The National Endowment for Democracy, a soft-power group mostly known for splashing government dollars on pro-US influence campaigns overseas to enforce regime change, has endorsed protests against police brutality at home.
In a statement on Friday, the NED came out in support of the protests against the police killing of unarmed black man George Floyd, which, while originally peaceful, spiralled into violence, wrecking havoc across dozens of US cities. The group, which styles itself as a “private and nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world” but is notorious for being used as a vehicle of US foreign policy abroad, said that it hopes that the movement for racial justice in the US will inspire other “brave people” to challenge the status quo all around the globe.
“Such a movement is needed not just for the sake of our own country, but for the benefit of brave people on the frontlines of democratic struggles around the world.”
In its emphatic endorsement of the ongoing protests, marred by looting, arson and numerous instances of violence, the group equated its doing of Washington’s bidding abroad with the civil rights movement that brought the system of legal segregation in the US to its formal end, arguing that the NED’s mission is “based on the same values of freedom and human equality.”
In a not so thinly-veiled innuendo, the group, which is sponsored by the US Congress and is backed by both Republican and Democratic parties, expressed hope that the events in the US could ignite similar movements elsewhere.
“May the present crisis lead to the realization of the ideals that animate our democracy, and may this give hope to those in other countries who share our commitment to freedom and human dignity.”
The NED, founded in 1983, has courted controversy for using its US government allocated resources for encouraging regime change in countries that refuse to toe Washington’s line, like Russia and China. The group, along with other US-based “NGOs” supported the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine and later funneled millions of freedom dollars to the country ahead of the 2014 anti-Russian coup that brought down Ukraine’s former President Viktor Yanukovych.
In 2015, Moscow designated the NED’s activities as “undesirable” after it was found to have sponsored political campaigns aimed at influencing the Russian government’s decisions, including discrediting the nation’s military forces and the results of elections.
The outlet has also been caught red-handed stirring anti-Beijing sentiment in Hong Kong, drawing fire from the Chinese government. In December 2019, Beijing sanctioned the NED along with several other US-affiliated organizations, accusing them of “horrible activities in the months-long turmoil in the city” […]