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Article originally published in November 2011, in Global Research by Gearóid Ó Colmáin

Unknown snipers played a pivotal role throughout the  so-called  « Arab Spring Revolutions »  yet, in spite of reports of their presence in the mainstream media, surprisingly little attention has been paid to  to their purpose and role.

The Russian investigative journalist Nikolay Starikov has written a book which discusses the role of unknown snipers in the destabilization of countries targeted for regime change by the United States and its allies. The following article attempts to elucidate some historical examples of this technique with a view to providing a background within which to understand the current cover war on the people of Syria by death squads in the service of Western intelligence.[1]

Romania 1989.

In Susanne Brandstätter’s documentary ‘Checkmate: Strategy of a Revolution’ aired on Arte television station some years ago,  Western intelligence officials revealed how  death squads were used to destabilize Romania and turn its people against the head of state Nicolai Ceaucescu.

Brandstätter’s film is a must see for anyone interested in how Western intelligence agencies, human rights groups and the corporate press collude in the systematic destruction of countries whose leadership conflicts with the interests of big capital and empire.

Former secret agent with the French secret service, the DGSE(La Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure) Dominique Fonvielle, spoke candidly about the role of Western intelligence operatives in destabilizing the Romanian population.

“how do you organize a revolution? I believe the first step is to locate oppositional forces in a given country. It is sufficient to have a highly developed intelligence service in order to determine which people are credible enough to have influence at their hands to destabilize the people to the disadvantage of the ruling regime”[2]

This open and rare admission of Western sponsorship of terrorism was justified on the grounds of the “greater good” brought to Romania by free-market capitalism. It was necessary, according to the strategists of Romania’s “revolution”, for some people to die.

Today, Romania remains one of the poorest countries in Europe. A report on Euractiv reads:

“Most Romanians associate the last two decades with a continuous process of impoverishment and deteriorating living standards, according to Romania’s Life Quality Research Institute, quoted by the Financiarul daily.” [3]

The western intelligence officials interviewed in the documentary also revealed how the Western press played a central role in disinformation. For example, the victims of Western-backed snipers were photographed by presented to the world as evidence of a crazed dictator who was “killing his own people”.

To this day, there is a Museum in the back streets of Timisoara Romania which promotes the myth of the “Romanian Revolution”.  The Arte documentary was one of the rare occasions when the mainstream press revealed some of  the dark secrets of Western liberal democracy. The documentary caused a scandal when it was aired in France, with the prestigious Le Monde Diplomatique discussing the moral dilemma of the West’s support of terror in its desire to spread ‘democracy’.

Since the destruction of Libya and the ongoing cover war on Syria, Le Monde Diplomatique has stood safely on the side of political correction, condemning Bachar Al Assad for the crimes of the DGSE and the CIA. In its current edition, the front page article reads Ou est la gauche? Where is the left ? Certainly not in the pages of Le Monde Diplomatique !

Russia 1993

During Boris Yeltsin’s counter-revolution in Russia in 1993, when the Russian parliament was bombed resulting in the deaths of thousands of people, Yeltsin’s counter-revolutionaries made extensive use of snipers.  According to many eye witness reports, snipers were seen shooting civilians from the building opposite the US embassy in Moscow.  The snipers were attributed to the Soviet government by the international media.[4]

Venezuela 2002
In 2002, the CIA attempted to overthrow Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, in a military coup. On the 11th of April 2002, an opposition March towards the presidential palace was organized by the US backed Venezuelan opposition. Snipers hidden in buildings near the palace opened fire on protestors killing 18. The Venezuelan and international media claimed that Chavez was “ killing his own people” thereby justifying the military coup presented as a humanitarian intervention.  It was subsequently proved that the coup had been organized by the CIA but the identity of the snipers was never established.

Thailand April 2010
On April 12th 2010, Christian Science Monitor published a detailed report of the riots in Thailand between “red-shirt” activists and the Thai government. The article headline read: ‘Thailand’s red shirt protests darken with unknown snipers, parade of coffins’.

Like their counterparts in Tunisia, Thailand’s red shirts were calling for the resignation of the Thai prime minister. While a heavy-handed response by the Thai security forces to the protestors was indicated in the report, the government’s version of events was also reported:

“Mr. Abhisit has used solemn televised addresses to tell his story. He has blamed rogue gunmen, or “terrorists,” for the intense violence (at least 21 people died and 800 were injured) and emphasized the need for a full investigation into the killings of both soldiers and protesters. State television has broadcast repeated images of soldiers coming under fire from bullets and explosives.”

The CSM report went on to quote Thai military officials and unnamed Western diplomats:

“military observers say Thai troops stumbled into a trap set by agents provocateurs with military expertise. By pinning down soldiers after dark and sparking chaotic battles with unarmed protesters, the unknown gunmen ensured heavy casualties on both sides.

