Monday, March 12, 2012

344 China admits that North Korea started the Korean War-

China admits that North Korea started the Korean War

(1) China admits that North Korea started the Korean War
(2) Google backs down in its battle with China
(3) Georgia pulls down Stalin monuments - in wake of war with Russia over South Ossetia
(4) Kyrgyzstan: memories of Turkestan - Eric Walberg
(5) National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Iran - doing overtly what CIA did covertly

(1) China admits that North Korea started the Korean War

From: IHR News <news@ihr.org> Date: 03.07.2010 07:25 PM

The Telegraph (Britain)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/southkorea/7853746/China-rewrites-history-of-Korean-War.html

China rewrites history of Korean War

On the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, China has finally rewritten its history of how the conflict began to point the finger of responsibility at North Korea.

By Malcolm Moore in Shanghai

Published: 11:11AM BST 25 Jun 2010

Until now, the Chinese have staunchly supported their North Korean allies, along whose side they fought in the war.

China previously insisted that the war was waged out of American aggression. The official title of the conflict on the mainland is "The War to Resist America and Aid Korea".

Chinese history textbooks state that the Korean War began when "the United States assembled a United Nations army of 15 countries and defiantly marched across the border and invaded North Korea, spreading the flames of war to our Yalu river."

The official Chinese media stated for the first time that it was North Korea that dealt the first blow. In a special report, Xinhua's International Affairs journal said: "On June 25, 1950, the North Korean army marched over 38th Parallel and started the attack. Three days later, Seoul fell."

China and North Korea were "as close as lips and teeth," said Mao Tse-tung.

The Korean War, which has never formally ended, has been largely forgotten in the West, despite the deaths of between two and three million people in the fighting.

In Asia, however, the memory of the war is still felt strongly and has sustained a continuing alliance and emotional bond between Beijing and Pyongyang.

While many Chinese historians privately subscribe to the view that North Korea was the aggressor in the war, driven by Kim Il-sung's desire to unite the Korean peninsula under a Communist banner, the matter remains highly sensitive.

"It is not convenient for me to comment on the matter," said Zhang Liangui, a leading professor of Korean studies at the Communist Central Party School in Beijing. "I was not aware of this timeline [in the Xinhua article]. As far as I am aware there has been no change to the official view on the war."

Meanwhile, the Global Times, a government-run newspaper, said it was "high time to renew and strengthen efforts by Chinese scholars to discover the truth about the Korean War."

In Seoul, South Korea held an official ceremony to remember the war and Lee Myung-bak, the president, paid tribute to the dead. "Sixty years ago, North Korea's communists opened fire on a weekend's dawn when all people were sleeping peacefully," he said.

Meanwhile, across the border, North Korea put across its own view of the conflict. Under the headline: "US, Provoker of Korean War," the country's state news agency accused Washington of starting the war with a surprise attack.

"All the historical facts show that it is the US imperialists who unleashed the war in Korea and that the United States can never escape from the responsibility," the Korean Central News Agency said.

(2) Google backs down in its battle with China

From: Max <Max@mailstar.net> Date: 30.06.2010 10:06 AM

In its battle with China, Google takes a step back

In a bid to placate Chinese officials, Google revamps its site in China

By Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld June 29, 2010

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9178687/In_its_battle_with_China_Google_takes_a_step_back

Google Inc. may not be throwing in the towel in its battle with the Chinese government, but it certainly took a step back this week.

Google announced late Monday that it will no longer automatically redirect search traffic from China to its Hong Kong search engine. The announcement came just two days before Google's license to operate in China must be renewed.

The company hopes the move placates Chinese officials, who had threatened to revoke Google's Internet Content Provider (ICP) license if the company did not stop redirecting search requests from Chinese users.

In a blog post last night, Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond said the company plans to complete the shift in direction over the next few days.

Instead of the automatic redirect, the Google.cn site now shows an image of the Google search bar above a link that says, "We've moved to Google.com.hk. Please visit our new Web site." Clicking on the logo or text takes users to the Hong Kong Web site.

