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Reply #5: You're welcome, hiley! [View All]

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-16-05 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. You're welcome, hiley!
This war wasn't about any threat to We the People.

It was merely a business opportunity for the connected.


The Silent Bastions of Democracy



Complementing RTI's work is the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a quasi-governmental body promised a 100 percent increase in Congressional funding in George W. Bush's 2004 State of the Union address. "There is a lot of change taking place ," NED President Carl Gershman remarked to the Washington Times. "We know how to get to the right people."

In Nicaragua in 1990, the right people were from the conservative opposition party led by Violeta Chamorro, who ran against the Sandinista President Daniel Ortega with campaign funding from NED.7 In Venezuela in April 2002, NED felt it made the right choice in supporting those who organized a failed coup d'etat against Hugo Chavez.8 In Iraq, NED is once again busy searching for the right people. While RTI recruits people at the grassroots, NED and its affiliates have been developing the machinery for scores of political formations expected to contest the national elections planned for January 2005 or crowd the scheduled Constitutional Assembly to be held beforehand.

In Baghdad, scores of houses have been renovated to be the headquarters of new political parties - many of them furnished by NED. But NED does not simply dispense cash. Since the occupation began, NED's affiliates, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), have been holding political party development seminars and focus group discussions. As with USAID-sponsored "political party development" programs, the NED seminars train Iraqis on techniques of strategic planning, building up the party's local and regional structures, recruiting members, fundraising and media relations. More advanced levels take up electoral communication strategies, campaign planning and candidate


The NDI has been holding sessions for assessing party strengths and weaknesses and evaluating their potential for participating in elections.10 The IRI has gone as far as producing a database of parties, with information on each group's characteristics, their regions of operations, and estimates of their memberships.11 At least one of the parties, the Free Republican Party, has openly packaged itself as the Iraqi version of the US Republican


Meanwhile, the US government allotted funding through a common NED conduit, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) of the US Chamber of Commerce, to set up business associations in Iraq. "By serving as a platform to voice the business community's needs and interests to political decision-makers, business associations contribute to the growth of a participatory civil society and the development of a regulatory and policy environment conducive to private enterprise," reads its report. One of the organizations that CIPE founded, the Iraqi American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is bent on "promoting an open market economy and a democratic political system."13


NED. Shmed. E. D. Nothing new, as far as The New York Times is concerned.

I do thank you for giving a damn, hiley!
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