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Has anti-war movement
Posted By Sherrie Gossett On 11/04/2002 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
While publicly promoting non-violent protest and humanitarian causes, some key leaders and prominent groups that organized and participated in the recent anti-war demonstrations at the U.S. Capitol and San Francisco are staunch supporters of terrorist groups and dictatorial regimes worldwide.
In fact, critics now charge that the “new” anti-war movement is being “hijacked” by this dominant network whose organizational power is increasing and whose political agenda is anathema to most Americans.
The Saturday, Oct. 26 rally, which focused on opposition to a U.S.-led war against Iraq and drew 100,000 protesters, featured speeches by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton, actress-activist Susan Sarandon, singer-songwriter Patti Smith, as well as a host of lesser-known figures. The protests also served as a platform for Democratic Party campaigning, as top politicos hobnobbed with the elite of the anti-war movement.
The large turnout signals an invigoration of the “new” anti-war movement, which has been increasingly dominated by the international A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition, an organizational front group formed by the International Action Center. Closely allied with IAC is the World Workers Party, a quasi-Stalinist organization that supports authoritarian regimes and communist dictatorships. The World Workers Party created the IAC in 1992, and put Ramsey Clark, now kingpin of the anti-war movement, at the head of it.
Also at the forefront in the weekend demonstration and current anti-war protests was the “Not In Our Name” campaign. NOIN spokesman Clark Kissinger represents that movement to the public and is an integral part of Refuse and Resist, an organization with close ties to the Revolutionary Communist Party USA, of which Kissinger is a member and writer for its newspaper.
The controversial ties of IAC remain almost completely unreported by the mainstream media, but increasingly are being exposed by a handful of enterprising journalists, including Michelle Goldberg of Salon.com, Ian Williams, United Nations correspondent for The Nation; Michael Tremoglie, Edward Immler and David Horowitz of FrontPage Magazine and Christopher Hitchens, a 20-year veteran of The Nation magazine, now writing independently.
“Pathetic” is how Raimondo described the protest, complaining that those in charge of the demonstration “weren’t about to brook any criticism of either their ideology or their methods: this was the only show in town, and they weren’t about to give it up.”
Now, a small but growing number at both ends of the political spectrum, as well as libertarian activists and writers, are accusing the organization’s elite of being sellouts to foreign dictators while giving lip service to humanitarian concerns. Some warn that this “patina of morality” obfuscates a surreptitious political agenda: the armed overthrow of the American republic.
Leading critics from both left and right now charge the leaders with supporting the very things against which they claim to be protesting.
“The International Action Center and the Revolutionary Communist Party [USA] aren’t just extremists in the service of a good cause,” says Michelle Goldberg, a writer with Salon.com. “They are cheerleaders for some of the most sinister regimes and insurgencies on the planet.”
“Once people realize this,” Goldberg adds, “it could easily discredit any nascent anti-war movement, unless a more rational group comes to the forefront.”
Sock puppet for Saddam?
The founder of the IAC and director for A.N.S.W.E.R. is Ramsey Clark, who is introduced at IAC rallies as the former attorney general under the Lyndon Johnson administration. No mention is made of the fact that Clark, in his current occupation, has been retained by the State of Iraq to serve as legal counsel for the regime.
Not surprisingly, criticism of Saddam Hussein is not aired at IAC/A.N.S.W.E.R.-controlled protest events. No mention is made of Saddam’s gassing of the Kurds, invasion of Kuwait, murder of an estimated 1 million of his own people, environmental terrorism, imprisonment, torture or execution of political prisoners.
The suffering of the Iraqi people is blamed solely on the United States, just as the suffering of Palestinians is blamed solely on Israel.
IAC/A.N.S.W.E.R leaders have aligned themselves exclusively with pro-Arafat groups. The only Jewish people truly embraced as “brothers and sisters” are those who equally denounce Israel or deny Israel’s right to exist. A.N.S.W.E.R’s pro-Palestinian march in April was regarded by many, in fact, little more than a thinly disguised public display of anti-Semitism masquerading as a “pro-Palestinian” march. Frequent mention was made at the march of a “supposed holocaust,” and of a “genocide” in Jenin, despite the fact that New York Times reporters allowed into the area had already discredited such reports as erroneous.
The “genocide” claims dominated the rally, even though fatality estimates had already been downgraded from 500 down to 56-90, most of which, according to media reports, were said to be terrorists.
