Who is George Soros?

Reply Tue 8 May, 2007 03:09 pm
In February, George Soros's Open Society Institute donated $1 million to a charity that helps people who developed serious illnesses after the 9/11 attack, the 9/11 Neediest Medical Campaign.

The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, which launched the campaign, the New York Community Trust, and the Ford Foundation also each donated $1 million.

Last year, the federal government provided $26 million to treat people who fell ill after the attack. But that budget only covered some of the patients. Screening and treatment of ailments associated with ground zero is estimated to cost the nation $393 million annually. The money that is collected by the 9/11 Neediest Medical Campaign will be available to doctors whose patients are not eligible for federal aid.

The funds will be divided between Mount Sinai Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital Center for uninsured patients in their extensive physical and mental health programs. A separate grant will go to St. Vincent's World Trade Center Healing Services for treatment of patients suffering major mental illnesses arising from Sept. 11.

For the full story, see:

9/11 Neediest Medical Campaign Raises Nearly $4.7 Million for 9/11 Workers
Business Wire, April 9, 2007

$4.7 Million Raised to Treat Those Who Fell Ill After 9/11
The New York Times, April 9, 2007
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Reply Fri 11 May, 2007 08:42 am
The other day, George Soros gave a speech to the "Keeping our Promises on Education" conference that was organized by the European Union, which addressed the commitments made by some 150 countries previously on providing "Education for All". The text is here on the allAfrica.com website:

Liberia: Soros Makes $5 Million Pledge To Fill Gap in Official Assistance for Education

In the speech, Soros highlights:

  • The Liberian Education Trust, which builds and renews schools in Liberia. Soros has already invested one million dollars in this program.

  • A new five-year plan to restore education in Liberia, spearheaded by UNICEF. Soros pledged $5 million of the estimated $20 million needed for the first year.

  • His involvement, in the European Union and candidate Member States, in the Roma Education Fund, an international program to improve education for the Roma (Gypsy) minority. Roma children are often segregated in separate, low-quality schools, and many are even channeled into schools for the mentally handicapped. Soros has invested $30 million of the $60 million that the Roma Education Fund so far has received in funds, which is used in cooperation with the governments of Central and South Eastern Europe.
He also underlines, however:

  • That, with primary education alone in developing countries costing tens of billions of dollars per year, the sheer scale of the challenge means it ultimately needs to be taken up by donor governments and developing countries themselves

  • That he therefore applauds that Barack Obama has pledged $2 billion if elected, and that Gordon Brown, has pledged $1.5 billion a year for ten years

  • That he is hopeful about Liberia, whose President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, he greatly admires; before she was elected president, she was the chairperson of Soros's Open Society Institute in West Africa.
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Reply Thu 26 Jul, 2007 03:04 pm
The Iranian regime has arrested Kian Tajbakhsh - a scholar, social scientist and urban planner.

Tajbakhsh worked for the Soros Foundation. George Soros and his Open Society Institute have been working hard behind the scenes to get him released.

As Ahmed Rashid writes below, "the [Soros] foundation's many contributions to the Muslim world include help following catastrophic natural disasters in Pakistan and Indonesia, providing medical supplies to the Palestinians under blockade, and allowing scholars and intellectuals to learn from each other by translating and publishing works from English into local languages and vice versa."

Read the whole column - and note that the original version (click the headline) has linked words and names throughout the text to more information:

Iran's thought criminals

Kian Tajbakhsh - a scholar, social scientist and urban planner - is languishing in an Iranian jail. Why?

Ahmed Rashid
July 25, 2007 7:00 PM

My friend, Kian Tajbakhsh, is in jail in Iran for ... well, being an intellectual. He has not had access to a lawyer nor any visitors since being jailed for espionage and undermining the state. In short, if you live in Iran nowadays, intellectuals are the new terrorists. As in Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia, purveyors of ideas, information, and emotions are the enemy, especially if the people espousing such ideas happen to work for a foreign organisation.

Mr Tajbakhsh, an internationally respected scholar, social scientist, urban planner, and dual citizen of Iran and the United States, has languished in Tehran's Evin Prison - notorious for its documented cases of torture and detainee abuse - since May 11. I was shocked last week to see him on Iranian TV, pale and wan, giving the kind of faked confession that would have made Soviet prosecutors blush.

Soft spoken, mild mannered, thoughtful, and with a wonderful sense of humor, Mr Tajbakhsh is portrayed by the Iranian government as a ravenous wolf ready to devour the regime. He was arrested along with other leading Iranian-American intellectuals, including Haleh Esfandiari of the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars. Ms Esfandiari is a 67-year-old grandmother - just the right age to set about undermining Iran. Her lawyer, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, has been denied access to her. Meanwhile, journalist Parnaz Azima is not allowed to leave Iran.

