Men accused of working for unlicensed NGOs and receiving
foreign funds, await news during the opening of their trial
Cairo, Feb. 26. The case, which involves 43 people - 19 of them
- was adjourned until April.
What does the CIA have to do with Democracy and NGO's?
Are the Americans now under arrest in Egypt and the non-governmental organizations that employ them, simply agents of the U.S. intelligence services? For Egypt's state-controlled Al-Ahram, columnist Makram Muhammad Ahmad writes that few Egyptians believe that America really wants to see genuine democracy for Egyptians or Arabs, since the result would inevitably be opposed to the interests of the United States.
Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, head of Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces: He and his associates appear to be whipping up anti-Western sentiment to be able to win the approval of the public, which is less than satisfied with the nation's democratoc transition.
I don't think
anyone is convinced by the defense offered by non-governmental organizations operating
in Egypt. According to them, the huge amounts of American money they receive is
used to compile reports, studies and research into domestic conditions in Egypt,
and in any case, the aid benefits the Egyptian government.
important and essential differences between the responsibility of government in
terms of national sovereignty and those of individuals and NGOs, which must
abide by prevailing laws. Government is subject to oversight by the people
through their elected representatives in so far as how it is funded and they
way it spends money.
In addition, international institutions
that fund the activities of community groups and NGOs are doing so outside the
law to achieve objectives that do not comport with their outward appearance. Many
times, the stated goals of these organizations are just a cover for other,
hidden objectives that undermine the nation's interests, particularly if those
interests collide with those of the United States. This is especially true when
the work of these organizations is an extension of the work of organs of intelligence
and information gathering, as is the case with the Democrat and Republican
institutes. These two organizations get their funding directly from the U.S.
intelligence budget, despite the impressive-sounding titles of their democracy
[Editor's Note: The
organizations the author refers to are Freedom House, the National
Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute and the
International Center for Journalists. The 19 Americans now being held for trial
in April are employees of these U.S.-based non-governmental organizations,
which, according to them, have been assisting Egyptian groups with election
reform, voter education and other programs designed to bolster civil society.]
There has been confirmation
that the Democratic and Republican institutes just provide a cover for the
intelligence work of the CIA abroad. Even if the goal of these groups, as
stated by The Washington Post, is at times to help with democratic
reform, most of the time they work against democracy, and always stand by the
interests of the United States, which necessarily puts them in conflict with
the hopes and aspirations of the people and their right to self-determination.
That is what the National
Democratic Institutedid in toppling elected governments in Haiti and
Venezuela; and what the International Republican
Institute did when it attempted to
alter Brazil's electoral laws. That is to say nothing of the Republican
Institute's infamous role in the 2009
uprising against the democratic government of Honduras.
I don't think any reasonable
Egyptian can believe that Washington wants a just and well-run democracy for
Egypt or the Arab world, in which public opinion plays a genuine role in
strategic decision making. After all, such choices would include a determined push
back against Israeli hegemony, the elimination of its occupation of Arab land
and enabling the Palestinian people to acquire their legal rights.