -> Gibbon1...
Well, duh. "Policy" and "Capitalism" don't go together and never have. When you enact policy, you destroy the ability to make profit and you get the 1970's.
likbez -> Gibbon1... January 01, 2017 at 10:15 PM
Free market is a neoliberal myth, the cornerstone of neoliberalism as a secular religion. Somewhat similar to "Immaculate Conception" in Catholicism.

In reality market almost by definition is controlled by government, who enforces the rules and punish for the transgressions.

Also note interesting Orwellian "corruption of the language" trick neoliberals use: neoliberals talk about "free market, not "fair market".

After 2008 few are buying this fairy tale about how markets can operate and can solve society problems independently of political power, and state's instruments of violence (the police and the military). This myths is essentially dead.

But like Adventists did not disappear when the second coming of Christ did not occurred in predicted timeframe, neoliberals did not did not disappeared after 2008 either. And neither did neoliberalism, it just entered into zombie, more bloodthirsty stage. the fact that even the term "neoliberalism" is prohibited in the US MSM also helped. It is kind of stealth ideology, unlike say, Marxists, neoliberals do not like to identify themselves as such. The behave more like members of some secret society, free market masons.

Friedmanism is a flavor of economic Lysenkoism. Note that Lysenko like Friedman was not a complete charlatan. Some of his ideas were pretty sound and withstood the test of time. But that does not make his less evil.

And for those who try to embellish this person, I would remind his role in 1973 Chilean coup d'état ( ) and bringing Pinochet to power. His "Chicago boys" played a vital role in the events. This man did has blood on his hands.

=== quote ===
Of course, bringing a reign of terror to Chile was not why the CIA had sponsored him. The reason he was there was to reverse the gains of the Allende social democracy and return control of the country's economic and political assets to the oligarchy. Pinochet was convinced, through supporters among the academics in the elite Chilean universities, to try a new series of economic policies, called "neoliberal" by their founders, the economists of the University of Chicago, led by an economist by the name of Milton Friedman, who three years later would go on to win a Nobel Prize in Economics for what he was about to unleash upon Chile.

Friedman and his colleagues were referred to by the Chileans as "the Chicago Boys." The term originally meant the economists from the University of Chicago, but as time went on, as their policies began to disliquidate the middle class and poor, it took on a perjorative meaning. That was because as the reforms were implemented, and began to take hold, the results were not what Friedman and company had been predicting. But what were the reforms?

The reforms were what has come to be called "neoliberalism." To understand what "neoliberal" economics is, one must first understand what "liberal" economics are, and so we'll digress briefly from our look at Chile for a quick...
=== end of quote ===

[Oct 29, 2016] The attack of think tanks

Oct 29, 2016 |
anne -> anne... , October 29, 2016 at 05:34 AM

September, 2016

The Myth of the Powell Memo
A secret note from a future Supreme Court justice did not give rise to today's conservative infrastructure. Something more insidious did.
By Mark Schmitt

At one end of a block of Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C., sometimes known as "Think Tank Row"-the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Brookings Institution are neighbors-a monument to intellectual victory has been under reconstruction for a year. It will soon be the home of the American Enterprise Institute, a 60,000-square-foot Beaux-Arts masterpiece where Andrew Mellon lived when he was treasury secretary during the 1920s. AEI purchased the building with a $20 million donation from one of the founders of the Carlyle Group, a private-equity firm.

Right Moves
The Conservative Think Tank in American Political Culture Since 1945
By Jason Stahl

In the story of the rise of the political right in America since the late 1970s, think tanks, and sometimes the glorious edifices in which they are housed, have played an iconic role. The Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, and the libertarian Cato Institute, along with their dozens of smaller but well-funded cousins, have seemed central to the "war of ideas" that drove American policy in the 1980s, in the backlash of 1994, in the George W. Bush era, and again after 2010.

For the center left, these institutions have become role models. While Brookings or the Urban Institute once eschewed ideology in favor of mild policy analysis or dispassionate technical assessment of social programs, AEI and Heritage seemed to build virtual war rooms for conservative ideas, investing more in public relations than in scholarship or credibility, and nurturing young talent (or, more often, the glib but not-very-talented). Their strategy seemed savvier. Conservative think tanks nurtured supply-side economics, neoconservative foreign policy, and the entire agenda of the Reagan administration, which took the form of a twenty-volume tome produced by Heritage in 1980 called Mandate for Leadership.

In the last decade or so, much of the intellectual architecture of the conservative think tanks has been credited to a single document known as the Powell Memo. This 1971 note from future Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell to a Virginia neighbor who worked at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged business to do more to respond to the rising "New Left," countering forces such as Ralph Nader's nascent consumer movement in the courts, in media, and in academia....

DeDude -> anne... , -1
The part where the neo-con-men get the scientific process wrong is where they begin with the conclusion, before they even collect any facts. And then they whine that Universities are full of Liberals. No they are full of scientists - and they are supposed to be.
ken melvin -> anne... , October 29, 2016 at 07:11 AM
I think that the biggest denial of all is to the effect all this crap has had on the economy. Today we see cites rotting away because there is not enough income to support business and infrastructure, yet we hear such as Ryan proposing more of the same as a solution. The scope of the damage is huge, yet both parties are in denial. The whole of the implementation of conservative philosophy has been a colossal failure for the nation.

[Jul 05, 2016] Where Conservative Ideas Come From by Timothy Shenk

Notable quotes:
"... Stahl's chief object of inquiry is the American Enterprise Institute, or AEI. Founded in 1938 by a group of businessmen devoted to unwinding the New Deal, its true history began five years later, when its headquarters moved from New York to Washington. Inside the Beltway, AEI staffers portrayed themselves as nonpartisan scholars eager to assist lawmakers from both parties. That stance became increasingly difficult to maintain as the conservative movement grew in strength, and in the 1970s AEI was reborn as a champion of the right in the battle for ideas. ..."
"... Success bred imitators, and AEI soon found itself outflanked by an upstart known as the Heritage Foundation. More concerned with passing legislation than posing as researchers, Heritage became the dominant think tank in Reagan's Washington. These nimble practitioners of war-by-briefing-books made AEI seem musty and academic by comparison. AEI revived itself by shifting toward the middle, but it never regained its former centrality. It had changed too much, and so had conservatism. ..."
"... Think tanks like Heritage, he writes, have redefined what it means to be on the right and persuaded countless Americans to join their cause, managing to "forever alter American political culture in a more conservative direction." ..."
"... National Review, ..."
June 26, 2016 | The Chronicle of Higher Education
... ... ...

...What began in the 1990s with a trickle of articles lamenting the absence of studies on American conservatism grew in the 2000s to a flood of monographs on the activists, intellectuals, and politicians who bent history's arc to the right. Lisa McGirr's trailblazing study of Orange County's suburban warriors, Bethany Moreton's exploration of the politics of Wal-Mart, and Angus Burgin's meticulous reconstruction of the winding path from Friedrich Hayek to Milton Friedman were just a few of the highlights in a booming field.

As Buckley would have preferred, the representative figure in this scholarship was not George Wallace but Ronald Reagan. The 40th president stood for a coalition of prosperous, forward-looking voters motivated by sincere ideological commitments and assisted by an emerging conservative establishment filled with adept manipulators of Washington's bureaucracy. The populism and racism that fueled Wallace's career were not forgotten, but too great an emphasis on these subjects did not fit with the grudging respect these generally liberal historians evinced for the subjects of their research.

Jason Stahl's Right Moves is a characteristic product of this approach. Stahl, a historian at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, describes his book as an examination of conservative think tanks, those curious institutions that, although little known to the wider public, play a decisive a role in shaping policy. Several fine studies of these organizations already exist, but they are chiefly the work of journalists, and a historical appraisal is long overdue.

Stahl's chief object of inquiry is the American Enterprise Institute, or AEI. Founded in 1938 by a group of businessmen devoted to unwinding the New Deal, its true history began five years later, when its headquarters moved from New York to Washington. Inside the Beltway, AEI staffers portrayed themselves as nonpartisan scholars eager to assist lawmakers from both parties. That stance became increasingly difficult to maintain as the conservative movement grew in strength, and in the 1970s AEI was reborn as a champion of the right in the battle for ideas.

Success bred imitators, and AEI soon found itself outflanked by an upstart known as the Heritage Foundation. More concerned with passing legislation than posing as researchers, Heritage became the dominant think tank in Reagan's Washington. These nimble practitioners of war-by-briefing-books made AEI seem musty and academic by comparison. AEI revived itself by shifting toward the middle, but it never regained its former centrality. It had changed too much, and so had conservatism.

Stahl narrates this history with subtlety, neither condescending to his subjects nor shielding them from embarrassment; they are at once dexterous navigators of the political scene and authors of a harebrained Heritage report holding that an increase in the number of working mothers could lead to a rise in dwarfism. His grasp of the dynamics at work in the shifting fortunes of AEI and Heritage - a relationship bound up with both sweeping political change and the intricacies of fund-raising - flows from his mastery of this milieu.

Yet Right Moves becomes less steady as it moves toward the present. Braving the risks of contemporary history, Stahl loses access to the archives that give his earlier chapters their depth and nuance. He concludes with an uncharacteristically blunt assessment of current politics. Think tanks like Heritage, he writes, have redefined what it means to be on the right and persuaded countless Americans to join their cause, managing to "forever alter American political culture in a more conservative direction."

That was a powerful argument when this book went to press, and it would have gained even more force if conservatives were about to deliver the Republican Party's presidential nomination to Ted Cruz. Or Marco Rubio. Or Jeb Bush. Or any of the 13 other major candidates for the position except Donald Trump. In the words of Buckley's National Review, Trump is "a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones." But as Trump has more recently observed, "this is called the Republican Party. It's not called the Conservative Party." And Republicans have capitulated to a candidate opposed by the assembled forces of the conservative establishment - an establishment that is clearly as detached from the constituents it claims to represent as any of the liberal elites it has pilloried for decades, and whose isolation from its supposed base made Trump's nomination possible.

Republicans are now wrestling with the implications of this turn; historians will move at a slower pace, but they also have a reckoning ahead. A generation ago, explaining the power of the American right seemed an essential task for anyone seeking to understand the headlines. Recent events suggest that scholars should adopt a more skeptical attitude toward the image presented by the self-appointed gatekeepers of True Conservatism. The gap between policy makers and the grassroots is larger than students of the right have allowed, the opportunities for ideological crosscutting more prevalent. Histories written from this perspective would be less willing to take Buckley at his word, and they would have more room for Wallace.

Though reeling at the moment, however, Buckley's political descendants should not be counted out. Just a few months ago, a meeting off the coast of Georgia brought together figures ranging from Tim Cook to Karl Rove in a two-day session dedicated to mapping out a plan to stop Trump. They lost this round, but the fight will continue in the years to come, and support from organizations like the host of this conclave will be invaluable. What form this campaign will take is still a mystery. Attendance in Georgia was invitation only, as is the custom at the "American Enterprise Institute World Forum."

Timothy Shenk, a Mellon postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis, is the author of Maurice Dobb: Political Economist (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

[Jul 05, 2016] Non-Governmental Organizations in a Conjuncture of Conflict and War Psychosis

James Petras


The September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington and the ramifications define a new conjuncture for social movements and NGOs. The global context preceding September 11 is important in understanding Washington's reaction afterwards and the effects that both have on the perspectives and the role NGOs can play in global politics.

Prior to September 11, Washington's international position showed clear signs of weakening. The anti-globalization mass movements from Seattle to Genoa were creating greater obstacles to the "free market agenda." Washington's rejection of the Kyoto protocol on global warming, its unilateral renunciation of the ABM (missile treaty) and its failure to sign the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention isolated Washington from the rest of the international community. In the Middle East, Iraq was breaking out of the US imposed boycott, becoming an active member of OPEC, and increasing ties with Arab neighbors. Iran has economic relations with Japan, Russia, the EU and most of the rest of the countries in the world contrary to the US boycott. In Latin America, formidable social movements in Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador challenged the neo-liberal model. The deepening recession in the US and Europe profoundly affected the "export model" in Mexico, Central America and the rest of Latin America and Asia. Moreover, the recession within the US was leading to massive job losses and bankruptcies, provoking a greater volatility in the stock market, already shaken by the collapse of the information technology speculative bubble.

In summary, US global hegemony was deteriorating, the internal foundations were weakening and discontent was rising - before September 11.

Post September 11

The immediate aftermath of the trauma of September 11 was, at the governmental level, a concerted effort at world mobilization based on a discourse of war. The key phrase was President's Bush's "Countries have to choose, you are with us or with the terrorists." The effect of this discourse was to mobilize predictable NATO followers like Tony Blair of England, Aznar of Spain and Berlusconi of Italy. Other NATO countries entered the "alliance" with some hesitation. While most of the rest of the world condemned the terrorist attack, and expressed sympathy with the victims very few countries were eager to join an open-ended world-wide military campaign against loosely defined terrorists and nations which provide havens for terrorists. Only by tactically specifying the enemy to a narrow set of targets (Osama bin Laden) and the Taliban) was Washington able to secure minimum cooperation within the Middle East and Central Asia. But Washington has a wider agenda - war against Europe and Japan's principal oil suppliers in the Mid-East - namely Iraq and Iran.

The key to President Bush's world-wide "anti-terrorism" campaign is to reverse the decline of US global hegemony. To force Europe to submit to US leadership, to secure the total obedience of the Arab rulers in the Mid-East and to encourage client rulers in Asia and Latin America to increase their repressive capacities against political opposition to the neo-liberal model and US hegemony.

Bush junior seeks to recreate a New World Order, that Bush senior tried to project after the Gulf War and which deteriorated shortly thereafter. After the Gulf War emergency, the competitive interests of Europe and Japan came into conflict with U.S. hegemony, as did the emergence of social movements, North and South. It is likely that once the initial war psychosis dies off, divisions and rivalries will reappear with even greater virulence than in the early 1990's. The extension of the war beyond Afghanistan, worldwide recession, and Washington's attempt to gain economic advantage form its leadership of the wartime coalition can easily provoke divisions.

Nevertheless, in the short run the war mobilization involves a worldwide socio-political offensive to reverse the advances of the late 1990's. This offensive has several common characteristics:

(1) Increasing repressive legislation, curtailing democratic freedoms and widening police power.

(2 Attempts to reverse the recession via "military Keysianism" with higher military spending and billion dollar subsidies to "adversely affected" (airlines, tourism, etc.).

(3) Restoration of U.S. hegemony via military dominance -- "leadership" -- and strengthening client regimes.

(4) Silencing anti-globalization movements by refocusing world attention from the evils of multinational corporations to international terrorism.

(5) Reversing U.S. isolation because of its unilateral rejection of international agreements on peace and the environment:

(A) Reject Kyoto Agreement on greenhouse gases;

(B) Reject anti-ballistic missile agreement;

(C)Reject protocol banning biological warfare;

(D) Reject resolution on international human rights tribunal;

(E) Reject protocol against use of land mines.

The antiterrorist alliance strengthens U.S. global leadership since power of decision is vested exclusively in Washington. The 'Alliance' is an association of followers with no influence on tactics or strategy. Even NATO is excluded from any operational influence. In effect, the anti-terrorist alliance is another manifestation of unilateral state action. The imperial use of anti- terrorism extends far beyond Afghanistan. The term as applied by Washington is so loosely interpreted as to apply to any country in which resistance fighters are located, any movement engaged in social transformation, any supporters of movements, including NGO.

The Coordinator for Terrorism for the State Department, Francis Taylor, stated, "My office is working with different agencies of the government in order to design an anti-terrorist strategy for Colombia and other Andean countries. This strategy is designed to complement Plan Colombia...and the Andean Regional Initiative." Taylor went on to state, "Today, the most dangerous international terrorist group in this hemisphere is the FARC." The State Department centered the second part of its anti-terrorist strategy (after the Middle East) as "an offensive against terrorism in the Americas." The U.S. Congress approved the appropriation of $730 million additional dollars "for war against the region."

Imperialism today is firmly anchored in the state -- the imperial state, which intervenes in the world and domestic economy to subsidize, promote and protect its MNC's as well as to organize continuing military attacks to destroy challenges to its domination. Today more than ever in the past the imperial state is the centerpiece of empire and the driving force for multinational capital expansion.

Acting in concert, the imperial state and multinational corporations have polarized the world along class, racial, gender, national and regional lines. Imperial ideology attempts to obscure this division by polarizing the world between democracy (empire) and terrorism in order to consolidate imperial power. This polarization has also entered into the world of NGO's.

Polarization of NGO's

NGO's have multiplied by the tens of thousands over the past decade, reflecting a variety of political and social perspectives, sources of funding and political allegiances. The majority of the NGO's and the "richest" in funding are open collaborators with the Euro- American states and local neo-liberal regimes, actively working against public/social ownership. Nevertheless, in recent years a growing number of NGO's have played an active role in the anti-globalization, anti-racist and anti-war movements which have taken place from Seattle to South Africa.

The most significant fact in the world of NGO's is the polarization or tri-polar world of NGO's. To simplify, NGO's can be divided into three groups which tend to coincide with their levels of funding.

(1) NGO's which are active promoters of neo-liberalism, working with large sums from the World Bank, USAID, and other international and state funding agencies on a "sub- contracted" basis to undermine national comprehensive welfare institutions.

(2) Reformist NGO's which receive middle range funding from private social democratic foundations and progressive local or regional governments to fund ameliorative projects and to correct the excesses of the free market. The reformists try to "reform" the WTO, IMF and World Bank and regulate capital.

(3) Radical NGO's are basically involved in the anti-globalization, anti-racist, anti-sexist and solidarity movements. Among the radical NGO's there are differences n tactics (civil disobedience, direct action) goals (anti-capitalist, anti-corporate, anti-speculative capital) and alternatives (communitarian, deep ecology, socialist, self-management).

The polarization of NGO's is mainly found in the responses to the major events like the Durban Conference. The radical NGO's denounced as Israel as a racist country while the reformists tried to oppose racism without naming Israel and the neo-liberal NGO's supported Washington or were silent.

The second area of differentiation is in the major demonstrations, from Seattle to Genoa, where the radical NGO's call for the abolition of the IMF-WB, while the reformists only pursue greater regulation of speculative capital (the Tobin tax), debt forgiveness, more responsiveness to poverty needs and internal reform to make the WB-IMF more "responsive" to popular welfare and the environment.

The third area of differentiation of NGO's is between those NGO's (neo-liberal and reformists) who seek to collaborate with imperial (global) institutions and those which collaborate with popular mass movements. The "institutionalists" conceive of "divisions" within the institutions, their capacity to "reason" with bankers and officials to demonstrate how big business interests and environmental/welfare reforms are compatible with profits and stability. The "movement" oriented radical NGO's believe that basic structural changes from below -- redistributing power, property, income -- is necessary to achieve sustainable development and social justice.

Up to now, the lessons are clear: the neo-liberal NGO's have only succeeded in coopting local leaders, while the neo-liberal economic model has collapsed in crisis, increasing the number of poor and destitute. The reformist and radical NGO's have grown and their actions have multiplied, the size of the anti-globalization movement has grown -- while the tensions within the movements have increased. In the face of deepening polarization and economic crisis in the world, the reformist NGO's are losing ground as interlocutors, as the imperial powers of Brussels and Washington turn toward war against the Third World and attack living standards in the North.

NGO: Rethinking Policies and Structures

In the face of this deepening polarization between empire and the popular movements, North and South, the NGO's must rethink their internal organization, their relations to mass movements and their funding policies. Most reformist and radical NGO's are basically cadre organizations, made up of professional staff and volunteers who "mobilize people". While many of the causes are just, the structures are elitist. Today the most promising and dynamic movements -- the unemployed workers' movement in Argentina, the MST in Brazil, the cocaleros of Bolivia, the Zapatistas in Mexico -- are based on popular assemblies and consultation, direct democracy. There is a contradiction in style and substance between the movements and the NGO's in terms of their conceptions of struggle and organization. To resolve this contradiction which has important tactical and strategic consequences, the NGO's must democratize their structures, and convert to forms of organization compatible with their movement partners.

In large part, the structures and orientation of the NGO's are shaped by their funding sources. The more dependent they are on institutional financial support, rather than voluntary funding, the more they retain a hierarchical structure. The greater the degree NGO's approximate a movement, the more likely they will depend on popular/voluntary contributions. Institutional funding involves limits on the political agenda, social demands and tactical activity. Dependence on voluntary contributions means greater engagement with the people in struggle and responsiveness to their demands along with greater political education.

The second area in which the polarization on a global scale requires NGO's to rethink their activity is in terms of strategies. In the past, progressive (radical and reformist) NGO's focused on micro-projects (in Central America and elsewhere) and more recently in anti- globalization mobilizations. While the "micro-projects" did improve some communities, it did not reverse the neo-liberal assaults on living standards and the take-over via privatization by foreign and domestic capital of the national wealth. The shift toward anti-globalization activity was a step forward, insofar as the progressive NGO's recognized some of the major political- economic forces attacking the poor. However, several new problems emerged: the "anti- globalization" ideology obscured the centrality of the imperial states and their drive for world domination -- exaggerating the autonomy of the IMF-WB and the MNC. Secondly, the anti- globalization activities focus largely on periodic dramatic events (Genoa, Davos, Melbourne, Prague) while doing less in day to day organizing and struggles. The question is not one of eliminating the international confrontations, but combining them with mass regional and national struggles against firings, unemployment, intensification of exploitation, etc.

The third area for "rethinking" involves funding, sponsors and collaboration with private enterprises, international institutions and governments. There has been a lengthy debate with the NGO's on these issues. The debates have focused on the cost-benefit of accepting financial aid and sponsorship from this or that institution. For example, many NGOs discuss whether the compromises on program and activities are worth the financial contributions and "legitimate" sponsorship. Some NGO leaders have become experts in the double discourse of presenting a moderate image and securing substantial financing for militant solidarity work. Be that as it may, the larger historic record demonstrates that long term, large scale association with the "power structure" leads to the corruption of NGO leaders, and the conversion of the NGO's into an adjunct of the neo-liberal project.

Cost-benefit analysis is too narrow a framework to evaluate NGO funding and alliances, because it fails to take account of the structure of power and the historical trajectory. Tactical compromises become strategic subordination where principals are sacrificed to maintain a burgeoning and expensive bureaucracy and infrastructure. What is to be done? The fundamental point of departure is a class commitment, a program deeply rooted in principles, a clear ideology and a transition from a "cadre" organization to a social movement that engages in solidarity struggles overseas and mass struggles at home.

Today both President Bush and Bin Laden have tried to polarize the world, one between war and terrorism, the other between empire and religion (Islam). The job of NGO's is to reject these polarization and develop alternatives to empire and fundamentalism, that affirm the self-determination of people and secular states with comprehensive social welfare programs.

Before October 7, 2001 when Washington launched its air war against Afghanistan the progressive NGO's (both reformist and radical) confronted the socio-economic and political polarization between the Euro-American empire and the Third World. Today that polarization includes the empire's war against the Third World, the first phase, according to the Bush regime is to concentrate on Afghanistan, to be followed by new wars, in the near future, against other Third World countries. The war against Afghanistan is part of a long term, large scale offensive to regain U.S. global hegemony: the empire is engaged in salami tactics slicing off each independent regime that does not subordinate itself to the Euro-American alliance.

One of the most resounding victories of the empire was its ideological victory over sectors of the left and progressive NGO's, when the latter supported the NATO bombing and invasion of Yugoslavia, the KLA terrorists in Kosova, the fundamentalists in Bosnia and the KLA directed invasion of Macedonia. In each instance the empire manipulated democratic symbols ("minority rights") and humanitarian rhetoric to expand its sphere of influence. Many NGO's became the tools of empire, receiving millions of dollars in exchange for their pro- imperial, humanitarian services. The imperial war logic from Iraq to Yugoslavia to Afghanistan, from the Middle East to the Balkans to Southern Asia, has led to the new colonization: two- thirds of Iraqi air space and one-third of the country is colonized; NATO military bases are present in occupied Kosova, Bosnia and Macedonia. A puppet regime is in the making in Afghanistan. New wars are planned for the Middle East and beyond, under an open-ended definition of the war against terrorism. Military threats are directed against countries which refuse to subordinate themselves to the empire's military logic (refuse to "join the alliance"). The Marines replace the functionaries of the IMF as the emissaries of conquest. In times of economic crisis, the ruling classes deflect popular discontent and anger to external enemies; the popular movements and progressive NGO's must oppose imperial wars and turn attention to the internal oppressors. NGO's must link the anti-globalization struggle to the anti-war struggle and the anti-recession movements.

The Movement Runs on Five Legs

The challenge for the NGO's today is to build movements that elaborate alternatives to five interrelated problems: (1) war and terrorism; (2) militarization and repression; (3) deepening economic recession and global crises of markets; (4) collapse of export strategies and vulnerability of neo-liberal regimes; and (5) mass unemployment and spread of poverty north and south.

Imperial wars today are "total wars" -- in which all civilians and the most elemental conditions for survival (water, electricity, food, etc.) are objects of military destruction. Total war contains the seeds of genocide: whole people, as in Afghanistan, flee mass destruction and face imminent starvation; war induced deaths in Afghanistan exceed those in New York and Washington in geometrical proportion. Police-state, anti-democratic legislation is rushed through Congress and parliaments without debate, abrogating basic democratic rights in the name of security, but in reality strengthening the repressive powers of the state to limit democratic popular opposition.

War and repression displace social-economic reform as responses to the deepening economic crisis. Employers and multinationals take advantage of the war psychosis to fire millions of workers, to increase temporary workers, intensify exploitation and to lay exorbitant financial claims on the state for subsidies.

Crisis in the North is catastrophic in the South. The infamous neo-liberal "export strategies" in the Third World collapse with the decline of Euro-American markets. Further structural adjustments provoke major confrontations; basic imports are unaffordable, debts cannot be paid, the export sectors face bankruptcy, the neo-liberal state has no resources: vulnerability is everywhere, capitalist solutions are nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, war spending, subsidies for bankrupt multinationals and declining markets lead to increasing unemployment in the U.S. and Europe.

This is a time of deepening problems, but also great challenges and opportunities to pose basic questions and radical alternatives.

Perspectives and Strategies: Short and Medium Term

In the short term we face a right-wing offensive headed by the U.S.-Euro War Alliance backed by powerful MNC's and police military forces. This offensive, through the mass media, which has openly accepted to be a mouthpiece of the Alliance, has secured the temporary support or passivity of the majority of the population in North America and Europe, but not in the Middle East or many other areas of the Third World.

Today, particularly in the U.S. and in the EU, there is a war psychosis manipulated by the state and amplified and transmitted by the mass media. In the short run this has led to the ascendancy of an irrational unanimity in which sectors of public opinion have been led to believe that dissent or criticism of the war is a form of "collaboration" with terrorism. In the U.S. the directors of the mass media have been told by the state not to publish or announce Bin Laden's speeches nor to relate Taliban speeches without identifying them as terrorist propaganda. There was probably no need for direct state intervention as the self-censorship of the media and its wholehearted support of the war made state control unnecessary.

