[Marxism] US State Department's "Democracy Promotion" and Labor Unions in Iran

Yoshie Furuhashi critical.montages at gmail.com
Fri Aug 11 07:14:40 MDT 2006


It's no secret that the State Department has began to work on the
"regime change" in Iran and appropriated money for it in the name of
"democracy promotion," which includes "at least $10 million" for
supporting Iranian labor unions, dissidents and human rights
activists."  The Solidarity Center's press release, ILO complaint,
media work getting the story into the US media, coordinating a
campaign with the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF)
and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), etc.
on behalf of the Vahed bus drivers union alone cost little to nothing.
 How is the rest of the money spent?  You need to file FOIA requests
and suits to find out, just as Eva Golinger did while investigating
Washington's attempt to wield what wonks call "Soft Power" in
Venezuela (cf.
<http://www.venezuelafoia.info/english.html>), basically funding and
supporting the opposition to the Bolivarian Revolution, up to and
including the coup against Hugo Chavez.  The Solidarity Center,
completely unknown to most rank-and-file US unionists and utterly
unaccountable to them, let alone the US working class in general,
won't volunteer to explain what it is doing in Iran and other
countries.

But the most useful thing that the Solidarity Center and other
institutions of "Democracy Bureaucracy" (cf.
<http://www.wws.princeton.edu/ppns/papers/democracy_bureaucracy.pdf>)
do for Washington is to cultivate contacts, gradually over an extended
period of time, among trade union leaders and other members of the
opposition, to win them over to serve Washington.

IMHO, US leftists should try to cut off US funding for "democracy
promotion" anywhere -- for it undermines democracy here in the USA,
nor does it promote democracy abroad.

<blockquote><http://usinfo.state.gov/mena/Archive/2006/Feb/15-116807.html>
State Department Wants $75 Million To Promote Democracy in Iran
U.S. officials hope to focus world attention on Iran's "democracy deficit"

By David Shelby
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington – The State Department plans to request a $75 million
supplemental appropriation during 2006 to support democracy promotion
activities in Iran, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Congress
February 15.

"That money would enable us to increase our support for democracy and
improve our radio broadcasting, begin satellite television broadcasts,
increase the contacts between our peoples through expanded fellowships
and scholarships for Iranian students, and to bolster our public
diplomacy efforts," Rice told members of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee during a hearing on the Bush administration's foreign
affairs budget proposals.  (See related article.)

A senior State Department official, speaking at a February 15
background briefing on U.S. support for democracy in Iran,
acknowledged that there are limitations to what the United States can
do in Iran given its lack of diplomatic ties, but added, "What we can
do is show support for those in Iranian society … who wish to see a
different type of Iran, who wish to see further democracy and freedoms
both for the press as well as for political figures [and] individual
citizens."

Another senior State Department official at the same briefing said the
United States already has programs in place supporting Iranian labor
unions, dissidents and human rights activists.  The official said
civil society organization is the key to effecting positive change in
Iran.</blockquote>

<blockquote>U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said during 15
February testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that
the administration will reach out to the Iranian people directly,
according to a fact sheet from the State Department spokesman's
office. The 2006 U.S. budget allocates at least $10 million to support
political dissidents, labor leaders, and human rights activists, as
well as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that are trying to
establish networks in Iran.  (Bill Samii, "Iran: As Nuclear Crisis
Escalates, Are Direct U.S. Contacts Becoming An Option?"
<http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/03/FDBF7D9D-D2BE-4833-A979-CD6CF0099A5F.html>)</blockquote>

Cf.
<http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/3312>.
<http://inthenameofdemocracy.org/>.

-- 
Yoshie
<http://montages.blogspot.com/>
<http://mrzine.org>
<http://monthlyreview.org/>




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