It should be clear on Wednesday whether the Chinese government accepts the compromise move and will renew Google's license to continue doing business in the country.

Without a license, Google would go dark in China.

Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group, said that while Google's move amounts to caving in to Chinese officials, the company's executives had few alternatives if they wanted to continue doing business in China.

"They really have no choice if they want to stay in that region," Enderle said. "That was the problem of taking a position the company could not sustain. You don't fight governments. Google had a choice: Capitulate or leave. They capitulated."

Google in January had threatened to halt its operations in China after contending that an attack on its network from inside China aimed to expose the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. At the same time, Google said it was reconsidering its willingness to censor the search results of users in China as required by the government.

After several months of negotiations with Chinese officials, Google announced in March that it had stopped censoring search results in the country. In a blog post at the time, Drummond said the company had stopped censoring Google Search, Google News and Google Images on the Chinese Google.cn site. Users in China were redirected to the Hong Kong-based Google.com.hk site, where they were given uncensored search results in simplified Chinese.

(3) Georgia pulls down Stalin monuments - in wake of war with Russia over South Ossetia

From: IHR News <news@ihr.org> Date: 03.07.2010 07:25 PM

Georgian authorities pull down Stalin monument

June 27, 2010 - 8:51am

By MISHA DZHINDZHIKHASHVILI

Associated Press Writer

http://www.wtop.com/index.php?nid=105&sid=1990127

 FILE - In this Dec. 21, 2006 file photo a bronze statue of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, with Georgian flag in the background, seen during a rally marking his 127th birthday anniversary in his home town of Gori, 80 km (50 miles) west of the Georgian capital Tbilisi. Authorities in Georgia on Friday June 25, 2010 tore down a monument to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in his birthplace of Gori to make way for a memorial to the fallen in the Russian-Georgian war of 2008. Gori is just a few kilometers (miles) from the separatist enclave of South Ossetia, where Russian forces crushed the Georgian army in a brief conflict in August 2008. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov, file)

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) - Authorities in Georgia on Sunday tore down another monument to Soviet dictator and native son Josef Stalin.

The monument in the town of Tkibuli in western Georgia was taken down two days after authorities tore down a bigger and more famous monument to Stalin in his hometown of Gori.

Both statues were brought down in the middle of the night in an apparent bid to avoid protests and media attention.

Stalin was born to a modest family of cobblers in 1878. Both monuments in his honor were erected before his death in 1953.

The Georgian government says a younger generation who have embraced Western ideals of freedom favor the dismantling of Stalin's monuments.

"A memorial to Stalin has no place in the Georgia of the 21st Century," President Mikhail Saakashvili said Friday. Saakashvili's government said a memorial to the fallen in the Russian-Georgian war of 2008 will replace Stalin's statue in Gori.

Georgia's Culture Minister Nikolos Rurua said the government will also soon rename Georgian streets still carrying Stalin's name.

But Rurua said that the body of Stalin's mother that rests alongside the nation's most prominent figures shouldn't reburied as some in Georgia have suggested.

"The mother of Stalin carries no responsibility for what her dictator and tyrant son did to people," Rurua said on Imedi television Sunday. "Reburying her body isn't a good idea."

Stalin's mother Keke Dzhugashvili, born in 1858 to a peasant family in Gori, died in 1937. She was buried at the Mtatsminda Pantheon, a cemetery in Tbilisi where Georgia's writers and other cultural and public figures were buried.

The Western-leaning Saakashvili began a crackdown on Soviet-era monuments last December when a massive World War II memorial was tore down in Kutaisi, drawing protests from the Georgian opposition and from Russia.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin laid a cornerstone to a smaller replica of that monument in Moscow last month.

