The Man Who Would be Kingmaker
By Rachel Ehrenfeld and Shawn Macomber
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, October 28, 2004
Part 1: http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=10796
Part 2: http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=10772
“If truth be known, I carried some rather potent messianic fantasies with me from childhood, which I felt I had to control, otherwise they might get me in trouble,” Soros once wrote. When asked to elaborate on that passage by The Independent, Soros said, “It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of God, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.”
“Since I began to live it out.” For those who have followed his career and socio-political endeavors, this pretentious statement is not taken lightly. Soros has proven that with the vast resources of money at his command he has the ability to make the once unthinkable normal. His work as a self-professed “amoral” financial speculator has left millions in poverty. He has overthrown governments throughout the world, pumping so much cash into shaping former Soviet republics to his liking that he has bragged that the former Soviet Empire is now the “Soros Empire” (although that “Empire” did not last for very long; when he no longer served the former Soviets’ purposes, his Empire was taken away from him).
Now that “god” – Soros – has decided that George W. Bush has to go. The controversial billionaire has been proclaiming that defeating George W. Bush is the “central focus” of his life. He has written that he always “felt that modern society in general and America in particular suffer from a deficiency of values.” Only fundamental changes in our way of life will satisfy him, and he is spending millions to make those changes a reality.
With Soros’ pal Hillary Clinton promising the New York Post that the 2004 election, will be decided by “outside forces – something unforeseen that suddenly happens – that tilts the election one way or the other,” one wonders to what, or whom, she is referring.
“Of course what I do could be called meddling because I want to promote an open society,” he told Hemispheres magazine. “An open society transcends national sovereignty.” [emphasis added] And he has more tools at his disposal than you’d suspect. “Although I remain a champion of losing causes, how much closer I have come to realizing them than when I first started!” he wrote a few years ago.
Soros attempts at self-exposition can get pretty creepy at times, like in this passage from Underwriting Democracy: “I feel I must maintain a separation between myself and my persona. Without it I and my persona would be endangered…I hold my persona in high regard, from both a subjective and an objective point of view.”
Soros summed himself up this way while talking to biographer Michael Kaufman: “I am kind of a nut who wants to have an impact.”
This is not Soros’ only fantastic admission.
“Next to my fantasies about being God, I also have very strong fantasies of being mad,” Soros once confided on British television. “In fact, my grandfather was actually paranoid. I have a lot of madness in my family. So far I have escaped it.”
DIARY OF A MADMAN
Growing up in Nazi-occupied Hungary, a 14-year-old George Soros once saw two dead bodies hanging from lampposts. “This is what happens to a Jew who hides,” read a sign attached to one of the bodies. The other body carried the warning, “This is what happens to a Christian who hides Jews.” Soros may have met the same fate if his father had not obtained fake identities for himself, his wife, and his two sons. The family spilt up and George survived the war under the assumed identity of a gentile boy, Sandor Kiss. At 17, just as the Iron Curtain was descending, George and his father managed to get out to Switzerland, where they became delegates to an Esperanto Conference. (Esperanto is the artificial language invented in the Twenties to unite a fractured world, which Soros until recently lobbied the European Community to adopt as its common language.)
From Bern, bright little George, again with the help of his father, managed to reach London and to enter the London School of Economics. He slipped out of a Russian-occupied section of Austria and headed for London
It’s a harrowing tale, filled with many close calls. Which is all the more reason why reading Soros’ latest book, The Bubble of American Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power, is so disconcerting. Soros has adopted strange and hyperbolic language in describing today’s America as a fascist Fourth Reich with September 11 serving as our Reichstag fire. “How could a single event, even if it involved three thousand civilian casualties, have such a far-reaching effect?” he writes. We are now, Soros writes, a nation of “victims turning perpetrators,” likening our reaction to the terrorist attacks to the crimes committed by the Germans because of their nation’s mistreatment at Versailles.
Soros is so worried that we might use the horror of September 11 as an excuse to fight terrorists that he raises the specter of America as a neo-Nazi state, thus demeaning both the horrors of September 11 and the Holocaust. “When I hear Bush say, ‘You're either with us or against us,’ it reminds me of the Germans,” Soros told the Washington Post, adding that Bush’s rhetoric reminded him of Nazi slogans such as, Der Feind Hort mit (“The enemy is listening”). Today’s America is a “threat to the world,” run by a Republican Party which is the arbiter of an unholy alliance between “market fundamentalists” and “religious fundamentalists.” We have become a “supremacist” nation, Soros contends, led by a man who “has a simplistic view of what is right and what is wrong.”
Even more shocking is Soros’ apparent attempt to have the Americans denied the right to defend themselves. “Usually when victims turn perpetrators, they are unaware of what they are doing,” Soros, the armchair psychiatrist, condescendingly posits. “That is the case with the American public today. Most people believe that terrorism poses a threat to our personal and national existence” – Is there some any proof to the contrary? – “and that in waging war on terrorism we are acting in self-defense. The idea that we may have been transformed from victims to perpetrators must be rather shocking to most of us.” The financier’s cherished principles of open society “recognize that we may be wrong.”
Some Americans might take issue with Soros’ implication that there is a very real chance that al-Qaeda is right and we are wrong. But Soros is black-and-white on the issue of George W. Bush. During a speech at Columbia University’s commencement ceremonies, Soros, per usual, prattled on about his hatred for George W. Bush, but without his much-beloved caveat about his own fallibility. “If President Bush is reelected, we must ask the question, ‘What is wrong with us?’” he said. According to George Soros, we must accept the possibility that al-Qaeda is right, but anyone who votes for Bush is wrong without fail.
“When President Bush says, as he does frequently, that freedom will prevail, in fact he means that America will prevail,” he writes, leading one to wonder who Soros would prefer to see “prevail.” Saddam Hussein? Osama bin Laden? Bush endorses “a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy and free enterprise.” Soros dismisses this as “Orwellian Doublespeak,” which he recognizes because he “grew up with it in Hungary first under Nazi and later Communist rule.”
However, Soros has recently purveyed the very “Orwellian Doublespeak” he condemns in others. Take, for example, the following transcript from a CNN appearance earlier this year with Wolf Blitzer.
SOROS: I have also been accused of comparing Bush to a Nazi. And I did not do it. I would not do it, exactly because I have lived under a Nazi regime. So I know the difference. But how come that I'm accused of that?
BLITZER: Who accused you of that?
SOROS: The Republican National Commission [sic.], or whatever, and a number of newspaper articles. And I -- you know, I think I really -- I'm upset about being accused of that. And I'm upset that I have to defend myself against this kind of accusation.
The first half of his new book is spent pointing out the alleged similarities between the Bush administration and Nazi Germany. CNN, as usual, worked overtime looking for a way to spin his talking points for the Left.
BLITZER: I think what the articles that I read suggested, because of you having lived through the Nazi era, you have a special responsibility to educate people who didn't live through that. And I think the suggestion -- at one point, you had made some sort of allusion to your own personal background in explaining why you were so critical of the president.
SOROS: That's exactly right. And then that has been distorted that I'm comparing the president to a Nazi.
Let’s go to the book: Early in The Bubble of American Supremacy, Soros argues that September 11 removed the obstacles to Bush’s long-planned “unilateral American dominance” of the world. “President Bush declared war on terrorism, and the nation lined up behind its president,” Soros explains. “Then the Bush administration proceeded to exploit the terrorist attack for its own purposes. To silence criticism and keep the nation united behind the president, the administration deliberately fostered the fear that had gripped the country.”
Less than a half dozen pages later, Soros gives us the following short history of Nazi Germany: “Hitler rose to power by capitalizing on a wave of resentment caused by an onerous peace treaty and runaway inflation. He appealed to the German people’s sense of being victimized…Whether the German’s sense of being victimized was imaginary or not.”
The two sound quite similar. Why else would he use Hitler, Stalin, and George W. Bush as his three examples of proponents of “Orwellian Doublespeak”? The Soros-funded pressure group MoveOn.org posted ads on its website that explicitly compared Bush to Hitler. And the campaign is working. One Democrat who refused to be named, told U.S. News and World Report that – coming from Soros – the claim that Bush is a Nazi was more credible. “I’m not sure I disagree with him,” he said. “I’m not going to second-guess someone like Soros who has lived through the Holocaust.”
Soros has always had a fear of being called out, however, which is why he often prefers to fly under the radar. “With publicity you become wedded to your words,” Soros said. “They become difficult to retract.”
Soros’ use of his personal story to further his political agenda is nothing new. The international philanthropist routinely ties the causes he christens as worthwhile into the struggle of his early life in Hungary, and his crusade against Bush is no exception. Soros’ memory of those days spent under Nazi occupation is a bit sunnier than one might expect. “For me, this was the most exciting time of my life,” Soros has said many times. “For an adolescent to be in real danger, having a feeling he is inviolate, having a father acting as a hero and having an evil confronting you and getting the better of it, I mean, being in command of the situation, even though you’re in danger, but basically maneuvering successfully, what more can you ask for?”
