Swans Commentary » swans.com August 25, 2008  



The Project For A New American Humanitarianism
Olympian Ambitions from Darfur to Tibet and Beijing


by Michael Barker





(Swans - August 25, 2008)   This essay examines the role of the Project for a New American Humanitarianism in the ongoing human rights offensive that is currently being waged against China. While there is some awareness, in progressive circles, of the work of antidemocratic think tank and neoconservative Project for a New American Century (PNAC) the majority of the public remain in the dark about its machinations. Another equally sinister, but highly visible group that obtains little critical coverage -- in even the alternative media -- is a coalition that might be loosely referred to as the Project for a New American Humanitarianism (PNAH). (1) Both groups promote America's imperial interests, but their activities differ in critical respects. PNAC favours military domination, or militaristic imperialism, which has been zealously promoted by a three-part coalition comprised of "aggressive nationalists..., Christian Zionists of the religious Right, and Israel-centred neo-conservatives." In contrast, the loose collection of concerned activists that coalesce within the Project for a New American Humanitarianism help sustain imperialism by both providing it with "moral cover, and sanctioning the abandonment of the rule of law in the purported interest of human rights." Ironically PNAH, like PNAC, is well supported by neo-conservatives.

The Project for a New American Humanitarianism's current focus on China's human rights abuses -- in the context of the Olympics (2) -- centres around three primary issues, highlighting the Chinese government's ongoing involvement in the repression and murder of: 1) Falun Gong practitioners, 2) Tibetan peace activists, and 3) the people of Sudan. In the case of each of these three concerns a common rallying cry of the New Humanitarians acts to equate the Chinese government's actions with those of Hitler's Nazis. Thus, the vice president of the European Parliament observes that the "Falun Gong are to the Chinese what the Jews were to the Nazis. And that's an understatement." In 2002, Samdhong Rinpoche, accused China of engaging in "a kind of cultural genocide" in Tibet; while in 2004, Secretary Colin Powell famously noted that "genocide has been committed in Darfur and that the Government of Sudan and the Jingaweit bear responsibility -- and that genocide may still be occurring."

Of course, while there are other genocides that have exceeded the scale of the Nazi Holocaust, (3) it is the Hitler example that is regularly invoked as a powerful propaganda tool to act in the service of so-called human rights activists. However, as Ward Churchill observed:

Far less recognized is the fact that the ugly enterprise of Holocaust denial has a flip side -- indeed, a mirror image -- which is equally objectionable but which has been anything but marginalized by the academy, popular media, or the public at large. This is the view advanced by a much larger group of writers that the Nazi genocide not only happened, but that it 1) is the only such occurrence in all of human history and 2) that it somehow happened uniquely and exclusively to its Jewish victims. (4)

The alleged genocide in Sudan is particularly interesting in this regard as the main groups spearheading the persistent calls for a humanitarian intervention overseas are the same Zionist organizations that are busy promoting ethnic cleansing of Palestinians at home. Likewise, Zionists have been vocal in their support of the Falun Gong, thus Annette Lantos, the wife of "super-Zionist Congress-person" the late Tom Lantos (Democrat, California) -- who posthumously received the misnamed National Endowment for Democracy's 2008 Democracy Service Medal -- serves on the advisory board of the Friends of Falun Gong USA. Similarly with regard to Tibet, as Uri Avnery points out, the difference in the mainstream media's coverage of the plight of Tibetans and Palestinians means that "the Palestinians are suffering from several cruel strokes of fate," as not only are the "great majority" of the Palestinians Muslims, but:

The people that oppress them claim for themselves the crown of ultimate victimhood. The whole world sympathizes with the Israelis because the Jews were the victims of the most horrific crime of the Western world. That creates a strange situation: the oppressor is more popular than the victim. Anyone who supports the Palestinians is automatically suspected of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.

Given that the modus operandi of the Project for a New American Humanitarianism and PNAC are at odds, it is very significant that the membership of both groups' interests overlap in that they are home to numerous key Zionists and leading neoconservatives. Consequently, this essay seeks to explore these crossover relationships in an attempt to document the tactics employed by the new humanitarian warriors facing off with the Chinese government.


Falun Gong: Only Calisthenics and Meditation?

As noted in an earlier article, Heather Kavan provides an alternative narrative concerning the Falun Gong's apparently apolitical and harmless nature. Kavan also demonstrated how the media coverage that the Falun Gong have obtained in Australian and New Zealand newspapers is surprising positive for a religious cult. However, in response to my critique of the Falun Gong I received a polite e-mail from Caylan Ford (who identified herself as the editor for the Falun Dafa Information Center), who took issue with my "description of an alleged love affair between the Western media and Falun Gong." Ford went on to note that she had "recently coauthored a (yet-to-be-published) study of the New York Times coverage of Falun Gong, which found strong anti-Falun Gong biases, both quantitatively and qualitatively." Furthermore, she pointed out that this study also "found that Falun Gong has been grossly under-reported since the summer of 2001; coverage dropped off immediately following a meeting between NY Times editors and then-Chinese president Jiang Zemin." Although Ford noted that the aforementioned study was not yet available she attached another similar academic study published by fellow Falun Gong practitioner, Leeshai Lemish, who has recently published a series of articles about the Falun Gong in the New Statesman. (5) Here it is interesting to quote Lesshai Lemish's New Statesman article -- published on August 20, 2008 -- which recounts how:

For a year Ethan Gutmann (author of Losing the New China) and I have been travelling the world conducting interviews for his forthcoming book [on China]. We've received research grants from Earheart Foundation and Sweden's Wallenberg family, and keep our budget low by sleeping on floors and eating instant noodles. But we're too embarrassed to complain, considering the stories [of human rights abuses] we hear morning to night.

While most readers will be unaware of the controversial background of Lemish's travelling companion, it turns out that Ethan Gutmann is a former visiting fellow at Project for the New American Century, and he presently serves as an adjunct fellow at the neoconservative Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (a group whose work is closely tied to that formerly undertaken by PNAC). In addition, Gutmann's 2004 book, Losing the New China, was published by the well-known neoconservative publisher, Encounter Books; while the Earhart Foundation, which is supporting the production of Lemish and Gutmann's collaborate book project, is an infamous neoconservative funding body. Lemish also mentions a seemingly innocuous funding connection to Sweden's Wallenberg family, which, as it turns out is no ordinary family, as the even the mainstream BBC has referred to the Wallenberg "business dynasty" as the "Royal Family of Swedish Business." Here it is important to point out that perhaps the most famous member of the Wallenberg dynasty is the late Raoul Wallenberg, an individual whose life was commemorated in "prominent Hollywood Zionist" Steven Spielberg's movie "Schindler's List." (6)

Regardless of differences in interpretation of the Falun Gong's media coverage -- between scholars like Heather Kavan on the one hand, and Falun Gong advocates like Caylan Ford and Lesshai Lemish on the other -- it is significant that Falun Gong has recruited allies amongst the West's power elite. (7) Thus it is intriguing to note that the aforementioned Caylan Ford, who e-mailed me in her capacity as the editor for the Falun Dafa Information Center, also acts as a spokesperson for an elite-supported group known as the Friends of Falun Gong. In addition, in 2008, Ford also acted as the news coordinator for the Canadian edition of The Epoch Times, and as a spokeswoman for New Tang Dynasty Television. These latter links are significant because writing in 2005, Patsy Rahn noted that in the preceding year, "questions [had] began to arise over whether certain Western-based organizations, such as newspaper group The Epoch Times and New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV), [were] actually [Falun Gong] organizations." Rahn adds, that: "According to a report in the Far Eastern Economic Review, prominent FLG spokespeople serve as a director for NTDTV and on the board of The Epoch Times; both organizations give the [Falun Gong] prominent coverage. In addition, both organizations are staffed by volunteers, often [Falun Gong] followers, whose main jobs are unrelated to journalism."

Recently Ford represented Friends of Falun Gong at a press conference held at the National Press Club (on July 18, 2008) that was co-organized by Friends of Falun Gong, the North Korea Freedom Coalition (see note 31), the NED-funded advocate of religious freedom, the China Aid Association (which has received annual NED grants since 2004), (8) the Christian 'human rights' group Open Doors USA, (9) the Uyghur American Association (whose president, Rebiya Kadeer, talked at a 2006 conference organized by the NED-funded Laogai Research Foundation alongside speakers that included the president of the NED), and the American Tibetan Alliance. Thus given Friends of Falun Gong's links to various important democracy manipulators the following section of this article will provide the first critical examination of the elite behind the US branch of Friends of Falun Gong.

