12/25/11 Russia: New U.S. / Soros Attempt at 'Russian Color Revolution'

See in context of US "Hegemonic Quicksand" geostrategy: http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/378
and Russia Pays for Refuses to Cooperate http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/377

U.S. to establish new fund supporting NGOs in Russia
December 15, 2011 http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/86623/
PanARMENIAN.Net - The U.S. administration is in talks with Congress on the establishment of a new organization supporting NGOs in Russia, Philip Gordon, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, said on Wednesday, December 14. “As part of our democracy strategy, the administration has been consulting with Congress on an initiative to create a new fund to support Russian non-governmental organizations that are committed to a more pluralistic and open society,” Gordon said. “The fund would not require an additional appropriation, as necessary funding would be drawn from the liquidated proceeds of the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund - an example of successful U.S. foreign assistance to Russia,” he said at a meeting of a subcommittee in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Gordon said the United States provides financial support to Russian civil society. “Since 2009, the U.S. government has given approximately $160 million in assistance to support programs on human rights, rule of law, anti-corruption, civil society, independent media, good governance, and democratic political processes,” he said. “Most recently, U.S. funding was used to support independent Russian monitoring of the [State] Duma elections and education for independent media on professional and unbiased reporting, encourage informed citizen participation in elections, and enhance the capacity to conduct public opinion polling,” Gordon said, RIA Novosti reported. On December 8, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposed toughening responsibility for those who interfere in Russian political life on foreign orders. “We are not against foreign observers monitoring out election process, but when money from abroad is invested in political activities inside another country, this concerns us...hundreds of millions of dollars of foreign money have been spent to influence the election process in Russia."

No More U.S./Soros NGOs in Russia?
Moscow Times, 9 November 2005
NGOs, especially...political pressure groups like Human Rights Watch and Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Open Russia Foundation, might be forced to close. In a meeting with human rights activists on 20 July, President Putin said he would not tolerate foreign money being used to fund the political activities of NGOs. Russian Government officials have repeatedly accused Western countries of helping bankroll Ukraine's Orange Revolution last year and Georgia's
Rose Revolution in 2003 through NGOs...

New U.S. Russian 'color revolution': 'monitors' Russian electoral system to trigger their Russian regime-change partners
2010 The Obama administration interceded on Khodorkovsky's behalf before the verdict was even delivered..."troubled by what appears to be an abusive use of the legal system for improper ends”. ..that Hillary Clinton warned would have a “negative impact on Russia's reputation.”

The following US / Soros et al propaganda sheds light on the incestuous, labyrinthian nature of finance capital's merger of state--private power organs, e.g. 'smart power'
Philanthropy in Russia, New Money Under Pressure
by Jamey Gambrell [former Soros Open Society Institute deputy Programs director)
http://carnegie.org/publications/carnegie-reporter/single/view/article/i..., Carnegie Publications Vo. 3 / No. 1 / Fall 2004
The rise of democratic reforms and a capitalist economy in Russia has produced wealthy individuals who have begun the practice of Western-style philanthropy—but the government may have other plans for how they spend their money.
... The Foreign Connection
The first foreign philanthropic foundation in Russia was financier George Soros’ Cultural Initiative (CI) in 1987, as the first breezes of perestroika were beginning to be felt. CI helped support publication of many previously unpublished books and translations, and provided funds for Soviet academics, writers, and scientists—long isolated from their colleagues in the West—to travel abroad for the first time.. its activities were closely monitored by a suspicious Soviet government. Soros eventually closed CI, and opened two new foundations, The Soros Science Foundation...and in the mid-‘90s, a Russian office of the Open Society Institute (OSI) was opened [that] supported everything from civil society development, education, textbook, and legal reform, to art.... Hard on the heels of the Soviet Union’s collapse, many other foreign organizations began to arrive to assist Russia’s “transition to democracy.” Government aid in various forms and amounts was quickly forthcoming from the U.S.and the European Union... Along with governmental agencies, other Western philanthropies began to make grants for projects in Russia or open offices with grant-making programs: notable among them, in addition to OSI, were the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the British Charities Aid Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Foundation. The Eurasia Foundation, a U.S. government---private [Soros] partnership was created in Washington in 1992 expressly to “promote the advancement of democratic institutions and private enterprise” in Russia and other post-Soviet countries. Over the last ten years, the Eurasia Foundation has supported projects in civil society, small business and media (among other areas) with some $225 million in USAID funding, enhanced by more than $58 million from other private and institutional sources. And in 2000, Carnegie Corporation of New York began funding Centers for Advanced Study and Education (CASEs), aimed at revitalizing higher education in the former Soviet Union...Many of these foundations funded, and still fund, an extraordinary range of projects within Russia, often with a strong emphasis on the development of the non-governmental sector and the institutions of civil society...Suffice it to say the history of foreign nonprofit philanthropic organizations in Russia to date would fill several volumes...Concurrently, with the influx of foreign institutions, the controversial era of privatization [ed: full-blown capitalism] began. In the ‘90s, Russian business exploded beyond the limits of perestroika-period cooperatives—essentially small businesses—into banks, advertising, media outlets (broadcast and print), publishing, utilities and large industrial and natural-resource conglomerates. Many of these were created by selling off huge state-era enterprises to private individuals...The Yeltsin era created a class of so-called “oligarchs,” whose small numbers were far outweighed by the political influence they wielded and wealth they controlled. According to figures collected by the Russian office of Britain’s Charities Aid Foundation, in 2003, Russia had 36 billionaires (whose capital represented 24% of the country’s GDP), 33 of whom lived in Moscow. Furthermore, of the 100 richest people in Russia, only 34 built their own business; the others accumulated their wealth as a result of access to the legacy of the former Soviet Union—mostly oil and metal production....
Civil society was growing, though beleaguered by government regulation and constant re-registration requirements that often amounted to political harassment. In 1993 there were approximately 35,000 registered nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); by 2003, the numbers had risen to over 350,000. While many of these organizations exist only on paper, there are tens of thousands of genuine NGOs active in all areas of civil society..