As an intellectual, Mr Tajbakhsh cannot expect the world's celebrities to beg Iran's government for his release. Instead, he has received support from other intellectuals, such as the 3,400 members of the PEN American Centre, the writers' organisation that fights for freedom of expression. The 14,000 members of the American Sociological Association have also asked for his release.

You would think Mr Tajbakhsh's record in Iran would rule out an accusation of treason. He has been a consultant to several Iranian ministries on urban planning, and helped the government in major rebuilding projects after the devastating earthquake that destroyed the ancient city of Bam in 2003. In 2006, he completed a three-year study of local government in Iran - hardly the stuff of insurrection and regime change.

But he was also a consultant to the Soros Foundation, which, according to Ahmadinejad's government, has worked against Islam. That idea is preposterous. In fact, the foundation's many contributions to the Muslim world include help following catastrophic natural disasters in Pakistan and Indonesia, providing medical supplies to the Palestinians under blockade, and allowing scholars and intellectuals to learn from each other by translating and publishing works from English into local languages and vice versa.

What makes Mr Tajbakhsh's incarceration look truly pathetic is that Iran boasts of one of the oldest civilisations in the world. Persians mingled easily with the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, conveying their skills, discoveries, and statecraft to the west. The image of the Persians portrayed in the recent film, 300, is simply false. Moreover, Muslim Iranians have always respected their pre-Islamic civilisation. Thus, the Islamic revolutionaries in 1979 made a point of preserving the Zoroastrian fire temples.

In its Muslim era, Iran has boasted of some of the greatest poets, writers, and scientists in the world. None of this would have been possible if Iran's ancient Muslim rulers had not allowed academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas and expression - something that is sorely missing in today's Islamic Republic. Other autocratic rulers in the Muslim world are learning from Iran's example, cracking down hard on intellectuals, journalists, lawyers, women activists, or just about anyone who has ideas and wants to exchange them with others. For such Muslim rulers, intellectuals are the new global terrorists, bombarding their regimes with intellectualism. And my friend Kian Tajbakhsh - alone in his cell in Evin Prison wondering what he has done wrong - is the face of this new form of repression.

In cooperation with Project Syndicate, 2007.
0 Replies
Reply Thu 26 Jul, 2007 04:42 pm
Official statement of George Soros's Open Society Institute on the imprisonment of its consultant Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh by the Iranian regime:

0 Replies
Reply Wed 13 Feb, 2008 07:03 pm
You American conservatives have it all wrong: Soros is no lefty liberal!

The very opposite - according to the Iranian regime. He is "a Jewish tycoon and the mastermind of ultra-modern colonialism," who "uses his wealth and slogans like liberty, democracy, and human rights to bring the supporters of America to power."

Just read the transcript of this public service broadcast by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry. It urges Iranian citizens to use its new 113 hotline to report suspicious activity. In order to bring home the urgency of the matter, it includes a little computer-animated tale, in which a White House plot by John McCain, George Soros and others is foiled by a vigilant Iranian woman who uses the new hotline to turn in her brother...

Iranian Intelligence Ministry Encourages Citizens to Snitch via New Hotline: TV Broadcast Features "John McCain" Masterminding Velvet Revolution in Iran from White House

February 12, 2008

In a new public service broadcast, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry urges Iranian citizens to use its new 113 hotline to report suspicious activity.

To underline its message, the broadcast features a seven-minute computer-animated tale in which a White House plot by "John McCain, senior White House official who orchestrates numerous conspiracies against the Islamic Republic of Iran," George Soros, "Jewish tycoon and mastermind of ultra-modern colonialism," and others is foiled by a vigilant Iranian woman who uses the new hotline to turn in her brother.

The broadcast ends by exhorting "each and every member of the brave and honorable Iranian nation" to "remain vigilant, and report any suspicious activity to the 113 hotline of the Intelligence Ministry, throughout the country."

The broadcast aired February 5, 2008 on Khozestan TV, Iran.

To view the clip, go to: http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1678.htm.


"McCain": "Pressure and Aggression No Longer Guarantee the Achievement of our Goals - We Must Consider 'Culture-Building'"

"The White House, Washington D.C."

Camera pans.

Narrator: "John McCain - a senior White House official, who orchestrates numerous conspiracies against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

"George Soros - a Jewish tycoon and the mastermind of ultra-modern colonialism. He uses his wealth and slogans like liberty, democracy, and human rights to bring the supporters of America to power.

