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Soros has been active as a “philanthropist” since the 1970s, when he began providing funds to help black students attend the University of Cape Town in apartheid South Africa, and began funding dissident movements behind the iron curtain.
Soros’ philanthropic funding includes efforts to promote “non-violent democratization” in the post-Soviet states. These efforts, mostly in Central and Eastern Europe, occur primarily through the Open Society Institute (OSI) and national Soros Foundations, which sometimes go under other names. In 1980, Soros began to use his millions to attack socialism in Eastern Europe. He financed individuals who would cooperate with him. His first success was in Hungary. He took over the Hungarian educational and cultural establishment, incapacitating socialist institutions throughout the country. He made his way right inside the Hungarian government. As of 2003, PBS estimated that he had given away a total of $4 billion. The OSI says it has spent about $400 million annually in recent years. Soros next moved on to Poland, (with the Stefan Batory Foundation) aiding the CIA-funded Solidarity operation and in that same year, he became active in China. The USSR came next.
It is not coincidental that the Central Intelligence Agency had operations in all of those countries. The goal of the Agency was exactly the same as that of the Open Society Fund: to dismantle socialism. In South Africa, the CIA sought out dissidents who were anticommunist. In Hungary, Poland and the USSR, the CIA, with overt intervention from the National Endowment for Democracy, the AFL-CIO, USAID and other institutions, supported and organized anticommunists, the very type of individuals recruited by Soros’ Open Society Fund. The CIA would have called them “assets.” As Soros said, “In each country I identified a group of people - some leading personalities, others less well known - who share my belief…”. Soros’ Open Society organized conferences with anticommunist Czechs, Serbs, Romanians, Hungarians, Croatians, Bosnians, Kosovars. His ever-expanding influence gave rise to suspicions that he was operating as part of the U.S. intelligence complex. In 1989, the Washington Post reported charges first made in 1987 by the Chinese government officials that Soros’ Fund for the Reform and Opening of China had CIA connections.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Soros’ funding has continued to play an important role in the former Soviet sphere. His funding and organization of Georgia’s Rose Revolution was considered crucial to its success by Russian and Western observers, although Soros has said that his role has been “greatly exaggerated.” Alexander Lomaia, Secretary of the Georgian Security Council and former Minister of Education and Science, is a former Executive Director of the Open Society Georgia Foundation (Soros Foundation,) overseeing a staff of 50 and a budget of $2,500,000. Former Georgian Foreign Minister Salomé Zourabichvili wrote: These institutions were the cradle of democratisation, notably the Soros Foundation … all the NGOs which gravitate around the Soros Foundation undeniably carried the revolution. However, one cannot end one’s analysis with the revolution and one clearly sees that, afterwards, the Soros Foundation and the NGOs were integrated into power. - Salomé Zourabichvili, Herodote (magazine of the French Institute for Geopolitics, April, 2008
TAKING ON MOSCOW After 1990, Soros funds targeted the Russian educational system, providing the entire nation with textbooks. 19 In effect, Soros ensured the indoctrination of an entire generation of Russian youth with OSI propaganda. Soros foundations were accused of engineering a strategy to take control of the Russian financial system, privatization schemes, and the process of foreign investment in that country. Russians reacted angrily to Soros’ legislative meddlings. Critics of Soros and other U.S. foundations said the goal of these maneuvers was to “thwart Russia as a state, which has the potential to compete with the world’s only superpower.” 20 Russians began to suspect Soros and the CIA were interconnected. Business tycoon Boris Berezovsky said, “I nearly fainted when I heard a couple of years ago that George Soros was a CIA agent.” 21 Berezovsky’s opinion was that Soros, and the West, were “afraid of Russian capital becoming strong.”