A real sea change became evident with the advent of the millennium, the end of the Yeltsin era and Vladimir Putin’s election as president in March 2000 (after his appointment by Yeltsin who resigned in late 1999). The changes over the next three years were both quantitative and qualitative....By 2001... the separation of philanthropic activity from the goals and tasks of the business that supports it. Leading this... Dmitry Zimin and the Dynasty Foundation; Interros and its chairman Vladimir Potanin; and Yukos and its chair, Mikhail Khodorkovsky....

* CAF, for instance, has run grant programs for Potanin’s foundation, as well as for the oil giant Yukos and Khodorkovsky’s Open Russia....In 2001 Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky, Yukos’ president, with several other major Yukos shareholders, established the Open Russia Foundation... its mission to “help in facilitating the country’s emergence as one of the leading world economies... possible if the country continues moving along the road of democratic reforms, strengthening civil society and stimulating entrepreneurial spirit.” As the name indicates, it was modeled on the Open Society Institute. Indeed, many of the programs financed by Open Russia are in one way or another analogous to programs initiated by OSI. The Internet Education Federation (originated by Yukos), for example, creates centers around the country to train school teachers in Internet use; Open Russia, in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Mass Communications and professional library associations, supports the modernization of rural libraries with computer equipment, Internet access and training, as well as contemporary reference materials on economics, management and business. Like the Potanin foundation, Open Russia has initiatives targeted at young people such as the “New Civilization” program, which exposes them to the values and practices of democracy, civil society, and market economics through a learning game called “Newlandia.” In addition to these sorts of operating programs, Open Russia supports the previously established “Russian Booker Prize” for literature and the prestigious Regional Tefi awards for television (a sort of Russian “Emmy”). Two of the foundation’s five priorities are directly linked to civil society issues: “assisting in the dissemination of objective and truthful information about the activities of Russian government and social institutions” and “continual monitoring and public expertise of Russian legislation.” To this end, the foundation has worked with established organizations like the Glasnost Defense Foundation to create a mass media law specialty in Russian law schools; it has given grants to continue Internews Russia’s regional television journalist training programs; it co-funds and helped to expand the seminars, conferences and training programs of the ten-year-old Moscow School of Political Research; and supports a program that analyzes all new legislative initiatives from the point of view of civil society and democratic values....
Now in its fifth year, “People in History” was originally funded largely by the Ford Foundation, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and other foreign sources. For the last three years, the program has been co-sponsored by Open Russia as well. It has produced several volumes of serious work that not only bear witness to the history the Soviet regime sought to erase, but to the emergence of a new generation of dedicated young Russians who seek the truth of their nation’s past, no matter how painful, in order that the tragedies they have chronicled not be repeated... In February 2004, with Memorial and the Moscow Helsinki Group human rights organizations, Alexander Yakovlev’s Democracy Foundation, and the Russian Regions Foundation, Open Russia established the Public Verdict Foundation... July 1, 2004, Open Russia, Public Verdict and the Regional Press Institute inaugurated a “human rights hot line” program, to allow citizens in all seven federal districts of Russia to receive brief legal consultations by cell phone around the clock. Violations will be published online and in the press in order to educate the public about its rights and remedies under Russian law....
Despite the potential hazards, the example of leading philanthropists such as Potanin and Khodorkovsky has clearly had its effect on their associates and other businessmen. In March 2004, a new type of private foundation was launched by Mikhail Prokhorov, general director of Norilsk Nickel. Prokhorov, not yet 40, is himself estimated by Forbes to be one of Russia’s wealthiest individuals, next after Potanin. The Foundation for Cultural Initiatives (The Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation), supported by $1 million annually of its founder’s personal funds... Norilsk Mining Company—which has one-third of the world’s nickel, and produces copper, platinum, palladium, cobalt and gold—has been one of Russia’s most serious air polluters....Prokhorov’s foundation focuses on modernizing and stimulating Norilsk’s cultural and intellectual environment....

