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Soros claims not to do philanthropy in the countries in which he is involved as a currency trader. But Soros has often taken advantage of his connections to make key investments. Armed with a study by ICC, and with the support of Bernard Kouchner, chief of the UN Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK), Soros attempted to acquire the most profitable mining complex in the Balkans.
Yugoslavia was targetted because the Slavs repeatedly elected the Socialist Party of Slobodan Milosevic. Then in 1991, Soros launched the Open Society Institute and pumped over $100 million to the anti-Milosevic opposition, publishing houses and ‘independent’ media like Radio B-92. When Milosevic was finally removed to The Hague tribunal, the charges of war crimes and genocide framed against him were collected (read made up) by the Soros-funded Human Rights Watch!
A few months after the military occupation of Kosovo, the International
Crisis Group (ICG) (you know, the one that recently “suggested” that Greece should recognize “Macedonian” ethnicity and language!) a think tank supported by Financier George Soros, issued a paper on “Trepca: Making Sense of the Labyrinth ” which advised the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) “to take over the Trepca mining complex from the Serbs as quickly as possible and explained how this should be done”.
In September 2000, in a hurry to take the Trepca mines here, here, here before the Yugoslavian election, Kouchner stated that pollution from the mining complex was raising lead levels in the environment. This is incredible considering that he cheered when the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia rained depleted uranium on the country and released more than 100,000 tons of carcinogens into the air, water and soil. But Kouchner had his way, and the mines were closed for “health reasons.” Soros invested $150 million in an effort to gain control of Trepca’s gold, silver, lead, zinc and cadmium, which make the property worth $5 billion.
As Bulgaria was imploding into “free-market” chaos, Soros was busy scavenging through the wreckage, as Reuters reported in early 2001:
“The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) invested $3.0 million in [Bulgarian high-tech company] Rila, the first firm to benefit from a new $30 million facility set up by the EBRD to support IT firms in central and eastern Europe…. Another $3. 0 million came from U.S private investment fund Argus Capital Partners, sponsored by Prudential Insurance Company of America and opera ting in central and eastern Europe… Soros, who had invested around $3.0 million in Rila and in 2001 invested another $1.0 million…remained its majority owner. “ In Romania Soros and his allies opposing Gabriel Resources’ gold mine in Rosia Montana also claimed - falsely - that it would be an environmental hazard. The truth is, the existing shut-down communist-run mine is a bleeding environmental sore, turning area streams orange with all manner of toxic pollution.
He clearly has used his Open Society Institute’s Romanian office to fund and lead opposition efforts by various non-Romanian environmental groups and NGOs to the proposal by Gabriel Resources, a Canadian mining company to mine gold in Rosia Montana, a proposal that included cleaning up the vast environmental damage done to the town by the now-closed communist-run mine.
Here’s where it gets downright interesting. Soros owns a chunk of
Denver-based Newmont Mining. Newmont owns a stake in Gabriel. Which means
Soros, effectively, owns at least a small piece of Gabriel. By helping to
kill the Rosia Montana project, Soros has driven Gabriel’s stock price down
significantly. At the same time the Rosia Montana project site itself still
sits there, loaded with gold, and Soros is known to scoop up depressed
Don’t be surprised to see Soros come to the “rescue” of Rosia Montana by
offering to purchase the mine.
And, unfortunately, don’t be surprised if the Western media pays little
attention. Kirk Leech, the freelance journalist and author of the GoldenMyths.com
website, which focuses on the Rosia Montana story, writes that the
mothballing of the Rosia Montan project “is an economic and social disaster
for the 300-plus full time workers employed by the company, the majority of
whom now find themselves laid off, and for the local inhabitants of this
economically blighted valley village, who face an even more uncertain future
than a week ago.”
The only certainly for those who will suffer hardship through the freezing
of the project is that the mine will continue to be a political football,
kicked around by comfortable western environmentalists, rich local
landowners, business interests hoping to benefit from a faltering project
and opportunist Romanian and Hungarian politicians. Or anyone who feels like
putting in their two cents- worth, without knowing the first thing about
this complex and technically sound project. It has been trendy to dump on
this project, though as fads come and go, this too shall pass. But why
should disadvantaged people get caught in the middle?