His own father, too, would not escape his scorn late in life. Soros told The New Yorker that he was disappointed his father chose to fight death when he found out he had terminal cancer. Soros’ father, the man who saved Soros’ own life, “unfortunately wanted to live,” he said, adding that he was “kind of disappointed in him” and “wrote him off” over the whole issue. When his father did not die on George Soros’ terms, George let him die alone. Soros’ mother disappointed him severely on this point. After a rather vigorous questioning by Nazi authorities, Soros’ mother had an understandable near nervous breakdown, a show of weakness that Soros told the same magazine made him furious.
Later in life, running his philanthropic foundations in Eastern Europe, Soros once again couldn’t ask for anything more. “It was heroic, exciting, rewarding – and it was great fun,” Soros once told a reporter. “We were in the business of undermining the system. We would support anything.” [emphasis added.] His opposition to President Bush’s re-election and support for the Left makes perfect sense when viewed through this prism.
Soros says, “I don't give to charity.” Indeed, while The New York Times, time and again, has described him as the world’s greatest philanthropist, he has denounced “philanthropy [which] goes against the grain because our civilization is built upon the pursuit of self interest, not any preoccupation with the interest of others.”
Thus, Soros has become the go-to guy for the Democratic Party.
From Robert Slater’s unauthorized biography:
“When Soros believed he was right about an investment, nothing could stop him. No investment position was too large. Holding back was for wimps. The worst error in Soros’ was not being too bold, but too conservative. ‘Why so little?’ was one of his favorite questions.”
If one thing is sure in American politics today, it’s that no one is going to ask Soros “Why so little?” Soros has dropped more than $15 million so far to defeat George W. Bush next November, and he has made it clear he is willing to spend more –much more. Soros, it seems, is approaching the 2004 election much the same way he would any other investment. The man has donated millions to MoveOn.org, a group originally formed to denounce what it termed the excessive public focus on Clinton’s personal life; to former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta’s new think tank, the Center for American Progress (CAP); and to America Coming Together, a get-out-the-Democratic vote operation headed by former AFL-CIO political director Steve Rosenthal and Ellen Malcolm, president of the pro-abortion EMILY’s List. Malcolm, belying her feminist slant, confided to the Washington Post that the Soros donation was like, “getting his Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.” At the CAP launch party, Hillary Clinton was as hysterical as George Soros, announcing to the crowd that Bush and the Republicans were seeking to “erase the 20th Century.”
Although the above mentioned organizations are all 527s, and, therefore, not supposed to coordinate with any party or candidate, they and Soros leave little doubt in what they are attempting to do. Announcing the ACT donation, Soros explained that he made the donation because the group was an “effective way to mobilize society” and “convince people to go to the polls.” In other words: Get out the vote. But Soros and his ego couldn’t let it lie there and keep up the appearance of non-partisanship:
“I believe deeply in the values of an open society,” Soros said. “For the past 15 years I have focused on fighting for these values abroad. Now I am doing it in the United States. The fate of the world depends on the United States and President Bush is leading us in the wrong direction.”
As Foundation Watch reports, Soros may complain about President Bush’s “Pioneers” and “Rangers” who solicit and bundle $2000 donations from friends, but his friends bring quite a bit more cash to the table:
“Soros’ donation to ACT became a catalyst for more donations. The morning after the announcement, Peter Lewis, chairman of the Progressive Insurance Corporation, a heavy contributor to other Soros pet initiatives, such as drug legalization, pledged $10 million to ACT; Rob Laser, founder and CEO of Real Networks, promised $2 million; Rob McKay, president of the McKay Family Foundation donated $1 million; and Lewis and Dorothy Cullman pledged $500,000. Other donors include Patricia Bauman, head of the Bauman Family Foundation, and Anne Bartley, former president of the Rockefeller Family Fund. Thanks to Soros and his wealthy network, ACT raised $23.5 million in 24 hours.”
These organizations crow about being political “think-tanks” poised to become the next Heritage Foundation or CATO Institute, but as Defense Advisory Board member Richard Perle pointed out in Newsday, these 527s are more political than ideological. “George Soros says publicly that he wants to defeat George Bush,” Perle said. “These are not scholars.”
ACT, for example, a group that steadfastly denies it is violating federal law by working on behalf of the Kerry campaign, brags on its website that it is currently, “laying the groundwork to defeat George W. Bush and elect Democrats.”
It certainly appears the Kerry campaign is coordinating with these groups – or at least sharing resources with them. Former ACT staffer Rodney Shelton is now Kerry’s Arkansas state director seems a bit odd. Isolated incident? Nope. Kerry’s former campaign manager Jim Jordan is now on staff at ACT. And Zach Exley recently left the upper echelons of MoveOn.org to work for Kerry. “It's inevitable that Exley is going to be using MoveOn folks and information for the Kerry campaign. The guy was their opposition research guy,” a Bush campaign staffer told the Washington Prowler. “The RNC has been saying all along that these guys have been working together, so now the guy responsible for all those anti-Bush ads on TV and the Web is essentially doing the same thing for the Kerry camp? Soros probably has an office in Kerry campaign headquarters by now.”
Republican operatives, predictably, see Soros’ activities in a similar light. “It’s incredibly ironic that George Soros is trying to create a more open society by using an unregulated, under-the-radar-screen, shadowy, soft-money group to do it,” Republican National Committee spokeswoman Christine Iverson said. “George Soros has purchased the Democratic Party.”
Some of this might seem strange in light of the fact that a mere two years ago Soros described the influence of large cash donations in politics as “a fundamental crisis in democratic self-government.” At that time, Soros doled out more than $18 million to various campaign finance groups to get large donations out of politics. Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a group that received donations from Soros, expressed disappointment to Foundation Watch at the news of the big donations. “I’m sorry that Mr. Soros chose to make such a huge contribution for a specific effort to defeat Mr. Bush, given the very valuable role he played in supporting efforts to enact the soft-money ban.” Charles Lewis of the Center for Public Integrity went further, telling Foundation Watch, “I have a hard time seeing what the difference is between a soft-money donor to a party and a big 527 donor, especially when both give million-dollar checks.”
Was Soros being facetious when he okayed a 2000 Open Society Institute report that claimed one of the group’s major goals was to get “states to experiment with various approaches to reduce the pressure of money on elections and legislation, ranging from improved disclosure to full public financing of campaigns”?
Soros’ 1995 book Soros on Soros contains a clue as to what he may be thinking: “I do not accept the rules imposed by others...I am a law-abiding citizen, but I recognize that there are regimes that need to be opposed rather than accepted. And in periods of regime change, the normal rules don’t apply.” Clearly, Soros considers himself as someone who is able to determine when the “normal rules” should and shouldn’t apply – including Campaign Finance Reform laws.
Democrats are so hungry for a win in 2004, they don’t care whether George Soros is following the rules this time around or not. One “Democratic operative” told U.S. News & World Report, “[Republicans] don’t accept the legitimacy of political opposition. These people will do anything to gain and hold power. So I’m not exactly feeling full of ethical scruples as we fight for survival.”
This is the George Sorosization of the Democratic party. As we will see, this idea of “scruples” being for the other guy has been central to Soros’ philosophy in business, philanthropy, and foreign policy.
The Bush administration has apparently yet to take Soros’ threats/promises seriously. In September 2003 Soros was invited to speak at one of the State Department’s Open Forums. During his speech he got big laughs with several joking references to his plans for George W. Bush’s defeat come next November before turning on the hyper-internationalist rhetoric, including his proposed “modification of the concept of sovereignty,” because “sovereignty is basically somewhat anachronistic.” Supporters and defenders of the United States Constitution should take note.
Soros’ newfound love for the United Nations is a perfect example of how Soros used macro-level institutions for his own purposes. These days he criticizes Bush for failing to get UN approval for U.S. actions in Iraq and elsewhere. He wants the body to serve as a restraint to American power. But when the UN held back Soros’ foundation in the mid- and late-90s he had a very different view:
“I see the United Nations as ineffective and wasteful. In my philanthropic work whenever I come up against any United Nations agencies, I give them wide berth with one exception: the UNHCR (High Commissioner for Refugees). Since the intervention in Bosnia, my feelings have become even more negative. I regard the role of the United Nations as positively evil.” [emphasis added.]
When the U.S. bombed the Serbs without a UN authorizing resolution, Soros praised it as a victory for his cherished “open society.” Four years later when the U.S. went to Iraq without an explicit UN resolution (there was, after all, an authorizing resolution passed in 2003), Soros condemned working outside of the UN in the strongest terms.
And some conservatives are looking at Soros’ words and cash warily, recommending a more cautious approach to the “nut.” American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene calls Soros the “Daddy Warbucks of the radical Left” who “opposes everything President Bush stands for.”