Friends of Falun Gong USA describes itself as a human rights group that was formed in November 2000 by "Americans concerned about the persecution of Falun Gong," and which to date, has organized "large-scale rallies in Washington D.C., lawsuits against the architects of the persecution, and smaller, targeted projects counteracting the Chinese government's massive propaganda campaign." (10) Their Web site proudly observes how once formally established, the first person to join their board of directors was former US Ambassador Mark Palmer, an individual who went so far as to (over)state that the Falun Gong is "the largest nonviolent movement since Gandhi in India." The Friends of Falun Gong USA Web site even draws attention to the key role that Palmer has fulfilled for the US democracy manipulating establishment, by pointing out his affiliation to Freedom House (where he serves as vice-chair of their board) and to the National Endowment for Democracy (where he acts as a founder, and current board member).

Although not mentioned by Friends of Falun Gong USA, Palmer's integral placement in the US's democracy manipulating establishment is further bolstered by his affiliations to the following groups, the Council for a Community of Democracies (vice president), the US Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion (member), the International Centre for Democratic Transition (board member), the Democracy Project (advisory board), and the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (board member). His links to the last group are particularly noteworthy, as its ties to elite interests are not as demonstrable as those of the other organisations he is involved with. This is because the founder (in 2004) and executive director of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, Ali Alyami, previously acted (from 1977 to 1983) as the Director of the educational peace program for the progressive American Friends Service Committee in San Francisco. This link would appear incongruous, yet since leaving the American Friends Service Committee in the early 1980s, Alyami's work has become increasingly entwined with that undertaken by democracy manipulating groups. This is perhaps most evident from his service as the US representative for the Arab Organization for Human Rights (from 1990 to 1996), a group that was founded in 1983 by Saad Eddin Ibrahim, an individual who is presently a board member of the Canadian equivalent of the NED, Rights and Democracy, and whose work appears tied to the broader neoconservative democratic agenda. (11)

Another noteworthy person serving on the seven-strong board of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia is Lindsay Mattison, who for over a quarter of a century has served as the executive director of the US-based foreign policy group, International Action -- whose current focus is on providing humanitarian aid to Haiti. Before joining International Action, Mattison served as assistant to Admiral Gene R. La Rocque at the Center for Defense Information (where he acted as president), an individual who later went on to act as an advisor for the controversial democracy manipulator, the Albert Einstein Institution. More importantly, however, is the fact that Mattison presently serves on the advisory committee of the Washington Kurdish Institute.

Other people of interest serving on the 34 person strong advisory committee of the Washington Kurdish Institute include Mike Amitay (who is a senior policy analyst for the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia at George Soros's Open Society Policy Center, and formerly served as the Institute's executive director from its founding in 1996 until 2005), Project for a New American Century booster Morris Amitay (who is the former executive director of American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and is vice chair of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs), Raymond Helmick (who serves on the executive board of the US Interreligious Committee for Peace in the Middle East), Max Kampelman (who amongst various other "democratic" posts has served as the vice chairman of the US Institute of Peace), Laurie Mylroie (who is an adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a former research fellow at the AIPAC-affiliated think tank the Washington Institute for Near East Policy), and Lionel Rosenblatt (who formerly served as the president of Refugees International throughout the 1990s). (12) Finally, it is interesting that Lord Eric Avebury also serves on the Washington Kurdish Institute's advisory committee, as his affiliation to the Institute illustrates how closely the work of such "humanitarian" groups is linked to progressive activists. This is because Lord Avebury also serves as the honorary president of another group called the Kurdish Human Rights Project, a group whose most prominent progressive patrons are Noam Chomsky and Harold Pinter.

Returning to Friends of Falun Gong USA, other than Ambassador Palmer, another fascinating member of their current eight person strong advisory board is Annette Lantos who formerly worked full-time with her late husband, the "super-Zionist" Congressman Tom Lantos (who also formerly served on the board of overseers of the Henry Kissinger-connected International Rescue Committee), and as executive director of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.

Another prominent advisor of Friends of Falun Gong USA whose background is worth exploring is former Congressman Benjamin Gilman, owing to his links to Israel and to various groups ostensibly promoting Tibetan human rights. Critically, Gilman served as chairman of the House International Relations Committee from 1995 until 2002, and is a member of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum's council. (13) Here it is poignant to briefly reflect upon the backgrounds of the three current executives of the Holocaust Museum, Fred Zeidman (the father of Jay Zeidman), Sara Bloomfield, and Joel Geiderman.

•   Fred Zeidman is a member of AIPAC's executive committee, serves as the vice president of their associated think tank the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, and sits on the board of the Republican Jewish Coalition (a group that has been described as a "big money pro-Israel lobby group linking Jewish-American neoconservatives to the Christian Right and Israel's Likud government").

•   Sara Bloomfield, who is a board member of the International Freedom Center, and who has worked with the NED-linked Iraq Memory Foundation.

•   Joel Geiderman is a board member of the aforementioned Republican Jewish Coalition.

The Holocaust Museum also provides a home to other key members of the Project for a New American Humanitarianism consortium, and their Committee on Conscience is chaired by none other than Tom Bernstein, the former president (now just board member) of Human Rights First. (14)

Gilman maintains other links to key Israeli elites through serving on the board of the Humpty Dumpty Institute, (15) because this group's vice chair, Michael Sonnenfeldt is the past chair of the Israel Policy Forum -- a group whose executive director, David Elcott, in turn serves as the Director of US Interreligious Affairs for the American Jewish Committee. (16) Likewise, the president of the Humpty Dumpty Institute, Ralph Cwerman, formerly served as Director of Research at Israel's Permanent Mission to the United Nations, and as a senior aide to Ambassador Benjamin Netanyahu; while another important board member of the Institute is the "closet Zionist" Richard Holbrooke.

Finally, Gilman's links to Tibetan issues derive from his being a member of the Committee of 100 for Tibet. This organization was founded in 1992 and aims to "bring the plight of the Tibetan people to the attention of the U.S. public." Many of the individual members of the Committee are linked to the democracy manipulating establishment, so it is not surprising that the Committee's chair, Tenzin Tethong, is also connected to two NED-funded groups: as he is the founder of the Tibet Fund, and serves on the advisory board of the International Campaign for Tibet. Gilman himself is also indirectly linked to the International Campaign for Tibet, because in 2003 he was the recipient of their annual Light of Truth Award. (17)

The final noteworthy member of the advisory board of Friends of Falun Gong USA is Ashok Gangadean, who is the cofounding Director of the Global Dialogue Institute. Working alongside Gangadean at the Global Dialogue Institute is the other cofounding Director of this Institute, Leonard Swidler, who formerly served on the advisory board of the American Center for Democracy -- a group that was founded (in 2003) and is currently headed by the neoconservative Zionist Rachel Ehrenfeld. Significantly, the well-known neoconservative Zionist Daniel Pipes -- who heads up the notorious right-wing Zionist think tank the Middle East Forum -- serves on the Global Dialogue Institute board of trustees: Pipes is also accompanied on the Institute's board by the founder of the Middle East Forum, Albert Wood. This of course does not mean that the Global Dialogue Institute is simply a neoconservative Zionist project, which it is far from the truth, but it does mean that at the very least it is unlikely that the Institute will be able to work towards fulfilling its mission of "developing and promoting...authentic dialogue."

Returning to Friends of Falun Gong USA advisor, Ashok Gangadean, taken at face value, in contrast to his Global Dialogue Institute, it does appear that his other work is geared towards promoting peaceful cooperation by virtue of the fact that it does not include the work of any rabid right-wing Zionists. Indeed, Gangadean recently founded a Web-based project called ((Awakening Mind)), whose Web site notes that ((Awakening Mind)) is...

...intended to be an introduction to the global worldview and the idea that the key to our survival as a species is the discovery of a universal dialogue through which we can learn to understand and communicate with one another. This universal dialogue, or Logos, is comprised of the inherent threads of commonality which we all possess.

