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29 December 2011

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Jeepster

I think it was always clear to all of us who follow this blog that the Egyptian revolutionaries were no friend of democracy. Having said that, I think their move to shutdown these American NGOs might be a wise move. I hate to say this, but certain elements within the US have turned these once useful NGO's to front offices for Neo-Bolshevism (a.ka Multiculturalism).

If I was an Egyptian (or any other nationally for that fact) I wouldn't want any of these orgs operating in my country. The recent post-election crises in Russia is a good example of why foreign NGO's should not be allowed to operate in sovereign territory.

William R. Cumming

It would be of interest to learn how the Egyptian military and police coordinate their policies and decisions?

confusedponderer

There is another thing that Americans appear to find incomprehensible, and that is that other governments at times may object to the (subversive, from the respective government's point of view) activities of US government funded "NGOs", like for instance the NED, in their respective countries.

The Egyptian are no exception. Nor are the Syrians and Iranians. Or the Chinese. Or Russia. My hunch is that Putin's crackdown on NGOs has a lot to do with the mischief NED and aligned NGOs have caused in Russia, and probably will for the future.

U.S. to establish new fund supporting NGOs in Russia

I think that, judging by what they do, the US political class just can't stop short of regime change. It's like the difference between a traditional 'feed the poor' NGO and an American evangelical one that also proselytises (Muslim country, Schmuslim country, and never mind the effect that has on the work of other NGOs - we bring the light!). The US cannot or do not want to (at least they often do not) draw a line between aid and taking influence.

The US political class (in bipartisan consensus) is apparently incapable of resisting the sweet siren song of regime change towards regimes they have differences with. Learning to live with such regimes would require to accept the world as it is, and that is appeasement.

Also amazing to me is that, naturally, the US political class would not accept, say a Russian, Chinese, Mexican or EU funded NGO funding or supporting groups in the US taking direct influence in US politics (heck, they aren't even willing to sell a private oil company to the Chinese). What if such entities, say, supported or funded Occupy Wallstreet. Oy wey! The lament would be great!

But there we are again: The US are exceptional, so reciprocity is no point anyway. The US is uniquely virtuous. Other nations outrage or anger about (however misguided) US policies is thus inevitably an expression not of legitimate outrage or anger but of the other nations inherent wickedness and general lack of virtue.

Mind you, it as after all not good sense that kept the Germans and French from supporting the smashing success that was Operation Iraqi Freedom but, naturally, their cynicism and cowardice. In a very American narrative, they, Old Europe, was thus to be punished by being left behind.

Green Zone Cafe

We can't even watch foreign broadcasters like BBC World, France 24, CCTV-9 or Al Jazeera English in the USA, unless you subscribe with speciality satellite providers in limited markets.

What would happen if the Chinese Communist Party or even the German Social Democrats started funding political reform NGOs in the USA?

I guess you could get a clue by considering the reaction to George Soros's political activities in the USA. Funny thing, the U.S. right wing, Vladimir Putin, Ahmedinejad, and probably the Egyptian military all hate Soros and use him as a bete noire. Soros's Open Society Institute works with NDI, IRI and other U.S.-funded "democracy promotion" aid programs in places like Ukraine and Egypt.

turcopolier

GZC

"We can't even watch foreign broadcasters like BBC World, France 24, CCTV-9 or Al Jazeera English in the USA, unless you subscribe with speciality satellite providers in limited markets."

Yes, but they are not illegal and raided by police and prosecutors.

"What would happen if the Chinese Communist Party or even the German Social Democrats started funding political reform NGOs in the USA?"

Are you endorsing a reduction of freedonm in the UUSA?

Joe Kennedy is virtually an agent of the Venezuelan enemy. No one seems to molest him. Perhaps you think they should pl


Green Zone Cafe

Well, there was that guy who got five years in prison for carrying Al Manar TV on his small satellite service: http://www.cggl.org/scripts/new.asp?id=953

It's an interesting story. This Pakistani native had a small satellite service in NYC that carried Al Manar along with Pakistani channels and even some porn. Then the hammer came down on him without warning, because Al Manar is the Hezbollah channel, and Hezbollah is on the terrorist list (like the Mujadeen i Khalq, but that's another story for those who support and lobby for them).

I still think it's odd that no major cable or satellite providers carry Al Jazeera English, or France 24, Deutche Welle English, Russia Today, or CCTV-9, all of which Arabs can watch in their countries easily, along with the U.S. funded Al Hurra channel. A few providers in the U.S. carry BBC World. Can't the American people be trusted to watch them, or must they be limited to the diet of CNN/Fox/MSNBC/ABC/CBS? Please don't tell me it's a matter of market demand - these channels would find at least as many viewers as some of the speciality religious channels on my U.S. menu.

My point is that the Egyptians are no more suspicious that you are of foreign NGOs. You suspect that foreign NGOs would lead to a "reduction of freedom". The Egyptians likely suspect that U.S. funding of certain NGOs is tied to U.S. foreign policy goals, to create "fifth columns" within their own country.

Joe Kennedy is buying oil at below market prices from a country we are at peace with. That does not bother me. Chavez is heading to the exit.

Rd.

"What would happen if the Chinese Communist Party or even the German Social Democrats started funding political reform NGOs in the USA?"