(4) Kyrgyzstan: memories of Turkestan - Eric Walberg

From: efgh1951 <efgh1951@yahoo.com> Date: 24.06.2010 03:36 AM

Kyrgyzstan: Picking up the pieces

Written by Eric Walberg

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

http://ericwalberg.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=264:kyrgyzstan-picking-up-the-pieces&catid=37:russia-and-ex-soviet-union-english&Itemid=90

Kill the victim and go to his funeral. Is NATO poised to move into the heart of Central Asia, even as its war in Afghanistan implodes, marvels Eric Walberg

Kyrgyzstan joined the rank of failed states this month: its central government lacks legitimacy and depends heavily on external aid, with the US base looming large, while the people are largely destitute, harassed by local thugs and drug barons, and looking to Moscow for a way out.

Clashes in the south are worse than earlier reported, responsible for more than 300 killed, mostly Uzbeks, and setting off a massive wave of refugees, with 100,000 people crammed in camps on Kyrgyzstan's border with Uzbekistan and tens of thousands more displaced. The clashes are almost certainly the result of a provocation organised by the clan of ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

The issues at stake are the referendum next Sunday to legitimise the interim government, and the drug trade, which Bakiyev's clan still controls and is loathe to give up. Heroin comes from Afghanistan via Tajikistan and is repackaged in Osh before being transported west to Uzbekistan and north to Kazakhstan and Russia, according to the UN. The killing two weeks ago of Aibek Mirsidikov, one of the drug kingpins in the area, threatened the Bakiyev clan's control. The rest is history.

Jalalabad province commandant and first Deputy Chairman of the Kyrgyz State National Security Service Kubatbek Baibolov charged that a group of Tajik citizens, hired by the Bakiyev clan, opened fire indiscriminately on both Kyrgyz and Uzbeks sparking the riots. Former Kyrgyz president Askar Akayev told RT.com that Bakiyev's brothers Ahmad and Janysh paid criminals and unemployed youths "in suitcases of cash to start bashing people up and set everything on fire." Bakiyev had cleaned out the banks and the Finance Ministry when he was ousted in April. Days before the current uprising unemployed youth were suddenly flush with cash, said Akayev.

The ex-president's son Maxim's indictment by Italian investigators is what sparked his father's overthrow in April. That the US was not the culprit this time (as opposed to the Tulip Revolution in 2005) is suggested by the fact that the new government continues to threaten to close down the US airbase -- this time, if Britain refuses to hand over Maxim, who was arrested Sunday at Farnborough airport when he arrived by private plane, fleeing an Interpol arrest warrant on charges of corruption and misusing state funds. He is of course seeking political asylum in Britain. "England never gives up people who arrive on its territory. But since England and the US fight terrorism, and the arrangement with the airbase is one of the elements of that fight, then they must give over Maxim Bakiyev," warned Azimbek Beknazarov, deputy leader of the interim government.

This is not just a tragedy for the normally peaceful Uzbeks and Kyrgyz, but also an alarming development for the entire ex-Soviet space. Russia is now faced with the worst post-Soviet political crisis in its "near abroad", where it insists -- rightly -- that it has special claims, having millions of Russians scattered throughout those countries, with intimate economic and cultural links from centuries of both imperial and state socialist development. But where there are claims, there are also responsibilities.

This is no better illustrated than the call by both sides, Uzbeks and Kyrgyz alike, for Russian peacekeeping troops to be deployed as disinterested mediators who understand the region and can communicate with locals, unlike NATO forces in Afghanistan. The spectre of Russians policing the streets of Osh raises none of the loathing and fear that US and NATO troops patrolling, say, Marja, prompts. The peoples of virtually all the ex-Soviet quasi-states (except the Baltics) would rejoin a Soviet-type union in a flash as opinion polls continue to confirm two decades after its ignominious "collapse". When Kyrgyzstan twitches, Russia feels it, and vice versa.

