George Soros: The Man, The Mind and The Money Behind MoveOn.org
By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, September 20, 2007 4:20 PM PT
The Left: The smear ad published against Gen. Petraeus has drawn attention to its sponsor, MoveOn.org. But the fingerprints of the group’s chief financial backer, George Soros, were all over it. Who is this man and what is he up to?
To read Soros’ own spun story, he’s a Jewish survivor of Nazi-occupied Hungary who pulled himself up by his bootstraps, studied economics in England, became a U.S. citizen in 1961 and made a multibillion-dollar fortune as a financier who pioneered hedge funds.
Over the years, Soros has written books giving his philosophical take on global affairs and acquired a reputation as something of a “stateless statesman.” He calls himself a philanthropist and has given away $5 billion of his now $8.5 billion fortune through his principal vehicle, the Open Society Institute. The institute, in turn, has passed cash on to far more radical groups, such as MoveOn.org.
But Soros is no hands-off donor. According to the Open Society Institute’s Web site: “Despite the breadth of his endeavors, Soros is personally involved in planning and implementing many of the foundation network’s projects.”
Soros says he gives away about $400 million annually.
It’s an admirable picture, but “philanthropy” may be the wrong word. Unlike, say, Bill Gates, who really does put the bulk of his charity into helping the world’s poor through medical services, Soros tends to fund pressure groups and foundations he misleadingly characterizes as promoting “civil society” and “democracy.”
The image gives him moral cover to manipulate democracies whose voter verdicts he opposes.
Tearing Down America
The first groups Soros supported back in the 1980s did play a role in undercutting the rickety communist regimes of Eastern Europe. But his motives seemed less than idealistic. All Soros groups tend to tear down tyrannies rather than build up democracies.
And since 2003, tearing down what he views as the “fascist” tyranny of the United States, as he has put it, is “the central focus of my life.”
Through networks of nongovernmental organizations, Soros intends to ruin the presidency of George W. Bush “by any legal means necessary” and knock America off its global pedestal. “His view of America is so negative,” says Sen. Joe Lieberman, who, like Gen. David Petraeus, has been a target of Soros’ electoral “philanthropy.” “The places he’s put his money are . . . so destructive that it unsettles me.” Soros’ aim seems to be to make the U.S. just another client state easily controlled by the United Nations and other one-world groups where he has lots of friends.
Best known among these groups is MoveOn.org, a previously small fringe-left group to which Soros has given $5 million since 2004. Bulked up by cash, the group now uses professional public relations tactics to undercut the Iraq War effort, with its latest a full-page New York Times ad that branded Gen. Petraeus “General Betray Us.”
It ran Sept. 10 in the New York Times, the same day Petraeus delivered his progress report on the surge in Iraq.
MoveOn.org previously put out ads depicting Bush as a Nazi, something that certainly echoes Soros’ sentiment.
“We have to go through a certain de-Nazification process,” he told this year’s Davos conference in Switzerland.
Moving On To The Far Left
MoveOn.org was also pivotal in getting Howard Dean elected chairman of the Democratic Party in a bid to push the party to the far left.
Soros acolyte Arianna Huffington is on record as advocating that outcome. Berating Democrats for their electoral losses in 2004, she wrote: “Have these people learned nothing from 2000, 2002 and 2004? How many more concession speeches do they have to give — from ‘the center’ — before they realize it’s not a very fruitful place?”
Soros also has financed spin outfits such as Media Matters that specialize in providing distorted conservative political statements as grist for leftist politicians and media.
Media Matters (and MoveOn.org) succeeded last year in denying incumbent Lieberman the Democratic nomination for Senate in Connecticut and effectively drove the moderate out of his own party. Net result: Fewer Democrats, including today’s crop running for office, are willing to challenge any Soros-financed pressure group.
Money & Elections
Soros’ efforts go beyond spin. He has also bankrolled groups involved in the manipulation of elections, an activity that has increased since his money came into the picture. Two groups — Americans Coming Together and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — were sanctioned recently by the Federal Election Commission for fraud.