Not only does the Foundation for Cultural Initiatives have an extremely cogent mission statement and well-articulated series of priorities, its structure is well balanced and clear, designed to minimize pressures on the decision making process by rival local constituencies.... Prokhorov’s sister. Irina Prokhorova, founded the Moscow publishing house New Literary Review... has a great deal of experience working as a program expert in Soros-funded translation and publishing programs; she is a former president of the Russian Booker Prize Committee and is on the advisory board of Potanin’s personal foundation....
The Foundation for Fundamental Research administers most of Dynasty’s programs, though the foundation also works in partnership with Eurasia and other foundations. As the “elder statesman” of the new Russian philanthropy... Following Khodorkovsky’s arrest—which he views as a disgrace—his participation in joint philanthropic projects has become particularly important, and he will be the only Russian donor on the board of the New Eurasia Foundation, which has been recently formed and is headed by Kortunov (with support from OSI, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Corporation and others)....
Khodorkovsky’s arrest is seen by most of the business community, human rights organizations and leading Russian cultural figures, as a political act, a warning to Russian enterprise. Not only has Open Russia funded human rights organizations...but Khodorkovsky personally had begun to fund opposition political parties in the lead-up to the March 2004 presidential elections....
Arseny Roginsky, director of Memorial, said what we are seeing “is the ‘governmentalization’ of philanthropy in Russia.” The same view is echoed by others, including Kortunov and Alexeeva; “Yukos was a warning,” says Kortunov... among businessmen and NGOs, it is taken for granted the Khodorkovsky affair means no Russian philanthropic foundation with a far-reaching social agenda — one targeted at the development of civil society— will be allowed to exist without the blessing of the president and the presidential administration.... The current situation has made for what might seem strange bedfellows, forging an alliance (or at least a platform of common interest) between human rights and civil society activists on the one hand, and big business on the other. Human rights and civil society activists have held round table discussions with business leaders and other civic professionals on the issues and ramifications of the Yukos and Khodorkovsky affairs....The work of Open Russia... has already slowed down and there are fears that it will eventually have to close its doors. That prospect comes at a very inopportune time for civil-society-oriented NGOs in Russia. Soros has basically closed down at this point, and many foreign donors are in the process of conceptualizing or implementing their “exit strategy” from Russia. (New Eurasia, for example, will become a Russian spinoff of the Eurasia Foundation, with $25 million in seed money coming from USAID alone)...
1 Quoted in RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 8, No. 142, Part I, 28 July 2004.
Jamey Gambrell From 1995-1997 she served as deputy director for programs at the Open Society Institute, Moscow, where she worked with Russian staff to develop culture and media programs. She writes on Russian arts and cultural politics; her articles have appeared in The New York Review of Books, Art in America, The New Republic and other publications.
* CAF Russia -фондыместныхсообществ "OSI and other Soros national foundations have played a significant role in ... CAF-Russia..." www.cafcf.ru/english/intern_support_en.html

Obama Cites Poland as Model for Arab Shift
Obama met with elders of the Solidarity movement, which led the democratic uprising here, as well as young democracy activists just back from Tunisia, where they offered advice based on the Polish experience (Lech Walesa, the leader of Solidarity, was not at the meeting; White House officials said he was out of the country).
Reflecting on those encounters — here and in France, where he met with Egyptian and Tunisian leaders — Mr. Obama struck a cautious note about the trajectory of the Arab upheaval. The euphoria of the uprisings, he said, could easily give way to setbacks and disappointments.“What you have is a process that’s not always smooth,” Mr. Obama said. “There are going to be twists and turns, there are going to be occasions where you take one step forward and two steps back.”...“I want the American people to understand that we’ve got to leave room for us to continue our tradition of providing leadership when it comes to freedom, democracy, human rights,”

Former Soviet States: Battleground For Global Domination
by Rick Rozoff
The Defense Planning Guidance prototype appeared in the New York Times March 7, 1992 to demonstrate how the end of the Soviet Union and the imminent fall of the Afghan government (Hekmatyar and his allies would march into Kabul two months later) affected U.S. policy toward Russia not one jot contained these passages:
"Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to general global power."

"We continue to recognize that collectively the conventional forces of the states formerly comprising the Soviet Union retain the most military potential in all of Eurasia; and we do not dismiss the risks to stability in Europe from a nationalist backlash in Russia or efforts to reincorporate into Russia the newly independent republics of Ukraine, Belarus, and possibly others....We must, however, be mindful that democratic change in Russia is not irreversible, and that despite its current travails, Russia will remain the strongest military power in Eurasia and the only power in the world with the capability of destroying the United States."