Although this self-descriptor sounds harmless, it is easy to see how the search for one single "universal dialogue," if successful, would have tragic consequences for cultural diversity. Instead we should aim to celebrate difference, not merely tolerate it, and should strive to understand others by recognizing our unique and multidimensional traits along with their inherent weaknesses and strengths. This idea has been beautifully argued by Soenke Biermann, the project coordinator for the Australian-based Thinking Diversity -- Beyond Tolerance Project (pdf). (18)

Calls for the creation of a single "universal dialogue" appear to mesh well with the demands of the totalizing homogenizing processes of corporate/elite forced globalization. Moreover, attempts to create such a one-size-fits-all dialogue are in keeping with the openly internationalist agenda of liberal elites. Take for example, the Rockefeller family, whose internationalist activities have been widely critiqued by conservatives (especially ultra-conservatives), (19) but for the most part ignored by the Left. David Rockefeller himself noted in his recently published memoirs how some people characterize the Rockefeller family "as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure -- one world, if you will." His response: "If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it." (20)

On top of his work with the Global Dialogue Institute and ((Awakening Mind)), Gangadean is co-convenor of the World Commission on Global Consciousness and Spirituality -- a group that was formed in 1998 and "brings eminent world leaders together in sustained deep dialogue to cultivate global vision and wisdom for the new millennium." The ambitions of the World Commission are in turn closely related to the work undertaken by the Club of Budapest -- an "informal international association [that was formed in 1993 and is] dedicated to developing a new way of thinking and a new ethics that will help resolve the social, political, economic, and ecological challenges of the 21st century." (21) All three co-chairs of the World Commission, Ervin Laszlo, Robert Muller, and Karan Singh, (22) are members of the latter group, with Laszlo acting as the founder and president of the Club of Budapest. (23) In addition, Ervin Laszlo and Karan Singh are both connected to the Indian-based project known as Auroville, which describes itself as the "world's first (pdf) and only internationally recognised community [composed of approximately 1,900 adults and children drawn from 40 different countries, including the UK, that has been] established for research in human unity, practically researching into humanity's future cultural, environmental, social and spiritual needs": Laszlo is a former member of their international advisory council, while Singh -- who is a former Indian Ambassador to the United States, and is the international chairman at the Temple of Understanding at the United Nations -- serves as the chair of the Auroville Foundation. This is interesting because much like the aforementioned ((Awakening Mind)) project, the World Commission, the Club of Budapest, and the Auroville Foundation appear to be working to attempt to promote a form of spirituality that can overcome all geographic and cultural divides. This work is ostensibly carried out in the name of peace, but as mentioned earlier, such a project appears well suited to other homogenizing globalizing tendencies, which might explain why the Auroville Foundation receives such strong financial support from corporate and political elites from all over the world.


Zionists for Human Rights in Sudan (but please don't mention Palestine)

Writing in February 2008, James Petras notes that (what he refers to as) the Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC) not only "directly influence[s] US policy against Palestine, Iraq and Iran" but has also "extended its campaign against 'third parties', countries like China which have economic relations with Sudan (a Muslim nation with an independent foreign policy which supports Palestinian rights)." Moreover, Petras adds: "To an overwhelming degree, the propaganda campaign behind the so-called 'Darfur genocide campaign' is the Israeli state and its political apparatus in the U.S., namely the ZPC." (24) Consequently, building upon earlier critical analyses, the following section of this essay will investigate the backgrounds of many of the New Humanitarians pushing for an intervention in Sudan.

The leading member of the Project for a New American Humanitarianism, with regards to Sudan, is the Save Darfur Coalition. (25) Cofounded in 2004 by the aforementioned US Holocaust Memorial Museum's Committee on Conscience and the international development organization, American Jewish World Service, the Coalition states that they aim to "raise public awareness and mobilize a massive response to the atrocities in Sudan's western region of Darfur." It should be noted here that the president of the American Jewish World Service, Ruth Messinger, in addition to serving on the board of the Save Darfur Coalition, had until recently (early 2007) served as a board member of InterAction, a key US-based democracy manipulator. (26) Furthermore, in 2006, Messinger ran for a seat in the World Zionist Congress on the left-liberal "Hatikva" (Progressive Zionist Coalition) ticket. Not surprisingly, Messinger is also linked to two other groups that are calling for the need for a humanitarian intervention in Sudan, as she sits on the advisory committee of Olympic Dream for Darfur, and is listed as a supporter of the work of Investors Against Genocide (for more on these groups see later).

The chair of the Save Darfur Coalition, Rev. Gloria White-Hammond, is a particularly pertinent Coalition member owing to the numerous links she maintains to related "humanitarian" groups. (27) Thus White-Hammond is the founding co-chair of the Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur, and the cofounder of My Sister's Keeper -- "a women-led, women-focused, humanitarian action group" whose creation was catalysed after White-Hammond was invited by Christian Solidarity International "to travel to southern Sudan to take part in a slave redemption mission" (in July 2001). In addition, White-Hammond serves on the boards of both Christian Solidarity International and the American Anti-Slavery Group, and like Messinger, White-Hammond also sits on the advisory committee of Olympic Dream for Darfur, and is listed as a supporter of the work of Investors Against Genocide. Finally, White-Hammond serves as a board member of the US-based Darfur Peace and Development Organization, where she sits alongside Salih Mahmoud Osman (who is a director of the Sudan Organization Against Torture, a group that received NED-funding in 2003, also "currently serves as a member of the Sudanese Parliament," and in 2005 received the Human Rights Defender Award from Human Rights Watch, and in 2007 was awarded the "European Union's top human rights award, the Sakharov Prize"), (28) and the US talk radio host Joe Madison (who played a key role in the launching, in 2000, of "The Sudan Campaign, " an NED-linked campaign that arose "in response to Secretary of State Albright's challenge [to Charles Jacobs ] that suffering in Sudan has not been 'marketable' to the American people"). Joe Madison's work for The Sudan Campaign is particularly interesting because this group was initiated by Charles Jacobs of the American Anti-Slavery Group, and John Eibner, the head of Christian Solidarity International. (29) Notably, Jacobs, a committed Zionist, now heads The Sudan Campaign, and is also the founder of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America and the David Project, and is a member of the advisory board of the neoconservative Foundation for the Defense of Democracies -- many of whose key principals were formerly associated with the Project for a New American Century. Jacobs's work can also be indirectly linked to the Falun Gong's cause, as New York attorney Carey R. D'Avino, who formerly represented the Falun Gong, presently serves on the board of American Anti-Slavery Group. (30)

The second cofounder of The Sudan Campaign, John Eibner, similarly serves as a board member of the American Anti-Slavery Group, but also acts as an expert for the neoconservative Zionist think tank, the Middle East Forum, and has been the chairman and CEO of Christian Solidarity International (USA) since 1990 -- a group that describes itself as "a Christian human rights organization for religious liberty helping victims of religious repression, victimized children and victims of disaster." Given the key role played by Eibner at Christian Solidarity International, it is not surprising that this group should play a critical role as a member of the Project for a New American Humanitarianism.

Christian Solidarity International is also a member of the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights, a coalition whose other members include the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin -- a monthly publication jointly produced by the Middle East Forum and the pro-Israel US Committee for a Free Lebanon. The secretary-general of the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights, Rev. Keith Roderick, serves as Christian Solidarity International's representative in Washington, D.C., and presently acts as the executive director of The Sudan Campaign. (31) It should be pointed out that the British branch of Christian Solidarity International, which since 1997 (when it "decided to separate from the founding body") has been known as Christian Solidarity Worldwide, was formerly headed by Baroness Cox of Queensbury (who now serves as a patron of the organization). As mentioned, Baroness Cox presently serves as a member of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China, but, as her role at Christian Solidarity Worldwide suggests, she has also been highly active in Sudanese issues. Thus she serves on the board of reference of Servant's Heart, a group that "provides pastor training, pastoral and congregational support to help build up the Christian church in south Sudan." (32)

The three other members of Servant's Heart's board of reference all also serve on the advisory board of The Sudan Campaign, and are Congressman Tom Tancredo, former NED board member Congressman Donald Payne, and Senator Sam Brownback (who is also a member of the executive committee of the neoconservative/Zionist stronghold, the Jerusalem Summit). Critically, Baroness Cox serves alongside Senator Brownback as a member of the Jerusalem Summit's five person executive committee, where they also sit alongside the infamous neoconservative Zionist Daniel Pipes. (33) Also of interest, Daniel Pipes's father, Richard Pipes, serves with Baroness Cox on the advisory board of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, alongside Human Rights Watch president, Robert Bernstein, and liberal philanthropist extraordinaire George Soros amongst many others.

