The Arab Spring opened on the road in Tunisia before hitting the big time in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt. The workers of the unofficial Egyptian union movement had fought the neoconservative run government of Hosni Mubarak for years. This was their moment. Unfortunately, there were others present who wanted to make it their moment. Some of them, sixteen representatives of U.S. supported non-government organizations (NGOs), have been indicted by the Egyptian government for meddling in the internal political affairs of that country. (Feb 5, 2012)
During the 2011 Egyptian protest movement, United States government had its stealth agents in place. It also had its proxies in worldwide democracy movement, the non-government organizations (NGOs) operating with funding from the neoconservative leaning National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The International Republican Institute started up in Egypt in 2005. Its counterpart, the National Democratic Institute has been there since 1995. For two decades, the Chamber of Commerce Center for International Private Enterprise and the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center carried out their work in Egypt under one name or another.
Here's how it works. A sovereign state receiving aid or otherwise under the influence of the United States is required to open up to NGOs from the United States funded by the U.S. government. The pass through organization, NED, serves as the cutout that allows the various NGOs to look independent. But they're not. These organizations would be out of business exist without your tax dollars.
When the host nation has a crisis and the NGOs get a little too involved, the host nation must tolerate this interference without complaint. Egypt's government had enough over the past few months.
Rep. Ron Paul summed up the hypocrisy of the NGO democracy organizations during a House of Representatives speech opposing funding on October 7, 2003: in 2003:
"How would Americans feel if the Chinese arrived with millions of dollars to support certain candidates deemed friendly to China? Would this be viewed as a democratic development?"
NGO Version of Egyptian Legal Problems
Sixteen U.S. citizens (see list) serving in four NGOs were indicted for "illegally receiving foreign funding and establishing civil society organizations without license." Most were from the Republican and Democratic NGO institutes. The others were from NGOs Freedom House and the International Center for Journalists. Like the Republican and Democratic NGOs, both Freedom House and the journalist's organization receive financial support from NED.
Several NGOs feeling the pain in Egypt put together an analysis of the situation: Backgrounder: The Campaign Against NGOs in Egypt, Project for Middle East Democracy, February 10, 2012.
The report fails to mention any legitimate objection Egypt or any other host nation might have to an aggressive foreign superpower trying to influence the host nation's governance. In fact, the report is littered with claims that the organizations don't take sides. They're just on the ground to promote the political process. A look back at the long history of NGO democracy groups shows just the opposite. In the Ukraine's Orange Revolution, democracy NGOs, Bush administration officials, and their supposed enemy George Soros were highly partisan, using arguments to overturn the 2004 Ukraine election while they all stood silent about the stolen election of 2004.
The National Democratic Institute argued that:
no time has NDI funded any political party or protest movement. The
Institute does not seek particular electoral outcomes; and does not
align itself with any political party, ideology or candidate. All
programs are designed to support public confidence and participation in
key political processes as defined in the constitutional referendum." Backgrounder, p. 8
The International Republican Institute said:
has repeatedly shown the Egyptian government, its program provides
technical skills trainings, based on a wide range of international
experiences, on the long-term development of political parties and civil
society." Backgrounder, p. 8
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