Woodrow Wilson Center works with NED and Hoover Institute on Iran

September 15, 2007 at 9:22 am (faux democracy promotion, Think Tanks)

Woodrow Wilson Center is the faux think tank that the recently released faux Iranian dissident Esfandari works for.

September 2, 2007

[The Woodrow Wilson Center] is continuing to engage in joint venturing with other institutions around the country and overseas – joint venturing that is mutually beneficial and that extends the reach and the effectiveness of the Center’s work.
Examples include:

numerous Latin American Program conferences co-hosted with a variety of Latin America-based institutions on such topics
as Haiti, Cuba, US-Mexican relations, and peace building in Colombia;

The Kennan Institute working with four major American foundations on a conference in Russia on civil society and its important role;

Middle East Program conferences with the Hoover Institution on Iran, with USIP for Iraqi women, and with the National Endowment for Democracy on Islamism and democracy in Muslim countries;

and the convening of a number of university groups, business groups, and nongovernmental organization representatives with government officials from several agencies to assess the balance between access and security and to discuss current visa issues and a myriad of problems getting foreigners into the United States.

via Hossein Derakhshan’s blog.

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US funding of Iranian “dissidents”

June 23, 2007 at 9:38 pm (faux democracy promotion, Faux Iranian Dissidents, Think Tanks)

This article in today’s New York Times Magazine is worth a read because it details the names of faux Iranian dissidents, and the think tanks involved in psyop against Iran. While the article quotes some faux dissidents as not wanting to have anything to do with the US funding — the reason for this refusal has little to do with principles, and a lot to do with the fact that the Iranian government is onto the US sponsored counter-(soft) revolutionary interventions.

As a senior adviser to the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, David Denehy is charged with overseeing the distribution of millions of dollars to advance the cause of a more democratic Iran. Affable, charming and approachable, he is bearlike in stature and manner. His voice is pleasantly rumbly; his smile is so wide that it seems to have been drawn onto his face with a crayon. Over the last two years, Denehy has canvassed dozens of pundits, students, journalists, bloggers and activists across the world about how he might best go about his work — what he calls, echoing President Bush, “the freedom agenda.” He has shaken hands with millionaire exiles, dissidents, monarchists, Communists, self-styled Mandelas and would-be Chalabis. He is the public face of “the democracy fund,” as it has come to be known, or simply “the $75 million.”

click here to read more.

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Vali Nasr

June 10, 2007 at 4:42 pm (Faux Iranian Dissidents, Think Tanks)

Vali Nasr has become the US media’s new favorite Muslim expert – especially on Shi’a Islam, Iran, and sectarianism. He has also become a favorite of some liberals, who like to quote him authoritatively from a couple of his books, again, especially when discussing Shi’as.

For these liberals, quoting a Shi’a Muslim scholar (i.e. an Ayatullah) on Shi’a Islam, would be anathema, because they are all considered to be “fundamentalists”, and “backwards.” And also because many liberals have adopted the neo-con hatred and Islamophobia for scholars of Islam, so they now have a supposed “liberal” American educated dude, who they can quote safely as a supposed representative of Shi’as.

So, now lets take a closer look at this guy. Who exactly is he? Who is he speaking for, and what are are his affiliations?

The Wikipedia entry on Vali Nasr offers some interesting insights that are worth examining:

First, Nasr, in January, 2006, was named the Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

Now, I’ve talked about the awful liberal Brooking Institute.. But, if that is not bad enough, the CFR is like plain rotten – amongst its members are the following:

Dick Cheney
Condoleezza Rice
Paul Wolfowitz
Robert M. Gates
John D. Negroponte
Richard Perle
Leslie Gelb
Colin Powell
Alice Rivlin
Madeleine Albright
Zbigniew Brzezinski
Henry Kissinger

more here

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Promoting ‘Democracy’ through Civil Disobedience

June 7, 2007 at 11:07 pm (faux democracy promotion, Think Tanks)