Some were caught on camera and seen by reporters, including this one. Snipers targeted military ground commanders, indicating a degree of advance planning and knowledge of Army movements, say Western diplomats briefed by Thai officials. While leaders of the demonstrations have disowned the use of firearms and say their struggle is nonviolent, it is unclear whether radicals in the movement knew of the trap.

“You can’t claim to be a peaceful political movement and have an arsenal of weapons out the back if needed. You can’t have it both ways,” says a Western diplomat in regular contact with protest leaders [5]

The CSM article also explores the possibility that the snipers could be rogue elements in the Thai military, agents provocateurs used to justify a crack down on democratic opposition. Thailand’s ruling elite is currently coming under pressure from a group called the Red Shirts.[6]

Kyrgystan June 2010

Ethnic violence broke out in the Central Asian republic of  Kirgystan  in June 2010. It was widely reported that unknown snipers opened fire on members of the Uzbek minority in Kyrgystan. Eurasia.net reports:

“In many Uzbek mahallas, inhabitants offer convincing testimony of gunmen targeting their neighborhoods from vantage points. Men barricaded into the Arygali Niyazov neighborhood, for example, testified to seeing gunmen on the upper floors of a nearby medical institute hostel with a view over the district’s narrow streets. They said that during the height of the violence these gunmen were covering attackers and looters, assaulting their area with sniper fire. Men in other Uzbek neighborhoods tell similar stories

. « Among the rumours and unconfirmed reports circulating in Kyrgyzstan after the 2010 violence were claims that water supplies to Uzbek areas were about to be  poisoned. Such rumours had also been spread against the Ceaucescu regime in Romania during the CIA- backed coup in 1989. Eurasia.net goes on to claim that:

Many people are convinced that they’ve seen foreign mercenaries acting as snipers. These alleged foreign combatants are distinguished by their appearance – inhabitants report seeing black snipers and tall, blonde, female snipers from the Baltic states. The idea that English snipers have been roaming the streets of Osh shooting at Uzbeks is also popular. There’ve been no independent corroborations of such sightings by foreign journalists or representatives of international organizations.” [7]

None of these reports have been independently investigated or corroborated. It is therefore impossible to draw any hard conclusions from these stories.

Ethnic violence against Uzbek citizens in Kyrgyzstan occurred pari pasu with a popular revolt against the US-backed regime, which many analysts have attributed to the machinations of Moscow.

The Bakiyev régime came to power in a CIA-backed people-power coup known to the world as the Tulip Revolution in 2005.

Located to the West of China and bordering Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan hosts one of America’s biggest and most important military bases in Central Asia, the Manas Air Base, which is vital for the NATO occupation of neighbouring Afghanistan.

Despite initial worries, US/Kyrgyz relations have remained good under the regime of President Roza Otunbayeva. This is not surprising as Otunbayeva had previously participated in the US-created Tulip Revolution in 2004, taking power as foreign minister.

To date no proper investigation has been conducted into the origins of the ethnic violence that spread throughout  the south of Kyryzstan in 2010, nor have the marauding gangs of unknown snipers been identified and apprehended.

Given the geostrategic and geopolitical importance of Kyrgyzstan to both the United States and Russia, and the formers track-record of using death squads to divide and weaken countries so as to maintain US domination, US involvement in the dissemination of terrorism in Kyrgyzstan cannot be ruled out. One effective way of maintaining a grip on Central Asian countries would be to exacerbate ethnic tensions.

In August 6th 2008, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that a US arms cache had been found in a house in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, which was being rented by two American citizens. The US embassy claimed the arms were being used for “anti-terrorism” exercises. However, this was not confirmed by Kyrgyz authorities. [8]

Covert US military support to terrorist groups in the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia proved to be an effective strategy in creating the conditions for “humanitarian” bombing in 1999. An effective means of  keeping the government in Bishkek firmly on America’s side would be to insist on a US and European presence in the country to help “protect” the Uzbek minority.

Military intervention similar to that in the former Yugoslavia by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe  has already been advocated by the New York Times, whose misleading article on the riots on June 24th 2010 has the headline “Kyrgyzstan asks European Security Body for Police Teams”. The article is misleading as the headline contradicts the actual report which cites a Kyrgyz official stating:

“A government spokesman said officials had discussed an outside police presence with the O.S.C.E., but said he could not confirm that a request for a deployment had been made.”

There is no evidence in the article of any request by the Kyrgyz government for military intervention. In fact, the article presents much evidence to the contrary. However, before the reader has a chance to read the explanation of the Kyrgyz government, the New York Times’ writer presents the now all too horribly familiar narrative of oppressed peoples begging the West to come and bomb or occupy their country:

“Ethnic Uzbeks in the south have clamored for international intervention. Many Uzbeks said they were attacked in their neighborhoods not only by civilian mobs, but also by the Kyrgyz military and police officers”[9]

Only towards the end of the article do we find out that the Kyrgyz authorities blamed the US-backed dictator for fomenting ethnic violence in the country, through the use of Islamic jihadists in Uzbekistan. This policy of using ethnic tension to create an environment of fear in order to prop up an extremely unpopular dictatorship, the policy of using Islamic Jihadism as a political tool to create what former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Bzrezinski called “ an arc of crisis”, ties in well with the history of US involvement in Central Asia from the creation of Al Qaida in Afghanistan in 1978 to the present day.

