Counter Kremlin: USAID’s strategy in the name of democracy

By Countercurrents Collective
An intergovernmental coalition about a new U.S. initiative planned to counter Russia in Europe hosted a presentation on September 12, 2019, in Warsaw. Media reports said:
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) describes its initiative – Countering Malign Kremlin Influence – as a framework to help democratic institutions safeguard elections, counter-propaganda and misinformation, and avoid dependence on Russian energy.
The effort, first announced in July, is aimed at countries such as Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.
USAID Assistant Administrator Brock Bierman presented it on September 12 to diplomats in Warsaw, delivering the message that the U.S. is committed to its strategic interests across a region that is important to the U.S.
Bierman was speaking at the Warsaw-based Community of Democracies, a coalition of a number of states closer to the U.S.
Bierman said: The Kremlin has nothing to offer. USAID will not stand by as the Kremlin seeks to undermine what the countries in the region “have fought so hard for and for so long.”
He told about USAID’s efforts that include supporting journalism in Moldova and the Balkans, and helping countries diversify their energy supplies so that Russian energy does not remain a tool of political control.
Wojciech Przybylski, the editor of Visegrad Insight magazine, which focuses on Central Europe, said that it was reassuring to hear of U.S. efforts to support democracy across Europe.
“The fact that a U.S. government agency is undertaking efforts to tell the story that Americans are countering the Kremlin — and exactly on the territory the Kremlin would dispute, where Moscow would rather not have anyone else but themselves — it’s a powerful message and the right message,” Przybylski told The Associated Press.
In July, the chief of the USAID Mark Green presented a strategy on ‘countering malign Kremlin influence,’ the USAID said on its website and dated June 27.
The document featured measures to counter Russia’s influence in Europe, in particular in Moldova and Ukraine.
“The United States has long believed that a strong, prosperous, and free Europe is vitally important to American strategic interests. The Russian Government and its proxies aim to weaken U.S. influence in the world and divide us from our allies and partners,” reads the document.
The document targets four major areas: energy and economy, democracy and law, media.
Pro-Hong Kong rally in Washington DC sponsored with the US govt.-linked money
A planned Washington DC protest in support of Hong Kong activists and promoting the ‘Chinazi’ flag is being sponsored by at least six organizations backed by the US-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
Posters for the event circulated online contain an image of the so-called ‘Chinazi’ flag – an altered version of the Chinese national flag with the yellow stars arranged to form a swastika and with a hammer and sickle placed in the centre.
The list of event sponsors proves that the anti-China movement in Hong Kong is backed not only by the U.S. politicians, but also by the U.S. government-funded groups.
A DC-based organization called Citizen Power Initiatives for China, which describes itself as a “grassroots movement” dedicated to promoting democracy in China through “overseas assistance” appears to be the chief event organizer.
Information on the group’s funding is not easily found on its website, but a search of the NED database shows it received $206,500 from the US-funded organization between 2015 and 2016.
The NED, founded in 1983, has been used mainly as a “soft-power” vehicle to advance the U.S. foreign policy and military agenda through sowing chaos in countries targeted for “regime change.”
Prominent investigative journalists made claims over the last few years that the NED is “dedicated to meddling in other countries’ affairs, interfering in elections, toppling elected leaders and spreading public relations campaigns to sow chaos against countries that resist U.S. agenda.”
Even one of the NED’s former presidents, Carl Gershman, has admitted it was created in order to continue the work of the CIA without the stigma of being attached to the spy agency.
Six more of the “Chinazi” rally’s sponsors have also collaborated with or received significant funding from the NED in recent years. Those include the Princeton China Initiative (received $323,811 between 2015-2017), Students for a Free Tibet (received $270,810 between 2015-2018), International Campaign for Tibet (received $35,558 in 2015), the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (received $104,496 in 2015), and the Uyghur American Association (received $295,000 in 2015). ChinaAid lists the NED and the US-funded Freedom House as partners.
Other sponsors of the event are also US-based, including Dialogue China (Maryland), The China Organ Harvest Research Center (New York) and The East Turkestan National Awakening Movement (Washington DC) – but information on their funding is not clear.
The NED’s focus on Hong Kong fits with the typical U.S. approach to anti-government protest activity abroad.
China has accused the U.S. of orchestrating the movement and analysts have argued that encouraging unrest in Hong Kong is seen to be beneficial for Washington as U.S. President Donald Trump wages a trade and tech war with China.
The Hong Kong protesters have been seen waving US flags and key figureheads of the movement visited Washington DC to meet with high-ranking U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, at the height of the chaos.
The links between US officials, anti-China activists and shady U.S. government-funded organizations is reminiscent of countless US regime-change or ‘colour revolution’ efforts seen around the world, from Ukraine to Syria, Libya and Venezuela.
Now, more evidence is coming up that prove that the U.S. is playing an active role in fueling turmoil in Hong Kong.
13 September 2019
Source: via JUST Commentary