Jen is off at Drill this weekend, so I've got some time to think and write. The previous entry was composed before I had my coffee. Took about an hour to write and rewrite and link and edit.
The rest of today's anti-anti-war screed is going to be about the folks that are out there demonstrating.
It is a popular myth that the "majority" of the "anti-war" crowd is composed of reasonable Americans who believe that the Iraq War was a mistake, and that these folks are the ones out there demonstrating against the war.
Let me dismantle this in detail.
First, stop calling these irresponsible bastards the "anti-war" crowd. I'm anti-war. Every rational human being is anti-war. I'm also anti-slavery. I'm a bit stronger on the anti-slavery than I am on the anti-war front. And sometimes, you have to choose between these two. I made my choice a long time ago.
Call these jackasses what they are: Pro-Defeat. Anti-Victory. Pro-Jihadist. Anti-Western. Enemies of Freedom.
Or simply, The Enemy.
Second, while the reasonable, patriotic, misinformed honest citizen may be a majority of those Americans opposed to continuing the war in Iraq to the point of victory, it is not, by a long shot, a majority of those who are marching, demonstrating, and holding rallies against the war. It is not the majority of those actively pressuring politicians to betray Soldiers in the field by cutting funding for ammunition and spare parts.
They are the Useful Idiots
about whom Lenin is alleged to have written,The so-called cultural element of Western Europe and America are incapable of comprehending the present state of affairs and the actual balance of forces; these elements must be regarded as deaf-mutes and treated accordingly....
A revolution never develops along a direct line, by continuous expansion, but forms a chain of outbursts and withdrawals, attacks and lulls, during which the revolutionary forces gain strength in preparation for their final victory...
Who is really out there, forming the driving element (dare I say, 'Vanguard') of this Revolution?
Instapundit tells us in a four-part series who HE saw in DC on the 17th of March
The short version is that there was a main march run by ANSWER, with participation from the Troops Out Now Coalition, World Can't Wait, the International Socialist Organization, the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, and CODEPINK. Keeping notes? There will be a test. I'll discuss the other organizations later, after briefly mentioning that CODEPINK is a front organization for Global Exchange.
There was also a "Black Bloc" contingent formed of radical anarchists (note for Mr. Language Usage Man: Anarchists don't actually believe in freedom. It is a radical branch of communist ideology. Most of them are actually anarcho-syndicalists) and the re-established Students for a Democratic Society. More on THEM later. :) Because, as you will see, the SDS and ANSWER have common roots in a big incestuous Communistic circle jerk.
Oh, yeah. And there were the 9/11 conspiracy theorists, but most of them are mentally ill so I won't address them here. We can also discard the casual racists which historically have always attached to Communists and use Communist ideology as a platform to expound their anti-Semitic nonsense. Again, diseased minds need no elaboration, other than to note that ANSWER did not have any objection to having them present at their rally.
So. . . who is ANSWER
? Or more correctly, what is ANSWER
? You could root around Wikipedia, which gives the basics. You can try to dig through the morass of propaganda on their website. But wait, I've done it already.
ANSWER is a front organization
(technical term here, folks! Not a slur) originally founded by the Worker's World Party.
For those of you scratching your heads, yes this is the same Worker's World Party. If you wish to wade through a jargon-heavy discussion of the origins, here it is
. For those of you with less patience (or those without a desire for an education in the politics of Communist parties of the 1950s) the WWP was founded as a radical Trotskyite splinter which embraced the supression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956
arguing that the uprising was a fascist counter-revolution. They have remained true to their roots in supporting the Tienanmen Square Massacre
Fun people. Note the next-to-last line, where the discussion of the origins of the WWP mentions that the WWP participates in mass coalitions as the most militant wing. Fun people, aren't they Gospodin?
This is the same WWP which created the front youth organization Youth Against War and Fascism during the Vietnam War.
An April 8, 1972, internal letter "To All Branches" of the party urged participation in "antiwar" demonstrations in support of a Viet Cong offensive in South Vietnam. The letter's author, John Catalinotto, remains in the party as managing editor of its weekly Workers Worm "newspaper," and occasionally represents the IAC. Remember Mr. Catalinotto and the IAC, they will show up again.
