The Humanitarian War of the NED and the FIDH in Syria
The National Endowment for Democracy, or NED, is an organization that presents itself as an NGO officially dedicated to “the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world”. But in reality gets 95% of its budget from the United States Congress. It was officially created by the Reagan administration in 1982.
The nature of the NED has led many contemporary intellectuals and researchers to describe it as an agency enabling US secret services to overthrow regimes which the State Department dislikes.
This description was supported by the testimony of Oliviet Guilmain, a researcher at the CECE (Centre for the comparative study of elections), during an information session at the French Senate concerning financing of the electoral process. It is known that the NED finances opposition parties in numerous countries and provides special aid to exiles and opponents of regimes targeted by the US State Department.
In Syria, NED’s main organization is the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies. It is also a partner of the International Human Rights Federation (FIDH) which received $140,000 following a meeting in December 2009 between Carl Gershman and self-styled French human rights organizations. NED’s French contact was François Zimeray, who was former Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner’s Ambassador for Human Rights. Those present during that meeting included the Catholic Committee against Hunger and for Development (CCFD), the African section of AEDH (Act Together for Human Rights), Reporters Without Borders, SOS Racisme and the FIDH.
The International Federation of Human Rights is thus an official partner of the NED, as is also shown by its support for the allegations made by the ex-secretary general of the Libyan Human Rights League – also attached to the FIDH – against the government of Moammer Kadhafi. Those allegations, also supported by the NGO “U.N Watch”, were what set off the diplomatic procedures against the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
In Syria, Dr Radwan Ziadeh is the director of the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies. His highly impressive biography makes clear his engagement in favor of US foreign policy in the Middle East. In particular, he is a member of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) and director of the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Washington. He was present alongside Aly Abuzakuuk – one of the NED representatives in Libya – on the occasion of the Round Table of the Democracy Awards bestowed upon “human rights activists” by the NED.
Moreover, there are strong similarities between the process of Humanitarian War in Libya and what is being elaborated in regard to Syria. For example, U.N. Watch, an organization that coordinates the operations of the NED and the FIDH in Geneva, has already launched several petitions against the regime of Bachar Al-Assad. These raise against Syria the same allegations of massacres as those put forth by the ex-secretary of the Libyan Human Rights league, Sliman Bouchuiguir, at the UN Human Rights Council against Libya.
It is therefore urgent to denounce these procedures, all the more since recent history shows us that these allegations were not verified in the case of Libya, but also that they were not based on any solid proof, contrary to the claims of the International Criminal Court. --Julien Teil