Mar 19 2014
Tensions between the US and Russia remain high after Crimeans voted to split away from Ukraine and join Russia. Tens of thousands of Russian troops remain in the Crimean peninsula, while Ukrainian forces with the support of the US and EU, are conducting military exercises close by.
Nowhere in the mainstream media’s coverage of the Ukraine crisis is the role that American think-tanks and politicians may be playing. In fact the only media outlets bringing up the role of the National Endowment for Democracy in the Ukraine are Al Jazeera and RT, along with news blogs like Daily Beast, Dissident Voice, and OpEd News.
But the NED – a US-based foundation – has taken a keen interest in Ukraine for many years. A glance at its website shows more than $3 million in donations to various on-the-ground youth groups, media outlets, and voter-registration organizations in Ukraine. But the NED also gave a quarter of a million dollars to the International Republican Institute, a group currently headed by Sen. John McCain, who publicly joined Ukrainians during mass protests and urged them to overturn President Viktor Yanukovich.
Groups like the NED and IRI are insidious in that they represent a back-door method of influencing foreign policy. While it is not yet known exactly what role they have played in Ukraine, a comparison with the 2002 coup in Venezuela gives us an idea.
GUEST: Howard Friel, author of Chomsky and Dershowitz: On Endless War and the End of Civil Liberties (Olive Branch Press). He also wrote the The Lomborg Deception: Setting the Record Straight about Global Warming (Yale University Press, 2010), and is co-author with Richard Falk of Israel-Palestine on Record: How The New York Times Misreports Conflict in the Middle East (Verso, 2007), and The Record of the Paper: How The New York Times Misreports U.S. Foreign Policy
Click here to read his article about the NED.