NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Balkan Protest Organizers Financed by United States

May 2, 2003

Protest organizers in the Balkans -- Anti-War Campaign, Green Action, the women's group BaBe and others -- are a who's who of U.S. foreign aid grantees who, for a decade, have received millions of dollars, ostensibly to strengthen democracy in Croatia and other Balkan countries. In fact, aid has been grossly misallocated to a marginal and extremist nexus of former communists, anarchists and extreme feminists that represent the core of anti-American political activity in the Balkans, says Max Primorac.

  • ZaMirNet (PeaceNet) -- a regional Internet link that is part of a global alliance to wage "netwars" against Western institutions -- was granted $335,000 by CARE, the anti-hunger agency, from funds CARE received from the U.S. government.
  • BaBe leaders have denounced the U.S. war on terrorism as "institutional terrorism;" nonetheless, this year the group and its offshoots will receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in U.S. aid. They also help write reports the U.S. embassy in Zagreb sends to Washington.
  • Green Action takes every anti-U.S. position possible, opposing membership in NATO, imports of genetically modified food, even railing against McDonald's as that evil symbol of global corporate reach -- nevertheless, in 1999, its director, Toni Vidan, coordinated the U.S. Embassy's $3.5 million subgrants program that significantly expanded this anti-American (un)civic nexus.

The anti-American tenor of these groups is no secret though, and they are very public about their views. Nevertheless, our embassy continues to finance them. Besides congenital incompetence of our aid agencies, this also reflects a cynical preference among some of our diplomats to want to co-opt former regime elites because "it is better these people work for us than against us," says Primorac.

Source: Max Primorac, "Funding anti-U.S. demonstrators," Washington Times, May 2, 2003.


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