Clark represented PLO leaders in a suit brought by the family of Leon Klinghoffer, the elderly tourist who was shot and thrown overboard from the hijacked Achille Lauro cruise-ship by renegade Palestinian terrorists in 1986.
And while accusing the Bush administration and Israel of Nazi-like war crimes, Clark fails to mention his former client Karl Linnas, an ex-Nazi concentration camp guard in Estonia, where he had overseen the murder of some 12,000 resistance fighters and Jews. Linnas was at that time being deported from the U.S. to the U.S.S.R. to face war-crimes charges. Clark lost the case, but went to bat for his client in the public arena. According to media reports, Clark said that he questioned the need to prosecute Nazis “forty years after some god-awful crime they’re alleged to have committed.”
While consistently denouncing the American and Israeli “terrorist states,” IAC leadership, headed by Clark, have defended dictator Slobodan Milosevic in the International Criminal Court. They also leapt to the aid of genocidal Hutu militias as the U.N. wrote up war-crime charges against their leaders for ordering the slaughter of half a million Tutsi civilians in 1994.
Clark client, Rwanda genocide indictee Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, was accused of telling Tutsis to hide in his church and then summoning Hutus to massacre them. The genocidal leader later led killing squads in the “hell on earth” that Rwanda quickly became.
Elsewhere in the media:
Serbia also has retained Clark as counsel. Accordingly, no outrage over Serbian ethnic cleansing or rapes will ever be heard at an IAC/A.N.S.W.E.R. rally. Nor will mention be made of the siege of Sarajevo, the killings at Srebrenica or the million homeless refugees. Clark and the IAC make no mention of the notorious tortures held at the Serbian police station on Cacak Street in central Pristina.
The scene was discovered by British paratroopers and the media, who described “a bed, with leather straps, its ratty yellow mattress plunged through with bayonet and bullet holes, and clothes of its victims piled in the corner.” Reporter Laura Rozen described it as a “house of torture” still reeking of “rotting human flesh” where Kosovo Albanians, many of them teen-agers and children, were brutally raped, beaten and killed. Stashed on the scene were all manner of torture instruments, as well as violent pornography.
Nevertheless, at the Oct. 26 rally, IAC staff introduced Clark to an adulating crowd as a “man of extraordinary principles and conscience.”
‘The war criminal’s best friend
Overall, the IAC-WWP-A.N.S.W.E.R. triaxis, firmly at the helm of the anti-war movement, unequivocally supports Iraq, while instructing protesters that the U.S. is the foremost terrorist threat to the world. In addition they claim that Osama bin Laden was the victim of an imperialist American plot. Brian Becker, member of the secretariat of the World Workers Party, national co-director for the IAC and a member of the national A.N.S.W.E.R. steering committee, is admired by the North Korean dictatorship for his loyalty to their state as well. At a press conference in Pyongyang, Becker denounced the U.S. for “mercilessly killing innocent people.”
In May of 2001, FBI Director Louis Freeh labeled the World Workers Party a potential threat to U.S. national security – a status certain to be explained by the WWP/IAC (as is most criticism) as a conspiratorial smear by warmongers.
WorldNetDaily asked Larry Holmes, co-director of IAC and spokesperson for A.N.S.W.E.R., to comment on Clark’s retention as counsel for the state of Iraq. Holmes replied, “He’s just a spokesman.” When WND indicated that Clark was in fact the founder of IAC as well as the director of the international A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition, Holmes deferred comments to Clark, who was unavailable for an interview.
Asked to comment on what detractors call the “Pro-Saddam” slant of the IAC and its failure to criticize Iraq or Saddam Hussein, Holmes responded: “We live in America. We have to take some responsibility for what the government is trying to do in our name. I think it’s wise for us to stay focused. It’s U.S. foreign policy that we must be responsible for.”
He added, “There’s an effort to vilify Iraq and its government and not on an honest basis … but as a very conscious effort to demonize a government for the purpose of making it easier to move forward with war.” Asked whether he would support war on Iraq if it attacked first, Holmes evaded the question, indicating it would be the U.S.’ fault for planning a pre-emptive strike.
Pressed to answer the same question in a scenario where Iraq attacked after the U.S. gives up plans for a pre-emptive strike, Holmes still declined to answer: “That’s just a hypothetical,” he said. “I don’t think that Iraq poses a threat to this country – it’s a transparent search of pretexts for war. No one talks about oil, and the geopolitical reasons for invading the country. Media is not saying that this is really the reason they’re going to war. Government and corporations want to occupy Iraq for oil.”
