Disingenuous peddlers of transparency and “open society” choke on their own medicine.
An empire seeking to covertly overrun a targeted nation would ideally do so with an opposition movement featuring the complete obfuscation of all ties to its foreign sponsors. And for centuries under Imperial Britannia, and now under its most recent reincarnation, Anglo-American “globalization,” that is precisely what has been done. Opposition groups led by agents of foreign interests have cultivated well-meaning but ultimately exploited followers to execute agendas not in their own best interests, but agendas serving foreign interests, for centuries.
However, in the information age, the ability to expose these ties has become increasingly easy. As a truly independent alternative media grows beyond the shadow of state propaganda globally, the ability expands to inform larger sections of the population of these time-tested geopolitical and public manipulations.
Images: Russia has a problem. Caught red-handed – Russia’s opposition, long accused by the Kremlin of being foreign-funded, and who have well documented ties to the US State Department, are caught filing into the US Embassy in Moscow in January of 2012, just days after agitator Michael McFaul began his stint as US Ambassador to Russia. (click on image to enlarge)
In fact, the alternative media has become so effective, we teeter on the edge of undoing the system of imperial trickery all together. Had Russia attempted to pass a new bill in the past, requiring foreign-funded NGOs to disclose their funding and foreign sponsors on all their websites and materials handed out, and required them to register as an “NGO carrying out functions as a foreign agent,” the West’s assertion that it represented “curbs on Internet, media, and activists” would go virtually unanswered, and a perceived “injustice” would pervade public perception regarding the legislation.
However, now, when the LA Times attempts to spin Russia’s new legislation as such, as it did in an article literally titled, “Russia’s lower house OKs curbs on Internet, media and activists,” it can be pointed out that the new bill requires in reality, the transparency these alleged NGOs demand “rhetorically” in their quest to undermine Russia in the name of a more “open” society.
Image: From the US State Department’s own National Endowment for Democracy (NED) website, the Moscow Helsinki Group (listed as the Moscow Group of Assistance in the Implementation of the Helsinki Accords) is clearly listed as a recipient of US funding. MHG’s leadership believes disclosing this information more publicly and being listed as an “NGO carrying out functions as a foreign agent” is “despicable. One could easy argue that foisting upon unsuspecting Russians a foreign agenda couched as legitimate activism is equally “despicable.”
The LA Times in fact, illustrates in their own article just how absolutely necessary this new legislation is. After claiming “the bills passed by Russia’s State Duma are seen as the latest attempt to crack down on resistance to the rule of President Vladimir Putin,” the Times goes on to cite the “Moscow Helsinki Group” (MHG) and their objection to the bill, never mentioning that it is in fact a direct recipient of US State Department money via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – and instead, merely states it receives “grants from aborad.” In turn, the NED fails to properly inform the public of the corporate-financier interests, not human rights or “democratic” interests, represented throughout its Board of Directors.
Image: A visual representation of the National Endowment for Democracy’s corporate-financier ties found across their Board of Directors. Far from “human rights advocates,” they are instead simply leveraging such issues to disguise what is in reality corporate-financier global hegemonic expansion.
Such deception and purposefully vague misrepresentations have allowed NED and the myriad of so-called NGOs that it cultivates not only to subvert Russian, but nations around the world, to deceive well-intentioned people into joining their cause, serving their nefarious, couched interests. Should people know that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s opposition consists of organizations entirely funded, directed, and making frequent trips to meet with the US State Department, they may form an opinion that leaves anti-Putin rallies decidedly thinner and the West’s agenda of achieving global hegemony slightly more tenuous.
Image: Lyudmila Alekseyeva of the US State Department, Soros Open Society, USAID, NED-funded Moscow Helsinki Group claims, “this law has a despicable goal, which is to make it possible to say on television, ‘Look, they are admitting themselves that they are agents of foreign governments,’” leaving one to wonder, what should a foreign agent be called, if not a foreign agent?
For NGOs allegedly championing freedom, democracy, and above all, transparency to deride the new legislation as “despicable,” as MHG’s Lyudmila Alekseyeva did, for holding foreign-funded NGOs to the same standards they demand of the Russian government, exposes a degree of corrosive double standards. Such irrational and hypocritical reactions undermine not only US-funded fronts like the Moscow Helsinki Group, but legitimate NGOs as well that are genuinely working towards these ideals, but doing so independently and for Russia’s, not foreigners’ interests.
Alekseyeva’s Moscow Helsinki Group is not alone. It was widely reported throughout Russia’s elections that “independent poll monitor” GOLOS was singled out and punished by the Russian government after attempting to call into question the legitimacy of Putin and his party’s victory. GOLOS however is not independent by any means, and is likewise fully funded and directed by the US State Department with GOLOS’ Lililya Shibanova one of several “opposition” leaders caught filing into the US Embassy in Moscow earlier this year.
Strategy 31, Alexey Navalny, Vladimir Ryzhkov, Boris Nemtsov, and Ilya Yashin are all likewise subsidized, supported by, and/or members of the Wall Street-London corporate-financier elite striving to undermine, overthrow, and reorder Russia according to their sponsors’ designs – designs that were already previewed during the reign of the oligarchs in the 1990′s.
Setting a Precedent to Follow
What Russia has done is take advantage of an increasingly astute public capable of understanding that moves against US State Department funded fronts is not necessarily a move against legitimate activism – especially if Russia takes strides to create and expand its own indigenous institutions to maintain an equitable balance of power throughout society.
The US State Department’s tentacles reach far beyond Moscow. Egypt has likewise grappled with this unwarranted foreign influence, and likewise took measures against foreign-funded US-backed sedition masquerading as “NGOs.”
In Malaysia there is Bersih, in Thailand there is Prachatai, and in Myanmar (still called by its British colonial nomenclature “Burma”) there is Aung San Suu Kyi and her entire political party, a top-to-bottom creation of Wall Street and London corporate-funded foundations and government funding.
Photo: Hague hands Suu Kyi the “Chatham House Prize.” Nothing quite says “democracy promotion” like a prize from an organization consisting of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, BP, Exxon, Chevron, BAE, Boeing, Lockheed, and many more. This is just the latest in a long line of self-aggrandizing stunts the global elite use to lend themselves otherwise non-existent legitimacy and lure in well-intentioned people to serve their cause.
Educating the pubic and mandating that NGOs exhibit the same transparency and openness they demand of governments is an essential first step. Instituting severe penalties against NGOs that willfully deceive, obfuscate their funding or agenda, or misrepresent themselves to the people they are attempting to influence including charges ranging from fraud to sedition must also be considered.
Local activists overlooked in the shadow of these disingenuous, meddling foreign-funded NGOs must also seek ways of not only maintaining their independence, but exposing the compromised and subversive nature of foreign-funded organizations. The lure of large sums of endless cash, contrived accolades, and a chance to rub shoulders with celebrities and other “important” people has been used effectively to compromise and co-opt otherwise well-meaning people and redirect their efforts from truly progressive efforts to faux-progressive foreign agendas.
The precedent Russia is setting should be embraced by real activists who do truly seek to live by the openness and transparency they claim they stand for – it is abundantly clear that those with something to hide, namely those with insidious foreign-backing, have already denounced it. The fact that Russia can not only move forward with this legislation aimed toward transparency amongst foreign-funded NGOs, but that the corporate-financiers’ media machine rings hollow in its protests, is already proof that the paradigm is shifting and that the public is slowly gaining an understanding of how power manipulates and deceives, and above all how power is “powerless” without us.