The clear losers in this battle are the people of Rosia Montana. The clear
winners, outside of lawyers and consultants, are those mentioned above who
have effectively hijacked the real concerns of local people for their own
partisan interests. It’s worth recounting what has occurred over the past
In September the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development
suspended the evaluation of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in a
move that was clearly political, having no basis in Romanian law.
In November the local court in Cluj annulled an urban planning certificate
that Alba county council had granted to RMGC. Alburnus Maior, the lead NGO
opposing the mine and George Soros’ Open Society Foundation led the
challenge to this urbanism certificate. In reality the certificate is not
even a permit or an approval and cannot be legally challenged according to
Romanian law. To add to this the court of appeal in Brasov also cancelled a
certificate allowing RMGC to work on the Carnic Massif hills where traces of
Roman mining remain.
A supine Romanian political class has allowed the National Liberal party and
the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania to act as a Trojan horse for
those seeking not to stop gold mining in Rosia Montana but for it to be
carried out by others.
The primary opposition to the Rosia Project was always portrayed by western
media such as the New York Times and PBS as being local to the region and
the country of Romania - the David vs. Goliath angle is a shopworn but
still-beloved story structure for Western journalists - but the truth is
that the opposition was always connected to and controlled by outsiders -
Western environmentalists who didn’t live in Rosia, or even in Romania, and
of course Soros both personally and through his Open Society Institute.
Soros has funded worldwide efforts to promote drug policy reform. In 2008, Soros donated $400,000 to help fund a successful ballot measure in the state of Massachusetts known as the Massachusetts Sensible Marijuana Policy Initiative which decriminalized possession of less then 1 oz (28g) of marijuana in the state. Soros has also funded similar measures in California, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Nevada and Maine. Among the drug decriminalization groups that have received funding from Soros are the Lindesmith Center and Drug Policy Foundation.
Soros donated $1.4 million to publicity efforts to support California’s Proposition 5 in 2008, a failed ballot measure that would have expanded drug rehabilitation programs as alternatives to prison for persons convicted of non-violent drug-related offenses.
FRAMING THE ISSUES
His pose as a philanthropist gives Soros the power to shape international public opinion when social conflict raises the question of who are the victims and who are the malefactors. Like other NGOs, Human Rights Watch, Soros’ mouthpiece on human rights, avoids or ignores most organized and independent working class struggles.
In Colombia, labour leaders are routinely killed by paramilitaries working in concert with the U.S.-sponsored government. Because those unions oppose neoliberal economics, HRW is relatively silent. In April of this year, HRW’s Jose Vivanco testified before the U.S. Senate in favour of Plan Colombia:
“Colombians remain committed to human rights and democracy They need help. Human Rights Watch has no fundamental problem with the United States providing that help.”
HRW equates the actions of the Colombian guerrilla fighters struggling to free themselves from the oppression of state terror, poverty and exploitation with the repression of the U.S-sponsored armed forces and paramilitary death squads, the AUC (United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia). HRW validated the Pastrana government and its military, whose role was to protect property rights and maintain the economic and political status quo. According to HRW, 50% of civilian deaths are the work of the government-tolerated death squads. The correct number is 80%.
HRW essentially certified the election and ascendancy of the Uribe government in 2002 as well. Uribe is a throwback to the Latin American dictators the U.S. supported in the past, although he was “elected.” HRW had no comment about the fact that the majority boycotted the election.