Holmes added that the idea of Iraq attacking the U.S. was as ridiculous as Jamaica or Haiti attacking.
‘Peace Congress’ to undo U.S. Congress?
The next move for the IAC is to convene a “Peace Congress” the weekend of Jan. 18 and 19, coinciding with Martin Luther King’s birthday.
“Congress rushed and rubber-stamped the war issue,” Holmes complained. “It’s time to expose the very serious fact that Congress was not listening to the people.” There will be delegations from every state, as well as from labor unions. “They will pass resolutions concerning how the budget should be used – for jobs and education,” Holmes explained. In addition, there may be marches on Monday, Jan. 20 as well.
WND asked Homes to explain the logic behind saying the American people were “not heard,” since the U.S. has a representative form of government and it was elected officials that voted.
“It failed,” Homes said. “That’s the problem. At a time when anti-war sentiment was going through the charts, late September for example, when Congress had calls and e-mails 40-1 against the war – they very quickly and cowardly and sheepishly voted so the issue would go away.”
‘The really beautiful thing’
Especially prominent at the Oct. 26 rally was the “Not In Our Name” campaign, which ran a large ad in the New York Times and whose slogan was central to IAC speakers. At least one member of the media labeled the campaign a “really beautiful thing.”
Represented by Clark Kissinger, the ad campaign was lauded by Hartford Courant writer Frank Rizzo, who quoted the activist as saying: “People have been longing for this. It’s a statement that basically repudiates the whole direction of things. It’s about American empire-building.”
FrontPage Magazine writer Michael Tremoglie laments Rizzo’s failure, however, to inform readers of the details behind Kissinger or his organization: “The same journalists who will be more than happy to tell their readers that a group is related to, or receives funds from, say the NRA or the Christian Coalition or the dreaded Scaife Foundation, will never mention the relationship of a liberal group with communist organizations – even if such organizations are labeled terrorist by the FBI,” says Tremoglie.
Kissinger’s Refuse and Resist runs information releases from the Revolutionary Communist Party USA on its site. The following are some of the goals and ideologies of the party as expressed in the party’s newspaper, “Revolutionary Worker,” for which Kissinger writes. They give an indication of what leader Kissinger and associates plan for the U.S.
Central to this plan is a stated effort to convince Americans that their government is illegitimate and therefore can and should be overthrown and its institutions seized. At the Oct. 26 rally, Clark referred to President Bush’s foreign policy as “criminal offenses, they are high crimes, they are indictable offenses, and they are impeachable offenses.”
Repeated throughout the rally was the notion that the American government as a whole had lost its legitimacy, and leaders called on protesters “to seize all the major institutions,” “to take democracy back” and “occupy the Capitol,” a clarion call with obviously widely different meanings for different groups:
In a Workingforchange.com article, writer Geov Parrish recalls Kissinger, identified as a “core member” of the RCP: “I still have vivid memories of Kissinger explaining calmly to me why when the RCP took over it would be necessary to shoot everyone who didn’t agree with them.”
Despite the murder/mayhem tactical line of the RCP, Kissinger ironically called President George W. Bush a “blood-stained executioner” and the Republican National Convention the “Executioners Ball.”
Kissinger also publicly vilifies Homeland Security head Tom Ridge as “really scary” because Ridge supports the death penalty for murderers.
WND asked Larry Holmes, co-director of IAC and spokesperson for A.N.S.W.E.R., whether he foresees an armed uprising, should January’s “Peace Congress” and all other efforts fail to overturn the U.S. Congress’ vote.
“That’s nothing that we can get involved in,” said Holmes. “We can have dramatic and creative protests, though.”
When asked to comment on the RCP’s support for armed uprising, Holmes said, “I don’t know that that’s what they’re planning.” When told that taking up arms against the U.S. government was indeed a stated key part of RCP’s plan, and asked whether he and the IAC support that plan, Holmes responded, “That sounds just like rhetoric,” and added: “We have to be very careful now, not to be talking about these things – with the Patriot Act and all, you know, Attorney General John Ashcroft is just looking for excuses to pick people up, detain them, and throw them into prison for no reason at all. We don’t want to give the FBI or feds a pretext to move against them [the RCP].”
WorldNetDaily attempted to contact Revolutionary Communist Party national spokesman Carl Dix, but his two phone numbers had been disconnected. No one was answering phones at the RCP Publications PR office and a message left was not returned.
