CAIRO, May 14 (Xinhua) -- The United States has been exploiting democracy, human rights and aid as tools and weapons to incite division around the world and meddle in other countries' internal affairs, say political experts.
"To influence domestic policies in recipient countries ... the U.S. has provided assistance to serve its goals and achieve its interests," Ayman Okeil, general manager of the Cairo-based Maat for Peace, Development, and Human Rights, told Xinhua in a recent interview. THE NED AS A PROXY
Among all the proxies Washington uses to serve its political agenda in other countries, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which was founded in 1983 as a bipartisan, non-profit institution by the U.S. government, is one of the most active.
Nominally a non-governmental organization that provides support for democracy abroad, the NED in fact relies on continuous financial support from the White House and the U.S. Congress, and takes orders from the U.S. government.
Okeil described the NED as one of Washington's "soldiers" for interfering in other countries' decision-making process.
The NED has worked as a substitute for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in cultivating pro-U.S. opposition activists for subverting lawful governments and provoking uprisings in the Arab countries under the pretext of promoting democracy, he said.
According to Saeb Rawashdeh, a political analyst at the Jordan Press Foundation, the NED was founded as a tool for projecting political influence in different sovereign states that the U.S. government has labeled as "non-democratic, totalitarian, authoritarian and anti-American."
The NED supported opposition groups in other countries, which were trained to represent Washington's interest, rather than the vital interests of their own nations and states, Rawashdeh pointed out.
Echoing Rawashdeh's point, Okeil said that the NED has spent millions of U.S. dollars to support political parties, labor unions, dissident movements, and media in dozens of countries.
The organization has been employed as the "mastermind" behind separatist riots, color revolutions, and political crises around the world, with the aim of toppling legitimate governments and creating U.S. puppets in targeted countries, said Ahmad Ashqar, a Syrian journalist and political expert.
The NED makes sure that nations across the globe do what the United States wants them to do and in no way feel confident and capable of pursuing their own political/ideological agendas, Rawashdeh said. "And this is also what the U.S. foreign policy is doing for decades." A NEW TYPE OF IMPERIALISM
The United States, unfortunately, has created a new type of imperialism, by occupying foreign countries with money and forces and interfering in their choice of leaders and party compositions, Okeil told Xinhua.
Unlike the funds that came from some countries like China, which help improve health, education and development sectors, the U.S. economic aid is always with conditions attached, he noted
Okeil's words are not groundless. According to a study by the American University in Cairo in November 2021, the NED has allocated more than 606 million dollars in "democracy assistance" to Egypt in the period between 1990 and 2003. In 2008, the U.S. government provided 415 million dollars in economic assistance to Egypt, which includes 55 million dollars to support programs for promoting democracy.
However, as Tariq Fahmy, a political science professor at the Cairo University, noted, the U.S. mode of democracy has not been successful in the Middle East, and it contradicts many countries' unique conditions.
"We all saw the disgraceful role in provoking the Arab Spring via funding the protesters" under the cover of democracy and human rights, Fahmy said, explaining that such kind of imposed democracy couldn't breed stability.
After the Arab Spring, many people in the Middle East have started to see the real objectives behind the U.S. aid when knowing that Washington had a role in inciting the Arab Spring uprisings via supporting, training and funding young protesters, Okeil noted.
The U.S. model of democracy is not suitable for the world, and based on that model, the U.S. policies led to real crimes, Fahmy said.
It's a fact that the United States has distorted the positive meaning of democracy and emptied such a notion of anything useful and beneficial for other countries, Ashqar argued.
"We have seen several examples like in Syria, where the United States used democracy as a pretext to support separatist forces and radical ones to destabilize the legitimate government," he said. "The U.S. presence in Syria has achieved all but the so-called democracy."
"Under the pretext of fighting terrorism and spreading democracy, the U.S. has stolen key areas in Syria rich with oil and gas, do you call that democracy?" asked the Syrian journalist.