Since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti birthed a “Republic of NGOs”—in government, this is a much-vaunted case study by international humanitarians—the postmodern revolutionary’s quiver found a new arrow with which to fight power.
The “civil society organization,” direct descendants of Gene Sharp’s OTPOR movement in Yugoslavia, has been the organizing method of choice for the new opposition movements all over the world. George Soros and the Koch Brothers finance hundreds of them around the globe. Woke politics have found a natural home in the rabble-rousing third sector that never intends to take responsibility for actual governing.
As we know, history repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce.
In Yugoslavia, OTPOR’s fax machines and photocopiers shattered the iron fist of totalitarianism. In Haiti, hundreds of millions of dollars in donations and aid money disappeared under the management of Hillary Clinton’s State Department, Bill Clinton’s special envoyship from the United Nations and the Clinton Foundation’s coordinating role for all third-sector organizations.
In Ukraine, the level of farce was achieved.
The European Union, in its eternal wisdom, attempted to lock Kyiv into its ever-widening orbit of candidate countries, enshrining Brussels’ laws and regulations onto its books. Viktor Yanukovych, a Russian stooge who nevertheless saw Brussels as a valuable source of the governance his own goons were too incompetent to provide, managed to squeeze a $9 billion bribe out of Vladimir Putin to assure Yanukovych would not sign onto the agreement with Brussels.
The civil society organizations, however, wouldn’t have it.
Maidan Square in front of the Ukrainian parliament was occupied by (semi-professional) protestors demanding the precious “liberal international order” be defended against corrupt Russian oligarchic statism. Yanukovych resigned to a life of sweet retirement in Volgograd (formerly known as Stalingrad), and Putin sent “Little Green Men” into Crimea, an act of “irregular warfare” boosted by disinformation, propaganda, and an eventual referendum under occupation run out of Simferopol, Crimea’s regional capital.
Hindsight is 20/20, and Trumpists like us don’t make a habit of defending Mitt Romney these days, but Romney did warn Obama about these things. The Democratic overcorrection against Moscow begins in 2014 when the “Little Green Men” without the national flags on their shoulders were allowed to occupy the Crimean Peninsula.
Here is the first count against the Obama Administration in Ukraine: They lost.
Brussels lost the power struggle against Putin. Obama’s White House lost the crisis on the Crimean Peninsula, which was easily resolvable with modest military force. The Kremlin’s modus operandi has always been to push until resistance is encountered, and no resistance was put against the irregular warfare operation in Crimea.
“Militants” are often in practice soldiers with no national flags but still considered enemy combatants, with or without declarations of war from our Congress. Putting drones over Crimea, or even giving Kyiv the air cover it would have needed to successfully resist the invasion, was certainly on the table. President Obama preferred to take the loss, which led to the eastern provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk (a.k.a. “The Donbass”). There was even talk of a Novorossiya. Other countries with large Russian minorities, like Latvia and even Belarus, started anxiously expecting similar Russian expansionism into their own territories.
Despite this abject failure of foreign policy from the Obama White House—facts on the ground which are likely no longer possible to reverse—the “Third Sector” playbook continued apace, up to and including the profiteering angle. Much like with the Haitian relief effort, the pretense of fixing problems with foreign money was mainly cover for rampant corruption that got very little actual work done—Haiti is still a mess, and Ukraine remains mired in a civil war between Russian proxies and the national forces.
This didn’t stop former Vice President Joe Biden from bilking the gas company Burisma for a cool couple billion dollars through his son, Hunter. Other Democratic Party all-stars, like John Kerry (the sitting Secretary of State, no less) also had near family members named to the same Burisma board. While congressional Democrats fret about $400-a-night hotel rooms in Trump tower citing the emoluments clause, DNC princelings got 9-figure bribes on behalf of their parents and close family members. Lord only knows what other companies and loopholes were being abused by DNC honchos.
Manufacturing consensus, like that which Biden claims supported his move against Ukraine’s attorney general—withholding U.S. taxpayer funds for political reasons of convenience to Biden (which is what the Democrats want to impeach President Trump for)—is based on the Third Sector Color revolution NGO OTPOR model.
If the NGOs that Americans generously finance think President Poroshenko should have fired his justice minister, that in itself (supposedly) provided Biden with the legitimacy to go after him, despite having a blatant conflict of interest in that prosecutor’s cases against Burisma, the company Biden was taking literal billions of dollars from through his son.
Using self-run third sector organizations as the locus for political opposition America wanted to exist but not outright provide was one of the greater innovations in foreign policy after the Cold War.
For rabble-rousers in these civil society organizations the world over, it remains a valuable source of American support for democratic values and the liberal international order in establishing mature democracies with conscious citizenry that opposes bad governance and misuse of their public funds.
Unfortunately, like all discretionary government functions, it has been perverted into the service of more self-interested, corrupt means of perpetuating the hold on power of the ruling faction in the Democratic Party in get rich quick schemes and pay to play using corrupt countries to pad their own pockets.