In this context popular social movements and progressive NGO's have a vital educational role to play in countering state propaganda and its intellectual exponents in the mass media. It is through systematic critiques of the war propaganda and its distortions that an informed public opinion, particularly in the popular classes, can be mobilized to oppose the war and the accompanying injustices and insecurities.

Political education can follow four lines of counter-attack. Emphasis on the blatant inconsistencies and contradictions of the war message, for example, the idea that this is a humanitarian war when millions of Afghan people are displaced by the carpet bombing and are experiencing mass hunger, thirst and destruction of basic necessities (electricity, water, food, transport, etc.). The idea that state violence will uproot terrorism instead of multiplying and deepening hatred and violent retaliation. War will create a spiral of violence and the logic of prolonged and extended wars will multiply the attacks on U.S. and EU civilians. Only via changes in policy toward the political sources (Palestine, Iraq, etc.) of discontent in the Mid- East and Gulf States can the conflict be minimized and the levels of violence reduced.

The second line of political education requires an expose of the way in which socially reactionary forces in the state and in the class structure are taking advantage of the self-created "war crisis" to further their interests at the expense of the majority of working people. This is a war, like many previous wars, where the many sacrifice and the few benefit. Already in the U.S. social spending is being reduced and military expenditures are soaring. Multinational corporations are firing millions of workers and receiving huge subsidies for so-called "war damage", while unemployment benefits are being denied. The state calls for "national unity" are being manipulated to obscure the class divisions and injustices, who is benefitting and who is losing from the "war on terrorism". A familiar sight in the U.S. is one of fired workers driving home with a flag flying from their antennas while their corporate bosses sit down with state officials to negotiate new subsidies. The key point is that the economic crisis preceded the conflict, and the war gave the corporations a "legitimate" pretext to massively "restructure" their enterprises in order to lower costs and increase profits. By linking socio- economic losses to the war it is possible to reach millions of working people with a peace and social justice program.

The third line of political education can focus on the real and latent divisions within the War Alliance. One particularly explosive conflict is over Washington's project to widen the war to include Iraq, Iran, Syria, etc. The EU's principle source of petroleum is the Mid-East, and new wars will lead to a catastrophic reduction of oil supply and a geometric increase in the price of oil, which could lead to a major depression. Likewise, U.S. clients, particularly in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan and elsewhere are under enormous pressure from below and any further push from the U.S. to support the current war in Afghanistan or an extended war in neighboring countries could lead to national uprisings. In reality, the War against Afghanistan has already narrowed support for the U.S., in comparison to the broad sympathy with the victims in New York and Washington.

Fourthly, many people around the world reject Bush's (and Bin Laden's) dichotomous view of the world ("Either you are for us -- and the war -- or you are against us."). A majority of "moderates" want the bombing to stop and for humanitarian aid to enter to feed millions of starving and displaced Afghans. Many people think that the U.S. and EU should take up the Taliban offer to negotiate and that hard evidence of Bin Laden's involvement in the terrorist acts should be presented. The fundamental fact is that most of what is publicly known about the suspected culprits does not point to Bin Laden or to Al Qaeda. Most were middle class, non- fundamentalists, seven studied in the West (Hamburg) and five were trained at U.S. military bases. None have been identified as having been trained in Pakistan or Afghanistan or indoctrinated by mullahs in either country. These are issues that need to be disseminated widely because they conflict with the basic ideology used to justify this war.

Activism: Engaging the Public

There are three possible axis of political action in this conjuncture. One involves an "indirect approach" which involves mobilizing communities, trade unionists and neighborhoods against the socio-economic consequences of the deepening economic recession (firings/unemployment) and the elite benefits from the "war crisis" at the national/international level. The decisions by MNC to fire workers because of "world market conditions" is a powerful argument against the so-called export growth strategies and "globalization" arguments. Linking local social adversity to globalization and war is important in developing movement activity in this conjuncture.

Secondly, activity should focus on the weakest link in the so-called War Alliance: Israeli violence and dispossession of the Palestinians. Outside of the U.S. most commentators recognize that Israeli war against the Palestinians is the detonator of the current crisis. The genocidal policies of the ultra-rightist Sharon regime have united the whole Arab world,, most of European opinion and outside of the Jewish pro-Israeli lobby in the U.S. even sectors of U.S. public opinion. Even President Bush and Secretary of State Powell have paid lip-service to the idea of a Palestinian state. The political point is that focusing on Israeli intransigence can favorably polarize public opinion against the war and become the starting point to reactivate the anti-globalization movement.

The third area for activities is around the humanitarian disasters caused by wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Colombia. According to the United Nations seven million Afghans face death due to hunger because of the war, comparable to the Holocaust. Humanitarian aid can only be transported if the Anglo American bombing ceases. This is an issue that can motivate millions to pressure to end the bombing, at least temporarily. The "War Against Terror" has already turned into an escalation in the war against popular insurgent forces in Latin America. The head of the DEA in Mexico declared that the EZLN is a "terror" organization. A spokesman for the State Department has declared a massive increase of $700 million and additional military personnel to fight "FARC terrorism". The human casualties of these new wars are grotesque: between Oct. 1-15 the Colombian military backed paramilitary killed 150 peasants and workers and the count is running. The issue of STATE terrorism is graphically illustrated as the real content of our definition as the war against terrorism.

An international tribunal on the humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan, led by international notables could focus world attention and educate public opinion on the real meaning of the war. In summary, progressive NGO's should link their anti-globalization strategies to the deepening internal economic crisis and develop programmatic alternatives based on socializing production, redistributing income and deepening internal markets based on increased social expenditures. NGO's should link their support for humanitarian relief with the anti-war movement and the catastrophic economic consequences for Europe resulting from an extension of the war to other Middle Eastern and Gulf countries. International alliances based on international crisis requires building rank and file organizations in each barrio, municipality and region. The NGO's should learn the lessons from direct action movements like the MST in Brazil, the unemployed workers in Argentina who apply non-violent road pickets and strategic pressures in production and distribution.


It is clear that a right-wing offensive is underway on a world scale: so-called "security measures" are strengthening the arbitrary powers of the state at the expense of individual freedoms and collective social rights. It is also clear that a growing movement of resistance is emerging, particularly in the Muslim countries and to a considerable degree in Europe (Italy, England, France). The very extremism of Bush's total war strategy is having a boomerang effect: the prolongation of the war and the mounting casualties is increasing the number of voices from the humanitarian, human rights groups and citizens in Muslim countries. The right- wing offensive can be turned against itself. As fears and insecurities multiply, as the war erodes the economy and as the number of people adversely affected multiplies, these "mass casualties" in the domestic economies of the EU and even the U.S. can become potential recruits for social movements. The international war alliance is likely to lead to a counter-alliance for peace and opposition to militarism. Repressive legislation can heighten democratic sensibilities; authoritarianism, breed pro-democracy movements.

Polarities and forced choices ("war or terrorism") can boomerang, isolating their proponents before their extreme formulations. The movements must redefine polarities: globalization and war or democracy, self-determination, humane assistance to the victims of war and jobs for the unemployed. The vast majority of people refuses to choose between imperial wars and fundamentalist terror. Most will choose alternatives of secular, peaceful nations in which people are free to choose the social system which most fulfill their lives. Today the greatest threat to humanity is unilateralism -- the decision of Washington to go to war, to bomb a country into the "stone age", to reject Kyoto, missile controls, land mines abolition, international courts of justice and UN decisions which demand that Israel withdraw from the occupied territories. Unilateralism today means militarism. In the face of the world economic crisis and heightened competition, unilateralism means intensified struggle to expand control over vital resources and markets, via non-economic methods.

Unilateralism undermines any pretense of building durable alliances. Militarism alienates those who pay the cost of war: the majority of humankind. Unilateralism forces allies into opposition; economic crisis forces a re-evaluation of priorities, models, markets -- challenging neo-liberal orthodoxy. Tactically it is imperative to seek the broadest possible tactical alliance against unilateralism, militarism and neo-liberalism.

History teaches us, from the two World Wars, the Algerian and Vietnam Wars, that deprivation, unequal sacrifice and the political and social cost of war undermine the initial unanimity and heighten resistance. As opposition grows from below, vertical and horizontal cleavages deepen and the imperial arrogance of a "New World Order" crumbles and opportunities for transforming the world open and the eternal hopes for peace and justice become the programmatic bases for new socio-political movements. To be part of the solution and not part of the problem, progressive NGO's must draw a clear line of distinction between themselves and the millionaire NGO's, like Foster Parent Plan which collects $300 million a year, MISEREOR $214 million a year, World Vision $500 million, CARE with $50 million budgets. These millionaire agencies collaborate with Euro-American imperialism and are funded to undermine social movements via class collaborationist "community" and "family development". Today the foundations of multi-national corporations, the World Bank and the Euro-American empires invest over $7 billion for NGO's to undermine comprehensive public development and anti-systemic movements. Progressive NGO's can only engage in popular struggles to oppose war and resist globalization by rejecting funding from these sources which limit their commitments. All funding from the power structure carries "strings" -- limits in struggles, program, tactics and strategy. To think otherwise is self-delusive. To truly become an independent force, progressive NGO's must go to their roots, and win the allegiance of their people in order to become self-financing and live and work on voluntary donations from the people they purport to service.

This is not an easy time for NGO's or for the popular movements, but times change, reaction over-steps boundaries. People struggle from necessity. I believe that there is a powerful resistance movement that reaches from the countryside and urban slums of Latin America, Asia and Africa to the streets, cities and anti-globalization movements of Euro-America. We must seize our opportunities and advance and reject the siren calls of defeat, death, destruction and demoralization.

[Nov 02, 2014] This is why the Russians want to tightly regulate foreign NGOs

Nov 30, 2014 |

How is that for a "watch" of human right?

The fact is that western human rights organizations are below contempt. Some are political tools in the hands of the Empire (Human Rights Watch), some are full of western intelligence agents (Medecins Sans Frontieres, OSCE monitors), some are lead by cynical bureaucrats who use idealistic young delegates as cannon fodder (ICRC), some are used by big business as a tool (Greenpeace) while others are quasi-official CIA tools (NED, Freedom House, Open Society Foundation, etc.).

The funny thing in this case is that the photo is not taken in Russia, but in the Ukraine, and the riot cops shown here have Ukrainian unit badges. But then, who cares anyway? It's not like "truth" is a topic that matters to HRW...

The Saker


Within America, and much of the planet, the imperialist Oligarchs control the media, schools, and political process.

There are some courageous sons and daughters of Promethius who are doing their best to spread some light in the darkness.

One of them operates this Vinyard. Another, Snowden is sheltered in Russia. Assange, Manning, and the heroic Partisans of Novorussia, and too many others to mention, are taking their stands, regardless of the dangers.

The American people, our "Rabble in Arms," must rebuild our constitutional government within the United States. That is the missing ingredient to world progress, the rise of the citizens of America.

The Russians are doing their part. We must be next.

For the Democratic Republic! (destroyed on November 22, 1963).


Yes, look the uniform: I don't know Russian, but seems to me that Russian alphabet does not contain "I". Ukrainian has.

Charles Mondeley

As a former student in the American educational system, let me tell you, these NGO practices permeate every single level of college life, where you are CONSTANTLY solicited to join some sort of quasi-moral political calling, whether it is woman's rights groups, anti-tobacco campaigner, abortion, something or other.

It really doesn't matter in the end, seeing as they all lead to the same geopolitical strings. Really is depressing the true totalitarian level of information and cultural manipulation.


NGOs: reconnaisence, diversion, and infiltration groups. And special ops.

Wolves in sheep's clothing, or Trojan horses.


@Scan Yes, Russian alphabet does not contain "I".
Ukrainian does.


HRW has a revolving door with the US State Dept.


It's obvious to me that the picture shows Ukrainian alphabet, not Russian.

These are Ukraine police guys.


Wonderful the opponents are in overdrive exposing "assets".

Interesting language - now who could be the potential audience?

Bathos is always is enhanced with prior stimulation.

Michael McDonnell

I have always suspected "rights" organisations from basics:-

Rights are claims in justice guaranteed by God for performance of duties to God and are, therefore, inalienable except by sin. Civil rights flow from civil duties and are inalienable except by crime. To steal our rights by removing their basis in duties, the Hate freaks devised inalienable 'self evident' Rights of Man, and innumerable counterfeit rights to discredit all rights, then bills of rights legislated by the state because what the state gives the state can take away.

From this understanding I am spared fetid research into who funds and sodomises whom in the rights racket.

Seems not so long ago that there was an uproar when supporters of Novorossiya used some photos for the #SaveDonbassPeople campaign that just happened to be taken at places outside of Donbass.

But I guess using photos out of context is just fine when the "good guys" are doing it.

Johan Meyer
Where was this poster published/found? I need that information to use this poster against HRW et alia.
sketch ey
I checked HRW's website for fun. The stories they have critical of Russia are about ten to one to those critical of the Kiev gov't.

Not only that, but of the stories about Ukraine, there are literally ten to one criticizing the Eastern rebels for violating human rights, not the Kiev regime. They regard the shelling of Donetsk and Lugansk as being caught in "crossfire." Anybody with a half-functioning brain can easily see what HRW really is. I guess burning people alive, raping and murdering pregnant women, banning people from speaking their own language, and outlawing political parties representing whole segments of the population are "good" violations of human rights.

The sad part of this is that virtually all outfits like this, including the U.N. itself, have been bought and paid for by the "Empire." Just like the League of Nations before it, the U.N. will have to be erased as well.

"when Miguel Díaz, the ex-CIA analyst in question, exploited the eight years of experience and relationships he accumulated within HRW's advisory committee for his subsequent role as the U.S. State Department's "interlocutor between the intelligence community and non-government experts."

Oh and that UN shill Power..

Michael McDonnell
Peter Antonsen said The American people, our "Rabble in Arms," must rebuild our constitutional government within the United States.

Every time I suggest that the patriotic moral élite invade the GOP to reinforce the Tea Party conservatives, the suggestion is not criticised, just ignored. The Satanic societies cannot be replaced by less than an overwhelming gathering/organising, consolidation of nationalist sentiment within the country's main party. Ho-hum.

Again, full spectrum dominance means there are no good options if you insist on sticking to well known or 'legitimate' organizations.

You must make your own options and fight to see they are not co-opted.

Above all, you must learn to think and read critically and also celebrate the few lonely voices who make the grade.

I can think of only one.

Thank you Saker.

Michael Droy
Interesting - a link to the original HRW photo as published by them would be useful.

A google image search takes me to an Irish times article behind a paywall.

Typically the headline refers to people burnt in Ukraine and the short attached text is an accusation of the kremlin. ... ...Odessa seems to have been the incident...


100% ukrainian police


Human Rights Watch. They watch for Human Rights and when they find some, they crush them.

Also Russia uses полиция (police) since 2011. Not милиция (militia).

A friend of mine used to work for NGOs and he always told me they're run like mafias. A very few quantity of the money donated ends up helping the people who are in need.


re: foreign NGOs: That is the last illusion to fall even among those who are more politically alert such is the desire to have some good be done by us in the Empire in the midst of so much appalling evil done in "our" name. So keep exposing them.

As one contributor said--repetition and more repetition because more and more people come to view this for the first time here.


The American people, our "Rabble in Arms," must rebuild our constitutional government within the United States. That is the missing ingredient to world progress, the rise of the citizens of America.

I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you...people are content lying to themselves. They even sleep better at night when not worrying about The Truth.

ESPECIALLY Americans. They are the strongest bullies in the playground. They're filled with hubris and proudly singing the star spangled banner at every game. Why should they change anything?! They think that they rule the world. It's much easier to think that, rather than have to face up to the fact that they are, in fact, ruled by dual citizens to whom they constitute mere 'plebs' to be used only as foot soldiers when needed.

I mean, I know you knew all this, but try to convince yourself that *something* will change...when we both know that it won't.

If change does come, it will NOT be initiated by the American people. No point in giving anyone false hope.


The George Soros Open Society Foundation is the primary donor of the Human Rights Watch, contributing $100 million of $128 million of contributions.
Source: wikipedia



Hosting address of pic at HRW (note it's a slightly different poster)

I know Russia has required NGO's (or at least some of them) to register as foreign agents if their funding comes from outside.

But why can't Russia just ban them in Russia period.

The subversion they cause,as they did in Ukraine,is so bad that the horrible publicity Russia would get would be worth getting rid of them.The concept of the NGO's is a good one.But once the US started using them to destabilize countries it ruined all the good they might have done.I don't worry for Russia in military matters.But constantly when I see something like this I'm concerned over the 5th column and traitors destroying Russia from within.The level of Russophobia is so great in the West that allowing traitors to operate and aid foreign agents inside Russia is ridiculous.

The are even sites that supposedly report on news in Russia.Visited by Russians that are almost totally anti-Russian propaganda.Doom and gloom 24/7 over the economy,etc.And rags like the Moscow Times (foreign owned) and now a Russian language site up by Russian 5th columnists in Latvia is certain to stir the pot.I'am even wondering over some articles I see in the English language RT.For a site owned by the Russian state some of the stories are written not much better than the MSN.Do they have any kind of editors or moderators for their comments page.

The comment page would gladden the heart of the worst Russophobe.At least the USSR made an effort to counter propaganda from the West.I don't really see that from Moscow today.They need to understand they are really at war.RT reported the other day that Putin's approval numbers went down to 59%.And wondered if it was over the Ukraine and the sanctions.That is the kind of story I'm talking about.In reading the full story it said the question asked was if an election was held next weekend would you vote for him.Not exactly how the headline put it.

The headline was more like you'd see in the Washington Post.In the article my understanding of it was that people are unset thinking he is selling Novorossii out to the West.That is as Saker mentioned another tactic of the West to sow unrest in Russia.Or at least I hope that's what it is.

Uncle Bob


Meanwhile, the "Russian spetsnaz" was...Swedish fisherman!
To find out, they spent € 2 million ...

Johann Schickeneder

That's what I said for a long time: Russia has to tighten the screws on this malevolent orgs.
And why not expose this shills for what they are? Press them hard! Russia surely has the insight on these billion dollar viruses and they have the coms to spread it.
USAID is as much about aid as the Fed is about federal.
It's Orwellian stuff.

Hats off to the Saker!

For the American People I recommend Gerald Celente's "Occupy Peace" movement.
Greetings from occupied Germany


"The American people, our "Rabble in Arms," must rebuild our constitutional government within the United States. That is the missing ingredient to world progress, the rise of the citizens of America."

When the $ will finally fall and the Americans understand that the American era is over for ever, the country will descend into chaos. Large parts of the US will resemble Donbass 2014. Roughly speaking, the Reps will morph into the Constitutionalist party and the Dems the Republicans (a la the Reps in Spain in the thirties) or Centralists/neo-Bolsheviks.

The Constitutionalists will attempt to secede, Washington and the Dems try to prevent that. The only way for the Constitutionalists to win and succeed in secession is to ask for help from Europe (Paris-Berlin-Moscow) and they will receive it, just like was the case when the American rebels of 177x received decisive help from continental Europe (troops from France, money and weapons from Holland and Spain).

700 million Europeans should be able to guarantee the future of say 100 million Euro-Americans on north-American soil ('flyover country').

Kind regards,


I've always wondered why Russia doesn't fight fire with fire. The US has plenty of problems and vulnerabilities that they should be taking advantage of. IIRC, the former USSR tried to take advantage of US class and ethnic divisions. US right wingers pretty much credited the Soviets for the anti-Vietnam war movement. Whether they had a hand in it or not isn't even the point. If not, then perhaps they should have.

The US today has plenty of ethnic divisions of white vs black vs Hispanic/Mexican, etc. It has "liberal" vs "Conservative" vs "old style conservative." The latter, mostly Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan types, seem quite sympathetic to Russia.

And there are plenty of Anti-war leftists in the US who might not be pro Russian but are definitely anti-US (made in Israel) foreign policy.

The US also probably has probably the worst prison and criminal 'justice' system in the industrial world.

Now obviously the US will ***NEVER*** allow foreign NGOs to work here as their own do abroad, but I still think Russia has plenty of material to work with.

And its goals don't have to bee too ambitious. They don't need to overthrow the US government. But I think even a modest effort will piss the US elites off something fierce (and so what? They are already hell bent on destroying Russia) and they would have to direct some of their attention away from tormenting others and back to protecting themselves.

Matt Janovic

Hilariously, the HRW petition is addressed to that great champion of human rights, from Lybia to Syria to Egypt to Burma to Donbass, our beloved Secretary of State.

Could the Saker find out what the distraught lady behind the police line was protesting about?


About Bernard Kouchner, Medecins Sans Frontiers cofunder


BTW here is the interview of Hawkeye in English:

Robert Miller

Regarding OSCE, keep an eye on this guy:

Red Cross certainly fits as an NGO, & one i bet most people would'nt even know what they've been up to these decades. this is an updated article out today, from an older one expose he did years ago which really surprised me.

American Red Cross: Another Corporate and Bankster Fleecing Operation

Considering the fact Obama is the organization's honorary chairman and its board of governors is dominated by the likes of Goldman Sachs, Merck, Circle One Financial Group, and other large corporations, the fact the Red Cross is merely a front for collecting donations should not come as a surprise.

It is telling as well that the Red Cross was created by congressional charter. It has a government mandate to work in league with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


At the begining empire use secret societies -- see book Builders of Empire. Then empire legalized them as NGOs


I'll never forget this one also :

Medecins Sans Frontiers´in Syria

I have to say that I know, because I've known personally some of them, that in this organization works, primarily in the field, expats, outstanding people, which only is moved on the interest to help the disadvantaged without expecting a big reward and who are ignorant of all these maneuvers.

Supporting them after years, just opened my eyes on my tracking of the Syrian conflict.

A pity....


Anyone know where this image appeared, who it was addressed to, or what people were being requested to sign?

Presumably it was not for use in Russia, since Russians generally don't speak English and, to judge by opinion surveys, regard Putin more as a a defender of Russian rights, culture and sovereignty than a tyrant.


Unfortunately, such organisations seem to have been subverted to some degree or other by people who have entered and captured them with a political agenda. This plays out in sync with the bias already pushed ever more blatantly by MSM. Amnesty International seems to be very motivated to find human rights abuses in Russia, but do we hear their concerns about human rights abuses committed by America ("we tortured a few folks") at home and abroad?

On this note of an alternative world view here is a link to an interview with Igor Strelkov:

Why aren't the bully boys in helmets beating up the woman we are supposed to believe is protesting against Putin's tyranny? The thing makes no apparent sense. But then its presumably aimed at stupid Americans who assume that Russians speak English.

I guess that does make sense though the implications are grim, since when America's about to start killing people they feel the need, first, to have Soros and company demonize them as terrorists led by a monster.


Peor may like to mail or tweet this info to HRW and see how or if they respond
Pete J Antonsen

You nailed it with JFK's assassination. The coup d'etat was the single act that convinced the oligarchs, plutocrats, military-industrial complex that Americans were sheep, however armed and resistant to government.

It took education to turn the ensuing generations into mush who accept Liberalism and watch a Bill of Rights shredded by the courts.

Your prescription and hope seem extremely doubtful until external pressure causes severe disruption of the tyranny centered in Washington.

Whether that is the end of the dollar, the collapse of the EU, the disintegration of NATO, or a catastrophe that shocks the American psyche profoundly, only time will tell.

I agree we must have our constitutional government back in the control of the people.
But it may be many decades before that occurs.


Anyone following the disaster that has been unfolding in this new century can attest to the lies being promulgated by the West ' Freedom ,Democracy and Human Rights '. Euphemisms that are Orwellian in totality
Is that an official poster of HRW? I am kinda of cynical it is.


Unfortunately, even though here at this blog we "know the truth"...this photo is very compelling...and so highly untruthful as to draw on emotions of anyone who sees it...and HRW is quite big in the news, and sometimes even quoted by alternative media...RT for example...

I wonder how much RT is oligarch owned and also Itar I mentioned a couple of threads ago...there's a great american journalist named John Robles, who was chased out of the US for his fantastic news coverage...and found a job at Voice of Russia and was doing a great job there...then VR merged (? oligarch-owned??) with Itar Tass and John Robles lost his job...he does not have social security in Russia and is a "wanted" journalist in America...

His situation is like Snowden's, only Snowden is benefiting from fame ... besides which I've heard Snowden is an american operative inside Russia...and Putin knows....

Anyway, I wish John Robles could get the help he needs...his wife just had a baby girl and he's in employment straits...and nowhere to turn to...

Greetings from Singapore:

Demonization of the enemy, based on lies, is a constant with the West.

M.Parenti wrote on the Yugoslavia issue:

The Serbs were blamed for the infamous Sarajevo market massacre of 1992. But according to the report leaked out on French TV, Western intelligence knew that it was Muslim operatives who had bombed Bosnian civilians in the marketplace in order to induce NATO involvement. Even international negotiator David Owen, who worked with Cyrus Vance, admitted in his memoir that the NATO powers knew all along that it was a Muslim bomb.16 However, the well-timed fabrication served its purpose of inducing the United Nations to go along with the U.S.-sponsored sanctions.

On one occasion, notes Barry Lituchy, the New York Times ran a photo purporting to be of Croats grieving over Serbian atrocities when in fact the murders had been committed by Bosnian Muslims. The Times printed an obscure retraction the following week.17

We repeatedly have seen how "rogue nations" are designated and demonized. The process is predictably transparent. First, the leaders are targeted. Qaddafi of Libya was a "Hitlerite megalomaniac" and a "madman." Noriega of Panama was a "a swamp rat," one of the world's worst "drug thieves and scums," and "a Hitler admirer." Saddam Hussein of Iraq was "the Butcher of Baghdad," a "madman," and "worse than Hitler." Each of these leaders then had their countries attacked by U.S. forces and U.S.-led sanctions. What they really had in common was that each was charting a somewhat independent course of self-development or somehow was not complying with the dictates of the global free market and the U.S. national security state.18

Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic has been described by Bill Clinton as "a new Hitler." Yet he was not always considered so. At first, the Western press, viewing the ex-banker as a bourgeois Serbian nationalist who might hasten the break-up of the federation, hailed him as a "charismatic personality." Only later, when they saw him as an obstacle rather than a tool, did they begin to depict him as the demon who "started all four wars." This was too much even for the managing editor of the U.S. establishment journal Foreign Affairs, Fareed Zakaria. He noted in the New York Times that Milosevic who rules "an impoverished country that has not attacked its neighbors -- is no Adolf Hitler. He is not even Saddam Hussein."19

Some opposition radio stations and newspapers were reportedly shut down during the NATO bombing. But, during my trip to Belgrade in August 1999, I observed nongovernmental media and opposition party newspapers going strong. There are more opposition parties in the Yugoslav parliament than in any other European parliament. Yet the government is repeatedly labeled a dictatorship. Milosevic was elected as president of Yugoslavia in a contest that foreign observers said had relatively few violations. As of the end of 1999, he presided over a coalition government that included four parties. Opposition groups openly criticized and demonstrated against his government. Yet he was called a dictator.
The propaganda campaign against Belgrade has been so relentless that prominent personages on the Left -- who oppose the NATO policy against Yugoslavia -- have felt compelled to genuflect before this demonization orthodoxy.20 Thus do they reveal themselves as having been influenced by the very media propaganda machine they criticize on so many other issues. To reject the demonized image of Milosevic and of the Serbian people is not to idealize them or claim they are faultless or free of crimes. It is merely to challenge the one-sided propaganda that laid the grounds for NATO's destruction of Yugoslavia.