They were also one of the most dangerous organizations, from the perspective of the preservation of the Republic due to one man, Andy Stapp, the founder of the American Serviceman's Union
. Hard to find much on the internet about this bastard, but that's the best overview I could dig up.
In the 1970s, said stupid bastard went to North Korea, and met with the Lunatic In Chief of that asylum, and was quoted as saying,
"As instructed by Marshal Kim Il-sung, the outstanding leader of the international and working-class movements, the No. 1 target of all the revolutionary people in the world is U.S. imperialism. In order to avenge the many oppressed people who have died a bloody death, and in order to build a new society in America in which everyone enjoys happiness, as in Korea, I recognize the great juche idea of Marshal Kim Il-sung as the Marxism-Leninism of the present time."
Stapp committed himself and his organization to armed violence and to promoting mutiny within the U.S. military. According to the transcript of his speech broadcast over Radio Pyongyang, Stapp stated, "The American Servicemen's Union will study as documents, that must be read, the works of genius of Marshal Kim Il-sung. ... With the juche idea as the guiding compass of struggle, we will consolidate the branches of the American Servicemen's Union in order to rally more soldiers around the organization. In this way the American GIs will fight against their real enemies, against the policy of aggression and war enforced on them by the U.S. ruling circles and the fascist military officers."
He added that his goal was "to build a powerful American Servicemen's Union that will turn the guns against their fascist officers.... If the American Servicemen's Union cuts the windpipe of U.S. imperialism inside the army while at the same time it is mutilated in all parts of the world, U.S. imperialism will surely perish forever."
At this point, Mr. Stapp was married to Diedre Griswold Stapp, who was the editor of the Worker's World
. Interesting. . .
Mrs. Stapp, or Comrade Griswold-Stapp, or however she prefers to be adressed, made a statement in April of 2002 denouncing President George W. Bush's "notorious antiterrorism war" and demanding that "the Korean peninsula be reunified without fail under the wise leadership of the respected leader Kim Jong-il following the banner of the Three Charters for the national reunification set forth by the great President Kim Il-sung." Very interesting. . .
What is the agenda now? Let's let the stupid bastards answer this one:
As the saying goes, "Mayors, governors, presidents, congresses, forms of government come and go, but the army stays." That's where the real power lies. Understanding who is in the army and what their true interests are is vital to those who are in the movement for progressive or revolutionary social change.
Sooner or later getting this right is crucial to your chances of success. Simply put, you win over the troops to the side of the movement and your chances of winning go up 10,000 percent. But if you are going to win them you have to believe they are winnable.
Bam, there you have it. The anti-war movement is, in essence, one prong of a campaign intended to damage the Army to the point where it is susceptible to Communist agitation with an eye towards eventual revolution.
Is that realistic? No. Not even privates are that stupid nowdays. Back when we were drafting drooling slackjaws that could barely tie their shoes, maybe. Back when we couldn't kick out disaffected perpetual adolescents? Quite possibly. We're too professional for this sort of nonsense to affect more than a tiny percentage of the worst Soldiers. But I'm damned offended that anyone would even consider it or try it.
Anyway, WWP has a looooong history of front organizations. So, when Gavrielle Gemma recruited Ramsey Clark for the WWP, the logical thing to do was to set up a front organization with Mr. Clark's focus on "US Imperialism" in mind. That front organization was the International Action Center
. Take a moment to browse around and notice some of the links.
There's an online petition
in support of the DPR of Korea--which is unsurprising given the WWP's alignment with the Kim regime noted above. There are statements of support
for Marxist guerillas in the Philippines.
There's a bit about the Cuban Five
, who were convicted of espionage and conspiracy to commit murder. See, they engaged in espionage
against both the United States and the anti-Castro organizations in Florida which resulted in at least four deaths of Brothers To The Rescue pilots.
There's more, but you get the point. Same-same.
Wait, John, how do we know IAC is a front for WWP?Mr. Brian Becker
Interesting, isn't he? His relationship to Mr. Clark and, incidentally Lynne Stewart, makes for good reading
. Ya'll remember Ms. Stewart? That would be the psycho loon who said, "I don't believe in anarchistic violence, but in directed violence. That would be violence directed at the institutions which perpetuate capitalism, racism, and sexism, and at the people who are the appointed guardians of those institutions, and accompanied by popular support." In furtherance of this belief, she defended Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, which is a lawyer's job. She went way beyond her job by passing messages for the blind terrorist to his followers in the US and abroad, and for this she was arrested, tried, and convicted.
