NGOs: The Missionaries of Empire

Global Research | March 3, 2012

By Devon DB

Non-governmental organizations are an increasingly important part of the 21st century international lanscape performing a variety of humanitarian tasks pertaining inter alia to issues of poverty, the environment and civil libertites.However, there is a dark side to NGOs. They have been and are currently being used as tools of foreign policy, specifically with the United States. Instead of using purely military force, the US has now moved to using NGOs as tools in its foreign policy implementation, specifically the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House, and Amnesty International.

National Endowment for Democracy

According to its website, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is “a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world,” [1] however this is sweet sounding description is actually quite far from the truth.

The history of the NED begins immediately after the Reagan administration. Due to the massive revelations concerning the CIA in the 1970s, specifically that they were involved in attempted assassinations of heads of state, the destabilization of foreign governments, and were illegally spying on the US citizens, this tarnished the image of the CIA and of the US government as a whole. While there were many committees that were created during this time to investigate the CIA, the Church Committee (led by Frank Church, a Democrat from Idaho) was of critical importance as its findings “demonstrated the need for perpetual surveillance of the intelligence community and resulted in the creation of the permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.” [2] The Select Committee on Intelligence’s purpose was to oversee federal intelligence activities and while oversight and stability came in, it seemed to signal that the CIA’s ‘party’ of assassination plots and coups were over. Yet, this was to continue, but in a new way: under the guise of a harmful NGO whose purpose was to promote democracy around the world- the National Endowment for Democracy.

The NED was meant to be a tool of US foreign policy from its outset. It was the brainchild of Allen Weinstein who, before creating the Endowment, was a professor at Brown and Georgetown Universities, had served on the Washington Post’s editorial staff, and was the Executive Editor of The Washington Quarterly, Georgetown’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, a right-wing neoconservative think tank which would in the future have ties to imperial strategists such as Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski. [3] He stated in a 1991 interview that “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” [4]

The first director of the Endowment, Carl Gershman, outright admitted that the Endowment was a front for the CIA. In 1986 he stated:

We should not have to do this kind of work covertly. It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the CIA. We saw that in the ‘60s, and that’s why it has been discontinued. We have not had the capability of doing this, and that’s why the endowment was created. [5] (emphasis added)

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2 Comments on "NGOs: The Missionaries of Empire"

  1. Anyone watch Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at the AIPAC conference on FOX last night? If you think that the Jewish state that exists today represents or respects the true “doctrine of Christ” you’re very mistaken! The Jewish state openly declares its “humanitarian” mission in this world! Think not? Go to the website Israel21c and type in the word “humanitarian” to learn the TRUTH!

  2. -This is the unabridged, unaltered, definition of the word humanitarianism:

    “1. The distinctive tenet denying the divinity of Christ; also, the system of doctrine based upon this view of Christ. 2.a. The doctrine that man’s obligations are limited to, and dependent alone on, man and human relations. 2.b. The doctrine of Saint Simon that man’s nature is perfectible though his own efforts without divine grace. 3. Regard for the interests of mankind; broad benevolence or philanthropy.” (Webster’s New International Dictionary, 1928)

    This is the unabridged, unalterd, definition of what a humanitarian believes in:
    “…the doctrine that Jesus Christ was merely a man and not divine…” that “…man’s chief duty is to work for the welfare of the human race…”, and “…that human perfectibility is attainable through man’s own efforts without divine grace…” (The Great Reader’s Digest Encyclopedic Dictionary, 1966)

    Sums up the situation.

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