In its original and revised versions the 46-page Defense Planning Guidance document laid the foundation for what would informally become known as the Wolfowitz Doctrine and later the Bush Doctrine, indistinguishable in any essential manner from the Blair, alternately known as Clinton, Doctrine enunciated in 1999: That the U.S. (with its NATO allies) reserves the unquestioned right to employ military force anywhere in the world at any time for whichever purpose it sees fit and to effect "regime change" overthrows of any governments viewed as being insufficiently subservient to Washington and its regional and global designs.
Five years later former Carter administration National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski launched the Afghan Mujahideen support project in 1978 and worked with Khalilzad at Colombia when the latter was Assistant Professor of Political Science at the university's School of International and Public Affairs from 1979 to 1989 and Brzezinski headed the Institute on Communist Affairs, wrote an article called "A Geostrategy for Eurasia." It was in essence a precis of his book of the same year, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And It's Geostrategic Imperatives, published in Foreign Affairs, the journal of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.
The framework for the piece is contained in this paragraph:
"America's status as the world's premier power is unlikely to be contested by any single challenger for more than a generation. No state is likely to match the United States in the four key dimensions of power - military, economic, technological, and cultural - that confer global political clout. Short of American abdication, the only real alternative to American leadership is international anarchy. President Clinton is correct when he says America has become the world's 'indispensable nation.'"
Brzezinski identified the subjugation of Eurasia as Washington's chief global geopolitical objective, with the former Soviet Union as the center of that policy and NATO as the main mechanism to accomplish the strategy.
"Europe is America's essential geopolitical bridgehead in Eurasia. America's stake in democratic Europe is enormous. Unlike America's links with Japan, NATO entrenches American political influence and military power on the Eurasian mainland. With the allied European nations still highly dependent on U.S. protection, any expansion of Europe's political scope is automatically an expansion of U.S. influence. Conversely, the United States' ability to project influence and power in Eurasia relies on close transatlantic ties. A wider Europe and an enlarged NATO will serve the short-term and longer-term interests of U.S. policy. A larger Europe will expand the range of American influence without simultaneously creating a Europe so politically integrated that it could challenge the United States on matters of geopolitical importance, particularly in the Middle East...."

Four years after Brzezinski's 1997 The Grand Chessboard, thechess move was made: U.S. - NATO invaded Afghanistan and expanded into Central Asia where Russian, Chinese and Iranian interests converge and the basis for their regional cooperation existed, and where western military bases were established in the former Soviet republics of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan...Within months of the formal breakup of the USSR in December of 2001, leading American advisers and government officials went to work devising a strategy to insure that the fragmentation was final and irreversible. ....A Europe united under the EU and especially NATO is to be strong enough to contain, isolate and increasingly confront Russia as the central component of U.S. plans for control of Eurasia and the world, but cannot be allowed to conduct an independent foreign policy, particularly in regard to Russia and the Middle East. European NATO allies are to assist Washington in preventing the emergence of "the most dangerous scenario...a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran" such as has been adumbrated since in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization....
As the US escalates its NATO war in Afghanistan and across the Pakistani border, expands military deployments and operations throughout Africa under AFRICOM, and prepares to dispatch troops to newly acquired bases in Colombia as the spearhead for further penetration of that continent, it is simultaneously targeting Eurasia and the heart of that vast land mass, the countries of the former Soviet Union....
Brzezinski presented a blueprint for surrounding the nation with a NATO cordon sanitaire, in truth a wall of military fortifications.
"Russia is more likely to make a break with its imperial past if the newly independent post-Soviet states are vital and stable. Their vitality will temper any residual Russian imperial temptations. Political and economic support for the new states must be an integral part of a broader strategy....Ukraine is a critically important component of such a policy, as is support for such strategically pivotal states as Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan." ...

Washington will not tolerate rivals and will ruthlessly attempt to eliminate even the potential of any nation to challenge it globally or regionally. In any region of the world. Russia, because of what it was, what it is, where it is and what it has - massive reserves of oil and natural gas, a developed nuclear industry and the world's only effective strategic triad outside the U.S. - is and will remain the main focus of efforts by the United States and NATO to rid themselves of impediments to achieving uncontested global domination.
Carthage must be destroyed is the West's policy toward the former Soviet Union.

NATO restores normal relations with Russia; Allies lift freeze started after invasion of Georgia
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said there would be no avoiding, or backing down from, disputes with Moscow.
"The United States will not recognize any nation having a sphere of influence over any other nation," Clinton told a news conference at NATO headquarters. She was referring to Moscow's assertion that it has a historic role and leading voice in the region -- a position that many east Europeans as well as the Obama administration view as an illegitimate claim to domination of the area...."We can and must find ways to work constructively with Russia where we share areas of common interest, including helping the people of Afghanistan, arms control and nonproliferation, counterpiracy and counternarcotics and addressing the threats posed by Iran and North Korea," she [Clinton] said... http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/402500_nato06.html

New Trial for Tycoon Is a Test for Russia
MOSCOW — Shortly before he was sent to a Siberian prison in 2005, Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky seemed willing to take on the mantle of a martyr for political freedom in Russia. With his business empire destroyed and his vast fortune gone, he vowed to continue his fight against Vladimir V. Putin, then Russia’s president, from his prison cell.
... http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/06/world/europe/06russia.html?th=&emc=th&...

march 30 2010 Tectonic Shift in Heartland Power: Part II
High-stakes Eurasian Chess Game: Russia’s New Geopolitical Energy Calculus
by F. William Engdahl
In cooperation with China and other Eurasian SCO partners, Russia is clearly using its energy as a geopolitical lever of the first order. The recent events in Ukraine and the rollback there of the ill-fated Washington Orange Revolution, in the context now of Moscow’s comprehensive energy politics, present Washington strategists with a grave challenge to their assumed global “Full Spectrum” dominance. The US debacle in Afghanistan and the uneasy state of affairs in US-occupied Iraq have done far more than any Russian military challenge to undermine the global influence of the United States as sole decision maker of a ‘unipolar world.’

