AFP Was Right: U.S. Funding Arab Uprisings
By Michael Collins Piper
The New York Times and The Washington Post have finally admitted what AMERICAN FREE PRESS (AFP) asserted as far back as Feb. 14:
There is much more to the so-called “grassroots” revolutions in the Mideast than meets the eye.
While critics accused AFP of purveying “conspiracy theories,” the Times and the Post have now laid it on the line: American tax dollars have bankrolled a host of both private and quasi-public institutions that have been underwriting the revolutionary activity wreaking havoc throughout the Arab world.
The first inkling came in a report buried inside the Post on March 10, under the headline “U.S. funds web firms that help Mideast dissidents skirt censors.” The report read in part:
The Obama administration may not be lending arms to dissidents in the Middle East, but it is offering aid in another critical way: Helping them surf the web anonymously as they seek to overthrow their governments. Federal agencies—such as the State Department, the Defense Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors—have been funding a handful of technology firms that allow people to get online without being tracked or to visit news or social media sites that governments have blocked.Many of these little-known companies—such as the Tor Project or UltraReach— are unabashedly supportive of the activists in the Middle East. . . .
Federal agencies have funded these companies through grants and contracts. By late spring, the State Department is expected to begin doling out even more money—about $30 million—to technology firms and human rights groups that help and train people to shatter [Internet security] and surf the web without being tracked.
On April 15 The New York Times was even more direct when it reported flat-out the fact that the U.S. had been a key behind-the-scenes force in instigating the so-called “Arab spring.” Under the headline “U.S. groups helped nurture Arab uprisings,” the report reads in part:
Even as the United States poured billions of dollars into foreign military programs and anti-terrorism campaigns, a small core of American government-financed organizations were promoting democracy in authoritarian Arab states. The money spent on these programs was minute compared with efforts led by the Pentagon.
But as American officials and others look back at the uprisings of the Arab spring, they are seeing that the United States’ democracy-building campaigns played a bigger role in fomenting protests than was previously known, with key leaders of the movements having been trained by the Americans in campaigning, organizing through new media tools and monitoring elections.
A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region . . . received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington. . . .
The Republican and Democratic institutes are loosely affiliated with the Republican and Democratic Parties. They were created by Congress and are financed through the National Endowment for Democracy, which was set up in 1983 to channel grants for promoting democracy in developing nations. The National Endowment receives about $100 million annually from Congress. Freedom House also gets the bulk of its money from the American government, mainly from the State Department.
With the truth of U.S. involvement in the orchestrated revolutions now being steadily unveiled, on April 18 The Washington Post stated in the headline of a front page lead story that “U.S. secretly backed Syrian opposition groups, cables released by WikiLeaks show.” The Post story elaborated:
The State Department has secretly financed Syrian political opposition groups and related projects, including a satellite TV channel that beams anti-government programming into the country, according to previously undisclosed diplomatic cables. The London-based satellite channel, Barada TV, began broadcasting in April 2009 but has ramped up operations to cover the mass protests in Syria as part of a long-standing campaign to overthrow the country’s autocratic leader, Bashar al-Assad. . . . Barada TV is closely affiliated with the Movement for Justice and Development, a London-based network of Syrian exiles.
Classified U.S. diplomatic cables show that the State Department has funneled as much as $6 million to the group since 2006 to operate the satellite channel and finance other activities inside Syria. . . . The U.S. money for Syrian opposition figures began flowing under President George W. Bush after he effectively froze political ties with Damascus in 2005. The financial backing has continued under President Obama, even as his administration sought to rebuild relations with Assad.
The U.S.-sponsored revolutions, in many respects, validate AFP’s notation on Feb. 14 that the World Zionist Organization’s Israeli-based magazine Kuvinim (as far back as 1982) had outlined a geopolitical strategy to disrupt and balkanize the Arab world, dividing the Arab states from within. That Israel’s oft-touted “closest ally”—the United States—has been found to now be implementing the agenda is to be expected.
One particularly influential hard-line American supporter of Israel, former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), explained in a Feb. 24 commentary in The Washington Times that supporting what was described as “democratic turmoil” was worth the risk for the United States.
After all, Coleman said, if “extremists” should happen to come to power in any of the nations where the U.S. had helped instigate revolutions, the United States must “prepare to confront their aggressive plans with stalwart resistance.”
In case you didn’t figure that out, Coleman meant military intervention. That’s right. More war.
A journalist specializing in media critique, Michael Collins Piper is the author of The High Priests of War, The New Jerusalem, Dirty Secrets, The Judas Goats, The Golem, Target Traficant and My First Days in the White House All are available from AFP.
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(Issue # 18, May 2, 2011)