“He opposed the war in Iraq and he bankrolls every wacko liberal cause from population and gun control schemes to drug legalization, radical feminism, and one-world globalism. Soros makes Ted Turner look conservative by comparison,” Keene said.
Indeed, Soros’ unadulterated hatred of George W. Bush has led him to use his vast fortune to prop up the other side in the War on Terror.
“George Soros’ funding is hardly reserved to the mainstream,” FrontPage Magazine editor Ben Johnson writes. “[Soros’] Open Society Institute [has] funded the fantasies of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Research Institute. This is the same group that falsely accused the Justice Department of inhumane treatment of a Muslim prisoner, claiming they forcibly extracted numerous teeth, brutalized him and forced him to eat pork – all later proven to be lies. ADC Communications Director Hussein Ibish has defended Palestinian suicide bombers (as long as they don’t target ‘civilians’; how big of you, Hussein!), praised Hamas for ‘running hospitals and schools and orphanages,’ defended Sami al-Arian and praised Mao Tse-tung.”
Soros, through more than $13 million in donations to the Tides Foundation (which it is worth noting is also a major recipient for Soros’ many liberal projects as well as one of potential first lady Teresa Heinz Kerry’s favorite foundations, with $4 million in donations and counting), has also supported the Council for American-Islamic Relations, a group that serves as an apologist for nearly every terrorist group in existence. One joint venture between the Tides Foundation and Soros’ Open Society Institute is the Democratic Justice Fund, which, as Ben Johnson explains, “seeks to ease restrictions on Muslim immigration to the United States, particularly from countries designated by the State Department as ‘terrorist nations.’”
Soros also gave $100,000 to People for the American Way, which, along with the openly communist group, International ANSWER helped create the over-the-top “peace” rallies last year. “PAW created United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) and chose as its ‘mainstream’ leader Leslie Cagan, who was a member of the Communist Party after the fall of the Berlin Wall,” Ben Johnson noted. “She describes Castro’s Cuba as the ideal state.”
Over the last six years Soros has also given more than $120,000 to the Center for the Study of Constitutional Rights (CCR), a group that not only openly opposes the War on Terror and America’s right to defend herself, but has also lobbies directly to reduce hurdles for people seeking U.S. visas from terrorist hotspots around the globe. In official literature, the CCR contends that “Bush’s quest for world domination” is not “an acceptable ambition.” Our foreign policy, they write, should be focused on “eradicating hunger, poverty, disease, homelessness, and environmental degradation and pollution.” “Polices that promote and achieve racial, economic and social justice,” CCR claims, “are the best deterrents to hatred, violence, terrorism and war.”
Cavorting with such organizations allows Soros to get applause rather than ridicule for his perverse take on America. For example, at a recent “Take Back America” conference put on by the far-left Campaign for America‘s Future, Soros compared prisoners being made to wear women’s underwear at Abu Ghraib prison to the Sept. 11 attacks.
After being introduced by Hillary Rodham Clinton (“We need people like George Soros, who is fearless and willing to step up when it counts,” she said), Soros dramatically told the cheering crowd that, “There is, I'm afraid, a direct connection between those two events [9/11 and Abu Ghraib], because the way President Bush conducted the war on terror converted us from victims into perpetrators.”
The idea that Soros found “most galling” was that the United States “went to war in Iraq for the sake of the Iraqi people.” Of course, the fact that the antiwar Soros obviously hadn’t cared a whit about the very real atrocities committed in that same jail for decades under Saddam went unnoticed by him, his open society and in this savagely anti-Bush forum. No amount of good done in Iraq will ever be enough for Soros and his Democratic cronies. They eagerly wait for American blood, American defeat, and are the first to see the hint of either in a given day’s headlines.
Nevertheless, these organizations at their core are the logical end of Soros’ sordid thought processes, of course. Soros, in order to fight Bush, must see him as evil. By nature, this must mean Bush’s (i.e. America’s) enemies have the moral high ground. Soros has a hero complex. As he wrote in Underwriting Democracy, “Doing good may be noble, but fighting evil can be fun.” And Soros is having a delusional blast.
“Frankly, I don't think I'll need to do a lot more,” Soros recently bragged to USA Today. “I now take the defeat of Bush more or less for granted.”
A QUESTION OF INFLUENCE
George Soros has built George W. Bush up in his mind as a modern day personification of the threats he faced as a child. Psychologically, Soros needs to do that because he won’t allow him to get involved in anything short of epic. But what is the real problem with the Bush administration? The evidence suggests it has much less to do with the Bush Doctrine and much more to do with his Soros’ loss of influence in the post-Clinton world.
“I am particularly interested in changes in the rules of the game,” Soros once said. “I am looking for that new game and the new rules. I can anticipate these periods of regime change when something really new is happening. In the United States we say that, ‘These things are self-evident.’ Well, nothing is self evident.”
Soros’ main concern is that someone be elected who is indebted to him enough to pick up the phone when he calls. John Kerry is obviously willing to be that guy: While both Soros and Kerry were on vacation at their neighboring estates in Sun Valley, Idaho, they chatted on the phone, but avoided a personal meeting “because of how it would be interpreted,” Soros told USA Today. Thus they kept up the appearance that they are not violating the IRS code, which forbids non-profits from intervening “directly or indirectly, in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.”
The OSI website continues this pathetic charade: “George Soros’ private political activities are wholly separate from the Open Society Institute,” it reads. “OSI is a nonpartisan, nonpolitical entity in accordance with U.S. laws for tax-exempt organizations. Soros, as a private individual, is entitled to use his after-tax personal funds to support political candidates or parties within the parameters of U.S. election law. Any public statements on political issues are also made solely in his personal capacity. The Open Society Institute is not consulted or otherwise involved, and OSI is neither able nor permitted to comment.” Nothing in Soros's life is “wholly separate” from everything else, of course.
But Soros does not want to be president. He wants to find “a new game,” because Soros has learned that a world in flux offers many opportunities for folks as powerful as himself. He makes no bones about this, consistently mocking world leaders from Margaret Thatcher to Ronald Reagan who refused to meet with him. In books and speeches, Soros speaks endlessly of how much better off the world would be if only those in power had listened to him.
In Underwriting Democracy he writes, for example, of “desperately” trying to “reach President Bush” in 1991 before his meeting with Gorbachev in Malta. “But I only got as far as Under Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger,” he laments. “That is when I decided to write Opening the Soviet System.”
One of the reasons why Soros might hate Bush the Younger so much is that he spurned Soros’ advances while his father was in power. Harken Energy was partially owned by George Soros when the company bought George W. Bush’s Spectrum 7 in 1986. Queried about the reasoning behind this buyout by Nation reporter David Corn (himself author of a best-selling Bush-bashing book), Soros claimed the deal was about influencing American policy: “Bush was supposed to bring in the [Persian Gulf] connection,” Soros said. “But it didn’t come to anything. We were buying political influence. That was it. Bush was not much of a businessman.” [emphasis added.] Admitting to purchasing political influence is an odd tack for a proponent of “campaign finance reform” to take.
Although these days, Soros’ connections are getting quite a bit more attention than they did in the 1990s, he was nevertheless a high profile figure by the end of the Clinton reign. In fact, Soros and Hillary Clinton became allies. One of the few people Hillary would see when the Lewinsky scandal broke was George Soros. During his interview with 60 Minutes footage of Soros and Hillary Clinton walking through a Haitian village flitted across the screen, complete with Hillary Clinton introducing Soros to everyone who came within five feet of them. In 1998, Newsweek suggested that after her husband’s time in the Oval Office came to an end, Hillary would probably seek employment in the non-profit sector: “Friends daydream about [Hillary] becoming head of UNICEF, or even UN secretary-general,” political insider Howard Fineman wrote. “More likely: Some sort of global foundation, aided by friends such as financier George Soros or World Bank president James Wolfenson.” Instead we ended up with Senator Hillary, a cause Soros likewise contributed heavily to, both with a maximum contribution to Friends of Hillary and tens of thousands of dollars to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, as well as the Democratic National Committee, which considers Hillary its shining star and possible 2008 presidential candidate.
But she was by far not his only admirer.
“I like to influence policy,” Soros told television talk show host Charlie Rose in 1995. “I was not able to get to George Bush. But now I think I have succeeded with my influence…I do now have great access in [the Clinton] administration. There is no question about this. We actually work together as a team. Forget NATO now.” Soros went on to brag to Time magazine in 1997 that, “my influence has continued to grow and I do have access to most people I want to have access to.”
Strobe Talbott, Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State, called Soros “a national resource – indeed, a national treasure” and described the billionaire as a sort of shadow arm of the State Department. “I would say that it [Soros’ foreign policy] is not identical to the foreign policy of the U.S. government, but it’s compatible with it,” Talbott told The New Yorker. “It’s like working with a friendly, allied, independent entity, if not a government. We try to synchronize our approach to the former Communist countries with Germany, France, Great Britain, and with George Soros.” When Soros opened his own D.C. office to be close to the action, one of his minions explained that it would serve as “his State Department.”
