Privatising Propaganda By William Bowles

6 March 2005

Is the pen mightier than the sword? Yes, when it’s engineering ‘regime change’ – by PR company

So do we now have yet another US-engineered ‘velvet revolution’ underway in Lebanon aka Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia and other points east?

The use of PR companies and ‘NGOs’ by the US government to ‘sell’ its foreign policy goes back a long way but it was the invasion of Grenada under Reagan when we witnessed a ‘test run’ of the idea and the technique really came into its own during Gulf War 2 in 1991 when the US DoD employed PR companies to ‘sell’ US intervention. Importantly, the DoD started to use PR companies to issue releases on the ‘progress’ of the war rather than internally-generated releases that was the beginning of a much closer relationship between the state and the PR business.

However, the PR campaigns unleashed on an unsuspecting public by the US entered an entirely new phase with the use of ‘NGOs’ and ‘public relations’ companies to undermine governments in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. It is estimated that $200 million was funnelled into ‘opposition’ groups in Poland. The various and sundry Soros-funded ‘NGOs’ – 60 in total spend $450 million a year on his ‘philosophy’ of the ‘open society’ – but actually preaching privatisation, poured tens of millions of dollars into the former Soviet Union with the arrival of ‘glasnost’ and the opening up of the country and Soros-funded institutions have been active in the Ukraine and elsewhere.

Together with organisations such as National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), USAID, the AFL-CIO backed structures and host of other ‘NGOs’, the subversive onslaught on countries around the planet on an unprecedented scale is relentless and largely hidden from view in the Western media.

And I have my own, personal experience of the role these structures play when in 1993 I was involved in setting up the African National Congress’ Election Information Unit in the run-up to the 1994 election and the NDI’s attempt to infiltrate the ANC’s election campaign by offering to come and ‘assist’ the ANC in its election campaign, an offer that was thankfully rejected.


Behind the slogans in Belgrade(Otpor::Resistance), Tbilisi (Kmara::Enough) and Kiev (Pora::Now) is a massive Western undertaking in funding and encouragement, including internships in organizational training and in getting the message out to the public. But the subterfuge leaves some participants bitter. Gia Jorjoliani of the Center for Political Studies in Tbilisi is quoted in LMD as saying: I stopped participating in Georgian monitoring when I realized that it was an initiative that is less interested in free elections than in toppling régimes.

Three US companies, all with close ties to the Bush administration, were intrinsic to the so-called orange revolution engineered by Western interests in the Ukraine, the principle company being Hill & Knowlton, (part of the WPP Group, profits in 2004 up by almost 5% to £4.299 billion). H&K is famous for engineering the ‘Iraqis butcher babies in incubators’ disinformation campaign in 1990 that was instrumental in swinging ‘public opinion’ behind US intervention).

Aside from extending the US ‘bridgehead’ eastward, one of the principal motivations behind US meddling in the Ukraine is oil (surprise-surprise) as the Ukraine is one of the four countries in the Baku-Odessa-Poland-Europe oil-transportation pipeline project (See

This from the US Department of Justice Website:

Hill & Knowlton, Inc., #3301
600 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W.
Suite 601
Washington, DC 20037

Government of Ukraine (through the Agency of Humanitarian Technologies)
The registrant agreed to provide public relations services regarding matters of interest to the Government of Ukraine

The innocuous-sounding Agency of Humanitarian Technologies is in actuality a Ukrainian government ministry that is pushing for Ukrainian-EU integration (See

PCO Worldwide, Inc., #4561 [or APCO]
1615 L Street, N.W.
Suite 900
Washington, DC 20036


The registrant provided public relations and business-related counsel, prepared materials, assisted with logistics, provided computer-related support and advised the foreign principal in connection with promoting within the United States the progress of an independent Ukraine. The registrant also served as a contact for press inquiries. In addition, the registrant met with members of Congress and congressional staffers, in the interests of promoting positive U.S./Ukraine relations.

UKRINVEST was used by former president Leonid Kuchma, who in turn hired PCO Worldwide to ‘sell’ Ukraine in the US. Interestingly the chief ‘advisor’ to PCO is a certain Kempton B. Jenkins (and a former executive vice-president of Armco, Armand Hammer’s oil corporation).

In 1970, he [Jenkins] was responsible for liaison with the Congress in administrations of republican presidents Nixon and Ford. Now he heads the US-Ukraine Business Council.

As a representative of APCO, Jenkins is a member of the board of directors of American International Law Institute. His name also appears in the list of board of directors of the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Kempton’s history points to his involvement with US intelligence:

A former career diplomat with 31 years service, Mr. Jenkins served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for East-West Trade from 1978-1980. Before his assignment with the Commerce Department, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations from 1973-1978. He was Assistant Director of the United States Information Agency for Soviet and Eastern European Affairs from 1968-1973.

From 1950 to 1956, he served in Germany and Thailand before taking Russian language and area studies at Harvard. In 1958, Mr. Jenkins was assigned as political officer to the United States Mission in Berlin Mr. Jenkins continued to focus on Berlin affairs as political officer at the US Embassy in Moscow, where from 1960-1962 he served as Ambassador Llewellyn Thompson’s aide in Berlin negotiations with the Soviets. Mr. Jenkins served in the State Department’s Office of Soviet Affairs from 1962 to 1965. He then served in the US Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela as Political Counselor from 1965-1968.
(See www.partnershipsfor

BKSH & Associates, #5402
1801 K Street, N.W.
Suite 901 – L
Washington, DC 20006
Agency for Humanitarian Technologies

The registrant agreed to inform Administration officials and members of Congress regarding updated political and economic information on Ukraine. The registrant also agreed to encourage U.S. Government officials to review Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974 which requires countries to comply with free emigration requirements in order to qualify for normalized trade relations. In addition, the registrant agreed to organize delegations of Ukrainian public and private sector officials to visit Washington to brief U.S. Government officials.