In 1983, Jim Jacobson launched a group known as the Christian Freedom International as the US branch of Christian Solidarity International, (34) however, CSI-USA eventually decided it wanted Jacobson's group to be independent of Christian Solidarity International (a procedure that eventuated in 1998). Jacobson has noted that: "This step (pdf) was and is important in that it allows CFI [Christian Freedom International] to go to places without the permission of international treaties, etc." One especially significant member of Christian Freedom International's board is the ultra-conservative Michael Farris, who has been a member of the secretive Council for National Policy, and is the founding president of Patrick Henry College -- where he sits alongside fellow board member, Janet Ashcroft, who is the wife of the neoconservative former US Attorney-General John Ashcroft, who presently teaches at Pat Robertson's Regent University (Robertson is a well-known Christian Zionist). Furthermore, until recently, Erik Prince, the founder and CEO of the notorious private military contractor Blackwater USA, serves on the board of Christian Freedom International. This link is intriguing, because in June 2008, the Financial Times (UK) reported that Mia Farrow, a representative for the human rights group Dream for Darfur, had "asked Blackwater, the US private security company active in Iraq, for help in Darfur after becoming frustrated by the stalled deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force." Here it is important to recall that Rev. Gloria White-Hammond, who is a board member of Christian Solidarity International, serves alongside Mia Farrow on the advisory committee of Olympic Dream for Darfur, and both are listed as supporters of Investors Against Genocide; consequently, I now introduce these two groups.

Olympic Dream for Darfur, which was launched in June 2007, is "an initiative" of a group called Public Interest Projects -- a project that was established in 1983 to bring "together the work of philanthropic institutions, nonprofit groups and other public interest organizations who share a vision and commitment to creating a just society." The founder of this project, Donald K. Ross, presently serves as the chair of GreenPeace USA, and in the 1970s acted as a consumer attorney, and then as director of Ralph Nader's Citizen Action Group: however, more importantly from 1985 through 1999, he directed the activities of an important democracy manipulating liberal foundation, the Rockefeller Family Fund. (35) Jill Savitt serves as the executive director of the Olympic Dream for Darfur, and prior to taking up this position she was based at the aforementioned Human Rights First, where she acted as their Director of Public Programs. Savitt also serves as a board member of the Save Darfur Coalition. While at Human Rights First, Savitt supervised their HOPE for Darfur campaign, so it is not surprising that Nicky Lazar, who was the campaign manager for this campaign, went on to become the international director for the Olympic Dream for Darfur. (36) One individual serving on the 13 person strong advisory committee -- alongside the aforementioned Mia Farrow, Rev. Gloria White Hammond, and Ruth Messinger -- is Gayle Smith, who "served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council from 1998-2001, and as Senior Advisor to the Administrator and Chief of Staff of the US Agency for International Development from 1994-1998." Amongst her other various affiliations, Smith serves as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and on the board of the Africa-America Institute (which received NED funding in the early 1990s), where she sits alongside key members of the power elite, like Rosalind Kainyah (who is the Director of Public Affairs, USA, for the mining group De Beers), and George Kirkland (who is the vice president of the oil giant, Chevron Corporation). (37)

Investors Against Genocide is a project of the not-for-profit Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur, and was originally publicly launched on January 26, 2007, (International Holocaust Remembrance Day) as the Fidelity Out of Sudan Campaign (referring to their efforts to get the Fidelity investment firm to avoid or divest holdings of the Chinese oil company PetroChina). The project was renamed Investors Against Genocide in September 2008, and although they continue to work against Fidelity, they extended their campaign to include the other major holders of PetroChina. Their mission statement notes that they are...

...a non-profit organization dedicated to convincing mutual fund and other investment firms to change their investing strategy so as to avoid complicity in genocide. In particular, we want investment firms to avoid or divest holdings of PetroChina (Chinese), Sinopec (Chinese), ONGC (Indian), and Petronas (Malaysian), the four major oil companies that are partnering with the Government of Sudan and helping to fund the genocide in Darfur.

Investors Against Genocide was cofounded by Darfur activists Eric Cohen (who also serves on the advisory committee of Olympic Dream for Darfur), Susan Morgan, and Bill Rosenfeld. Their Web site also provides a list of prominent people who support their campaign, and these include Mia Farrow, Joe Madison, Ruth Messinger, Rev. Gloria White-Hammond, Sudan analyst Eric Reeves (for a critique of his work, see here), Charlie Clements (who is president, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and heads their Drumbeat for Darfur campaign, and is vice-chair and secretary of EarthRights International -- a group that obtains funding from the American Jewish World Service, and Rights and Democracy), (38) Samantha Power (whose recent book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, was awarded the Council on Foreign Relations' Arthur Ross Prize for the best book in US foreign policy, and whose service as a New Humanitarian has been outlined by Edward Herman), (39) John Prendergast (former Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council, Clinton administration, former executive fellow of the US Institute of Peace, senior advisor to the International Crisis Group, and board member of the Save Darfur Coalition), US Congressman Michael Capuano (Democrat-Massachusetts) (who serves on the congressional advisory board of the Humpty Dumpty Institute), and 46 other Massachusetts legislators.


Dismantling the Project for a New American Humanitarianism

The Project for a New American Humanitarianism has sought to wage "humanitarian" warfare on enemy states, in this case China. (40) Given the imperialism-friendly outcomes of the dedicated activism undertaken by the New Humanitarians it is not surprising that some important aspects of their work intersects with neoconservatives and Zionists. Together these groups demonize China, the rival capitalist superpower, encouraging the view that China abuses the human rights of Falun Gong practitioners, represses Tibetan freedom activists, and trades with the genocidal Sudan. At the same time, the United States, the faltering capitalist superpower, sinks to the bottom of the New Humanitarians' discourse on human rights, despite regularly abusing the human rights of its own citizens (incarcerating many of them), repressing the activities of all progressive activists who seek to challenge US hegemonic interests, supporting genocides when it sees fit (e.g., Indonesia and East Timor), and supporting well known ethnic cleansers -- i.e., Israel.

The connections that exist between the disparate members of the Project for a New American Humanitarianism, neoconservatives, and Zionists, are alarming. However, they should not be considered evidence of a secretive conspiracy. Instead these "humanitarian" networks should be considered akin to those that exist between the neoconservative movement and the Israel Lobby. On this point, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, in their seminal book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007), note that: "Many neoconservatives are connected to an overlapping set of Washington-based think tanks, committees, and publications whose agenda includes promoting the special relationship between the United States and Israel." They go on to add though, that while the...

...interrelated affiliations within the neoconservative movement...may seem to some like a shadowy conspiracy (or even a "right-wing cabal") [it] is anything but. On the contrary, the various think tanks, committees, foundations, and publications that have nurtured the neoconservative movement operate much as other policy networks do. Far from shunning publicity or engaging in hidden plots, these groups actively court publicity for the explicit purpose of shaping public and elite opinion and thereby moving U.S. foreign policy in the directions they favor. The neoconservative network is both undeniably impressive and similar to networks that have arisen in other policy areas, such as tax reform, the environment, or immigration. (p.131)

Unfortunately, like most other foreign policy analysts, Mearsheimer and Walt fail to document the "humanitarian" ventures of the Israel Lobby, and so ultimately provide only a limited critique of its activities by focusing on militarily enforced domination, rather than on the Lobby's ties to the Project for a New American Humanitarianism. (41) These "humanitarian" networks are not a shadowy conspiracy, instead, as demonstrated here, the members of the Project for a New American Humanitarianism organize their activities openly and publicly, and they are highly visible.

It is patently clear that concerned citizens need to divert more of their time and resources to helping other activists discard the rose-tinted glasses that presently obscure their vision of the regressive nature of many of the activities of the members of the Project for a New American Humanitarianism. This is a difficult task, and it is made harder by the Left's prevailing sympathy for, and involvement in, many of the human rights campaigns that have been waged by the groups discussed here. But as Gross reminds us in his prescient book Friendly Fascism: "If you can't see that you're part of the problems, then you're standing in the way of attacks on them." (42) Thus if we, the people, are to break the feel-good chains that imperial elites have enticed many of us into embracing, in the name of human rights, then it is necessary for us (as concerned individuals working collectively) to document and analyse the modus operandi of both our aggressive and "humanitarian" adversaries.