Soros wrote memos on every foreign policy and monetary issue imaginable, and these memos were read widely at the very highest echelons of the Clinton White House. Soros was has also used the services of the Washington lobbying firm Raffaelli, Spees, Springer & Smith, where he was represented by none other than current Democratic National Committee Chairman and Clinton hack Terry McAuliffe. Between his payments to McAuliffe the lobbying executive and the hundreds of thousands of dollars he rained down on various official Democratic PACs, Soros was clearly able to purchase himself quite a bit of clout in the Democratic Party, and adoration/co-dependency that continues to this day. Soros needs the Democrats in office to be taken seriously as a State Department unto himself, and Democrats needs Soros’ dollars to win elections.
“If I spend enough, I will make it right,” Soros is known to say. And true to his words he is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to remodel society. Often, his giving is contingent upon matching grants, as is his October 21th well publicized $500 million “conditional” offering to Russia. A fact the New York Times managed to ignore while praising “Citizen Soros” for “reflecting American values” with his grand international philanthropy.
“My biggest risk lies in the process of acknowledging that I am becoming powerful and influential because I have a lot of money,” Soros once said, although one wonders what good the supposed self-delusion does if he can articulate the reality of the situation.
And indeed, Soros often prefers to paint himself as an outsider on a mission to change the dominant paradigm. But, clearly, he is an insider. As journalist Neil Clark pointed out in the New Statesman, not exactly a bastion of conservative thought, Soros has invested more that $100 million in the Carlyle Group, where he’s rubbed shoulders with movers and shakers including, “former secretary of state James Baker and the erstwhile defense secretary Frank Carlucci, George Bush, Sr. and, until recently, the estranged relatives of Osama Bin Laden.” Still not convinced? Soros’ Open Society Institute's office in Washington, D.C. was manned until recently by Morton H. Halperin, who worked in the Clinton, Nixon and Johnson administrations, serving as a Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Democracy at the National Security Council under Clinton. Where is Halperin now? He’s vice-president at the Soros funded Center for American Progress, which is not coordinating its attacks on Bush with Kerry or the Democrats, of course. These are all mere coincidences. Behind the curtain, paying for all this, is Soros.
Soros has written that none of this matters, that he is only contributing to “independent organizations that by law are forbidden to coordinate their activities with the political parties or candidates.” MoveOn.org compares George W. Bush to Hitler and that is simply, according to Soros, a mere coincidence, and that he, Soros, is only “getting more people involved in the national debate over Bush’s policies.” Soros is too smart to really believe his own words when he writes that McCain-Feingold, “minimizes or eliminates the ability to purchase influence in exchange for” his contributions. More laughably Soros adds, - forgetting his earlier claims that he gives to buy influence - that he doesn‘t, “seek such influence. My contributions are made in what I believe to be the common good.”
As we have already seen, Soros believes the common good would be best served by defeating George Bush, electing John Kerry and the implementation of the “Soros Doctrine.” So explain to us again how these donations are not baldly political?
Can Democrats still possibly believe Soros’ millions come without strings attached? Indeed, he says quite forthrightly in his latest book that he intends to replace the Bush Doctrine with the “Soros Doctrine.” Since Soros is not registered as a lobbyist, yet is nevertheless trying to influence politicians with mounds of cash, this seems a bit suspicious. Further, does that sound like the kind of man who is planning to help defeat Bush and then step back and let a new Democratic president do as he wishes? In a 1994 interview with the New York Times, for example, Soros was extremely candid about why he does what he does in business, philanthropy, life. “I still consider myself selfish and greedy,” Soros said. “I am not putting myself forward as any kind of saint. I have very healthy appetites and I put myself first.”
During an appearance on The O’Reilly Factor, liberal journalist Douglas Brinkley, author of the recent fawning tribute to John Kerry “Tour of Duty,” suggested Soros was interested in something bigger than this one election. “Soros is just somebody who has not just a lot of money but also has a large ego, and…wants to be seen as somebody who not just ousts President Bush, but becomes a kind of savior of a new progressive America.”
A cursory glance at Federal Election Commission records shows Soros had no interest in which of the several Democratic presidential candidates won the primaries. Last summer Soros spread cash around to the campaigns of Wesley Clark, Howard Dean, Bob Graham, and, of course, the ultimate victor, John Kerry. He spread his money around like an octopus swinging his tentacles at a hapless school of fish--shoot off in enough directions to make sure you capture your prey. Once when asked which side of the Russian Revolution his father Tivadar had been on, Soros answered simply, “Oh, both sides, of course. He had to be to survive.”
A QUESTION OF HERITAGE
“I grew up in a Jewish anti-Semitic home,” Soros told acquaintances, according to Robert Slater’s unauthorized biography, which also reports the blue-eyed, blond-haired Soros would “beam“ when other children would tell him, “You don’t look Jewish.”
Later in London, Soros would continue to shun his Jewish heritage, only bringing it up when he felt he could exploit it one way or another. When Soros broke his leg working on the railroad in England, he applied for benefits to the Jewish Board of Guardians. He was already getting some form of workman’s comp benefits from the British government for his on the job injury, but he decided to lie to the Jewish Board anyway, in an attempt to double his money. To some degree this is understandable, if a bit uncouth: A young man low on cash, trying to play the system.
Nevertheless, instead of cutting his losses and walking away when the Board turned him down for payments, he lashed out in a letter, telling the Board he was disappointed to “see how one Jew deals with another in need.” Deceitfully shamed, the Board began weekly payments to Soros, which Soros labels “a great success.” Biographer Michael Kaufman writes, “Only after his leg had completely healed and he had spent the spring break hitchhiking in France did he write his benefactor at the board to tell him he could stop sending the money. For sometime afterward, though, he would receive generous gifts from the board on all the major Jewish holidays,.” and he, no doubt, perceived it as his entitlement. And when his fortunes turned and he made millions, according to former Jewish Board officials, he never returned the favor by contributing to the organization.
Maintaining his intellectualism has also required Soros to immerse himself in a strange cycle of Jewish self-loathing. At a recent speech before the Jewish Funders Network, Soros implied, like Jaques Chiraq, that the recent rise of anti-Semitism in Europe was a result of the policies of George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon – remove them from office and the world will go back to not hating Jews, Soros assured. In fact, in The Bubble of American Supremacy Soros veers into the same conspiracy-theory ramblings that get other public figures into hot water.
One of the “important considerations” in our decision to invade Iraq, Soros contends, much like the rest of the Arab world, was Israel. “A large number of religious fanatics in the United States believe that the rebirth of Israel presages the apocalypse and the second coming of the messiah,” he writes. “Since the apocalypse involves the destruction of Israel, Israel might be better off without friends like this. [But] President Bush…felt obliged to pay attention to his constituency. Establishing a strong military presence in Iraq would help to transform the political complexion of the entire region. This would reassure Israel and weaken the Palestinian extremists.”
Does Soros have an editor? Did anyone bother to tell him that last paragraph follows no logical path whatsoever? First of all, it’s arguable whether evangelicals are a asset or liability in American politics today. But aside from that, if President Bush were attempting to please these folks by hastening the apocalypse, wouldn’t a weaker Israel ripe for “destruction” serve that better than a strong Israel emboldened against her enemies? If we went to Iraq to secure Israel, by Soros’ own logic, we would be pushing the apocalypse back considerably.
He also explained that he regretted his own success had helped further the notion that “Jews rule the world.” This is not a new regret for Soros, who lamented to his interviewer in Soros on Soros that, “If there was ever a man who fit the stereotype of Judo-plutocratic Bolshevik Zionist world conspirator, it is me.” Sadly, this may also tie in with his early life in Nazi occupied Hungary: “I have suffered from the low self-esteem that is the bane of the assimilationist Jew,” he said in the same book. “This is a heavy load that I could shed only when I recognized my success,.” and apparently also by making anti-Semitic remarks.
Soros on several occasions has likened Jewish support for Israel to a “tribal loyalty” he wanted no part of. “I took pride in being in the minority, an outsider who was capable of seeing other points of view,” he wrote in his 1990 book Opening the Soviet System. “Only the ability to think critically, and to rise above a particular point of view could make up for the dangers and indignities that being a Hungarian Jew had inflicted on me.”
These sentiments, of course, tie in with an earlier point. Soros needs, for his own self-validation, to believe he is one of the few people with the answers, a sole hero saving an intellectually stunted world from itself. Can Soros, the brilliant speculator think rationally? As anyone who has perused one of his meandering, unfocused books can tell you, the truth is, his clarity of thought is questionable at best. But does he believe he is on a higher intellectual plane than most people? Absolutely. The only person Soros would probably ever admit had a leg up on him intellectually would probably be the dead Karl Popper. And even that’s not a sure bet.
