Unfortunately, sometimes their legitimate complaints of human rights violations are then followed by missiles launched from aircraft carriers that patrol those maritime territories that the Americans have dominated uncontested for decades. Naturally, NGOs have played and are playing a new role in this asymmetric, soft foreign policy, those that are subservient to state power, those that are bought by States or Empires with generous funding for projects, perhaps through supranational foundations or institutions. It`s the same story in Washington as it is in Brussels or Doha. Only the amount and the currencies change.
We are talking about a political faction that is masked as “civil society” that is usually well supported by the media, another actor that often needs money and sometimes likes to stay close to power whilst pretending to be independent.
Money, power, subservience: The old cardinal sins that religion has been warning us against for the last few millenia. To no avail. It is an old game that we all know about but normally don`t talk about, especially because it is never a good idea to spit in the plate where you eat.
But now something new is happening. The baddies in this story, those who are normally being reported by the alleged goody NGOs, have got it into their heads to become more democratic than the democrats. It is as if Sauron had decided to turn himself into Frodo. The “enemy” have decided to change the rules of the game and they are no longer willing to accept the reputation that others make for them.
Last month, Putin, the biggest villain of them all, the one who supports al-Assad against the “goody” cutthroats, and who warned against giving the EU and NATO- the Nobel Prize for Peace in Libya before those who were freed had murdered the U.S. ambassador, he, that friend of Berlusconi (the one who sleeps with minors), has kicked USAID out of Russia, the American agency that does so much good for the poor Russians and controls the flow of funding to NGOs. USAID in Russia had invested some $ 2.6 billion in the previous two decades and perhaps thought that Russia was like Libya: through generous funding to local NGOs and a very well-orchestrated media campaign, it attempted to manipulate the electoral campaign for the president, inciting riots and protests in city squares against Putin in the name of human rights and democracy. Noble causes. Except that Russia is not Serbia or Libya and is also very different from Syria or Iran.
The Russian authorities have made it clear that Russia does not consider itself a country in need of charity, but rather a country that provides assistance to others. Put simply, they also want to be an empire, not some poor village. It is they who are promoting human rights and democracy in the world, they are the ones defending the Arabs and minorities (as long as they are far away from Moscow). The Arab Spring has been a good teacher and the Russians have learned their lessons so well that now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow has also published a report on human rights violations. Where? In the USA and Europe of course.
The 16 pages, including 4 dedicated entirely to the USA, makes for very interesting reading. Not so much for its content, which is already known and is the result of a “cut and paste” job for the most part from other sources that are freely available. But for the fact that it demonstrates how easy it is to apply the old proverb “Live by the sword …”.The Report on the Situation with Human Rights in Certain States is the proof that when these delicate themes, such as civil liberties, anti-terrorism and the relationship between states and minorities and the relations between nations and empires end up in the wrong hands, all kinds of manipulation are possible. And there are many “wrong” hands. The credibility of all this apparatus on which the Americans have based their new approach to foreign policy, is laid bare by this document published by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All the good causes, NGOs, projects and financing and the media-everything gets mashed together when the politics gets its hands on it.
And that`s when we discover that the power of the ring is real and doesn`t only reside in departments of state.