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The only man

George Soros, a Hungarian-born American billionaire who made his fortune through international finance and currency speculation has committed millions of dollars to defeating George Bush in the 2004 elections.

George Soros was born in Hungary to Jewish parents in 1930. He moved to the United States in 1956 after graduating from the London School of Economics and later became a naturalized US citizen. In America he became an investment banker and currency speculator. His most famous financial exploit was a bet against the British pound in 1992. Soros made an estimated 1 billion dollars when his bets proved correct and England was forced to float its currency. He is known as "the man who broke the Bank of England" for that episode. His currency speculation continues to this day - he is currently rumored to be betting heavily against the US dollar.

Soros has used the billions he has made to support democracy and, as he calls it, "open society". He gave millions to Poland's Solidarity movement in the 1970s and 80s, supported dissidents in the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia and opposition movements in Hungary and Yugoslavia. Today he is suspected of having a hand in the recent coup in Georgia. Many of the opposition movements there were funded by him. Soros founded an organization named the Open Society Institute to pursue his poltical aims. The institute is active in over 50 countries and, according to its website, tries to enact change "by shaping government policy and supporting education, media, public health, and human and women's rights, as well as social, legal, and economic reform". Soros has given away billions of dollars through his institute. He spent hundreds of millions to finance a university in Prague, gave millions to Russian scientists, provided funds for newspapers and other media in dozens of countries and supported dissident movements in countries with authoritarian governments. He has been described as "the only man in the United States who has his own foreign policy and can implement it."

Current targets of Soros include the heads of state of Zimbabwe, Libya, Burma, Turkmenistan, and the United States of America. George Soros has stated that defeating George Bush in the 2004 elections is "a matter of life and death". He has already given millions to organizations in the US working towards that goal. He has given $10 million to the liberal organization America Coming Together (ACT), $3 million to a think tank run by a former Clinton administration chief of staff, and $2.5 million to moveon.org, a lobbying group first founded to defend Clinton from Republican attacks during the Clinton presidency. Political organizations such as ACT are "527 organizations" known for the section of the tax code under which they were created. They can accept unlimited donations from contributors as long as they do not coordinate their activities with political parties or presidential candidates.

There has been a firestorm of protest among the right wing in America over Soros' donations. Although Soros is hardly the first wealthy person to use his money for political purposes ( Rupert Murdoch, Richard Mellon Scaife and Howard Ahmanson have been doing it for years ) Soros has been called "a lowly, anti-American and anti-Semitic swine", a charge echoed by many Israeli publications such as the Jerusalem Post, who say he should be using his philanthropy to benefit Jews. The charge of anti-Semitism is disputed by others on the right. For example, an essay entitled "Satan Lives in George Soros" briefly posted on the Republican GOPUSA website called him a "Hungarian-born descendant of Shylock", and stated he was "the embodiment of the Merchant from Venice".

The objections Soros has to US foreign policy are laid out in an article entitled The Bubble of American Supremacy. The millions of dollars Soros has already donated to partisan political organizations in the US may be just the beginning of an attempt to change that policy. Soros, who has called defeating Bush "the central focus of my life" and has said that "When I hear Bush say, `You're either with us or against us,' it reminds me of the Germans", has stated that he would be willing to commit his entire 7 billion dollar fortune to the task if it was guaranteed to achieve his desired result.