The two authors of A Force More Powerful are Peter Ackerman and Jack DuVall. Linking both writers to the ‘democracy promoting’ community is fairly straightforward as the overt nature of most ‘democracy promoters’’ work means that the authors feel free to openly publicise their ‘democratic’ affiliations on the internet. Dr Ackerman is the founding chair of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), chairman of Freedom House, and a member of the U.S. Advisory Council of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). [8] His coauthor, Jack DuVall, is the president and founding Director of the ICNC, and is also a founding member of the Arlington Institute. [9]

The ICNC, of which both Ackerman and DuVall are founding directors, describes itself as “an independent, non-profit, educational foundation that develops and encourages the study and use of civilian-based, nonmilitary strategies to establish and defend human rights, democracy and justice worldwide.” [10] Yet as will become clearer later, the name of their organisation belies its actual unstated objective, which is to help promote revolutions in geostrategically useful countries. Bearing this in mind, it is not surprising that most of ICNV’s principals of nonviolence were trained within the heart of the military-industrial complex: ICNV Vice-chair Berel Rodal, was formerly Director-General of the Policy Secretariat in the Department of National Defence; ICNV Manager of Educational Initiatives, Dr. Maria J. Stephan, has worked “at the U.S. Department of Defense and with the international staff at NATO Headquarters in Brussels”; and Shaazka Beyerle (former vice-president turned Senior Advisor of ICNV), is a founding Vice President of the European Institute.

more here

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fermenting counter-revolution in Iran: brooking institute

May 30, 2007 at 8:48 pm (faux democracy promotion, Think Tanks)

The nature of the regime is at the core of the challenge it poses, but the starting point of a counter-strategy is containment: that is, George Kennan’s classic vision of bringing countervailing pressures to bear against a revolutionary power’s external expansion until the structural contradictions within the system begin to weaken it internally.

Iran is not mainly an American problem; it is a challenge in the first instance to our allies and friends in the Middle East. Thus, the first stage in a counter-strategy is to bolster Arab allies and friends as counter-weights to Iranian power. While military cooperation with some Gulf Arabs, especially Saudi Arabia, is controversial at home, tightening American links with these allies is logically the core of such a strategy.

A wider strategic consensus may be emerging that would join the United States, key Arab states, and Israel against the Iranian threat. This should be nurtured. Arab countries have other options, including their own nuclear development, or appeasement of Iran. Far preferable is that they retain confidence in us as a reliable friend and protector.

Restoring this balance needs to include:

some success in stabilizing Iraq

broader use of economic pressures (as opposed to the narrowly targeted sanctions resorted to thus far)

stepping up support of civil society in Iran, including improving the quality of U.S. official broadcasting into Iran

more on the Brooking Institute

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Foundation for Defence of Democracies and Iran

May 23, 2007 at 8:22 am (Think Tanks)

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a neo-conservative group created two days after the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, is holding what it calls a policy workshop during Congress Memorial Day recess, no doubt to plot strategy for moving U.S. policy toward Iran in a direction compatible with its confrontational views.

The workshop, entitled Confronting The Iranian Threat: The Way Forward, is to include 30 or so leading experts who will analyze the implications of Iran’s activities, the diplomatic challenges, military and intelligence capabilities, the spread of its ideology within and beyond its borders, and other issues, including the prospects for democratization in the Islamic world, energy security and other related issues that face policymakers in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, according to the invitation letter from FDD’s president, Clifford May. The purpose will be “exploring policy options and consider solutions to one of the most significant policy issues of our day.”

Among those experts who have been invited are several serving and former senior administration officials, including one of the diminishing number of neo-cons left in the Bush administration, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Paula Dobriansky; the hard-line Iran country director in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and Office of Special Plans (OSP) alumna, Ladan Archin; the recently-departed State Department Coordinator of Counterterrorism, Amb. Henry Crumpton; the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Treasury Department, Matthew Levitt, who is now with the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). The administration’s new UN Ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, has also been invited, although his duties as next month’s Security Council president may make it difficult for him to travel. In any case, his spouse, Cheryl Benard, who directs the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy, is confirmed.

Invitees will have all their expenses paid and receive a $1,000 honorarium.

more information, and links here:

http://www.ips.org/blog/jimlobe/?p=21

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