...Another Russia’ holds Congress
Intelligence Digest, John Laughland, August 2006
The Journal of the European Foundation www.europeanfoundation.org/docs/August%202006.pdf
The former world chess champion, Garry Kasparov, inaugurated a conference of leading Russian oppositionists at a Moscow hotel. The meeting was disrupted by protests by youth groups who support President Putin. They put on the costumes of American Indians (‘native Americans’) in order to make their point that Kasparov wants to turn Russia into a colony of the US, reducing ordinary Russians to the state of native Americans...The meeting was attended by the US Assistant Secretary of State, Daniel Fried, and by the British and Canadian Ambassadors. The meeting caused several people to comment on Kasparov’s strongly pro-American sympathies. According to Leonid Ivashov, Vice President of he Russian Academy of Geopolitical Sciences, “It was long ago when the CIA established a network of non-commercial and non-governmental organisations. In addition, it funds over 400 scientific organisations too. I know many of our politicians and scientists of politics who would at first express Russia’s state interests but then change their points of view as soon as they start receiving money from Western funds, Carnegie or Soros funds, for example. Instead, they would start propagandising the US system, NATO, etc. In fact, they started lobbying American interests with a view to conquer Russian oil and gas resources.” State Duma Deputy and historian Natalia Narochnitskaya commented, “Kasparov’s behaviour is revolting. It is not about the opposition, it is about the promotion of US interests in Russia. The CIA has gone into the background as a public structure during the recent decade. However, the anti-Russian activities are being carried out through various foundations, institutes and councils under the guise of human rights protection.” ... [Andrei Scherbakov, www.pravda.ru, 12 July 2006]


Does Russian Democracy Have a Future?
Authors: Garry Kasparov, Stephen Sestanovich
2/11/04 Council on Foreign Relations
...And we are talking about a very general idea, which is to save the institute of elections, which is easy to promote, because the government can't attack this idea publicly. So they pretend they respect the law, and many people still believe that the institution of election must be preserved, one way or another.
And also, we are talking about defending individuals and certain organizations that are in crisis because of the vicious attacks of local authorities.
So it's a quite— you know, it's a quite wide agenda, but let's not forget that we are, you know, less than a month old. You know, the first meeting of the people that signed the petition was held in Moscow on January 12th [2004], and only on January 15th, the committee was formed. So just— we are just four weeks in existence. And we enjoyed, in fact, quite a lot of publicity in Moscow, although the Channel 1 and 2 [of Russian state television] received an immediate order not to talk about us at all. But there were some other, you know, television channels that cautiously presented our cause, always asking not to mention names, Khodorkovsky and Chechnya [chuckles] to let them continue this, the coverage of our committee.
So it's— as you say, it's very tricky. It's balanced. It's— on the one side, you know, it's a police state, and you can't do much. On the other side, there is sort of a fear of the ruling elite that going too far in cracking down democracy and ignoring rule of law may backfire in the West. So that's why this balance is still being preserved, and that's why a lot— a lot— depends on the position of the Western powers and especially the United States.
SESTANOVICH: I wanted to ask you about that before we open up the discussion from the audience. You've written that the formula “Forgive Russia” was one of the worst foreign policy blunders in recent history and that the West shouldn't— and said that the West should not underestimate its influence in Russia.
Can you describe a little— going a little beyond what you've said so far, how you think the West should treat Putin, so as to have the maximum influence of this kind? Should it talk loudly or softly on these questions?
KASPAROV: I think it's not only about talk. It's also—
SESTANOVICH: Okay. What else should it do besides talking?
KASPAROV: It's— no, it's about ability to act, because don't forget Putin is an ex-KGB officer, but as he says, there are no ex-KGB officers. So he belongs to the school of thought of the old Soviet Union that believed in action. It's not that Ronald Reagan publicly said, “evil empire.” They believed him. He said evil empire is a “Star Wars” and the Soviet leaders, this— the Politburo, the aging Politburo, believed him. Take it or leave it, you know, whether he could do it or not, but they believed he would act. And he was acting on certain fronts.
No matter what President Bush says, they don't believe him. That's very simple. So for them, official policy is, “Forgive Russia.” And it's not being reversed. [United States] Secretary [of State Colin] Powell made some tough remarks in Moscow. From our perspective, it was too little and too late. But even those remarks were very short to overcome the official motto, which is “Forgive Russia.”
I could be wrong, but I believe Khodorkovsky is in jail and Yukos is under attack because of “Forgive Russia.” It's a very clear signal: “You can do whatever you want, as long as you're cooperating with us on other affairs.” I don't know whether Russia is cooperative. I don't know what is the U.S. national gaining from that. I'm not an expert. I still think that the trade is uneven because giving free hand to Putin in Russia to ruin Russian democratic institutions will definitely backfire, and American long-term strategic interests will suffer.
SESTANOVICH: But can I push you a little bit? In light of the balance of interests that the United States has, and in light of the fact that Mr. Putin, just to say the least, doesn't seem to take criticism very well, what's the right way to talk about him? And since, as you say, talk may not be enough, what would acting mean today to have an effect? What would a Reagan-like policy be, if the administration were going to follow one, or some other administration?
KASPAROV: With Reagan in the White House, Khodorkovsky would be free in two weeks, maybe in two hours. Now the first thing, I think, that the West should consider is, why is Russia— the Russian president is attending G-7 [Group of Seven] meetings? Russia is not rich, and it's not a democracy. The Russian so-called membership in G-8— by the way, Russian official press always says G-8, and I guess it's not correct. It's still G-7, with Mr. Putin attending the meetings. I hope I'm right, you know. Maybe they made already all the changes, calling it G-8. So the idea of G-7 was, you know, forming the committee of industrialized democratic nations. And they invited Yeltsin, at a time when Russia seemed to be moving into this direction. And I guess, from my perspective and the perspectives of many others in Russia, it was sort of an advance payment.
[Inaudible]--Putin didn't meet these expectations. So I guess his regular or his temporary membership of G-7 meetings should be reconsidered. And it's announced, I would say that they will react differently. I know there is the conventional wisdom, on both sides of Atlantic, that expelling Putin from these meetings could be alienating and could be very dangerous because they will react vehemently and could do certain stupid things. I have only one argument. They keep their money in the Western banks. So that's why their hands are tied. And they could do many things, but they cannot go too far.
And I guess, you know, they're not only keeping money in the Western banks. I guess at certain intelligence offices here, they even know the bank accounts. So you have a huge leverage over Russia, and I think you should not underestimate it....