Again, the question persists, who were the “unknown snipers” terrorizing the Uzbek population, where did their weapons come from and who would benefit from ethnic conflict in Central Asia’s geopolitical hotspot?

Tunisia January 2011
On January 16th 2011, CNN reported that ‘’armed gangs’’ were fighting Tunisian security forces. [10] Many of the murders committed throughout the Tunisian uprising were by “unknown snipers”. There were also videos posted on the internet showing Swedish nationals detained by Tunisian security forces. The men were clearly armed with sniper rifles. Russia Today aired the dramatic pictures.[11]

In spite of articles by professor Michel Chossudovsky, William Engdahl and  others showing how the uprisings in North Africa were following the patterns of US backed people-power coups rather than genuinely popular revolutions, left wing parties and organizations continued to believe the version of events presented to them by Al Jazeera and the mainstream press. Had the left taken a left from old Lenin’s book they would have transposed his comments on the February/March revolution in Russia thus:

“The  whole course of events in the January/February Revolution clearly shows that the British, French and American embassies, with their agents and “connections”,… directly organized a plot.. in conjunction with a section of the generals and army and Tunisian garrison officers, with the express object of deposing Ben Ali”

What the left did not understand is that sometimes it is necessary for imperialism to overthrow some of its clients. A suitable successor to Ben Ali could always be found among the feudalists of the Muslim Brotherhood who now look likely to take power.

In their revolutionary sloganeering and arrogant insistence that the events in Tunisia and Egypt were “spontaneous and popular uprisings” they committed what Lenin identified as the most dangerous sins in a revolution, namely, the substitution of the abstract for the concrete. In other words, left wing groups were simply fooled by the sophistication of the Western backed “Arab Spring” events.

That is why the violence of the demonstrators and in particular the widespread use of snipers possibly linked to Western intelligence was the great unthought of the Tunisian uprising. The same techniques would be used in Libya a few weeks later, forcing the left to back track and modifiy its initial enthusiasm for the CIA’s “Arab Spring”.

When we are talking about the” left” here, we are referring to genuine left wing parties, that is to say, parties who supported the Great People’s Socialist Libyan Arab Jamahirya in their long and brave fight against Western imperialism, not the infantile petty bourgeois dupes who supported NATO’s Benghazi terrorists.  The blatant idiocy of such a stance should be crystal clear to anyone who understands global politics and class struggle.

Egypt 2011
On October 20th 2011, the Telegraph newspaper published an article entitled, “Our brother died for a better Egypt”. According to the Telegraph, Mina Daniel, an anti-government activist in Cairo, had been ‘shot from an unknown sniper, wounding him fatally in the chest”

Inexplicably, the article is no longer available on the Telegraph’s website for online perusal. But a google search for ‘Egypt, unknown sniper, Telegraph’ clearly shows the above quoted explanation for Mina Daniel’s death. So, who could these “unknown snipers’’ be?

On February 6th Al Jazeera reported that Egyptian journalist Ahmad Mahmoud was shot by snipers as he attempted to cover classes between Egyptian security forces and protestors. Referring to statements made by Mahmoud’s wife Enas Abdel-Alim, the Al Jazeera article insinuates that Mahmoud may have been killed by Egyptian security forces:

“Abdel-Alim said several eyewitnesses told her a uniformed police captain with Egypt’s notorious Central Security forces yelled at her husband to stop filming.

Before Mahmoud even had a chance to react, she said, a sniper shot him.” [12]

While the Al Jazeera article advances the theory that the snipers were agents of the Mubarak regime, their role in the uprising still remains a mystery. Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based television stations owned by the Emir Hamid Bin Khalifa Al Thani, played a key role in provoking protests in Tunisia and Egypt before launching a campaign of unmitigated pro-NATO war propaganda and lies during the destruction of Libya.

The Qatari channel been a central participant in the current covert war waged by NATO agencies and their clients against the Republic of Syria. Al Jazeera’s incessant disinformation against Libya and Syria resulted in the resignation of several prominent journalists such as Beirut station chief Ghassan Bin Jeddo[13]  and senior Al Jazeera executive Wadah Khanfar who was forced to resign after a wikileaks cable revealed he was a co-operating with the Central Intelligence Agency.[14]

Many people were killed during the US-backed colour revolution in Egypt. Although, the killings have been attributed to former US semi-client Hosni Mubarak, the involvement of Western intelligence cannot be ruled out. However, it should be pointed out that the role of unknown snipers in mass demonstrations remains complex and multi-faceted and therefore one should not jump to conclusions. For example, after the Bloody Sunday massacre(Domhnach na Fola) in Derry, Ireland 1972, where peaceful demonstrators were shot dead by the British army, British officials claimed that they had come under fire from snipers. But the 30 year long Bloody Sunday  inquiry subsequently proved this to be false.  But the question persists once more,  who were the snipers in Egypt and whose purposes did they serve?