BKSH is also a WPP-owned company and also involved in the Private Military Contractor business (PMC) through a company called Civitas Group llc, a joint venture between WPP and Stonebridge International llc.

Not surprisingly, BKSH is also heavily involved with the Republican Party:

The firm, a part of the Burson-Marsteller family [that is also part of WPP], is led by Charles R. Black, Jr., who is best known as one of America’s leading Republican political strategists, having served as senior advisor to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and as a spokesman for the Republican Party. The firm’s lobbyists, lawyers, communications professionals, foreign affairs specialists and researchers design and execute programs to help shape public policy. Clients include Fortune 100 companies, multinationals, small and mid-sized companies, trade and industry associations, foreign governments, state governments and municipalities.”

“Is there too much cronyism? I just wish I could find the cronies,” Charles R. Black. Jnr.

So here we have three PR companies closely tied to the US government who are acting on behalf of what was the Ukrainian opposition including one of them also acted for the previous government of Leonid Kuchma (APCO)!

Lebanon: The ‘Red and White non-violent revolution’
And the Western-funded institutions have now turned their attentions to Lebanon. According to an article in Le Monde Diplomatique the target country needs the following prerequisites:

  • A semi-dictatorship or a country too reliant on the good graces of the West to shoot the demonstrators.
  • An election in which the government is forced to commit fraud to stay in power.
  • Cooperation with local media to ensure that the fraud is substantiated and reported.
  • An opposition figurehead who steps out of the targeted government as a reformer.
  • A sincere desire for change on the part of a portion of the population which cannot be challenged.

Predictably the Western media have gone along with the Lebanese campaign as an article on the BBC’s Website shows. Titled “Beirut protesters denounce Syria” it contained the following:

Many protesters out on the streets wore red and white scarves, symbolising the opposition’s “independence uprising”, which it describes as a peaceful campaign to dislodge the pro-Syrian Lebanese government and force out the 15,000 troops Syria keeps in Lebanon.

So who is behind the ‘red and white revolution’? If it follows the Ukraine model, it will be a mix of the following:

Viktor Yushchenko, the beneficiary of Ukraine’s so-called “Orange” revolution, was backed by the International Monetary Fund, The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Freedom House and George Soros’ Open Society Institute. “The Ukrainian ‘Freedom of Choice Coalition’ was set up and is funded by the US and British Embassies in Kiev as well as by the German Embassy. Amongst the main ‘partners’ (funding agencies) it lists USAID, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Freedom House, the World Bank and the Charles Stuart Mott Foundation (See Chossodovsky’s piece and Kurt Nimmo’s ‘Lebanon’s franchised cedar revolution’,

Walid Jumblatt ‘Our man in Beirut’?
And the chosen leader of the ‘red and white revolution’ in Lebanon is in all likelihood Walid Jumblatt, head of the Progressive Socialist Party who has made statements that indicate he has been selected by Western interests as ‘their man’ in Beirut:

“It’s strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq,” explains Jumblatt. “I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world.” Jumblatt says this spark of democratic revolt is spreading. “The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it.”

And a BBC Website article pretty well sums up the Western approach to the situation in Lebanon and how it interlocks with the US-led PR offensive. Titled “Lebanon finds unity in street rallies”, the article bylined by Kim Ghattas is full of assumptions and barely veiled propaganda such as:

The death of Hariri has been blamed on Syria

But we are not told what this assertion is based upon, it is merely thrown into the ‘mix’ as are the following:

Many in the region believe the Lebanese are setting an example for their Arab brethren.

The phrase “many believe” is a stock phrase of the BBC’s, as it’s rarely if ever challenged. Who believes? How many is many?


In 1990, thousands of Christians demonstrated for weeks on end, calling on Damascus to withdraw its troops from the country.

At the time, Lebanon was still going through a civil war and the country was divided along sectarian lines.

If people power brought down the government, it is unlikely it will be able to do away with Syria’s control.

The Christian rebellion was eventually put down brutally by Syrian jets and tanks, and Damascus asserted its control over the whole of Lebanon.

Christian rebellion? The role of Israel in backing the quasi-fascist Maronite sect and its political front, the Falange is entirely missing from the BBC’s ‘analysis’, nor the fact that the ‘civil war’ was engineered by US/Israeli interests. The BBC article also has this to say:

But what has been fascinating to observe is how Lebanon’s middle and upper classes have been woken from their usual lethargy by the assassination of Hariri.

“Usual lethargy”? What exactly, is this observation based upon? Nothing except the fact that it relies on the average reader’s almost complete lack of knowledge about the history of Lebanon. The piece ends with the following observation:

Rightly or wrongly, the Syrians were blamed for the killing of Hariri and have since been the main focus of people’s pent-up anger.
BBC, 3 March 2005,

If one follows the way the BBC has echoed the state-sponsored PR campaign, you will be hard-pressed to find any reference to the involvement of the plethora of state-funded organisations enlisted to do the state’s dirty business of overthrowing foreign governments. A search of the BBC Website using the phrase ‘Hill and Knowlton’ yielded just seven hits, not one of which referred to H&K’s involvement in US-sponsored propaganda campaigns (one referred to the White House enlisting the aid of Hollywood).

So we are left with the impression of Syrian involvement without actually stating it as fact, and from it flows the ‘logic’ of the BBC’s statement about the ‘people’s anger’. As can be seen, the propaganda being peddled by the BBC is in fact part of a carefully orchestrated campaign funded with hundreds of millions of dollars to impose ‘democracy’, Western style. For make no mistake that the language used by the BBC is carefully chosen to create a particular impression in the reader or listener, namely the impression of objectivity and impartiality.

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