Trying to put Humpty-Dumpty together again is impossible at this point. Instead, the Russian strategy since Yeltsin has been to do everything possible to keep these quasi-states stable, whatever their political leanings. Even the Georgian bete noire Saakashvili was left in place during his war with Russia in 2008. But this hands-off approach has left a vacuum that the US has been filling, with its "democracy building", colour revolutions and bases, oblivious to the fact that the new states it helped give birth to in the first place are more like premmies -- fragile and needing careful nurturing, always in danger of dying.

Russia's approach amounts to propping up dictators no matter how ruthless or bloodthirsty, as long as they acknowledge Moscow's interests. The nicest of the lot, Kyrgyzstan's ex-president Askar Akayev, was overthrown in the US-inspired 2005 coup, which the US now surely regrets, leaving one tolerable one -- Nursultan Nazarbayev in Kazakhstan, with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan frozen in a very nasty timewarp.

Can Russia act as "an agent of change, as a force for genuine modernisation, cautiously nudging the local authoritarian regimes to transform, democratise and broaden their socio-political base?" asks Igor Torbakov of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. If Russia keeps referring to this crisis as merely an "internal conflict," it risks losing face, prestige and the right to claim the leading role in the post-Soviet Eurasia.

Recent weeks have witnessed several other signs of a Russian retreat in foreign policy. It failed to respond to the Brazil-Turkey proposal to defuse the Iranian crisis, voted for sanctions, and cancelled the S-300 missile deal with Iran, admitting to US pressure.

The Arabs have a saying about the rascal who kills the victim and then goes to his funeral. US involvement in Kyrgyz affairs exemplifies this well: destabilise the state and now, like former US ambassador to Russia James Collins and Carnegie Russia and Eurasia Programme deputy director Matthew Rojansky, call for NATO and the US to "immediately engage with regional partners to help restore security." There are no lines to read between here: NATO should expand even further eastward through its Partners for Peace. Collins/Rojansky magnanimously acknowledge that this is "a responsibility NATO must share with the CSTO and the OSCE". They blandly call for "the United States and Russia to put aside outdated stereotypes and focus on their fundamentally shared interests in Eurasian security".

Considering the disarray of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), it is hard to fault the US for using this window of opportunity to move further into the region. This crisis has shown that the CSTO is not a serious regional organisation. The squabbling and suspicious "stan" dictators, Russia, and China have little in common other than their proximity. The CSTO's response, according to its General Secretary Nikolai Burdyuzha, is to send "specialists who know how to plan and organise an operation to prevent mass disorder, which would unmask its instigators and localise bandit groups who provoke the situation."

Is the OSCE an intermediate option, with its 56 member states, including both NATO and CSTO members? Hardly. Russia is the main actor here, with the other Central Asian states also having a pressing need to try to salvage a viable statelet from this tragedy. The NATO quagmire in Afghanistan needs no farcical replay. So the Collins/Rojansky call is really just a call for NATO expansion, pure and simple.

Another possibility is for Turkey to step in. Kyrgyz and Kazakh are both Turkic peoples, whose languages are mutually intelligible. Kyrgyz territory was, in the khanate past, once one with that of the Kazakhs -- the entire region was known as Turkestan. During a visit to Kazakhstan this week, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and the Kazakh president supported Kyrgyz plans to proceed with the referendum next Sunday. Davutoglu said, "Immediately after the referendum, we plan together with Kazakhstan to prepare joint actions to show our assistance to Kyrgyzstan." 

If all else fails, there is China, though its presence is problematic, given its suppression of the Uighurs across the border in Xinjiang. But Beijing's self-confidence and massive economy inevitably give it an outsize influence, especially if Russia and the West continue to flounder. ***

Eric Walberg writes for Al-Ahram Weekly http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/ You can reach him at http://ericwalberg.com/

(5) National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Iran - doing overtly what CIA did covertly

Has the U.S. Played a Role in Fomenting Unrest During Iran's Election?

by Jeremy R. Hammond

Foreign Policy Journal

June 23, 2009

http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2009/06/23/has-the-u-s-played-a-role-in-fomenting-unrest-during-irans-election/all/1

Following the announcement of victory for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over his main opponent Mir Hossein Mousavi in Iran's presidential election on June 12, the country erupted in turmoil as supporters of Mousavi flocked to the streets to protest what they claimed was a fraudulent election, while state security and militia forces cracked down on dissenters, sometimes violently. Iran claimed that the unrest was being fueled by foreign interference, a charge reported but generally dismissed in Western media accounts. But there is ample reason to believe that the U.S. likely had a hand in fomenting the chaos that has since plagued the country many commentators have compared to the 1979 revolution that overthrew the Shah.

