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Monday, November 15, 2010

Glenn Beck accuses George Soros of stirring up Kenyan poll chaos

Glenn Beck, a rabid talk-radio host known for his hostility toward President Obama, told his legions of listeners last Thursday that a leading contributor to Mr Obama’s Democratic Party had “interfered in Kenya in 2007 in the elections”.

Beck further accused George Soros of having “played a role in creating complete chaos” in Kenya. He pointed his audience to an article on his website that charges Soros and his foundation, the Open Society Institute, with having “destabilised and overturned governments in several countries”. According to the article, Soros’ institute followed a detailed strategy that resulted in a regime change in Yugoslavia in 2000, Georgia in 2003 and Ukraine in 2004.

“Compelling evidence indicates that Soros may have employed a similar strategy in Kenya, but with far more gruesome results,” writes the article’s author, conservative activist Richard Poe, who has co-written a book claiming that 1960s-era activists have conspired with Soros to take control of Obama’s Democratic Party and steer it toward radical goals.

The attack launched by Beck and Poe is the latest in which opponents of Obama use associations with Kenya to directly or indirectly discredit the president. A recent book claims, for example, that the United States is being governed in accordance with the “anti-colonialist” views of Obama’s Kenyan father. A set of Obama-haters known as “birthers” have meanwhile repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that he was born in Kenya and is thus barred by the US Constitution from serving as president. The alleged effort to subvert Kenya’s government is said to have been orchestrated by Soros’ Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa, established in Nairobi in 2004. Binaifer Nowrojee, the Initiative’s director, says “our work is to promote open society, democratic governance, human rights and free speech”. She added that the foundation “did not have any role in the violence”.

Beck has been broadcasting a series of attacks on Soros in the past week. A US-based Jewish civil rights group responded with outrage to one of Beck’s diatribes that described Soros as “a Jewish boy helping send the Jews to death camps”. In reality, Soros, 80, fled the communist takeover of his native Hungary in the 1940s. He emigrated to the US in 1956 and went on to make billions of dollars as a Wall Street investment wizard. He has given away much of his fortune to organisations that support democracy.

Beck is a fervent supporter of the Tea Party groups that have opposed almost all of Obama’s initiatives, and has accused the president of being “a racist,” saying Obama has “a deep-seated hatred for white people”.

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