Promoting Russian “Democracy” — By Financing Fascists

In an update to my Wednesday column on the “Other Russia” conference of anti-Putin Russian activists being held in St. Petersburg in the run-up to the G-8 summit, I note that the issue of U.S. government funding and the presence of the neo-fascist National Bolsheviks has already come up. The Washington Post reports:

“The conference was partly underwritten by the National Endowment for Democracy, a private, federally funded organization that promotes democracy world-wide. ‘Our main hope is that it will help promote Russian civil society,’ said Carl Gershman, the endowment’s president. Asked about the controversial presence of National Bolsheviks leader Eduard Limonov, Gershman said, ‘The overwhelming majority of people here are people with long-standing democratic credentials and if they can be here, that’s the best guideline I can follow.’”

The guidelines followed by Gershman and the NED have nothing to do with “democratic credentials,” and everything to do with who can be manipulated to serve the purposes of U.S. foreign policy. Limonov and the National Bolsheviks join a long list of similar sock puppets, including Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress and the Nicaraguan contras, who enlisted as servants of the Empire.

U.S. tax dollars funding a platform for Russian neo-fascists – and all in the name of “democracy promotion”! In the Bizarro World of the Bush administration, all things are possible ….