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“Troublemakers” gather at the Ford Foundation

 

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many troublemakers in one place.” (Samantha Power remarks at the Ford Foundation 1/24/14)

Samantha Power visited the Ford Foundation yesterday to speak on foreign governments’ recent trends in repression. Actually it went beyond just speaking about that repression. She also tasked those in the room to rise to the newest challenges facing activists. She also brought the President’s blessing telling the group that he is “squarely behind” their objectives. Since the Ford Foundation is known to be so wildly partisan, the first question asked should be why a prominent appointee of the administration is making it a priority to have such an intimate engagement with them.

Secondly, Power is shocked that allied countries are becoming skeptical of the U.S. and NGO’s. But why is she shocked? How can she even be critical of their response? Samantha Power is one of the key players responsible for the overthrow (and execution by rebels) of Moammar Gaddaffi…who had done everything we asked of him over the past decade or so. In addition to the mess in Libya, we can quite literally point to any spot on the globe that is either currently in revolution or has had recent bouts of it and see Power and her ilk pulling the strings of all of the activist puppets. What is actually happening is that the current administration took no interest in diplomacy and decided to go an entirely different route. They decided to do “on-the-ground” diplomacy. This means that instead of talking to a country’s leadership, they instead foment anger amongst the activist groups. After seeing what happened with Mubarak, other leaders realized just real the threat was from activists working with foreign NGOs. This made them suspicious of everyone and in an attemtpt to prevent civil war, started doing what they do best…repressing every freedom and making every individual a potential traitor and saboteur. I’m not surprised in the least bit. Why is Samantha Power?

The State Department and NGO’s have been central to every revolt over the past 6 years; some had even been orchestrated through the State Department courtesy of the Bush administration. And here she is, with the group of “troublemakers”, wondering why foreign governments are now being repressive to NGO’s and activists. In a less serious world this would be comical. But in the real world where people die, the ends that activists and the State Dept are shooting for make all means justifiable. Power, and those who share her ideology, use diplomacy as either a last resort or as a crutch. They have chosen to lead their fight with the dirty, sneaky tricks first. Then when they are caught and pushed back, their response is that the opposition is refusing to engage in diplomacy. Power and the State Department have developed and nourished revolutionaries – even going as far as training them – and then pretend nothing has happened when the local government finds out what they are trying to do.

Instead, they claim that the governments they are trying to overthrow are not helping them along. And they are not awfully creative about masking it either. Think about Hilary’s “we got’em” remark regarding Gaddaffi; her excitement was barely contained. Regular spectators across America were totally confused by this. But not those at the State Dept. Even though they claimed that the Colonel was now a reformed and responsible world leader – cooperating on every level – Power and [Anne Marie] Slaughter knew full well that the goal was to depose him. If that meant running him out of his house so that thugs could execute him in the street, so be it. This is what they do to their friends. Those under Hilary are really just following her lead. For a better insight into how the Clinton’s treat their friends read Christopher Hitchens’ “No One Left to Lie to”.

It is impossible to do justice to the Ford Foundation in the space provided here. Anyone who does not know about this organization really needs to quickly go over the bullet points from either Horowitz’s Discover the Networks or our Kiwi friend Trevor Loudin. His site’s Key Wiki entry on the Ford Foundation can be found here or the main page in the side bar.

Power identifies bad behavior, indicts current Administration & Media

I think the irony becomes thick and stinky when it comes to Power’s bullet points on the core of their challenges. Since they are meeting to advance civil society, they must overcome the obstacles that are thrown at them. And, the irony comes fast. All of the things she lists as obstacles of progress to their definition of “civil society”, are things that our government has done to dissenters like the Tea-party, pro-life groups, and even non-profit nuns. So, here is the list of problematic behaviors of the government; things that Power says need to be changed in order to protect then rights of everyone and also to make progress towards a more democratic society. Trust me, if you follow the news, you are going to love the irony of her making this list!!

From her remarks:

“As we meet, democratic growth has stagnated and we are seeing a sophisticated, well-resourced effort to inhibit civil society’s right to organize, to speak freely, and to advocate peacefully for change. Many governments feel insecure, and so they’re emulating one another in the art of repression. Instead of best practices, these regimes are demonstrating – and sharing – the worst.

Some demand that NGOs be registered and then they delay acting on the applications.

Some impose overly burdensome reporting requirements.

Some use Soviet-style euphemisms to equate legitimate dissent with subversion or treason.

Some ban foreign NGOs from operating and then criminalize contact between a domestic NGO and a foreign funder.

Some use government-controlled media to vilify a whole sector of NGOs, such as those working on behalf of democracy, LGBT rights, women’s empowerment, or a marginalized religious or ethnic group.

Some see civil society as a convenient scapegoat, to be blamed when official policies fail to deliver.

And some governments simply arrest civil society leaders, fabricate evidence, rig the trials, and send innocent people to jail.

Within the past five years, literally dozens of countries have enacted new laws or regulations aimed at restricting the activities of civil society; just last week, the government of Turkey announced a plan to tighten controls on the Internet.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s parliament approved legislation that would restrict freedom of speech and assembly, constrain independent media, broaden the definitions of libel, and hinder NGOs that receive foreign assistance.”