If the economic and political establishment in the United States fear an economic rivalry from Russia, what better way to control it than to dominate Russian media, education, research centers and science? After spending $250 million for the “transformation of education of humanities and economics at the high school and university levels,” Soros created the International Science Foundation for another $100 million. 22 The Russian Federal Counterintelligence Service (FSK) accused Soros foundations in Russia of “espionage.” They noted that Soros was not operating alone; he was part of a full court press that included financing from the Ford and Heritage Foundations; Harvard, Duke, and Columbia universities, and assistance from the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence services. 23 The FSK criticized Soros’ payouts to 50,000 Russian scientists, saying that Soros advanced his own interests by gaining control of thousands of Russian scientific discoveries and new technologies to collect state and commercial secrets. 24
In 1995, Russians were infuriated by the insinuation of State Department operative Fred Cuny into the conflict in Chechnya. Cuny’s cover was disaster relief, but his history of involvement in international conflict zones of interest to the U.S., plus FBI and CIA search parties, made clear his government connections. At the time of his disappearance, Cuny was working under contract to a Soros foundation. 25 It is not widely known in the U.S. that the violence in Chechnya, a province in the heart of Russia, is generally perceived as the result of a political destabilization campaign on which Washington looks favorably, and may actually be directing. This assessment of the situation is clear enough to writer Tom Clancy that he felt free to include it as an assertion of fact in his best-seller, The Sum of All Fears. The Russians accused Cuny of being a CIA operative, and part of an intelligence operation to support the Chechen uprising. 26 Soros’ Open Society Institute is still active in Chechnya, as are other Soros-sponsored organizations. Russia was the site of at least one joint endeavor to enhance Soros’ balance sheet, arranged with diplomatic assistance from the Clinton administration. In 1999, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright blocked a $500 million loan guarantee by the U.S. Export-Import Bank to the Russian company, Tyumen Oil, on the grounds that it was contrary to U.S. national interests. Tyumen wanted to buy American-made oil equipment and services from Dick Cheney’s Halliburton Company and ABB Lummus Global of Bloomfield, New Jersey. 27 George Soros was an investor in a company that Tyumen had been trying to acquire. Both Soros and BP Amoco lobbied to prevent this transaction, and Albright obliged. 28 Time magazine in 2007 cited two specific projects - $100 million toward Internet infrastructure for regional Russian universities; and $50 million for the Millennium Promise to eradicate extreme poverty in Africa - while noting that Soros has given $742 million to projects in the U.S., and given away a total of more than $6 billion
NURTURING LEFT ANTI-SOCIALISM Soros’ Open Society Institute has a finger in every pot. Its board of directors reads like a “Who’s Who” of Cold War and New World Order pundits. Paul Goble is Communications Director; ‘he was the major political commentator at Radio Free Europe. Herbert Okun served in the Nixon State Department as an intelligence adviser to Henry Kissinger. Kati Marton is the wife of former Clinton administration UN ambassador and envoy to Yugoslavia, Richard Holbrooke. Marton lobbied for the Soros-funded radio station B-92, also a project of’ the National Endowment for Democracy (another overt arm of the CIA), which was instrumental in bringing down the Yugoslav government.
When Soros founded the Open Society Fund he picked liberal pundit Aryeh Neier to lead it. Neier was the head of Helsinki Watch, a putative human rights organization with an anticommunist bent. In 1993, the Open Society Fund became the Open Society Institute. Helsinki Watch became Human Rights Watch in 1975. Soros is currently on its Advisory Board, both for the Americas and the Eastern Europe-Central Asia Committees, and his Open Society Fund/Soros/OSI is listed as a funder. Soros is intimately connected to HRW, and Neier wrote columns for The Nation magazine without mentioning that he was on Soros’ payroll.
Soros is intimately involved in HRW, although he does his best to hide it. He says he just funds and sets up these programs and lets them run. But they do not stray from the philosophy of the funder. HRW and OSI are close. Their views do not diverge. Of course, other foundations fund these institutions as well, but Soros’ influence dominates their ideology.
George Soros’ activities fall into the construct developed in 1983 and enunciated by Allen Weinstein, founder of the National Endowment for Democracy. Weinstein said, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” Soros is operating exactly within the confines of the intelligence complex. He is little different from CIA drug runners in Laos in the 1960s, or the mujahedin who profited from the opium trade while carrying out CIA operations against socialist Afghanistan in the 1980s. He simply funnels (and takes home) a whole lot more money than those pawns, and he does much of his business in the light of day. His candor insofar as he expresses it is a sort of spook damage control that serves to legitimize the strategies of U.S. foreign policy. According to Neil Clark (writing in the New Statesman): (t)he conventional view, shared by many on the left, is that socialism collapsed in eastern Europe because of its systemic weaknesses and the political elite’s failure to build popular support.