Libya  2011
During the destabilization of Libya, a video was aired by Al Jazeera purporting to show peaceful “pro-democracy” demonstrators being fired upon by “Gaddafi’s forces”. The video was edited to convince the viewer that anti-Gaddafi demonstrators were being murdered by the security forces. However, the unedited version of the video is available on utube. It clearly shows pro-Gaddafi demonstrators with Green flags being fired upon by unknown snipers. The attribution of NATO-linked crimes to the security forces of the Libyan Jamahirya was a constant feature of the brutal media war waged against the Libyan people. [15]

Syria 2011

The people of Syria have been beset by death squads and snipers since the outbreak of violence there in March. Hundreds of Syrian soldiers and security personnel have been murdered, tortured and mutilated by Salafist and Muslim Brotherhood militants. Yet the international media corporations continue to spread the pathetic lie that the deaths are the result Bachar Al Assad’s dictatorship.

When I visited Syria in April of this year, I personally encountered merchants and citizens in Hama who told me they had seen armed terrorists roaming the streets of that once peaceful city, terrorizing the neighbourhood. I recall speaking to a fruit seller in the city of Hama who  spoke about the horror he had witnessed that day. As he described the scenes of violence to me, my attention was arrested by a newspaper headline in English from the Washington Post  shown on Syrian television: “CIA backs Syrian opposition”. The Central Intelligence Agency provides training and funding for groups who do the bidding of US imperialist interests. The history of the CIA shows that backing opposition forces means providing them with arms and finance, actions illegal under international law.

A few days later, while at a hostel in the ancient, cultured city of Aleppo, I spoke to a Syrian business man and his family. The business man ran many hotels in the city and was pro-Assad. He told me that he used to watch Al Jazeera television but now had doubts about their honesty. As we conversed, the Al Jazeera television in the background showed scenes of Syrian soldiers beating and torturing protestors. “ Now if that is true, it is simply unacceptable” he said. It is sometimes impossible to verify whether the images shown on television are true or not. Many of the crimes attributed to the Syrian army have been committed by the armed gangs, such as the dumping of mutilated bodies into the river in Hama, presented to the world as more proof of the crimes of the Assad regime.

There is a minority of innocent opponents of the Assad regime who believe everything they see and hear on Al Jazeera and the other pro-Western satellite stations. These people simply do not understand the intricacies of international politics.

But the facts on the ground show that most people in Syria support the government. Syrians have access to all internet websites and international TV channels. They can watch BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, read the New York Times online or Le Monde before tuning into their own state media. In this respect, many Syrians are more informed about international politics than the average European or American. Most Europeans and American believe their own media. Few are capable of reading the Syrian press in original Arabic or watching Syrian television. The Western powers are the masters of discourse, who own the means of communication. The Arab Spring has been the most horrifying example of the wanton abuse of this power.

Disinformation is effective in sowing the seeds of doubt among those who are seduced by Western propaganda. Syrian state media has disproved hundreds of Al Jazeera lies since the beginning of this conflict.  Yet the western media has refused to even report the Syrian government’s position lest fair coverage of the other side of this story encourage a modicum of critical thought in the public mind.

Conclusion.
The use of mercenaries, death squads and snipers by Western intelligence agencies is well documented.  No rational government attempting to stay in power would resort to unknown snipers to intimidate its opponents. Shooting at innocent protestors would be counterproductive in the face of unmitigated pressure from Western governments determined to install a client regime in Damascus. Shooting of unarmed protestors is only acceptable in dictatorships that enjoy the unconditional support of Western governments such as Bahrain, Honduras or Colombia.

A government which is so massively supported by the population of Syria would not sabotage its own survival by setting snipers against the protests of a small minority.

The opposition to the Syrian regime is, in fact, miniscule. Tear gas, mass arrests and other non lethal methods would be perfectly sufficient for a government wishing to control unarmed demonstrators.

Snipers are used to create terror, fear and anti-regime propaganda. They are an integral feature of Western sponsored regime change.

If one were to make a serious criticism of the Syrian government over the past few months, it is that they have failed to implement effective anti-terrorism measures in the country.

The Syrian people want troops on the streets and the roofs of public buildings. In the weeks and months ahead, the Syrian armed forces will probably rely more and more on their Russian military specialists to strengthen the country’s defenses as the Western crusade begun in Libya in March spreads to the Levant.

There is no conclusive proof that the snipers murdering men, women and children in Syria are the agents of Western imperialism. But there is overwhelming proof that Western imperialism is attempting to destroy the Syrian state. As in Libya, they have never once mentioned the possibility of negotiations between the so-called opposition and the Syrian government. The West wants regime change and is determined to repeat the slaughter in Libya to achieve this geopolitical objective.

It now looks likely that the cradle of civilization and science will be overrun by semi-literate barbarians as the terminal decline of the West plays itself out in the deserts of the East.