1.  The name Project for a New American Humanitarianism was inspired by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson's work on The New Humanitarian Crusaders.  (back)

2.  Despite the focus on the forthcoming Olympics little mention is ever made of the well documented antidemocratic nature of the Olympics, which facilitate human rights abuses all over the world. For further details see, Brian Martin, "Ten Reasons to Oppose All Olympic Games," Freedom, August 3, 1996.  (back)

3.  Ward Churchill writes in his book, A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present, that in preparing for the 1992 Columbus quincen-tenniary, then-director of the National Endowment for the Humanities "Lynne Cheney, in collaboration with the United States Senate... refuse[d] to fund any film production which proposed to use the word 'genocide,' even in passing, to explain the subsequent liquidation of America's indigenous population." (pp.4-5)  (back)

4.  Ward Churchill goes on: "In other words, no previous attempt to obliterate an entire people - not Cortes's butchery of an estimated 20,000 Mexicas (Aztecs) per day, ultimately putting to the sword more than 300,000 as he set his men to systematically reducing all evidence of their civilization to rubble; not the Spanish system of forced labor (encomiendo) under which entire American Indian populations were worked to death, not the transatlantic slave trade which cost millions of African lives, depopulating vast expanses of the 'Dark Continent'; not the Virginia Colony's extermination of the Powhatans during the 1620s nor the Puritans' campaign to utterly eradicate the Pequots in Massachusetts a decade later; not Lord Jeffrey Amherst's 1763 instruction that his subordinates use smallpox to 'extirpate' the Ottawas nor the U.S. Army's replication of the tactic against the Mandans in 1836; not the 1864 orders of both civil and military authorities in Colorado for the total extermination of Cheyennes and Arapahoes nor the actual extermination of entire aboriginal populations in Tasmania and Newfoundland; not the 1918 Turkish slaughter of well over a million Armenians; not the charnel houses of Indonesia, Katanga, and Biafra in the 1960s nor those of Bangladesh and Burundi in the 1970s; not Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge nor even the more current horrors in East Timor, Bosnia, and Rwanda. Nothing qualifies as being 'truly' genocidal except the Holocaust, or Slzoah, as it is known in the Jewish tradition." A Little Matter of Genocide, p.63-4.  (back)

5.  On his New Statesman blog, Conservative politician Brian Coleman wrote (in July 2007) a piece titled "Falun Gong is a constant reminder of Chinese oppression," in which he noted how the "wholesale persecution of Falun Gong has gone largely unreported in the West." Here it is noteworthy that Coleman is also a "member of Conservative Friends of Israel, a group whose Parliamentary Group secretary, David Amess, serves on the board of reference of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (see later). The political director of Conservative Friends of Israel, Robert Halfon, who was also a signatory of the Henry Jackson Society's statement of principles (international patrons of this group include many well-known neoconservative Zionists - e.g., Richard Perle), and Halfon is also a board member of the Centre for Social Justice. The latter group was formed (in 2004) by the former British Conservative party leader, Iain Duncan Smith, and is currently headed by Philippa Stroud, who was a former staffer at a group called Christian Action Research and Education. The executive chair of the latter group, Lyndon Bowring, also happens to serve on the board of reference of Christian Solidarity Worldwide. Returning to Coleman, it is significant to note that in October 2007 "Deputy Chairman of the London Assembly Brian Coleman and Vice-President of the European Parliament, Edward McMillan-Scott" (who is also a member of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China, see next) were involved in lighting the Human Rights Torch as part of a relay that "was set up by rights groups with the mandate to show that it is against the principles of the Olympic charter for the Games be held in China whilst human rights abuses continue."

Leeshai S. Lemish, "Falun Gong and Media Bias: Representation of Falun Gong-Related News in AP, Reuters, and AFP Reports," International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies, Chinese Culture University, Taipei, Taiwan, July 6-8, 2005.  (back)

6.  Significantly, "Steven Spielberg resigned as artistic adviser to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, in protest at China's failure to distance itself from genocide and human rights abuses in Darfur."

According to Raoul Wallenberg's online biography: "Several tens of thousands of Jews were that way saved by Wallenberg or by the embassies of neutral countries inspired by Wallenberg's work." Wallenberg's online biography goes on to note that: "One of his helpers, future Congressman Tom Lantos, accompanied Raoul Wallenberg to the trains, where Jews were being packed together like animals for their journey to a certain death, and helped the Swede pull people off." Here it is also interesting to note that the first book published by Kati Marton (who is the wife of the "closet Zionist" Richard Holbrooke), was a biography of Raoul Wallenberg titled Wallenberg: Missing Hero (Random House, 1982). Marton serves on the national advisory board of the Raoul Wallenberg Committee of the United States alongside people like Elizabeth Moynihan (who is the widow of the former leading neoconservative Daniel Patrick Moynihan), Jerome Shestack (who is the founder of Human Rights First, for further details see note 14), and Elie Wiesel (who was the founding chairman of the US Holocaust Memorial Council in 1980, and amongst various other "humanitarian" affiliations serves on the international council of advisors of the International Campaign for Tibet). In a similar vein, the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, which was founded by Baruch Tenembaum, can also be linked to the Project for a New American Humanitarianism via their China representative, Xu Xin, who also serves on the academic committee of the Jerusalem Summit (see later). Finally, another related group of interest is the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, which can be linked to various democracy manipulating groups by Lena Hjelm-Wallen who serves on their board of trustees.  (back)

7.  In an informative radio interview conducted by KPFA Radio in November 2006 with Samuel Luo (who runs the website http://exposingthefalungong.org), and David Ewing (who is a co-chair of the US China Peoples Friendship Association), Ewing suggested (at 39 min) that when relations between the US and China are problematic there is "more official interest on the part of the US government in groups like Falun Gong," but when diplomatic relations are less adversarial, then the coverage that the Falun Gong's cause receives diminishes. Ascertaining the friendliness of political relations between the US and China is, of course, not straight forward, as although many members of the Project for a New American Humanitarianism are busy highlighting China's human rights abuses, other US elites are simultaneously making huge profits from their rising investments in China's booming economy, particularly in China's repressive internal (in)security market (for further details, see Naomi Klein's excellent article "China's All-Seeing Eye"). Indeed, Israel would appear to be a prime exporter of such tools of repression to China, because as Klein notes in an earlier article, many of Israel's "most successful entrepreneurs are using Israel's status as a fortressed state, surrounded by furious enemies, as a kind of twenty-four-hour-a-day showroom -- a living example of how to enjoy relative safety amid constant war. And the reason Israel is now enjoying supergrowth ["with a roaring stock market and growth rates nearing China's"] is that those companies are busily exporting that model to the world."  (back)

8.  China Aid Association is a "charter member" of Religious Liberty Partnership, a group whose leadership team is made up from representatives from Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Christian Solidarity International (Switzerland), World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission (Finland), Open Doors International (Holland), and Voice of the Martyrs (Canada). The China Aid Association advisory board is home to many neoconservatives the most significant of which is former TIME Beijing Bureau Chief, Dr. David Aikman, who has written the biography of the Christian evangelist Billy Graham, was a former senior fellow at the neoconservative Ethics and Public Policy Center, and is a regular contributor to The Weekly Standard.  (back)

9.  The president of Open Doors USA is Carl Moeller whose biography boasts that he is an "authority on religious freedom issues and has appeared on many radio and television shows, including Hannity & Colmes, [and Pat Robertson's ultra-conservative] Christian Broadcasting Network." His biography notes that: "Before joining Open Doors USA, Moeller, 45, served as a Pastor in Membership at Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, California)." This is significant because Saddleback Church was founded in 1980 by Pastor Rick Warren, one of whom's "most important role models, he says, [has] been Billy Graham." In addition, Pastor Warren was recently recruited to serve on Tony Blair's Faith Foundation where he sits alongside people like Rev. David Coffey (who serves on the board of reference of Christian Solidarity Worldwide), Anantanand Rambachan (who is on the advisory board of The Pluralism Project), Rabbi David Rosen (who formerly served as the Anti Defamation League's Director of Interfaith Relations in Israel, and serves a principal of the American Jewish Committee), and Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks (who is the honorary president of United Jewish Israel Appeal).  (back)

10.  Another prominent example of a Falun Gong group that receives support from various elites is provided by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China. This broad-ranging international group was launched in 2006, and significant members of the Coalition with "democratic" ties include:

•   former Canadian Secretary of State David Kilgour, who is a member of the Committee of 100 for Tibet, and a director of the key US-based democracy manipulator the Council for a Community of Democracies.

•   former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel, who is also a member of the Committee of 100 for Tibet, received the NED's Democracy Service Medal in 2007, and serves on the international council of advisors for the NED-funded International Campaign for Tibet (for further criticism see here).

•   member of the British House of Lords Baroness Caroline Cox, who also serves on the advisory board of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation alongside individuals like George Soros and the president of Human Rights Watch, Richard Bernstein.