Under the new presidential powers, they'd be labors as terrorists orcs and hauled to gulags ... err ... mean gitmo

Fred

Very good points. You state: "What if such entities, say, supported or funded Occupy Wallstreet." I think there are a few on the far right who've already made such allegations.

How much of its funding does AIPAC get from overseas? Even if not fully funded by a foreign government doesn't its conduct fit the description of influencing US elections?

turcopolier

GZC

"The Egyptians likely suspect that U.S. funding of certain NGOs is tied to U.S. foreign policy goals, to create "fifth columns" within their own country"

The US does not receive 1.6 billion dollars a year from Egypt. that ought to buy us some measure of immunity. pl

Jake

"Among groups targeted were the local offices of the U.S.-based International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI), a security source and employees at the organizations said."

The IRI and the NDI... Two headaches rather than pain killers....

steve g

My local comcast/Infinity cable
carries Worldview which has almost
all the sites you mentioned, including
Al Jazeera English. But as you said
maybe not all markets carry this.

Arun

Al-Jazeera English lists the following availability in the USA:

Buckeye Cable (Toledo, OH)
Burlington Cable (Burlington, VT)
GlobeCast World TV
Link TV (Direct TV, Channel - 375/Dish Network, Channel - 9410)
Washington Cable (Washington, DC)
MHz Networks (Washington, DC)

Full Channel (Channel - 168)

Time Warner Cable (New York City Area, Channel - 92)
Free Speech TV

Arun

Re: BBC World News, Wiki says:

Since BBC World News's inception in 1995, the BBC sought carriage for the channel on U.S. cable and satellite systems. It took 11 years for a U.S. distribution deal to be signed, a deal with Discovery Communications that was announced on 25 January 2006. In September 2006, Cablevision in the New York City metropolitan area agreed to retransmit the channel and was the first company to carry BBC World News. The channel is part of Cablevision's iO Digital Cable service, channel 104.

BBC World News on other cable systems

Verizon FiOS: Channel 107 (All regions)
Comcast: channel 387 (Michigan)[8]
Comcast: Channel 167 San Francisco Bay Area started on 13 December 2011, and will be available from December 2011 across all Comcast areas[9]
Cox Communications: Channel 252 (Northern Virginia)
Grande Communications: Channel 122 (Texas)
Western Kentucky TV (WKTV) Channel 136

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_World_News#Availability

Green Zone Cafe

I looked that up, MHz Worldview. It appears to be available only in DC, and is only one channel, broadcasting a selection of programs from those networks.

That's not like carrying the networks themselves. It's the exception that proves the rule.

Green Zone Cafe

Again, these are the exceptions that prove the rule. NYC, San Fran and a few college towns.

I can find BBC World just about everywhere else in the world, along with Al Jazeera English almost everywhere else.

But thank God we have freedom in the USA. We don't need anything else but CNN, Fox and MSNBC.

Walrus

While I doubt that the Egyptians have any direct evidence of meddling by NGOs, bear in mind that Intelligence Agencies find the placement or recruitment of NGO staff as irresistible.

Arun

Actually, G.Z. Cafe, I've signed off of all three - CNN, Fox, and MSNBC, except for Fareed Zakaria's GPS show. And half the time, even that isn't worth the while.

ISL

Dear Confused Ponderer:

I would note that many companies who profit handsomely from Chinese and other overseas manufacturing repeatedly(both overtly and covertly) distort heavily our political system. I expect the impact will be impressive in this upcoming season now that corporations are people! I also expect it to become more and more overt as the economic center of the world continues its Asian shift and our status as a debtor nation grows towards infinity.

And the distortion is far worse than elections. It always amuses me to see the media response when the US attempts to talk tough trade with China. Well actually not amusing. The root of the problem lies not in our elections, but in the cost of the elections. Sadly, I can not envisage our elected politicians addressing this issue (maybe a future supreme court?)

bth

Most of these broadcasts - BBC World, Al Jazeera, France 24, RT - are available via the internet - at least for the present. One thing that has changed since the beginning of the Iraq war is the ability to easily access foreign news sources via the web for those with an inquiring mind. Reading Pakistani, Russian, various European and Asian papers or at least headlines is now possible over morning coffee.

Cold War Zoomie

A word of wisdom to live by:

"Single malt Islay is your friend."

Happy new year!

Charles I

And now the soothing words, reassurances

"US says Egypt agrees to stop raids on democracy groups

Egypt has reassured the US that it will stop raids on the offices of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the US state department says.

Officials said property seized in the raids would be returned to the groups, which include two based in the US.

Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has spoken to Egypt's military ruler by phone to discuss the issue. . .

The country's ruling military council has said repeatedly it will not tolerate foreign interference in the country's affairs.

But the US reacted sharply to the move, condemning it as an attack on democratic values and hinting that it could review the $1.3bn (£0.84bn) in annual US military aid to Cairo if such incidents continued.
'Normal operations'

On Friday, Mr Panetta and the US ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, spoke to top Egyptian officials including military ruler Field Marshall Mohamed Tantawi, the US state department said.

"The ambassador has sought and received Egyptian leadership assurances that the raids will cease and property will be returned immediately," spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in emailed comments.

"She has also made clear that we expect all international NGOs, including those that receive US government support, be able to return to normal operations as soon as possible in support of the democratic transition underway in Egypt.. . "

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16370561

The check is in the mail, promise. . .


confusedponderer

Good guideline indeed, and I second the second part as well: Happy new year!

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