Notes

[1] http://nstarikov.ru/en/
[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l8qjX4SzBY&feature=related
[3]http://www.euractiv.com/enlargement/romania-says-poverty-reduction-impossible-target-news-468172
[4]http://www.truthinmedia.org/Bulletins/tim98-3-10.html
[5].http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2010/0412/Thailand-s-red-shirt-protests-darken-with-unknown-snipers-parade-of-coffins
[6] http://www.activistpost.com/2010/12/thailand-stage-set-for-another-color.html
[7]  http://www.eurasianet.org/taxonomy/term/2813?page=6
[8http://kommersant.com/p1008364/r_500/U.S.-Kyrgyzstan_relations/
[9] http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/25/world/asia/25kyrgyz.html
[10]http://articles.cnn.com/2011-01-16/world/tunisia.protests_1_troops-battle-unity-government-tunisia?_s=PM:WORLD
[11]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIFxqXPQEQU&feature=related
[12]http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/anger-in-egypt/2011/02/201126201341479784.html
[13] http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4060180,00.html
[14] http://intelligencenews.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/01-828/
[15] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQtM-59jDAo&feature=player_embedded#!

Putin, Russia, NED

Make no mistake about it, hundred of thousands of people died brutal and senseless death because of the activities of the covert insurgency machine called the "National Endowment for Democracy." As most US sponsored political action NGO with lovely names like "Freedom House," and "USAID" these entities have nothing to do with Freedom, Aid or Democracy. They are about one thing and one thing only, aggressive covert subversion of target countries to make them weak and vulnerable to US industrial exploitation. The Following article is a good starting point to understand these global threats to freedom and democracy, these wolves in sheep's clothing.

Washington clearly wants ‘finito’ with Russia’s Putin as in basta! or as they said in Egypt last spring, Kefaya–enough!.  Hillary Clinton and friends have apparently decided Russia’s prospective next president, Vladimir Putin, is a major obstacle to their plans. Few however understand why. Russia today, in tandem with China and to a significant degree Iran, form the spine, however shaky, of the only effective global axis of resistance to a world dominated by one sole superpower.

On December 8 several days after election results for Russia’s parliamentary elections were announced, showing a sharp drop in popularity for Prime Minister Putin’s United Russia party, Putin accused the United States and specifically Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of fueling the Russian opposition protesters and their election protests. Putin stated, “The (US) Secretary of State was quick to evaluate the elections, saying that they are unfair and unjust even before she received materials from the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (the OSCE international election monitors-w.e.) observers.”[1]

Putin went on to claim that Clinton’s premature comments were the necessary signal to the waiting opposition groups that the US Government would back their protests. Clinton’s comments, the seasoned Russian intelligence pro stated, became a “signal for our activists who began active work with the US Department of State.” [2]

Major western media chose either to downplay the Putin statement or to focus almost entirely on the claims of an emerging Russian opposition movement. A little research shows that, if anything, Putin was downplaying the degree of brazen US Government interference into the political processes of  his country. In this case the country is not Tunisia or Yemen or even Egypt. It is the world’s second nuclear superpower, even if it might still be an economic lesser power. Hillary is playing with thermonuclear fire.
Democracy or something else?

No mistake, Putin is not a world champion practitioner of what most consider democracy. His announcement some months back that he and current President Medvedev had agreed to switch jobs after Russia’s March 4 Presidential vote struck even many Russians as crass power politics and backroom deal-making. That being said, what Washington is doing to interfere with that regime change is more than brazen and interventionist. The same Obama Administration which just signed into law measures effectively ripping to shreds the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution for American citizens[3] is posing as world supreme judge of others’ adherence to what they define as democracy.

Let’s examine closely Putin’s charge of US interference in the election process. If we look, we find openly stated in their August 2011 Annual Report that a Washington-based NGO with the innocuous name, National Endowment for Democracy (NED), is all over the place inside Russia.

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is financing an International Press Center in Moscow where some 80 international NGOs can hold press briefings on whatever they choose. They fund numerous “youth advocacy” and leadership workshops to “help youth engage in political activism.” In fact, officially they spent more than $2,783,000 in 2010 on dozens of such programs across Russia. Spending for 2011 won’t be published until later in 2012. [4]

The NED is also financing key parts of the Russian “independent” polling and election monitoring, a crucial part of being able to claim election fraud. They finance in part the Regional Civic Organization in Defense of Democratic Rights and Liberties “GOLOS.” According to the NED Annual Report the funds went “to carry out a detailed analysis of the autumn 2010 and spring 2011 election cycles in Russia, which will include press monitoring, monitoring of political agitation, activity of electoral commissions, and other aspects of the application of electoral legislation in the long-term run-up to the elections.”[5]

In September, 2011, a few weeks before the December elections the NED financed a Washington invitation-only conference featuring the Russian “independent” polling organization, the Levada Center. According to NED’s own website Levada, another recipient of NED money, [6] had done a series of opinion polls, a standard method used in the West to analyze the feelings of citizens. The polls profiled “the mood of the electorate in the run up to the Duma and presidential elections, perceptions of candidates and parties, and voter confidence in the system of ‘managed democracy’ that has been established over the last decade.”

