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Tamara Cofman Wittes [Source: ned.org]

She also aided in manipulation of Arab Spring protests.

Since the outbreak of the Ukraine War, the Biden administration has applied sanctions on more than 15,000 Russian entities and individuals, marking Russia as among the most heavily sanctioned countries in history.

One analyst has likened the sanctions to the “economic carpet bombing of Russia,” and another to a “weapon of mass destruction.”

The pretext has repeatedly been fraudulent, with the Russian government accused of things there was no proof it had committed. The explicit goal, outlined in a Hudson Institute report, is to destroy Russia’s economy and “prepare for the dissolution of the Russian state.”

The lead U.S. State Department coordinator for the sanctions, Tamara Cofman Wittes, is highly intelligent, with a Ph.D. in political science from Georgetown University.[1] However, in her institutional role, she is a monster.

The sanctions have caused grave hardship for ordinary Russians, though have failed to bring down Russia’s economy or inspire civil unrest in the way that was planned.

[Source: sott.net]

Despite the policy failure, Cofman Wittes was recently appointed as the new head of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) effective March 15.

The NDI is largely funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA offshoot founded in the 1980s to support political propaganda and opposition movements in countries targeted by the U.S. for regime change. The NDI is one of the NED’s four core institutes which purports to support democratization efforts and political parties worldwide that correlate roughly with the ideals of the Democratic Party.

Until her death in 2022, Madeleine Albright, a neo-conservative protégé of Zbigniew Brzezinski[2] who, as U.S. Secretary of State in the late 1990s championed the NATO war in the Balkans and sanctions against Iraq that killed half a million children, served as NDI Board Chair.

The NDI’s Board of Directors includes Michael McFaul, a Ukraine War hawk who, as an NDI consultant in the 1990s, supported Boris Yeltsin, an autocrat who stormed the parliament and sold off Russia’s assets at pennies to the dollar to predatory capitalists while acquiescing to NATO expansion in Eastern Europe.

The NDI Board also includes luminaries of the corporatist wing of the Democratic Party, like Stacey Abrams, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (AKA Wall Street’s think tank) and former Board member of the hawkish, CIA-linked Center for American Progress[3], and former DNC Chair Donna Brazile, a key purveyor of the Russia Gate hoax that helped mobilize public opinion in support of the new Cold War.

Yet another member of the NDI Board is Maurice Tempelsman, a billionaire mining executive with deep CIA connections.

Tempelsman, Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s former lover, played a key role in the 1960s in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba of Congo and overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, two giants in the Pan-African movement, and cultivated close ties with Africa’s most notorious dictator, Joseph Mobutu.

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Maurice Tempelsman [Source: en-academic.com]

Tempelsman’s presence on the NDI Board reflects the double standard of an organization that purports to be all about advancing democracy and human rights.

The NDI in fact has a long record of trying to sabotage socialist governments that strive to take control over their countries’ natural resources, equalize wealth and restrict foreign plundering.

In the late 1980s, the NDI participated in NED programs against the Nicaraguan revolution, and in the 2010s, supported opposition elements seeking to overthrow Venezuela’s socialist government led by Nicolás Maduro.

The NDI has further supported anti-China politicians in Taiwan like Tsai Ing-wen, backed a color revolution against China in Hong Kong, and played a role in the 2004/05 color revolution that unseated pro-Russian leaders in Ukraine, and 2014 coup that precipitated war with Russia.

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[Source: ndi.org]

In a statement of congratulations on Cofman Wittes’s appointment, NED CEO Damon Wilson stated that “Tamara is the right leader at an urgent time for our work….She is fiercely committed to supporting freedom. I’m eager to have her as a partner in renewing democracy around the world.” 

But Cofman Wittes’s work in coordinating the Russia sanctions policy was antithetical to advancing freedom and democracy; rather, it is a cruel policy considered by the Russians as an act of war whose purpose is to impoverish the Russian people and undermine a sovereign government.

Cofman Wittes’s genuine commitment to advancing freedom and democracy around the world is further put into question by her involvement in the Arab Spring.

