The invisible empire of NGOs

Queen Elizabeth in New Zealand, visiting the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute's wood-carving school at Rotorua. She is wearing a traditional Maori cape made of kiwi feathers. The nongovernmental organizations are one of the most important mechanisms whereby the power of the British oligarchy is extended internationally.

Source: EIR News service – Special report; Author: Joseph Brewda

Published: 17. 5. 1996

One of the weapons that the British Empire has deployed against the nation-state in recent years is the “NGOs,” the nongovernmental organizations. Under the cover of defending “human rights” and the “environment,” or organizing “humanitarian relief,” NGOs are routinely used to target states for discreditation, subversion, civil war, democratic coups, and revolution. The Commonwealth Foundation of Britain, which coined the term in the 1960s, defines NGOs as “voluntary, independent, not-for-profit organizations,” seeking to “improve the circumstances and prospects of disadvantaged people” and “to act on concerns and issues which are detrimental to society as a whole.” The foundation was created in 1966 to help manage the nominal transition from the Empire to the Commonwealth. According to the foundation, the NGOs are a new phenomenon; however, the network is quite ancient, and spans everything from the privately owned foundations of Britain’s ruling families, to their single-issue conduits, with which the term is usually associated. This network, which elevates and topples politicians, manipulates public opinion, spawns new religious movements, plots revolutions, and assassinates heads of state, is in many respects as powerful as government bodies whose power flows from the Crown. There are now over 500,000 NGOs in Britain alone, according to the foundation, with an annual turnover of $30 billion. Of these, a hard core of several hundred, run by the ruling families, guides the whole herd.

House of Lords wage war and insurrection

The House of Lords, which is a meeting ground used by the families to announce previously agreed-upon policies and to define targets, has a special role in coordinating this army. Media propaganda campaigns and clandestine operations are often decided here and then assigned to subordinate agencies in government and to NGOs. Some of the more important of these NGOs are led by members of the House of Lords directly. Lord Judd (Frank Judd), the former foreign secretary, for example, runs Oxfam (Oxford Famine), the arms-running famine relief agency. Similarly, the recently deceased Lord Ennals (David Ennals), also a former foreign secretary, ran Amnesty International, the terrorist support network and propaganda arm, as a family proprietary. Baroness Chalker of Wallasey (Lynda Chalker), the Minister of Overseas Development Administration (the new name for the old Colonial Office), meanwhile, directs all foreign grant making by the British government, including to the NGOs. The activities of Viscount Cranborne, Lord Avebury, and Baroness Cox of Queensbury, typify the way in which the families use NGOs to run international terrorism, and related measures, to destroy nation-states.

NGO puppet-masters

Viscount Cranborne (Robert Cecil): Lord Privy Seal (chief of the Queen’s Privy Council) and Leader of the House of Lords. Viscount Cranborne operates at the highest rank of the British nobility; his family, the Cecils, is one of Britain’s oldest and most powerful oligarchical families. His great-grandfather, the Third Marquess of Salisbury, was the prime minister at the turn of the century, who played a key role in setting up World War I; his grandfather, was a World War II Colonial Secretary. Viscount Cranborne was a primary organizer and overseer of the first phase of the Afghanistan war (1979-88), during the Soviet occupation. His own NGO, Afghan Aid U.K., helped create the Afghan mujahedeen terrorist network now deployed throughout the world. One of his top aides in that operation, the late Lord Bethell (Nicholas Bethell), Lord-inWaiting to the Queen, was a top British Middle East intelligence officer, running his own NGO, Radio Free Kabul.

Lord Avebury (Eric Lubbock): the chairman of Parliamentary Human Rights Group. As the capo-di-tutti-capi of the international human rights mafia, Lord Avebury plays a central role in deploying NGOs internationally. The first Lord Avebury was a banker to the British royal family in the mid-nineteenth century; his maternal line, the Stanleys, have dominated the British Foreign Office for the last two centuries. His cousin, Lord Stanley, was also a World War II Colonial Secretary. Lord Avebury typically supports all sides of all conflicts to ensure continuing conflict. The following list of struggles is exemplary.

Avebury is:

  • the top lobbyist for the Chechen terrorist war against Russia, working closely with Amnesty International, Quaker Peace and Service, and Pax Christi;
  • the top lobbyist for an independent Kurdistan, carved out of Turkey, Iraq, and Iran, working closely with the International Forum for Islamic Dialogue, and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization;
  • the top international lobbyist for the Kashmir separatist movements destabilizing both India and Pakistan, working closely with International Alert, and the Kashmiri American Council.

