Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
This isn't about the NYT, it's about whether or not the US is capable of, and interested in, running a PR campaign to promote its interests.

Who is supposed to be denying that the US is capable running a PR campaign to support it's interests? Nobody here I think.  We were discussing allegations against Gene Sharp after the NYT report.

The rest is is worthy of McCarthy, guilt by association: "Goodness me - what interesting company Mr Sharp keeps."

"who just happens not to mention that a former military operative was president of his institute"

1) that's false, of course Sharp has "mentioned" him:

Sharp's ties to Helvey raise one more important point. Perhaps, if the major proponent of Sharp's work had been an impeccably credentialed lefty rather than a former military man, Sharp's harshest critics wouldn't find him quite so spooky. But his collaboration with Helvey bolsters Sharp's own contention that nonviolent struggle isn't just a feel-good hobby for idealists and pacifists (he's not one himself). It is, instead, an intensely practical way to affect massive political change. "You don't have to be a saint; you don't have to be a mahatma," he tells me. "Ordinary people have done these things."


2) The guy beaten up while peacefully demonstrating at a speech by Clinton the other day is also a "former military operative" and even a CIA analyst, but is now part of Veterans for Peace - clearly must still be a covert CIA guy.

These allegations about Sharp ignore his bio, more telling than Angry Arab's academic record:

 the portrayal of Sharp as a crypto-imperialist just doesn't jibe with his own biography. After getting bachelor's and master's degrees from Ohio State, for example, he refused to serve in the Korean War, and did a prison stint in Connecticut as a result. After getting out, he spent a year and a half as an assistant to A.J. Muste, the pacifist labor and anti-war activist. And, notes USF's Zunes, a number of former Sharp protégés have become vocal critics of America's conduct abroad. "If it weren't for the fact that some people actually believe it," says Zunes of the notion that Sharp is a surrogate for the US government, "it'd be laughable."


It also ignores the open letter rejecting such allegations against Sharp, signed by such long-time and respected anti-imperialists as Chomsky and Zinn:

A charge made against Sharp by the Iranian government and Hugo Chavez--and echoed by some in this country--is that he acts in cahoots with U.S. officialdom in subverting anti-American governments. This is absurd, since Sharp's work has played a significant role in movements against Israel and Mubarak's Egypt, the two most pro-American countries in the Middle East.

"Rather than being a tool of imperialism, Dr. Sharp's research and writings have inspired generations of progressive peace, labor, feminist, human rights, environmental, and social justice activists in the United States and around the world," stated a 2008 open letter signed by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, among many others.

Gene Sharp is a global treasure who deserves much more recognition here at home.

Amitabh Pal, the managing editor of The Progressive magazine



Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 11:38:38 AM EST
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