Lovely people, these.
But we're just getting started!
Shortly after 9/11, ANSWER is founded by the IAC and the WWP, jointly. How can you jointly found an organization with yourself (since, as we have seen, IAC is WWP)? I don't know. I do know that within 2 weeks ANSWER could throw a rally against the impending invasion of Afghanistan. Note this well, boys and girls. If you are fellow-travelling with ANSWER, please do not tell me you support the war in Afghanistan. You don't. You are fellow-travelling with card-carrying Communists who agitated against the invasion of Afghanistan.
Since then, ANSWER has been the primary organizer of anti-war protests, and also has staked out a position on immigration, namely immediate amnesty without conditions. The question of funding has been raised, but never adequately answered
. I point to the organization's support of Cuba and North Korea as a potential answer to this question.
There has been a split, however, in the ranks. In 2004, apparently
in response to a tactical question of whether to support Kerry or run a seperate presidential campaign, the San Francisco portion of the WWP split from the New York faction. The SF crowd is now calling themselves the Party for Socialism and Liberation
. Bounce on down to the bottom of the page and we meet our good buddy, Brian Becker AGAIN. Isn't that cute? PSL kept the ANSWER directorship.
The WWP founded their own anti-war organization, the Troops Out Now Coalition.
As I mentioned above, TONC participated in the 17 March demonstration. Let's see what their own website says
Some of the key activists at the summit included Comrade Shahid, Pakistan U.S.A. Freedom Forum; Charlotte Kates, New Jersey Solidarity/Activists for the Liberation of Palestine; Ardeshir Ommani, American-Iranian Friendship Committee; members of FIST-Fight Imperialism, Stand Together-student and youth group; Pam Africa, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; former Pennsylvania death-row inmate Harold Wilson; Mexican activist Brian Barraza; and a delegation of Latino immigrant workers representing the Freeport, Long Island Day Laborers. Elena Everett from Raleigh FIST spoke about the inspiring two-day wildcat strike carried out by a majority of Latin@ workers at the Smithfield, N.C., hog processing plant on Nov. 17 and 18.
Isn't that a lovely crowd. FIST, Mumia abu-Jamal, a death-row inmate, and a fellow calling himself, "Comrade Martyr".
In a preliminary report on the Nov. 18 meeting, a TONC statement read, "Participants in the meeting felt very strongly that notwithstanding important political differences within the broader anti-war movement, including past difficulties in working together, that it was most critical at this time when the mass struggle in the streets against the war needs to be revived, that all coalitions reject fragmentation, unnecessary divisiveness and competition around protest dates and national protest, and instead pull together so that the movement in the U.S. can do what the world is waiting for it to do and shut down the war machine."
What kind of a movement is being built? Connections must be made between Iraq , Palestine, Lebanon , Syria , Sudan , and North Korea . We have to look at the struggle globally; we can't allow the imperialists to criminalize and demonize the liberation movements.
Please help us educate the immigrant communities about [Hugo] Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution because we have not been allowed in that door in spite a lot of the work you all have done. Chávez is someone that we need not only in the U.S. but all over the world.
Right, you all get the point. Same tired Communist rhetoric, different color background on the webpage. Moving along!
I'm not going into the depths that I plunged into in regards to ANSWER/WWP. I'm just skimming the rest of the anti-war groups.
There's World Can't Wait
. Skipping around their website, I see a video clip of Ramsey Clark
. . . Scroll down a bit, it's there. Not much ideological difference if they will put his ugly mug on their website.
"If Bush is not removed from office and his program repudiated, not only will the death and destruction in the Middle East continue for two more years, but everything Bush has done – torture, evisceration of habeas corpus, secret spying, a doctrine of pre-emptive war, moves toward theocracy – will be legitimated and continue. "
But who is World Can't Wait? Oh, it's the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.
