By Daniel McAdams
National Endowment for Democracy president-for-life Carl Gershman takes to the pages of the Washington Post today to put a positive spin on a recent Russian government decision to finally send that US government-funded regime-change organization packing. The Russian finding that NED is a threat to the constitutional order, writes Gershman, only demonstrates that "the regime of President Vladimir Putin faces a worsening crisis of political legitimacy." According to Gershman, Putin is terrified at the prospect of any political opposition and is therefore clamping down by ousting the NED. In other words, as Gershman writes, "the pressures are now building toward what many in Russia believe is a major political turning point."
Heavy words, but like much of what the NED does overseas, the claims are not backed by numbers. The "worsening crisis" that Gershman pushes is hardly evident anywhere but in Gershman's mind. Indeed, recently Time Magazine reported that Putin enjoys an unprecedented 89 percent approval rating (by the way, according to an average of all major US polling companies this summer, the US Congress has a 16 percent approval rating). The only opposition party that enjoys significant support in Russia is the Russian Communist Party, which makes Putin's US views look Atlanticist by comparison. Gershman's pro-US "democratic" parties are so unpopular in Russia that they are not even represented in the Russian parliament. Likely it is their dependence on Gershman's millions in US backing that keeps them unpopular at home -- after all, who would vote for a foreign-funded stooge?
And that is the real crux of Gershman's dilemma. He is trying to extract blood from a stone and it is only his bottomless checkbook (thanks to the US taxpayer) that he can continue in his fool's errand. The more he backs pro-US political parties, the more they are rejected by Russians who rightly see them as foreign sock-puppets.
The lies and deceits in Gershman's Washington Post article are too numerous to detail (like mentioning Russia's economic struggles without mentioning the US-demanded sanctions that have contributed to them), but one in particular must be addressed. "Russia has passed the law prohibiting Russian democrats from getting any international assistance to promote freedom of expression," he claims, and this move "contradict[s] international law." Well one law it does not contradict is the law in Gershman's own country. Both the 1966 Foreign Agents Registration Act and the follow-up 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act explicitly forbid the activities that make up the core of the National Endowment for Democracy's mission.
According to the US Federal Elections Commission website:
The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) prohibits any foreign national from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly. It is also unlawful to help foreign nationals violate that ban or to solicit, receive or accept contributions or donations from them. Persons who knowingly and willfully engage in these activities may be subject to fines and/or imprisonment. ...
Therefore, a Russian or Chinese or Iranian Carl Gershman would be kicked out of the United States (or perhaps imprisoned) for doing exactly what an American Carl Gershman does in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Hungary, Romania, and so on overseas. His mission is criminal according to US law, but the US taxpayer is still robbed every year to pay for it.
Carl Gershman is a lifelong neocon Trotskyite who has made a fortune peddling snake oil to the Washington elites who truly believe that the rest of the world pines to be exactly like us, whether they know it or not. He continues his fight for a global (communist) revolution under a different banner, but his view of the hegemony of his fellow elites never falters. The National Endowment for Democracy fears democracy more than any tyrant they may to oppose. As NED founder Allen Weinstein famously said, "a lot of what we [NED] do was done 25 years ago covertly by the CIA." If only other countries overseas would wake up and send the regime-change operatives of the National Endowment for Democracy back to Washington...
This article was originally published at The Ron Paul Institute For Peace & Prosperity