One of the featured speakers at that Washington conference was Vladimir Kara-Murza, member of the federal council of Solidarnost (“Solidarity”), Russia’s democratic opposition movement. He is also “advisor to Duma opposition leader Boris Nemtsov” according to NED. Another speaker came from the right-wing neo-conservative Hudson Institute. [7]

Nemtsov, one of the most prominent figures of the Putin opposition today is also co-chairman of Solidarnost, a name curiously enough imitated from the Cold War days when the CIA financed the Polish Solidarnosc workers’ opposition of Lech Walesa. More on Nemtsov later.

And on December 15, 2011, again in Washington, just as the series of US-supported protests were being launched against Putin, led by Solidarnost and other organizations, the NED held another conference titled, Youth Activism in Russia: Can a New Generation Make a Difference? The featured speaker was Tamirlan Kurbanov, who according to the NED, “most recently served as a program officer at the Moscow office of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, where he was involved in developing and expanding the capacities of political and civic organizations; promoting citizen participation in public life, youth engagement in particular.” [8] The National Democratic Institute is an arm of the NED.
 

 

Image: A visual representation of the corporate-financier interests represented on the National Endowment for Democracy's (NED) board of directors. NDItech falls under the umbrella of NED. While NED and NDItech pose as fighting for "democracy," their corporate-financier interests lie poorly disguised just beneath the surface. Surely Goldman Sachs, Exxon, and the SOPA-sponsoring US Chamber of Commerce don't care about democracy or freedom - on the Internet or elsewhere.

The Shady History of The National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

Helping youth engage in political activism is precisely what the same NED did in Egypt over the past several years in the lead up to the toppling of Mubarak. The same NED was instrumental by informed accounts in the US-backed “Color Revolutions” in 2003-2004 in Ukraine and Georgia that brought US-backed pro-NATO surrogates to power. The same NED has been active in promoting “human rights” in Myanmar, in Tibet, and China’s oil-rich Xinjiang province. [9] 

As careful analysts of the 2004 Ukraine “Orange revolution” and the numerous other US-financed color revolutions discovered, control of polling and ability to dominate international media perceptions, especially major TV such as CNN or BBC is an essential component of the Washington destabilization agenda. The Levada Center would likely be in a crucial position in this regard to issue polls showing discontent with the regime.

By their description, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a “private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, with funding from the US Congress, NED supports more than 1,000 projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries.”[10]

It couldn’t sound more noble or high-minded. However, they prefer to leave out their own true history. In the early 1980’s CIA director Bill Casey convinced President Ronald Reagan to create a plausibly private NGO, the NED, to advance Washington’s global agenda via other means than direct CIA action. It was a part of the process of “privatizing” US intelligence to make their work more “effective.” Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, said in a Washington Post interview in 1991, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”[11] Interesting. The majority of funds for NED come from US taxpayers through Congress. It is in every way, shape and form a US Government intelligence community asset.

The NED was created during the Reagan Administration to function as a de facto CIA, privatized so as to allow it more freedom of action. NED board members are typically drawn from the Pentagon and US intelligence community. It has included retired NATO General Wesley Clark, the man who led the US bombing of Serbia in 1999. Key figures linked to clandestine CIA actions who served on NED’s board have included Otto Reich, John Negroponte, Henry Cisneros and Elliot Abrams. The Chairman of the NED Board of Directors in 2008 was Vin Weber, founder of the ultraconservative organization, Empower America, and campaign fundraiser for George W. Bush. Current NED chairman is John Bohn, former CEO of the controversial Moody’s rating agency which played a nefarious role in the still-unraveling US mortgage securities collapse. As well today’s NED board includes neo-conservative Bush-era ambassador to Iraq and to Afghanistan, Afghan-American Zalmay Khalilzad.[12]
Putin’s well-rehearsed opposition

It’s also instructive to look at the leading opposition figures who seem to have stepped forward in Russia in recent days. The current opposition “poster boy” favorite of Russian youth and especially western media is Russian blogger Alexei Navalny whose blog is titled LiveJournal. Navalny has featured prominently as a quasi-martyr of the protest movement after spending 15 days in Putin’s jail for partaking in a banned protest. At a large protest rally on Christmas Day December 25 in Moscow, Navalny, perhaps intoxicated by seeing too many romantic Sergei Eisenstein films of the 1917 Russian Revolution, told the crowd, “I see enough people here to take the Kremlin and the White House (Russia’s Presidential home-w.e.) right now…”[13]

Western establishment media is infatuated with Navalny. England’s BBC  described Navalny as “arguably the only major opposition figure to emerge in Russia in the past five years,” and US Time magazine called him “Russia’s Erin Brockovich,” a curious reference to the Hollywood film starring Julie Roberts as a researcher and legal activist. However, more relevant is the fact that Navalny went to the elite American East Coast Yale University, also home to the Bush family, where he was a “Yale World Fellow.” [14] 

