US NGO's and the 'Arab Spring'

Your tax dollars had a lot to do with the unrest in the Middle East, according to the NYT:

Even as the United States poured billions of dollars into foreign military programs and anti-terrorism campaigns, a small core of American government-financed organizations were promoting democracy in authoritarian Arab states.

The money spent on these programs was minute compared with efforts led by the Pentagon. But as American officials and others look back at the uprisings of the Arab Spring, they are seeing that the United States’ democracy-building campaigns played a bigger role in fomenting protests than was previously known, with key leaders of the movements having been trained by the Americans in campaigning, organizing through new media tools and monitoring elections.


Read the rest. On one hand, it’s not too surprising that US-funded groups are promoting democracy. Such promotion has been a staple of American foreign policy for a long time now. But on the other hand, we have a government headed by people who think the Muslim Brotherhood is mostly secular and benign, rather than the fountainhead of radical Islamic ideology. That these same people who are pushing unrest in the Middle East, clearly have not paid attention to trends in Turkey, past elections in the Palestinian Authority, and so forth is obvious. And they’re the ones who are playing with fire in the MidEast.


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