Home > April 6 Youth, EGY Leaks, New Middle East > Cooptation of April6 Youth & Opposition Leaders

Cooptation of April6 Youth & Opposition Leaders

by Michel Chossudovsky 

The cooptation of the leaders of major opposition parties and civil society organizations in anticipation of the collapse of an authoritarian puppet government is part of Washington’s design, applied in different regions of the World.

The process of cooptation is implemented and financed by US based foundations including the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and  Freedom House (FH). Both FH and the NED have links to the US Congress. the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and the US business establishment. Both the NED and FH are known to have ties to the CIA.

The NED is actively involved in Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria. Freedom House supports several civil society organizations in Egypt.

“The NED was established by the Reagan administration after the CIA’s role in covertly funding efforts to overthrow foreign governments was brought to light, leading to the discrediting of the parties, movements, journals, books, newspapers and individuals that received CIA funding. … As a bipartisan endowment, with participation from the two major parties, as well as the AFL-CIO and US Chamber of Commerce, the NED took over the financing of foreign overthrow movements, but overtly and under the rubric of “democracy promotion.” (Stephen Gowans, January « 2011 “What’s left“)

While the US has supported the Mubarak government for the last thirty years, US foundations with ties to the US State department and the Pentagon have actively supported the political opposition including the civil society movement.  According to Freedom House: “Egyptian civil society is both vibrant and constrained. There are hundreds of non-governmental organizations devoted to expanding civil and political rights in the country, operating in a highly regulated environment.”

In a bitter irony, Washington supports the Mubarak dictatorship, including its atrocities, while also backing and financing its detractors, through the activities of FH, the NED, among others.

Under the auspices of Freedom House, Egyptian dissidents and opponents of Hosni Mubarak were received in May 2008 by Condoleezza Rice at the State Department and the US Congress. They also met White House National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, who was “the principal White House foreign policy adviser” during George W. Bush’s second term.

Freedom House’s effort to empower a new generation of advocates has yielded tangible results and the New Generation program in Egypt has gained prominence both locally and internationally. Egyptian visiting fellows from all civil society groups received [May 2008] unprecedented attention and recognition, including meetings in Washington with US Secretary of State, the National Security Advisor, and prominent members of Congress.
(Freedom House, Press release 2008)

Freedom House efforts at helping the Egyptian activists, yielded great success:

  • Under the auspices of Freedom House, Egyptian dissidents met US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in December 2007  at the State Department, in Washington DC. (Freedom House, Press release 2007)
  • Again, in May 2008, Egyptian dissidents were received by Condoleezza Rice at the State Department. This Egyptian delegation was described by Condoleezza Rice as “The Hope for the Future of Egypt”. (Freedom House, Press release 2008)
  • The same group also met White House National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.
  • In May 2009, Hillary Clinton met a delegation of Egyptian dissidents, several of whom had met Condoleezza Rice a year earlier. (Freedom House, Press release 2009)
  • The 16 activists also met with Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman in Washington at the end of a two-month fellowship organized by Freedom House’s New Generation program. These high level meetings were held a week prior to Obama’s visit to Egypt.
  • The activists raised concern about what they perceived as the United States government distancing itself from Egyptian civil society and called on President Obama to meet with young independent civil society activists when he visits Cairo next week. They also urged the Obama administration to continue to provide political and financial support to Egyptian civil society and to help open the space for nongovernmental organizations which is tightly restricted under Egypt’s longstanding emergency law.
  • The activists told Clinton that momentum was already building in Egypt for increased civil and human rights and that U.S. support at this time was urgently needed. They stressed that civil society represents a moderate and peaceful “third way” in Egypt, an alternative to authoritarian elements in the government and those that espouse theocratic rule.
  • During their fellowship, the activists spent a week in Washington receiving training in advocacy and getting an inside look at the way U.S. democracy works. After their training, the fellows were matched with civil society organizations throughout the country where they shared experiences with U.S. counterparts. The activists will wrap up their program … by visiting U.S. government officials, members of Congress, media outlets and think tanks.” (Freedom House, Press release 2009)

Related Freedom House Press releases:

Freedom House Demands Release of 8 Activists in Egypt, Jan 5, 2011.

Blogger Illegally Detained and Beaten in Egypt, Nov 10, 2010.

Egyptian Security Forces Shut Down Freedom of Association Conference, Sep 24, 2010.

Egypt Detains Freedom House Employee,Sep 14, 2010.

Ayman Nour Should Be Freed; U.S. Should Reassert Need for Democratic Reform in Egypt, Aug 1, 2007

U.S. Can Better Balance Human Rights Promotion with Other Strategic Interests, Freedom House Emphasizes in Testimony, Jul 12, 2007

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