I choked on this phrase in Pravda’s story about some latest dust-up with one of our frenemies in the Persian gulf. So the United Arab Emirates shut down an, ahem, “American-financed organization that promotes Democracy”. This kind of US-owned pro-democracy advocacy organization (lol) — which is fairly common, I take it — this breed of non-profit that names itself the “National Democratic Institute” or “International Republican Institute and Freedom House” or some other Orwellian variation, is just a spook front for the US government … right? I can’t imagine what other purpose it might serve.