Soros has now rewritten Middle Eastern history to better jive with his idea of the “poignant and difficult case” of Israel, another nation, like the U.S., of “victims turning perpetrators. Soros, much like the virulent anti-Semitic graphic daily propaganda in the Arab newspapers, is comparing Israel’s self defense against repeated attempts of annihilation by the Islamist/Arab terrorists to Nazi atrocities. The successful defense against terrorism, especially preemptive actions, are is never appropriate in Soros’ book.
His history of how Israel fought for its independence could have been written by Noam Chomsky or Yasser Arafat. “After the war [World War II], Jews resorted to terrorism against the British in Palestine in order to secure a homeland in Israel,” Soros writes in The Bubble of American Supremacy. “Subsequently, after being attacked by Arab nations, Israel occupied additional territory and expelled many of the inhabitants. Eventually, the Arab victims also turned perpetrators, and Israel started suffering terrorist attacks.”
This Soros’ interpretation seriously downplays denies the number of Arab invasions and the brutal tactics used that led Israel to occupy the lands these attacks were launched from in the first place. And as for the “expulsions,” many of those people left of their own accord because of the surrounding Arab nations ordered them to leave, Muslim edicts demanding no interaction with the Jews. The Arab plan was to kill all the Jews as soon as possible and move back. on the land. For this, Jews are apparently getting what they deserve in Soros’ mind. By surviving Arab/Muslim violence all these years, and by defending themselves, the Israeli Jews have brought all these troubles upon themselves.
Soros’ comments did not sit well with quite a few Other public figures: were less than impressed with Soros’ comments as well.
“It’s a warped view of the Holocaust and its aftermath, of Israel, and America,” the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, fumed to The New York Sun. “It’s outrageous. To call it obscenity is not strong enough a word. It is so perverted and so perverse.” The New York Daily News ran an editorial describing Soros as a “man who lacks even a remotely balanced view of history and the nature of evil. He has demeaned the Holocaust and placed moral responsibility for anti-Semitism on its victims rather than its perpetrators.” Even Democratic Representative Eliot Engle Engle also called Soros statements “morally reprehensible” and advised his “hear no evil/see no evil” Democratic brethren that he didn’t think that, “People shouldn’t kiss up to” Soros simply because “he wants to give money.” away.
But at least Soros has in his grace, said he will allow the state of Israel to exist. He told The New Yorker, “I don’t deny the Jews their right to a national existence – but I don’t want to be a part of it.” This bleeds over into the way he runs his foundations. When looking for people for the board of his Moscow foundation, he took a trip with the most promising of them, only to find that, “they were all too old and too Jewish.” Not acceptable, he said. “I mean, you can’t be that Jewish in Russia. So I told them, ‘You can’t have more than one-third Jews on the board.’”
Soros’ vast wealth and the personal stories he tells his own personal story have allowed him to say things people like Pat Buchanan or Howard Dean could never get away with. Remember the fury that befell Dean when he said we needed to be “evenhanded” in the Mideast peace process? Yet Soros writes that we invaded Iraq to some degree on behalf of Israel, and Democrats remain silent. Maybe they didn’t hear he him say said it. Maybe they were in line at the bank waiting to deposit another one of Soros’ massive donations when he went public with that gem.
THE FIRST EGO TRIP
Cash aside, what does it mean to have George Soros’ “Seal of Approval”? And how long is it likely to last? Until well into middle age, Soros vowed he would avoid the “ego trip” of philanthropy, only changing his mind when he came to consider (in his own words), “the pursuit of self-interest as too narrow a base for my rather inflated self.”
Then, suddenly, he reversed course in the 1980s and began funneling support to Charta 77 in Czechoslovakia, and Solidarity in Poland, helping to pave the way for the downfall of communism. This was apparently was an epiphany for Soros, who wrote in Underwriting Democracy that while he had spent the post-World War II era as a “partisan of open society,” he had never been able to “take its superiority for granted because communism had conquered half the world and democracies were hard pressed to resist its encroachments.” Once again, Soros has trouble making a determination of whether something is right or wrong. An evil can become a possible good if it is a victor. Nazism once held a large portion of Europe. Would With this logic Soros may grant that ideology the possibility of superiority over ours simply by virtue of the fact that it had spread so far.? No wonder he can’t stand George W. Bush.
At any rate, during the late 80s and early 90s the fight was against a monolithic ideology, which Soros had determined was flawed. So had most people living inside these countries, and even a good deal of people outside of them, with the notable exception of liberal high society, large parts of the media, and college campuses. Soros had come to the conclusion that anyone fighting communism was fighting for an “open society.” This was good for anti-communists and rebels, who came into a financial windfall.
When asked point blank in Soros on Soros, the financier admitted to becoming cozy with elements in the communist regimes where his foundation was active. “Of course we collaborated: The communists wanted to use me and I wanted to use them,” Soros said. “That was the basis of our collaboration. The big question was who would get the better of the other.” Once again winning was all. A matter of ego was at stake.
But in the aftermath of the Iron Curtain’s collapse, Soros took an ideological turn, and his support since then has gone primarily to left-wing groups. “The people Soros hires are noted for their anti-Thatcherite views,” Oxford University professor Mark Almond told Forbes. “You’d be hard pressed to find a religious dissident or staunch anti-communist in his foundations.” To which Jonathan Sunley of the Windsor Group added in the same article, “Soros is engaged in a one-dimensional ideological laundering of the old Communist/nomenklatura.” Soros himself seemed disinclined to give the free market much of a running start in the recently liberated countries of Eastern Europe. “We thought free enterprise, laissez-faire,” he told the Wall Street Journal in 1994. “The failures in Eastern Europe prove that laissez-faire is a false doctrine.” No. The failures in Eastern Europe proved that communism was a false doctrine. Nobody ever promised the former communist states could be fixed in under five years.
This obvious turn to old leftist elements in Eastern Europe and Russia, not coincidentally, corresponded to his newfound distaste for the “threat” of global capitalism. In Albania, for example, Soros supported a paper that encouraged a coup by a group of ex-Communists, helping to take down a moderately (for the region and time) liberal government. In his native Hungary, Soros handpicked Miklos Vasarhelyi, a former member of the Communist government of Imre Nagy and a one-time Italian fascist, to head the Soros foundation in that country. He was tried by the Soviets after the 1956 uprising alongside his old boss, ending up with the lightest sentence of them all. Although Vasarhelyi repeatedly denied any collaboration with the communists after his stint in jail, Hungarian Communist Party memos make reference to the party’s “influence” over him, going so far as to suggest that if certain dissident speeches were to “get into Vasarhelyi’s hands we would be able to get a hold of them.” While Vasarhelyi fell out of love with hard-line communism many years before, he remained, until his death in 2001, strikingly unfriendly towards liberal ideals. “I was and always am very critical of capitalism,” he told Forbes magazine in 1997.
And what was Soros’ comment on all of this information? “They [as ex-communists] know better what democracy is than perhaps those who were always opposed to the regime,” he told Forbes. It does indeed sound like a reconstitution of the communist nomenklatura when put so bluntly as that. Those who agitate for democracy are at a disadvantage when dealing with George Soros.
When the Forbes piece turned out not to Soros’ liking, he lashed out in Time magazine, calling the piece “nonsense” and fuming, “You had a capitalist fool [Steve Forbes, the magazine’s owner] combining with the nationalist right – a stupid combination.” Yet, Soros’ refused to answer the basic question before him: To what extent was he collaborating with communist elements in these vulnerable societies? And, conversely, to what extent was he shafting the actual pro-democratic elements in those same societies?
Perhaps these attitudes go back further than most suspect. In the Kaufman biography, Soros reminisces about a conversation he had with his father after deciding to leave Hungary. His father was pushing London, but George told him, “I’d like to go to Moscow, to find out about Communism. I mean that’s where the power is.” Soros’ father prevailed in that exchange, but Soros’ interest in going to Moscow seems curious since he was living under Soviet rule in Hungary at the time. These days he uses that experience as a way to beef up his anti-authoritarian bona fides. But apparently, communism the Soviets seemed all right to Soros at the time.
Soros revels in the fact that his cash in unstable countries can buy him much more respect and influence in unstable countries than would normally be the case. For example, Soros said the following of Ukraine in an interview with The New Yorker: “It was a vacuum” with “a great willingness to accept this kind of support, which would in normal times be rather intrusive.,” Soros said. “I mean, I can’t try and do that in America. They would tell me where to get off!” When pressed on the point, Soros exclaimed, “If this isn’t meddling in the affairs of a foreign nation, then I don’t know what is!” Of course, as we shall see, Soros did indeed turn to America shortly thereafter, and has as of yet unfortunately not been told “where to get off.”
In 1997, Soros funded a newspaper in Albania, Koha Jone, which issued clarion call after clarion call to rise up against the elected liberal government. When the coup had been successful, a top official in Soros’ Albanian foundation actually came out and announced that, “[President] Berisha’s going. We got him.” Soros’ definition of “open society,” it became clear, did not always mean the rule of law should be obeyed or that democratic regimes should be left in place. No time for revolution at the ballot box when Uncle George wants something done. Berisha was replaced by a Socialist Party that had “only dropped Marx as the center of its platform” a few months before, according to The Washington Times.
