In February 2012, the government of Egypt indicted sixteen US citizens representing US supported non-government organizations (NGOs) for meddling in Egypt’s internal political affairs.
As a sovereign state receiving aid from the U.S., Egypt has been obliged to allow access to U.S.-funded NGOs. The NGOs represented by the sixteen US citizens operate with funding from the neoconservative National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which the Reagan administration established in the early 1980s to push democratic reform and rollback Soviet influence around the world. NED works primarily through four core institutes: the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDIIA or NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS), and the Center for International Private Enterprise—representing, respectively, the country’s two major political parties, organized labor, and the business community. The IRI has operated in Egypt since 2005, and the three other institutes have been involved there since the 1990s.
Egypt has major ties and connections with the US; however, with these indictments, it sent a strong, clear message that it would not tolerate US meddling in its domestic politics. The sixteen U.S. citizens serving in four NGOs were indicted for “illegally receiving foreign funding and establishing civil society organizations without license.”
US efforts to influence Egypt’s politics occur in the context of the United States’ contest with China for influence in the Middle East and, ultimately, control of those regions’ oil supplies.
Collins’ report concludes: ” Foreign meddling through proxy agents for the ruling elite is counterproductive. This constitutes an effort that we can ill avoid as our country crumbles around us under the leadership of the not-so-great game players in charge.”
Title: NGOs Explain Away Egyptian Indictments
Author: Michael Collins
Publication: Daily Censored
Date of Publication: 14 February 2012
Student Researcher: Rahel Legesse, Santa Rosa Junior College
Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman, Santa Rosa Junior College