Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone: Issue #262 - How Freedom House Subverts Democracies

When those who subvert democracies and will of the people become the defenders of democracy while making a villain out of you, you can safely tell yourself that you are a hopeless loser!

Photo by Sijmen van Hooff on Unsplash

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson


It was day 15 of the Mahabharat war. Dronacharya was killing Pandavas in droves. Unstoppable. At that time, Krishna points to an elephant whom Bheem kills. That elephant’s name was Ashwathama. The same name as Drona’s son.

Bheem immediately starts shouting “Ashwathama is dead.” Drona wants to confirm and comes to Yudhishtra, whom Krishna had asked to just confirm that “Ashwathama” was indeed dead.

When asked, Yudhishter, the paragon of honesty says अश्वत्थामा हतो (Ashwathama is dead)- and in low voice mutters …नरो वा कुञ्जरो वा (don’t know if man or elephant).

Drona loses his will to fight and Dhristyadhumna kills him.

Deception has always been used in statecraft. When you are in a war, as states always are, then it is foolish to not invest in such tools. The Western “democracies” have invested heavily in organizations that act as their overt propaganda arms.

Shame on others that they fall prey to such tactics without having a counter.

The euphemistically titled “Freedom in the World 2021” report is out by Freedom House. Let us acquaint ourselves with this organization, its funders, its history, and its machinations.


Freedom House, its “Report” and its Influence Operations

Freedom House is one of the arms of the US establishment that works to further the US establishment’s foreign policy objectives which includes financing and managing regime changes via election interference in other countries. So the credentials of Freedom House relative to respecting democratic processes are quite suspect. Its work is quite similar to that of the organizations linked to the Russian Government involved in regime changes around the world. In fact, Freedom House, as we have seen in our newsletter on Ukraine (Issue #246 - The Gray Zone Dots), has been in competition with the Putin government’s election interference in Ukraine. In that sense, Freedom House is just the American version of Putin’s rogue organizations. We will see this later in this section as well.

First things first, Freedom House is just a thinly disguised arm of the US Government. 94% of its total revenues come from US Government grants, which have been growing over the years. (We acknowledge the article from Opindia titled ‘Freedom House’ downgrades India from ‘free’ to ‘partly free’: Read how it is wholly funded by the US govt and has ties to George Soros for this information. Please read that article in detail as well). The 2019 Audited Financial Statement shows the main contributor is US Government.

The other major contributions come from Corporations and foundations and individual contributions. Vague and open to hiding the main faces behind the organization.

The main donors for the “Freedom in the World 2021” report however include National Endowment for democracy.

Like Freedom House, National Endowment for Democracy works to subvert democracies in the rest of the world. Boston Globe had this to say:

The endowment is one of the main instruments by which the United States subverts and undermines foreign governments. In a less Orwellian world, it might be called the “National Endowment for Attacking Democracy.” (Source)

In fact, the Boston Globe calls NED the overt arm of the CIA.

President Ronald Reagan established the program in 1983, following years of scandals that tarnished the Central Intelligence Agency. Soon it took over many of the tasks that the CIA used to perform. When the United States wanted to interfere in the Italian election of 1948, for example, the CIA did the job. Decades later, when Washington sought to push its favored candidate into the presidency of Nicaragua, our instrument was the National Endowment for Democracy. More recently, it has sought to influence elections in Mongolia, Albania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia. “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA,” one of the organization’s founders explained during the 1990s. (Source)

Is it only the Boston Globe’s writer who believed so? Heck no!

Here is an extract from the paper “A quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the National Endowment of Democracy” from Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College.

But maybe it will become clearer if we hear it from the horse’s mouth himself, as it were.

When it was revealed in the late 1960’s that some American PVO’s were receiving covert funding from the CIA to wage the battle of ideas at international forums, the Johnson Administration concluded that such funding should cease, recommending establishment of “a public-private mechanism” to fund overseas activities openly. (Source: NED.org/about/history)

“Wage the battle of ideas”? That is a euphemism for propaganda and Influence Operations. You know kinda like what the Russians did in the 2016 and then in the 2020 elections?

