AFL-CIO still in the business of reactionary foreign policy... From the CIA to the 'National Endowment for Democracy' the reactionary agendas of the U.S. ruling class go around the world, modified at different times in history...

[EDITOR'S NOTE: On another anniversary of my small book "The American Federation of Teachers and the CIA" it's nice to know that an expanding number of journalists and researchers are staying on top of the stories that come out of the Orwellian hatcheries of U.S. Imperialism. And so to begun November 2015, here is a recent analysis... George N. Schmidt, Editor, Substance].

How the National Endowment for Democracy Manufactures Regime Change Around the World

Derek Royden, October 30, 2015, Nation of Change

"A lot of what we do was done 25 years ago covertly by the CIA." (Alan Weinstein, one of the founders of the National Endowment for Democracy)

To most people the National Endowment for Democracy, probably looks like a pretty innocuous organization. But when you examine the records of those who control it and its affiliates, it starts to look like they're running a shadow foreign policy., ,

When we think about non governmental organizations we tend to focus on heroic groups like Doctors Without Borders, whose members travel into war zones treating the wounded without regard to the political affiliations of their patients. It’s dangerous work, as shown by a recent air-strike on a hospital run by the group in the Afghan city of Kunduz in which 13 staff and 10 patients died (7 other bodies have yet to be identified).

So, when we hear about Russia crafting a law in 2012 to make certain NGOs register as “foreign agents”, we naturally think this shows growing repression in that country. Offered as further proof of this is the fact that Putin’s government has created even stronger rules this year, seeking to ban “undesirable” groups. The first to be thrown out of the country in this way was the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). How could Russian law-makers ban an organization whose motto is: “Supporting freedom around the world’?

Many notable people, including Carl Gershman, Chairman of the Endowment since its creation in 1983, have been vocal in criticizing this Russian legislation. They invariably fail to mention that the original 2012 law was based on a an American one enacted in 1938, the Foreign Agent Registration Act. This law, “also requires individuals and entities working for foreign interests and seeking to influence U.S. policies to disclose those relationships with the U.S. Justice Department or face prison.”

Although it promotes itself as a “non-governmental organization”, NED receives at least 90% of its funding from the US Congress, earmarked to USAID; the balance is provided by right leaning non-profits like the Olin and Bradley Foundations. To most people, the Endowment probably looks like a pretty innocuous organization. After all, who’s against more democracy? But when you examine the records of those who control it and its affiliates, it starts to look like they’re running a shadow foreign policy, not only in Eurasia but throughout the world, sometimes acting in ways that are contrary to the wishes of the powers that be in Washington.

To bolster its credibility as “non-partisan” in the American context, NED distributes more than half of its money to four organizations: the Free Trade Union Institute of the AFL-CIO (FTUI), the Center for International Private Enterprise of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI). Chairing the latter is Senator John McCain (R-AZ), probably the most well known hawk in the US Senate.

In fact, for an organization with the aim of “peaceful democracy promotion” it’s riddled with Neoconservatives and their Liberal Hawk counterparts, including such luminaries as Elliot Abrams (of Iran-Contra fame), Zalmay Khalilzad (Former Ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan).and former Secretary of State Madeline Albright (Chairwoman of the NDI), to name just a few.

The presence of reliably pro-war Washington insiders like these points to the real roots of the organization during the Reagan Era when it was created with the input of then CIA Chief William Casey. At that time, the actions of the US intelligence community were being scrutinized in light of the Church Committee hearings and other revelations of the 1960s and 1970s. Thus, some of the functions that the CIA once performed were farmed out to the newly created Endowment. One has to concede that NED is a PR savvy version of what these agencies used to do covertly and it also helps to keep the hawks in the foreign policy conversation, whatever disasters they leave in their wake when they hold the reins of power.

Disturbing Patterns

Looking critically at the so-called “Color Revolutions” that NED has funded, one begins to see similarities that couldn’t be coincidental. One example is the symbol of a clenched fist, probably expropriated from the Black Panthers and first used by OTPOR, a Serbian youth group that became some