Kat Kan

To add insult to injury, that image is from an occasion when (ethnic) Russians were the VICTIMS.

The picture was take outside the Trade Union building in Odessa on May 3, at a protest about the massacre of the day before. A Reuters photo, it appeared on numerous sites at the time, eg

It also appeared on items claiming Russia set up the Odessa fire as a provocation, so I guess in that context the image may have a little bit o do with the text on the new poster.

Daniel Rich
Human Rights Watch:

Senior Management:

Kenneth Roth, Executive Director
Michele Alexander, Deputy Executive Director, Development and Global Initiatives
Carroll Bogert, Deputy Executive Director, External Relations
Iain Levine, Deputy Executive Director, Program
Chuck Lustig, Deputy Executive Director, Operations


This is off-topic, but the hilarious campy LOLNazis over at Daily Stormer appear to have drawn the attention of the British Parliament.

..don't they know that you are supposed to ignore that kind of stuff and don't feed the Twitter trolls, especially when they are snarky take-no-prisoners Nazi internet trolls who despise weakness? There's nothing weaker than MPs or members of Congress.

These guys are the funniest Nazis on the planet. Parliament doesn't stand a chance against their outrageous snark. You can either ignore them or shut down the internet, what's it gonna be...

Even a half-wit should be able to see through these so-called NGO's. Let us start with the name first: Non-government organization. What does it mean? Anything and almost everything. The Coca Cola company, your local Mafia group, the boy scouts club, Hell's angels biker gang, and the New York sex-workers' association are all valid examples of NGO's. These are "organizations" and are non-governmental; hence they pass the test of being non-governmental organizations. Indeed, mercenary outfits such a Blackwater are also non-governmental organizations; being remote from any government, they can be used for all sorts of murderous and genocidal activities while the governments involved can cheerfully proclaim "not me, my hands are clean, these are non-government people".
It is equally silly to attempt to regulate NGO's, just as it would be silly to regulate ghosts, amoeba, and viruses. You can only regulate what is defined by a proper name and which cannot change form and shape like an amoeba.
Any organization that receives foreign money is first and foremost a foreign-funded organization ("FFO" - now how is that for a name?) and should be called by its proper name. The second thing then is to establish who controls the FFO: locals or foreigners. Only lastly can it become possible to list the activities that FFO's can engage in and those that are closed to them. Politics, crime, media, lobbying, and influence peddling are obvious examples of activities that should not be open to FFO's. Even something like medical research could be dangerous because of the risk of citizens being treated like guinea pigs by foreign controlled organizations.
NGO's or FFO's, the real question is who is to be master foreign money or local citizens?

Donovan Kirsten

Paul Theroux, famous travel writer of "Dark Star Safari", calls the white-Toyota-truck-driving NGO do-gooders in Africa "Agents of Virtue".

These, he says, are the most dangerous kinds of people, because they believe they have right on their side. I would put post-neocons like Hillary Clinton in this category.

One thing about George W. Bush, he was a murderer and he was proud of it. Do-gooders are no less evil, but they're harder to spot for the unwary.

All anglo spy agencies like english media spy journalsits and so called human rights from inhuman anglos must be treated as enemy spies in war time and dealt with accordingly everywhere in the world.
Mulga Mumblebrain
Human Rights Watch is basically the kosher version of Amnesty. Both are tools of the Atlanticist Empire. Allowing the arrogant, interfering, supremacist scum onto your territory is sheer madness.

Mulga Mumblebrain

Donovan Kirsten, the basic character trait of these 'Agents of Virtue' is utter racist and civilizational supremacist contempt for the 'savages' they are saving from themselves. Hence the preponderance of Jews, at least of that type that really believe in their over-all superiority to the goyim, in the ranks of these agents of the, coincidentally, Jewish-controlled Atlanticist global hegemony. I'd be happy to let 'self-hating' Israeli Jews like B'tselem, or Gush Shalom in, but they, properly, are concerning themselves with their own country's problems, and not sticking an interfering snout into the affairs of others.

Mulga Mumblebrain

mjm, Milosevic was making mince-meat of the 'persecution' at his sham show trial, so they murdered him by giving him Rifampicin, usually used in TB treatment, but with the very little known side-effect of interfering with certain cardiac medications, some of which Milosevic was taking.

Slightly reminiscent of the lynching of Saddam who was hanged before he could be tried for those atrocities like Halabja, that he committed with full US and Atlanticist co-operation.

Mulga Mumblebrain

Johann Schikeneder, I agree-hit the bastards hard as you kick 'em out. Put a few local compradores and their foreign controllers on trial and expose their activities. Sentence them to long terms, then show magnanimity, expel the foreigners and parole the locals, but keep them closely monitored. Some might prefer to move to their real 'Homeland' the Atlanticist dystopias, so give them a one-way ticket (to Palookaville). And good riddance.


A 29 pagepaper on the Maidan snipers identity and actions by academics at the
University of Ottawa.


"First they came …" is a famous statement and provocative poem ... about the cowardice of EU-NATO countries' intellectuals following the Natoists' rise to power and American occupation of Europe.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me-and there was no one left to speak for me.


@Scan Yes, Russian alphabet does not contain "I".
Ukrainian does.
The Russian call "police"
Ukrainian call "міліція Militsiya"

Once Nazi, today Natoist


From The Economist, NGO, a factory of Anglo-Zionist anti Russian propaganda

Nov 1st 2014

What lies behind Vladimir Putin's latest anti-American rant

WHEN Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, gave a belligerent anti-Western speech in Munich seven years ago he was tense and angry

If you read, please read between the lines.

Croat and Russophile


@ Larchmonter445:

The collapse of the USSA will occur before decades go by. The empire collapses not long after the peak of external (yet exaggerated) military power, and a few decades after economic decline has set in.

The economy is destroyed for all but the elites and their functionaries.

I work for a software company, and am therefore part of the lucky worker beehive supporting the elites. They love their toys and human-control devices.

I believe an external shock will tear the nation apart. Economic decline, combined with moral decay, the utter destruction of real education (going on now for 100 years under the "progressive" regime), the undermining of Americans' health from terrible food, poisoned water, GMOs, etc. will lead to a tipping point at some unknown time in the near future.

Putin and Russia simply have to stay sane, alive, ethical, and strong. Develop internal industry and technology. Trade with any nation that wishes to trade. Avoid tit-for-tat sanctions, except to keep the enemy off guard.

I live in the USA. I wish to emigrate as soon as practicable.

It is really hell here, despite the superficial material abundance.

I am healing after decades of being poisoned. By making major changes to what I ingest, my health (mental and physical), I can finally think, read, and study again. My depression has lifted, only to allow me to be more aware of the degraded state of the society in which I live.

I fear for my son and family. Yet I must fight on and get out of here.

There are, indeed, good people. A minority take rights, duties, responsibilities, and independence and localism seriously.

Wish us luck.

Regarding the NGOs- not one American NGO is worth anyone's support.
I remember the shock on a young woman's face recently when I told her that no, I would not give money to her pro-abortion feminist organization. I told her that I disagreed with her org's morality and mission.
It would seem not many people are so honest. I was not impolite, nor had I any ill will.
This is my longest comment yet here... glad to have found y'all.

I'm a Burkean, paleo-conservative with libertarian/communitarian tendencies... and I have no home in my city and state and nation....

Daniel Rich

@ Kat Kan,

Q: If we're going to disapprove of HRW (or any other organisation) let's try to d it on the basis of something they are actually DOING.

R: I wold like to add the words 'or not' to that sentence.


This is the url of all State Department documents surrounding the invasion of Cuba, including Operation Mongoose, which Kennedy launched immediately after promising not to invade Cuba in return for withdrawal of the IBMs during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Compiling these and going public with them was a special history project of the State Department. It was meant to be comprehensive, although you will not be surprised to see things like "specific tasking to the CIA attached" followed by the historian's note "no attachment found."

The number one item on all the invasion planning was finding and infiltrating human rights groups or creating some, if necessary.

My index to the individual documents got lost in a computer incident, sorry. But you should stash this and make your own. This remains the classic playbook for subversion today.




It was the Yellow Peril that was credited with the anti-Vietnam war movement. I remember it well.

"Right, mom. And when some of that Peking gold trickles down to me, I'll pay you the $20 I owe you."

Gideon Anthony

Guys to get the most comprehensive view of how these organizations contribute to the political economy of narrative generation , I would recommend strongly 'slouching towards Sirte' by Maximillian Forte - a forensic deconstruction of the way the case was generated against Libya as well as an empirical history of that war. horrifying and John 'Bomb Iran', make friends with Nazis and Jihadists McCain has already promised the Gaddafi treatment to Putin. Beyond contempt.


The Western media loves to
hate Putin because he doesn't configure to their garden- variety liberal ruler who gets applauded at fancy conferences. But in Putin what they should really see is not a totalitarian – just a normal, run-of-the-mill Russian semi-dictato
In Slovakia open consulate of Novorossia. This is version of Voice of Russia, language is Slovak

Alien Tech

It wont be long now. The US is trying to break everyone else before they break. Hence destabilize everyone else first and things will get much worse before it does get worse like you never experienced before. You can expect false flags to come out of the woodworks everywhere. We are at the center of the hurricane and we think the danger is over, wait until we start moving out of the center, we hit the leading wave in 2008. They think they can keep us in the center so as not to get buried but it is only a matter of time...

We had interest rate hikes in Turkey and South America. We had a cotton and federal bond-buying program. Just eight months later in October, we've got Ebola. We've got ISIS. We've got Russia annexing Crimea. We've got a rising U.S. Dollar Index. We've got pullbacks in gold, silver and pretty much all commodity prices. With all this news, what, in your view, should people really be focusing in on?

Bob Moriarty: There is a flock of black swans overhead, any one of which could be catastrophic. The fundamental problems with the world's debt crisis and banking crisis have never been solved. The fundamental issues with the euro have never been solved. The world is a lot closer to the edge of the cliff today than it was back in February.

BM: We are the catalyst in the Middle East. We have been the catalyst under the theory that we are the world's policemen and that we're better and smarter than everybody else and rich enough to afford to fight war after war. None of those beliefs are true. The idea that America is exceptional is hogwash. We're not smarter. We're not better. We're certainly not effective policemen.

BM: We have two giant elephants in the room fighting it out. One is the inflation elephant and one is the deflation elephant. The deflation elephant is the $710 trillion worth of derivatives, which is $100,000 per man, woman and child on earth. Those derivatives have to blow up and crash. That's going to be deflationary.
"WCB Resources Ltd. could have big potential."

At the same time, we've got the world awash in debt, more debt than we've ever had in history, and it's been inflationary in terms of energy and the stock market. When the stock and bond markets implode, as we know they're going to, we're going to see some really scary things. We'll go to quantitative easing (QE) infinity, and we're going to see the price of gold go through the roof. It's going to go to the moon when everything else crashes.

BM: Oh, I'm in. Not in the general market, but I'm in resources. There's a triangle of value created by a guy named John Exter: Exter's Pyramid. It's an inverted pyramid. At the top there are derivatives, and then there are miscellaneous assets going down: securitized debt and stocks, broad currency and physical notes. At the very bottom-the single most valuable asset at the end of time-is gold. When the derivatives, bonds, currencies and stock markets crash, the last man standing is going to be gold.


I too looked for the image to make sure I didn't have egg on my face when I linked to Saker. Here it is:{d108c9e1-9920-41e7-a617-ef5f171073e4}/KREMLIN-PETITION-BANNER.PNG

From this page on

Found via:


Would you believe, its form the Odessa massacre...

First result behind a pay-wall.


"...I did a complete scan of Norton last night and it was fine all day UNTIL I CAME ON SAKER this afternoon. So it's this blog under attack.

Sharon US"

use Firefox and no script addon. for me it works, I am looking for quality texts on the internet not some JavaScript frenzy pages...


Alien Tech

RE: Ebola.. We had a good discussion on it. And things we do know..

Is the US capable of killing tens of millions of people.. Why of course they are. They kill anyone who they think is a disadvantage to them. They kill their own as well if they don't follow the line.

We know the US experimented on people with chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. So if they are capable of doing all this to their own citizens they would have no morals doing it to anyone else.

What some of us have problems with is how we blame everyone and everything as being involved in this. Remember, not all of us are involved in this and oppose this type of behavior. Some of us spend a part of our lives trying to do good for those less fortunate than us and putting such people in danger because of your blanket beliefs serves no one but the empire of chaos. How about if we, all who read and post here are put in the same boat as tin foil hatters and conspiracy nuts and anything we say is considered gibberish and nonsense. After all you just called some others who were trying to do good as genocidal maniacs.

For many decades WE were considered as the cases trying to bring down society, to blame for the worlds problems. And now you want to put some others into the same boat, actually far worse, put their lives in jeopardy and who knows what else.

Such attitudes is why such things as this are possible.. "Its a known fact that when there are demonstrations in the west the police put undercover agents in the crowds to cause vandalism and give them an excuse to break up peaceful demonstrations."

"The next time your telephone service goes out, the 'repairman' who responds may actually be an FBI agent who cut the line himself," "The next time your cable television service goes fuzzy, your plumbing backs up, or your lights go dark, caveat emptor: the source of the problem may actually be the government agent lurking in his car down the street, waiting for you to call for help – thereby unknowingly consenting to him using a secret camera to record you and the most private spaces in your home."

The US is capable of mass murder on a scale we just cant imagine even if we know what the had done but to just jump off the bridge because they are trying to scare monger us is not the answer. But dont ever forget, we Humans are genocidal maniacs and we have killed out fellow humans on such scales that defines reason. All of us are complicit in their atrocities. What we CAN try to do is, keep others informed of what is happening and not just throw out blame.


Saker: In Sweden, not long ago a Red Cross boss was obliged to resign due to fraud. Btw we have got a new government (Carl Bildt is gone at least for the time being. The new government has started chasing "Russian submarines" in the Baltic. The there is right now something strange this new government is on the way to recognize Palestine as independant state. Israelis are of course real mad. I can not explain where this comes from since Sweden is subservant to NWO powers (as I perceive it myself).
For those that don't believe it's a genuine HRW photo try this page.

For those that want to complain to HRW go to this page.


Saker, what's your opinion on the Union of the Committees of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia? It's received some media attention around here, relating to the plight of NGOs operating in Russia. Somewhat like Anna Politkovskaya representing all independent journalists. I've never heard of the organization Human Rights House it apparently belongs to.


[from Blue]
Just in passing as response to comments from a few others:
I don't go to RT much anymore. I t seems to me to have gone downhill, become largely sensationalist like a cheap tabloid, and significantly controlled by the 5th column.

The last few times I left comments they were never published; a lot of trolling is published there, however. It's not gone entirely, but is not what it was or could or should be.


Former Kremlin advisor and election manager offers a unique account of the Russian leader's ideological formation and worldview. A Soviet-realist analysis of the failings of the USSR and the actual motivations of the capitalist states.




NGOs like charities "give" to the recipients which re-inforces the power relation applicant/supplicant,thereby facilitating the continuance of the relationship which gave rise to the need for aid in the first instance, even if the giving is "enlightenment".

The transcendant relationship would be to share.


Here is a very nice article from CNN
Chile's 'Children of Silence' seek truth

It is interesting that not once is mentioned so called "The West", not once mentioned the USA, on other hand whatever happens in Russia EU-NATO media involve Putin.

When Russia is in question NATO-EU media [ or western media ] just troll and spread anti-Russian propaganda.


In the article there is no mention of the other fake Human right organization that goes by the name
Amnesty International .
This organization ignores human rights abuse in donor countries such as USA , Australia and others but make a big fuss about abuses in countries unfriendly to the NWO . I had a personal experience with them many years ago in Australia and I decided that I will never give them money or credit .
Morte al nuovo ordine


@ Anonymous 22:12

"Where did this image come from? I can't find it on the HRW site"

Here you go:

cardinal points

HERE Take action and take a stand against Putin's repressive policies Human Rights Watch (@hrw) October 27, 2014

cardinal points

Odessa _ 3rd may 2014 by Reuters


I send John Robles some donation on Oct 22. I was following his articles in VoR. However its a shame to close down VoR to merge with Segdonya. He was quite vocal against the Empire and did lots of interviews with people who are against THe Empire too.

Kat Kan

OK this seems to be where this comes from. The text mentions Ukraine, so that may tie in with using that image. I believe in captioning every image everywhere, but that's just me...


Apparently this appeared all over the HRW for quite a few days, but when you follow links where this image appeared on HRW, it seems to have disappeared...

And the first time it appeared, without the added text, was May 3, on BBC (also the Irish Times)

Other results here...


Dear The Saker,

What makes this even more disgusting is this news today :( :(

I want to see every single one of those rapists bought to justice!




In 2008 HRW falsely accused Russia of using cluster bombs in Georgia. In fact it was Israeli cluster bombs used by Georgia. Responsible for this lie is HRW employee and US war criminal Marc Garlasco.

In 2014 HRW even tries to justify the genocide committed by the nazis in Ukraine:
"The Ukrainian government is entitled to carry out law enforcement and military operations to counter an armed insurrection."

"Human Rights Watch Misidentified Cluster Bomb"

"Before coming to HRW, Marc spent seven years in the Pentagon as a senior intelligence analyst covering Iraq. His last position there was chief of high-value targeting during the Iraq War in 2003. Marc was on the Operation Desert Fox (Iraq) Battle Damage Assessment team in 1998, led a Pentagon Battle Damage Assessment team to Kosovo in 1999, and recommended thousands of aimpoints on hundreds of targets during operations in Iraq and Serbia. He also participated in over 50 interrogations as a subject matter expert."

L Bean
Facts aside(that these NGOs are indeed as described), you are all taking this photo out of western propaganda context. Of course it's depicting Ukrainian soldiers, etc., but as a benevolent force, possibly even there to help that distraught lady who is obviously crying because Putin did...something.

Don't you guys get it? Whatever is going on in this photo is due to the evil wrought by Putin. So whether you're a faux progressive who fancies themselves 'informed' on the situation, or a mindless knob, the propaganda still works.

"Look what Putin has wrought! Even these brave and smartly uniformed Kiev police can do nothing to assuage this poor woman's anguish!" etc.

Literally NO ONE I've talked to in the US knows anythingabout the trade union building massacre. I'd wager that would be true of at least 99% of English speakers worldwide as well.

the pug

Mark Ames ‏@MarkAmesExiled

Head of Omidyar-funded NGO that organized Ukraine revolution takes seat in new parliament. My newest in @PandoDaily

This latest twist in Omidyar Network's murky, contradictory or two-faced roles raises more disturbing questions about what the tech billionaire is up to. On the one hand, Omidyar plays the "adversarial" watchdog of the US National Security State, having privatized Snowden's NSA files, the largest national security secrets leak in history, for his startup publication The Intercept with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, the only two people entrusted with the complete Snowden cache.

On the other hand, Omidyar and his wife have been among the most frequent visitors to the Obama White House, intermingling with members of his National Security Council and State Deptartment. Meanwhile, in just the past year Omidyar Network has co-funded Ukraine revolution groups in Ukraine with the US government, and directly financed far-right, pro-business political actors in both Ukraine and in India, where a former top figure in Omidyar Network, Jayant Sinha now serves in the ultranationalist BJP Party and as close advisor to its controversial far-right leader, Narendra Modi. Previously, Sinha had served in a powerful BJP Party think-tank, the India Foundation to elect Modi, while simultaneously working as head of Omidyar Network India Advisors, and serving on the five-member global Executive Committee of Omidyar Network.


The bad news keep piling up for Russia: the anglozionist cartel continues to slam commodities and the ruble, tightens sanctions, etc. and what does Russia do? nothing. They just sit there and take it.

Oh no, I'm sorry, forgive me, they did do something: they saved the Ukranian government's ass ahead of the harsh winter.

Speeches are nice and all, but actions are better.

For the longest time I refused to believe it, but there's no hope.

Now, if someone could please explain to me why Elstine, the American puppet, personally handpicked Putin?

Thank you.

Kat Kan
We don't have a news thread, so

Russian humanitarian convoy arrives in Novorossiya

well timed to start distribution the day before the elections.


i´m fm south america, an english speaker, and i knew very well on the trade union massacre.
We use to read different sites and blogs, but no need to read the post, NYT or CNN or local Msm, because we are bombed by them in very first hours. Our problem is getting rid of their version, the soonest we can. and hopefully we are more than 1%
There is certainly no good or evil in this world. People who deal in absolutes obstruct themselves from seeing the real complexities of the world.

There is however International law and multilateralism. But the reality of Great power politics is very cynical on all sides. To them people are ants and a pool to pull out votes from, to use in internal power plays, (It's not that simple but it's a very pronounced theme ).

We should be preparing for climate change and the very real and existing threat against humanity. But it looks like "our" elites have decided instead to push on with geopolitical chess and militarism. Pushing Russia towards China.

Well said, Anonymous first post - the inherent exceptionality of every sovereign nation must be restored and the western propaganda machine may not like it but Russia is leading the way forward simply by having first its own land and population as the guiding light.

This powerful message reminds me of a melody often played in the US at July 4th celebrations - Tchaikovski's 1812 overture. Mainstream media is like the French national anthem, and then there comes...


@ Lysander

Why doesn't Russia do the same? The main reason may be money. The US has a virtually inexhaustible supply of money for these enterprises, as long as the dollar system remains in place.

Another reason is that Russia, unlike the US, is not really interested in running the entire wirld and stirring the pot anywhere things don't go their way.

To Lysander@22:19, Putin IS fighting fire with fire, but the right kind of fire. It would be foolish for him to use the tactics he decries so eloquently at Valdai.

No, the fire he is fighting with is that which existed openly in the US before George Bush took power and proclaimed himself to be a war president with new powers to make preemptive strikes - Al Gore was then still able to make powerful speeches in San Francisco against this unConstitutional takeover, but his voice disappeared as the oligarchical tyranny surged, empowered by Clinton in the last stages of his presidency (why do I increasingly see his figure as a Yeltsin lookalike?)

What happened to Russia when the neoliberals came to 'help' also happened in the United States, courtesy of 'think tanks' generated even in the bowels of my own liberal arts alma mater. We lost our democracy to oligarchical greed as the new century dawned, and we must get it back before it is too late.


The web page with the letter to Kerry has been pulled. Someone told them the image was from Odessa and that it related to the incineration of women and children at the Trade Union building.


Site of HRW petition to John Kerry, which using this photo


Purple library guy

Michael McDonnell said, "Every time I suggest that the patriotic moral élite invade the GOP to reinforce the Tea Party conservatives, the suggestion is not criticised, just ignored. The Satanic societies cannot be replaced by less than an overwhelming gathering/organising, consolidation of nationalist sentiment within the country's main party. Ho-hum."

Fine, I'll criticize rather than ignore it. The Tea Party is much like an NGO; it is at the service of oligarchs such as the Koch brothers and generally backs the ideology of empire. Tea Party "nationalism" is the nationalism of "American Exceptionalism" and the right to do anything the US wants to anyone in the world in the name of US financiers and oil companies.
Sincere Tea Partiers have largely bought lines of propaganda that persuade them to oppose their own interests. They have been persuaded, based on a mix of truths (largely concerning the very real elitism and venality of the Democrats) and lies (largely concerning the fomenting of cultural, religious and racial conflicts which are irrelevant and destructive, just designed to separate them from all the other people getting shafted by the same elites) to back forces which are just as bad as the Democrats and which collaborate with them on the shared important objectives of vacuuming up the middle and lower class' money to fatten up the coffers of the billionaires, and beefing up the police state to block any challenges to that agenda. The Tea Party funders wave gays, guns and God in people's faces so they won't notice who's picking their pockets.

Purple library guy

One thing worth noting is that the US makes it illegal for foreigners to influence US elections the way the US monkeys with other people's elections. Then they act all massively upset any time anyone else dares to pass any laws which are . . . just like their own.


hrw never replied to my e-mails about atrocities committed by the fascist/nazi Ukrainian Government, nor does the OSCE from Ukraine, bociurkiw (a Pole?) & gudyma are both useless and simply don't report what they don't want to namely the fighting that happened near the middle of this month in Gorlovka, not a word from them. They now receive my utter contempt.

Klod Petrovic R

Mudaki debunked :


"The Russians are doing their part. We must be next."

Indeed, we can't let Russia do all the work.

The present day NGOs are the equivalent of the Comintern of a century ago. The US is the successor of the USSR.

Kind regards,


Anonymous at 31/10/14 @1441 - well said. The PTB attempt to persuade us via their presstitutes that we alone, isolated oddballs. :)
On October 29th, Russia's RIA Novosti press agency bannered, "Kiev Withdraws From Delineation Agreement With East Ukraine: DPR," and reported that "Kiev has withdrawn from the delineation agreement it signed with Donetsk authorities without any explanation, the deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) said." There was no announcement yet from the Ukrainian Government, however.
--reported by

Also, apparently the fighting is picking up today 10/31. --Penelope


HRW is heavily funded by George Soros Opens Society. Soros, Gates & Rockefeller are the 3 biggies on drastically cutting world population-- especially in Africa.


Doe HRW ever worried about truth?? Could not find any evidence to it...


HRW has been made to apologise after a tweet by Sharmine Narwani
Sharmine Narwani ‏@snarwani 19h19 hours ago
Perhaps @hrw would like to explain this? @nadimhoury #Ukraine

Nadim Houry ‏@nadimhoury 15h15 hours ago
@snarwani Correction: HRW apologizes for mistaken use of Odessa, Ukraine photo

and theyve removed the FB post on this

so small victory.BUT they didnt say sorry for defaming Putin.


to: Z @ 9:59

Hi Z, thanks for the link, I'm going to print it, as its hard to read so much on the computer.

But... I read the first paragraph about Putin being ok with bureaucrats taking bribes, and its bullshit...

Sharon American working in post USSR Russia gives her take on Putin and taking bribes...please find her on the internet...too tired to look up the link, but she is a lady who gives lectures everywhere on Putin...she's an apologist for him and a very great one.

Look her up...she's very prominent now in her defense of Putin...she knew him during the days of Yeltsin Russia.


Anon 14:27

I don't know if you guys have noticed, but as famed Italian anti-imperialism Gabriele Adinolfi pointed out in a recent interview with a French dissidence organization, the American empire has never been this powerful."

Yes, Anon...Catherine Austin Fitts says the same thing...

Everyone keeps talking about the fall of America...but would not be able to disagree with you in the above quote...


Kat Kan

bociurkiw (a Pole?)

No, Bociurkiw with the OSCE is a Canadian Ukrainian. OSCE thought they'd better hire some peoole who speak Ukrainian for this job, not reaslising everyone speaks Russian.