The charismatic Navalny however is also or has been on the payroll of Washington’s regime-destabilizing National Endowment for Democracy (NED). According to a posting on Navalny’s own blog, LiveJournal, he was supported in 2007-2008 by the NED. [15] [16]

Along with Navalny, key actors in the anti-Putin protest movement are centered around Solidarnost which was created in December 2008 by Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Ryzhkov and others. Nemtsov is hardly one to protest corruption. According to Business Week Russia of September 23, 2007, Nemtsov introduced Russian banker Boris Brevnov to Gretchen Wilson, a US citizen and an employee of the International Finance Corporation, a financing arm of the World Bank. Wilson and Brevnov married. With the help of Nemtsov Wilson managed to privatize Balakhna Pulp and Paper mill at the giveaway price of just $7 million. The enterprise was sucked dry and then sold to the Wall Street-Swiss investment bank, CS First Boston bank. The annual turnover of the mill was reportedly $250 million. [17]
CS First Boston bank also paid for Nemtsov’s trips to the very expensive Davos World Economic Forum. When Nemtsov became a member of the cabinet, his protégé Brevnov was appointed the chairman of the Unified Energy System of Russia JSC. Two years later in 2009 Boris Nemtsov, today’s “Mr anti-corruption,” used his influence reportedly to get Brevnov off the hook for charges of embezzling billions from assets of Unified Energy System. [18]

Nemtsov also took money from jailed Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 1999 when the latter was using his billions to try to buy the Russian parliament or Duma. In 2004 Nemtsov met with exiled billionaire oligarch Boris Berezovsky in a secret gathering with other exiled Russian tycoons. When Nemtsov was detailed by Russian authorities for allegations of foreign funding of his new political party, “For Russia without Lawlessness and Corruption,”  US Senators John McCain and Joe Liberman and Mike Hammer of the Obama National Security Council came to support of Nemtsov. [19]

Nemtsov’s close crony, Vladimir Ryzhkov of Solidarnost is also closely tied to the Swiss Davos circles, even founding a Siberian Davos. According to Russian press accounts from April 2005, Ryzhkov formed a Committee 2008 in 2003 to “draw” funds of the imprisoned Khodorkovsky along with soliciting funds from fugitive oligarchs such as Boris Berezovsky and western foundations such as the Soros Foundation. The stated aim of the effort was to rally “democratic” forces against Putin. On May 23, 2011 Ryzhkov, Nemtzov and several others filed to register a new Party of Peoples’ Freedom to ostensibly field a presidential candidate against Putin in 2012.[20] 

Another prominent face in the recent anti-Putin rallies is former world chess champion turned right-wing politician, Garry Kasparov, another founder of Solidarnost. Kasparov was identified several years ago as being a board member of a Washington neo-conservative military think-tank. In April 2007, Kasparov admitted he was a board member of the National Security Advisory Council of Center for Security Policy, a “non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security.” Inside Russia Kasparov is more infamous for his earlier financial ties to Leonid Nevzlin, former Yukos vice-president and partner of Michael Khodorokvsky. Nevzlin fled to Israel on being charged in Russia on charges of murder and hiring contract killers to eliminate “objectionable people” while Yukos vice-president. [21]

In 2009 Kasparov and Boris Nemtsov met with no less than Barack Obama to discuss Russia’s opposition to Putin at the US President’s personal invitation at Washington’s Ritz Carlton Hotel. Nemtsov had called for Obama to meet with opposition forces in Russia: “If the White House agrees to Putin’s suggestion to speak only with pro-Putin organizations… this will mean that Putin has won, but not only that: Putin will become be assured that Obama is weak,” he said. During the same 2009 US trip Nemtsov was invited to speak at the New York Council on Foreign Relations, perhaps the most influential US foreign policy think-tank. Significantly, not only has the US State Department and US-backed political NGOs such as NED poured millions into building an anti-Putin coalition inside Russia. The President personally has intervened into the process.[22]

Ryzhkov, Nemtzov, Navalty and Putin’s former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin were all involved in organizing the December 25th Moscow Christmas anti-Putin rally which drew an estimated 120,000.[23]
Why Putin?

The salient question is why Putin at this point? We need not look far for the answer.

Washington and especially Barack Obama’s Administration don’t give a hoot about whether Russia is democratic or not. Their concern is the obstacle to Washington’s plans for Full Spectrum Dominance of the planet that a Putin Presidency will represent. According to the Russian Constitution, the President of the Russian Federation head of state, supreme commander-in-chief and holder of the highest office in the Russian Federation. He will take direct control of defense and foreign policy.