QUESTIONER: Sunil Desai with the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Kasparov, I'd like to ask you how you think strategic military issues will affect the politics that you've described, and specifically, the evolving NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization]-EU [European Union] military relationship, the addition of countries, formerly Warsaw Pact countries to NATO, and the movement of U.S. forces to other places in Europe much closer to Russia?
KASPAROV: I guess four years ago or even, you know, in the mid-'90s up to 2000, that was a big issue in U.S. That was a big concern of Clinton administration. It was also a big concern of Bush administration, you know, in first months in the office. So how Russia would react on NATO enlargement and what Russia can do to stop it? We know the answer: nothing.
Now Baltic states are being now received by NATO and European Union. So it's— there's no earthquake. You know, it's— you know, we live in Russia, and we don't feel it. So there is sort of a political hysteria, but I don't think anything will happen if Ukraine joins NATO. So [there is] this sudden political reality which is being accepted by Russian elite, even if they say otherwise in public.
So I guess there is very little illusion about Russian ability to resist the logical development, such as EU enlargement or NATO's movement eastward. And I think that, you know, you should always contemplate the real ability to act and sort of political hoopla that is being used to energize, you know, some public trends inside the country.
I don't believe that, you know, the strategic military issues will play any, any role, because we all know that the Russian army— and as a Russian citizen, I should be sad about it— the Russian army is incapable of fighting any war, and the Chechen war demonstrates it. Claudia? Yeah?
QUESTIONER: Hi. Claudia Rosett with The Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal. If you're going from here to the State Department, maybe the answer lies in the future, but could you tell us, as far as you can, what kind of reception your committee has been getting from the U.S. government? Thank you.
KASPAROV: So far, I can't comment on that. The fact I'm just— I'm being received by certain officials, [which] you know, gives us a hope that at least they would like to listen.
But you know, we could indicate there is a little split in the opinions between the State Department, which is— suddenly it's more hawkish on Russia than NSC [National Security Council]--suddenly. [Chuckles.] But so far, so far, it's all, it's just all talk, because “Forgive Russia” is official U.S. policy. And Russia isn't— I don't know whether it's ally, a friend, whatever.
But I have to admit, as a professional player who should look at the reality, even if it's harsh reality, so far, Mr. Putin has very little reason to worry about U.S. reaction. There's the sort of self-delusion in Washington that appeasing Russia could reap some future benefits.
I wonder whether Russian cooperation was so important. I guess that Russia was behind all the crises generated by axis of evil. In Iraq, Iran and North Korea, I would question a positive role of Putin's administration. And in fact, you know, it's— if you look at the wider picture, you know, I would add probably [Pakistan] President [Pervez] Musharraf to this equation. There are certain leaders in the world that are perceived by the current U.S. administration as a part of the solution, ignoring the fact that they are also part of the problem. But because by the moment when the problem has disappeared or there is an ultimate solution— [inaudible]--who are no longer relevant. So they thrive by helping the U.S. to find a partial solution of the problem. As long as this problem exists, their grip on power is unquestioned, and the U.S. is happily including them in the circle of allies.

