Kurt Nimmo
June 26, 2009

Ignore the neocons who whine that Obama and the Democrats are not doing enough to support the protesters arrayed in opposition to recently re-elected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mullahs in Iran.

A sordid cast of characters from “democracy” NGOs and the CIA failed to overthrow Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez.

“The Obama administration is moving forward with plans to fund groups that support Iranian dissidents,” reports USA Today. “The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which reports to the secretary of state, has for the last year been soliciting applications for $20 million in grants to ‘promote democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Iran,’ according to documents on the agency’s website. The final deadline for grant applications is June 30.”

Or put another way, the CIA will fund the opposition and this effort will be run out of Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

Public records show that USAID has long been a front for CIA intelligence gathering, as well as a conduit for CIA funding to foreign governments and agencies, according to Bill Keisling. Pages 607 to 613 of the so-called CIA Family Jewels document describes a “joint CIA/USAID training program.”

Andrew Natsios, USAID’s former head, stated unequivocally in a widely distributed 2003 speech that even foreign USAID-funded contractors and NGOs “are an arm of the U.S. government.” And the role of the much smaller NED was made clear when Allen Weinstein, one of its founders stated in a 1991 Washington Post article that, “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

It is well documented that the CIA’s USAID, along with the Pentagon, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and the Venezuelan mafia in Miami attempted to overthrow Hugo Chávez. “It has been affirmed that the coup against Chávez was CIA-made,” writes Jean-Guy Allard of Granma International. “The CIA and the State Department maintain various fronts in the country, as they always do.”

In addition to USAID and NED, the failed coup against Chávez was coordinated by the International Republican Institute and Freedom House. Neocon and former CIA director James Woolsey was the chairman of Freedom House and trustees include the ubiquitous Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Clinton Commerce Secretary Stuart Eizenstat, and National Security Adviser Anthony Lake. “Freedom House lists USAID, US Information Agency, Soros Foundations and the National Endowment for Democracy, among its financial backers,” notes F. William Engdahl.

Soros and crew are behind the so-called “color revolutions” in former Soviet states. After the Orange Revolution in Ukraine several Central Asian nations took action against Soros’ Open Society Institute (OSI). Uzbekistan, for instance, forced the shutting down of the OSI regional offices in that country. The Guardian reported that USAID, National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and Freedom House were directly involved in the Orange Revolution. The Albert Einstein Institution — a documented CIA asset (according to researcher Thierry Meyssan) — provided training for activists in Serbia and Ukraine.

[efoods]Soros inspired or directly funded color revolutions are brewing in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burma, Moldova, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, and Uzbekistan.

In 2007, Iranian television ran a documentary showing two purported Soros activists, Haleh Esfandiari (she worked for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars) and Kian Tajbakhsh (an urban planning consultant with Soros’ OSI), who are being held on suspicion of spying and endangering Iranian national security, according to the BBC.

The same year the CIA received secret presidential approval to mount a covert “black” operation to destabilize the Iranian government, according to ABC News. “The sources say the CIA developed the covert plan over the last year and received approval from White House officials and other officials in the intelligence community.”

On July 7, 2008, journalist Seymour Hersh provided detail on the campaign against Iran. “The covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations,” including radical Sunnis compared to al-Qaeda, writes Hersh.

In addition, Israel is using “hitmen, sabotage, front companies and double agents” against Iran, according to the Telegraph. “As US-Israeli relations are bound to come under strain over the Obama administration’s outreach to Iran, and as the political atmosphere grows in complexity, an intensification of Israeli covert activity against Iran is likely to result,” Reva Bhalla, a senior analyst with Stratfor, told the newspaper.

In response to neocon criticism of Obama’s “outreach,” it appears the administration is now supporting Iranian opposition groups, preferring the “soft” approach to the neocon insistence the U.S. and Israel confront the Islamic nation head on with sanctions and eventually military action. Obama’s approach is described as “democracy promotion initiatives.”

“Respecting Iran’s sovereignty does not mean our silence on issues of fundamental rights and freedoms, such as the right to peacefully protest,” said State Department spokesman Ian Kelly.

Instead it means throwing millions of dollars at USAID and ultimately NED and the “freedom” NGOs that will covertly meddle in Iranian politics. The neoliberal template is to undermine target nations in the shadows and under the cover of so-called democracy, while the neocon penchant is for open hostility served up with a steaming side dish of bombastic rhetoric. The final result is approximately the same.

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