ShareThis Page
Outside agitators |
Featured Commentary

Outside agitators

| Friday, June 7, 2013 8:57 p.m

A Cairo court has convicted 43 men and women of using foreign funds to foment unrest inside Egypt in connection with the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. Sixteen of those convicted were Americans. And U.S. interventionists are in an uproar.

“Appalling and offensive,” said Sen. Pat Leahy of the verdicts.

“The 2011 revolution was supposed to end the repressive climate under Mubarak,” said The Wall Street Journal.

This “crackdown,” decries The Washington Post, was defended with “cheap nationalism and conspiracy theories.” As for Egypt’s proposed new law for regulating foreign-funded groups promoting democracy, it is “based on … repressive and xenophobic logic.”

Yet the questions raised by the Cairo and Moscow crackdowns on U.S.-funded “democracy” groups cannot be so airily dismissed. For these countries have more than a small point.

While U.S.-funded democracy promotion is portrayed as benign, the National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute, DNI and Freedom House have been linked to revolutions that brought down regimes in Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and nearly succeeded in Belarus.

People who pride themselves on bringing about revolutions should not whine when targeted regimes treat them like troublemakers. And who directs these “pro-democracy” groups?

Before 2011, Freedom House was headed by ex-CIA Director Jim Woolsey, who says we are in “World War IV.” The IRI is chaired by John McCain, who pushed for U.S. intervention in the Russia-Georgia war and is clamoring for airstrikes on Syria. The DNI chairman is ex-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who says: “We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall, and we see further than other countries into the future.”

Is it not understandable to patriots of the original “Don’t Tread on Me” republic that foreigners might resent paid U.S. agents operating inside their countries to alter the direction of their politics?

In the Cold War Americans learned that not only was the Communist Party U.S.A. a wholly owned subsidiary of Joseph Stalin’s Comintern, that party had deeply infiltrated the U.S. government and Hollywood. In the late ’40s and early ’50s, America was convulsed over communist penetration of our institutions.

Martin Luther King Jr. was wiretapped at the direction of JFK and Attorney General Robert Kennedy because he refused to dump an adviser, Stanley Levison, who was a communist and thought to be a Soviet spy.

Were the Kennedys being “repressive and xenophobic”?

If we were apoplectic that Soviet-funded communists were seeking to influence our culture and politics, why ought not other countries react even as we did?

What lies behind U.S. interventions in the internal affairs of countries all over the world?

There is, first, the residual Cold War mindset. What we did for Solidarity in Poland was right and successful, and we cannot give up this tool of democracy just because the Cold War is over.

Second, there is the arrogance of power, the end-of-history babble about democracy being the last, best hope of Earth to which all nations should aspire — and if they don’t, give them a kick in that direction.

Once the most admired of nations, America is no longer so.

Why not? Because of our compulsive interventions, military and political, in the internal affairs of nations that are none of our business.

Defund the American Comintern and bring the outside agitators home.

Pat Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.