Ndugu zangu wanajamii forums, kwanza kabisa naanza kwa kukiri kuwa mimi si mchambuzi mzuri sana wa mambo ya kisiasa. Lakini ni mmoja wa watu wanaopendelea kufuatilia siasa kwa mustakabali wa watanzania wote. Katika pita pita zangu kwenye mtandao nimekutana na makala ambayo imenistua sana. Makala hiyo inazungumzia National Endowment for Democracy, wale waliotoa scholarship kwa ndugu yetu Prof. Lipumba. Nimechukua ssehemu tu ya makala hiyo lakini kwa wale ambao watapenda kuisoma yote link iko hapa : Destabilization: Directed Discontent in Egypt and Beyond | Paul and Phillip D. Collins [h=2]The National Endowment for Democracy: Human Rights, Covert Wrongs[/h] Freedom House is only one entity in a network of governmental and non-governmental organizations that deviant elites use to conduct destabilization campaigns, reshape countries' political, social, and economic landscape, and punish recalcitrant national leaders and dictators. In a Haitianalysis.com article entitled The Freedom House Files, Diana Barahona points out a connection between Freedom House and an elite combine known as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Barahona states: During the 1980s the organization (Freedom House) began to receive a majority of its grant income from the newly created NED (founded by Congress in 1983)... (The Freedom House Files). A Voltairenet.org article entitled Freedom House: when 'freedom' is only a pretext, contends that NED and Freedom House are both part of the same mechanism. This mechanism, as portrayed by the article, is to U.S. intervention what money launderers are to drug dealing. The article states: The NED subsidizes Freedom House, which at the same time co-finances programs chosen by the NED thus erasing any traces of U.S. intervention (Freedom House: when 'freedom is only a pretext). The close relationship and monetary ties between Freedom House and the NED appear to have continued to the present. In its 2007 Annual Report, Freedom House lists NED as one of its donors (Freedom House Annual Report 2007). Interestingly, the NED may have been seeding Egypt for a revolution since at least 2009. In an article for the NED 2009 Annual Report entitled Middle East and North Africa Program Highlights 2009, the NED reveals its involvement with various activist groups striving to bring political change to Egypt. The article states: In Egypt, a new generation of civic groups and activists emerged in the midst of continued arrests of democracy activists. Civic groups, bloggers and emerging social networks built national coalitions in preparation for future parliamentary and presidential elections. NED-supported groups, such as the Justice and Citizenship Center for Human Rights, formed and trained a coalition of provincial civic organizations to mobilize and engage citizens in the upcoming elections. In preparation for these elections, the ruling party allocated a 64 seat quota for women. Accordingly, NED supported the National Association for the Defense of Rights and Freedoms (NADRF), which launched a campaign to train independent women candidates to run for parliament. (Middle East and North Africa Program Highlights 2009) While some of these Egyptian activists may have been seeking legitimate social, economic, and political change, their efforts were being hijacked by an organization with sinister and nefarious motives. Over the years, the NED has gained a reputation among critics in both the left and right wings for draping covert action with a veil of human rights. In fact, Allen Weinstein, one of the drafters of the legislation that established the NED, was quoted in 1991 saying: A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA (Blum). Not everyone has fallen for the NED's humanitarian mask. Representative Ron Paul has viewed the organization with considerably more discernment. In an October 11, 2003 article entitled National Endowment for Democracy: Paying to Make Enemies of America, Paul explains how the NED interferes in the political processes of other countries under the euphemistic banner of democracy. Paul states: The misnamed National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is nothing more than a costly program that takes US taxpayer funds to promote favored politicians and political parties abroad. What the NED does in foreign countries, through its recipient organizations the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI), would be rightly illegal in the United States. The NED injects "soft money" into the domestic elections of foreign countries in favor of one party or the other. Imagine what a couple of hundred thousand dollars will do to assist a politician or political party in a relatively poor country abroad. It is particularly Orwellian to call US manipulation of foreign elections "promoting democracy." How would Americans feel if the Chinese arrived with millions of dollars to support certain candidates deemed friendly to China? Would this be viewed as a democratic development? (National Endowment for Democracy: Paying to Make Enemies of America) There are several examples of NED involvement in the political affairs of other nations that would lead many to surmise that the answer to Paul's question is no. In 1984, the NED provided funds to a presidential candidate in Panama who was supported by Manuel Noriega and the CIA (Blum). Controversy following this move prompted Congress to enact a law prohibiting the use of NED funds 'to finance the campaigns of candidates for public office' (ibid). The NED, says William Blum, successfully manipulated elections in Nicaragua in 1990 and Mongolia in 1996 and helped overthrow democratically elected governments in Bulgaria in 1990 and Albania in 1991 and 1992 (ibid). Serbia is yet another country that fell victim to a NED destabilization campaign. In a November 26, 2000 New York Times article entitled Who Really Brought Down Milosevic, Roger Cohen shares some damning admissions given to him during an interview with Paul B. McCarthy, an official with the NED. In 1999, McCarthy and his colleagues at the NED were looking for a Serbian opposition movement that could be used to destabilize Milosevic's government (Who Really Brought Down Milosevic?). The NED turned to Otpor, a student-led revolutionary group, as a candidate (ibid). McCarthy told Cohen that the fascistic look of Otpor's flag, with its closed fist logo, initially scared many NED officials (ibid). Several of the group's features, however, made the NED officials put their fears and reservations aside. Cohen shares some of those features: Its flat organization would frustrate the regime's attempts to pick a target to hit or compromise; its commitment to enduring arrests and even police violence tended to shame the long-squabbling Serbian opposition parties into uniting; it looked more effective in breaking fear than any other group; it had a clear agenda of ousting Milosevic and making Serbia a ''normal'' European state; and it had the means to sway parents while getting out the critical vote of young people. (ibid) McCarthy revealed to Cohen that large amounts of money from the NED began to flow into Otpor coffers around August 1999 (ibid). Almost $3 million were spent by the NED in Serbia and, according to McCarthy, Otpor was certainly the largest recipient (ibid). The NED funds were placed in Otpor's accounts outside of Serbia (ibid). McCarthy even held a series of meetings with the movement's leaders in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, and in Szeged and Budapest in Hungary (ibid). The NED also played a role in the Iran-Contra Affair, considered one of the greatest political scandals in American history. Blum shares the details: The Endowment played an important role in the Iran-Contra affair of the 1980s, funding key components of Oliver North's shadowy "Project Democracy" network, which privatized US foreign policy, waged war, ran arms and drugs and engaged in other equally charming activities. At one point in 1987, a White House spokesman stated that those at NED "run Project Democracy". This was an exaggeration; it would have been more correct to say that NED was the public arm of Project Democracy, while North ran the covert end of things. In any event, the statement caused much less of a stir than if - as in an earlier period - it had been revealed that it was the CIA which was behind such an unscrupulous operation. (Trojan Horse: The National Endowment for Democracy) NED may have even found its way into the hands of a recognized terrorist. Between 1990 and 1992, the Cuban-American National Fund (CANF), a group described by Blum as an ultra-fanatic anti-Castro Miami group, received a quarter-million dollars of taxpayers money from the NED (ibid). In turn, Luis Posada Carriles, who Blum calls one of the most prolific and pitiless terrorists of modern times, was a recipient of CANF financing (ibid). Mie nimeona niiweke hii makala hapa ili kama ina any political significance hasa katika siasa zetu ijadiliwe kwa mapana yake. Isijekuwa wanaanza kutia mkono wao taratibu hapa kwetu. NED ni zaidi ya tuijuavyo.