"Gene Sharp - the theoretician of civil disobedience and velvet revolutions, who has published treatises on this subject. He is one of the CIA agents in charge of America's infiltration into other countries.

"Bill Smith - one of the CIA's senior experts on Iranian affairs. For many years, he has maintained close ties with Iranian opposition groups." [...]

John McCain: "As George Soros rightly said, our goals should be achieved through long-term planning, which will be adapted to the culture of each region. We will provide guidance to influential groups in each region."

Gene Sharp: "Due to growing awareness among the people, our military presence no longer has the impact it used to have. This can be seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. We need to find alternative methods."

John McCain: "True, pressure and aggression no longer guarantee the achievement of our goals. We must consider 'culture-building' over there."

Gene Sharp: "The 21st century is the age of changing cultures and influencing minds."

Bill Smith: "That is precisely the plan we were working on."

John McCain: "But your plan is not enough. For 28 years, we've spent a lot of money because of your plans, but in return..."

George Soros: "I agree with you, but regime change should not be done in haste."

Bill Smith: "We must contact authors, intellectuals, and influential people in society, who have common interests with us."

George Soros: "We should cooperate closely with the NGOs that share our goals. Satellite TV networks have a great impact and play a very important role. Bombarding people with propaganda has always been effective. We must expand the cultural warfare, which we have had on the back burner in Iran for years."

Bill Smith: "We must also send our intelligence agents and others who work with us, personnel [to Iran] to make use of the abilities of leading cultural figures. So far, we have achieved a lot through international scientific conferences."

"There Is No End to Foreign Conspiracies"

Iranian rally. Masses (chanting): "Nuclear energy is our inalienable right!"

A group of Iranian men talk in the park.

1st Iranian man: "Did you go to the rally yesterday?"

2nd Iranian man: "Yes, it was great. A lot of people came."

3rd Iranian man: "There is no end to foreign conspiracies."

2nd Iranian man: "If only our memory would not grow old along with us, we could always remember their treachery."

4th Iranian man: "They seem to have forgotten their defeat in Tabas [i.e. the failed 1980 attempt to rescue U.S. Embassy hostages], and how God humiliated them."

5th Iranian man: "They will not be able to do anything with their economic sanctions. Our young experts' progress in the field of nuclear energy has dealt them a mighty punch in the face."

Men laugh.

Oppositionists: "Once We Carry Out This Mission, We Will Get All the Visas Promised Us, And Have a Good Time in America"

Three Iranian oppositionists plotting.

1st oppositionist: "Guys, according to the e-mail I got yesterday, we must get started. Besides, the equipment we need has arrived."

2nd oppositionist: "Now it will be easier to pass on the instructions we get from satellite TV."

3rd oppositionist, named Manucher: "Then all this will become a great news item for our friends in America."

1st oppositionist: "I'm sure that once we carry out this mission, we will get all the visas they promised us and have a good time in America. Here is the necessary equipment."

Sister on Hotline: "I Think He's Keeping Bad Company"

Manucher's home. His sister and wheelchair-bound mother await his return.

Voice on TV: "Security is a blessing which depends on the vigilance of each and every member of the community..."

Manucher enters.

Sister: "Where were you tonight? Don't you think our mother and I worry about you?"

Manucher: "What, am I, a little kid, that you worry about me?"

Sister snoops in Manoucher's room, finds bag with U.S. currency, pistol, and various papers, and dials 113

Manucher's sister to Intelligence Ministry: "I think he is keeping bad company."

Intelligence agent checks Manucher's background on the computer

Intelligence agent (to commander): "He doesn't have a criminal record. I think he is one of the new young men involved in this."

Commander: "Keep a tail on him all the time."

Manucher is arrested.

Commander (to Manucher): "Thanks to your cooperation, we have managed to prevent a huge disaster. We will take this into consideration when we determine your punishment."

Manucher's sister answers phone at home.

Sister: "Yes?"

Commander: "Hello. I'd like to thank you for the information you gave us. We have talked to the judge presiding over the case, and he said that Manucher would be released soon."

"Each And Every Member of the Brave and Honorable Iranian Nation Must Remain Vigilant"

Voice on TV: "Today, global arrogance [the U.S.] and international Zionism, with the help of their spy and satellite networks, are planning regime changes. In order to achieve this filthy goal, they will not shy away from any conspiracy. Each and every member of the brave and honorable Iranian nation must remain vigilant, and report any suspicious activity to the 113 hotline of the Intelligence Ministry, throughout the country.

"We are the guardians of your information."

Credits: "Information Headquarters, Intelligence Ministry."

