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Old 06-24-2003, 06:46 PM   #1
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Aid organizations being bullied by Bush administration

Quote:
NGOs Feel the Squeeze from Bush Administration

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration is wielding its financial clout to make charitable relief organizations that receive U.S. government money serve the interests of U.S. foreign policy, the organizations say.

In parallel, the U.S. Agency for International Development this month imposed new conditions on publicity activities when it negotiated a $70 million community action program in Iraq with five of the organizations, they say.

Three of the five organizations have reached agreements that require them to seek clearance from USAID before they have dealings with the media, they add.

rest of article at http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030624/pl_nm/iraq_usa_ngos_dc_2
Quote:
exerpt from http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,982977,00.html in the Guardian

The war on NGOs is being fought on two clear fronts. One buys the silence and complicity of mainstream humanitarian and religious groups by offering lucrative reconstruction contracts. The other marginalises and criminalises more independent-minded NGOs by claiming that their work is a threat to democracy. The US Agency for International Development (USaid) is in charge of handing out the carrots, while the American Enterprise Institute, the most powerful think-tank in Washington, is wielding the sticks.
This trend is rather disturbing to me. Especially since I am considering a career in this field, possibly with an NGO after I serve in the Peace Corps. It seems to me that by their very definition, non-governmental organizations should be quite separate from any government, US or otherwise. It seriously erodes their credibility as outsiders and as watchdogs. One can only hope that they'll decide to resist the pressure to become little more than mouthpieces for the government.
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Old 06-24-2003, 07:08 PM   #2
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This bothers me too. They are supposed to be *non-governmental* organizations. Why should they have to sign up with anyone's government? This is politics at its worst.
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Old 06-24-2003, 07:33 PM   #3
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"Those who aren't with us are against us."

Or so I have heard...

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Old 06-24-2003, 07:53 PM   #4
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thank you for posting sections of the articles - much appreciated

eugh...
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Old 06-24-2003, 08:45 PM   #5
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both links are not working.....any chance a reposting them before I post my very unpopular opinion.
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Old 06-24-2003, 08:50 PM   #6
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Hehe...sula got her tags mixed up.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp..._usa_ngos_dc_2

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/...982977,00.html

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Old 06-24-2003, 08:56 PM   #7
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Dreadsox:

I would strongly advise against posting a dissenting opinion (although I agree with the sentiment that these organizations should be free of any undue political pressure).

~U2Alabama
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Old 06-24-2003, 08:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama
Dreadsox:

I would strongly advise against posting a dissenting opinion (although I agree with the sentiment that these organizations should be free of any undue political pressure).
But if you are going to write a dissenting opinion, make sure it is melodramatic and overly hysterical.

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Old 06-24-2003, 09:03 PM   #9
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I would definitely use the words "offensive" and "insensitive." However, right now, I am heading down to McDonald's for an ice cream cone.

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Old 06-24-2003, 09:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


But if you are going to write a dissenting opinion, make sure it is melodramatic and overly hysterical.

Melon
Umm...I just finished reading the articles...and fortunately....for all here....my wife is, well, distracting me at the moment and the kids...are asleep....

Bye!!!! I will respond later.....

melodramatic post to come.
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Old 06-24-2003, 09:14 PM   #11
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I think Bush and the administration are simply charming!

How's that for dissent?
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Old 06-24-2003, 10:38 PM   #12
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bama - you know that all opinions are welcome, i'd like to see what you have to say

Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
I think Bush and the administration are simply charming!

How's that for dissent?


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Old 06-24-2003, 11:24 PM   #13
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Right,..and yesterday blaimt dear Mr Bush Europe for the hunger in Africa because Europe refuse to buy the genetic manipulated products from Amerika,...


Bush is not a president but a salesman,...
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Old 06-25-2003, 03:19 AM   #14
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I'm dismayed by this too. NGOs should absolutely be independent from government, for many reasons. One of those reasons is if they are seen as being affiliated with a particular government this can affect their work in certain countries as people may be suspicious of an agency which is seen as doing the US government's work.

I hope NGOs will choose to resist the pressure the US government is putting on them, but sadly I think there could be some serious repercussions for those who choose not to be made into a mouthpiece of the government. I would hate to see the work of important NGOs damaged because they dare to disagree with the Bush government. This whole thing is a disgrace: NGOs exist to help people, not to act as apologists for dodgy foreign policy choices.

And as for all the "dissenting opinion" posts, can't we have at least on thread that doesn't involve groups of posters screaming that they face persecution for stating their opinion? We're all adults here: let's try to have a civil debate and agree to disagree where necessary.

*Fizz.
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Old 06-25-2003, 07:06 AM   #15
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thanks lilly, i finally noticed the thread on quoting. lol

I would welcome intelligent discussion be it dissenting or otherwise. As long as it's not full of empty rhetoric. We're adults here, right?

p.s. thanks for fixing my tags melon.
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Old 06-25-2003, 07:11 AM   #16
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And if we continue to the next paragraph, which sulawesigirl cut out(not intentionally):

A USAID official said on Tuesday that the Iraqi agreements were a separate issue

Hmmmm...COuld it be because it is still a combat area. Ever think that soldiers' lives might be at stake and maybe, just maybe the administration was concerned about the fact that information might get into the press that could potentially put people's lives at risk? Just a refresher....the agreement in Iraq was for the NGO to get clearance to speak with the press. It ONLY applies to Iraq according to the article.


the article continues:

but confirmed an NGO report that USAID administrator Andrew Natsios believes nongovernmental organizations should publicize the U.S. government financial contribution to their activities.

And why shouldn't they make people aware of where the money is coming from? I will go out on a limb here and bet that we give more to some of these organizations than anyone. I am taking a guess here but if we are not the top givers, we are definitely amongst the top five. Yet we get the SHITE kicked out of us in the world. We have people who think we do NOTHING. We have people thinking in poor ccountries that Bin Laden is a bigger contributer to their survival than the US.

How many times have I seen in here that the best way for the US to fight terrorism is to do more to help other people. I am sorry, but, when the administration decides that it is time to make people aware that the US IS doing more.....I am shocked to see such outrage.

Very simply, we do not owe these agencies money. I am personally disgusted that money people earned is being taken away from us and sent elsewhere, but that is another issue altogether (NEA & PBS). If they do not wish to publicise where the money came from do not take it. Nowhere does it say we HAVE to give them the money.
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Old 06-25-2003, 07:13 AM   #17
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Just wanted to re-emphasize that saying I "cut out" portions is misleading. I simply grabbed the first few paragraphs and posted a link as I was under the impression that was the correct procedure these days.
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Old 06-25-2003, 07:15 AM   #18
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Double post....sorry.
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Old 06-25-2003, 07:15 AM   #19
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Just wanted to point out that I fixed it at the same time you were offended I was rereading it. ...LOL
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Old 06-25-2003, 07:19 AM   #20
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doh!
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