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Trump Is Gutting the National Endowment for Democracy, and That’s a Good Thing


Trump Is Gutting the National Endowment for Democracy, and That’s a Good Thing

Stephen Kinzer

Thank you, President Trump! Finally you have made a foreign policy recommendation that is logical, overdue, and in the long-term interest of the United States. Congress will probably reject it, but you deserve credit for making the effort.


File this under “Even a Broken Clock Is Right Twice a Day.”


Maybe this reporter should try something less taxing !

I started laughing when I wrote that.

Got to - to preserve sanity.

Best guess - too visible - better to hide the money from any form of public review.


Absolutely correct. And it should be remembered that the NED is “tripartite” agency with membership of both wings of the Duopoly, the AFL-CIA (and other unions) and every corporate organization that matters.

It’s surprising that a journalist of Kinzer’s stature fails to describe the NED as an institution and instead focuses on individual bad actors.


Trump is doing it for all the wrong reasons. His goal is to organize yet another private Alphabet Organization, outside of any Congressional oversight. The likes of Erik Prince and Oliver North, funded by who knows who, is not merely the figment of the fevered dreams of paranoid old peaceniks. Can an arsenal of Israeli tactical nuclear weaponry, or the sale of such technology, be considered an outlandish idea, anymore? Can the buyers of such technology, say Saudi & its MENA allies, not be a real business opportunity for the likes of madmen like Trump, Bolton & Co?
Certainly, Kleptocratic & Mafia Capitalists can see the advantages of working backroom deals to settle scores using a private source, in such implacable and difficult conflicts like Syria, Yemen, Libya and Venezuela. Just think of the speed settlement talks would’ve taken place, if FARC could be brought to the table by nuking the regional capitals of provinces under its control?
The NED, The Atlantic Council, AID and a whole host of NGOs deserve a deep cleansing of military shortcutters and neo-con sandbaggers.
The nightmares are going to become reality in short order if stale old documents like The Monroe Doctrine aren’t discarded into the trashbin of American history. Who stops the madmen in the end? That is not a fevered dream of peaceniks, that’s a real possible quandary and reality for most thinking people on this shared, and small, planet. Just sayin’.


Good riddance, remember Yats, he’s the guy.


You’re misreading a sardonic comment. Nothing to lose your sanity over. Kinzer’s writings as an author are considerably elevated from his earlier ‘reporter’ days. Not hard to see, if you look. It’s the IT age after all. Kinzer’s apologist reporting of US policies in Latin American as a NY Times reporter could be interpreted as conforming to the views conveyed by his employer. Ironically, that would not be too different from the conformity of manufactured angst and cynicism that’s so obligatorily displayed in the CD comments section, irrespective of an article’s content.


I share your concern about the trend—already well underway—toward privatizing our war-making apparatus, both for reasons of cost and even more so for reasons of lack of transparency and accountability.


I wonder if it is “manufactured angst and cynicism” ?

I have been scathing myself with regard to many of the comments here on CD, so I get what you are saying. And so I’ll accept your criticism in the spirit of what goes around comes around.

But I note no comments of yours on the “content” of this article.


The longtime head of the NED, Carl Gershman, has his roots in an odd little variation of the old Socialist Party known as Social Democrats USA. Thirty years ago, this rightwing socialist splinter had its offices in the United Federation of Teachers building in NYC where it was a pet project of the UFT president Al Shanker, who from his youth identified as an anti-communist socialist. Like most of the AFL-CIO leadership, he strongly supported the Viet Nam War and CIA /AFL-CIO efforts to undermine leftist unions in Latin America. When Gershman’s other mentor, the rightwing Democrat Jeane Kirkpatrick was appointed UN ambassador by Reagan, she promoted the idea of the NED with the then young Gershman to head it. And then for decades, the organization funneled US government money into destabilizing regimes and political parties thought hostile to US interests. However, the NED under this peculiar kind of socialist never lost sight of human rights and never actively promoted police states or outright dictatorships.

When Hilary Clinton took over the State Department, I am sure she found the NED to be a natural fit for her own ideology. With Hillary’s and her aide Victoria Nuland’s support, Gershman and his organization played a major role in destabilizing the Yanukovich presidency in Ukraine, thereby upsetting Paul Manafort’s hopes and of course Putin’s dreams of a virtual satellite state on his southern border. Hence, it is no surprise that Trump now wants to destroy an organization which Putin detests. This is why I hesitate to celebrate the passing of the NED, no matter how negative much of its record has been. Even in Ukraine, few would deny that the regime change engineered by the NED has done much to shore up the country’s independence.

The author, in my view, is wrong. Trump is never right, not even in this case.


Another week of connecting the dots to World War III.