OSCE was their in Odessa on May 2. Wrote 2 paragraphs about groups with bats , plenty of police presence. We're out of here. They are meant to be observing, so when something observable is obviously building up, the get out of there. You saw them at the MH17 scene, a single skyward shot was enough to send them scarpering.



HRW is a fullblown scam, their ONLY wepond is their semi-truths.
And in half of their cases they are right on their critisism, others are blown out of proportions.
Thats how they runn this NGOs, in any society there is victims of both political abuse and econoic abuses, that sometimes is affection some people, as many dont belive, Norway do have political prisoners, but in a fullblown ZioNazis conbtrolled outpost, they go the old Sovjet style, by deeming the person as a "lunatic", by simply throwing them into an Asylum, locked opne to, so they will not be a "danger" to the society, and who listens to a "lunatic".
Norway, is a briliant example of a nation witch have done exactly the same as Israel, 100%, the ONLY difference is the scale of it, nothing else, not the land grabbing, forced relocations, faking history, inventing a "indiginous people the so called Sami, witch is 100% fake". All to manage a takeover and thereby making OUR people losing their farms and so on, given to and sometimes with a premium to genuine "norce" so they could puch US out, and they did it with the help of Sovjet, where the same happened.
Norway is a thruoutly sick society, where the envie is greater force then envjie.
Norwegians was so bad and cruel in the ww2 against Russians and Jugols, that even the Wermah stopped them.
Never ever trust a Norce person since they are genuine Khazars as the Polish are, the scum of this earth.
I am a Finn, considedred to be sub human aka a "mongol", thats the reason for the NeoNazis hatred against Russians.
We are not humans, never forgett that, this is the Rightwinged leagcy, and this is exploited by ZioNazis to attac Islam and others as Us.

If I was Putin I would simply give them 24 h to gett out of Russian terrritory and banned them for life, and tell the world who they are, the FSB knows this.
The political fallout is marginal, since a lott of people knows this about them.
They lied is Libya.
In Syria.
In Egypt.
In Palestina regading the atrosetys comitted by the Israelis whom is paying them, they will never bite the hand that feeds them.
The Amnesty Int. is an even wurse liers and faker of events.
AI is a western tool as the HRW is and all the NGOs as Norway refused to stopp the payments to NGOs in Hungary, a land witch the HRW and the Norce gov. calls NeoNazis and Fascistic. And Norway is one of the majore founder of NGOs, and now you know why.

And this goes to the rotten Sweds to, and the Finns have also been overrunn by righwinged freaks in the gov. whom all is crawling infront of the ZioNazis.
His probably to drunk to care.


[Jan 20, 2014 Democratisation, NGOs and colour revolutions openDemocracy by Sreeram Chaulia

January 19, 2006 |

"…power does its work by stealth, and the powerful can subsequently deny that their strength was ever used at all."

Salman Rushdie, Shalimar the Clown (2005)

Samuel Huntington, summarizing the mix of primary causes for the "third wave" of democratization that began in 1974, listed a new but not decisive factor that had been absent in the preceding two waves:

"Changes in the policies of external actors…a major shift in US policies toward the promotion of human rights and democracy in other countries…".

American international NGOs ("Ingos") were prominent mechanisms through which this causal link between superpower foreign policy interests and regime change worked out in many transitions from authoritarian rule in the twenty-one-year-long "third wave".

This essay attempts to extend the analysis on Ingo instrumentality and democratization to the geopolitical storms popularized as "color" or "flower" revolutions that have been sweeping the post-communist world since 1999. It sets out to assess the strength of the impact of transnational actors on recent international political events of great consequence, and explore the parasitic relationship between Ingos and a hegemonic state.

The intention is to bring the state back into a field dominated by flawed renderings of transnational activism. The principal argument is that the main and direct causes of the color revolutions were United States foreign-policy interests (strategic expansion, energy security and the war on terrorism) as they were serviced by Ingos. Without the intervention of these US-sponsored Ingos, the political landscapes in countries like Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan would not have been repainted in new colors.

These three revolutions – the "rose revolution" in Georgia (November 2003-January 2004), the "orange revolution" in Ukraine (January 2005) and the "tulip revolution" in Kyrgyzstan (April 2005) – each followed a near-identical trajectory; all were spearheaded by the American democratisation Ingos working at the behest of the US foreign policy establishment.

It will be argued that the comparable political convulsions of Uzbekistan (May 2005) and Azerbaijan (November 2005) did not experience "colour revolutions" due to a variation in the independent variable, US foreign-policy priorities.

The contexts of democratisation

Most studies of democratisation recognise the international context in which regime change occurs, but such studies never go to the extent of giving external causes prime place. The consensus is that exogenous factors "are difficult to apply in a sustained manner over the long term." In the case of the former communist bloc, some scholars regard international organisations, western economic aid and the Catholic church as "catalysts of democratisation"; others claim that international human-rights norms triggered fundamental political changes leading to the demise of communism.

Transnational actors, comprising Ingos at the hub of advocacy networks, are viewed as capitalising on opportunity structures offered by "internationalism", acting as "ideational vectors of influence", and maintaining constant criticism of vulnerable "target states" that are repressive in nature. Portrayals of advocacy networks as autonomous entities that skilfully manoeuvre states and international organisations for achieving their own principled ends suggest that democratisation was "both a contributing cause and an effect of the expanding role of transnational civil society."

On the question of how transnational actors "penetrate" target states, which is of seminal interest for our colour-revolutions quest, constructivist theory harps on norm institutionalisation in issue-areas like human rights that enable coalitions with powerful state actors who favour such norms. The manner in which American democratisation Ingos penetrated Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, however, did not follow this route.

Another pathway for penetration is presented by the "boomerang pattern", wherein international contacts "amplify the demands of domestic groups, pry open space for new issues and then echo back these demands into the domestic arena. " Though campaign strategies and pressurising tactics of Ingos do approximate to what happened before the colour revolutions in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, the origin of American INGO involvement in these states was not as straightforward as an invitation from local civil society to global civil society.

Former communist countries are characterised by weak local civil societies and embryonic homebred intermediate organisations. Nor were the dynamics of INGO intervention in these states as simple as domestic grievances being resolved by coalitions with principled external networks "motivated by values rather than by material or professional norms. " For the most apposite theoretical framework that fits the story of Ingos and colour revolutions, we must leave constructivism and turn to the revolving applications of realism in world politics.

Ingos as vehicles of strategic penetration

Realism asserts that transnational actors can punch above their weight and have disproportionate impact on world affairs only if they lobby and change the preferences, practices and policies of powerful states. The Helsinki network in Europe followed this game plan to great effect by winning over the US government to its side in the struggle against communism.

Norm-driven theorists fail to concede that superpowers have minds and agency of their own and only give in to transnational "pressures" when the issue area serves larger geo-strategic purposes. Rarely has the US promoted human rights and democracy in a region when they did not suit its grander foreign-policy objectives.

Thomas Carothers, a leading authority on US democracy promotion, has decried the instrumentalisation of democratisation by recent American administrations: "The United States has close, even intimate relations with many undemocratic regimes for the sake of American security and economic interests… and struggles very imperfectly to balance its ideals with the realist imperatives it faces."

The flip side of this reality is the fact that when undemocratic regimes prove to be thorns in the flesh, the US sees great merit in their overthrow by a range of diverse methods. In the cold-war era, selectivity in democracy promotion was best reflected by Jeane Kirkpatrick's distinction between "totalitarian" and "authoritarian" regimes, the latter being states which can be supported in the scheme of bigger US interests.

As we delve into the case studies of colour revolutions, the same "good despot-bad despot" patchiness of superpower attitudes to democratisation in the post-communist world will resurface in the new context of the "war on terrorism".

Geoffrey Pridham divides geo-strategic impact over regime changes into the two dimensions of space and time. The Mediterranean had turned into an area of intense superpower rivalry in the mid-1970s due to the enhanced Soviet naval presence and instability in the middle east. Regime transitions in that hotspot, therefore, sharpened US and western interests in the outcomes.

As a corollary, at sensitive world historical moments, American inclinations to intervene in regime politics of countries tend to be greater. Early cold-war economic instability in Italy and Greece in the 1970s was one juncture where the outcome stakes were felt to be so high in Washington that it took an active interventionist role. Thirty years on, the spatial and temporal importance of Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan in the geo-strategic sweepstakes was ripe for colour revolutions orchestrated from outside.

Laurence Whitehead has deepened understanding of democratisation as a geopolitical strategy that redistributes global power and control with the metaphor of a vaccine, not of a contagion or virus. US military and other modes of destabilising interventions in Central America were meant to inoculate polities from contamination by Castroism and this treatment was labelled "democracy". "Two-thirds of the democracies existing in 1990 owed their origins to deliberate acts of imposition or intervention from without…It is not contiguity but the policy of a third power that explains the spread of democracy from one country to the next." The colour revolutions under our bioscope were integral to this power-politics tradition motoring dominant states in international relations.

Realist views on transnational actors as instruments of powerful states date back to debates about multinational corporations (MNCs) and their entanglement with American hegemony. Robert Gilpin was the first to explain the rise of MNCs as a function of hegemonic stability, i.e. that the leadership of a powerful political state actor is essential for the creation and maintenance of a liberal world economy in which MNCs thrive.

Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye also warned in the 1970s that "transnational relations may redistribute control from one state to another and benefit those governments at the centre of transnational networks to the disadvantage of those in the periphery." Ingos had not burst onto the global notice board during these early reviews on transnationalism. However, the usage of Ingos as foreign-policy instruments was not unknown right from the start of the cold war.

Humanitarian Ingos like the International Rescue Committee (founded in 1933 to assist anti-Nazi opponents of Hitler) and democratisation Ingos like Freedom House (founded in 1941; an important component of the Marshall Plan to prevent communist takeover of western Europe) are two high-profile cases that represented US governmental interests while maintaining INGO legal status.

Inducing defectors and refugees from behind the "iron curtain" to cross over, public diplomacy, propaganda and funding of electoral candidates in foreign countries by charities and Ingos existed long before the voluntary sector attained an overtly pivotal position in the annals of US foreign policy. More recently, humanitarian (not human-rights) Ingos heavily dependent on US finances have been found to be consciously or subconsciously extending US governmental interests. As Julie Mertus writes: "It's not the NGOs driving the government's agenda; it's the US government driving the NGO agenda."

Doctrinal developments in foreign policy kept pace with the growing potential of Ingos as valuable assets for promoting US national interests. Andrew Scott's (1965) "informal penetration" theory tied US foreign aid, technical assistance and international organisations together as a toolkit that can be used to increase the porosity and penetrability of rival states.

Permeability of national borders was both a precondition for the emergence of transnational entities like MNCs, Ingos and international organisations, as well as the end result of increasing transnationalism with the US as metropole. Richard Cottam theorised that the Zeitgeist of world politics had changed from the ultimate recourse of "shooting warfare" to political, economic and psychological warfare. The arenas at which critical international battles took place were increasingly the domestic politics of weaker target states that are vulnerable to foreign influence and interference.

Cottam was disappointed with the "ad hoc" nature of US foreign policy and its neglect of a long-term strategic plan based on "tactical interference". The contemporary blueprint for co-opting transnational actors as active wings of foreign policy was laid by Joseph Nye's liberal "soft power" idea that called for harnessing the US's tremendous reserve of intangible resources such as culture, ideology and institutions for preserving world dominance.

"Soft power" at the end of the cold war would be less costly and more effective to Nye because of its subtlety and seductive quality. The prohibitive costs of direct military action in modern times ensure that "other instruments such as communications, organisational and institutional skills, and manipulation of interdependence have become important instruments of power. " To manage the challenges of "transnational interdependence", Nye urges greater US investment in international institutions and regimes on issue-areas that can perpetuate the American lead in global power.

His emphasis on private actors operating across international borders as a key category that has to be managed by the hegemonic state aims at the heart of our discussion on democratisation Ingos as pawns. Among practitioners of US diplomacy too, soft power's utility in furthering strategic ends has been toasted after the end of the cold war. Warren Christopher, President Clinton's first secretary of state, proposed a strategic approach based on "new realism" to promoting democracy: "By enlisting international and regional institutions in the work, the US can leverage our own limited resources and avoid the appearance of trying to dominate others."

The democratisation Gongos

The watershed that brought Ingos to the forefront of global democracy-promotion was the Reagan administration's decision to create the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in 1983 to roll back Soviet influence. With a stated raison d'etre of "strengthening democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts", NED was conceived as a quasi-governmental foundation that funnelled US government funding through Ingos like the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), and Freedom House.

These Ingos in turn "targeted" authoritarian states through a plethora of programmatic activities. NED's first president, Allen Weinstein, admitted openly that "a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA. " The organisation was a deus ex machina in the face of scandalous Congressional investigations into the CIA's "soft side" operations to destabilise and topple unfriendly regimes that embarrassed the government in the late 1970s.

As William Blum writes: "An NGO helps to maintain a certain credibility abroad that an official US government agency might not have. " 97% of NED's funding comes from the US state department (through Usaid and before 1999, the Usia), the rest being allocations made by right-wing donors like the Bradley Foundation, the Whitehead Foundation and the Olin Foundation. Since its conception, and despite the bipartisan structure, "neoconservatives have held tight control over NED's agenda and institutional structure."

Senior figures in the George W Bush administration who are signatories to the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), which wears aggressive US foreign interventions on its sleeve, have officiated in NED. Notwithstanding its claims to "independence" and "nongovernmental status", the US state department and other executive agencies regularly appoint NED's programme personnel. As one 'Project Democracy' (codename for NED in the Iran-Contra scandal) advocate put it, "These 'private' agencies are really just fronts for the departments they serve; the agency may prepare a report or a research project that it then gives to the private firm to attach its letterhead to, as if it were really a private activity or initiative."

A survey of NED's partner Ingos reveals a similar pattern of public priorities forwarded by private agents. Freedom House, a neocon hub which succoured the colour revolutions, has a history of being headed and staffed by ex-CIA high-level planners and personnel.

NDI is dominated by "liberal hawks" or right-wing Democrats who find their way to prime foreign-policy slots when their party is in power. IRI comprises a herd of far-right Republican politicians and representatives of major financial, oil, and defence corporations. IFES top brass belong to conservative Republican ranks, the CIA or military intelligence. IREX, the training school for colour revolution elite protagonists, is peopled by political warfare, public diplomacy and propaganda specialists from the news media, US foreign service and the US military.

For our purpose, it is interesting to note that compared to humanitarian and development Ingos, which have often promoted US foreign-policy objectives, democratisation and human-rights Ingos boast of a far greater preponderance of US government and intelligence operatives. This owes much to the fact that democratisation is a sensitive political minefield with direct bearings on international relations. It is too important a foreign policy subject for the US government to hand over reins to the voluntary sector.

Armed with the luxury of a sea of democratisation Gongos (governmental NGOs) and quangos (quasi-governmental NGOs), William DeMars: "The US government has a greater capacity than any other single actor in the world to keep track of them, channel them, thwart them, or ride them in a chosen direction."

Usaid's avowal that democracy can be promoted around the world without "being political" is totally fictional, because the onus of NED and its family is on altering the balance of political forces in the target country in the pretext of "civil society assistance."

Criticising the brazen politicisation of democratisation Ingos, Elizabeth Cohn recommends: "Close consultation between the U.S. government and nongovernmental groups should stop. NGOs should set their own goals and not be servants of U.S. national interests, as NED is by congressional mandate."

That such relinquishment would appear foolhardy for the realists in US government goes without saying, for it is tantamount to killing the goose that lays golden eggs. To its supporters, the NED family has numerous successes to show off – interventions "to protect the integrity of elections in the Philippines, Pakistan, Taiwan, Chile, Nicaragua, Namibia, Eastern Europe and elsewhere."

Neutral assessments would rate these as electoral manipulations. Left out of the above count are victorious overthrows of democratically-elected governments in Bulgaria (1990), Albania (1992) and Haiti (late 1990s) and destabilisation in Panama, Cuba and Venezuela. The next section will demonstrate that the latest feathers in NED's cap are the colour revolutions.

Ukraine's operation orange

Ukraine epitomises habitual American "instrumentalisation of value-based policies", thus "wrapping security goals in the language of democracy promotion and then confusing democracy promotion with the search for particular political outcomes that enhance those security goals."

Identified by the Clinton administration as a priority country for democratisation and the lynchpin of US post-Soviet foreign policy, Ukraine's importance for Nato's eastward expansion is second to none. Clinton's special adviser on the former USSR, Richard Morningstar, confirmed during the 1997 Ukraine-Nato pact that "Ukraine's security is a key element in the security policy of the United States. " For Zbigniew Brzezinski, the liberal hawk who influences the Democratic party's foreign policy:

"Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire ... if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources, as well as access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state."

With the accession of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to Nato by 1999, Ukraine remained the last frontier, the single largest buffer on the Russia-Nato "border". The orange revolution has to be viewed in the context of a defensive Russia attempting to hold on to its sphere of influence in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and an aggressive Euro-Atlantic eastward push by the European Union and Nato.

The line-up of foreign backing for the two presidential candidates on the eve of the revolution unambiguously unravels this background tug of war. Viktor Yanukovych, the candidate of outgoing president, Leonid Kuchma, received strong verbal and financial support from the Kremlin before, during and after the disputed 2004 election. In a personal meeting with Russian president, Vladimir Putin, just before the election, Yanukovych promised "that he would end Ukraine's policy of seeking membership in NATO." Viktor Yushchenko, the pro-market challenger who benefited from American diplomatic, intelligence and Ingo assistance for the orange revolution, put his eggs entirely in the EU and Nato basket.

Energy politics also figured in Washington's regime change calculus for Ukraine. In July 2004, much to the consternation of the Bush administration and Brussels, Kuchma's government reversed an earlier decision to extend the Odessa-Brody pipeline to Gdansk in Poland. Had the extension occurred, it would have carried enormous Caspian oil flows to the EU, independent of Russia, and weakened Ukraine's overwhelming dependence on Russia for its energy needs.

Jettisoning a project that would have cemented Kiev's westward trajectory, Kuchma decided to open an unused pipeline that would transport oil from the Russian Urals to Odessa. The fallout on US interests was not negligible, as W Engdahl reports: "Washington policy is aimed at direct control over the oil and gas flows from the Caspian, including Turkmenistan, and to counter Russian regional influence from Georgia to Ukraine to Azerbaijan and Iran. The background issue is Washington's unspoken recognition of the looming exhaustion of the world's major sources of cheap high-quality oil, the problem of global oil depletion."

The US ambassador to Ukraine, Carlos Pascual, repeatedly beseeched Kuchma to give up the reversal, arguing that the Polish plan would be more attractive for investors and more profitable for Ukraine in the long term, particularly by attenuating Russian monopoly control and diversifying Ukraine's energy inventory. It was no coincidence that Yushchenko's government, after the orange revolution, restored status quo ante on Odessa-Brody, announcing "positive talks with Chevron, the former company of US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, for the project."

The install-Yushchenko operation in Ukraine had several components. Important power-brokers like the Ukrainian army, the ministry of internal affairs, the security service and senior intelligence officials (silovki) worked against Kuchma's crackdown orders and passed critical inside information to Yushchenko's camp.

Though these Praetorians claimed to have disobeyed executive commands altruistically, there was a pro-US tilt in many vital state agencies. Their communication channel with Yushchenko's aide, Yevyen Marchuk, a Nato favourite and former defence minister who discussed the upcoming elections with US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, in August 2004, suggests a well planned coup d'etat. Yushchenko's wife, Kateryna Chumachenko, a former Reagan and George H Bush administration official and émigré Ukrainian heavyweight, is alleged to have played a key backdoor part.

None of the above machinations would have mattered without the disputed election result, the amassing of people power on the streets and the engineering of democracy through civil disobedience. It is here that NED and its family of Ingos were most needed.

Having penetrated Ukraine in 1990 at the behest of the George H Bush administration with the assent of the pro-American Leonid Kravchuk, the effective leader of the republic, these Ingos had the power to finance and create the local NGO sector from scratch, controlling its agenda and direction.

The neo-liberal Pora organisation, for instance, was an offshoot of the groundwork done by the "Freedom of Choice Coalition" that was put together in 1999 by the US embassy, the World Bank, NED and the Soros Foundation. On the eve of the orange revolution, NED Gongos hired American pollsters and professional consultants to mine psephological data and unite the opposition under Yushchenko's electoral coalition, months before the poll; trained thousands of local and international election monitors partisan to Yushchenko; organised exit polls in collaboration with western embassies that predicted Yushchenko's victory; and imported "consultants" who had experience in the Serbian overthrow of Milosevic and the Georgian rose revolution.

The mass mobilisation in Kiev was handpicked from Yushchenko's western Ukraine bastions and did not reflect nationwide sentiments. "A few tens of thousands in central Kiev were proclaimed to be 'the people', notwithstanding the fact that many demonstrators nursed violent and anti-democratic viewpoints", writes John Laughland. The NGO monitors, teamed up with western media outlets, deliberately exaggerated electoral fraud involving Yanukovych's party, ignoring serious violations by Yushchenko's.

US government expenditure on the orange revolution has been put at $14 million, while the overall civil-society promotion budget set by Washington for Ukraine (2003-2004) was $57.8-$65 million. The Soros Foundation and Freedom House pumped in a steady flow of funds through Ingos and local NGOs for "elections-related projects."

Massing of pro-Yushchenko crowds in Kiev's Independence Square was a meticulous operation of "careful, secret planning by Yushchenko's inner circle over a period of years" that oversaw distribution of thousands of cameras, backup teams of therapists and psychologists, transportation, heaters, sleeping bags, gas canisters, toilets, soup kitchens, tents, TV and radio coverage, all of which needed "large sums of cash, in this case, much of it American." (Daniel Wolf.)

Local oligarchs and US-based émigré Ukrainian businesspersons also chipped in with sizeable contributions to the neo-liberal Yuschchenko. The shadowy and fungible ties between the US government and democratisation Gongos leave little doubt that the latter were purveyors of large amounts of money in Ukraine that will not appear in audits or annual reports. Public acknowledgements of spending are understatements akin to official casualty figures given by governments during counterinsurgencies.

According to Congressman Ron Paul, the US allocated $60 million for financing the orange revolution "through a series of cut-out NGOs – both American and Ukrainian – in support of Yushchenko." The figure happens to be "just the tip of the iceberg". Claims that "Russia gave Yanukovych far more money than the United States (gave to Yushchenko)" rest on the myth that US government financing through the NED family "is publicly accountable and transparent."

The NED family's role in first following the Bush administration's lead and anointing Yushchenko's outfit as the only valid manifestation of "civil society" (at the expense of non-neoliberal, anti-authoritarian parties) and then consistently bolstering it with funds and regime-toppling expertise completely blurs lines between impartial democracy promotion and meddling in Ukraine's political process.

It tinkers with Robert Dahl's basic dimension of democratisation – contestation, i.e. the playing-field of political competition and the relative strengths of contenders. Much that was done by the Ingos in the name of democratisation in Ukraine was outright biased, including voter education that is supposed to neutrally inform citizens to make free choices rather than to campaign for a particular candidate: "Yushchenko got the western nod, and floods of money poured in to groups which support him, ranging from the youth organisation, Pora, to various opposition websites." (Jonathan Steele.)

The sinuous route taken by western money can be illustrated with an example. The Poland-America-Ukraine Cooperation Initiative (Pauci), a prominent grantee of Usaid and Freedom House, funded NGOs active in the orange revolution like the International Centre for Policy Studies, which had Yushchenko on its supervisory board. In essence, American Ingos constricted the Ukrainian political space by plumping for the interests of the neo-liberal candidate before the 2004 elections, and partook in a multi-pronged regime-change operation orchestrated in Washington.

Kyrgyzstan's tulip implantation

Central Asia has long been in the crosshairs of great-power competition games. After the fall of communism, the George H Bush and Clinton administrations defined a set of geo-strategic goals for this heavily meddled region: "To secure an alternative source for energy, help Central Asia gain autonomy from Russia's hegemony, block Iran's influence, and promote political and economic freedoms."

From 1993, goals of diversifying long-term energy reserves (finding alternatives to Persian Gulf sources) and pressures from the oil and gas private sectors "began to take centre stage" in Washington's policy toward Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The Pentagon pressed for increasing US military presence in the region and succeeded in securing membership for four of the five central Asian states, including Kyrgyzstan, in Nato's Partnership for Peace in 1994.

Frequent joint military exercises and "interoperability" training in the Clinton years were expected to yield American bases in the region from which to counter Russian and Chinese hegemonic ambitions. With limited oil and natural gas reserves, Kyrgyzstan's weak economy was heavily dependent on Russia, a vulnerability that the Clinton administration sought to counteract by deepening the US defence interests and nudging the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank to lend voluminous amounts of development aid to Askar Akayev's relatively democratic government.

IMF technical assistance was critical to Kyrgyzstan becoming the first state in the region to leave the Russian rouble zone. Despite the 1999 extension of the CIS collective security treaty that boosted Russian military leverage in Kyrgyzstan, kidnappings and effortless incursions into Kyrgyz territory by the fundamentalist Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) exposed chinks in the security apparatus of Akayev's "Switzerland of central Asia". As Kyrgyzstan got dragged into central Asia's Islamist tangle by geography, the narcotics trade and border conflicts, the subterranean US-Russian race for military bases came into the open, paving the road to the tulip revolution.

After 11 September 2001, the Pentagon ventured on an epic journey: "The greatest shake-up in America's overseas military deployments since the end of the second World War to position U.S. forces along an 'arc of instability' that runs through the Caribbean, Africa, the middle east, the Caucasus, Central Asia and southern Asia."

The cash-strapped Akayev offered the largest American military base in the region at Manas, outside Bishkek, an installation that was not taken lightly in Moscow. China, which shares a border with Kyrgyzstan was equally alarmed and, together with Russia, steered the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation toward opposing and ending US military bases in central Asia. The expectation that Manas base would "reduce Kyrgyz dependence on Russia", besides being a logistic hub for the war in Afghanistan, was belied when in 2003 President Putin negotiated with Akayev to open up a Russian airbase at Kant – thirty kilometres from the American "lily pad".

China was also reported to be engaged in secret parleys for its own base in Kyrgyzstan and for border adjustments; these kicked up a political storm against Akayev in March 2002. Russia's ministry of internal affairs, "Akayev's new friends", helped defuse the demonstrations. Akayev's moves to align Kyrgyzstan with China through "Silk Road diplomacy" and suppression of the Uighur guerrillas – explained mainly by his desperate need of finances to stem the tail-spinning domestic economy – upset Washington, which saw Beijing as a thorn in its strategic expansion agenda.

The American perspective on this dangerous development went as follows: "Given the 1,100-kilometer border between Kyrgyzstan and China – and Washington's already considerable foothold in nearby Uzbekistan and Tajikistan – the fall of the China-friendly government of disgraced president Askar Akayev would be no small victory for the 'containment policy'."

