March 6, 2012

Crazy foreign conspiracy theories

A few days ago, the government of Egypt released American "democracy activists," including cabinet secretary Ray Lahood's son, in return for $5 million in bail and continued U.S. foreign aid. So, it looks like everybody's happy.

I didn't want to mention this while the poor guys were held up in a foreign country, but just from reading about the International Republican Institute on Wikipedia, where Sam Lahood works, it hardly seems surprising that the Egyptian government considers it a front for U.S. government meddling in Egyptian politics. After all, most of IRI's money comes from the U.S. government, its figurehead chairman is John McCain, and it's stocked with Republican politicians and ex-government officials. Young Lahood, for example, had worked for the State Department in Iraq, which I can't imagine the Egyptians found reassuring. (The Democrats have their own taxpayer-supported National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.) 

There aren't quite as many coups these days as there used to be, but IRI seems to have lurked around some of them, such as Haiti in 2004 and perhaps Honduras in 2009. All in all, this seems like a better way to Play the Game than with cruise missiles, but Americans shouldn't be terribly surprised when foreign governments view IRI's employees more as American agents than as humanitarians. 


Anonymous said...

"when foreign governments view IRI's employees more as American agents than as humanitarians"

When a government is actually foreign, as opposed to a bunch of puppets and yes-women for the US elite, they always tend to take this view.

Chicago said...

Americans wouldn't be too thrilled to have foreigners living here trying to organize the disaffected and disgruntled into groups that then stir up demonstrations and otherwise try to influence the politics of the country. Their motives would certainly be suspect, especially knowing they are being paid by foreign entities. It's amazing that all these groups that operate overseas haven't been kicked out as in Egypt.

Anonymous said...

A great post.

It seems that groups of ersatz humanitarians are found hanging about many of these "popular revolutions." For example, I don't know if they're good guys or bad but is worth keeping a Chomskyian eye upon.

Gene Berman said...


You've built you second para as though the guy worked at Wiki.

Black Death said...

Gee, we could have saved ourselves $5 million in "bail" plus a couple of billion in "aid" if we just left Egypt and the Egyptians alone to deal with their own problems. How many dollars have we poured down the Egyptian rathole in the last decades, and what, exactly, do we have to show for it? Mubarek may have been a son of a bitch, but at least he was OUR son of a bitch. What are we going to have now? A Muslim fundamentalist government? Or a military dictatorship? Maybe we should just leave them alone.

KM said...

Tony Cartalucci has been exposing this Game for a while at his blog.

eh said...


Miriam Jordan -> Tech Titans Fund Undocumented Students

I guess the logic here is that they've seen firsthand the HUGE contribution of Hispanics -- the vast majority of the 'undocumented' are Hispanic, right? -- to Silicon Valley. Or something like that.

Anonymous said...

Exactly right. IRI, NDI, OSI, the alphabet soup of open society organizations, are just a variation on a tactic previously employed by the CIA and KGB. See:

The new left set out to expose and destroy the CIA's network (i.e., the old left) and now that it is firmly in control has established its own network of fronts to promote its agenda.

Except, note that because they are structured as non-profits, only partially funded by the U.S. Government, there's a lot less oversight by the Congress. You won't see any Church Committee hearings on these organizations, even after the U.S. Government had to give up $$$ and who knows what else to ransom them.

These groups, led by OSI, promoted, designed, trained and led the so-called color revolutions in the former Soviet Republics that, for the most part, have since been reversed by Putin and his allies.

The Islamists in Egypt naturally view them as a threat to their new power, which the are prospectively.

Anonymous said...

FYI, Steve.

"The Ever-Expanding Definition of 'Diversity'"

"Miguel Unzueta, the study's lead author, notes that "diversity" historically meant inclusiveness toward historically disadvantaged groups. Now, however, the term is commonly used to refer to people who are different in any way (even personality traits and food preferences) -- and that, Dr. Unzueta argues, may be making the concept useless."

Sandra Fluke You said...

...even personality traits and food preferences...

Gitcher rosaries off my ovaries, Senator Limbaugh!!!

Brazilian said...

When the US is going to stop bribing the Egyptian Government to keep peace with Israel?

AmericanGoy said...

"How many dollars have we poured down the Egyptian rathole in the last decades, and what, exactly, do we have to show for it?"

The peace pact between Egypt and Israel, American military maneuvers with Egyptian military in Egypt, shutting down Moslem Brotherhood and, even more important from Israeli(American) point of view economic blockade of Gaza.