•   vice-president of the European Parliament Edward McMillan-Scott, who founded the European Democracy Initiative in 1992, and serves as the chairman of the European Democracy Caucus that was established in 2005.

The latter two British members of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China also happen to serve as members of the important democracy manipulating group the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba, a group that was founded by Vaclav Havel in 2003. The Coalition's three US members are all Republicans: Congressmen Thaddeus McCotter (Michigan), Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (California), and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Florida).  (back)

11.  In 2002, Freedom House created a Bette Bao Lord Prize for Writing in the Cause of Freedom, whose first recipient was the Egyptian "prodemocracy" activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim. While Ibrahim's links to the darker side of the democracy manipulating lobby have not played out in the international media, one part of his life that has been well covered in the media was his arrest in June 2000, and his subsequent imprisonment for illegally receiving foreign funding (European Union grants) for his democracy work at the Ibn Khaldun Center (which he founded in 1988 in Egypt. Interestingly, the Ibn Khaldun Center only received its first NED grant in 2005 to "establish and maintain" a new Egyptian Democracy Support Network. Ibrahim's 2000 arrest pricked the world's attention, and the Bush administration went as far as withholding a "supplemental aid package for Egypt" until he was released from prison in August 2000. However, Ibrahim's ties to the democracy manipulators are longstanding, as in 1983 he founded the Arab Organization for Human Rights, of which the IFEX member and NED recipient the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) is a member. This makes it less surprising that the secretary-general of EOHR, Hafez Abu Saada, was arrested on similar charges to Ibrahim in December 1998, and was likewise released from prison as a result of international pressure. Ibrahim's ties to Freedom House and the NED hint at his neoconservative credentials, which are confirmed by his listing on the books of Benador Associates, a well-known neoconservative public relations agency."  (back)

12.  George Soros is emeritus director of Refugees International, a group whose mission statement notes that it provides "humanitarian assistance and protection for displaced people around the world and works to end the conditions that create displacement." Other "democratic" emeritus directors at Refugees International include Trish Malloch Brown (who served as a program officer for the Soros Foundation in Eastern Europe from 1989 to 1992, and is married to "democratic" notable Mark Malloch Brown), Robert DeVecchi (who is a board member of the Foundation for a Civil Society), Judy Mayotte (who is a member of the executive committee of the International Rescue Committee), and Frank Wisner, Jr. (who formerly worked for the US Agency for International Development in Vietnam during the 1960s, and is a trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund -- also see here).

The current president of Refugees International is Kenneth Bacon, who prior to his appointment in 2001 had worked for seven years as assistant secretary, public affairs, at the US Department of Defense -- Bacon also represents Refugees International on InterAction's board of directors, and in 2001 took over the presidency from Lionel Rosenblatt, who had served as president of Refugees International for ten years. Refugees International's vice president for policy, Joel Charny, is co-chair of InterAction's Protection Working Group, and is also a member of the National Committee on North Korea. The chairman of Refugees International's board of directors is Farooq Kathwari, who is also a trustee of Freedom House, and has received numerous awards including the American Jewish Committee's National Human Relations Award, and the Anti-Defamation League' s Humanitarian Award. Other interesting directors of Refugees International are Elizabeth Bagley (who served as a senior advisor to secretary of state Madeline Albright from 1997 to 2001, and is now a director of the core NED grantee, the National Democratic Institute), Constance Milstein (who is a director of the National Democratic Institute), Richard Holbrooke (who a director of the NED, and is married to Kati Marton, who serves on the board of Human Rights Watch and the International Rescue Committee), and Mary Ellen Glynn (who has recently served as the spokeswoman for Richard Holbrooke -- for a longer discussion of his antidemocratic career see here).  (back)

13.  The US Holocaust Memorial Museum is located on Raoul Wallenberg Place.  (back)

14.  Human Rights First (formerly known as the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights) is a non-profit international human rights organization based in New York and Washington DC that was founded in 1977 by Jerome Shestack. Their website notes that to maintain their independence, they "accept no government funding," this however, has not prevented them from taking money (albeit a small amount) from the largest arms manufacturer in the world, Lockheed Martin. Major donors ($100,000 and above) of their work, however, include the likes of the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Open Society Institute (see Annual Report 2005/2006, pdf).

Human Rights First's founder, Jerome Shestack, has recently served as the president of the American Bar Association (1997-8), has "chaired the International League for Human Rights since 1981 and is currently its honorary president," is a commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists, and a director of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. In 2006, Michael Posner became the president of Human Rights First after serving 28 years as their executive director. Posner's most controversial previous affiliation was to the National Coalition for Haitian Rights (in the early 1980s) of which Human Rights Watch's Jocelyn McCalla is the current executive director. Maureen Byrnes moved into Posner's vacated position as Human Rights First's new executive director, having previously served at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Philadelphia as Director of Policy Initiatives.

Human Rights First has held a Human Rights Awards Dinner annually since 2001, at which they honor the work of two or three human rights activists. This is particularly remarkable because some of these activists have been strongly linked to the democracy manipulating community. Thus in 2002, the two award winners were Saad Eddin Ibrahim (whose work is closely linked to the NED, see note 11) and Sima Samar (who is now the chair of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission -- a group that has collaborated with USAID, is listed as a partner organization of the International Center for Transitional Justice, and includes the former Afghan country director for the National Democratic Institute, Hossain Ramoz, on their board of commissioners). In 2003, Xu Wenli was one of the recipients of the Human Rights Award: Wenli is currently a senior fellow at the Watson Institute, and on May 4, 2006, he spoke at a conference organized by NED aid recipient the Laogai Research Foundation. The following year (2004) Mehrangiz Kar received the Human Rights First Award -- she again is 'democratically' connected as between 2001 and 2002 she was a Reagan-Fascell Democracy fellow at the NED, in 2002 she won the NED Democracy Award, between 2005 and 2006 she was a fellow at the Carr Center, and she is presently a program advisor for the Women's Learning Partnership. None of the other Human Rights First award recipients appear to be obviously linked to "democratic" organizations.

The current chair of Human Rights First's board of directors is William Zabel: in 2000 (at least), Zabel was a director of Human Rights Watch and a legal advisor for the Soros Foundations, and he is presently also a director of the Winston Founation. Other 'democratically' linked Human Rights First directors include Louis Henkin, Harold Hongju Koh, M. Bernard Aidinoff, Gail Furman, Scott Greathead (who is a founding member of Human Rights First, and a director of the NED-funded Human Rights in China), Juliette Kayyem (who is an advisor for Americans for Informed Democracy), Kerry Kennedy (who is an international advisor for the International Campaign for Tibet, and a board member of the NED-funded China Information Center), and Philip Lacovara (who is on the national advisory board of the right-wing Center for the Community Interest, an organization whose founder Roger Conner went on to serves as the executive director of Search for Common Ground between 2000 and 2004). Two Human Rights First directors without "democratic" ties are still linked to Human Rights Watch, these are Steven Shapiro (who is the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, and a member of both Human Rights Watch's U.S. Advisory Committee and Asia Advisory Committee), and Robert D. Joffe (who is a member of Human Rights Watch's Africa Advisory Committee). Finally, "democratic" Human Rights First's national council members include Human Rights Watch founder Robert L. Bernstein, Helene L. Kaplan, Abner J. Mikva (who is a member of the senior advisory committee of the National Democratic Institute), and two HRW Americas Advisory Committee members Bruce Rabb and Rose Styron.  (back)

15.  The Humpty Dumpty Institute was created in 1998 and their website states that it "forges innovative public-private partnerships to find creative solutions to difficult humanitarian problems" -- which it does by working closely with various departments of the US government.  (back)

16.  The Israel Policy Forum was formed in 1993 and is a "non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the Middle East peace process in order to strengthen Israeli security and further US foreign policy interests in the region."  (back)

17.  Benjamin Gilman was formerly a trustee of the Meridian International Center -- a nonprofit that was founded in 1960, and as their website notes, is "dedicated to advancing international understanding through public diplomacy and global engagement". Major financial supporters of the Meridian International Center's work include Lockheed Martin, ExxonMobil, and General Motors.  (back)

18.  Soenke Biermann, "Found in Translation: Differences, Tolerance and Enriching Diversity," Refereed paper presented to Activating Human Rights and Peace: Universal Responsibility, Byron Bay, Australia, July 1-4, 2008. (Conference proceedings will be published online on December 15, 2008.)  (back)

