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Are NGOs Agents of Subversion?

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By:Pat Buchanan | March 24, 2015

Though "Bibi" Netanyahu won re-election last week, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will still look into whether the State Department financed a clandestine effort to defeat him.

Reportedly, State funneled $350,000 to an American NGO called OneVoice, which has an Israeli subsidiary, Victory 15, that collaborated with U.S. operatives to bring Bibi down.

If we are now secretly pumping cash into the free elections of friendly countries, to dump leaders President Obama dislikes, Americans have a right to know why we are using Cold War tactics against democracies.

After World War II, my late colleague on CNN's "Crossfire," Tom Braden, delivered CIA cash to democratic parties in Europe imperiled by communist parties financed from Moscow.

But that was done to combat Stalinism when Western survival was at stake in a Cold War that ended in 1991.

Hopefully, after looking into OneVoice and V15, the Senate will expand its investigation into a larger question: Is the U.S. using NGOs to subvert regimes around the world? And, if so, who decides which regimes may be subverted?

What gives these questions urgency is the current crisis that has Moscow moving missiles toward Europe and sending submarines and bombers to probe NATO defenses.

America contends that Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea and backing for pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine is the cause of the gathering storm in Russian-NATO relations.

Yet Putin's actions in Ukraine were not taken until the overthrow of a democratically elected pro-Russian regime in Kiev, in a coup d'etat in which, Moscow contends, an American hand was clearly visible.

Not only was John McCain in Kiev's Maidan Square egging on the crowds that drove the regime from power, so, too, was U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.

In an intercepted phone call with our ambassador in Kiev, Nuland identified the man we preferred when President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted. "Yats," she called him. And when Yanukovych fled after the Maidan massacre, sure enough, Arseniy Yatsenyuk was in power.

Nuland also revealed that the U.S. had spent $5 billion since 1991 to bring about the reorientation of Ukraine toward the West.

Now, bringing Ukraine into the EU and NATO may appear to Nuland & Co. a great leap forward for freedom and progress.

But to Russia it looks like the subversion of a Slavic nation with which she has had intimate ties for centuries, to bring Ukraine into an economic union and military alliance directed against Moscow.

And if NATO stumbles into a military clash with Russia, the roots of that conflict will be traceable to the coup in Kiev that Russians believe was the dirty work of the Americans.

If the U.S. had a role in that coup, the American people should know it and the Senate should find out whether Nuland & Co. used NGOs to reignite a Cold War that Ronald Reagan brought to an end.

And if we are now using NGOs as fronts for secret operations to dump over regimes, we are putting all NGOs abroad under suspicion and at risk.

Not in our lifetimes has America been more distrusted and disliked. And among the reasons is that we are seen as constantly carping at governments that do not measure up to our standards of democracy, and endlessly interfering in the internal affairs of nations that do not threaten us.

In this new era, U.S. foreign policy elites have boasted of the "color-coded" revolutions they helped to foment in Belgrade, Kiev, Tbilisi. In 2003, we helped to overthrow the Georgian regime of Eduard Shevardnadze in a "Rose Revolution" that brought to power Mikheil Saakashvili. And Saakashvili nearly dragged us into a confrontation with Russia in 2008, when he invaded South Ossetia and killed Russian peacekeepers.

What vital interest of ours was there in that little nation in the Caucasus, the birthplace of Stalin, to justify so great a risk?

Nor is it Moscow alone that is angered over U.S. interference in its internal affairs and those of its neighbor nations.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt has expelled members of U.S. NGOs. Beijing believes U.S. NGOs were behind the Occupy-Wall-Street-style street blockages in Hong Kong.

If true, these U.S. actions raise a fundamental question:

What is the preeminent goal of U.S. foreign policy?

Is it to protect the vital interests and national security of the Republic? Or do we believe with George W. Bush that, "The survival of liberty" in America "depends on the success of liberty in other lands."

If it is the latter, then our mission is utopian—and unending.

For if we believe our liberty is insecure until the whole world is democratic, then we cannot rest until we witness the overthrow of the existing regimes in Russia, China, North Korea, Vietnam, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Belarus, most of the Arab and African nations, as well as Venezuela and Cuba.

And if that is our goal, our Republic will die trying to achieve it.


Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at




Gilbert Jacobi
3/24/2015 06:18 PM

  "...the subversion of a Slavic nation with which she has had intimate ties for centuries, to bring Ukraine into an economic union and military alliance directed against Moscow." This is a breathtakingly wrong description and one no right thinking person can accept. What Mr. Buchanan describes as Russia’s “intimate ties” with Ukraine, are, in fact, the repeated territorial dismemberment, crushing of independence, obliteration of culture, conscription of its youth for imperial wars, and plunder of its resources, crowned with the deliberate starvation of, at a minimum, three millions of its people. This was not a people who needed "subversion" to make them want to escape the Kremlin's embrace. In light of this background, it is cravenly wrong to allow, as Mr. Buchanan appears to do, the “coup” slander to be smeared on the magnificently brave, deeply spiritual, joyously hopeful Revolution of Dignity that Ukrainians from all over that country pulled off last year. The roots of this conflict with Russia go back not to 2014, nor to 2004, when Russia began in earnest to fight the latest signs of Ukrainian independence, but to 1945, when Stalin was stopped at Berlin, once again thwarting the Tsars’ undying and undead dream of an empire reaching to “the final ocean”. For decades after the war, Russia succeeded in wrapping that conflict in the myth of the Great Patriotic War, the lofty crusade against fascism, thus concealing the evil actions and intentions of their regime. Lately, Ukrainians have been uncovering the hidden parts of that story, and have drawn down the wrath of Moscow as a result.

Jim B
3/24/2015 10:57 PM

  Mr. Jacobi: You ignore an unpleasant fact: in 2010 the Ukrainian nation voted for the pro-Russian presidential candidate, Yanukovych, by 1 million votes over the "pro-Western" Julia Tymoshenko. Perhaps those centuries-old animosities have been forgotten. Perhaps it wasn't Russia qua Russia, but the Communists who starved the kulaks. You usually have astute comments to make here. I am surprised by your attack upon PJB who was not debating Ukraine vs Russia, but rather the participation of NGOs and the U.S. in aligning with the pro-Western politicians and driving a wedge between the US and Russia.

Kevin Rudd
3/24/2015 11:58 PM

  Mr. Jacobi Your citation leaves out six important words "but to Russia it looks like...." This speaks to the larger point of the article. Regardless of whether the Ukrainian revolution was just or not, is it the United States role to choose sides here, and if it is, who decides when and if we are to intervene? Again, right or wrong, the Russians were antagonized. Many would say that we ought to be more concerned with minding our own affairs.

Harry Heller
San Francisco
3/25/2015 12:24 AM

  Exceptionally wise words from the great Pat Buchanan. It's time to stop our interfering in countries that pose no strategic risk to our homeland. Yes, an Islamic enemy like Iran hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons should have its nuclear enrichment facilities annihilated whilst America still has the missile and airpower advantage to do so. Such preemptive national security moves are also part of a healthy Jacksonian conception of "America First". But what government is in power in the Ukraine is absolutely none of our business. Mr. Jacobi is right that the Ukrainians should enjoy sovereign nationhood, JUST AS EVERY OTHER ETHNO-NATIONALLY DISTINCTIVE PEOPLE SHOULD, including Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans, Poles, Russians - and white Americans. Forcible racial or ethnocultural mixing or integration is a form of cultural genocide; therefore, genetically dissimilar mass immigration forced onto a helpless people is likewise a form of imperialism. What Mr. Jacobi fails to note is that 1) Pat is correct that the US helped to instigate a coup d'etat against what no one significant had previously alleged was an undemocratically installed government, and 2) there are many Russians in Eastern Ukraine (overwhelmingly so in the Crimea) who have the same moral rights to ethnonational self-determination as the Ukrainians. Moreover, while the West must never forget the horrific Ukrainian mass-famine of the early 1930s (so eloquently analyzed in Robert Conquest's The Harvest of Sorrow), Mr. Jacobi is exceptionally disingenuous in his insinuation of RUSSIAN blame for that tragedy. It was the communists (a huge number of whom were NOT ethnically Russian at all) who starved the Ukrainians, not a Russian peasantry being simultaneously persecuted by Lenin's heirs. The Christian Russian people were just as much the victims of Bolshevism as Christian Ukrainians. But whatever the history, America has no reason to risk war with Russia over a nation so irrelevant to our interests.

Nicholas MOSES
Paris, France
3/25/2015 11:40 AM

  What seems patently obvious is that if Russia has good reason to be wary of any extension of the US/NATO/EU sphere of influence to its own front door, this latter also has good reason to oppose territorial or influential extension of Russia in its own direction. NATO and the EU should make a commitment not to admit or place troops in Ukraine in exchange for Russia withholding all financial and/or military aid to any internal faction in the country as well as not annexing Crimea. And I think there's something else at play I'd like to address while I'm at it. I certainly understand and sympathize with Western conservatives going ga-ga at the prospect of a white, cisgendered Christian man at the head of a major state pursuing cultural and social policies which reflect the aforementioned demographic categorizations and would only caution that for many centuries we did have those in the West as well and while they were certainly preferable to what we have now, not all of them were necessarily *competent* in the end. And that if the only solution we can foresee for our crumbling societies is to bow in awe before the great UR President, we have already ceded all hope of recovering our own manhood or credibility.


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