According to her State Department bio, Cofman Wittes served from 2009 to 2012 as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, coordinating U.S. policy on democracy and human rights in the Middle East during the Arab Spring uprisings.[4] 

Geopolitical analyst William F. Engdahl has pointed out that the Arab Spring uprisings were secretly planned and financed by Washington and U.S.-financed NGOs.

William F. Engdahl [Source: countercurrents.org]

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was a key figure along with her assistant Huma Abedin.

The NED played a key role by coordinating pro-democracy groups in Middle Eastern countries targeted for regime change and helping these groups to develop the technique of mob “swarming” like bees, and the use of Facebook and social media to steer protests.

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Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin, key architects of the Arab Spring. [Source: usatoday.com]

The goal of the U.S. was to remove archaic leaders and destabilize Middle Eastern countries with the hope of installing pro-U.S. leaders who would sell their oil resources to U.S.-based corporations.

In April 2011, The New York Times published an article by Ron Nixon titled “U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings.” It emphasized that groups and individuals directly involved in the Arab Spring, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entesar Al-Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen, received training and financing from the NDI along with its counterpart, the International Republican Institute (IRI), and Freedom House, a regime-change NGO funded by the State Department.[5]

In Syria and Libya, Arab Spring protests backed by U.S. agencies set the groundwork for military and covert military invasions that devastated those societies as the U.S. sought to replace nationalistic regimes, which sustained control over their countries’ economic resources, with hand-picked puppets.

In Egypt, where the Arab Spring started, the protests ultimately led to the ascendance of the Muslim Brotherhood and pro-U.S. dictatorship of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who appears to be even more brutal than Hosni Mubarak, the tyrant who was the target of the Tahrir Square uprising.

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Joe Biden shaking hands with Egyptian tyrant Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the background. [Source: egyptianstreets.com]

As a surrogate of Hillary Clinton and a long-time NDI board member, Cofman Wittes was clearly deeply involved in the State Department’s efforts to help manufacture astroturf protest movements feeding off legitimate grievances in the Arab Spring that could be manipulated by the U.S.

No doubt in her new role she will continue to perform the same tasks—in the Middle East as elsewhere.

  1. Cofman Wittes has taught at the Center for Jewish Civilization, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and served as a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Middle East Policy.

  2. Serving as National Security Adviser under Jimmy Carter, Brzezinski comes from a family of Russophobes. He was the architect of the U.S. strategy of arming the mujahadin in Afghanistan to bring down the Soviet empire, and consistently advocated for imperialist policies designed to weaken Russia and expand U.S. influence and power in the oil-rich Central Asian region.

  3. This Center for American Progress is said to have close links with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It was headed for a period by Neera Tanden, a Clinton loyalist and aide to Hillary Clinton who later served as a top adviser to Barack Obama and Joe Biden. In 2019, Tanden welcomed the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, accusing him of being “the agent of a proto fascist state, Russia, to undermine democracy.” On foreign policy issues, Tanden has been described as “hawkish.” In September 2013, Tanden tweeted that “an unpoliced world is dangerous.” Abrams is a staunch supporter of Israel which contradicts her public image as a human rights advocate.

  4. In 2008, Cofman Wittes published a book with a foreword by Strobe Talbott, Freedom’s Unsteady March: America’s Role in Building Arab Democracy (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institute Press, 2008) arguing that the failure of the Bush administration’s “freedom agenda” should not hamper the U.S. commitment to wielding its power and influence in the Middle East on behalf of democratic reform. The book advocated for an expansion of U.S. military training, claiming that this training enhanced the professionalism of Arab militaries and their independence from political control, hence creating a more favorable climate for democratic development, which has been shown to be a dubious proposition. Characteristically, Cofman Wittes’ book omits any discussion of political-economy or imperialistic objectives that the U.S. may hold in the Middle East, such as controlling the region’s oil and keeping it out of the hands of rival powers, controlling sea lanes and world trade, and sustaining and/or expanding the U.S. military base network.

  5. This was according to interviews in recent weeks and American diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks.

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