Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Who Would Throw a Handgrenade at George Bush?

May 11, 2005

Obviously, some people are less than enamored with George W. Bush. “American and Georgian security officers are investigating how an unarmed grenade came to be found near the site where President Bush Tuesday delivered an address before a packed crowd on Tbilisi’s Freedom Square,” writes Lisa McAdams for the Voice of America.

Actually, the “Soviet-era grenade” was thrown, landed a hundred or so feet shy of Bush, and didn’t go off. “The Secret Service was investigating a report Tuesday that a hand grenade was thrown at the stage during President Bush’s speech in the former Soviet republic of Georgia,” an earlier report states. “Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman Guram Donadze at first said no grenade was thrown close to Bush, calling it a lie, but later said the secretary of Georgia’s National Security Council, Gela Bezhuashvili, would make an announcement about the reports Wednesday.” Not only was the grenade thrown, but it “hit someone in the crowd,” according the Associated Press.

So, why would somebody throw a grenade at Bush? Maybe it has something to do with the U.S. meddling in other countries. “Events surrounding last month’s coup in post-Soviet Georgia, read in light of recent State Department documents, suggest that seemingly innocuous NGOs now play a central role in the policy of US-engineered ‘regime change’ set forth in the notorious National Security Strategy of the United States,” Jacob Levich wrote for Counterpunch on December 6, 2003. Even the usually Bush friendly War Street Journal, er Wall Street Journal, admitted reality, chalking up the overthrow of Eduard Shevardnadze’s regime to the operations of “a raft of non-governmental organizations . . . supported by American and other Western foundations” connected to the “mega-philanthropist” George Soros (i.e., Soro’s Open Society Institute and the Agency for International Development, created by John F. Kennedy). Soros is considered a commie, of sorts, by those on the far right (for instance, former National Review contributor and ex-House Republican staffer Phil Brennan describes Soros as a “socialist billionaire” and Lowell Ponte of David Horowitz’s Frontpage deems Soros a “Billionaire for the Left,” according to this biography of the Hungarian-born American businessman).

Soros, however, is but one player in a larger plan to stage manage elections. In “early operations” [in Czechoslovakia, the Philippines, and elsewhere],” writes Jonathan Mowat, “the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and its primary arms, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and International Republican Institute (IRI), played a central role. The NED was established by the Reagan Administration in 1983, to do overtly, what the CIA had done covertly, in the words of one its legislative drafters, Allen Weinstein.” Mowat describes the dovetailing of efforts between Soros, the far right gadfly, and NED, the latter responsible for attempting to overthrow Hugo Chavez in Venezuela (see this Media Transparency page on NED). “It is not true that the only way to ‘take out’ such regimes [as Shevardnadze’s] is through U.S. military action,” Mowat quotes Dr. Peter Ackerman, the author of “Strategic Nonviolent Conflict” (Praeger 1994), as writing in the National Catholic Reporter on April 26, 2002.

Mowat summarizes Ackerman as proposing “that youth movements, such as those used to bring down Serbia, could bring down Iran and North Korea, and could have been used to bring down Iraq—thereby accomplishing all of Bush’s objectives without relying on military means. And he reported that he has been working with the top US weapons designer, Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, on developing new communications technologies that could be used in other youth movement insurgencies” of the sort used in Georgia, most recently in Kyrgyzstan, and currently underway in Lebanon.

Kyrgyzstan ousted president, Askar Akayev, blamed the United States for the “anti-constitutional coup” which forced him to flee the country in March. The so-called “daffodil revolution” in Kyrgyzstan, Akayev believes, was “supported by the National Democratic Institute, Freedom House, and other organizations … They were providing training and finance” to the opposition. Meanwhile, in Lebanon, a country high on the Bush hit list, Jon Breslar, USAID’s mission director in Lebanon, told Gary C. Gambill of the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, USAID has an “active civil society program” in the country, in other words they are working diligently to do the same thing in Lebanon they did in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and elsewhere (and failed to do in Venezuela).

Of course, it may have simply been a hooligan who lobbed a dud grenade at Bush as he gave one of his inimitable speeches in Tbilisi—and it may as well have been somebody outraged by the meddling of Bush and the unleashing of so-called “non-profit” and “non-governmental” neoliberal organizations and foundations in Georgia. “Addressing one of the largest crowds of his presidency, Bush credited Georgia’s Rose Revolution of 2003 with touching off a ‘freedom movement’ that has spread to Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Lebanon,” reports the Washington Post this morning. “Georgia’s experience, he said, even helped rouse Iraqis to the polls in January to choose their first democratic government in a half-century.” If neoliberal front groups, funded at least in part by “liberal” billionaires, continue to organize and finance “freedom movements” (freedom ultimately for multinational corporations and the World Bank at the expense of millions of people), we can probably expect more grenades tossed at Dubya in the future. Considering this distinct possibility, Bush may want to become the boy in a shrapnel-resistant bubble when he gives speeches in countries undermined by the United States and the stinking rich financial elite.

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