That may be partly true, but Soros’s role was crucial. From 1979, he distributed $3m a year to dissidents including Poland’s Solidarity movement, Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia and Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union. In 1984, he founded his first Open Society Institute in Hungary and pumped millions of dollars into opposition movements and independent media -Clark, Neil. “Soros Profile”. the New Statesman. http://www.newstatesman.com/200306020019.
The majority of people in the U.S. today who consider themselves politically left-of-center are undoubtedly pessimistic about the chances for a socialist transformation of society. Thus the Soros ‘Decentralization” model, or the “piecemeal” approach to “negative utilitarianism, the attempt to minimize the amount of misery,” which was Popper’s philosophy, appeals to them. Soros funded an HRW study that was used to back California and Arizona legislation relaxing drug laws. Soros favors the legalization of drugs - one way of temporarily reducing awareness of one’s misery. Soros is an equal-opportunity bribester. At a loftier rung of the socioeconomic ladder, one finds Social Democrats who accept Soros funding and believe in civil liberties within the context of capitalism. For these folks, the evil consequences of Soros’ business activities (impoverishing people all over the world) are mitigated by his philanthropic activities. Similarly, liberal/left intellectuals, both in the U.S. and abroad, have been drawn in by the “Open Society” philosophy, not to mention the occasional funding plum.
The New Left in the United States was a social democratic movement. It was resolutely anti-Soviet, and when Eastern Europe and the USSR fell, few in the New Left opposed the destruction of the socialist systems. The New Left did not mourn or protest when the hundreds of millions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia lost their right to jobs, housing at reasonable and legally protected rents, free education through graduate school, health care and cultural enhancement. Most belittled any suggestion that the CIA and certain NGOs such as the National Endowment for Democracy or the Open Society Fund had actively participated in the annihilation of socialism. These people felt that the Western determination to destroy the USSR since 1917 was barely connected to the fall of the USSR. For them, socialism failed of its own accord, because it was flawed.
As revolutions, such as the ones in Mozambique, Angola, Nicaragua or El Salvador were destroyed by proxy forces or were stalled by demonstration “elections,” New Left pragmatists shrugged their shoulders and turned away. The New Left sometimes seemed to deliberately ignore the post-Soviet machinations of U.S. foreign policy.
Bogdan Denitch, who had political aspirations in Croatia, was active within the Open Society Institute, and received OSI funding. Denitch favoured the ethnic cleansing of Serbs from Croatia, NATO bombing of Bosnia and then Yugoslavia, and even a ground invasion of Yugoslavia. Denitch was a founder and chair man for many years of the Democratic Socialists of America, a leading liberal-left group in the U.S. He has also long chaired the prestigious Socialist Scholars Conference, through which he was key to manipulating the sympathies of many toward support for NATO expansion. Other Soros targets for support include Refuse and Resist the ACLU, and a host of other liberal causes. Soros added another unlikely trophy when he became involved in the New School for Social Research in New York, long an academy of choice for left intellectuals. He now funds the East and Central Europe Program there. Many leftists who were inspired by the revolution in Nicaragua sadly accepted the election of Violetta Chamorro and the defeat of the Sandinistas in 1990. Most of the Nicaragua support network faded thereafter. Perhaps the New Left could have learned from the rising star of Michael Kozak. He was a veteran of Washington’s campaigns to install sympathetic leaders in Nicaragua, Panama and Haiti, and to undermine Cuba - he headed the U.S. Interests Section in Havana.
