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Xinhua: Infiltrating Various Countries under the Title of NGO, the NED Muddles the World

Below is a special report by Globe on NED which was published on October 6. [1] Globe is a Xinhua News publication.

By special U.S. correspondent, Xu Deshui, special Russia correspondent, Zhang Guangzheng, and reporter Gu Di

Below is a special report by Globe on NED which was published on October 6. [1] Globe is a Xinhua News publication.

By special U.S. correspondent, Xu Deshui, special Russia correspondent, Zhang Guangzheng, and reporter Gu Di

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is no stranger to those who are familiar with international politics. It is known as the largest among up to one million non-governmental organizations (NGO) in the United States and has close ties with the State Department, the IDP Education Pty Ltd., and the CIA. It is considered a CIA alias. Because NED is a NGO, it is unnoticeable. Even Western research reports say, “in providing strategic funds to NGOs, U.S. foreign policy elites consider the NED to be more reliable than secret support.”

Established in the early 1980s, this NGO, which mainly relies on American government funding, has played special political roles in many places in the world. Those in counting include Latin American nations like Venezuela, Commonwealth of Independent States such as Ukraine, western Asian countries such as Iran, and Southeastern Asian countries such as Burma. They have all be the target of its subversive activities or have been affected by “color revolutions.” The NED also repeatedly financed anti-China groups such as the “Democracy Movement,” “Tibetan Independence,” and “Eastern Turkestan,” directly interfering with internal Chinese affairs.

NED Funds Mostly from the U.S.

During and after the Cold War, the U.S. Congress, using the United States as a nation founded on democratic ideals, has always used NGOs to promote American-style democracy, infiltrating its influence in the world. In this, the NED and its subordinate organizations have become important tools. Venezuelan President Chavez has many times directly accused the NED of being a U.S. governmental weapon that interferes with Venezuela. The NED calls itself a nonpartisan and non-government organization, but it actually relies on the U.S. Congress’s massive appropriation for survival. Alan Weinstein, one of its cofounders, described NED’s activities as “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

On the NED website itself, it starts to speak about its founding history but then hesitates. The website’s self-descriptive article says, “In the aftermath of World War II, faced with threats to our democratic allies and without any mechanism to channel political assistance, U.S. policy makers resorted to covert means, secretly sending advisers, equipment, and funds to support newspapers and parties.[2] When it was revealed in the late 1960s that some American PVOs were receiving covert funding from the CIA to wage the battle of ideas at international forums, the Johnson Administration concluded that such funding should cease, recommending establishment of ‘a public-private mechanism’ to fund overseas activities openly.”
In 1982, then-American President Reagan, in a significant foreign policy speech, proposed a plan to “foster the infrastructure of democracy” and promote democracies around the world. In November 1983, the U. S. Congress passed the State Department Authorization Act, which appropriated $31.3 million dollars to establish the NED. It enjoys tax-free treatment under the American tax law 501(C)3. The NED’s main income comes from American government funding. From 1983 to 1994, it had been entirely dependent on funding from the U.S. State Department. Thereafter, it began to receive small donations from society.

At present, the U.S. government’s funding for the NED mainly includes three parts: The biggest amount comes from the Congressional annual appropriation. Statistics demonstrate in FY2006, Congress allocated US$74,040,000, and in FY2007, approximately US$50 million. In FY2008, the NED applied for a proposed US$80 million. Next, is the Congressional aid to foreign democracy projects. In FY2006, Congress, through democracy funding, gave the NED US$15,250,000 extra. The third is the U.S. State Department human rights democratic foundation appropriation. This appropriation began in 1999. At first it was US$1,650,000 and increased progressively each year. By 2005, it had already reached nearly US$8 million.

The NED, which flaunts the banner of “strengthening other nations’ democratic groups and organizations,” has four major subordinate organizations. Namely the National Republican Institute for International Affairs, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Center for International Private Enterprise, and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity.

In addition, it also finances many so-called NGOs, including the Journal of Democracy, World Movement for Democracy, International Forum for International studies, Center for International Media Assistance, etc.