The role of the U.S. in overthrowing the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 and installing the brutal regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi is by now well known. In his speech in Cairo last month, President Barack Obama even referenced the CIA-backed coup, acknowledging that "In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government."[1] ...

The National Endowment for Democracy

One mechanism by which the U.S. interferes in the internal political affairs of other nations is the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a quasi-governmental agency with funding from both Congress and private individuals whose purpose is to support foreign organizations sympathetic to U.S. foreign policy goals.

NED's website states that its creation in the early 1980s was "premised on the idea that American assistance on behalf of democracy efforts abroad would be good both for the U.S. and for those struggling around the world for freedom and self-government."[2]

The idea behind NED was to create an organization to do overtly what the CIA had long been doing clandestinely, and the organization has developed its own history of foreign interference. "A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA," acknowledged Allen Weinstein, one of NED's founders.[3]

In Nicaragua, for instance, the CIA provoked opposition activities in the hopes that it would prompt an "overreaction" from the Sandinista government. The NED was there, also, providing money to opposition groups while the CIA armed contra terrorists (using money from the sale of arms to Iran, incidentally).[4]

In the Bulgarian elections of 1990, NED spent over $1.5 million in an effort to defeat the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP). When the effort failed and the BSP won, NED backed opposition groups that sowed chaos in the streets for months until the president and prime minister finally resigned. [5]

The NED was in Albania supporting the opposition to the communist government that was elected in 1991. Once again, turmoil in the streets led to the collapse of the government, forcing a new election in which the U.S.-backed Democratic Party won.[6]

Between 1990 and 1992, NED financed the Cuban-American National Foundation, an anti-Castro group out of Miami that in turn funded Luis Posada Carriles, a terrorist harbored by the U.S. who was responsible for the bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976 that killed 73 people.[7]

NED was present in Mongolia helping to unite opposition parties under the National Democratic Union to defeat the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party that had won elections in 1992. With backing from NED, the NDU won in 1996 and U.S. media lauded the economic "shock-therapy" that the new pro-West government would implement. Under the new government, the National Security Agency (NSA) also set up shop with listening posts to spy on China. [8]

During the Clinton administration, NED was in Haiti working with the opposition to ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.[9]

And NED was in Venezuela financing the opposition to President Hugo Chavez, including groups involved in the attempted coup in 2002 that nearly succeeded in his overthrow.[10]

NED is also active in Iran, granting hundreds of thousands of dollars to Iranian groups. From 2005 to 2007, NED gave $345,000 to the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation (ABF).[11] The group claims "no political affiliation" on its website, but is named for the founder of the National Movement of the Iranian Resistance (NAMIR), an opposition group to the clerical regime founded in 1980. According to the group's website, Boroumand was murdered by agents of the Iranian government in Paris, France, in 1991.[12] The website is registered to the Boroumand Foundation, listed at Suite 357, 3220 N ST., NW, Washington, D.C.[13]

Another recipient of NED grants is the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), which received $25,000 in 2002, $64,000 in 2005, and $107,000 in 2006. The 2002 grant was to carry out a "media training workshop" to train participants representing various civic groups in public relations. The 2005 money was given in part to "strengthen the capacity of civic organizations in Iran", including by advising Iranian groups on "foreign donor relations." The 2006 grant was similarly designed to "foster cooperation between Iranian NGOs and the international civil society community and to strengthen the institutional capacity of NGOs in Iran."[14]

