Democracy is usually the first victim of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a U.S. agency that promotes the U.S Empire's foreign policy beneath the false guise of "promoting democracy".
Considered a "soft" tool of Empire, NED and its subsidiaries work to transform societal fissures in target countries into gaping holes, through which covert agendas can metastize before exploding into illegal regime changes.
Funding flows from the congressional budget of USAID, to NED and its subsidiaries, and finally to factions within target countries whose political economies do not align with globalized economic models of monopoly capitalism.
Beneath NED's democratic veneer is a Board of Directors replete with members who also represent Fortune 500 companies. Additionally, board members include signatories to the pro-war, pro-corporatocracy think tank Project For A New American Century: Francis Fukuyama, Zalmay Khalizad, Will Marshall, and Vin Weber.
Two (of many) examples of the damages wrought, and liberties lost, include Venezuela and Honduras. The final outcome in the case of China, another country where Empire is interfering in internal affairs, remains uncertain.
In Venezuela and China, NED is a work in progress. NED's work in Honduras is finished.
Acclaimed attorney and writer, Eva Golinger, explains in "The Dirty Hand Of The National Endowment For Democracy (NED) In Venezuela", that in 2013 alone, and in "gross violation of Venezuelan law," NED provided more than $2.3 million to Venezuelan opposition groups and projects.
The clear purpose of the funding is to undermine the democratically-elected Maduro government in favour of a regime that embraces a U.S style (neoliberal) economic model.
NED, then, serves as a "soft" tool to support a soft coup to destabilize Venezuela's social democracy.
Another article by Golinger, this one entitled "Washington Behind The Honduran Coup" explains that the International Republican Institute (IRI), which receives funding from NED, received more than $1.2 million in 2009 to "intervene in the internal politics of Honduras".
This intervention contributed to the illegal coup in 2009 which deposed the democratically-elected government of Manuel Zelaya and installed a series of ruthless, murderous dictators, starting with Manuel Micheletti.
In an article entitled "Why Canada And The U.S. Are On The Wrong Side Of Democracy", I describe the shocking downward spiral of Honduras since the illegal coup, and the concurrent loss of economic and political self-determination.
This, then, is the consistent pattern when Empire intervenes in the internal affairs of other countries.
And finally, a few words about Occupy Central in Hong Kong. Here too, NED and NDI are actively participating in the movement
Unlike its counterparts in North America, Occupy Central has identifiable leaders, including Martin Lee, Jimmy Lai, Joseph Zen, Anson Chan, and Benny Tai, and each of these leaders is connected in one way or another with U.S. contacts, and U.S. funding. All of this, plus the conspicuous absence of banking institutions from the agenda, suggests that Occupy Central is not organic, and that Empire will strongly impact this movement as well.
Time will tell what the impacts will be, but if history provides any clues, the protestors marching valiantly in the streets, demanding justice and democracy, may yet be disappointed.
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It certainly is in some places, but those don't tend to be on the U.S. side. In fact, El Paso, Texas and San Diego, California are the two safest cities in the country, according to Congressional Quarterly. While Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has repeatedly said the border in her state is dangerous, crime statistics reported by USA Today and The Huffington Post show that violent crime has dropped along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona, as well as California, New Mexico and Texas.
That’s not the assessment of the U.S. government. The Mexico section of the most recent State Department's Country Reports on Terrorism reads: No known international terrorist organization had an operational presence in Mexico and no terrorist group targeted U.S. citizens in or from Mexican territory. There was no evidence of ties between Mexican criminal organizations and terrorist groups, nor that the criminal organizations had political or territorial control, aside from seeking to protect and expand the impunity with which they conduct their criminal activity. H/T: Washington Office on Latin America.
Depends on how you define "secure." By practically all measurements, the border is at its most secure point in recent history. There's more than 20,000 Border Patrol agents stationed along the border now -- about double the number since 2004. Apprehensions along the border, one of the most reliable measures of illegal entry, are at their lowest level in 40 years. But politicians have yet to agree on how to define what "secure" will mean for legal purposes.
Not so. In fact, it's one of the biggest gripes immigration activists have with him. While Obama has exempted many people who came to the United States as children from deportation, he has also set records, deporting over 400,000 people last fiscal year and removing more migrants in one term than George W. Bush did in two.
Again, depends on who you ask. The $18 billion the federal government spent on border enforcement in the 2012 fiscal year was more than it spent on than on other law enforcement agencies combined, according to the Migration Policy Institute -- about 15 times more than it did in the mid-1980s. Is that enough, especially in a context in which illegal immigration stands at net zero? If, not, what is?
Nope. For all the talk from outraged politicians, you'd think that immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border remains at historically high levels. In fact, illegal immigration from Mexico has dropped to net zero or less, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
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