 Lord Avebury’s sidekicks in his Human Rights Group include Lord Archer of Sandwell (Peter Kingsley Archer), president of the Fabian Society and former chairman of Amnesty International; and Lord Braine of Wheatley (Bernard Richard Braine), chairman of the Tibet parliamentary group, which is targetting China for breakup. Baroness Cox of Queensbury (Caroline Cox): Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords. Baroness Cox works closely with Lord Avebury in pushing civil wars. Her Christian Solidarity International, which coordinates religious-formatted assaults throughout the world, is the top promoter of the Armenian claims to Nagorno-Karabakh, which provoked the Armenian-Azerbaijan war. It also is a primary coordinator of the rebellion in southern Sudan. Her Jagiellonian Trust is a main conduit for British operations in Poland.

The NGOs at work

The way NGOs can overwhelm a targeted state is indicated by their numbers alone: for example, the impoverished former British colony of Bangladesh. There are currently 16,000 NGOs operating in Bangladesh, according to a 1995 report of the Commonwealth Foundation, almost all of which are administered or funded by foreigners. That works out to 0.3 NGOs per square mile. The reach of these organizations is impressive. One of them operates in 85,000 villages, on behalf of an immunization program, the foundation reports, while another, which offers credit to poor people, has 900 branches and works in 23,000 villages. There are no accurate figures available on the total funds that these NGOs conduit into the country, because in Bangladesh, as elsewhere, the NGOs routinely evade what few financial reporting requirements exist. What are they up to? Well, for one thing, the explosive growth of the NGOs in Bangadesh and other targetted nations has created a private army outside the control of the governments. This private army is often, in effect, a privatized form of what used to be directly run by the Foreign Office. In the former British colony of Sri Lanka, for example, the Commonwealth Foundation reports that one rural development NGO has 9,000 paid field workers and 4 1,000 local field workers, working in 10,000 villages throughout the country. In a country gripped by civil war, and where the average income is less than $50 a month, it does not take much to buy people. It may not be the case that every one of these organizations is dedicated to subversion in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, or elsewhere. But the leading NGOs operating there, and the network as a whole, are. Oxfam (Oxford Famine), established by a group of Oxford dons opposed to starvation, is a case in point. In Bangladesh, Oxfam’ s effort against famine takes the form of funding the Gana Sahajya Sangsta, a professedly “revolutionary” NGO, which openly calls for class struggle. Its role in Sri Lanka is even worse. In the 1970s, it provided the funding and base-camps in southern India used to train and equip the terrorist Tamil Tigers, who plunged Sri Lanka into a continuing civil war which has claimed tens of thousands of lives. The Geneva-based Lutheran World Federation is also typical of the subversive character of the NGOs. In 1987, and then in 1995, it was caught supplying arms and ammunition to the rebel Sudanese People’s Liberation Army in southern Sudan, in the guise of famine relief for the victims of the civil war. Since its independence from Britain in 1956, Sudan has been largely wracked by civil war directed by the Royal African Society. Then there is the International Red Cross. Operating under the claim that terrorist and separatist movements should be accorded the same legal status as states, IRC routinely supplies materiel to British-run insurgencies throughout the world. In 1995, it was caught supplying the Zapatista rebels in Chiapas, Mexico. That same year, the Sri Lankan government banned Red Cross as a “terrorist support organization,” after it was caught supplying the Tamil Tigers. To make matters worse, European governments, the United States, and international funding organizations such as the World Bank, are increasingly channelling their aid to various nations through NGOs. As a result, impoverished nations are faced with either giving free rein to organizations out to overthrow them, or cutting ties to lending institutions. Thirty percent of foreign assistance given by the Swedish government in 1994, for example, was channelled through NGOs, according to Britain’s Overseas Development Institute. The United States, the world’s largest donor, channeled 9% of its funds through such organizations that year, and has announced plans to increase that percentage to 50% by the end of the decade. In 1994, NGOs were directly involved in over half of all World Bank projects, not only in their implementation, but in their planning and design. As a result of this policy, there are probably 250 million people worldwide, according to the United Nations Development Program, who are “touched” by NGOs, and this “will rise considerably in the years ahead.” According to the Commonwealth Foundation, “the NGO explosion can be seen as one of the manifestations of new thinking about the role of government-that it should be more that of policy maker and less that of provider. Thus governments have turned to NGOs to do more of providing. Privatization, decentralization, and localization are parallel manifestations of the same general trend.”

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