The group's president is Dr. Trita Parsi, whose parents fled political repression in Iran when he was four. He studied for his Doctoral thesis at the Johns Hopkins' School for Advanced International Studies under Professor Francis Fukuyama.[15]

Fukuyama wrote in 2007 that "Ahmadinejad may be the new Hitler", but that the use of military force against Iran "looks very unappealing", and that airstrikes "would not result in regime change", which was "the only long-term means of stopping" Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program.[16] The NIAC similarly opposes the use of military force against Iran, and instead "supports the idea of resolving the problems between the US and Iran through dialogue in order to avoid war."[17]

Following the Iranian election and subsequent violence, NIAC issued a statement saying that "The only plausible way to end the violence is for new elections to be held with independent monitors ensuring its fairness."[18]

Last November, the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad-Javad Zarif charged the U.S. with attempting to orchestrate a "velvet revolution" in Iran. One of the means by which this was being carried out, he said, was by means of workshops. "American officials have been inviting Iranian figures to so-called scientific seminars over the past few years", he said. "However, when the Iranians attend these sessions, they realize they have gathered to discuss measures to topple the Iranian government".[19]

The Office of Iranian Affairs

In February, 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice requested emergency funding from Congress to the amount of $75 million, on top of a previously allocated $10 million, "to mount the biggest ever propaganda campaign against the Tehran government", in the words of The Guardian. The money "would be used to broadcast US radio and television programmes into Iran, help pay for Iranians to study in America and support pro-democracy groups inside the country." The propaganda effort would include "extending the government-run Voice of America's Farsi service from a few hours a day to round-the-clock coverage." In announcing the request, Rice said the U.S. "will work to support the aspirations of the Iranian people for freedom and democracy in their country."[20]

The Christian Science Monitor reported candidly on the "implicit goal" of the requested funds as being "regime change from within", and similarly noted that "The money will go toward boosting broadcasts in Farsi to Iran, support for opposition groups, and student exchanges."

A former specialist on the Middle East from the National Security Council, Raymond Tanter suggested the U.S. could work with an Iranian opposition group, the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK). "If we are serious about working with groups from within," he said, "it will have to be with the MEK, because there's no other opposition force the regime cares about." ...

A State Department cable unclassified in March, 2006 and entitled "Recruiting the Next Generation of Iran Experts" began by asserting that "Effectively addressing the Iran challenge ranks as one of the highest foreign policy priorities for our Government over the next decade." The document outlines a plan developed under then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to "promote freedom and demoncracy [sic] in Iran."

To this end, the State Department created the Office of Iranian Affairs (OIA) under the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, which would "reach out to the Iranian people" and bring more Iran experts into the Foreign Service and more Persian-speaking officers into the OIA, the Intelligence and Research Bureau (INR), and other branches of the State Department. Part of the "outreach" effort would be based in Dubai, a "natural location" for a regional office due to its "proximity to Iran and access to an Iranian diaspora".[23]

The Dubai office would be modeled on the listening station in the Latvian capital of Riga, according to the document, which was where the U.S. had a listening station to gather information on the Soviet Union during the 1920s (George Kennan was at one time stationed there). The Iranian media has referred to the station as the "regime-change office." A State Department official based in Dubai said the office's purpose "is to get a sense of what's going on in Iran. It is not some recruiting office and is not organizing the next revolution in Iran."[24]

But the State Department cable also stated that among responsibilities of the Deputy Director of the Dubai station would be to seek "ways to use USG programs and funding to support Iranian political and civic organizations" and "to alert Washington on [the] need to issue statements on behalf of Iranian dissidents."