So, lets cut through the crap and rewrite it - When it was revealed in the 1960s that some American “Private Voluntary Organizations” were receiving covert funding from CIA to do propaganda at international forums (read UN and Human Rights fora), the Johnson Administration concluded that such funding should cease, recommending the establishment of “a public-private mechanism” to overseas activities openly.

Like NED.

And like the organizations that NED funds. Like the Freedom House. Which was the American counterpart to the Russian organizations involved in the subversion of Ukrainian politics by orchestrating the Orange Revolution.

So, now, how is NED positioned? As a democracy promotion NGO. Oh Johnson oh Johnson - “Public-Private mechanism.”

NED, the biggest American NGO focused on democracy-promotion, distributes equal amounts of funds to four affiliated institutes: the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the Center for Independent Private Enterprise (CIPE), and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity ("Solidarity Center"). CIPE and the Solidarity Center are meant to balance the interests of business with those of labor. (Source)

All of these organizations, as one can well imagine, are merely instruments in the hands of the US intelligence establishment to interfere in other countries.

These organizations are expected to carry the water for the US establishment’s goals and they formally refute any pretense of working against the US Government interests.

Some argue NGOs can hinder and even work against U.S. interests. Recently, the New York Times accused the International Republican Institute (IRI) of undermining U.S. government policy in Haiti by siding with the opposition to ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The organization quickly refuted these claims, but the episode illustrates how independent organizations can sometimes find themselves at cross purposes with U.S. policy. (Source)

Opindia’s article shares an extract from a report in Washington Post which shows how the NED works with USAID and the state department to further the US Foreign Policy objectives - just in case you still had any lingering doubts.

This was apparent in how USAID, Freedom House, and George Soros worked in collaboration during the “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine.

  • US Government provided $143.47 million, which included $34.11 million for ‘democracy assistance’

  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID) pumped in $1.475 to organizations

  • The Organizations which were funded by USAID included Development Associates and Freedom House (FH is a U.S. government-funded non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights)

  • George Soros’ Rennaisance Foundation, which spent $1.65 million leading up to October 2004 Ukrainian Presidential election between Viktor Yanukovych and Viktor Yushchenko

The Freedom House report is a hit-job at the behest of “you-know-who.” That is why it reads like a shoddy caricature stitched together from “The Wire” headlines.

India, the world’s most populous democracy, dropped from Free to Partly Free status in Freedom in the World 2021. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and its state-level allies continued to crack down on critics during the year, and their response to COVID-19 included a ham-fisted lockdown that resulted in the dangerous and unplanned displacement of millions of internal migrant workers. The ruling Hindu nationalist movement also encouraged the scapegoating of Muslims, who were disproportionately blamed for the spread of the virus and faced attacks by vigilante mobs. Rather than serving as a champion of democratic practice and a counterweight to authoritarian influence from countries such as China, Modi and his party are tragically driving India itself toward authoritarianism. (Source)

Arvind Kejriwal’s government threatened the migrant workers and gave misinformation which led to their exodus. The center, on the other hand, worked hard to provide trains and buses for the migrants who were forced out of Delhi and Mumbai to reach home safely.

Everyone - with any appreciable level of IQ - still remembers that 2 AM tweet from Piyush Goyal as the Maharashtra Chief Minister Thackeray failed to manage the crisis and provide the information for the number of trains needed to leave Mumbai and their destinations.

And, as far as management of the COVID crisis is concerned we need to look at two things.

The COVID cases graph. That dark purple worm line is India. After rising in the September timeframe, the cases fell again.

The COVID mortality rate in India is the lowest in the world. That is a vindication of how the local administration’s decisions were correct!

When it came to vaccines, no one has done for the world as much as India did. Here is Dr. Peter Hotez dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development in Houston, Texas.

The verdict was pretty emphatic.