In the Caribbean Basin, Cuba is another opponent of neoliberalism that has been demonized by Human Rights Watch. In nearby Haiti, Soros-funded activities have worked to defeat popular aspirations following the end of the Duvalier dictatorship by undermining Haiti’s first democratically elected leader, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. HRW’s Ken Roth helpfully chimed in with U.S. denunciations of Aristide as “undemocratic.” To demonstrate his idea of “democracy,” Soros foundations were commencing operations in Haiti complimentary to such unseemly U.S. activities as USAID’s promotion of persons associated with FRAPH, the notorious CIA-sponsored death squads which have terrorized the country since the fall of ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier. On HRW’s web site, Director Roth criticized the U.S. for not opposing China more vigorously. Roth’s activities include the creation of the Tibetan Freedom Concert, a traveling propaganda project that toured the U.S. with major rock musicians, urging young people to support Tibet against China. Tibet has been a pet project of the CIA for many years. Roth has recently pressed for opposition to Chinese control over its oil-rich western province of Xinjiang. With the colonialist “divide and conquer” approach, Roth has tried to convince some of the Uighur religious minority in Xinjiang that the U.S/NATO intervention in Kosovo holds promise as a model for them. As late as August 2002, the U.S. government has given some support in this endeavor as well.
U.S. designs on this region were signaled clearly when a New York Times article on Xinjiang Province in western China described the Uighurs as a “Muslim majority, [which] lives restively under Chinese rule.” They “are well versed in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia last year which some celebrate for liberating the Muslims in Kosovo; they fantasize about a similar rescue’ here.” The New York Times Magazine noted “Recent discoveries of oil have made Xinjiang extremely attractive to international trade,” while comparing the conditions for its indigenous population to those in Tibet.
When Sorosian organizations count, they seem to lose track of the truth. Human Rights Watch asserted that 500 people, not over 2,000, were killed by NATO bombers in the 1999 war in Yugoslavia. They said only 350, not over 4,000, died as a result of U.S. attacks on Afghanistan. When the U.S. bombed Panama in 1989, HRW prefaced its report by saying that the “ouster of Manuel Noriega.. and installation of the democratically-elected government of President Guillermo Endara brought high hopes in Panama…” The report neglected to mention the number of casualties.
Human Rights Watch prepared the groundwork for the NATO attack on Bosnia in 1993 by the false rape-of-thousands and “genocide” stories. This tactic of creating political hysteria was necessary for the United States to carry out its Balkan policy. It was repeated in 1999 when HRW functioned as the shock troops of indoctrination for the NATO attack on Yugoslavia. All of Soros’ blather about the rule of law was forgotten. The U.S. and NATO made their own law, and the institutions of George Soros stood behind it.
Massaging of numbers to provoke a response was a major part of a Council on Foreign Relations campaign after September 11,2001. This time it was the 2,801 killed in the World Trade Center. The CFR met on November 6, 2001, to plan a “major public diplomacy campaign.” CFR created an “Independent Task Force on America’s Response to Terrorism.” Soros joined Richard C. Holbrooke, Newton L. Gingrich, John M. Shalikashvili (former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), and other powerful individuals on a campaign to make the Trade Center dead into tools for U.S. foreign policy. The CFR report set out to make the case for a war on terrorism. George Soros’ fingerprints were all over the campaign:
“Have senior-level U.S. officials press friendly Arab and other Muslim governments not only to publicly condemn the 9/11 attacks, but also to back the rationale and goals of the U.S. anti-terror campaign. We are never going to convince the publics in the Middle East and South Asia of the righteousness of our cause if their governments remain silent. We need to help them to deflect any blow-hack from such statements, but we must have them vocally on board…. Encourage Bosnian, Albanian, and Turkish Muslims to educate foreign audiences regarding the U.S. role in saving the Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo in 1995-99, and our long-standing, close ties to Muslims around the world. Engage regional intellectuals and journalists across the board, regardless of their views. Routinely monitor the regional press in real time to enable prompt responses… Stress references to the victims (and ideally named victims to personalize them) whenever we discuss our cause and goals.”
Sorosian innumeracy: counting to bolster and defend U.S. foreign policy.
Soros is very worried about the decline in the world capitalist system and he wants to do something about it, now. He recently said: “I can already discern the makings of the final crisis…. Indigenous political movements are likely to arise that will seek to expropriate the multinational corporations and recapture the ‘national’ wealth.”