We must ask what policy? Clearly strong countermeasures against the blatant NATO encirclement of Russia with Washington’s dangerous ballistic missile installations around Russia will be high on Putin’s agenda. Hillary Clinton’s “reset” will be in the dustbin if it is not already. We can also expect a more aggressive use of Russia’s energy card with pipeline diplomacy to deepen economic ties between European NATO members such as Germany, France and Italy, ultimately weakening the EU support for aggressive NATO measures against Russia. We can expect a deepening of Russia’s turn towards Eurasia, especially with China, Iran and perhaps India to firm up the shaky spine of resistance to Washington’s New World Order plans.

It will take more than a few demonstrations in sub-freezing weather in Moscow and St. Petersburg by a gaggle of corrupt or shady opposition figures such as Nemtsov or  Kasparov to derail Russia. What is clear is that Washington is pushing on all fronts—Iran and Syria, where Russia has a vital naval port, on China, now on Russia, and on the Eurozone countries led by Germany. It has the smell of an end-game attempt by a declining superpower.

The United States today is a de facto bankrupt nuclear superpower.  The reserve currency role of the dollar is being challenged as never since Bretton Woods in 1944. That role along with maintaining the United States as the world’s unchallenged military power have been the basis of the American Century hegemony since 1945.

Weakening the role of the dollar in international trade and ultimately as reserve currency, China is now settling trade with Japan in bilateral currencies, side-stepping the dollar. Russia is implementing similar steps with her major trade partners. The primary reason Washington launched a full-scale currency war against the Euro in late 2009 was to preempt a growing threat that China and others would turn away from the dollar to the Euro as reserve currency. That is no small matter. In effect Washington finances its foreign wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and elsewhere through the fact that China and other trade surplus nations invest their surplus trade dollars in US government Treasury debt. Were that to shift significantly, US interest rates would rise substantially and the financial pressures on Washington would become immense.

Faced with growing erosion of her unchallenged global status as sole superpower, Washington appears now to be turning increasingly to raw military force to hold that. For that to succeed Russia must be neutralized along with China and Iran. This will be the prime agenda of whoever is next US President.     

F. William Engdahl is the author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, He may be reached via his website at www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net 

Notes

[1] Alexei Druzhinin, Putin says US encouraging Russian opposition, RIA Novosti, Moscow, December 8, 2011
[2] Ibid.
[3] Jonathan Turley, The NDAA’s historic assault on American liberty, guardian.co.uk, 2 January 2012, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/jan/02/ndaa-historic-assault-american-liberty.
[4] National Endowment for Democracy, Russia, from NED Annual Report 2010, Washington, DC, published in August 2011, accessed in http://www.ned.org/where-we-work/eurasia/russia.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] NED, Elections in Russia: Polling and Perspectives, September 14, 2011, accessed in http://ned.org/events/elections-in-russia-polling-and-perspectives.
[8] NED, Youth Activism in Russia: Can a New Generation Make a Difference?, December 15, 2011, accessed in http://ned.org/events/youth-activism-in-russia-can-a-new-generation-make-a-difference.
[9] F. William Engdahl, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order, 2010, edition. Engdahl press. The book describes in detail the origins of the NED and various US-sponsored “human rights” NGOs and how they have been used to topple regimes not friendly to a larger USA geopolitical agenda.
[10] National Endowment for Democracy, About Us, accessed in www.ned.org.
[11] David Ignatius, Openness is the Secret to Democracy, Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 30 September-6 October,1991, 24-25.
[12] F. William Engdahl, Op. Cit., p.50.
[13] Yulia Ponomareva, Navalny and Kudrin boost giant opposition rally, RIA Novosti, Moscow, December 25, 2011.
[14] Yale University, Yale World Fellows: Alexey Navalny, 2010, accessed in http://www.yale.edu/worldfellows/fellows/navalny.html.
[15] Alexey Navalny, emails between Navalny and Conatser, accessed in Russian (English summary provided to the author by www.warandpeace.ru) on http://alansalbiev.livejournal.com/28124.html.
[16] Ibid.
[17] Business Week Russia, Boris Nemtsov: Co-chairman of Solidarnost political movement, Business Week Russia, September 23, 2007, accessed in http://www.rumafia.com/person.php?id=1648.
[18] Ibid.
[19] Ibid.
[20] Russian Mafia.ru, Vladimir Ryzhkov: Co-chairman of the Party of People’s Freedom, accessed in http://www.rumafia.com/person.php?id=1713.
[21] Russian Mafia.ru, Garry Kasparov: The leader of United Civil Front, accessed in http://www.rumafia.com/person.php?id=1518.
[22] The OtherRussia, Obama Will Meet With Russian Opposition, July 3, 2009, accessed in http://www.theotherrussia.org/2009/07/03/obama-will-meet-with-russian-opposition/.
[23] Yulia Ponomareva, op. Cit.
 

Published in World News

The Truth About US Meddling in Ukraine

The official version is as usual - pure propaganda. In this interview Vox unveils the real story behind the latest crisis between the USA and Russia over the "revolution" in the Ukraine. It's a story of propaganda, real life fascism and whole populations being tricked into "believing" an official story which bears no similarity to reality.

Published in World News
copyright 2012 vox information sciences

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