Prior to the Sino-Russian counteroffensive that found receptive ears in Bishkek, Akayev's progressively autocratic tendencies had not ruffled many feathers in Washington. His rigged presidential election in 2000 went largely unnoticed by the US government, even though NDI observers termed it unfair and laden with illegal subornment of the state machinery. In fact, Eric McGlinchey's study of the reasons for Akayev's slide into anti-democratic politics puts the blame squarely on US-inspired IMF doles that allowed him to "rein in political contestation and rebuild authoritarian rule."

Having cosseted Akayev for more than a decade, the volte-face done by the Bush administration before the tulip revolution was not an overnight realisation of how despotic he had become but a hard-nosed calculation that its vital interests were no longer being served. The visible consequences of Washington's displeasure with "the news from Kant" (the opening of the Russian base) were recorded thus: "The IMF office in Bishkek has become tougher towards Kyrgyzstan. And the State Department has opened its own independent printing house – which means opposition newspapers will be back in full force." (P Escobar.)

Diplomatic sources are on record that as soon as the Kant deal fructified, Akayev was "on the American watch list" and "the U.S. began supporting all conceivable elements arrayed against him."

Democratisation of Kyrgyzstan, a footnote in American policy, suddenly acquired an aura and urgency. We should add that there was also a generic strategic rationale mooted in the Bush administration for democratisation in central Asia after 11 September. Since anti-US popular feelings in the region are not as high as in other Muslim parts of the world, "the risk of democratisation in the region is relatively small." Winning the hearts and minds of central Asian Muslims through democratisation "will not only facilitate the process of liberalising the economy, but also, as a by-product, increase support for the United States."

11 September opened a classic realist "window of opportunity through which an 'arc of stability' can be established in the strategically important area between the Caspian Sea and the northwestern border of China." Wildly inconsistent in application, the notion that democracy promotion can soften the Islamist challenge to pax Americana fitted well with rising discontent in Washington with Akayev's usefulness. Kyrgyzstan, with a population of barely 5 million (the fourth smallest in the region) received a sum total of $26.5 million for "democratic reform" from the state department in 2003-04, second only to the much more populous Uzbekistan. As with Ukraine, the official figures shroud a fortune.

From 2003, NED-family Ingos got into the act of securing regime change at the next parliamentary elections, turning against Akayev who had initially allowed them access to the country during the heyday of IMF and Usaid conditional lending. Even more than in Ukraine, American dominance of the local NGO sector is complete in Kyrgyzstan. P Escobar describes the monopolisation of local civil society thus: "Practically everything that passes for civil society in Kyrgyzstan is financed by US foundations, or by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). At least 170 non-governmental organizations charged with development or promotion of democracy have been created or sponsored by the Americans."

The absolute control of Kyrgyz civil society by the NED family of Gongos is compounded by the donor-driven nature of "civil-society building" carried out in the region. Fiona Adamson's field research of democratisation aid in Kyrgyzstan finds that: "Local NGOs receive almost 100 percent of their funds from international actors and can easily become almost 100 percent donor driven. International donors implicitly or explicitly expect local NGOs to administer programmes that do not necessarily match local needs."

Among the strategies adopted by the Ingos in the name of democratisation was winning over local elites to western ideas and models, a time-tested cold-war tactic of psychological warfare. Irex organised conferences, seminars, "technical assistance" and exchange programmes with Kyrgyz elites, believing that domestic political change comes from exposure to western ideas.

That this tactic worked was evident by the trend among the Kyrgyz business and political elites to endorse a closer security and economic relationships with the US. Kurmanbek Bakiyev of the National Movement of Kyrgyzstan, the man who replaced Akayev as prime minister after the tulip revolution, was himself sent to the US on an exchange programme. Felix Kulov, the new head of security, and Omurbek Tekebayev, the new speaker of parliament after the tulip revolution, were also beneficiaries of state-department-sponsored visitors programmes.

Tekebayev disclosed what he learnt on the Washington jaunt candidly: "I found that the Americans know how to choose people, know how to make an accurate evaluation of what is happening and prognosticate the future development and political changes."

Top opposition leaders in the 2005 parliamentary elections like Roza Otunbayeva had reputations as "Washington's favourite", though not as across-the-board as in Ukraine. They were quick to see potential in the NED's arsenal for regime change and utilised Ingo-funded projects for publishing anti-government newspapers, training youth "infected" with the democracy virus through US-financed trips to Kiev for a glimpse of the orange revolution, and mobilising fairly large crowds in Bishkek that stormed Akayev's presidential palace and in the southern towns of Osh and Jalalabad.

Usaid "invested at least $2 million prior to the elections" for local activists to monitor government-sponsored malpractices but did not do anything to prohibit these "independent observers" from actually working for opposition candidates. The Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society (CDCS) and Civil Society Against Corruption (CSAC), key local NGO partners of the NED, worked in tandem with the anti-Akayev parties without any pretence of impartiality.

The US embassy in Bishkek, continuing the murky tradition of interventionist behaviour in crises, worked closely with Gongos like Freedom House and the Soros Foundation – supplying generators, printing presses and money to keep the protests boiling until Akayev fled. Information about where protesters should gather and what they should bring spread through state-department-funded radio and TV stations, especially in the southern region of Osh.

CDCS head, Edil Baisolov, admitted that the uprising would have been "absolutely impossible" without this coordinated American effort. On the utility of the NED Gongos to the entire exercise of the tulip revolution, Philip Shishkin noted: "To avoid provoking Russia and violating diplomatic norms, the US can't directly back opposition political parties. But it underwrites a web of influential NGOs."

It is important to note that the clan structure of Kyrgyz society, ethnic tensions with Uzbeks, and incipient Islamism in the Ferghana valley intervened on the ground to alter the revolutionary script charted in Washington. Russia too had learnt its lessons from Ukraine and cultivated some key opposition figures, making it impossible for the US to monopolise the opposition as was the case in the previous two colour revolutions.

The element of surprise, the slick media packaged proclamation of democracy's relentless march, the legitimisation by western capitals in lightning speed – all had become predictable by the time the democratisation caravan reached Bishkek. The ambivalent attitude of the new order in Kyrgyzstan – in sharp contrast to the euphoric pro-western policies in Georgia and Ukraine – owes much to this variation between these two case studies.

"Good" vs "bad" authoritarians

Before drawing final lessons from this analysis, it is worth knowing why questionable elections by semi-dictatorial rulers in other post-communist states did not end up in colour revolutions. The main reason why Ilham Aliev, the heir to Heydar Aliev's autocracy in Azerbaijan, could fix the November 2005 parliamentary elections and not have to run the gauntlet from Washington's public-relations machinery and NED Gongos was his regime's loyalty to immense American (and British) energy interests in the Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan pipeline.

This was the second time Ilham Aliev grossly manipulated an election and got away without repercussions. His succession façade in the notorious October 2003 presidential election was not only condoned in Washington but met with congratulatory messages from the Pentagon.

Uzbekistan's Stalinist strongman, Islam Karimov, brutally clamped down on a mass demonstration in Andijan against corruption and arbitrary detentions in May 2005, killing 500 and wounding 2,000, but Washington echoed the Uzbek government's claim that it was the handiwork of "Islamic terrorists".

Karimov, at the time of the tulip-revolution-inspired stirrings, had been the US's staunchest ally in the war on terrorism in central Asia, an insurance policy against democratisation pressures. His pre-emptive moves before the December 2004 parliamentary elections and after the tulip revolution to expel and constrict the activities of NED-family Ingos did not meet with any criticism from the US government. Comparing Uzbekistan to the other colour revolutions, the perceptive P Escobar wrote: "The former strongmen of colour-coded 'revolutionary' Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan were monsters who had to be removed for 'freedom and democracy' to prevail. So is the dictator of Belarus. Not Karimov. He's 'our' dictator."

The necessary causation of regime change

These case studies have upheld the realist paradigm by showing that American-democratisation Gongos are necessary, but not sufficient, causes for the colour revolutions. Unless US foreign-policymakers decide to field the full panoply of their intelligence, economic and military resources alongside the Gongos, the spectacle of yet another orchestrated colour revolution is unimaginable. Lacking strong US condemnation and proactive directions, the NED Gongos cannot manage to stage regime changes on their own in conjunction with local activists. It is the push factor from Washington that galvanises the Gongos into a war footing for regime toppling.

The orange and tulip revolutions are cases of "regime change", not "regime-type change", for they did not democratise Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. By their very nature, these episodes were replacements of anti-western elites with pro-western ones, not far-reaching changes that remodelled polities. Even a minimalist definition of democracy – free and fair elections – was not unambiguously achieved in the two cases.

So narrow was the base of these regime changes that it is a travesty to call them "revolutions", a term propagated by the US government and western media. The replacements of Kuchma by Yushchenko and of Akayev by Bakiyev are no more "revolutionary" than the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, which has been christened by the Bush administration as a "purple revolution". The difference in methods – Gongos and backroom intrigue in post-communist states and direct military occupation in Iraq – does not nullify the similarity of the independent variable: US strategic ambitions.

Predictions for future regime changes on the lines of the colour revolutions will need to carefully track how this independent variable evolves vis-à-vis undemocratic states in the post-Soviet space and how it shapes the concatenation of hard and soft power instruments. American strategy would also depend on domestic political peculiarities in individual states, factors that could not be fully covered in this essay due to the methodological problem of degrees of freedom.

American Gongos are highly effective in certain domestic milieus and moments and less so in others. Sabotage can suffice in some countries while full-scale military offensives may be needed in others. As Peter Gourevitch points out, purely international causation for domestic causes is "not totally convincing" except in the case of complete military occupation by a foreign power. A full range of necessary causation for regime change would have to include internal political and socio-economic variables, besides the NED brand of interposing.

The Essential Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in the Development of Democracy by Barry F. Lowenkron

June 8, 2006

Barry F. Lowenkron, Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Remarks to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Washington, DC
June 8, 2006

Chairman Lugar, Members of the Committee, thank you for your active interest in the essential role that non-governmental organizations play in the defense of freedom and the development of democracy across the globe. I welcome this opportunity to highlight the contributions of NGOs, to share with you our concerns about the restrictions that a growing number of governments are placing on NGO activities, and to offer suggestions on how we can protect NGOs' vital work. I will summarize my prepared remarks, Mr. Chairman, and request that my full testimony be entered into the record.

When I appeared before this Committee last September seeking confirmation as the Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, I stated that, if confirmed, one of my highest priorities would be "to consult and partner closely with the many dedicated and capable NGOs working on human rights and democracy." I also pledged to "make every effort to protect the work of NGOs against efforts by foreign governments to constrain, harass, intimidate, and silence their work."

As Assistant Secretary, I have had the privilege of meeting with many NGOs, both here and abroad, and I have greatly benefited from their information, their insights and their ideas. As President Bush stated in his second inaugural address: "… it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world." The work of NGOs is crucial to reaching that goal.

A Wide World of NGOs

The rise of NGOs as international actors as well as shapers of national policy is one of the most important trends in international relations. NGOs encompass the entire range of civil society: from lobbying for better health, protection of the environment, and advancement of education for all; to delivering humanitarian relief and securing and protecting basic civil and political rights.

There are NGOs devoted to specific health issues, such as women's health care or HIV/AIDS. I note the tireless effort and good work of the Whitman Walker Clinic here in the Washington Metropolitan area. There are also NGOs based thousands of miles away that are battling these same concerns. For example, the Kenya AIDS NGO Consortium is a coalition of some 600 NGOs and religious organizations that deal with AIDS-related activities in Africa. Indeed, the AIDS pandemic has spawned a host of indigenous NGOs in sub-Saharan Africa.

Environmental NGOs in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe played a vital role in the political, social and economic changes of the 1980s. Today, they continue to have an enormous impact in countries across the globe, pushing for governmental transparency and accountability which in turn can fuel political reform.

Today, my primary focus will be the so-called political NGOs -- those that advocate for human rights and democratic principles and practices. Although they constitute only a small component of the global NGO community, they are the ones that draw the most fire from governments who view them as a threat to their power.

These NGOs build on a legacy of championing human rights through norm-setting and monitoring. They have helped to shape international agreements, instruments, institutions and human rights mechanisms over decades. NGOs were key to shaping the language on human rights and fundamental freedoms in the United Nations Charter and of the U.N. Universal Declaration on Human Rights itself. These NGOs courageously defend human rights activists, often while risking reprisal themselves.

Together with the increasing worldwide demand for greater personal and political freedom often reflected in the work of these NGOs is the growing recognition that democracy is the form of government that can best meet the demands of citizens for dignity, liberty, and equality.

Today, all across the globe, NGOs are helping to establish and strengthen democracy in three key ways:

These efforts by NGOs mirror the discussions I have had with Secretary Rice on democracy promotion in which she outlined the three main areas that inform our democracy activities: electoral -- the right of assembly, free speech and all other elements that constitute representative democracy; the importance of good governance -- a government by the people that is accountable, transparent, and willing to accept constraints on power and cede it peacefully; and a flourishing civil society. NGOs play a vital role in all three areas.

U.S.-based NGOs such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the Center for International Private Enterprise, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute, IFES and Freedom House actively promote democracy across the globe.

This type of activity is not unique to the United States. The German political Stiftungen served as models for the creation of the NED family in the 1980s. The British Westminster Foundation is a leader in democracy promotion. The Danes promote worker solidarity and labor rights. The Czech Aide to People in Need actively supports human rights. All of these efforts are conducted openly and transparently and are consistent with international standards and practices.

The Push-Back

Not surprisingly, there are those in power who do not welcome NGOs and other agents of peaceful, democratic change. After all, the work of NGOs may vary widely, but what they all have in common is enabling individuals to come together to create an independent voice distinct from, and at times in disagreement with, the government's views.

Mr. Chairman, I experience this every day as Assistant Secretary when I meet with NGOs who want to discuss the U.S. Government's human rights record here and abroad. I often agree with NGOs. At times, I disagree with them. But I never view them as a threat to our democratic way of life. Indeed, their contribution to our debate on America's role in the world can only strengthen our democratic ideals at home and advance them abroad.

Other governments, however, feel threatened by their work. In many countries, we see disturbing attempts to intimidate NGOs and restrict or shut them down. The recent assessment of the National Endowment for Democracy captures this growing challenge. The conclusions are sobering. States are developing and using tools to subvert, suppress and silence these organizations. They invoke or create restrictive laws and regulations. They impose burdensome registration and tax requirements. Charges are vague, such as "disturbing social order," and implementation and enforcement are arbitrary, fostering a climate of self-censorship and fear. Governments play favorites, deeming NGOs "good" or "bad", and they treat them accordingly. NGOs deemed "good" are often ones created by governments themselves -- Government Organized NGOs or "GONGOs." The Tunisian government established a GONGO staffed by members of its intelligence service to attend conferences and monitor what is being said about the government. China sends GONGOs to UN NGO functions to defend China's human rights policies.

When states find that their efforts to pass or apply restrictive laws and regulations against NGOs are not enough, they resort to extralegal forms of intimidation or persecution. Often these regimes justify their actions by accusations of treason, espionage, subversion, foreign interference or terrorism. These are rationalizations; the real motivation is political. This is not about defending their citizens from harm, this is about protecting positions of power.

From Russia to China, Zimbabwe to Venezuela, no region has been spared this push-back. Mr. Chairman, we can point to individual cases unique to each country. A key impetus for the recent crackdown has been reaction by many rulers to the "Color Revolutions" of 2003-2005. They believed that the popular pressure for change was instigated and directed from abroad through U.S and other foreign support for NGOs on the ground. They have not grasped that the "Color Revolutions" were examples of citizens standing up for their right to free elections and demanding accountability when election results did not reflect the clear will of the people because of manipulation.

During my trip to Moscow in early January, the deep suspicion that Western states had manipulated election outcomes was evident from my discussions with officials and lawmakers. Our promotion of democracy is seen as part of a zero-sum game of geopolitical influence. I emphasized to my Russian interlocutors that they were fundamentally mistaken about what happened in Ukraine and Georgia, that our NGO funding and activities there were transparent, fully in keeping with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's and other international norms, and designed to help ensure that elections are free and fair, not to pick winners and losers.

After he had signed the restrictive new NGO law in January, Russian President Putin acknowledged that NGOs can and do contribute to the well-being of society, but he added that their financing must be transparent and efforts to control them by "foreign puppeteers" would not be tolerated. The new Russian law has the potential to cripple the vital work of many NGOs, including foreign NGOs there to support the local NGOs, and could retard Russia's democratic development. The new law is now in effect. Recently, the Russian Ministry of Justice issued extensive implementing regulations along with dozens of forms for NGOs to complete. These detailed reporting requirements on NGOs' financial and programmatic activities allow for broad review and oversight by Russian officials that could go beyond international norms. The authorities have wide discretion to implement the law. The authorities can request various documents and information or attend any NGO event to verify that an organization's activities comply with the goals expressed in its founding documents. Foreign NGOs appear to be singled out for even more extensive reporting requirements, including quarterly financial reports and annual reporting on planned activities, subject to review by authorities. Officials could order a foreign NGO to cease funding a particular program, ban the NGO from transferring funds to certain recipients or shut it down completely. While we are told such measures would be subject to court approval, this could entail lengthy and expensive litigation that could cripple an NGO.

The Russian government has claimed that the new NGO law is similar to U.S. and other Western regulations regarding civil society. As a basis for that claim, the Russian Federation's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has posted an unattributed chart on its website comparing selected provisions from the new NGO law with the laws of the United States, France, Finland, Israel and Poland. An NGO called The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law has done a careful analysis of the chart and the laws of the various countries cited and has found the contrary. According to this center of legal expertise, the Russian law is "substantially different from the laws of the selected countries" and is actually "more restrictive", both in terms of the specific provisions of the Russian law and in its cumulative effect. We continue to urge the Russian government to implement the new law in a way that facilitates, not hinders, the vital work of NGOs and is in compliance with Russia's international commitments.

Russia is not the only country where NGOs face serious challenges. In Belarus, the Lukashenko government increasingly uses tax inspections and new registration requirements to complicate or deny the ability of NGOs, independent media, political parties, and minority and religious organizations to operate legally. All but a handful of human rights NGOs have been deregistered or denied registration. In February, Belarussian KGB spokesman Valeriy Nadtochayev stated: "Such political events inside our country as … elections attract the attention of foreign secret services, diplomats, and representatives of various non-governmental organizations and foundations like magnets. All of them are united by a common task involving the collection of biased information about events in our country and the creation of newsbreaks, especially those connected with so-called human rights violations …"

The Chinese government applies burdensome requirements to groups attempting to register as NGOs. They must first find a government agency sponsor before they can register with the Ministry of Civil Affairs. NGOs must have more than fifty individual members -- a Catch 22 situation since hosting such large gatherings without a license can lead to official persecution. This means that groups that do not have adequate government ties have no hope of meeting legal requirements to register. The financial requirement of $12,000 makes it difficult for many nascent, cash-strapped organizations to register. Moreover, sponsoring agencies and the Ministry of Civil Affairs can refuse applications without cause or recourse.

The government closely scrutinizes NGOs working in areas that might challenge its authority or have implications for social stability, such as groups focused on human rights and discrimination. It is more amenable to groups that it sees as supporting social welfare efforts rather than operating in a political role. In this context, some NGOs are able to develop their own agendas and, in some cases, even undertake limited advocacy roles in public interest areas like women's issues, the environment, health, and consumer rights.

The Chinese government studied the role that NGOs ostensibly played in the "Color Revolutions" and ordered an investigation into the activities of both foreign and domestic NGOs in China. The government also established a task force to monitor the activities of NGOs, especially those with links overseas.

In Venezuela, the leadership of the electoral watchdog NGO Sumate awaits trial on charges of conspiracy and treason for accepting a $31,150 grant from the NED for voter education and outreach activities consistent with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. While Sumate is the most well known target of harassment by the Venezuelan government, it is not alone. The government continues to restrict the ability of NGOs to conduct their activities and to cut off sources of international support for their work.

In May 2005, Eritrea issued an NGO Administration Proclamation that imposes taxes on aid, restricts NGOS to relief and rehabilitation work, increases reporting requirements for foreign and local organizations and limits international agencies from directly funding local NGOs. All NGOs must meet demanding annual registration requirements. The few local NGOs that are allowed to register also face new funding barriers. In a televised speech last November, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki stated: "In many cases, spy agencies of big and powerful countries use NGOs as smokescreens." In March 2006, in the midst of a devastating drought, Eritrea expelled the U.S.-based humanitarian NGO Mercy Corps, the Irish NGO Concern and the British NGO Accord.

In March 2005, the Ethiopian government expelled IRI, NDI and IFES shortly after their arrival in advance of the May national legislative and regional council elections. The three organizations had never before been expelled from any country. They had made numerous attempts to register with the government. The government cited "technical difficulties related to their accreditation and registration" as reasons for the expulsions.

Blatantly disregarding the welfare of its people, the concerns of its neighbors and the call of the United Nations, the regime in Burma has not eased, it has increased, restrictions on UN agencies and international NGOs doing humanitarian work in Burma, particularly in ethnic areas. For example, Medecíns Sans Frontiéres was forced to close its French Section that was responsible for programs in the conflict-ridden Mon and Karen states. As the manager of the French Section put it: "It appears the Burmese authorities do not want anyone to witness the abuses they are committing against their own people."

The cases I mentioned are only a few examples what I call rule by law -- of governments seeking to control, restrict or shut down the work of NGOs by appropriating the language of law and the instruments and institutions of democracy. When states wield the law as a political weapon or an instrument of repression against NGOs, they rule by law rather than upholding the rule of law. The rule of law acts as a check on state power; it is a system designed to protect the human rights of the individual against the power of the state. In contrast, rule by law can be an abuse of power -- the manipulation of the law, the judicial system and other governmental bodies to maintain the power of the rulers over the ruled.

To suppress the work of NGOs, states also employ more blatant forms of persecution. Since the uprising and violent suppression in Andijan, Uzbekistan in May 2005, the government has harassed, beaten and jailed dozens of human rights activists and independent journalists, sentenced numerous people to prison following trials that did not meet international standards, forced many domestic and international NGOs to close, including Freedom House. Those that continue to operate are severely restricted. Local NGO employees have been convicted of criminal offenses for their work making it virtually impossible for them to find other jobs.

The Sudanese government's obstruction of humanitarian assistance and support for civil society has severely hampered relief efforts in Darfur. Domestic and international NGOs and humanitarian organizations are constantly harassed and overburdened with paperwork. The Sudanese government has expelled international NGO and humanitarian personnel, delayed their visas, and placed restrictions on their travel inside Darfur. Sudanese police and security forces have arrested, threatened and physically harmed NGO and humanitarian workers. In April 2006, the Sudanese government expelled the Norwegian Refugee Council from Kalma Camp, the largest internally displaced persons camp in Darfur with over 90,000 internally displaced persons. Prior to its expulsion, the Norwegian Refugee Council had served for two years as the Kalma "camp coordinator", in charge of coordinating all humanitarian programs and protection for the camp's residents and serving as a liaison for community leaders, government officials, humanitarian agencies, and African Union peacekeepers. On May 31, the South Darfur State Security Committee approved an agreement allowing the Council to return as camp coordinator. Nevertheless, Sudanese government obstructionism caused Darfur's largest IDP camp to go without a camp coordinator for two months, during which time insecurity and tension rose.

The last remaining civil society discussion group in Syria, the Jamal al-Atassi Forum, has been prevented from meeting for almost a year and many of its members have been arrested or intimidated into silence. The Forum is a predominantly secular group encouraging dialogue among political parties and civil society to promote reform.

We are concerned that the situation in Egypt for politically active NGOs is deteriorating. For example, last week Egyptian civil society activists Mohammed el-Sharkawi and Karim Shaer were beaten and arrested for participating in demonstrations in support of the independence of the judiciary. Reportedly, they were subsequently tortured while in custody and denied medical treatment. International democracy NGOs active in Egypt are also facing increasing government pressure.

What We and other Democracies Can Do to Defend and Support NGOs

Mr. Chairman, in today's world, the problems confronting states are too complex even for the most powerful states to tackle alone. The contributions of NGOs are crucial in addressing a host of domestic and international challenges. Restricting the political space of NGOs only limits a society's own political and economic growth. A strong nation fosters the development of NGOs and other elements of a vibrant civil society; a state that tries to control everything from the center becomes brittle. A society that allows broad participation by its citizens in national life is a society that will flourish from the contributions of its own people.

When NGOs are under siege, freedom and democracy are undermined. How then can we best support and defend the work of NGOs in countries across the globe?

The United States must continue to stand up for what President Bush calls "the non-negotiable demands of human dignity" and that includes the exercise by individuals of their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly through their membership in NGOs.

As we monitor and report on conditions for human rights and democracy in countries worldwide, we in DRL, our posts overseas, and the State Department generally must sharpen our focus on the increasing pressures governments are putting on NGOs. We must think creatively about how we might help to open political space for NGOs and create opportunities for NGOs and their governments to exchange views in an honest and constructive manner. We must ensure that a government's treatment of NGOs is an element in our bilateral dialogue and that it factors into the decisions we make on developing our bilateral relationships.

Mr. Chairman, we need to defend human rights and democracy promotion. To do so, we need to defend the defenders. In short, we need to push back. Let me suggest seven ways:

First, we need to speak out. We must be prepared to counter what I call the NGO "Legal Equivalency" argument made by governments that unduly restrict NGOs, namely that since all countries regulate NGO activity in some fashion, criticism is unwarranted. For example, there is a difference between giving NGOs the opportunity to register for non-tax status, and demanding that NGOs register to simply function. Most countries, including ours, only require notification of registration, not permission from authorities, in order to operate as a formal, legal entity.

We must not succumb to arguments that the prime reason that governments which impose burdensome registration and other reporting requirements on NGOs is to combat terrorism or other criminal behavior. All governments have a responsibility to protect their populations from acts of terrorism and crime, and it is of course appropriate to subject NGOs to the same laws and requirements generally applicable to all individuals and organizations. At the end of day, however, a burdensome registration and reporting process is unlikely to sway determined terrorist organizations, but very likely to weaken legitimate NGOs.

We must counter false charges that US activities tied to NGOs are led covertly by the United States and other democracies. We must reiterate that our support is out in the open and that thousands of NGOs never even approach our government. And when they do, it is more likely than not that they are pressing us on our own behavior, or on individual cases, and not soliciting funding.

Second, we need to ensure that NGO protection is an integral part of our diplomacy. We must highlight the protection of NGOs as a legitimate issue on our government-to-government agenda. This spring, when Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov came to Washington, Secretary Rice had an extensive discussion with him on our NGO concerns, a discussion in which I participated. The Secretary raises our concerns in her bilateral meetings as do I and many of my colleagues at the State Department. When I travel, I insist on seeing NGO representatives, as does the Secretary.

We must also continue to multiply our voices. Time and again NGOs have told me that their work would be further protected if others would join us. Russian NGOs were heartened that, just prior to my arrival in Moscow in January, German Chancellor Merkel paid an official visit and not only spoke out in defense of NGOs but met with them to hear first-hand their concerns. In the case of China, my Bureau has taken the initiative to develop a coordinated approach among all members of the so-called Bern process -- the process that brings together all countries which have human rights dialogues with China. We meet twice yearly, to exchange lists of political prisoners, to compare best practices, and to monitor Chinese behavior toward NGOs.