In a subsequent newsletter, we will go in-depth into the remarks and the ludicrous evaluation by the cheer-leader of the famed “Public-private mechanism” organization that has a history of subverting democracies globally.

market corner: 10 quick bytes

  1. Freight costs increase over 100%, exporters lose business - more

  2. More than half of the overall workforce in direct selling are women: IDSA - more

  3. Indian economy to grow at 11% in FY'22: Crisil - more

  4. ECLGS: Banks now only 18% short of sanctioning a targetted amount of loans. The share of loans issued to micro borrowers was highest at 80.44 lakh followed by 4.26 lakh issued to small enterprises and 2.93 lakh issued to medium businesses - more

  5. Vivo posts highest ever loss of Rs 349 crore in FY20, but revenue up 45% on the year - more

  6. Cairn Energy says it has identified Indian assets for seizing should it be not paid - more

  7. Saudi oil hawkishness speeds Indian plan to seek alternatives - more

  8. 3.17 lakhs cyber crimes in India in just 18 months, says govt - more

  9. Nitin Gadkari for digitalizing Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) scheme to help in its faster implementation - more

  10. 58% of employers plan to ramp up apprenticeship hiring in H1 - more

nota bene

India’s Vaccine manufacturing Capacity: In a report presented in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) said that the estimated manufacturing capacity of the country with respect to ‘Covishield’ is 70-100 million doses per month and with respect to ‘Covaxin’ is 150 million doses per year. The department presented the information in response to an inquiry of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change regarding the status of the current vaccine production capacity of the country with respect to the two approved vaccines. The Parliamentary Standing Committee also inquired as to when these vaccines would be made available to the non-priority populations. (Source)

Indigenous Air Independent Propulsion for Submarines: India has successfully demonstrated that it now has a homegrown Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system that adds significant stealth to conventional submarines, greatly enhancing operational effectiveness. Under development by DRDO for the next generation of diesel-electric submarines, the AIP has undergone extensive trials that have now demonstrated that it can be used for underwater operations in excess of two weeks. The system was developed in partnership with private sector players L&T and Thermax. (Source)

NASA-ISRO Radar: ISRO has completed the development of a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) capable of producing extremely high-resolution images for a joint earth observation satellite mission with the US space agency NASA. NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) is a joint collaboration for a dual-frequency L and S-band SAR for earth observation. "NISAR will be the first satellite mission to use two different radar frequencies (L-band and S-band) to measure changes in our planet's surface less than a centimeter across", according to NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). (Source)

Virus Passport in China: Pandemic-hit China on Tuesday launched a digital certificate that displays user's vaccination status and virus test results for domestic travelers paving the way for a "virus passport" in the future. China's foreign ministry said the certificate is being rolled out "to help promote world economic recovery and facilitate cross-border travel". According to reports, the certificate is not yet mandatory. Several countries including the United States and Britain have been considering implementing vaccine permits including the European Union which has been contemplating a "green pass". (Source)

Secret Tesla Battery for Texas: Elon Musk is getting into the Texas power market, with previously unrevealed construction of a gigantic battery connected to an ailing electric grid that nearly collapsed last month. The move marks Tesla Inc.’s first major foray into the epicenter of the U.S. energy economy. A Tesla subsidiary registered as Gambit Energy Storage LLC is quietly building a more than 100-megawatt energy storage project in Angleton, Texas, a town roughly 40 miles south of Houston. A battery that size could power about 20,000 homes on a hot summer day. (Source)

Green Cards for Venezuelans: The Biden administration said Monday it is offering temporary legal residency to several hundred thousand Venezuelans who fled their country’s economic collapse and will review U.S. sanctions intended to isolate the South American nation. Both measures mark a shift from U.S. policy toward Venezuela under President Donald Trump. President Joe Biden’s administration announced it would grant temporary protected status to Venezuelans already in the United States, allowing an estimated 320,000 people to apply to legally live and work in the country for 18 months. (Source)

video corner: Kashmir’s real story

There are many commentators on Kashmir on the net, but for me this one guy trumps everyone. His name is Hamid Bashani. From Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir territory but now a barrister in Toronto, Canada. He cites books, articles and speeches made by important folks in Pakistan now and in history. Specifically by those who were close to Jinnah and the leadership at that time. Some of these things came out in Urdu or local languages so very few folks have had access outside.

He uses those to demolish a lot of narratives that are clearly silly if not outlandish. Do follow his work on Youtube. This video is quite a few years old but it is really important in terms of the information he has shared.

Today’s ONLINE PAPER: Check out today’s “The Drishtikone Daily” edition. - THE DRISHTIKONE DAILY

Nuzzle Tweets “newsletter” - with tweets and stories that we read and follow in a day in one compilation on a daily basis - Nuzzle Drishtikone - just another way to keep up with things

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