“Now in Albania a few thousand rebels, many of whom had been members of the communist secret police and military officials sacked by Mr. Berisha in the early days of the democratic transition, have taken control of the country with the backing of the Socialist Party in Tirana,” Daniel McAdams wrote in The Washington Times. “The rest of the country lurches toward chaos, as the unarmed and the unaligned now seek weapons to defend themselves against the bands of roving rebels.”
Perhaps Soros is just funding the little guy, promoting that element of dissent all so important to a democracy. The proof escapes this pudding, however. When Soros’ friends are in power, Soros does all he can to make sure they stay in power. An investigation by Forbes magazine, for example, found that once Soros’ Hungary foundation head Vasarhelyi’s old communist cronies were in power, dissent held little value to Soros. “The ADF (Alliance of Free Democrats)-controlled culture ministry and the Soros foundation both subsidize periodicals,” Richard Morais writes. “We matched the most recently published lists of the subsidies and found 77 percent of the periodicals that got major government handouts also received subsidies from the Soros foundation. It seems to us [that] a foundation dedicated to an Open Society would go out of its way to assist periodicals not supported by the government of the day.”
Around the world, Soros has become something of a bogeyman. When Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze was recently ousted, he claimed Soros had overthrown him. Zaza Gachechiladze, editor-in-chief of the Georgian Messenger, concurred. “It’s generally accepted public opinion here that Mr. Soros is the person who planned Shevardnadze’s overthrow,” he said. While Soros did help fund the many public demonstrations and paid full-time activists to agitate, Shevardnadze was brought down mostly by economic collapse and his own political corruption. Soros major role in the event was supporting exit polling that gave victory to the opposition party, even as official results showed Shevardnadze the true victor. Resulting protests led to Shevardnadze’s capitulation.
Such is Soros’ growing reputation. Feared and, powerful, some are coming to the natural conclusion that he is unstoppable. He goads on the idea, naturally. “I’m delighted by what happened in Georgia,” Soros told the L.A. Times, “and I take great pride in having contributed to it.” Indeed. When the Georgian cabinet was announced earlier this year, the now-defunct Russian daily Novye Izvestiya called it the “Soros cabinet,” because of the several million dollars Soros was putting up to raise the salaries of new government officials. None dare call this a payoff, but can we really believe there will be no desire in the new Georgian government to satisfy Soros’ every whim while they are all essentially on his payroll?
Certainly the other countries in the area fail to see how overthrowing an elected government is compatible with democracy. They see a double standard. “No European standards of democracy presume the violent overthrow of presidents which is precisely what happened in Georgia,” Vladimir Zharikhin, the deputy director of the CIS Institute, said, as reported by the Central Asia Report. “Soros’ practices show that he doesn’t increase the amount of democracy in a country; he merely exchanges one set of authoritarian rulers for others who are more obedient to him.” Russian writer Ivan Tregubov was even more blunt: “George Soros demonstrates a heightened concern for democracy, glasnost and ‘openness’ in those countries where he has business interests.” Tregubov scathingly added that Soros, “like Trotsky, promotes permanent revolution across the globe, if under a different flag and with his own money.”
How could Soros deny this? He openly admits that when it comes to making money for his investors he has no morals, no boundaries, and no regrets. Honestly, why should his “philanthropy” be any different at all?
Oxford University professor Mark Almond argued in a British newspaper that these fears, even if they occasionally turn out to be bunk, are indeed justified.
“Given the non-transparent nature of Soros’ Quantum Fund, fears in small states that he could develop an economic monopoly, as well as a quasi-monopoly position in their media and academic life, are not unreasonable, though perhaps unfounded,” Almond wrote. “To allay those suspicions, Soros must do more than talk of the ‘open society.’”
Other countries notice this meddling. Shortly after the Georgian incident, Soros’ foundation was kicked out of Uzbekistan fearing the same sort of Soros power play. The executive director of Soros’ foundation in Kyrgyzstan admitted to the L.A. Times that there was “some kind of apprehension, some suspicion, some caution toward” the foundation in that country with the leadership expressing concerns over “whether we do not have some Trojan horse that is leading to that situation.”
Early into his “philantropic” efforts, Soros told ABC that his fund had become “so enormous” that it didn’t “make sense” to do anything but give the money away. Soros then acknowledged having a problem the vast majority of Americans don’t: “It seems to be easier [to make money than to spend it]. I seem to have a greater facility in making it than in making the right decisions in giving it away.”
Does giving money away erase the amoral nature of how it was earned? Not for everyone.
As the Malaysian Business Times editorialized, “Mr. George Soros thinks he is promoting freedom with his crusade for democracy, but what he is doing is dispensing sorrow to those who are on the receiving end of his non-democratic attacks on currencies.”
And why shouldn’t these countries be afraid of Soros? He is a man who openly believes creating chaos is central to his success in business and elsewhere. He feeds off chaos. In 1990 he complained to the New York Times that his work in Eastern Europe became much more “boring” after the liberation from the communists. “Building is always more effort than destroying,” he said.
Soros also loves homegrown communists, though. In 2000, Soros gave $50,000 to the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), which was founded as a Communist Party defense agency. “The keynote speaker at NLG’s 2003 national convention, Lynne Stewart,” FrontPage Magazine’s Ben Johnson reports, “praised Ho Chi Minh, Mao Tse-tung, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.”
One of the NGL’s most recent reports was an effort to whitewash North Korea, going so far as to actually play the police state off as more just than American society. “We noted that this was not the Orwellian society George Bush and much of the media is [sic.] trying to portray,” the report states. “The contrast between North Korea and its lack of policeman and North America in which armed police in bulletproof vests are commonplace was more than striking – it was startling. If the presence or absence of armed policemen is a criterion for a free society then it speaks volumes about the nature of the two societies.”
This is no joke: At one point the NLG delegation stops for a picnic, and joyfully breaks out into a rendition of “We Shall Overcome” and other “old anti-war and protest songs” for a group of undoubtedly confused North Koreans. “We know that if the contest between the lawyers of each nation were singing that this would have ended with our defeat quite swiftly,” they write. The reader need not worry for the NLG delegation’s self-esteem, though. Every step of the way, the North Koreans willingly stroke the egos of these useful idiots. At one point, a North Korean military official tells the nearly giddy NLG lawyers he is excited to meet them, “because lawyers bare truth and justice in their hearts.”
These are Soros’ kind of people. And isn’t he is the ultimate anti-communist? The very thought would seem a cruel joke to those poor souls languishing in North Korean gulags today. If this “Worker’s Paradise” was so wonderful, why did the NGL delegation come back to cold, cruel America?
And it’s not just the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy that’s got problems with the way Soros’ has handled himself abroad. Some on the left have questioned whether his “philanthropy” is anything but a cover for his own business interests. For example, Neil Clark writing in the New Statesman, comes to the “sad conclusion” that for all “his liberal quoting of Popper, Soros deems a society ‘open’ not if it respects human rights and basic freedoms, but if it is ‘open’ for him and his associates to make money. And, indeed, Soros has made money in every country he has helped to prise ‘open.’” Clark charges that Soros follows a very strict pattern in his philanthropic endeavors, “of advocating ‘shock therapy’ and ‘economic reform,’” only to swoop in “to buy valuable state assets at knock-down prices.”
Clark also has a theory why Soros is so adamant that Bush has got to go:
“Why is he so upset with Bush? The answer is simple. Soros is angry not with Bush’s aims - of extending Pax Americana and making the world safe for global capitalists like himself - but with the crass and blundering way Bush is going about it. By making US ambitions so clear, the Bush gang has committed the cardinal sin of giving the game away. For years, Soros and his NGOs have gone about their work extending the boundaries of the ‘free world’ so skillfully that hardly anyone noticed. Now a Texan redneck and a gang of overzealous neo-cons have blown it…
“Soros knows a better way - armed with a few billion dollars, a handful of NGOs and a nod and a wink from the US State Department, it is perfectly possible to topple foreign governments that are bad for business, seize a country’s assets, and even to get thanked for your benevolence afterwards. Soros has done it.”
NEW WORLD ORDER
The constant theme in Soros’ writing is the need for an end to America as the world’s preeminent power. During a September 2003 State Department Open Forum speech, Soros proposed a “modification of the concept of sovereignty” which was necessary because “sovereignty is basically somewhat anachronistic.” His attacks on capitalism similarly lead to the same conclusion. A one- world government is the only thing to bring balance to the economies of the world.
He stresses this in his article, The Capitalist Threat, writing, “Laissez-faire ideology does not prepare us to cope with this challenge. It does not recognize the need for a world order. An order is supposed to emerge from states’ pursuit of their self-interest. But, guided by the principle of survival of the fittest, states are increasingly preoccupied with their competitiveness and unwilling to make any sacrifices for the common good.”