George Soros - hated by all the right people... :wink:
0 Replies
Reply Tue 19 Feb, 2008 07:47 pm
fjf1329 wrote:
He is a naturalized citizen.

Cute how you slipped that in. From that I conclude that he is a child molester, that he beats his wife and/or girlfriends regularly and that he often stole money from his mother's purse.

Could you point me to some of those right wing sites where you get your info from, fjf? I'd love to be better informed.
0 Replies
Reply Tue 19 Feb, 2008 08:09 pm
triple 7 wrote :

I've looked up some information on George Soros - a billionare financier to the democratic party.

Does anyone have any information on who this guy is?

it's the fellow who gives nighmares to ican . the mentioning of the name s.r.s should be banned on a2k since it might cause ican's bloodpressure to rise . Shocked
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Reply Sat 21 Jun, 2008 07:02 pm
Bush administration awards funding to George Soros organisation to help Roma

I wonder what the resident conservative Soros haters will make of this... guaranteed cognitive dissonance?


The US calls on all governments to respect the rights of Roma, who face racist violence, ill treatment by police, and widespread societal and sometimes official discrimination. These problems rarely receive the government response they demand. It urges OSCE participating States to honor the commitment they made at the 1999 Istanbul Summit. The US government also awarded the Open Society Institute more than $585,000 to provide college scholarships for Roma, seed grants for community development projects, and health and education initiatives.

The Open Society Institute is the international organisation George Soros founded and leads.
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Reply Mon 23 Jun, 2008 06:09 pm
I thought by reading this thread, I would get an idea what George Soros has in the way of a goal. I cannot seem to come to any conclusion.

I cannot even understand why supposedly there are conservatives that do not like him?

Is there a reason his name is the same backwards and forwards?
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Reply Mon 23 Jun, 2008 07:11 pm
Foofie wrote:
I thought by reading this thread, I would get an idea what George Soros has in the way of a goal. I cannot seem to come to any conclusion.

Hi Foofie -- did this post, specifically, not help a little?
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Reply Tue 24 Jun, 2008 06:10 am
nimh wrote:
Foofie wrote:
I thought by reading this thread, I would get an idea what George Soros has in the way of a goal. I cannot seem to come to any conclusion.

Hi Foofie -- did this post, specifically, not help a little?

I learned that George Soros has many "progressive" projects. But, does he have a stated purpose, regardless of a specific project? Or, is he just a generic philanthropist? And, why do conservatives not like him?

I am not saying anyone should put forth the effort to answer me directly; however, I thought a thread of this magnitude would have answered a few of these thoughts. I say this, since I do not believe all the data in this thread has answered the original question, Who is George Soros?

And, I did not go to the links, since I have an ego problem with going to links.
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Reply Tue 24 Jun, 2008 08:01 am
Foofie wrote:
I learned that George Soros has many "progressive" projects. But, does he have a stated purpose, regardless of a specific project? Or, is he just a generic philanthropist?

He is a philantropist, but there is a common thread / theme to the inititiatives he supports. Although his foundations also fund direct aid efforts, the priority is not on direct development or crisis aid, but on promoting the kind of institutional change that he believes would lessen the risk of future crises. Patching up crises as they occur is necessary, in this vision, but only a stopgap: to prevent dealing with ever the same crises, you need to effect political and institutional change.

Democratisation, improvement in governnment accountability, citizen empowerment, women's emancipation, respect for human rights, free and independent media and the fight against corruption all contribute to the state becoming more efficient, accountable and sensitive to ordinary people's needs, and will thus help avoid or lessen the impact of future crises. While most charities focus on providing direct aid to the needy, he supports initiatives that work for the kind of social change that can affect long-term solutions. More Human Rights Watch than Doctors Without Borders, say.

This is also why he is a controversial figure. Anyone can support the World Wildlife Fund, it does admirable work that does not threaten anyone. With its more explicitly political focus, the work that Soros-funded organisations do can directly threaten the position of those in power, especially in totalitarian societies. Dictatorships, oligarchies, theocracies; corrupt bureaucrats, xenophobic populists, religious fundamentalists all stand to lose direct perks or political advantages when critical grassroots NGOs become more active and powerful. So Soros has become reviled, across Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union where he started working first and now increasingly elsewhere in the world too, by ruling autocrats and populist demagogues on both the (far) left and the (far) right.

The society Soros envisions is one in which democracies, based on the rule of law, are open to international cooperation and to cross-cultural influences, respect human rights, and are open and sensitive to criticism, whether it comes from the press or judges or NGOs. They are based on free markets, but pay sufficient concern to questions of social justice and empowerment of marginalised groups. This is the social and political model he aims to promote. The causes he picks, the organisations he funds, and the political lobbying he engages in, however disparate and wide-ranging they might seem at first sight, are all in some way or another connected to this broader, overarching ideal.

