American “Wolves” and German Shepherds?: The Friedrich – Ebert – Stiftung and Iraqi Reconstruction

Posted by John Rosenthal

Regular readers of Trans-Int will remember the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES): the publicly-funded foundation of the German Social Democratic Party that disposes of an annual budget of some 109 million euro. The annual budget of the National Endowment for Democracy, from which both of the analogous American party foundations – The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) – draw their federal funding, was recently increased to $80 million. At current exchange rates, the budget of the FES alone is still nearly twice this amount. As previously noted on Trans-Int, no less an authority than former German President Roman Herzog has described Germany’s publicly-funded political foundations – of which there is one for each party represented in the German parliament – as “the most effective and reliable instrument of German foreign policy”. Apparently, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is functioning as such in the context of Iraqi reconstruction, with German Social Democracy taking on the airs of the “protector” of the ostensibly aggrieved Sunni minority in its battle against the American “occupier”.

Thus, some weeks ago the FES hosted a “round table” on the Iraqi Constitution in Amman, Jordan. One of the participants was Kamal Allou, a Sunni representative on the constitutional committee of the Iraqi National Assembly. Mr. Allou seems to have appreciated his no doubt all-expense-paid visit to Amman and the support offered by his German hosts. The following is from yesterday’s edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung [link in German]:

With their propositions concerning the constitution, the Germans count in the meanwhile as independent observers. Some even regard them as the guarantee that, as Mr. Allou says, “we won’t completely have the rug pulled out from under us by the Americans”. “The occupiers are like wolves. But what we need are shepherds.”

(Note: For general background on the FES [including the source of the above-cited Herzog quote], see “Geert Ahrens, German Foundations, and ‘Conspiracy Theories’”. On the FES and the NDI, see “Who Supports the National Democratic Institute?”; and on the – outside Germany – little-known role of the FES in Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution”, see “Who Supports Yushchenko?: Leftist Fanatasies and German Realities”.)

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