Soros is seriously suggesting a plan to circumvent the United Nations. He proposes that the “democracies of the world ought to take the lead and forge a global network of alliances that could work with or without the United Nations.” If he were psychotic, one might think he was having an episode. But the fact is, Soros’ assertion that “The United Nations is constitutionally incapable of fulfilling the promises contained in the preamble of its charter,” reflects the thinking of such reactionary institutions as the American Enterprise Institute. Though many conservatives refer to the Soros network as left-wing, on the question of U.S. affiliation with the United Nations Soros is on the same page as the likes of John R. Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, who, with “[M]any Republicans in Congress-believe that nothing more should be paid to the UN system.” There has been a decades-long rightwing campaign against the UN. Now Soros is leading it. On various Soros web sites one may read criticism of the United Nations as too rich, unwilling to share information, or flawed in ways that make it unfit for the way the world should run according to George Soros.
Even writers at The Nation, writers who clearly ought to know better, have been influenced by Soros’ ideas. William Greider, for instance, recently found some validity in Soros’ criticism that the United Nations should not be a venue for “tin-pot dictators and totalitarians. . treated as equal partners.” This kind of Eurocentric racism is at the heart of Soros’ hubris. His assumption that the United States can and should run the world is a prescription for fascism on a global scale. For much too long, Western “progressives” have been giving Soros a pass. Probably Greider and others will find the reference to fascism excessive, unjustified, even outrageous.
But just listen closely to what Soros himself has to say: “In old Rome, the Romans only voted. In the modern global capitalism, the Americans only vote. The Brazilians do not vote.”
SOROS AND DRUGS
Soros has categorically denied receiving money from drug cartels or any form of criminal activity. The fact remains, however, that at least some of his financial operations have been based offshore, in banking and financial centers that are widely reported to be considered conducive to money-laundering. The Soros fund is based in the Netherlands Antilles, a self-governing federation of five Caribbean islands. A CIA factbook describes the region as “a transshipment point for South American drugs bound for the US and Europe; money-laundering center.”
Soros’ long-time goal has been to subvert the national anti-drug policy of the U.S. Government, to move away from the use of national and global law enforcement resources against the drug trade. He calls this “harm reduction,” meaning that criminal activity associated with the use of drugs will supposedly be reduced if the government takes over the drug trade and provides drugs and drug paraphernalia, including needles, to addicts. But law enforcement would still be required to keep drugs out of the hands of children. If this is not the case, then Soros intends to allow substances such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin to be distributed to children.
Wherever there is drug, George Soros has his hooks deep. It shows up in Georgia as well. The Beckley Foundation, one of many Soros-fund drug legalization outfits, based just outside of Oxford, England, put out a report , “Drug Control in Georgia: Drug testing and the reduction of drug use?”
In this report, issued in May 2008, the Beckley Foundation was critical of former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze. It said: “The former First Secretary of Central Committee of the Communist Party of Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze, initiated harsh legal measures and public campaigns against drug users in the 1970s,” quoting another Soros-funded outfit, Human Rights Watch.
The Beckley Foundation in its report said there were promising changes under President Mikhail Saakashvili, who has “announced the possibility of shifting the focus of drug policy away from the predominantly law enforcement orientation.” In other words, the beneficiary of “Rose Revolution”, Saakashvili, did promise Soros an eventual legalization of drugs in Georgia .
Just imagine what that would mean to Russia already heavily affected by the deluge of heroin coming up from Afghanistan !
The Beckley Foundation’s co-director, Mike Trace, former UK deputy drug czar, was brought in a Head of Demand Reduction at the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime in Vienna in January 2003. He was forced to resign from his post within eight weeks following the release of information from documents obtained by the Hassela Nordic Network, a Swedish-based group opposed to liberalization of drug laws, which showed that Trace was involved in an operation, funded by billionaire George Soros, to undermine the international conventions on drug-trafficking which were to be reviewed at a UN meeting to be held in Vienna in April 2003.