National Endowment for Democracy
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a Washington D.C.-based non-profit organization funded by U.S. national budget, boasts it is "supporting freedom around the world."
Alan Weinstein, one of the founders of the NED, explained in 1991: A lot of what we [NED] do was done 25 years ago covertly by the CIA[1]
NED's website describes its mission as "guided by the belief that freedom is a universal human aspiration that can be realized through the development of democratic institutions, procedures, and values." NED, which is publicly funded, "makes hundreds of grants each year to support pro-democracy groups in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East." [2] According to the New York Times: "The National Endowment for Democracy is a quasi-governmental foundation created by the Reagan Administration in 1983 to channel millions of Federal dollars into anti-Communist 'private diplomacy.'" [3]
NED funding mostly flows through the four foundations listed below active in influencing "civil society" and electoral processes around the world, in a process sometimes referred to as "cloak and ballot" operations. NED is accountable to the U.S. Congress... this doesn't apply to the organizations it finances....
"The Rose Revolution" in Georgia, "the Orange Revolution" in Ukraine, "the Tulip Revolution" in Kyrgyzstan, all heavily financed and backed by groups funded by or connected to the U.S. government. Pepe Escobar of the Asia Times writes:
"The whole arsenal of US foundations -- National Endowment for Democracy, International Republic Institute, International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), Eurasia Foundation, Internews, among many others -- which fueled opposition movements in Serbia, Georgia and Ukraine, has also been deployed in Bishkek [Kyrgyzstan]... everything that passes for civil society in Kyrgyzstan is financed by US foundations and 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 U.S. The US State Department has operated its own independent printing house in Bishkek since 2002 -- which means printing at least 60 different titles, including a bunch of fiery opposition newspapers. USAID invested at least $2 million prior to the Kyrgyz elections -- in a country where the average salary is $30 a month." ...

NED Board of Directors include: "...former US Secretaries of State, Henry Kissinger (Nixon) Madeleine Albright (Clinton), former US Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci (Reagan), former National Security Council Chair Zbigniew Brzezinski (Carter), former NATO Supreme Allied Command in Europe, General Wesley K. Clark (Clinton), and current head of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz (George W. Bush). Bill Brock, served as a US Senator, a US Trade Representative, and US Secretary of Labor, and then Chairman of the Board of NED."
In late 2004, Adam Wild Aba wrote, "The new intelligence law also directs the State Department to promote a free press and the development of 'professional journalists' in the Muslim world. It says free press is a must as part of the overall public diplomacy strategy for the Middle East, according to the State Department’s statement. Under the law, the National Endowment for Democracy shall fund a private-sector group to establish a free-media network to help participants share information concerning development of free media in 'societies in transition'." NED also supports the NGO Internews which helps media worldwide "promote democracy". In 2004, Internews had a budget of $27 million, 80% from the U.S. government.
Internews Network is a member of Internews International association of over 30 NGO media organizations...Jeremy Baker wrote in the January 9, 2004, issue of USA Media Monitors:
"Roughly 20% of Internews funding comes from a broad range of standard philanthropic outfits... Among them, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Kellogg Foundation, the John D. and Katherine T. Macarthur Foundation and others. George Soros is one of Internews’ most ardent supporters.... also AOL Time Warner, General Electric, the Ford Foundation, Microsoft and the Rockefeller Foundation.

"Marguerite H. Sullivan is Director of the Center on International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy."
Several articles about the political process in Haiti, Iraq, and the Palestinian-occupied territories in The New York Times, NPR, and other mainstream US media...some paid by the NED or its affiliated organizations give the impression they are by bona fide journalists. The case of Regine Alexandre is particularly interesting. She wrote articles for the NYT, AP, and commented on NPR...she is on the NED payroll, which the NED confirmed. However, when confronted with this information both the NYT and NPR failed to respond...Source: Anthony Fenton and Dennis Bernstein, "AP reporter RéGINE is wearing two hats," Haiti Action.net, December 29, 2005.

NED (or satellite organizations) is active in monitoring and conducting election exit polls including in Serbia, Ukraine, Venezuela...results were used on occasion to cast doubt on the actual election results, and deligitimize the winner of the election, creating pressure for an election re-run.
In December 2004, the NED-association organization International Republican Institute conducted a survey in Iraq to determine the popular intent to vote. It found that 75% of Iraqis would opt to vote, thus lending some legitimacy to the electoral exercise. However, IRI didn't poll the key cities where the insurgency is strong, i.e., Fallujah, Ramadi and Mosul. Such surveys lend legitimacy to so-called demonstration elections, and discredit those opposed to the elections.

Egypt 3 February 2011, Madeleine Albright, head of NDI, Democrat's NED affiliated group, stated that the NED was already active in Egypt to influence the post-Mubarak era.[8]

"...97 percent of NED’s funding comes from the US State Department ( USAID, before 1999 the USIA), the rest being allocations made by Foundations including the Soros, Whitehead and Olin Foundations.http://www.ned.org/publications/04annual/auditors04.pdf


External links
Radio Commentary
* "Unholy Alliance? The AFL-CIO and the National Endowment for Democracy in Venezuela", Democracy Now!, July 26, 2005.
* "U.S. Gvt. Channels Millions Through National Endowment for Democracy to Fund Anti-Lavalas Groups in Haiti", Democracy Now!, January 23, 2006.