The OIA would also create an International Relations Officer Generalist (IROG) position in Istanbul to advance "U.S. policy objectives with the Iranian [expatriate] community" in Turkey and Israel. A similar position would be created for the same purpose in Frankfurt, London, and Baku.[25]

In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times critical of the Bush administration's designs on Iran, Charles A. Kupchan, a professor of international affairs at Georgetown University and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and Ray Takeyh, also a senior fellow at the CFR, observed that the objective was "not just to contain Tehran's nuclear ambitions but also to topple the Iranian government." Their main criticism with the new "strategy for regime change" is that it was likely to "backfire and only strengthen Tehran's hard-liners" by giving them cause to decry "U.S. ‘interference'" and thus lending them political leverage to implement a crackdown on dissidents.[26]

When asked whether the OIA was intended to promote regime change, a State Department senior official told CNN it was "to facilitate a change in Iranian policies and actions" before acknowledging, "Yes, one of the things we want to develop is a government that reflects the desires of the people, but that is a process for the Iranians."[27]

Then US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton acknowledged in October 2006 that regime change was the "ultimate objective" of the U.S. sanctions policy, and adding that it "puts pressure on them internally" and "helps democratic forces" within the country and amongst the Iranian diaspora.[28]

Administration officials told the New York Times that then Vice President Dick Cheney was promoting the "drive to bring Iranian scholars and students to America, blanket the country with radio and television broadcasts and support Iranian political dissidents." The program was to be "overseen by Elizabeth Cheney, a principal deputy assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs, who is also the vice president's daughter."[29]

A Washington Post article on the new office noted money would be spent on "opposition activities" and observed that "Although administration officials do not use the term ‘regime change' in public, that in effect is the goal they outline as they aim to build resistance to the theocracy." The Post also noted that a "setback" for the Bush administration had come when Congress cut $19 million from the funding that would mainly affect broadcast operations, thus affecting plans to increase Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts into Iran to 24-hours a day.[30]

The Financial Times reported in April, 2006 that the effort was being coordinated with the U.K. and noted that criticism of the administration's strategy included some of the same Iranians the program was designed to bolster.  "Serious Iranian opposition politicians are virtually unanimous in saying that foreign funding of activities designed to promote democracy, especially by the US or UK, would be counter-productive", the Financial Times reported. The article also quoted Ali Akbar Javanfekr, a press adviser to President Ahmadinejad, as saying that Iranians are "alert" to the "propaganda of enemies".[31]

In May, the Los Angeles Times reported that the OIA was headed by David Denehy, a specialist at the International Republican Institute (IRI).[32] The IRI has been a recipient of NED funds, and was active in Venezuela, including the year of the attempted coup, when the IRI received $299,999 from NED to "train" political parties (including the IRI, over $1 million in grants was given by NED to groups operating in Venezuela in 2002).[33] ...