9-11: ‘Nothing personal’
IAC associate Lynne Stewart, labeled by detractors as “the terrorist lawyer,” is also an influential presence at IAC events. A civil-rights attorney, Stewart was recruited by Clark to defend the “blind Sheik” Omar Abdel Kahman, later convicted as being the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings and the planner behind the proposed bombings of New York City landmarks, including the Lincoln and Holland tunnels.
In April of this year, Stewart was handcuffed outside her Brooklyn apartment and indicted on two charges of lying to the government and two charges of aiding a terrorist organization. The charges stemmed from recorded conversations between Stewart and her client. Attorney General Ashcroft charged that Stewart knowingly participated in aiding the sheik in communicating with an Egyptian terrorist organization.
Stewart denied the charges, portraying herself as the victim of a frightening police state, run by a power-mad administration. But the activist’s reputation was badly damaged when the supposedly sealed affidavit for a search warrant was leaked to Court TV and somehow wound up posted on The Smoking Gun website.
Included were transcripts of the wiretaps that revealed Stewart knowingly allowed the sheik, in violation of federal law, to dictate information to be passed to terrorists. That information passed to an Egyptian terrorist organization included an order to end a cease-fire and the message to “to fight the Jews and kill them wherever they are.”
Later, after a meeting of Stewart supporters was canceled, she would voice concern to New York Times writer George Packer, over “Jewish and Zionist supporters” of the radical associations she is involved with. Perhaps they were driving her supporters away, she worried.
In addition, Stewart joked on tape that she should get an acting award for fooling prison guards into thinking she was engaged in a legal lawyer-client conversation.
At the recent Washington, D.C., rally, Stewart gleefully joined protesters in a chant of “Ashcroft sucks! Ashcroft sucks!” She again portrayed the attorney general as a prominent threat to America, denouncing his Patriot Act as a profound and unforgivable violation of civil rights.
A few protesters called for Ashcroft’s death and the hanging of Bush administration officials.
Ironically, according one writer, “The social and cultural rights claimed by [Ramsey Clark's] Iraqi hosts include the right to hang opponents in public.”
In addition to speaking at IAC-led protests advocating “non-violent” resistance, Stewart had this to say in a 1995 New York Times interview: “I don’t believe in anarchist violence, but in directed violence. That would be violence directed at the institutions who perpetrate capitalism, racism and sexism, and the people who are the appointed guardians of those institutions.”
In a recent New York Times article, author George Packer wrote about Stewart’s attitude toward 9-11: “When the towers fell, she felt that her city had been violated and her own life disrupted. But this warm-hearted woman took the slaughter of innocents with a certain cold-bloodedness. The Pentagon was a ‘better target’; the people in the towers ‘never knew what hit them. … They took it personally. And actually, it wasn’t a personal thing.’”
Packer continued, “As for civilian deaths in general: [Stewart said] ‘I’m pretty inured to the notion that in a war or in an armed struggle, people die. They’re in the wrong place. … So I have a lot of trouble figuring out why that is wrong, especially when people are placed in a position of having no other way.’ Stewart doubts the government’s version of Osama bin Laden, nor does she find him too ‘repugnant’ to represent.’”
Writer and novelist Michael Tremoglie comments, “Obviously, Stewart’s worldview meshes seamlessly with that of Saddam Hussein, Yasser Arafat, the blind Sheik and Osama bin Laden. And with that of … Brain Becker, Ramsey Clark and the World Workers Party.”
He adds, “There are many legitimate defense attorneys who provide legal defenses for clients with whom they do not themselves sympathize. Lynne Stewart, Ramsey Clark are not among them.”
If convicted, Stewart faces up to 40 years in prison.
A ‘hijacked’ movement?
Michelle Goldberg of Salon.com writes of the “hijacking” of the “new” anti-war movement, and contends that the political views of the anti-war protest leaders are “anathema” to most Americans.
Libertarian Justin Raimondo of antiwar.com agrees, but still feels there’s hope for the movement: “The people who came to these demonstrations – 100,000 in Washington – don’t share the politics of the organizers. Indeed, there aren’t many people on earth – save in North Korea – who share the politics of the organizers. I won’t go into a long tirade about those politics – the ‘International A.N.S.W.E.R.’ ‘coalition’ is, in reality, a front for a group of particularly kooky leftists, the Workers World Party.”