That may sound too vague or abstract; if so, I'm sorry. The key term is the one incorporated in the name of the international coordinating organisation of the Soros networks, the Open Society Institute. Open society is a concept derived from the 20th century philosopher Karl Popper, a defender of liberal democracy in times of totalitarian temptations. The Wikipedia page on "Open society" is worth a read, but here is a couple of excerpts to give a taste:

[..] In open societies, government is responsive and tolerant, and political mechanisms are transparent and flexible. [It] is a non-authoritarian society [..]. Political freedoms and human rights are the foundation of an open society.

In Karl Popper's definition, found in his two-volume book The Open Society and Its Enemies, he defines an "open society" as one which ensures that political leaders can be overthrown without the need for bloodshed, as opposed to a "closed society", in which a bloody revolution or coup d'├ętat is needed to change the leaders.

He further describes an open society as one "in which individuals are confronted with personal decisions" as opposed to a "magical or tribal or collectivist society" [in which] individuals are unlikely to challenge traditions they believe to have a sacred or magical basis. The beginnings of an open society are thus marked by [..] an increase in personal responsibility and accountability for moral choices. [..]

When Popper wrote The Open Society and its Enemies he believed that the social sciences had failed to grasp the significance and the nature of fascism and communism [..]. Popper's theory that knowledge is provisional and fallible implies that society must be open to alternative points of view. An open society is associated with cultural and religious Pluralism. [..]

Claims to certain knowledge and ultimate truth lead to the attempted imposition of one version of reality. Such a society is closed to freedom of thought. In contrast, in an open society each citizen needs to engage in critical thinking, which requires freedom of thought and expression and the cultural and legal institutions that can facilitate this. Democracies are examples of the "open society", whereas totalitarian dictatorships, theocracy, and autocratic monarchies are examples of the "closed society". [..]

George Soros, a student of Karl Popper, [..] argues that besides the requirements for the separation of powers, free speech, and free elections, we also need to make explicit a strong committment to the pursuit of truth. "Politicians will respect, rather than manipulate, reality only if the public cares about the truth and punishes politicians when it catches them in deliberate deception."

The political catch here is in the pursuit of "cultural and legal institutions" to facilitate freedom of thought and action. Everyone is in favour of human rights, and everyone, except the dictatorships themselves of course, are against dictatorship. It's all the various ways in which even in democratic societies, there are forces that push collectivist or authoritarian ideas, or strive to limit individual or media freedoms or criticism in the name of a greater collective good that pose problems.

For example, when the Bush administration pushed through the Patriot Act, or when, say, the Budapest police chief in Hungary tried to ban a gay pride march through the city centre out of fear of violence, they surely believed that they were acting for the safety and security of their population. And they would resent any suggestion that they're engaging in something undemocratic, or in repressing freedoms. So basically, Soros is encountering opposition on two fronts. There's all the various "red-brown" post or ex-communist and proto-fascist regimes (in various combinations) that oppose his vision in its integrity. And then within Western democracies, everyone is in principle in favour of his goals - hence why you get governments, like the US government now, supporting Soros when he works in other countries - but when it's in their own country that Soros-funded organisations criticise policies, they get snippy fast.

Foofie wrote:
And, why do conservatives not like him?

You'll have to ask them. In my perception, it seems to be a mix of short-sightedness and knee-jerk irrationality, but that's me of course. The impression I have is that most of them havent got a clue about the work Soros does around the world, and all they know of him is what he's said about America. And what they know about that is that he's been very critical of the Bush administration, has provided funding to critical organisations like MoveOn.org and Media Matters (I dont know whether thats true, havent looked it up), and has personally donated sizable sums to organisations supporting the Democrats in the elections of '04. Ergo, he is "of the other side", and therefore everything he does must be bad. The whole black and white thing, as interpreted from an insular US perspective.

The fact that Soros, who was once one of them as stock market trader and investor, has turned around and now criticizes some of the flaws of the free market system (he is still in favour of market economies, but would like to see their excesses moderated), must not have helped.

Foofie wrote:
And, I did not go to the links, since I have an ego problem with going to links.

That must make it difficult to find out things, I suppose.
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Reply Tue 24 Jun, 2008 12:41 pm
Thank you for the explanation. History will judge him obviously. In the meantime, I am a nationalist; for the U.S.A. If the rest of the world had an alarm clock, they too can get up early to fix their problems.
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