Soros’ proof of this was the supposed failure of Western nations to lend a hand in Russia after the fall of communism.
“The combination of lassiez-faire ideas, social Darwinism, and geopolitical realism that prevailed in the United States and the United Kingdom stood in the way of any hope for an open society in Russia,” Soros wrote. “If the leaders of these countries had had a different view of the world, they could have established firm foundations for a global open society.” Faster than you can say New World Order, there it is.
Of course, as usual, Soros’ eccentricities become more nefarious when combined with his vast fortune. Bringing about a global order and smashing sovereignty based on national borders has become a major focus of the Open Society Institute in recent years, primarily through the so-called Justice Initiative, which seeks to give, “local meaning to global norms.”
What exactly does that mean? Who knows. The rhetoric coming out of the Justice Initiative makes it sound as if there is an egalitarian global order out there already, and it is only being held up by selfish, “stable” countries like the United States. A major goal of the Justice Initiative is to give the International Criminal Court – -an attack on our sovereignty so heinous even John F. Kerry voted against it – jurisdiction over every nation in the world.
“The Justice Initiative contributes to the application, enforcement, and dissemination of international legal principles at the local level—whether helping judges to apply international due process rules to pretrial detention decisions, building community capacity to secure police accountability consistent with international standards, or collaborating with lawyers to secure local court enforcement of regional nondiscrimination norms,” the OSI website informs us. “The financial and jurisdictional limits of the ICC, as well as the frequent unwillingness or inability to prosecute on the part of the states most concerned, makes necessary investigation and prosecution by other states, notably through the exercise of universal jurisdiction. Thus, legislation, institutional reform, and the preparation and promotion of cases will all be needed to ensure that national systems fulfill their role in ending impunity.”
Two of the nations resisting this “universal jurisdiction” are the United States and Israel, and with good reason. In the current political climate, where even allies of the United States such as France and Germany are throwing ludicrous claims of war crimes at her, signing onto the ICC would be an open invitation by the United States to the world for endless persecution of Americans. Israel, the only country more despised by the world than America, would do virtually nothing but defend itself from such claims. Israeli leaders (and many of their American counterparts) would become virtual prisoners in their home countries, lest they step outside their borders and be arrested by blue helmeted world police.
There is no element of fairness built into the ICC and other bodies of world law. One needs no better proof of the injustice than the recent World Court ruling attempting to end the construction of a barrier between Israel and the West Bank, literally the only thing that has been able to end diminish the suicide bombers three- year reign of terror. When Jews must be made to die to satisfy the Arab/Muslim agenda, joined by the anti-Semitism of Europeans who have romanticized the bunch of thug terrorists running the Palestinian Authority, it is exceedingly clear that the world cannot be trusted. Do we in America want to see a day when we cannot defend ourselves? When we cannot set our own border policy? The great majority of Americans say no. George Soros says yes. The only question left is who will prevail?.
Think Soros is destined to lose that battle? Don’t be so sure. “Although I remain a champion of losing causes, how much closer I have come to realizing them than when I first started!” he wrote a few short years ago. He has no interest in American society as such. “Of course what I do could be called meddling because I want to promote an open society,” he told Hemispheres magazine. “An open society transcends national sovereignty.” That’s no American patriot talking. That’s a liberal elitist determined to lay the foundation for a One World Government, and it is nothing new.
The end of American sovereignty has long been a part of the “Soros Doctrine,” as he likes to call it. He is constantly praying for the day when a weakened United States can be at the mercy of international institutions. “Our attachment to superpower status is understandable,” Soros writes in Underwriting Democracy, “but it is nonetheless regrettable, because it prevents the resolution of a simmering crisis.”
And who would pay for this One World Government? Even Soros doesn’t have that kind of cash, but lately he’s begun plugging the so-called “Tobin Tax,“ an international currency transactions tax. In other words, a globally run Marxist system for worldwide income redistribution. For those who can’t read between the lines, let’s make this as blunt as possible: They want the U.N. to be able to take what they openly admit will be hundreds of billions of dollars from the American economy and send it off into the world wherever they please. One of the leaders of the initiative, Robin Round, recently declared at an NGO conference in Montreal that “one of the major obstacles” to the tax was the U.S. and activists praise the tax as a way to lower American living standards as a prelude to some murky, undefined “sustainable development” for the rest of the world.
The aims of the project are quite clear. Just as the ICC seeks to restrain American military power, the Tobin Tax, almost like bin Laden’s doctrine, seeks to restrain and destroy American economic power. These are all baby steps on the way forcing the end of American nationhood, which is a considerable hurdle to global dominion. Hilary French of the Worldwatch Institute, another proponent of the tax, went so far as to advise Americans to get over “the sovereignty thing,” and recommended that Europe and other proponents “shame the United States” into accepting the tax.
Another interesting aspect of this is Soros’ lifelong interest in Esperanto, the so-called universal language. In a 1986 article in the Atlantic Monthly, James Fallows describes the atmosphere of a meeting of the International Esperanto Congress in China: “Their dream of world brotherhood through a planned international language is so touchingly unrealistic; the proportion of oddball among them so high.” Friendless in London at 17, Soros took to the soapbox at Hyde Park to argue publicly, according to Kaufman’s book, as to, “the utility of an international language in Esperanto.”
This odd language ended up as the basis for the name Soros, according to an article by Joshua Muravchik in Commentary. “At some point during the boys’ childhood, the parents decided to change the family name and chose the Hungarian sounding but in fact obscure Soros,” Muravchik writes. “It means ‘soar’ (in the future tense) in Esperanto, the made-up, trans-European language promoted by those who dreamed of a world free of nationality. [Soros’ father] Tivadar was among its leading proponents.” Tividar would later write his memoir in Esperanto.
“Created over a hundred years ago, Esperanto was not just a language, but a movement for international understanding and peace,” web columnist and Esperanto proponent C. Keith Ray wrote last year, scoffing that in “McCarthy era” America, “Esperanto was associated with Communism,” but nevertheless allowing that, “perhaps some American Communists were using it as a ‘secret language.’”
One more strange piece of the Soros puzzle.
Soros has been preparing these utopian schemes for some time. In grade school, Soros once wrote a story about a donkey named Peaceful that ended a barnyard war. It’s a very touching story, really. And who knows, if a jackass with $7 billion can take over vast swaths of the world, who are we to doubt the potential of a donkey?
INVASION U.S.A.: SOROS TAKES ON THE HOMEFRONT
When Soros finally began to turn an eye towards the United States in recent years, his domestic agenda turned out to be schizophrenically varied, and more than a bit outside the mainstream. “I have started to pay more attention to my adopted country,” Soros wrote in the Washington Post in 1997, “because I feel the relatively open society we enjoy here is in danger.”
Gara LaMarche, president of Soros’ U.S. operation the Open Society Institute (OSI), promises in the organization’s 2004 report to continue to establish a “systematic response sufficient to the challenge of radical right-wing dominance” and to “educate the public about the impact of federal budget and tax cuts on state and local services.” So what are some of the challenges posed by this supposed “right-wing dominance”? “Some were unforeseeable, such as the assault on civil liberties after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001,” LaMarche writes. What was September 11 again? Oh right, that was that attack George Soros didn’t want us to respond to in any way. “Others are the product of a long-term, multi-faceted, right-wing strategy to discredit public institutions and services (such as health and education), human rights, legal protections against discrimination, and other aspects of an open society.”
Wow, conservatives are really, really evil. But the conspiracy only grows corroding according to this Soros funded organization: “The state of justice in America is but one part of a political and policy landscape formed by 25 years of steady investments made by right-wing forces in a network of think tanks, scholars, advocates, litigation and media. Tax cuts that starve the government of revenue, reducing the amount of spending for education, health and other human needs, are another example of right-wing influence.”
(OSI) gave out more than $130 million to various causes throughout the United States. It gives a nice little window into what Soros would like to shape the whole of America into: A secular, post-modern, culturally relativist society. In other words, not at anything at all like the America we know, and many of us love, today.
Long term, if Soros has his way, the United States won’t even remain territorially intact. He funds both the National Council of La Raza and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, two groups that want to essentially eliminate America’s borders. In a much hailed 1997 speech to the National Council of La Raza, former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo said that he “proudly affirmed that the Mexican nation extends beyond the territory” enclosed by its borders and that Mexican migrants are an important a very important part of this. OSI has likewise contributed $65,000 to the Malcolm X Grassroots movement, which wants to establish an all-black homeland in the Southeastern United States, from South Carolina to Louisiana. It would be communist, of course.
“Most disturbing, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement’s website lionizes a group of ‘political prisoners,’ all of whom were convicted of killing policemen,” writes FrontPage Magazine editor Ben Johnson. “Sundiata Acoli, Robert Seth Hayes, Jalil Muntaquin, Herman Bell and Russell Maroon Shoats were all radical black revolutionaries, serving with the Black Panthers and/or Black Liberation Army.”