“Suffice to say that I’m not alone in my criticisms,” says the activist, “and that dissatisfaction with having admirers of Kim IL-Sung representing the antiwar movement has bubbled up from the rank-and-file.”
Indeed, some have expressed deep concern that they not be “painted with the same brush.”
“Here, at this solemn moment, as the nation teeters on the brink of a disastrous war,” Raimondo adds, “and rational arguments are called for, what do we get? ‘Rah rah, sis-boom bah! Hooray for us, and [expletive deleted] the rest of the country.’”
“The only relief from tirades against capitalism came when a few Democratic party politicians trooped to the microphone, telling us how we need “regime change in Washington” – so as to give the Other War Party a chance to prove its warmongering bona fides,” he said.
“The movement has been hijacked by a bunch of neo-Stalinists,” complains Raimondo, “who, oddly enough, utilize their hopped-up ‘radical’ rhetoric in the service of the most conventional Democratic Party politics imaginable.”
“It was a revealing moment, and a truly disgusting sight,” he said.
‘Extremist Islamic backings’
“The Pull,” a “hacktivist” with the infamous “Cult of the Dead Cow” hacking group, told WND: “I find that [they] generally are extremely biased and they operate as a cult. While there are communist backings behind them, there are also extremist Islamic backings … and many of their ‘liberal’ ideas were first found amongst Neo-Nazi cults.”
The Cult of the Dead Cow, former bad-boy hackers, now use their skills to work through underground channels to help members of oppressed populations gain access to state-forbidden Internet information – most notably Western news sites, human-rights websites, and “gay” and lesbian organizations.
To this end they pass hacking tools to members of Communist and radical Islamic countries – tools designed to enable citizens to break through firewalls, in order to gain freer access to such information. In addition, they are outspoken opponents of communist dictatorships and authoritarian regimes. They also have the distinction of being banned by the United Arab Emirates.
Commenting on the controversial elements of the anti-war leadership, “The Pull” added, “Two of their [mentors] … have a history of supporting ruthless dictators and slaughters,” referring to Noam Chomsky and Edward Said. “Chomsky has covered up Sudan and the slaughters behind the Soviet Union. His works are full of extremely biased errors,” he said.
“If these fellows [key leaders] are shown to be extremist communists and paid by Iraq, many of them will have a trained response” said “The Pull,” such as that one should be interested in a person’s points, not his personal life.
“They are obviously supporting a ruthless dictatorship against the U.S. in their fight,” he said. “It is not with wonder that Iraqi-Americans turned out to counter-protest these groups.”
“The Pull” was referring to a tiny counter-demonstration of about 200 people, held on a capitol street corner, organized by “Freepers” sporting “Tyranny Response Team” T-shirts. “Freeper” speakers challenged current leadership of the anti-war movement, accusing them of being sycophants in the service of brutal dictators. Among the “Freeper” speakers was former Clinton administration official Notra Trulock.
Trulock is former counter-intelligence chief for the Department of Energy, and a well-known whistleblower on national security counter-intelligence failures. He shot to fame as the target of FBI harassment meant to intimidate and silence his revelations. (“Freepers” are supporters of the Free Republic Network).
Their Iraqi guests, who addressed the crowd in both English and Arabic, spoke of atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein and pleaded for Americans to intervene militarily. For some, it was personal. Several of the Iraqi-American community members present said they had lost family members to Saddam Hussein’s regime through execution or imprisonment.
Days after the event, Trulock told WorldNetDaily, “The mainstream media’s coverage of last Saturday’s ‘anti-war protest’ was a disgrace. Attorney General John Ashcroft ought to be looking hard at the degree to which the hard-left, ‘hate America’ crowd was driving this protest and how it was funded.” Trulock currently is affiliated with Accuracy in Media, a journalism watchdog group.
‘Morally tainted leadership’
Todd Gitlin, author of “The Sixties: Years of Hope and Days of Rage,” also agrees with Goldberg’s assessment.
Currently a Columbia University professor, the former president of Students for a Democratic Society fears the hypocrisy will result in a “gigantic ruination of the anti-war movement.” Gitlin prefers peaceful and informative debates and “teach-ins” where all are allowed (and expected) to present honest, rational arguments for their views.
“They should be holding debates,” contends Gitlin, “not rallies of the faithful.”
“Clark and others of his mindset are not only morally tainted,” adds the professor, “they’re doomed. And the anti-war movement is doomed if they’re allowed to lead it.”
“This will not play in Peoria,” warns Gitlin, “It does not deserve to play in Washington.”
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