Third, we must expand the role of regional organizations in protecting NGOs. Acting in defense and support of NGOs on a bilateral basis is essential, but it is not sufficient. NGOs are a global phenomenon; they are facing pressures in countries in every region. I believe that there is greater scope for us to partner with leading regional democracies and to work with regional organizations to defend and support the work of NGOs.

The OSCE and the European Union have adopted some of the most advanced provisions regarding the role and rights of NGOs, as well as guidelines on how they can interact and participate in OSCE and EU activities. In the OSCE context, the role of NGOs in pressing for adherence to democratic standards and practices including monitoring elections remains vital. We will do all we can to ensure that the defense and promotion of human rights and democratic principles remain central to OSCE's mandate. Every quarter I hold consultations with the EU on a host of human rights and democracy issues worldwide. These consultations are also a good vehicle to take up the cause of NGO protection.

The OAS has formal structures for NGO participation and Secretary General Insulza has said that he seeks greater engagement by civil society organizations. Last month, I held a roundtable with a diverse group of NGOs from Latin America. The NGOs were in Washington to attend an OAS ministerial. We intend to build on that dialogue: through the OAS and among the NGOs themselves as they press for implementation of the OAS Democratic Charter.

NGO engagement with the African Union remains limited. However, prior to the AU Heads of State Summit July 1-2 in Banjul, the AU will host a Civil Society Forum and a Women's Forum. Later this year I hope to travel to Addis Ababa to meet with the AU and place protection of NGOs on our agenda

ASEAN has formal guidelines for NGO participation in its activities. To date, the NGOs affiliated with ASEAN do not tend to have a democracy or human rights focus, but operate in other fields such as business and medicine. ASEAN's recent steps to press the regime in Burma is an encouraging sign that countries in the region are beginning to recognize that the protection of human rights, and of human rights defenders, is a legitimate issue, and not one to be dismissed as interference in the sovereignty of its neighbors. We will encourage ASEAN to take further steps on this path.

Fourth, we must maximize global opportunities to raise concerns about the treatment of NGOs and take coordinated action in their defense. We will work to that end with like-minded members of the new U.N. Human Rights Council. I would note that in negotiating the creation of the Council, the United States successfully insisted that NGOs must retain the same access to the new body that they had to its predecessor.

The UN Democracy Fund, proposed by President Bush in September 2004 and launched in September 2005, is another important instrument for supporting NGOs. The Fund will support projects implemented by NGOs as well as governmental and multilateral entities. Recognizing the important contributions that NGOs make, the designers of the Democracy Fund ensured that two of the 17 members of the Fund's Advisory Board are NGO representatives. To date, 19 countries have contributed or pledged approximately $50 million to this voluntary Fund. The United States has contributed $17.9 million to date, and the President's Budget has requested an additional $10 million to support the Fund in FY 2007. We have successfully pushed for the Fund to focus on support for NGOs and other elements of civil society in states transitioning to democracy, complementing existing UN programs on free and fair elections and the rule of law.

The Community of Democracies and the collective action of its members can be an important focal point within the international community and international organizations in helping sustain and protect NGOs across the globe. The time has come to institutionalize the Community itself, and to use its members to press for fundamental freedoms, including with regard to the protection of NGOs.

Fifth, we must protect and nurture new organizations that allow NGOs to flourish. Here let me single out the Middle East. The Forum for the Future was established in the summer of 2004 at the G-8 Summit in Sea Island, Georgia. In partnership with the countries of the Broader Middle East and North Africa, the Forum seeks to advance political, economic, and educational reforms in the region. From its inception, we have pressed for inclusion of NGOs indigenous to the Middle East. At the first meeting of the Forum in Rabat in December 2004, there were five NGOs. By the time I accompanied Secretary Rice to the second meeting, held in Bahrain a year later, the five had grown to 40. At the conference, leaders of these NGOs participated, pressing an agenda of political reform, economic opportunity, educational advancement, and gender equality.

Among those serving on this civil society delegation in Bahrain were representatives from the Democracy Assistance Dialogue (DAD) -- a dialogue led by the Italy, Turkey, and Yemen as well as three NGOS from each country. The DAD presented the outcomes of discussions and debates held over the course of the year between civil society leaders and their government counterparts. The growing DAD network includes hundreds of civil society leaders from the region. The level and depth of civil society participation at the Forum was historic and positive, and has set an important precedent for genuine dialogue and partnership between civil society and governments on reform issues.

At Bahrain all the participating countries agreed to establish a Foundation for the Future to help fund NGO activity. We did not agree on a Bahrain declaration of principles, however, because a number of countries wanted to include in that declaration language to constrain NGOs. In the end, the United Kingdom as G-8 co-sponsor that year, supported by us and others -- walked away from the declaration. Our reason was simple: We could not cripple in the afternoon what we had created in the morning. I applaud the host of the next Forum, Jordan, for its unwavering commitment to a continued robust role for NGOs.

We are already acting in concert with the Jordanian government and others to ensure that the NGO presence grows for the meeting this December.

Sixth, we must ensure that NGOs have the resources they need to carry out their vital work. Many NGOs look to a variety of funding sources, both government and private, to ensure a diverse support base. Many of them never approach the U.S. government for any funding at all.

A number of private, grant-making foundations specialize in supporting the work of other non-governmental organizations, and here I cite the MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Institute and other well-known foundations. Organizations such as the independent, nonprofit Pew Charitable Trusts, the International Crisis Group, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and its Moscow Center often fund or produce reports on topics which contribute to public policy discourse on the development of civil society, conflict prevention and management, and other goals compatible with advancing freedom and democracy. We must continue to encourage more private sector support.

We in government can often provide the needed seed money for democracy promotion programs, or assistance to maintain on-going programs. This is a dynamic process that adjusts to new demands, shifting priorities, and different emphases. We must continue to seek out innovative solutions that merit our support, for example, programs that monitor and publicize attacks on NGOs, much as the MacArthur Foundation has funded the Berkman Center at Harvard University to monitor worldwide constraints on internet freedom.

I also want to express my appreciation to the Congress for its support of the Human Rights and Democracy Fund, a program managed by my Bureau. I call it the "venture capital" of democracy promotion for it gives us the flexibility to support innovative programming by NGOs targeted at key countries and issues. We are able to make hundreds of grants a year to organizations around the world addressing vital democracy and human rights issues.

All free nations have a stake in the strengthening of civil societies and the spread of democratic government worldwide, and we welcome and encourage contributions from other donor countries and institutions in support of the work of NGOs.

Seventh, we should consider elaborating some guiding principles by which we as a country would assess the behavior of other governments toward NGOs, and which we would take into account in our bilateral relationships. I would welcome consulting with Congress on the drafting of these principles. I would envision a short list of principles -- no more than a page. They would be user-friendly in non-legalistic language. The principles would proceed from the premise that NGOs, as elements of a vibrant civil society, are essential to the development and success of free societies and that they play a vital role in ensuring accountable, democratic government. The principles should pass the "reasonableness test" in any open society. We would pledge our own adherence to the principles and we would of course encourage their embrace by other countries as well.

I do not see these principles as being duplicative of other efforts. The best word is still the plainspoken word, and in plainspoken words, these principles would distill the basic commitments to the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly enshrined in such documents as: the U.N. Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other international documents such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, relevant International Labor Organization Conventions, the Helsinki Final Act and subsequent OSCE Copenhagen and Moscow documents, and the European Convention on Human Rights and relevant documents of the Council of Europe.

Among the possible principles we could elaborate could be:

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, in closing I cannot emphasize enough the value of the continued active involvement of this Committee and of other Members of Congress in the worldwide defense and support of the work of NGOs. It greatly strengthens my hand when I meet with foreign officials to know that I have your strong bipartisan backing. It is profoundly important that you continue to demonstrate your support for NGOs and raise concerns about their treatment to foreign governments. And any efforts you could make to encourage your counterparts in the legislatures of other democracies to press these issues and to work in concert on them would be extraordinarily helpful.

As President Bush has said: "Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen, and defended by citizens, and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minorities. … America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way."

By America's leadership in supporting and defending the work of NGOs, that is exactly what we are doing -- helping men and women across the globe shape their own destinies in freedom, and by so doing, helping to build a safer, better world for us all. Thank you.

Sreeram Chaulia is a writer and journalist whose work has been published in many publications in India, Pakistan, the United States, and elsewhere.


28 Июня 2013 г. KP.RU

Нас, Кажется, Охмуряют - НКО -- KP.RU

НКО как средство проведения интересов хороши по многим причинам. Инструментом внешней политики они не выглядят; вместо агрессии несут высокие идеалы. Массовка их состоит из местных активистов, которые будут сами доказывать, что никто им ничего не диктует - они борются за свои собственные ценности. Финансируемые год от года организации постепенно превращаются в автономную прозападную силу внутри государства-мишени. За двадцать лет можно вырастить целое поколение, которые ничего другого делать не умеют и сами верят в пропаганду, которую транслируют.

Массированное западное финансирование создало серьезный дисбаланс в гражданском обществе многих государств. За счет серьезных денежных вливаний и высокотехнологичного обучения сравнительно небольшое число общественных организаций - ядро "западной диссидентуры" в терминологии Владимира Буковского - обрело непропорционально громкий голос. Вместе ядро и массовка способны заполнить подавляющую часть общественного пространства страны и диктовать его политическое содержание. Тематика деятельности НКО - и, следовательно, протестов - покрывает все сферы жизни и деятельности общества: от выборов, демократии и прав человека до экологии, ЖКХ, коррупции, прав меньшинств и "рабства".

Тема не имеет значения. Главное - создать конфликт в обществе, расщепить его надвое, чтобы было кого столкнуть и вывести протест на улицы. Количество тем протестов по необходимости наращивается - вплоть до такого числа, когда власть теряет управление в стране.

Процесс отработан: местные обученные НКО якобы начинают протесты, местные СМИ освещают их, из столицы высаживается десант профессиональных оппозиционеров в поддержку, сопровождаемый пулом общенациональных прозападных изданий; далее кампания расходится по международным СМИ, западным парламентам, куда на слушания выезжают национальные "борцы за свободу", принимаются резолюции.

На основе парламентских резолюций исполнительная власть нагнетает политическое давление на государство-мишен. И любая самозащита государства, конечно, представляется как дальнейшее "закручивание гаек режимом" и "растущий авторитаризм" - любое действие по самообороне Вашингтон использует как повод для следующего витка давления

Russian court fines NGO $13,000 under 'foreign agent' law (May 2013)

A Russian court imposed $13,000 worth of fines on the election monitor Golos in the first ruling under the new "foreign agent" law that observers say will lead to closures of many organizations across the country. The move comes amid mounting criticism from activists that Moscow is cracking down on NGOs with repressive laws and a wave of raids on their offices by prosecutors. Golos (Voice), a group that monitors Russian elections for violations, and its director Liliya Shibanova, were ordered to pay the fine by Moscow's Presnensky district court for failing to register as a "foreign agent" as required by new legislation.

Kremlin Promises Information on $1B in NGO Funding (April 2013)

Prosecutors will publish information on NGOs' funding once checks on the organizations are completed, President Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. "The checks into NGOs that the Prosecutor General's Office is conducting will continue; we expect the information [on their funding] to be made public after the checks are concluded," Peskov said in comments carried by Interfax on Thursday.

Leading Russian Human Rights NGOs launch challenge at European Court to 'Foreign Agent' Law (February 2013)

An application is being lodged with the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of eleven leading Russian human rights NGOs to contest the recently introduced 'Foreign Agent' Law. They allege that this Law violates their rights to freedom of association and expression (Articles 11 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)), and request that the European Court gives urgent priority to their case. The case is being brought by the Russian NGO 'Memorial' and the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC), based at Middlesex University.

Freedom House Condemns New Restrictions on Freedom of Assembly in Moscow (January 2013)

Freedom House condemns new, severe restrictions on freedom of assembly and expression passed on December 26 by the Moscow City Council. The new legislation broadly bans vigils by individuals - so-called "single-person pickets" - if they are "united by a common organizer and goal." The legislation also bans using vehicles in a demonstration, including driving within the city center while displaying political or protest symbols. These restrictions, which apply only to Moscow, explicitly target protest tactics which have become popular as authorities have restricted or removed opportunities for public criticism of the government or its policies. Single-person pickets have been adopted to evade restrictions on large-scale rallies, while "motor rallies" of cars decorated with white ribbons have demonstrated citizens' outrage at election violations and other issues in the past year.

Russia criticizes EU on human rights ahead of summit (December 2012)

Russia said respect for human rights was declining in the European Union, as part of a campaign to turn the tables on the West's criticism of Moscow's rights record. "We are seeing a certain deterioration in regard to safeguarding human rights in the EU member states," Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry's special representative for human rights, told a news conference.

Medvedev convinced civil society developing in Russia (December 2012)

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes that the Russian civil society is maturing and becoming more open. The PM voiced the opinion in an interview for Kommersant.

USAID exit hurts Russian election watchdog (December 2012)

Russia's main independent voting watchdog said it has been forced to lay off nearly all its staff after the bulk of its funding dried up when the government ordered its main backer, the U.S. Agency for International Development, to cease operations in the country.

Internet restriction law comes into force (November 2012)

The law giving government agencies the power to order Internet companies to block material the state deems illegal has come into force. Officials refused to amend the language in the legislation about the government's "blacklist," or registry of illicit material, ignoring recommendations to narrow it from Internet service and content companies and free-speech advocates. Instead, the current wording leaves the door open to shutdowns of entire websites, even if the offending material is just one of thousands of pages on the site. Reporters Without Borders condemned the law, saying, "We are forced to conclude that no political will exists to resolve the law's contradictions and to eliminate those that pose threats to freedom."

Russia's 'Foreign Agents' law hit by paperwork pile-up (November 2012)

Russia's insistence that NGOs of a "political" nature funded from abroad register as "foreign agents" has been tied down in paperwork - or, rather, the lack of it. The NGOS affected by the controversial law were required by law to register their new legal status with the Justice Ministry by November 21, but the form for them has

Russia warns U.S. over human rights bill (November 2012)

Russia increased pressure on the U.S. Congress on Friday not to pass legislation that would punish Russian officials for human rights violations, warning Washington that it had prepared tough retaliatory measures.

Russia: leading NGO set to close due to funds shortfall (November 2012)

The instigators of Russia's punitive NGO law argue that civil society groups should seek domestic funds instead of overseas backers. But, Interfax reports: One of Russia's leading human rights organizations, the Union of Committees of Soldiers' Mothers, might have to close its Moscow office and stop operation due to the lack of funds. "We haven't paid for rent and utilities since 2010. We just have no money," executive secretary of the Union of Committees of Soldiers' Mothers Valentina Melnikova told Interfax.

Merkel Questions Russia's Human Rights Record (November 2012)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed criticism from German Chancellor Angela Merkel on his country's human rights record. Putin met with Merkel Friday at a Russian-German business forum in Moscow. Before Merkel traveled to Russia, Germany's parliament passed a resolution that linked a crackdown on freedoms here to Putin's unprecedented third term as president. As a result, parliament asked Merkel to take a tough stance with Putin on Russia's human rights record.

Transparency International refuses to comply with NCO law (November 2012)

The Moscow office of the anti-corruption coalition Transparency International has issued a statement announcing its refusal to comply with the recently passed law on foreign agents. "By agreeing to the status of foreign agent, any organization effectively admits that it is pursuing the interests of a foreign state, or a foreign or international organization, rather than working for the benefit of its own country – Russia," the statement reads. "We do not believe that efforts to achieve our organization's main objective – to fight corruption – damage, or even fail to benefit, our country."

Putin suggests some flexibility on anti-dissent laws (November 2012)

Vladimir Putin said he was ready to reconsider the law on high treason, which human rights campaigners say could mean that any Russian citizen who had contacts with a foreigner could be accused of trying to undermine the state. Putin also offered to rephrase wording in another bill that envisages stiffer punishments for defamation, and said parliament should not rush to adopt a law that would introduce jail sentences for offending religious feelings. He also said he would "look again" at legislation signed in July that requires foreign-funded non-governmental organisations to register as "foreign agents", saying its main aim was to prevent foreign meddling in Russia's domestic affairs.

Another law in blatant violation of basic international human rights standards (October 2012)

On October 23, 2012, the Russian Duma (the lower chamber of Parliament) adopted a series of amendments to the law on treason and espionage, introducing new provisions into the Criminal Code.

The new version of the law is now expected to be examined by the Council of Federation of the Russian Federation (the upper chamber) and, if adopted, to be signed by President Vladimir Putin.

The new text expands the definition of treason to "providing financial, technical, advisory and other assistance to a foreign State or international organisation (…) directed at harming Russia's security", criminalising de facto any contact with any foreign entity by an extremely elevated and disproportionate sanction up to 20 years' imprisonment.

The vague terms used open the path to discretionary interpretations by the authorities, raising further concerns on how the law will be enforced.

Russia's upper house approves law on fines for foreign agents (October 2012)

The Federation Council, Russia's upper house of parliament, approved a law imposing administrative fines for violating the provisions on the foreign agent status for non-profit organizations. The corresponding amendments have been introduced to the Code of Administrative Offenses. The amendments to the code served as an integral part of the draft law assigning a foreign agent status to Russian NGOs financed from abroad and involved in politics.

Russia's NGO Law will inevitably result in a contraction of space and opportunity for NGOs (October 2012)

Boris Pustyntsev, Director of the Russia-based Citizens' Watch, speaks to CIVICUS about the impact of the new 'NGO Law' and recent restrictions on civil society activism in Russia.

Russia's troublesome "traditional values" resolution (October 2012)

Article 19 urges the UN Human Rights Council members to reject a draft resolution proposed by Russia on "traditional values" as the concept may be abused to legitimize discrimination against minority groups, to silence dissent, and violate human rights. Increasing dialogue on the role of traditional values in society and raising understanding of the many different values held by people is positive where done within a framework of respect for human rights. However, the draft resolution fails to recognize that traditional values are not always invoked positively and have often been abused to legitimize discrimination against marginalized and minority groups, to silence dissent, and violate people's human rights.

USAID shutdown in Russia will hurt civil society (September 2012)

The United States says it will comply with Russia's request to end all programs of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which the U.S. describes as "regrettable." Experts believe that the action will hurt Russian NGOs that deal with democracy and human rights.

Kremlin evicts USAID from Russia in blow to 'reset' (September 2012)

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is ending pro-democracy and civil society programs in Russia at the insistence of the Kremlin, according to reports from U.S. officials close to the situation.

Russia demands USAID halt work (September 2012)

The Kremlin sounded its stiffest rebuke to U.S. democracy-building efforts in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, ordering the U.S. to halt the work of the U.S. Agency for International Development in Russia by Oct. 1. Since 1992, USAID has distributed $2.7 billion for projects in Russia ranging from election monitoring and prisoners' rights to tuberculosis prevention and education for the handicapped. It had planned to spend $50 million in Russia in 2012, more than half of it on democracy and civic programs-a shift from funding in the 1990s, which had focused more on economic development.

European Parliament concerned over worsening civil society climate in Russia (September 2012)

...A press release said MEPs were gravely concerned about "the deteriorating climate" for the development of civil society in Russia, pointing to the recent legislation on demonstrations, NGOs, defamation, and the Internet.

Russian regional administration forbids employees contact with 'foreign agents' as new NGO law gains traction (September 2012)

The Administration of the Mari El Region 850 kilometers east of Moscow has issued a directive to its officials to refrain from participating in social or political activities organized by foreign nongovernmental organizations or Russian NGOs receiving funding from foreign sources.

Human-rights organizations to boycott new law on NGOs (September 2012)

Two of Russia's oldest human-rights organizations have announced their intention to boycott a law on "foreign agents." Duma deputies have said that non-compliance with the new federal law could result in the forcible closure of organizations.

Russian rights groups taking 'multi-step' approach against NGO law (September 2012)

Russian civil society groups are developing a diverse range of strategies in response to a new law classifying non-government organizations as "foreign agents."

Beyond text, few parallels between new Russian and existing U.S. CSO laws (August 2012)

On August 14th, the Woodrow Wilson Center hosted a lecture called "Understanding and Responding to Attacks on Civil Society: The Rule of Politics and Law." Panelist Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy, qualified new Russian legislation as an "attack" on the freedom of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). The UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law's Nilda Bullain also spoke on the panel.

Clinton affirms Russian human rights activists are not U.S. agents (August 2012)

Moscow Helsinki Group leader Ludmila Alexeyeva and Movement For Human Rights Director Lev Ponomarev have received from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton an answer to the question they posed to President Barack Obama relating to the foreign-agent status of US-funded Russian NGOs. Clinton stated clearly that the United States does not control their activities, nor does the US have any wish to do so.

Assembling to promote a positive attitude proscribed (August 2012)

In Saint Petersburg, activists were promoting a positive attitude by wearing funny vintage costumes, sharing chocolates and standing in the subway with signs greeting people saying "Good morning, Good day." However, police warned them that this activity is subject to the law on mass gatherings. It seems that almost any public gathering can be an unauthorized assembly in Russia today.

Russia needs Human Rights Ombudsmen in every region – Putin (August 2012)

Russian President Vladimir Putin lauded the independence of his country's Human Rights Ombudsmen, and suggested making the post obligatory for every region of the Russian Federation.

Russia's law on volunteering can be adopted in autumn (August 2012)

A law on volunteering may be adopted in Russia this autumn, the deputy speaker of the Federation Council, Yuri Vorobyev, said. "Possibly, this law can be adopted in autumn. Different public organizations, including the Public Chamber, are drafting this law," he told Itar-Tass.

NGO law affects Russia's civil society (August 2012)

Hundreds of Russian civil society organizations will not receive foreign grants anymore because of new restrictions placed on them, despite the fact they depend on such funding to survive. Some organizations have decided to try to focus on domestic funding.

New amendments on volunteering to be developed (July 2012)

The draft Law on Volunteers, prepared by the Public Chamber with participation of the ICNL Moscow Office, will not be adopted. The draft was considered controversial by some CSOs and rendered much discussion. One of the CSOs' arguments was that the draft could result in more burdensome administrative procedures and delays in the implementation of activities. This was substantiated by examples from the town of Krymsk that recently suffered from flooding. The town attracted hundreds if not thousands of volunteers who were distributing aid to the local people. As a compromise, new amendments on volunteering will be incorporated into the Law on Public Associations and the Tax code to ensure the NGOs' right to involve volunteers in their activities and to prevent taxation on the reimbursement of volunteering related expenses.

Details of "Foreign Agents" Law (July 2012)

President Putin signed a high-profile bill that will relegate politically active NGOs receiving funding from abroad to a registry of "foreign agents." Once registered, these NGOs will face heightened scrutiny. They will be required to file regular disclosures with the government and to label all materials disseminated through major channels with their "foreign agent" status. Responding to critics, Duma legislator and bill co-sponsor Alexander Sidyakin pointed to the similarities between the law and the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), a similarly worded US statute.

"Foreign Agents" Law modeled after US law, says Putin (July 2012)

President Putin says that by adopting the law labeling foreign-funded nonprofits involved in politics 'foreign agents', Russia, just like the US, wants to protect itself from external influence. The Russian leader sees nothing wrong in requiring organizations that get funding from other countries to be registered as foreign agents. "If foreigners pay for political activity, apparently they are expecting to get some result from that," he noted at an annual pro-Kremlin youth forum. "This rule applies only to organizations that are involved in politics and get financing from abroad," he stressed."I believe that in Russia we can have a law similar to that adopted in the United States back in 1938. Why have they protected themselves this way from external influence and have been using this law for decades? Why can we not do the same in Russia?" Putin pointed out.

Russians Support Recent Laws Restricting Freedoms - Poll (July 2012)

Russians generally support a number of recently passed laws that impose restrictions on the freedoms of speech and assembly and on access to information, according to a poll released Thursday by the Levada Center.

Russian rights activists refuse to comply with NGO law (July 2012)

Russia's two largest human rights organizations will not comply with the law that labels them as "foreign agents," the NGOs' heads said just hours after President Vladimir Putin signed the controversial new NGO bill. Putin signed on Saturday a law forcing non-government organizations engaged in political activities with foreign financing to be branded as "foreign agents."

Drive to give legal status to volunteers (July 2012)

As volunteerism soars to new highs with the recent Krasnodar region flooding, policymakers are hammering out the country's first bill that would give legal status to volunteers. A draft of the bill says volunteers would be obliged to sign cooperation agreements with organizations, according to a copy published by State Duma Deputy Ilya Ponomaryov of "A Just Russia" on his blog.

The Internet law: A good bad example of Russia's backsliding (July 2012)

Duma Bill 89417 is a proposed Internet statute that, among other provisions, would create a blacklist of websites that all Russians Internet service providers (ISPs) would have to block and refuse to host. The bill was hurried through the legislature in one week. (The defamation bill was approved in the Duma's third and final reading; jail terms were eliminated from an earlier draft, but fines were allowed reaching as high as 5 million rubles or about US$153,000). Both bills now await President Vladimir Putin's signature.

Russian parliament approves restrictions on foreign-funded NGOs (July 2012)

Russia's lower house of parliament passed a bill imposing new restrictions on non-governmental organizations that receive funding from abroad. Although the bill, which is almost certain to pass the upper house and be signed into law by the president, does not prohibit any organization from operating, it is likely to create a chilling effect on CSO activities. It reflects the suspicion of the West and the fear of rising opposition sentiment held by President Vladimir Putin and his backers in the governing United Russia party.

Secretary of State Clinton discusses "disturbing" Russian NGO Law in CoD Governing Council remarks (July 2012)

In her Remarks at the Community of Democracies Governing Council, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton stated that "the new legislation being passed in the Russian Duma not only goes after foreign NGOs and funding from foreign NGOs, but goes after local, national NGOs and civil society, which is really a great disturbance to the brilliance and the creativity of the Russian people, who have so much to contribute." She said she thinks "the Community of Democracies needs to speak out, because whenever a reporter is silenced or an activist threatened or a civil society organization shut down, it really weakens the social fabric of a nation.

EU High Representative "highly concerned" about amendments to Russia's NGO law (July 2012)

The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued a statement on July 10 saying that Ms. Ashton is "highly concerned by amendments to the Russian NGO law that were adopted … against the advice of the Russian President's Council on Human Rights and the Development of Civil Society." The statement notes that these amendments would force Russian NGOs that receive foreign funding "to present themselves as 'foreign agents' in all their activities" and that this "cannot be compared to any legislation or practice existing in the EU or the US." According to the statement, "The adoption of this NGO law comes amidst several developments that limit the space for a vibrant civil society in Russia, such as the arrests of opposition figures as well as a new law that stipulates excessive fines for administrative violations during authorised demonstrations."