Any of this sound familiar? And if these are generally a problem for equal rights, democracy, and prevent the civil society from operating correctly, shouldnt they also be targeted at home as well as abroad? After all, how can we bring the message forward into the world if we have not perfected it ourselves first?

**End Note**

Pat Read and myself have a nice background/add-on to the Power relationship to Libya, Egypt, and all things concerning propaganda and good old post-American leftism present in the administration. There are things that will blow your mind in that article. Like the “power of leadership” of the 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta. You would think that a prominent position in the administration would not use that terrorist as an example of leadership. But you would be wrong. Especially if you are talking to Anti and Post-American leftists.

One day I will actually take the time to finish writing the analysis on the entire situation in North Africa; start to finish, the interference of foreign governments and NGO’s. But if I had to summarize the entire cluster-fuck that it has become in a few words, I think I would have to focus on the ever-changing rules and goals of the key actors. After all, it is the only way that they can project success in this situation. While they stumble along and make mistakes, they casually throw out one bogus distraction after another. If they cross the line as far as their military operations they say “Well, we had to prevent the War Powers Act from kicking in”. bingo, any action justified. But before that, when they became repressive of sovereignty, they haul out academics who speak on the changing definition of sovereignty; how our digital age blurs the once definitive markers and boundaries. Its a mess. But for sophists, it is a dream come true.

[Video] Execution by Syrian Opposition near Saraqeb

A video uploaded to YouTube yesterday purports to show rebels executing Syrian soldiers near the city of Saraqeb. CAUTION: Graphic video below

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*Originally I had the wording reversed and had this as the Syrian soldiers executing the rebels. Thanks to twitter user Darth Odie for pointing it out!

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Freaky and totally related: Foolish Reporter has a post on his blog. What was written on the mirror in the Benghazi embassy? Totally creepy and now confirmed by Foreign Policy.

Mubarak: (UPDATE) set to be tried for murder of protesters

<<<<UPDATE 05/24/11>>>>

On Thursday May 19 we published a newly released videos: One showed the torture electric generators found when protesters raided an underground prison; the second video was of Hosni Mubarak’s security forces opening fire (an possibly killing) a protest that was already in custody.

Today (Tuesday May 24) Thomson Reuters is reporting that Hosni Mubarak is set to stand trial for the murder of protesters and could face the death penalty. The latest video showing the alleged killing of an unarmed, and incarcerated man recently emerged (CAUTION GRAPHIC)

Egypt Failure Update-Cabinet moves to Criminalize Protests

01_29_2011_Egypt_Protest_072
Image by messay.com via Flickr

So much for the pro-democracy revolution in Egypt. The Cabinet sent off a proposal to the Egyptian military that would criminalize certain forms of protest. One part of the proposal is common sense: Laying high fines on anyone who damages property during an act of protest. But a broader measure in the proposal is too vague and will undoubtedly be misused to silence dissent with force.

Out with the New, In with the Old

Prison terms and high fines (upwards of $84,000) can also be applied to any acts of protest that “stop work”. In other words if a rally interferes, impedes, or stops any labor, protesters can find themselves charged. This measure is only supposed to be enforced under a state of emergency but in Egypt’s recent history that same “state of emergency” has been abused; one of the main reasons fueling the uprising

With the recent history of government oppression, use of violence, and organized campaigns to kill off dissent, the broadness of this proposed measure screams of a return to the status quo. The Egyptian government, for decades, has operated flawlessly in oppression. Now with a new government slowly forming the natural tendencies are to create stronger measures to ensure new leaders will not be removed through a similar uprising.

The Irony

I learned of this proposal through a tweet by Wael Ghonim who linked to the story in almasryalyoum.com. Readers remember Ghonim as the Google employee who traveled to Egypt to participate in the protests.

He was arrested and upon his release admitted to being the creator of the “We are all Khaleed Sayed” Facebook page, a central organizing tool on the digital side of the uprising. But his fame and influence was cut short when he was supposed to give a speech in Tahrir Square but was pushed aside and replaced by radical cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qardawi.

A Radical Reception: ElBaradei Attacked

While Ghonim’s passion for the issue is admirable the actual strategy for revolutionizing Egypt’s government was so poorly handled that the dream is dying just as fast as it had emerged. Ghonim, a moderate by many standards was snubbed shortly after the goal of removing Mubarak was achieved.

Likewise, Mohammed El Baradei also viewed as a moderate, was attacked when he went to vote on Saturday. Rocks were thrown at him and his car and he had to flee the polling station unable to vote.

The notion that a state with an extensively oppressive government, could go from their current condition into a functioning and free society with flashmobs via Twitter and Facebook is terribly irresponsible and nearly impossible. Add to that the fact that the society that allowed Ghonim to thrive was not a democracy but rather a republic. Empirical evidence shows that democracies fail miserably; but usually not before making the entire nation poor and oppressing its citizens natural rights. In reality the system that Ghonim wishes on the people he claims to love will set them up for increased repression blanketing every aspect of day to day life. The mediocre improvements in everyday life (employment, education, etc) over the past decade now have a fighting chance to be completely reversed

Related: Critics fear the swift timetable could boost the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood and members of the former ruling party, but the amendments were overwhelmingly approved by Egyptian voters last week.

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