The NED has conducted support activities in over 100 countries and regions. Starting from the 1980s, the NED has successively perverted elections in countries such as Central America’s Panama and Nicaragua. From 1990 to 1992, the NED financed the counter-Castro group, “Cuban American National Foundation” with US$25 million. In Iran, over ten associations have accepted NED aid. In France, the NED financed extreme-right trade unions. In Eastern Europe, some critics say that the NED had invested several million US$ during the 1990s to carry out free trade and shock therapy.

NED Finances ‘Lama Revolution’

China’s democracy and human rights have always been the object of irresponsible talks of some American government officials and organizations, and even more so, for organizations such as the NED, [they have] interfered with internal Chinese affairs through fund allocation, training, providing equipment, and so on to finance anti-China forces such as the “Democracy Movement,” “Tibetan independence”, “East Turkestan” and so on. In 2007 alone, the NED’s total subsidies to China reached over US$6 million, of which the “Democracy Movement” received $2.5 million, “Tibetan independence” received US$450,000, and “East Turkestan” received US$520,000. Australia’s The Courier-Mail newspaper once disclosed that the NED’s funds to the Dali Lama were mainly given to three organizations: the Tibetan Foundation, the International Tibet Independence Movement, and the Tibet Information Network. According to the NED’s own published data, from 2002 to 2006, the NED had provided US$1,357,700 in special support fund to the Dali Lama group. Among them, Tibetan Women’s Association, Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet, etc. received US$85,000.
On February 27 of this year, the Dali Lama group, Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet, applied for an emergency grant as funding for activists to deal with dangerous times. The NED once again provided US$15,000 and financed the Dali Lama group in the so-called “Peaceful March for a Free Tibet.” At the beginning of April this year, American international political economist William Engdahl, who described the March 14 incident as the “Lama Revolution,” said, in the article “Washington plays ‘Tibet Roulette’ with China,” “The actors behind the March 14 incident are the usual suspects, including the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the CIA’s Freedom House,” etc. “Indisputable is the fact that since fleeing to Dharamsala until now, the Dali Lama has been surrounded and financed by the western intelligence agencies and their gaggle of NGOs.”

The article said that the NED not only provides funds to support to the Dali Lama group, it has also flamed and fanned the “Color Revolution” this time in Tibet. This foundation single-handedly controlled every “Color Revolution” supported by the United States, from Serbia to Georgia and from Ukraine to Burma. The article also disclosed that beginning in 1994, the NED started to provide funds to International Campaign for Tibet. Moreover, it also supported Dharamsala’s Tibet Times newspaper and provided funds to Tibet Multimedia Center and to Tibet Center for Human Rights and Democracy. Engdahl believes, like past Color Revolutions, it is precisely through the NED, that the U.S. financed demonstrations in Tibet and overseas, which caused China instability.

The NED’s anti-China funding mainly comes from the State Department’s appropriation, which has a tendency to grow year by year. In 2001, the U.S. State Department allocated an additional US$120,000 to promote the so-called China’s human rights and democracy, and US$508,700 for the Republican Institute for International Affairs to study China’s election, legislative, and judicial reform. In 2002 and 2003, the U.S. State Department allocated approximately an additional US$1,100,000 each year. In 2004 and 2005, the U.S. State Department’s extra allocation had increased to about US$1,900,000 each year. In 2006, the U.S. State Department allocation reached as high as US$3,430,000. The abovementioned State Department appropriation accounts for 75% to 90% of the NED’s funds in these types of projects. Since 2002, the U.S. State Department allocation for Tibetan independence has accounted for more than two-thirds of the NED’s annual Tibet project funding. In 2003, the figure was even higher, 92%.

The NED’s Activities in Venezuela and Russia Exposed

Speaking about the NED’s activities in Venezuela, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Latin American Research Institute researcher Xu Shicheng mentioned to the World reporter The Chávez Code: Cracking U.S. Intervention in Venezuela, a London-published book by Venezuelan-American scholar, Eva Golinger. Xu Shicheng said that although this book is not a record of what the NED has done in Venezuela, the NED’s activities is actually its primary content. This book’s content exposed contents like secret telecommunication between and financial support by the NED to organizations and institutions within Venezuela. Since Chavez established his left-wing government in February 1999, the United States has made all possible attempts to subvert this left-wing political power.
This book disclosed that the NED has operated through the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela and through three “private” offices (one is the Office of National Republican Institute for International Affairs established in 2000; one is the Office of National Democratic Institute for International Affairs established in 2001; and the third is the office of a USAID contractor). These three offices flaunt the banner of “promoting democracy,” “resolving conflicts,” and “bettering citizens’ lives.” They contacted several dozen Venezuelan organizations, opposition parties, and groups, provided them with activity funds, and carried out a silent interference plan against the Chavez regime. Some NED-financed individuals and groups participated in the April 2002 coup, the December 2002-February 2003 oil worker strike, and the August 2004 forced referendum in an attempt to remove Chavez. During the December 2006 general election, these few American offices, again, tried all means of preventing Chavez from being reelected. Any organizations that wish to join the anti-Chavez campaign will receive US$2.7 million in aid. However, none of these subversive activities succeeded.