After organizing the Chamorro victory in Nicaragua, Kozak moved on to become U.S. Ambassador to Belarus. Kozak worked with the Soros-sponsored “Internet Access and Training Program” (IATP), which was busy “creating future leaders” in Belarus. This program was simultaneously imposed upon Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. IATP operates openly with the support of the U.S. Department of State. To its credit, Belarus expelled Kozak and the Soros-Open Society/U.S. State Department crowd. The government of Aleksandr Lukashenko found that for four years before moving to Minsk, Kozak was instrumental in engineering the flow of tens of millions of dollars to the Belarus opposition. Kozak was creating a united opposition coalition, funding web-sites, newspapers and opinion polls, and tutoring a student resistance movement similar to Yugoslavia’s Otpor. Kozak brought in Otpor leaders to instruct dissidents in Belarus. Just before September 11, 2001, the U.S. was revving up a demonization campaign against President Aleksandr Lukashenko. Demonizing Lukashenko has temporarily taken a back burner to the “war on terrorism.”
Through OSI and HRW, Soros was a major supporter of the B-92 radio station in Belgrade. Soros funded Otpor, the organization that received those “suitcases of money” in support of the October 5, 2000 coup that toppled the Yugoslav government. Human Rights Watch helped legitimize the subsequent kidnapping and show trial of Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague by saying nothing about his rights.” Louise Arbour, who served as judge at that illegal tribunal, is presently on the Board of Soros’ International Crisis Group. The Open Society/Human Rights Watch gang has been working on Macedonia, calling it part of their “civilizing mission.” Expect that republic to be “saved” to finish the total disintegration of the former Yugoslavia.
DEPUTIES OF POWER Soros has actually stated that he considers his philanthropy moral and his money management business amoral. Yet those in charge of Soros-funded NGOs have a clear and consistent agenda. One of Soros’ most influential institutions is the International Crisis Group, founded in 1986. ICG is headed by individuals from the very center of political and corporate power. Its board includes Zbigniew Brzezinski, Morton Abramowitz, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State; Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe; and Richard Allen, former U.S. National Security Adviser, Allen is noteworthy for quitting Nixon’s National Security Council out of disgust with the liberal tendencies of Henry Kissinger; recruiting Oliver North to Reagan’s National Security Council, and negotiating missiles for hostages in the Iran-Contra scandal. For these individuals, “containing conflict” boils down to U.S. control over the people and resources of the world.
In the 1980s and 1990s, under the aegis of the Reagan Doctrine, U.S. covert and overt operations in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia were in the works. Soros was openly active in most of these places, working to buy off would-be revolutionaries, or subsidize politicians, intellectuals and anyone else who might come to power when the revolutionary moment had passed. According to James Petras: “By the early 1980s the more perceptive sectors of the neoliberal ruling classes realized that their policies were polarizing the society and provoking large-scale social discontent. Neoliberal politicians began to finance and promote a parallel strategy ‘from below,’ the promotion of ‘grassroots’ organizations with an ‘anti-statist’ ideology to intervene among potentially conflictory classes, to create a “social cushion.” These organizations were financially dependent on neoliberal sources and were directly involved in competing with sociopolitical movements for the allegiance of local leaders and activist communities. By the 1 990s these organizations, described as “nongovernmental,” numbered in the thousands and were receiving close to four billion dollars world-wide.”
In Underwriting Democracy, Soros boasts about the “Americanization of Eastern Europe.” According to his account, through his education programs he began to establish a young cadre of Sorosian leaders. These Soros Foundation-educated young men and women are prepared to fulfill the functions of so-called “influence agents.” Thanks to their fluent knowledge of languages and their insertion into the emerging bureaucracies in target countries, these recruits would philosophically smooth the inroads for Western multinational corporations.
Career diplomat Herbert Okun, on the Europe Committee of Human Rights Watch, along with George Soros, is connected to a host of State Department-linked institutions, from USAID to the Rockefeller-funded Trilateral Commission. From 1990 to 1997, Okun was executive director of something called the Financial Services Volunteer Corps, part of USAID, “to help establish free market financial systems in former communist countries.” George Soros is in complete accord with the capitalists who are in the process of taking control of the global economy.
The Soros network of foundations and institutes stretch across Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Yugoslavia. They provide scholarships to Burmese dissidents and funds for radio broadcasts into Burma in support of Aung San Suu Kyi (naturally).
To be continued…
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