19.  Emanuel M. Josephson, Rockefeller, 'Internationalist': The Man Who Misrules the World (Chedney Press, 1952); Griffin, G. Edward, The Fearful Master: A Second Look at the United Nations (Western Islands, 1964).  (back)

20.  David Rockefeller, Memoirs (New York: Random House, 2002), p. 405.  (back)

21.  According to their website: "The idea of the Club of Budapest was developed in 1978 in a discussion between Aurelio Peccei, founder and first president of the Club of Rome, and Ervin Laszlo, systems philosopher and also member of the Club of Rome at that time." Honorary members of the Club of Budapest include the Dalai Lama, Vaclav Havel and Elie Wiesel.  (back)

22.  Significant members of the World Commission include Desmund Tutu, Robert A.F. Thurman and Rodrigo Carazo Odio: all three of whom serve as members of the Committee of 100 for Tibet, and on the international council of advisors for the NED-funded International Campaign for Tibet. (Desmund Tutu also acts as a member of Human Rights Watch's Arms Advisory Committee.) Two other World Commission members who are linked to the Tibetan cause are Betty Williams (who is a member of the Committee of 100 for Tibet), and The Dalai Lama.  (back)

23.  Earlier this year, the BBC provided a sensationalist extremely limited critique of Auroville which only focused on the links between child abuse and Auroville (see related BBC article).  (back)

24.  Petras points out that the Conference of the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations "has focused on the Darfur 'genocide' because by doing so it favors the brutal separatists in southern Sudan, armed and advised by Israel, as a means of depriving pro-Palestinian Sudan of a large oil rich region in the south of the country. The Darfur campaign deliberately and systematically excludes any mention of the Israeli Supreme Court's approval of Israel's food and fuel blockade and deliberate prevention of the movement of medical personnel in Gaza and the West Bank, its approval of Israel's practice of torture ('forceful interrogations'), armed assaults on the vital infrastructure and civilian population centers of Gaza."  (back)

25.  United Jewish Communities is an organizational member of the Save Darfur Coalition, and a member of IsraAID -- which was founded in 2001 and describes itself as a "coordinating body of Israeli and Jewish NGOs (non governmental organizations) and other interested parties based in Israel that are active in development and relief work and concerned about global issues ('Tikkun Olam')." In 2002, Henry Elkaslasi, the head of The Humanitarian Fund of the Kibbutz Movement, became chair of IsraAID. Elkaslasi presently also serves as the co-chair of the Israeli Coalition for the Refugees of Darfur and Sudan (also known as Israel for Darfur). Israel for Darfur is listed as a campaign of the blogging group, Darfur Awareness, which in turn is a project of a group called Mideast Youth. This latter group was founded by Esra'a Al Shafei -- who also cofounded the Middle East Interfaith Blogger Network -- and in June 2007, she received an award from free-market Atlas Economic Research Foundation for her Mideast Youth project.  (back)

26.  According to their website, InterAction, which was formed in 1984, is the "largest alliance of US-based international development and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations." In 2005, their total annual revenue was just over $5.4 million, of which a sizable amount ($1.4 million) came from the US government, and an array of liberal foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. Former presidents of InterAction include Julia Taft, 1992 to 1997 (who is a former NED director, and former director of the Office for US Disaster Assistance at USAID), Jim Moody, 1998 to 2000 (who now serves as a director of Relief International, and serves on the advisory board for the NED-funded National Iranian American Council), and Mary McClymont, 2001 to 2005 (who previously had worked for 12 years with the Ford Foundation, and is now a director of both Global Rights, and Physicians for Human Rights). In 2005, Mary McClymont was replaced by InterAction's first ever foreign-born president, Mohammad Akhter, who also serves as the executive director of the American Public Health Association. In February 2006, with no irony apparently intended, Dr. Akhter observed that: "The United States expresses its greatness in a variety of ways, but perhaps none is more important than the humanitarian and development assistance we provide overseas."  (back)

27.  Other notable 'humanitarian' board members of the Save Darfur Coalition include Jill Savitt (who is the director of the Olympic Dream for Darfur), John Prendergast (who was the former Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council for the Clinton administration), and James Zogby (who is the founder and president of the Arab American Institute, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the Human Rights Watch Middle East Advisory Committee, acts as an advisor for Americans for Informed Democracy, and serves on the national advisory council of the US Interreligious Committee for Peace in the Middle East). Incidentally, given the Save Darfur Coalition's links to the elite-friendly Human Rights Watch through James Zogby, it is noteworthy that an international human rights group called Crisis Action (which has offices in Berlin, Brussels, London and Paris) coordinates the Globe for Darfur coalition. This is interesting because Crisis Action -- which has obtained support from the Save Darfur Coalition -- works in partnership with many New Humanitarian NGOs, and is headed by individuals who represent, or have represented, groups which include Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the International Crisis Group, and Oxfam International.  (back)

28.  The winner of the 2006 Sakharov Prize was Alexander Milinkevich, the Belarussian opposition leader; while the 2005 winners were Ladies in White (a "pro-democracy group in Cuba"), the key democracy manipulator, Reporters Without Borders, and Hauwa Ibrahim (a Nigerian human rights attorney).  (back)

29.  In addition to Christian Solidarity International and the American Anti-Slavery Group, other members of The Sudan Campaign coalition included the American Jewish Committee (DC Branch), and the NED-funded Sudan Human Rights Organization (Cairo) amongst others. Members of the Campaigns advisory board included Freedom House representative Nina Shea, three Republicans: Senator Sam Brownback (Kansas) who serves on the board of reference of Servant's Heart, and is presidium of the Jerusalem Summit; Tom Tancredo (Colorado) who also serves on the board of reference of Servant's Heart; and Frank Wolf (Virginia) who is a director of Bread for the World; and three Democrat Congressman: Gregory Meeks (New York) who is a board member of the NED, and serves on the Congressional advisory board of the Humpty Dumpty Institute; Eleanor Holmes Norton (District of Columbia) who is a former board member of the Rockefeller Foundation; and Donald Payne (New Jersey) who serves on the board of reference of Servant's Heart, is a former NED board member, a board member of Bread for the World, serves on the Congressional advisory board of the Humpty Dumpty Institute, and is co-chairman of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution.  (back)

30.  Another significant board member of the American Anti-Slavery Group is Jesse Sage, who formerly served for seven years as associate director of the Group before joining the neoconservative American Islamic Congress (a group whose work is closely linked to that of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies). Sage's background provides an indicative representation of the close ties that are maintained between progressive groups and the democracy manipulating community, as he also acts as the treasurer of the Human and Civil Rights Organizations of America, a group that has provided funding to the progressive media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, three NED-funded groups (Human Rights in China, the International Campaign for Tibet, and the Center for Victims of Torture), and various pro-Israel group's like the Anti-Defamation League, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the Jewish Fund for Justice, and the New Israel Fund.  (back)

31.  Rev. Roderick also serves on the advisory board of the American Council for Kosovo, and is a member of the North Korea Freedom Coalition. The latter group was formed in 2003, and their executive committee is chaired by Christian Solidarity International board member, Suzanne Scholte. Thus it appears that Korea is certainly considered to be a major target for the New Humanitarian community. Fittingly Scholte is also president of the Defense Forum Foundation (whose board of directors include former NED board member and Project for a New American Century signatory, Fred Ikle), and she serves as the treasurer of the US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (whose board is home to many Project for a New American Century signatories, and the NED's president, while the Committee itself is headed by Debra Liang-Fenton, who formerly directed the US Institute of Peace's Human Rights Implementation initiative, and has been a project officer of the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the NED). For further background on the democracy manipulating community's interest in North Korea, see Stephen Gowans, "Understanding North Korea," What's Left, March 3, 2007.  (back)

32.  In 2003, Baroness Cox founded the British-based Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust, whose board of trustees includes Anthony Peel (who is also a trustee of Christian Solidarity Worldwide), and Nicholas Mellor (who is the co-founder of Medical Emergency Relief International, whose board of trustees is chaired by Lord Jay of Ewelme, an individual who "was Tony Blair's personal representative to the G8 Summits in 2005 and 2006"). Baroness Cox also formerly served as a trustee of Medical Emergency Relief International.  (back)

33.  For a critical review of the First Jerusalem Summit (held from October 12-14, 2003), see Syed Shahabuddin, "A New World Order in the Making: An Alliance of Israeli Zionists, Americans, Neo-Cons and World Jewry", The Milli Gazette, September 2004. Also see, Habib Siddiqui, "Jerusalem Summit: What Are The Neocons Cooking?," Media Monitors Network, October 29, 2005.  (back)