Articles & commentary
* David K. Shipler, "Missionaries for Democracy: US Aid for Global Pluralism", New York Times 1 June 1986.
* Beth Sims, "Workers of the World Undermined: American Labor's role in U.S. foreign policy", Third World Traveller, 1992.
* Barbara Conry “Loose Cannon: The National Endowment for Democracy”, Cato Institute, Policy Briefing No. 27, November 8, 1993, (accessed November 18, 2003).
* John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, Toxic Sludge is Good for You, Common Courage Press, Monroe Maine,1995, page 166.
* William Robinson, Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, US Intervention and Hegemony, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. For a quick summary
* John M. Broder, "Political Meddling by Outsiders: Not New for U.S", New York Times, March 31, 1997.
* James Ciment and Immanuel Ness, "NED and the Empire's New Clothes", Covert Action Quarterly, No.67, Spring-Summer: 65-68, 1999.
* Bob Feldman, “The Nation's NED Connection-part 1”, QuestionsQuestions, circa 2001. “The Nation's NED Connection—part 2”, QuestionsQuestions, circa 2001.
* "Aiding Democracy around the World: The Challenges after September 11", SAIRR, 1 October 2002.
* Harley Sorenson, NED's feel-good name belies its corrupt intent, SFGate.com, November 17, 2003.
* David Lowe, “Idea to Reality: A Brief History of the National Endowment for Democracy”, accessed November 18, 2003.
* Andrew Buncombe, "US revealed secretly funding opponents of Chavez", Independent (UK), March 13, 2004.
* Nadia Diuk, In Ukraine, Homegrown Freedom", Washington Post, December 4, 2004; Page A23. (Diuk is director, Europe and Eurasia, at the National Endowment for Democracy).
* Lisa Ashkenaz Croke and Brian Dominick, "Controversial U.S. Groups Operate Behind Scenes on Iraq Vote," The New Standard, December 13, 2004.
* Philip Agee, "The Nature of CIA Intervention in Venezuela" (interview conducted by Jonah Gindin), VenezuelaAnalysis, March 22, 2005.
* Pepe Escobar, "The Tulip Revolution takes root," Asia Times, March 26, 2005.
* Tom Engelhardt, "Drugs, Bases, and Jails: The Bush administration's Afghan Spring," Znet, April 05, 2005.
* Interview with William Robinson by Jonah Gindin, The Battle for Global Civil Society, June 13, 2005.
* Kim Scipes, "An Unholy Alliance: the AFL-CIO and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Venezuela," Znet, July 10, 2005.
* Seymour M. Hersh, "Get Out the Vote: Did Washington try to manipulate Iraq’s election?", The New Yorker, July 25, 2005.
* Sreeram Chaulia, "Democratisation, Colour Revolutions and the Role of the NGOs" GlobalResearch.ca , December 25, 2005..
* Interview with Anthony Fenton: "U.S. Government Channels Millions Through NED to Fund Anti-Lavalas Groups in Haiti," Democracy Now!, January 23, 2006.
* Kim Scipes, "Worker-to-Worker Solidarity Committee to AFL-CIO: Cut Ties with NED," Znet, May 1, 2006.
* Joan Roelofs, "The NED, NGOs and the Imperial Uses of Philanthropy: Why They Hate Our Kind Hearts, Too", Counterpunch, May 13, 2006.
* U.S. Department of State, "The Role of NGOs in the Development of Democracy", Scoop, June 12, 2006.
* Jehangir S. Pocha, "nonprofits under investigation in China", Boston Globe, June 15, 2006.
* Hilary Keenan, "Aid without mercy: the paid pipers of civil society", 21st Century Socialism, September 15, 2006.
* Michael Barker, "Regulating revolutions in Eastern Europe: Polyarchy and the National Endowment for Democracy (Part 3)", Zmag, 1 November 2006.
* Chris Carlson, "Coup D'etat in Venezuela: Made in the USA", Zmag, 24 November 2006.
* Michael Barker, "A Force More Powerful: Promoting 'Democracy' through Civil Disobedience," ZNet, February 25, 2007.
* Hernando Calvo Ospina, "CIA's Successors And Collaborators: US: overt and covert destabilisation", Le Monde Diplomatique, August 10, 2007.
* Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, "From Scotland to Caracas — The Politics of Democracy Promotion", Atlantic Free Press, August 11, 2007.
* Michael Barker, "Media Manipulation and Human Rights: From Pinochet to Human Rights in China", Center for Research on Globalization, March 29, 2008.
* Michael Barker, "Zimbabwe and the Power of Propaganda: Ousting a President via Civil Society", Center for Research on Globalization, April 16, 2008.
* Jeremy Bigwood, "No Strings Attached? How U.S. funding of the world press corps may be buying influence", In These Times, June 4, 2008.
* Michael Barker, "Waging Democracy On China: Human Rights and an Endowment for Democracy", Swans, July 28, 2008.
* Michael Barker, "Imperial Media Manipulators: The Center for International Media Assistance", Swans, October 6, 2008.
* Immanuel Ness and James Ciment, "NED and the Empire's New Clothes", Covert Action, September 8, 2009.