For many years, the United States, in the name of promoting democracy and through NGOs such as the NED, has planted a pro-American influence, meddling in internal Russian affairs. A Russian news agency’s September 21 report said, in meeting with spokesmen of public organizations on the 19th, Medvedev said, “This morning when I surfed my favorite Internet, I found my American friends saying that they will continue to support teachers, doctors, scientists, trade union leaders, judges in the RF. The latter was something outstanding for me.” Medvedev said, “What do they mean? Are they going to take our judges for feeding? Will they bolster corruption?” “If it goes on like this, they will be soon choosing presidents for us.” “Things have not developed to the point of Washington choosing the president for the Russian Federation,” he responded the U.S. government “in kind.” Russia’s Far East University’s political professor Alexander said to the reporter in an interview that the NED is a typical tool of how the United States uses NGOs to interfere with other countries’ internal politics. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Russia or China, because [they] are not one mind with the United States, they are all ‘the other kind’ in the eyes of these NGOs and are [their] main attack targets.”

NED Wants to Wash Off its Government Tint

All key NED officials in the past have had governmental backgrounds or had very complicated relationships with the government. Its first acting chairman was the then-congressman Fascell. Its first chairman was the former Secretary of State John Richardson. The current chairman Weber and vice chairman Gephardt are all former U.S. congressmen. Its president, Carl Gershman, who is responsible for daily affairs, is a former senior counselor to United States representatives to the United Nations. Of its twenty-three-member board, there are three senators, two congressmen, five former congressmen and five former ambassadors to foreign countries.
The former State Department official William Blum is a critic of American policy. He was the author of Killing Hope: U.S. and CIA Interventions since World War II. Blum said the NED’s main support is closely tied with the U.S. military or with those political party candidates who have been favorable to the interest of American investments. This organization has never supported those candidates who opposed U. S. corporate investments. American political critic Buchanan uncovered the bottom, saying that the NED had been instigation revolutions in those so-called dictatorial and undemocratic nations, and regularly interferes with other nations’ internal affairs.

An American think tank researcher, Barbara Conry, in Cato Institute wrote in her 1993 appraisal of the NED, the “NED is a foreign policy loose cannon. Promoting democracy is a nebulous objective that can be manipulated to justify any whim of the special-interest groups, including the Republican and Democratic parties, organized labor, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. As those groups execute their own foreign policies, they often work against American interests and meddle needlessly in the affairs of other countries, undermining the democratic movements NED was designed to assist.” The “NED, which also has a history of corruption and financial mismanagement, is superfluous at best and often destructive. Through the endowment, the American taxpayer has paid for special-interest groups to harass the duly elected governments of friendly countries, interfere in foreign elections, and foster the corruption of democratic movements.” Yet, it is an organization like this that was commemorated for its “important contribution to promoting democracy in the twentieth century” from the United States Congress on its 20th anniversary in 2003.

A researcher from the Beijing University School of International Studies said during an interview with World, because the NED’s funds mainly comes from the U.S. Congress, it uses American taxpayer’s money, and through the Internet one can check its annual project funding. But upon closer examination, one will discover that its total project funding is less than the total appropriation received. This implies that part of the funding is not made public. The NED’s appropriation system is also very complex. Firstly, the Congress appropriates funding to the NED, which then divides it among its four subordinate research institutes, which in turn finance NGO foundations or NGOs. A part of the funding will not be delivered further through these NGOs. Because the funds have been channeled one layer after another, much of the funds have lost its government tint.

[1] Xinhua, October 6, 2008
[2] The Chinese original left out the words “under siege in Europe” at the end of this sentence.