These murders, according to the group’s website, were perfectly acceptable: “In 1970, along with 5 others, Maroon was accused of attacking a police station, which resulted in an officer being killed. This attack was said to have been carried out in response to the rampant police brutality in the Black community.”
With his involvement in the Project on Death in America, Soros said he hoped to promote discussion of an American taboo. “There’s a widespread denial of death in America,” he explained. “We have been told all about sex, but very little about dying. Yet dying is even more widespread than sex.” This is yet another in a long line of failures Soros sees in American society. During a speech at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, Soros expanded on his rather odd perception: “In America, the land of the perpetually young, growing older is an embarrassment, and dying is a failure,” he said. “Death has replaced sex as the taboo subject of our times. People compete to appear on talk shows to discuss the most intimate details of their sex lives, but they have nothing to say about dying, which in its immensity dwarves the momentary pleasures of sex.” Who would watch day time talk shows if all they talked about was death? Can Soros find it in his own humanity to understand why people prefer talk about sex instead of death? One encompasses joy, or at the very least life, and the other is the ultimate sorrow. Since most people strive for happiness, there is unlikely to be a time when we find joy either in dying or discussing the inevitability of death. Perhaps Soros expects too much from us. Perhaps he expected too much from his own father, who Soros “wrote off” because after receiving a diagnosis of terminal cancer he “unfortunately wanted to live.”
“I was kind of disappointed in him,” Soros said, belying his humanity yet again.
The foundation shies away from the term euthanasia, but Soros makes it clear he believes that the “use of technology to extend life when life when life has no meaning doesn’t make sense.” The question of what constitutes a life with “meaning” is one Soros, the philosopher king, surprisingly refuses to delve into. Nevertheless, when later speaking about a physician-assisted suicide law that had passed in Oregon, Soros said in a speech, “As the son of a mother who was a member of the Hemlock Society (a pro-suicide group), and as a reader of Plato’s ‘Phaedra,’ I cannot but approve.”
Though now defunct, Project On Death in America director Kathleen Foley said much had been accomplished in changing the social mores of America vis-à-vis death. “PDIA invested heavily in the academic faculty and clinician leader who would spearhead change,” she wrote. “These individuals are changing both attitudes and practice in their academic medical centers, hospices, hospitals, and schools of medicine, nursing, and social work.”
Soros, always up for an opportunity to display his personal eccentricities before an audience, once explained to a crowd how he “came to terms with my own death” – which unsurprisingly is deeply steeped in the same pseudo-philosophical babble everything else he says is:
“Building on my own insight that there is always a divergence between ideas and fact, I came to the conclusion that it is the idea of my death which I cannot accept because it is a total denial of my consciousness. The fact of dying, when it comes, may be much more acceptable, especially if it comes at the end of a long life. The insight that the idea is not the same as the fact made the idea more bearable…”
“As people come to terms with death, recognizing it as a fact of life, then the demand for physician-assisted suicide, as well as for unnecessary medical interventions, will drop.”
In his long worked on, but never released, philosophical treatise, The Burden of Consciousness, Soros proudly held up his willingness to face death as one of the many things that separated him from mere mortals. He complained about those who choose to ignore death, which was exactly what the, “large faceless masses of society, who are not very much aware of their own individual existence, are doing.”
Feel more comfortable yet? Is this really the kind of jumbled mind that we want to be helping to set end of life policy in America?
In a ploy to get at this whole “death” issue without having to bother with the “life” issue, Soros also has routed millions of dollars to the Planned Parenthood Federation, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the American Civil Liberties Union to help, “incorporate emergency contraception and early abortion services into the services of comprehensive neighborhood health centers” and “public hospitals catering to low-income and immigrant patients.” Equal opportunity for abortion is yet another benefit of an open society, apparently.
The wedge issue of abortion is politically useful, Ellen Chesler, director of OSI’s Program on Reproductive Health and Rights, admits: “It has become important for its symbolic value as well as its actual value,” she writes on the OSI website.
Soros also finances a multiple front effort to decriminalize drugs. “A drug free America is simply not possible,” Soros explains. In his post-drug war world, a “strictly controlled distribution network” would dispense drugs and tax them to fund treatment centers. But, in effect, that’s not really where most of the Soros’ money went. One of his programs, “Shoot Smart, Shoot Straight” constituted a user kit for crack cocaine smokers, for example. What exactly does one put in a crack smoking kit? Wonderful question. According to a 1999 piece in Insight Magazine, “The user kit includes two condoms, antiseptic towelettes, triple antibiotic ointment, two alcohol swabs, five vitamin C tablets, copper wool, a few rubber bands, a rubber mouthpiece and a pamphlet with the following instructions: ‘Use a glass or metal stem with mouthpiece. Don’t get cut lips. Let pipe or stem cool down before taking next hit to prevent burning or cut lips.’”
Another brochure includes pictures of how to “cook” drugs and detailed injection instructions. None of this seems to be pursuing “the treatment option” OSI insists it is interested in. Adding insult to injury, tens of thousands of these kits were handed out at U.S. taxpayer funded clinics. And now Soros admits that he would be for “clinical dosing of addicts” with heroin, as it has been used and - what Soros doesn’t tell you - failed in Swiss treatment centers.
Soros has funded legal defense for illegal immigrants, helping them to stay in the country and…stay on welfare, too. His Emma Lazarus Fund (named after the poet whose words grace the Statue of Liberty) was initiated after Soros became infuriated with a new federal law restricting food stamps and Supplemental Security Income Benefits to non-citizens. Soros called this modest roadblock in the way of the expansion of the bloated welfare state as “a clear-cut case of injustice.”
In retrospect, of course, it is far from clear-cut that any injustice was done. Welfare reform has been a huge success. More people are working. States are saving millions of dollars, and spending elsewhere, solving new problems. All of this despite the doomsday proclamations of Soros. So while we can say Soros was on the wrong side of an American policy decision that went right, we have yet to see any hard facts showing Soros’ policies have changed America for the better.
Perhaps Soros is right. Perhaps he could be wrong about things after all.
THE END BEGINS
Soros’ vocal personal involvement in the effort to defeat Bush this November has irrevocably tied him, his foundations, and the many people he works with into that cause. He has made a big gamble to regain the political influence he enjoyed with the Clinton Administration. Should Bush win, however, Soros would be marginalized even further. His profile has become too high to just write off a Democratic loss as a minor bump in Soros’ yellow brick road. That fear alone will likely encourage Soros to spend million of dollars more, desperate cash for desperate causes way outside the mainstream of American politics.
Soros has a preoccupation with the idea of acceptance. He talks openly about various humiliations and rejections all the time in interviews. Take this excerpt from an interview with Michael Kaufman about life in 1950s London, for example:
“I had thought everybody would be terribly interested in this brilliant, clever young man who had lived through so much and in reality nobody gave a damn…I was a virgin but very interested and so I tried to pick up girls on the street without success. The lack of sexual contact was painful, because sex was my main interest and all that gave me complexes that it took me a long time to shed.”
There is no reason not to believe that Soros acquired similar complexes from Reagan, Thatcher, Bush I, and all the others who failed to take him seriously. And just as he got himself a young trophy wife once he could afford one, then dumped her for a younger girlfriend,, Soros is now looking for a trophy president.
His lack of influence with George W. Bush is killing him. This is the true reason he has put himself so on the line this election cycle. The myth of his greatness comforts him when the going gets rough.
“The more I am attacked, the more I am ready to stand up for what I believe in,” Soros told uber-liberal pundit Eric Alterman. “But I am frustrated by the reach and influence of the RNC propaganda machine. They are presenting a totally distorted picture of who I am and what I stand for.”
But it is his own words that have gotten him into hot water, and it is his own actions he does not want to answer for. There is an inherent contradiction in his behavior: His ego desperately wants to take credit for being the puppet master, but he wants everyone to ignore which way he is pulling the strings. He cannot have it both ways.
Is Soros God? Well, recently, even he has determined it unlikely. On 60 Minutes, Soros explained earnestly, “if you think you’re God and you go into financial markets, you’re bound to come out broke. So the fact that I’m not broke shows that I don’t believe I’m God.”
At least we got that cleared up. Nevertheless, isn’t it a bit frightening to think that the next election could be decided by a megalomaniac who has seriously considered the possibility that he is God?
Soros went on to explain that he is a person who at times, “engages in amoral activities and the rest of the time tries to be moral.” Frankly, we hope we can all agree to expect more from those who control our destiny. We can also hope that if George W. Bush wins another term, Soros keeps his promise to “go into some kind of monastery.”
Soros, like it or not, is a fixture of the 2004 political landscape. One can almost hear the ghost of Karl Popper lamenting: “What a monument of human smallness is this idea of the philosopher king.”
*Rachel Ehrenfeld is author of Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed–and How to Stop It (Bonus Books, 2004); Shawn Macomber is a staff writer at The American Spectator and runs the website, www.ReturnofthePrimitive.com.
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