PACE Rapporteur Slams Russian Slander Bill As 'Invitation to Punish' Kremlin Critics (July 2012)

A prominent member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has criticized a move by the Russian State Duma to reintroduce slander as a criminal offense. Switzerland's Andreas Gross said the new legislation joins a group of harsh new restrictions on everything from Internet use to foreign funding for nongovernmental organizations that have been whisked through the Russian parliament in the early weeks of Vladimir Putin's second presidency.

Russia's Ruling Party Seeks 'Foreign Agent' Media Bill (July 2012)

Ruling United Russia party lawmakers are planning to put some media outlets on the list of "specially monitored" organizations, the Izvestia daily reported.

UN human rights experts warn of potential damage by Russia's draft law to civil society (July 2012)

A group of United Nations independent experts today warned that a draft law being considered by Russia could adversely impact civil society and urged on the Government not to adopt this legislation. "These amendments constitute a direct affront to those wishing to freely exercise their right to freedom of association," the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, said in a news release.

Parties Ask Russian Constitutional Court To Review Demonstrations Law (July 2012)

Two Russian political parties have appealed to the Constitutional Court to rule on the legality of a recently adopted law mandating heavy fines for organizing or participating in unsanctioned demonstrations. More than 100 lawmakers from the A Just Russia and Communist parties signed the appeal, which argues that the massive increase in fines and the introduction of mandatory public-service sentences for some violations are unconstitutional.

Looking for Foreign Agents in All the Wrong Places (July 2012)

For more than a year, the Kremlin has been promising that there would be a "symmetric response" to the U.S. Magnitsky act. The problem, though, was that a strictly symmetric response would require freezing the Russian-based assets of U.S. government officials who are implicated in human rights abuses. Since few would qualify for this blacklist, the Kremlin resorted to an asymmetric response - a United Russia proposal to amend the law regulating nongovernmental organizations.

NGO laws indicate Putin's strategic failure, political frailty (July 2012)

Russia's lower house of parliament today passed a bill imposing new restrictions on foreign-funded non-governmental organizations. The regulations are reminiscent of Soviet secret police methods, the head of the Council of Europe said yesterday. "Although the bill, which is almost certain to pass the upper house and be signed into law by the president, does not prohibit any organization's operation, it is likely to create a chilling effect on groups' activities," reports suggest.

Russia's Internet blacklist looms in freedom crackdown (July 2012)

The United States had SOPA, and Britain has the Digital Economy Act. China is -- well, in a league of its own. Russia is next on the list of developed nations pushing for widespread website blocking and censorship capabilities in the wake of an online uprising prior to the inauguration of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Thousands of protesters took to the streets, set up blogs, and disseminated demands for a fresh ballot over social networks following claims of rigged votes and electoral corruption in the recent presidential elections.

Transparency International calls on Russia to reject draconian amendments to laws governing NGOs (July 2012)

Transparency International calls on the Russian parliament to reject the proposed amendments to the law governing non-governmental organizations. The new regulations, if passed, would severely limit civil society's ability to hold governments to account and would misrepresent what non-governmental organizations do. "Singling out organizations that work on legitimate public issues, such as access to information, the rule of law and whistle-blower protection, and labeling them "agents of foreign influence" is completely wrong and sends an ominous message to the people of Russia who took to the streets more than 20 years ago to fight for their freedoms," said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International.

Putin signs draconian law restricting freedom of assembly (June 2012)

The Russian State Duma voted in favor of a bill to increase the fees for unsanctioned meetings one hundred and fifty-fold. The legislature's upper house signed the bill after which President Putin signed it into law. Supporters of the law argue that it is an attempt to bring Russian legislation in compliance with European standards. In a letter to the Financial Times, for example, Putin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov wrote that in introducing the law the Russian government is "striving for legislation that is comparable to the regulation of political protests in the west" and is "inspired by the European example."

New Russian bill aims to brand NGOs as 'foreign agents' (June 2012)

Nongovernmental organizations operating in Russia on grants from abroad could soon be officially branded as "foreign agents." Under a new bill submitted to the State Duma by deputies from the ruling United Russia party, the requirement would apply to foreign-funded NGOs deemed to be engaged in political activities. "I've prepared a draft law on introducing amendments to the NGO law. We'll submit it soon," Aleksandr Sidyakin, one of the bill's authors, wrote on Twitter. "Prepare your cash, foreign agents! :)"

Parliament to label externally-funded NGOs as foreign agents (June 2012)

The Russian State Duma is pondering legislative amendments that would rename all NGOs that receive funding from abroad into 'foreign agents' with obligatory mentioning of this status in all media reports. The suggested legislative changes would require that all NGOs registered within Russia but receiving money or property from foreign sources, state and private alike, be considered "foreign agents" once they get involved in political activities, one of the amendments' initiators, United Russia State Duma deputy Aleksander Sidyakin, said.

Law on rallies awaits Putin's signature (June 2012)

Following 12 hours of tense debate, Russia's State Duma has adopted amendments to the law on rallies, slapping harsher penalties on participants and organizers alike.

Putin signs law with new restrictions on peaceful assembly (June 2012)

President Putin signed into law the new restrictive amendments to the law on public rallies and the administrative code, which had been adopted by the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament on June 5 and endorsed by the upper chamber on June 6. President Putin dismissed the concerns of numerous Russian and international human rights groups and told the news media that the new law was to protect Russian nationals from radicalism. He said that the law imposed no more restrictions on freedom of assembly than is permitted under prevailing European norms.

Russian President Putin defends Russia's human rights record after EU meeting (June 2012)

Under pressure from the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday defended his country's human rights record, claiming that Russia has no political prisoners and dismissing criticism of a draconian bill that increases fines for unsanctioned street rallies.

Russia's civil society 'beats authorities' in tackling corruption (May 2012)

Russia's civil society has made a dramatic leap forward over the past three years and is doing much more to curb corruption than the authorities. Yelena Panfilova, a prominent, outgoing member of the presidential anti-corruption and human rights council, said on Wednesday.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor meets civil society advocates from Russia (April 2012)

Thomas O. Melia, who serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, welcomed to the State Department a dozen inspiring civil society advocates from Russia. He noted that civil society is an essential driver of progress and accountability on an array of important issues, including prison reform. Over the past year, Russian civil society advocates, including some of the activists who took part in the meeting, have been working to prevent another tragedy like that of Sergei Magnitsky, who dies from abuse and neglect in a Moscow pre-trial detention center.

Freedom of speech concerns arise as protest singers face seven-year jail sentences (April 2012)

A court rejected calls to free imprisoned members of a feminist punk band that performed a protest song against Vladimir Putin inside Moscow's main cathedral. Three members of Pussy Riot had their detention extended until June 24 in a case that has provoked disputes over freedom of speech and the close relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Kremlin. They face jail sentences of seven years if convicted of hooliganism for the "punk prayer" against Mr. Putin sung from the pulpit of Christ the Saviour Cathedral, in Moscow on February 21.

Nonviolent protests in Russia: About the elections or also for the future? (March 2012)

Only two years ago, civil protests would have been of marginal interest to most Russians. Citizens would not even dare cross a boulevard carrying banners in their numb hands. The author of this article - a young, independent writer – discusses the change in Russians' mentality about civil protest and shares her views on the structure of the protest movement.

International NGOs urge authorities of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia to take measures to protect journalists (January 2012)

The international human rights organizations Article 19 and International Media Support (IMS) have called on the authorities of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia to take every legal and political measure needed to protect journalists and defend the right to freedom of expression in these countries. "We recommend establishing effective cooperation between human rights organizations and journalist organizations for the provision of mutual support," Senior Communications and Advocacy Officer at Article 19 Oliver Spencer said at the presentation of the recommendations to the report "No Justice for Journalists in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia" in Kyiv on Monday.

News archive

Putin No plans to close NGOs, public has right to know comments - RT Russian politics


Stan Dinsmore

Yeltsin is the man who let foriegn influence into 600+ NGOs; whose purpose is 1st + foremost to interfere in/ or influence Russian internal Gov't policy. The "fall" of Socialism has opened door for unscrupulous foriegn activity. What does West want? Simple, control of Russian resources, esp. Water {Russia has 40% of Worlds' water supply} NWO,Bilderburgers are planning long-term strategy for Asia, esp. Russia.

Anonymous user

What gives Germany the right to get involved in the internal affairs of Russia?

Anonymous user:

Germany is no longer the #1 trading parner of Russia. It is laging behind China and the Netherlands!

Jim Dandy:

Short of closing NGOs altogether, full disclosure of NGO funding is the next best thing & should be an international law.....It will be ironic to see how many so-called 'Non Government' Org.s are funded by the U.S. & E.U. governments. The U.S. should do the same to free the U.S. from Saudi Arabian, German & Israeli foreign policy agendas.

Anonymous user

During the NAPOLEONIC WARS Austria, Germany, Prussia & Russia were allies & should be so again.

Anonymous user:

Putin talks intelligently and with integrity. He would be a good friend to have.

Anonymous user:

The difference between Putin and Western leaders is that Putin is a very intelligent man.

Anonymous user:

Russians are not hated in uk.the americans are,except uk politicians,they brown nose usa,traitors

michael walsh:

President Putin's formidable delivery at media interviews gives him a considerable edge over his Western adversaries. However if there is a threat it will come from a Western media that is programmed to be critical of him. We have seen it all before as the West positions itself for war.

Anonymous user:

Right on! Even Amnesty International whose ex boss Suzanne Nozel ( boss of PEN now ) is a Clintonite

Anonymous user:

No one give away 1 billion dollars to any country because of their love for democracy. get real.

Across Alex

NGO-s are main tools of destabilizing a nation from abroad. NGOs may be independent from governments but they are surely not independent from secret services or globalist conspirators. In true democracies there is no need of NGO-s.


April 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Very good distillation of the interview. I was too lazy to produce one.

I should add that back in the 1930s and 1940s the whole "NGO" concept as a tool of state power was not fully evolved. So I doubt the Nazis were such a big threat in the USA via some foreign agent agitation. There were too many home grown Nazis in love with eugenics already. So I think that FARA type legislation is not sufficient for modern state meddling. The whole registration should be replaced with an outright ban. Direct and indirect funneling of money into Russia to feed schizophrenics like the liberasts is not acceptable. Grass roots should be about local support and not whoring for foreign powers.

The optics of an outright ban would be not much different from the current registration law. The amount shrieking in the western media is at saturation level already so there is simply no benefit of being soft.

Russian NGOs Ask to Disclose $1 Bln Foreign Aid Recipients Russia RIA Novosti

April 11, 2013 at 8:54 am

NGO maggots trying to claim that they are poor and destitute. If the government used dirty tricks to obtain information on these 5th column operations, then it is not obliged to reveal these tricks. Then the "N"GOs will change their money shuffling operations.

It seems to be true that Russia never learns. Don't waste time proving who got what. Just shut down all the outfits that refuse to abide by the law.

Речь идет о финансировании НКО Молдовы. Маленькой Молдовы.
Представьте, какие суммы идут в Россию.

Как утверждает Вероника Крашенинникова, список грантополучателей всего одной конторы под названием Национальный фонд за демократию (NED), девиз которого "Поддерживаем свободу по всему миру", составляет том в 200 страниц.
Некоторые из них можно узнать на их сайте
Я выбрала несколько:

Голос Беслана $20 000
Центр экстремальной журналистики $50 000
Центр социально-трудовых прав $66 000
Мемориал. Центр истории Пермь-36 $50 000
Левада-центр $71242
АНО "МАШР" $61805
Ассоциация Голос упоминается дважды: $51477 и $49945
Костромской Комитет солдатских матерей $26201. Гранты получили комитеты солдатских матерей из других областей. Не только из Костромы.
Чеченский комитет национального спасения $70 000
Информационный центр "СОВА" $71065

Конечно же, эти и другие организации, которые находятся в списке грантополучателей, трудятся исключительно на благо России. А как может быть иначе? Ведь США заинтересованы в том, чтобы Россия была сильной, развитой, демократичной, свободной, могучей. И чтобы права каждого человека, будь то мужчина, женщина, ребенок или педераст были защищены максимально. На это цитадель демократии не жалеет никаких средств!
Видео взяла у azbukywedy

Перекрыли кислород. Как жить дальше

Апр 8, 2013 @ Жулики, Пятая колонна, Справедливость

Все уже посмотрели интервью Владимира Путина немецким журналистам. В сухом остатке мы имеем 654 НКО(из более сотни тысяч по стране), которые продолжают получать финансирование непосредственно из-за рубежа. Причём, вы помните озвученную цифру, 28 миллиардов 300 млн. рублей они получили только за последние 4 месяца. Где эти деньги?

Григорий "высурковскаяпропаганда" Мельконьянц из "Голоса" был крайне возмущён это цифрой. Оно и ясно, ведь исходя из взломанной переписки "Голос" получал куда меньше долларов, чем, наверное, хотелось бы.

Борьба с режимом – это такой же бизнес по-американски, как и продажа детей на вывоз. За два десятилетия сформировалась целая когорта осваивающих американские гранты "за вашу и нашу свободу". Причём, судя по тщетности их действий, можно предположить, что большая часть финансирования просто "распылялась", оседая в карманах известных всем лидеров. Новости не заставили себя долго ждать.

Большой друг американских сенаторов, связное звено между американских "эстеблишментом" и россйиской оппозицией, некогда известный шахматист Гарри Каспаров ушёл из руководства незарегистрированный партии "Солидарность".

Об этом сообщают многие информ-агентства, в том числе "РИА-Новости":

""Он заявил о том, что не намерен баллотироваться в следующий состав. Мы все их (руководящие органы) покидаем в связи с тем, что срок наших полномочий на съезде, естественно, кончается и выбирается новый состав. И Гарри Кимович сообщил о том, что не намерен баллотироваться в новый состав, оставаясь членом движения", - сказал Давидис. Сам Каспаров на съезде не присутствует, поскольку находится не в России".

Финансовые трудности в "Солидарности"? Нет, не слышал. Ведь у прообраза действующего в России движения - польской "Солидарности" никогда сложностей не было, всегда была поддержка ЦРУ и финансирование из Вашингтона:

"В 1987 году сенат США выделил на поддержку "Солидарности" 1 млн. долларов США. Во время слушаний, сенатор Симмс сообщил, что лидеры "Солидарности" ранее неоднократно обращались к правительству США с просьбой о предоставлении им материальной помощи. Призывая сенаторов голосовать в поддержку законопроекта, сенатор от республиканской партии Хаммонд заявил: "Помощь для „Солидарности" мы рассматриваем также, как помощь для контрас"".

Но вот Интерфакс сообщает о том, что после внезапных проверок у местной "Солидарности" появились финансовые трудности:

"Один из руководителей оппозиционного движения "Солидарность" Борис Немцов признался, что содержать организацию становится все труднее. Съезд организации принял заявление с требованием освободить политзаключенных.

"У „Солидарности" очень серьезные бюджетные проблемы возникли. Сбор средств на организацию становится все более кошмарным явлением", - сказал Б.Немцов в воскресенье на съезде "Солидарности".

По его словам, "содержание одной из главных оппозиционных организаций обходится всего лишь в 2 млн руб. в год".

Б.Немцов посоветовал соратникам готовиться к долгой борьбе. "Нам бороться долго, но мы точно победим", - сказал он".

Правильно волнуется Борис Ефимович. Иначе на какие деньги он будет покупать себе последующие квартиры в элитных жилых комплексах Москвы и новые Лэнд-Роверы?

Олег Лурье здорово просветил рентгеном этого прожённого циника:

Шаги по искоренению иностранного влияния под видом "независимых" некоммерческих организация есть ничто иное, как контрразведывательная операция по возврату суверенитета. 654 организации-паразита, которые на деньги американских налогоплательщиков промывают мозги нашим согражданам - эта гадюка изрядно попила крови нашей многострадальной.

Тем более, что большую часть этих НКО возглавляют бывшие кадровые разведчки и военные:

"Генеральный директор Института внешнеполитических исследований и инициатив Вероника Крашенинникова заявила, что ряд американских некоммерческих организаций в России возглавляли разведчики. Как сообщает корреспондент ИА REGNUM, Крашенинникова озвучила список фамилий глав американских НКО 4 апреля в Москве в рамках круглого стола "О проблемах и перспективах укрепления взаимоотношений институтов гражданского общества России и США", в котором участвовал и посол США в РФ Майкл Макфол. Посол в ответ призвал судить людей по их сегодняшней работе".

Более подробно здесь:

Маски сброшены, ставок больше нет.

Путин иностранцы вкладывают миллиарды в российские НКО - RT - INO TV


I would like to know which of the participants in this discussion really worked in such an NGO and and wrote reports? This information goes to the CIA analytical department, especially information that is related to social mood, the economy, the state of education and socialization. Based on this information they create programs for brainwashing of the population for color revolutions and so on.

Is there and completly naive person who thinks that the U.S. (the predatory country which got its wealth through the destruction other states, export of commonities and other valuable for pennies on the dollar) will just spend the money for the development of Russia? In so, this person is clititally certified idiot.

In the U.S., even ornithologists write intelligence reports to CIA about all their contacts in Russia. Wake up, esteemed Liberals! This is not conspiracy theory, but the hard reality of the current situation: we do have a struggle of ideologies, the struggle for influence over the minds of the people, and, what is the most important, the struggle for natural resources.

And all of you still believe in Christmas gifts ... Ugh!

And it is a right move that now they will be sweezed. Those who are without sin, will somehow get a pass, and those that are in permanent war with the Russian people, should be closed. Definitely should be closed.

Let' give those heroes a shovel in their hands and let them dig a new channel for the motherland.

The Kremlin Stooge


April 5, 2013 at 2:11 pm

That interview is worthy of full translation by a capable Russian speaker, for people who do not read Russian, because it was clear to me that Vladimir Putin dominated throughout and he made a number of excellent points that you will not see anywhere in expressions of western thought on the same issues. It deserves a full post on its own.

On NGO's, to which you have already alluded and in addition to the amount received that you cited, Mr. Putin pointed out that the Russian Federation has two NGO's operating in the west; one in Paris, and one in the USA. Two. Balanced against more than 650 in Russia just counting those who qualify for the Foreign Agent label by virtue of being funded from abroad. He also points out that the voluminous documents the USA requires to be completed by the single Russian NGO in the USA originate with Counterintelligence, not the State Department.

On Cyprus, Mr. Putin points out that Russia did not create Cyprus as a tax haven – it merely used it for that purpose, but it was set up by the Eurozone. He went on to suggest the shenanigans in Cyprus do not damage Russia in the least, but that they undermine the credibility of banking in the Eurozone as a whole.

As to Russia's financial system and the implication that Russians are motivated by a mistrust of Russian banks to put their money in offshores, Mr. Putin points to the fact that not one Russian bank collapsed in the global financial crisis of 2008/09. What happened in the USA (he didn't suggest that, I am)? Should the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers be taken as a warning of the instability in the American financial system?

To the suggestion that Russia is supplying weapons to Assad, he puts the rejoinder that weapons transfers by legitimate governments to legitimate governments are not currently restricted; there is no embargo in place. However, he calls attention to the 3.5 thousand tons of weapons and ammunition recently gifted to the opposition – a mercenary force – by its western backers.

His German host appeared to have gone into it with a "just watch this" attitude, in which he intended to outmaneuver Putin by asking him difficult questions that would have him either squirming with embarrassment or purple with rage in minutes. Nothing like that appears to have happened, and his German questioner merely looked like a prick trying for a "gotcha" situation. That did not reflect very well on Germany, in my opinion.


April 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Very good distillation of the interview. I was too lazy to produce one.

I should add that back in the 1930s and 1940s the whole "NGO" concept as a tool of state power was not fully evolved. So I doubt the Nazis were such a big threat in the USA via some foreign agent agitation. There were too many home grown Nazis in love with eugenics already. So I think that FARA type legislation is not sufficient for modern state meddling. The whole registration should be replaced with an outright ban. Direct and indirect funneling of money into Russia to feed schizophrenics like the liberasts is not acceptable. Grass roots should be about local support and not whoring for foreign powers.

The optics of an outright ban would be not much different from the current registration law. The amount shrieking in the western media is at saturation level already so there is simply no benefit of being soft.

Alexander Mercouris:

April 5, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Dear Mark,

I too read the article and I got the same impression as you. Putin completely dominated and the interviewer seemed at times at a loss and poorly prepared. I echo Kirill's view that yours is an excellent summary.


April 5, 2013 at 3:47 pm

His German host appeared to have gone into it with a "just watch this" attitude, in which he intended to outmaneuver Putin by asking him difficult questions that would have him either squirming with embarrassment or purple with rage in minutes. Nothing like that appears to have happened, and his German questioner merely looked like a prick trying for a "gotcha" situation. That did not reflect very well on Germany, in my opinion.
From reading interview I have an impression that Jörg Schönenborn has been doomed from the beginning as he had a pretty rigid agenda with a large set of questions (Searches of NGO, Cyprus, democracy in Russia, economic cooperation, Putin after-presidential term plans, etc) for a short interview and he can't deviate too much from the script. That created great difficulties for him as when replies went into unpredicted territory and Putin scored points he was simply forced to switch to the next question leaving territory to Putin. Putin demonstrated top level skills in how he "on the fly" dealt with very difficult and slightly embarrassing "Medvedev's quote."

Here is the translation:

JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: Good evening, Mr President,

Germany and Russia enjoy special relationship and, economically speaking, they are a good match. However, there exist certain difficulties from the political viewpoint. Quite a number of Germans keep track of the raids in the Russian offices of German funds with great concern. The Russian public must be frightened. Why do you act like this?

PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: It is you who are scaring the German public instead. There is nothing like this going on here, do not scare the public, please. The media should cover the events objectively. And what does it mean, objectively? The new law adopted late last year in Russia stipulates that non-governmental organisations engaged in Russia's internal political processes and sponsored from abroad must be registered as foreign agents, that is organisations which participate in our country's political life at the expense of foreign countries. This is not an innovation in international politics. A similar law has been in force in the Unites States since 1938.

If you have any additional questions, I would be pleased to answer them in order to clarify the situation to you and your or, in this case, our viewers.

JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: Mr President, I am not aware of any similar confiscations or raids carried out in the United States. In our opinion, the term 'foreign agent', as these organisations are to be called, sounds something like cold war.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Then let me explain. First of all, the United States adopted a similar law, which has been in effect ever since. And our, Russian, organisations have followed the same practice that was established in that country decades ago.

I am going to show you a paper in which, not long ago, the United States Department of Justice requested a non-governmental organisation to submit documents confirming that its activities were to be financed from abroad; the list is very long.

We have adopted a similar law that prohibits nothing; let me stress it, the law does not prohibit anything, nor does it limit or close down anything. Organisations financed from abroad are not forbidden to carry out any type of activities, including internal political activity. The only thing we want to know is who receives the money and where it goes. I repeat: the law is not some sort of innovation of our own.

Why do we consider it so important today? What do you think is the number of Russia-sponsored non-governmental organisations functioning in Europe? Any ideas?

JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: I am afraid I cannot assess the situation, Mr President.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Let me tell you. One such organisation operates in Paris, another one – in North America, it is registered in the USA. And this is it. There are only two of them – one in the United States and another one in Europe.

There are 654 non-governmental organisations operating in the Russian Federation, which are funded, as it has turned out, from abroad. 654 organisations make quite a network nationwide, the Russian regions included.

Over the four months alone that followed the adoption of the law in question, the accounts of these organisations augmented by… How much money do you think they received? You can hardly imagine; I did not know the figure myself: 28.3 billion rubles, which is almost $1 billion. 855 million rubles via diplomatic missions.

These organisations are engaged in internal political activity. Should not our society be informed of who gets the money and for what purposes?

I would also like to stress – and I want you to know this, I want people in Europe, including Germany, to know this – that nobody bans these organisations from carrying out their activities. We only ask them to admit: "Yes, we are engaged in political activities, and we are funded from abroad." The public has the right to know this.

There is no need to scare anyone saying that people here get rounded up, arrested, have their property confiscated, although confiscations could be a reasonable thing if those people break the law. Some administrative sanctions are envisaged in these cases, but I think all this falls under rules commonly accepted in a civilised society.

Now let us look at the documents that our organisations in the US are required to provide. Note who asks for these documents, signed at the bottom of the page. The Counterespionage Section. Not the Office of Attorney General, but the Counterespionage Section of the US Department of Justice. This is an official document that the organisation received. And note the number of questions they pose. Is this democratic?

JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: Mr President, we will examine this document. I do not know if any such searches took place in the US.

I would like to ask you once again: we understand democracy as the coexistence of the state and opposition. Political competition is an integral part of it. Does Russia need a strong opposition?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Certainly. We do need it to say the least. I believe that without competition no development in either economy, or in politics is possible today, and we want to ensure this development for our country and our people. Without this competition we would not be able to make effective, sound and justified decisions. Which is why we will undoubtedly strive to make the competition a cornerstone of every sphere of our society's life, including politics.

But this does not mean that opposition should be financed from abroad, don't you think? Or do you have a different opinion?

JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: Does this imply that the opposition can freely participate in demonstrations?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Absolutely, as long as they abide by the law. There are certain rules that provide for various forms of political activity. Voting means publicly expressing your opinion, as does participating in demonstrations. There is law. Good or bad, it can be changed democratically, but it must be abided by. Ordnung muss sein. It is a well-known rule. It is universal and applicable in any country. There must be order, and there must be no chaos. Northern Africa is a vivid example of what chaos leads to. Does anybody want that?

As for the activities of the opposition, I would like to draw your attention to the following fact. Just recently, a political party was required to have at least 50 thousand members to be registered. We have radically reduced this number: now one only needs 500 members to register a party and engage in legal political activities. 37 parties have already been registered, and, I think, several dozen more have filed their applications. This is how it is going to be, we will encourage this political competition.

We have changed the procedure for the election of members of the upper chamber of the Russian Parliament, the Federation Council; now they are elected by secret ballot by citizens of corresponding regions. By the way, I do not think that the upper chamber of the German Parliament is elected this way: if I am not mistaken, its members are elected by their respective landtags.

In this regard, we have gone further; I refer to the election of heads of the Russian regions that I reintroduced. We have returned to direct voting by secret ballot. Germany elects heads of its regions through landtags. Many of our political actors thought that we should go back to forming the Parliament through a mixed election system with simple majority rule nominations and strict party-list nominations. We have arrived at this mixed system, so we are moving, we are looking for those forms of our society's political organisation that would be most suitable for us at this stage and would satisfy the requirements and aspirations of our people. This, of course, concerns political parties as well. Naturally, we want competition.

JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: You are going to Germany for a major trade fair. The economic relations between our countries are important for you, I believe. Are you worried that the issues we have just discussed may cast a shadow over your visit?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: No, on the contrary, I am very glad about it. And I am glad about our today's interview too because this gives us an opportunity to clarify the situation, to explain what is actually happening and what guides us. Now, what was your first question? About searches and arrests. What searches? What arrests? Who has been arrested? Can you give me at least one name? This is not true. Don't make anything up.

JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: I didn't say anything about arrests. I spoke about searches.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: It sounds alarmist: "Hey everyone! Look! Terrible things are happening here!" Well, yes, there is the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation that is obliged to ensure that the laws adopted in the Russian Federation are respected. And all the citizens, all organisations, all individuals and legal entities operating in Russia must take this into account and have due respect for Russian law.

JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: What are you expecting from your visit to Germany in terms of economy? I assume you are going to encourage the Germans to invest. What exactly are you expecting?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Russia and Germany are very important partners for each other. This is really so. The EU countries and the EU itself are our major commercial partners. They account for over 50 percent of our turnover. Well, the figure can fluctuate a bit: a little over 50, a little under 50 percent due to the economic difficulties faced by the Eurozone and the EU. It is under 50 at the moment, I believe, but it is still a lot. In absolute numbers it amounts to over $430‑450 billion. We are EU's third major commercial partner after the US and China, and the difference is not very big. If our total turnover with Europe amounts to some $430-450 billion, the turnover with the US is a little over $600 billion and $550 billion with China. So as you can see, not that big of a difference.

Germany is our primary European partner. Our turnover amounts to $74 billion and it continues to grow no matter what difficulties there might be. To make it clear for both Russian and German citizens, I need to say that these are not just numbers; there are jobs behind these numbers, there are cutting edge technology behind them, moving in both directions.

By the way, as far as Germany is concerned, the trade pattern is not only in line with its economic capabilities but also in line with its interests since the emphasis in trade and economic cooperation with Germany is put on the industrial production. And behind this – let me stress this once again – there are thousands if not tens of thousands of jobs, and the incomes of Russian and German families. Besides, Russia supplies 40 percent of all natural gas and 30 percent of all oil consumption in Germany.

We are expanding our cooperation in high technology sectors, aviation, engineering, including transport engineering, nanotechnologies, and next-generation physics engineering. This is a very diverse, interesting and promising cooperation.

Germany is one of our major investors with $25 billion in accumulated investments. Last year alone their amount increased by as much as $7.2 billion. This means that Germany invests rather actively in the Russian economy. I would like to stress again that all this is important, interesting and promising.

We are going to have six pavilions [at the trade fair], large ones. We are all united by a single slogan – the industrial production, in which Germany has always been strong, and which is of interest to us. Over a hundred large Russian companies will be exhibiting in those pavilions.

I invite you and all our friends in Germany to visit the 2013 Hannover Messe and Russia's pavilions there.

JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: You've spoken about 27 billion of German direct investment in Russia. I would now like to touch upon the Cyprus issue. A lot of Germans realised for the first time how much Russian money is there in Cypriot banks and are now wondering why German businesses have to make investments while you pull your money out of Russia?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Don't you see all the absurdity of your question? Just please don't get me wrong. What does Russia have to do with Russian investors in one of the EU countries? The more you "pinch" foreign investors in the financial institutions of your countries, the better for us because the affected, offended and frightened (not all of them but many) should, so we hope, come to our financial institutions and keep their money in our banks.

Why, at some point, many Russian investors moved their funds to zones such as Cyprus? Because, frankly speaking, they did not feel they could rely on the Russian financial system. And, indeed, it was not reliable. Just recall the year 1998 – an economic collapse, or the year 2000 (and that was already our common problem) – again there were widespread fears regarding the future of the financial system. But in 2008, when the new crisis hit, we not only managed to preserve the integrity of our financial system, we strengthened it without letting a single financial institution collapse. There were problems, of course, but we did not allow any of the financial institutions to abandon their customers. Of course, people went through a lot of hardships during the crisis but we arranged the work of our banking system in a way that made it possible not only to support but also to strengthen it while taking some measures to carefully restructure it, again in order to strengthen it. And I hope that people today will understand that.

Forfeiture of investors' funds, including of Russian origin, wherever it happens, in Cyprus or in other places, undermines credibility of the banking system of the entire Eurozone.

Now regarding the issue of whether to provide support or not and who is to blame. Is that fair, that people invested their funds, merely deposited their money with banks without breaking any laws, whether the laws of Cyprus or those of the European Union, just to see 60 percent of their deposits forfeited? They did not violate any rules. As to the allegations that Cyprus was, as they say in the financial community, a laundry for dirty money, they have to be supported with hard facts. One of the basic rules that we all are supposed to know and observe is the rule of the presumption of innocence. A person is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. How can we ignore that? How can we accuse all people concerned of being crooks? Then anybody can be declared a crook.

Did we create that offshore zone? No, we didn't. It was the European Union that created it. Or, rather, it was created by the Cyprus authorities with the connivance of the European Union. And is it the only such zone created by countries of the European Union? Are we not aware of offshore island zones in Great Britain or of other such zones? They do exist. If you consider such zones a bad thing, then close them. Why do you shift responsibility for all problems that have arisen in Cyprus to investors irrespective of their nationality (British, Russian, French or whatever else).

I have met with senior officials of the European Commission. We have very good personal relations, though we disagree on many issues. Is it Russia's fault that Cyprus is now facing problems? Indeed, incoming investors are a positive factor as they support the banking system and the entire economy of the host country with their funds and their trust.

JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: You are angry that the European Union did not ask you for help and that many Russian nationals were affected, are you?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Of course, not. On the contrary I am even glad, to some extent, because the events have shown how risky and insecure investments in Western financial institutions can be. By the way, our tax regime in that context is also more favourable than yours. The income tax rate for natural persons in Russia is only 13 percent. What about Germany? How much do you pay?

JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: It would be great if we paid only 13 percent. Of course, it would be great. Fight against tax increases is a hot topic during the election campaign.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: So, fight for tax cuts.

JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: Mr President, I would like to touch upon the issue of euro. You spoke about the European financial system. Russia holds more than 40 percent of its currency reserves in euro, which makes you keenly interested in euro. Do you still trust euro?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: First, I would like to say it outright: yes, we trust euro. We also trust the economic policy of major European countries, including, in the first place, the economic policy of the government of the Federal Republic of Germany. We are fully aware of various opinions on that issue, including on aspects, such as economic development, maintenance of economic growth and ensuring monetary stability. I agree with the opinion that, before pumping liquidity, it is necessary to address the root causes of crises.

But I wouldn't like to go into detail now and discuss the issue that has no direct bearing on us as that is the prerogative of the leaders of the European countries themselves.

However, judging by what we hear and see, what our colleagues are doing in the leading economies of the Eurozone, what the European Commission itself is doing, – and I would like to repeat that we do not agree on many issues and we do argue – we believe that fundamentally they are moving in the right direction. It gives us confidence that we have made the right choice having decided to keep such a large share of our gold and currency reserves, of our reserves in general in the European currency. I am confident that if the situation continues to develop the same way, our colleagues and friends in Europe will overcome the difficulties they are facing today.

And our reserves are rather substantial: the Central Bank reserves worth $534 billion, another $89 billion representing one of the Russian Government's reserve funds, another $87 billion (a third fund) representing the second government fund, the National Welfare Fund. So, this is a rather substantial amount of money.

JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: Mr President, our time is almost up, but I would like to draw your attention to another crisis area that raises great concerns in Germany – that is Syria. Hundreds of people die there every day. Your stance and the stance of the West in the UN Security Council obviously differed.

I would like to ask you the following. How do you see the opportunities for stopping the bloodshed? What are the Russian authorities doing, what is the Russian Government doing to finally put an end to this bloodshed?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: I think that we should seek an immediate cessation of hostilities, of shelling from both sides, and a cessation of arms supplies.

We often hear: "Russia is supplying arms to Assad." First of all, there are no bans on arms supplies to incumbent legitimate governments. Secondly, only recently the opposition has received 3.5 tons of arms and munitions through the airports near Syria. This is the information published by the American media, I believe, by The New York Times. It has to be stopped.

However, – I would like to stress once again and I believe it is extremely important, – there is international law. There are international legal norms stating that it is inadmissible to supply arms to the armed groups that strive to destabilise the situation in a certain country with the use of arms. Such norms exist and they remain in force; nobody abolished them. So, when they say that Assad is fighting against his own people, we need to remember that this is the armed part of the opposition. What is going on is a massacre, this is a disaster, a catastrophe. It has to be stopped. It is necessary to bring all the warring parties to the negotiation table. I believe that this is the first step that has to be done, and then it is necessary to elaborate further steps during a discussion, which is important in our view.

I have already said it in public and I would like to tell you this, so that your viewers also know about our real position. We do not think that Assad should leave today, as our partners suggest. In this case, tomorrow we will have to decide what to do and where to go. We have done it in many countries. To be precise, our Western partners have. And it is unclear where Libya will go. In fact, it has already split into three parts. We do not want to have the situation of the same difficulty as we still have in Iraq. We do not want to have the situation of the same difficulty as in Yemen, and so on.

Therefore, we believe that it is necessary to bring everyone to the negotiation table so that all warring parties could reach an agreement on how their interests will be protected and in which way they will participate in the future governance of the country. And then they will work together on the implementation of this plan with due guarantees of the international community.

By the way, at the recent forum in Geneva (a few months ago) an agreement was reached on this issue, but later our Western partners unfortunately went back on these agreements. We believe that it is necessary to work hard and search for mutually acceptable solutions.

Recently, we have received Mr Hollande, President of the French Republic. I think he has some interesting ideas that can be implemented, but it requires some diplomatic work. We are ready to support these ideas. We need to try and put them into practice.

JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: Mr President, at the end of our interview I would like to go back to the topic that we have started with. Democracy is a very controversial issue. I would like to quote your Prime Minister. Mr Medvedev said that the democratic changes in Russia can be assessed only in 100 years. In our view, this is not very ambitious.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: It may be a translation issue. Could you tell me again what he said exactly?

JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: In essence, Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that "development of democracy in Russia can be assessed no earlier than in 100 years." My question is whether there are truly no ambitions about it.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: To be honest, I have not seen or heard of Prime Minister saying that, and it is always necessary to consider the context which I am lacking now.

It is obvious that we have made a decisive choice for democracy and we cannot imagine any other way of development. It is also obvious that certain standards used in some countries are difficult to implement or apply elsewhere. I think it is quite clear. We need to develop tools based on the fundamental principles of democracy that would allow for the vast majority of people in our country to influence domestic and foreign policy. It is the majority that must have such an influence, but the majority should also respect the opinion of the minority and consider it. If our domestic policy and public institutions are fully based on such fundamental principles, then it seems to me, we will be able to talk about the success of democracy in Russia. Nevertheless, it is obviously the path that Russia has chosen, the path that it follows. Just compare the situation in the Soviet Union and in modern Russia in terms of development of economy, political sphere, and all other areas associated with democracy. There is a very significant difference. It took other countries 200, 300, 400 years to achieve this goal. Do you expect us to cover this distance within two decades? Of course, we are gradually taking all the necessary steps. We know our destination, and will not abandon this path.

JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: In conclusion, I shall try to ask you a personal question.

You were President for eight years, and then you became Prime Minister. You will be President for the next six years. Do you have a personal plan? Do you want to be President as long as you are elected? Or may be you have some plans about your life afterwards?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Every normal person tries to look some distance ahead. Moreover, I am far from being the longest serving politician. There are people in leading positions in European politics who have worked there much longer than me, both in Europe and in North America, Canada actually. However, I do expect that after my retirement from political life and public service I will have an opportunity to busy myself with other things and challenges. I like jurisprudence and literature, and I do hope I will have a chance to occupy myself with these without any link to my public service duties. May be, I will look into other issues. It can be social life, sports, etc.

JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: Thank you very much for the interview, Mr President.


April 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Sorry, I forgot to mention that the translation is not my, Tt is from

Alexander Mercouris:

April 6, 2013 at 6:32 am

Dear Kievite,

I don't know whether you remember the discussion we had last year about the cost to the west of funding the protest movement. On the strength of the money poured into NGOs in the four months after the NGO law was passed it looks like we both grossly underestimated the amounts involved. $1 billion in four months is quite simply a staggering sum even if some of this money is being used for legitimate purposes and even if we assume that there was a one off surge of money into Russia before the NGO law came fully into force. It shows the sheer scale of the effort and the strength of the commitment to it especially when there is so little to show for it. The latter by the way leads me to think that without it the White Ribbon opposition would not even exist and that if the western money tap was turned off Navalny, Chirikova, Udaltsov & Co would simply vanish as public figures.

Incidentally the fact that Putin was able to quote this figure (which no one has disputed) shows that since the NGO law came into force someone (and it can only be the FSB) is now keeping tabs on what is going on. That in a way is reassuring. What is not reassuring is that apparently no one was doing it before. I don't know what I find more alarming: that the White Ribbon opposition is being bankrolled by the west on this scale or that by his own admission until a few weeks ago not even Putin knew about it.


April 6, 2013 at 7:05 am

Yeah, miraculously Putin suddenly got wise to what was going on. People in the blogosphere have been warning for years about these NGO's and their relentless attempts to induce colour revolutions. But those people who sounded the alarm were treated like Cassandras.
[Recall that Cassandra is the one who warned the Trojans not to let that wooden horse inside their walls, but nobody listened to her because the city elders thought she was being overly paranoid.]

Alexander Mercouris:

April 6, 2013 at 7:23 am

Dear Yalensis,

This is especially extraordinary given that I read somewhere that it was unofficially admitted that the "tulip revolution" in Kyrghyzia (remember that?) cost the US $250 million. If the US was spending that sort of money in a destitute country like Kyrghyzia then the cost of sustaining an opposition movement in an immeasurably larger, richer and more sophisticated country like Russia would have had to have been many orders of magnitude greater.


April 6, 2013 at 8:50 am

These political money flows should be regulated to the hilt. Either banned or required to go into a fund managed by the state to be dished out to NGOs operating in Russia subject to some rules. Russia should not surrender to the BS narratives imposed on it by various malicious people. It is quite legitimate to suppress the funding of seditionists. It is not different from suppressing organized crime and has absolutely nothing to do with democracy. These liberast scumbags living off of western coin don't even try to convince the Russian people of the merits of their Randroid "democracy", they just sneer at the bydlo from not falling for their BS. It is obscene for these scumbags to get vast quantities of money to engage in this abuse. They and their foreign money should be shipped off abroad. To paraphrase Posner, Russia is not their homeland and they do not feel fully at home there. So they should bugger off to their promised land in the west.


April 6, 2013 at 1:21 pm

When you have an oil rich county that has nuclear arsenal, you can't bomb it like Iraq. But you can bomb it with dollar crates, which are another weapon of mass destruction. This was the template used during the collapse of the USSR when wads of cash were injected in nationalistic organization of any sort and this nationalism simply had blown multinational country into peaces. Of cause this was not a single reason for the USSR collapse but the template was definitely the same: injection of huge amount of cash to fund the opposition.


April 6, 2013 at 5:40 am

Reading the interview, I see the interviewer is trying to bait Putin but Putin appears to guess that the interviewer's questions are loaded and designed to push him into a corner so he goes on the attack by agreeing with the interviewer at times and leading him on. The interviewer ends up getting lost and can't find weak points in Putin's agreement that he can press him on. Even where Putin admits that he can't answer the question on Medvedev's statement, the interviewer loses the opportunity to ask Putin further and Putin just pulls the interview his way and runs off with it.

It really does look as if the interviewer has either failed to prepare for the interview by doing some basic research on Putin as an interviewee, like watching past interviews, or has swallowed the propaganda about Mafia State Russia so much that when Putin answers his questions, his mind goes completely blank at the complex picture Putin gives and he can only respond robotically.

Alexander Mercouris:

April 6, 2013 at 6:14 am

Dear Jen,

I am absolutely sure you are right and that the interviewer did come to the interview believing in the "Mafia State" thesis. The result is that when Putin continuously came up with answers that did not correspond to this thesis he was left floundering. The most painful moment was when Putin produced paperwork showing how the US authorities deal with foreign agents. It is clear that this was not something the interviewer was aware of. I predict we will be hearing the cry of "whataboutism" about this before very long.

An iron rule when it comes to interviewing Putin is that an interviewer needs to be extremely well prepared. As everybody should know by now, Putin is always exceptionally well briefed and comes to meetings whether with journalists, foreign leaders or his own officials with all the facts at his fingertips. Treating him as if he was an Al Capone character is the worst possible mistake one can make. It is possible to disagree with Putin and survive but one should be very well prepared if one is to have any chance of doing so


April 6, 2013 at 7:08 am

Yeah, I agree the interviewer probably thought that Putin was just like Al Capone. So he thought Putin would be completely flustered by his "clever" questions, and eventually just fly into a rage and start hitting everybody with a baseball bat.


April 6, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Dear Alex: The interview also reflects badly on many Western politicians and how well they prepare for interviews and discussions.

The TV show "Q&A" (the Australian version of "Question Time") has seen its ratings slide over the past couple of years because politicians appearing on the show simply quote and repeat information fed them by party spin doctors or departmental bureaucrats in answer to questions. Everyone watching them can see this but the politicians get away with it because the format of the show doesn't permit very deep discussion and questioning. I suspect most audience questions are vetted in advance and the show makes a big deal out of displaying Twitter feeds at the bottom of the screen and accepting the odd question or two from TV viewers who email during the live broadcasts.

George Washingston on SOPA America's Future Russia and China Use Copyright Laws to Crush Government Criticism

naked capitalism


As for Russia dealing with NGO I think George Washington can benefit from reading STRATFOR analysis (free from their site: Russian Protests Alone Pose Little Threat to Putin (December 12, 2011).

There has been public confirmation that Washington has increased its financial aid to groups inside Russia, by $9 million in the past few weeks alone. These groups include one of the most prevalent watchdogs to denounce the elections as well as a number of media outlets that have devoted heavy coverage to the protests. Putin has accused Washington of stirring up resentment against the Kremlin and Putin.

This is not a new tactic by the United States, which has a multi-billion-dollar budget to fund and support non-governmental organizations, media outlets and other groups operating in Russia. However, the move at this time is critical, because Washington has an immediate vested interest in depicting Putin as weak.


On par for openDemocracy (more like openHypocrisy):–-putative-policy

Among other things, there's a brief mention of the NGO issue in Russia.


April 6, 2013 at 7:16 am

$250,000,000 per month is at levels close to that given for cancer research in the USA:

The amount of money being dished out to the NGOs operating in Russia is massive. Compare to foreign aid:

Nowhere is "civil society" support at levels running into the billions of dollars per year. This level of support is for military and economic development for obvious reasons. Just how much money does an NGO need to run a website, pay some staff and "spread the word"?


April 6, 2013 at 7:22 am

Money better spent on other matters.

This observation challenges the professional livelihood of a good number, thereby explaining what they choose to highlight and downplay.


Carthago delenda est

is a Latin oratorical phrase which was in popular use in the Roman Republic in the 2nd Century BC during the latter years of the Punic Wars against Carthage, by the party urging a foreign policy which sought to eliminate any further threat to the Roman Republic from its ancient rival Carthage, which had been defeated twice before and had a tendency after each defeat to rapidly rebuild its strength. The phrase was most famously uttered frequently and persistently almost to the point of absurdity by the Roman senator Cato the Elder (234-149 BC), as a part of his speeches.

Moscow Exile:

Six hundred gathered in Moscow today to protest about the Bolotnaya demonstration arrests of last year., according to the cops, that is, as reported by RIAN.

And here's the best of it: Udaltsov says there were 1,500 there.

He wasn't there, of course: he's under house arrest and only a couple of days ago his restriction of movement was extended until this coming October. But that figure of 1,600 must be true because that's how many his pals must have told him there were at the protest.

Moscow Exile

I was just thinking: I've not heard much of that theory of late that was being bandied about a few months back and which proposed that the "opposition" strength was reflected by its diminishing numbers.


This $250,000,000 per month rent-a-revolution reminds me of the billions the US spent in Iraq to "win over hearts and minds". Helicopter Ben can crank up the printing presses and party like Pancho Villa. But I am not sure why they think funding some crooks (e.g. Navalny) is going to produce a colour revolution. In Serbia and Georgia there was discontent they could tap into. The liberast loons in Russia just don't have the critical mass. Russian elections and opinion polls are rather clear indicators of the current Russian public opinion and it is not suiting the west's fancy.


I guess the pindosi don't care how effective are their efforts, so long as they can scrape together enough people to put together a "Russian government in exile".
Apparently money is no object, because that's a hell of a lot of dough!


"I guess the pindosi don't care how effective are their efforts,"

They do care. A crate of cash is a weapon of mass destruction far more effective then a ton of dynamite. This is standard "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" stuff: greed as a weapon. Amorality as a mean of subjugation. That's actually what neoliberalism is about:

There was a time when to live a life virtuously was well understood. It embraced personal integrity, commitment to a purpose that was higher than personal gain, a degree of selflessness and even modesty. Those at the top may have got there through ruthlessness and ambition, but they understood that to lead was to set an example and that involved demonstrating better qualities than simply looking after yourself.

No more. Perhaps the greatest calamity of the conservative counter-revolution has been the energy it invested in arguing that virtue, whatever its private importance, has no public value. The paradox, the new conservatives claim, is only through the pursuit of self-interest can the economy and society work best. Responsibilities to the commonweal are to be avoided.

The retreat of virtue has become the plague of our times. Greed is legitimate; to have riches however obtained, including outrageous bonuses or avoiding tax, is the only game in town. But across the west the consequences are becoming more obvious. Politics, business and finance have become blighted to the point that they are dysfunctional, with a now huge gap in trust between the elite and the people.

Alexei Navalny is classic example of this "greed is good", or "opposition for hire" phenomenon. This man has no convictions whatsoever, only rebid desire to get to riches. Previously he was a small stock huckster. But with Yale training and flow of money from the West he got a new opportunities for "raspil of the system" ;-)


Actually Wikipedia clams that Protocols "…was originally produced in Russia between 1897 and 1903, possibly by Pyotr Ivanovich Rachkovsky, head of the Paris office of the Russian Secret Police, and unknown others.[2][3]"

Oh, those Russians ;-)

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Kievite,

As a matter of historical fact and curiosity Wikipedia here is wrong. The authorship of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was very thoroughly researched some years ago by the US authors of a book on the tsarist Okhranka which I have in my possession. They concluded that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were not forged by Rachkovsky or by anyone in the Okhranka or by anyone in the government or by the Court. Their opinion, which seemed very well founded, was that the author was almost certainly the philosopher Nilus who was the person who was behind their publication. In the event the Protocols of the Elders of Zion achieved almost no impact in Russia and were barely noticed there. They only became widely known after the 1917 Revolution took place and then not so much in Russia (where the Soviets banned them) but elsewhere.


That makes sense. It is hard to believe that some appartchik in the Czarist regime would have the literary talent. Of course, they can conspire and think up devious schemes, but writing books? I don't think so. It's a different skill set and one that a philosopher would have more chance of possessing.


I think when people like Hillary Clinton talk about "soft power", they are referring to all this money pouring into another country in order to destabilize its government?


Well, Kievite is right, of course. And yet, it still seems to me that they (=the pindosi) don't always get much $$ back in the way of ROI. Russia turned out to be kind of a bust for them in the past couple of years.


Seems like desperation to me. Flinging some dirt and hoping it will stick is not balanced foreign policy. But the USA has a peculiar amnesia/blindness when it comes to blow back. All this anti-Russian hysteria is brewing up a nice and massive blow back.

I hope dirtbags like Navalny are coerced into exile. If they stay and get convicted they should get slaps on the wrist. Navalny should not do more than 6 months jail time. I know Pussy Riot got two years. But they were basically thugs breaking the law on a routine basis and showing total contempt for the court. Navalny's law breaking seems to be restricted to the KirovLes affair. If he gets real lawyers and not showboating idiots whose job is to smear the legal system in Russia, then he needs to be shown leniency. His political activism is not a crime, even though it is obscene.


it still seems to me that they (=the pindosi) don't always get much $$ back in the way of ROI. Russia turned out to be kind of a bust for them in the past couple of years.

In think you "misunderestimate" the danger. They are skilled and patient investors, sir ;-) . Some of those money, especially invested in mass media already give positive return on investment. And being very practical, shrewd and determined people they will wait for the next opportunity. This time investment did not played out, but in a couple of previous cases (Ukraine, Serbia, Georgia) the return on investment was on the scale that leveraged buyout mob gets in destroying a particular company.

Actually "color revolution" in a way is a variation of a strategy of leveraged buyout. Buy or install your own management and do whatever you want with the hijacked company (this time its hijacked country). Here is one historical account:

But for a paper thin stratum of plutocrats and parasites, the 1980's were a time of unlimited opportunity. These were the practioners of the monstrous financial swindles that marked the decade, the protagonists of the hostile takeovers, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buy-outs, greenmail and stock plays that occupied the admiration of Wall Street. These were corporate raiders like J. Hugh Liedkte, Blaine Kerr, T. Boone Pickens, and Frank Lorenzo, Wall Street financiers like Henry Kravis and Nicholas Brady.
… … …
Henry Kravis's epic achievements in speculation and usury perhaps had something to do with the fact that he was a close family friend of George Bush.

So they will try again with a more sophisticated scheme of buying the influence and installing puppet management. In case of Russia, the loss of a couple of billions in nothing in comparison with possible return on investment in trillions.

This is a great danger and I really don't know for how long Russia can withstand such an attacks. Putin in not immortal, after all.


Looks to me like colour revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine did not produce long lasting results. I think you give them way too much credit. Amoeba level IQ people can throw money around too. The problem is that Putin's so called tyrannical regime has been overly soft on foreign meddling. The admission that $250 million per month flooded into the country is an admission of failure. This is basically illicit money transfer and they could not control it? Just how much effort does the Duma need to produce intelligent legislation. For example, restricting NGO accounts to Russian banks with no foreign branches and money transfers from abroad. If they want to bring in cash then the logistics become much, much harder.

Instead of wanking around with some totally useless registration, which these NGO turds and their western handlers ignore outright (imagine ignoring registration in the west for example in the case of license renewal, see how far you get), the money should have been targeted with anti-laundering style legislation years ago. I, and most Russians that I know, don't give too much of a fuck about the opinion of sanctimonious western hypocrites. So what is the point of trying to win over public opinion in the west? Most Americans don't even know about FARA. It is not the west's ingenuity and money that are the problem, it is Russian weakness.

How can there even be a discussion about NGOs, where N stands for non-governmental, when they get $250 million per month. This sort of money clearly does not come from the western public via donations. If it is done via corporations then it is hardly grass roots "civil" action.


A successful colour revolution would depend on the emergence of a truly charismatic candidate among the opposition, with a resonant populist message that gained him or her broad popularity to the extent they had the momentum going into the election rather than Putin.

Not only must the race be close, the candidate who is about to be catapulted to stardom must have sufficiently significant popular backing that his or her backers can make enough noise to confuse the issue for a few days or even weeks. Then the opposition, usually backed by western money and the western press, must get control of exit polling.

Then it's just a simple matter of showing a huge discrepancy – in favour of the opposition candidate, of course – in the vote count against the official count. It's worked several times now, and in each case the opposition activists had permission to do exit polling and the willing ear of the western press to help amass a tidal wave of popular anger over the "rigged" election.

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Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy


War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes


Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law


Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least

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Last modified: October, 01, 2017