[1] Remarks by President Barack Obama in Cairo, Egypt, White House, June 4, 2009
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-at-Cairo-University-6-04-09/
[2] David Lowe, "Idea To Reality: A Brief History of the National Endowment for Democracy", National Endowment for Democracy, Accessed June 22, 2009
http://www.NED.org/about/nedhistory.html
[3] William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 180
[4] Susan F. Rasky, "C.I.A. Tied to Nicaragua Provocations", New York Times, September 21, 1988
http://www.nytimes.com/1988/09/21/world/cia-tied-to-nicaragua-provocations.html
William Blum, Rogue State, p. 175
[5] William Blum, Rogue State, p. 157
[6] Ibid., p. 157-8
[7] Ibid., p. 183
[8] Ibid., p. 177
[9] Ibid., p. 182
[10] William Blum, "US coup against Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, 2002" (Excerpted from Freeing the World to death: Essays on the American Empire), KillingHope.org, accessed June 22, 2009
http://killinghope.org/essays6/venez.htm
Eva Golinger, "The Proof is in the Documents: The CIA Was Involved in the Coup Against Venezuelan President Chavez", VenezuelaiFOIA.info, accessed June 22, 2009
http://venezuelafoia.info/evaenglish.html
[11] Information on grants for years 2005-2007 available on the National Endowment for Democracy website, accessed June 22, 2009
http://www.NED.org
[12] Information from the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation website, accessed June 22, 2009
http://www.iranrights.org/
[13] WHOIS domain lookup, accessed June 22, 2009
http://www.whois.net
[14] National Endowment for Democracy website, accessed June 22, 2009
http://www.NED.org/grants/06programs/grants-mena06.html#iran
[15] Information from the National Iranian American Council website, accessed June 22, 2009
http://www.niacouncil.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=826&Itemid=28
[16] "The neocons have learned nothing from five years of catastrophe", The Guardian, January 31, 2007
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/jan/31/comment.usa
[17] National Endowment for Democracy website, accessed June 22, 2009
[18] "NIAC Calls for New Election in Iran", National Iranian American Council Press Release, June 20, 2009
http://www.niacouncil.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1452&Itemid=2
[19] "US plotting Velvet Revolution in Iran?", Press TV, November 18, 2008
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=75784&sectionid=351020101
[20] Ewen MacAskill and Julian Borger, "Bush plans huge propaganda campaign in Iran", The Guardian, February 16, 2006
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2006/feb/16/usnews.iran
[21] Howard LaFranchi, "A bid to foment democracy in Iran", Christian Science Monitor, February 17, 2006
http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0217/p03s03-usfp.html
[22] Scott Ritter, "The US War with Iran has Already Begun", Al Jazeera, June 20, 2005
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0620-31.htm
[23] "Recruiting the Next Generation of Iran Experts: New Opportunities in Washington, Dubai and Europe", Unclassified State Department Cable, released March, 2006
http://images1.americanprogress.org/il80web20037/ThinkProgress/2006/0293_001.pdf
"New ‘Office of Iranian Affairs' Outlined in State Department Cable", Think Progress, March 1, 2006
http://thinkprogress.org/2006/03/01/iran-doc/
[24] Lionel Beehner and Greg Bruno, "Intelligence on Iran Still Lacking", Council on Foreign Relations, December 4, 2007
http://www.cfr.org/publication/12721/
[25] "Recruiting the Next Generation of Iran Experts"
[26] Charles A. Kupchan and Ray Takeyh, "The wrong way to fix Iran", Los Angeles Times, February 26, 2006
http://articles.latimes.com/2006/feb/26/opinion/oe-kupchan26
[27] Elise Labott, "U.S. to sharpen focus on Iran", CNN, March 2, 2006
http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/03/02/us.iran/
[28] Guy Dinmore and Daniel Dombey, "Bolton: sanctions ‘help regime change'", Financial Times, October 24, 2006
http://us.ft.com/ftgateway/superpage.ft?news_id=fto102420061730242214&page=2
[29] Steven R. Weisman, "Cheney Warns of ‘Consequences' for Iran on Nuclear Issue", New York Times, March 8, 2006
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9801E0D61531F93BA35750C0A9609C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all
[30] Peter Baker and Glenn Kessler, "U.S. Campaign Is Aimed at Iran's Leaders", Washington Post, March 13, 2006; A01
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/12/AR2006031201016.html
[31] Guy Dinmore, "US and UK develop democracy strategy for Iran", Financial Times, April 21, 2006
http://us.ft.com/ftgateway/superpage.ft?news_id=fto042120061741075322&page=1
[32] Laura Rozen, "U.S. Moves to Weaken Iran", Los Angeles Times, May 19, 2006
http://articles.latimes.com/2006/may/19/world/fg-usiran19
[33] Grant information obtained from the National Endowment for Democracy website, accessed June 23, 2009
http://www.NED.org/grants/02programs/grants-lac.html
...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090617/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iran_election

Jeremy R. Hammond is an independent political analyst whose articles have been featured in numerous print and online publications around the world. He is the founder and editor of Foreign Policy Journal (www.foreignpolicyjournal.com), an online source for news, critical analysis, and opinion commentary on U.S. foreign policy. He was a recipient of the 2010 Project Censored Awards for Outstanding Investigative Journalism. Read more articles by Jeremy R. Hammond.

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