Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I'm Sorry, I Just Don't Get It

There was an item in today's news out of Venezuela where Chavez claims the U.S. government is channelling millions to fund opposition movements. Turns out he's right. USAID (sure, that's a bit of an oxymoron but let's not go there right now) has a branch called the Office of Transition Initiatives. Now it just happens that the OTI sends its millions to countries the U.S. doesn't much like, countries such as Cuba and Venezuela.

I e-mailed USAID to find out what they were doing to fund pro-democracy movements in places such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Within a very short time I had a reply, sort of. They really dodged the bullet on Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but did enlighten me as to their Agency's 'Four Goals':

- Strengthening the Rule of Law and Respect for Human Rights
- Promoting More Genuine and Competitive Elections & Political Processes
- Increased Development of a Politically Active Civil Society
- More Transparent and Accountable Governance

noting (wryly?) that, "progress in all four areas is necessary to achieve sustainable democracy."

This is all too Orwellian for me. Whatever happened to "Physician, heal thyself"?

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