Soros pledged $10 million to ACT, which has since been fined $775,000 for illegally funneling $70 million set aside for voter registrations to Democratic candidates.
He also gave at least $150,000 to ACORN, the left-wing group best known for pushing minimum-wage hikes, marching for illegal-immigrant amnesty and harassing Wal-Mart. ACORN has been accused of voter fraud in 13 states since 2004 and was convicted of falsifying signatures in a voter registration drive last July, drawing a fine of $25,000 in Washington state.
Soros says he has ended funding to voter-drive organizations, but he still heads a secretive rich-man’s club called “Democracy Alliance” that has doled out $20 million to activist groups like ACORN.
It’s also noteworthy that the Soros-funded MoveOn.org advocates “paper-trail” electronic voting in the U.S., the same kind used in Venezuela, where allegations of electronic fraud and ballot secrecy violations have ended confidence in the system and sealed Chavez’s dictatorship.
Soros additionally finances groups best described as helpful to terrorists. Since 1998, he has given the American Civil Liberties Union $5 million to empower criminals, including lawsuits on behalf of terrorists’ “civil rights.”
Soros’ Open Society Institute gave $20,000 for the legal defense of radical attorney Lynne Stewart. She was convicted in 2002 of abetting jailed terrorists after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Soros is also involved in the financing of a 9/11 memorial at ground zero, the World Trade Center Memorial Cultural Complex — which critics say blames the U.S. for 9/11.
“Bush says (the terrorists) hate us for what we are, not what we do, and I think that’s false,” Soros told an audience at UC Berkeley last year.
He has handed $3.1 million to the left-wing Tides Foundation, which funds organizations, such as the Sea Shepherds, Earth First! and the Ruckus Society, that have condoned or engaged in eco-terrorism.
On the international front, Soros-backed groups have undercut important U.S. allies, including Israel and Colombia, which have aligned with the U.S. rather than the U.N.
Both see their sovereignty as non-negotiable, view victory over their enemies as an absolute good and refuse to become failed states — all anathema to the thinking of Soros. His Human Rights Watch repeatedly attempts to portray both nations as pariah states.
One World Government
Soros additionally finances groups supporting the interests of one-world government. While he has criticized the United Nations occasionally, he favors U.N. dominance in world affairs, sees the European Union as a model for “open society” and has called for a global central bank.
Anyone who doesn’t agree with this vision, or who doesn’t fit cozily into his multilateral model, gets a visit from Soros-backed groups.
MoveOn.org, for example, led the charge to keep John Bolton out of a permanent seat in the U.N., and Bankwatch piled on to topple Paul Wolfowitz at the World Bank.
In fact, pick any cause that seeks to weaken the U.S. and it’s hard not to find Soros’ name on its list of financial backers. Most of these causes are financed by relatively small amounts, but that’s all that’s needed to make trouble.
And without the cash, countless bad ideas would have no presence in American political debate at all.
What keeps these groups on cue, and Democrats in line, is the prospect that any funding from Soros can be stepped up to massive levels. It’s probably no coincidence that Soros was a big backer of campaign finance reforms that have allowed nominally nonpartisan groups like MoveOn.org to strike with the kinds of tactics they are using.
Soros usually doesn’t offer up or endorse specific candidates for office. His chief aim seems to be tearing down Bush, driving the Democrats to the far left and enforcing party discipline through fear. In fact, he seems to like keeping Democrats guessing whether or not he’s offended.
The strategy seems to be working. No Democrat had the courage to cross MoveOn.org after its libelous Petraeus ad. On Thursday, a symbolic vote in Congress censuring MoveOn.org for the Petraeus ad passed, but with the notable absence of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Election looming, neither wants to cross Soros’ MoveOn.org.
Soros himself does not believe in victory in Iraq and wants to keep America from achieving it.
“The war on terror cannot be won,” he has said.