34.  Jim Jacobson launched Christian Freedom International (CFI) after visiting Burma, on the prompting of Ambassador Faith Whittlesey, who had asked Jim to "spearhead a program to assist persecuted Christians." (pdf) (Whittlesey currently serves as a board member of CFI.) Jacobson's biography notes that before creating CFI he "served as a policy analyst in the Reagan White House, a political appointee in the George Herbert Walker Bush administration"; it also notes that, "At the invitation of First Lady Laura Bush, Mr. Jacobson participated in The Dialogue on Burma, a roundtable discussion conducted during the September 2006 U.N. General Assembly that allowed activists and government officials to speak openly about the severe humanitarian crisis that has plagued Burma for decades." For further details on the democracy manipulating communities interests in Burma, see Michael Barker, "People Power or Political Puppetry?", The Fanonite, January 16, 2008.  (back)

35.  For a detailed critique of the influence of liberal philanthropy on the evolution of the environmental movement, see Michael Barker, "The Liberal Foundations of Environmentalism: Revisiting the Rockefeller-Ford Connection," Capitalism Nature Socialism, 19, 2, 15-42. (Part of the article is also summarized here.)  (back)

36.  Nicky Lazar was also a producer on Michael Moore's two most recent films "SICKO" and "Fahrenheit 9/11."  (back)

37.  The president of the Africa-America Institute, Mora McLean, formerly served as deputy director for Africa and Middle East programs at the Ford Foundation, and is a former board member of the NED's sister organization, the US Institute of Peace.  (back)

38.  The co-founder and executive director of EarthRights International, Ka Hsaw Wa, is a member of the Karen ethnic nationality of Burma, and since 1995 EarthRights have "worked in Burma to monitor the impacts of the military regime's policies and activities on local populations and ecosystems." Two notable members of EarthRights eight-person strong board of directors include Kumi Naidoo (who is the secretary-general and CEO of CIVICUS: the World Alliance for Citizen Participation), and Rebecca Rockefeller (who is a trustee of the Rockefeller Family Fund).  (back)

39.  Samantha Power is a board member of the International Rescue Committee, and the PNAC-linked US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (see note 31).  (back)

Gross also highlight that "the operating rules of modern capitalist empire require ascending rhetoric about economic and social development, human rights, and the self-effacing role of transnational corporations in the promotion of progress and prosperity. The more lies are told, the more important it becomes for the liars to justify themselves by deep moral commitments to high-sounding objectives that mask the pursuit of money and power. The more a country like the United States imports its prosperity from the rest of the world, the more its leaders must dedicate themselves to the sacred ideal of exporting abundance, technology, and civilization to everyone else. The further this myth may be from reality, the more significant it becomes -- and the greater the need for academic notables to document its validity by bold assertion and self-styled statistical demonstration." p.5, p.205.  (back)

40.  An early example of this phenomenon is provided by Richard Brown (1980) who described how liberal philanthropists (like the Rockefeller Foundation) and other missionaries under the guise of promoting medical technologies overseas "wrapped imperialism in cloaks of humanitarianism." He points out that such "humanitarians" certainly did not lack humanitarian feeling: "Rather, their humanitarianism was shaped by their ethnocentrism, their class interests, and their support for the imperialist objectives of their own country." Brown thus suggests that: "By the time their humanitarianism was expressed in programs, it was so intertwined with the interests of American capitalism as to be indistinguishable." However, he is correct to recognize, like Mearsheimer and Walt, that such humanitarian "programs were the result not of dark conspiracies, but of simple recognition and articulation of the [ir proponents]... class interests." E. Richard Brown, "Rockefeller Medicine in China: Professionalism and Imperialism" in Robert F. Arnove (Ed.) Philanthropy and Cultural Imperialism: The Foundation at Home and Abroad (Indiana University Press, 1981), p.139.

Similarly Edward Berman noted how liberal philanthropists exporting western eductional systems to Africa have long portrayed themselves as "disinterested humanitarians" by "emphasi[zing] on the provision of acommodity which ostensibly has no political overtones and which is in great demand." However, as Berman demonstrated, "there was little humanitarianism in these foundation attempts to develop educational systems in Africa, despite the proclivities of random foundation personnel in this direction. Education was perceived as the opening wedge ensuring an American presence in those African nations considered of strategic and economic importance to the governing and business elite of the United States." Edward H. Berman, "The Foundations Role in American Foreign Policy: The Case of Africa, post 1945," in Robert F. Arnove (Ed.) Philanthropy and Cultural Imperialism: The Foundation at Home and Abroad (Indiana University Press, 1981), p. 225.  (back)

41.  With regard to charitable activities and their relation to the Israel Lobby, Mearsheimer and Walt note that "private donations to charities in most foreign countries are not tax deductible, but many private donations to Israel are, due to a special clause in the U.S.-Israel income tax treaty." (p.29) In addition, they add, "because Israeli charities operate beyond the reach of U.S. tax authorities, donations from Jewish and Christian evangelical organizations are hard to monitor once they are transferred to Israel. In practice, therefore, the U.S. government cannot easily determine the extent to which tax-exempt private donations are being diverted for unauthorized purposes." p.30  (back)

42.  Gross also highlight that "the operating rules of modern capitalist empire require ascending rhetoric about economic and social development, human rights, and the self-effacing role of transnational corporations in the promotion of progress and prosperity. The more lies are told, the more important it becomes for the liars to justify themselves by deep moral commitments to high-sounding objectives that mask the pursuit of money and power. The more a country like the United States imports its prosperity from the rest of the world, the more its leaders must dedicate themselves to the sacred ideal of exporting abundance, technology, and civilization to everyone else. The further this myth may be from reality, the more significant it becomes -- and the greater the need for academic notables to document its validity by bold assertion and self-styled statistical demonstration." p.5, p.205.  (back)


· · · · · ·


If you find our work useful and appreciate its quality, please consider
making a donation. Money is spent to pay for Internet costs, maintenance
and upgrade of our computer network, and development of the site.

· · · · · ·


Internal Resources

Armies of Compassion: The Missionary, the Businessman and the Military - Gilles d'Aymery, August 2000.

The Circle of Deception: Mapping the Human Rights Crowd in the Balkans - Gilles d'Aymery, July 2001.

Sharp Reflection Warranted: Nonviolence in the Service of Imperialism - Michael Barker, June 2008.

The Soros Media "Empire": The Power of Philanthropy to Engineer Consent - Michael Barker, July 2008.

Waging Democracy On China: Human Rights and an Endowment for Democracy - Michael Barker, July 2008.

Activism under the Radar Screen

Patterns which Connect


About the Author

Michael Barker recently completed his doctorial thesis at Griffith University in Australia, where he studied the influence of the National Endowment for Democracy on global media systems. He is currently co-editing a book with Daniel Faber and Joan Roelofs that will critically evaluate the influence of philanthropic foundations on the public sphere.



Please, feel free to insert a link to this work on your Web site or to disseminate its URL on your favorite lists, quoting the first paragraph or providing a summary. However, please DO NOT steal, scavenge, or repost this work on the Web or any electronic media. Inlining, mirroring, and framing are expressly prohibited. Pulp re-publishing is welcome -- please contact the publisher. This material is copyrighted, © Michael Barker 2008. All rights reserved.


Have your say

Do you wish to share your opinion? We invite your comments. E-mail the Editor. Please include your full name, address and phone number (the city, state/country where you reside is paramount information). When/if we publish your opinion we will only include your name, city, state, and country.


· · · · · ·


This Edition's Internal Links

The Situation In Georgia As I See It - Michael Doliner

Representation Without Taxation - Jan Baughman

Could I Support Obama Instead Of Nader? - Gilles d'Aymery

Expediency Creates Entropy Within The Human Environment - Carol Warner Christen

Fusing Brecht & Bentley - Charles Marowitz

Eric Bentley's Bentley on Brecht - Book Review by Peter Byrne

Mondana Commedia n.1: Inferno (World Comedy n.1: Hell) - Poem by Guido Monte

James Salter's A Sport and a Pastime - Book Review by Michael Doliner

Madness - Poem by R. Scott Porter

Letters to the Editor

· · · · · ·


[About]-[Past Issues]-[Archives]-[Resources]-[Copyright]



Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art14/barker04.html
Published August 25, 2008