Or at least, Sunsara Taylor seems to be both a spokesperson for the WCW
and a writer for the RCP, USA paper
The RCPUSA is a splinter organization that formed out of the Revolutionary Youth Movement which was a faction of SDS when that organization fell apart in 1969.
Wheee. . .
The International Socialist Organization
states their agenda rather plainly on their website.
A world free of exploitation--socialism--is not only possible but worth fighting for. The ISO stands in the tradition of revolutionary socialists Karl Marx, V.I. Lenin and Leon Trotsky in the belief that workers themselves--the vast majority of the population--are the only force that can lead the fight to win a socialist society. Socialism can't be brought about from above, but has to be won by workers themselves.
I have to give them props. No front organizations or bullshit. They have a link on their main page to "what we stand for" and this is five paragraphs down. They don't pretend to care about democracy or anything else.
The Revolutionary Internationalists are an international front organization which contains the Sendero Luminoso of Peru. 'Nuff said there.
For Code Pink I will just link to their parent organization, Global Exchange
. To understand Global Exchange you have to speak a whole separate language
For instance, where you or I see parents and legal guardians, Global Exchange sees:Adultism Oppression of Young People (from the day they are born), based on their age, by care givers (who are used as the oppression agents) and by the society and its institutions. Because of the long history of adultism and its pervasive nature in our societies, essentially all people suffer from this oppression, and the resulting internalized oppression and distress patterns are severe. The oppression is expressed, for example, by treating the young person as weak, helpless and less intelligent. For many, there is verbal or physical abuse and sexual abuse. Oppression of young people conditions them to accept all other oppressions that exist in the society.
Here's the Program Summary, and this gives more info.
I find it fascinating that besides Iraq and the Middle East, their other concerns focus on the Mexican government's supression of the Zapatistas and support for the Castro regime. Noticing a theme? I am.
Well, John, what about the Anarchists and SDS of the Black Bloc? Surely, they can't be all horrible.
Well, I'll say this. They don't much like ANSWER. As Indepundit noticed, while they were at the protest, they didn't march with ANSWER and horsed around a lot, including a juvenile stunt on a bridge which broke up shortly after the cops told them to disperse. Even the Washington Post can't take them seriously.
"I feel when you demonstrate on the government's terms, you're not really protesting, you're part of the allowed dissent," says Green Bandanna, who gives his name as Jasper, 19, a student at George Mason University. ("Can you spell that with a smal 'j'?" he asks. Why? "It's my attempt to be a non-dominant white male.") "We don't want to be part of the allowed dissent."
"Pick up your trash," one of the protesters admonishes, and the polite young anarchists do, leaving only a duct-tape peace sign stuck to the pavement.
Right. These "anarchists" seem like basically stupid kids who would probably shit themselves and lock themselves in their mommy's basement if someone actually used pepper spray or tear gas on them, never mind live rounds. Their own press releases sound moronic. The new SDS doesn't seem much better.
What do they believe?"The term anarchy comes from the Greek, and essentially means 'no ruler.' Anarchists are people who reject all forms of government or coercive authority, all forms of hierarchy and domination. They are therefore opposed to what the Mexican anarchist Flores Magon called the 'sombre trinity' -- state, capital and the church. Anarchists are thus opposed to both capitalism and to the state, as well as to all forms of religious authority. But anarchists also seek to establish or bring about by varying means, a condition of anarchy, that is, a decentralised society without coercive institutions, a society organised through a federation of voluntary associations."
["Anthropology and Anarchism,"
pp. 35-41, Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed
, no. 45, p. 38]
OK, opposed to capitalism, the state, and religion. Nice.
In Kropotkin's words, "the origin of the anarchist inception of society . . . [lies in] the criticism . . . of the hierarchical organisations and the authoritarian conceptions of society; and . . . the analysis of the tendencies that are seen in the progressive movements of mankind."
, p. 158] For Malatesta, anarchism "was born in a moral revolt against social injustice"
and that the "specific causes of social ills"
could be found in "capitalistic property and the State."
When the oppressed "sought to overthrow both State and property -- then it was that anarchism was born."
[Errico Malatesta: His Life and Ideas
, p. 19]
Anarchism, therefore, is a political theory that aims to create a society which is without political, economic or social hierarchies. Anarchists maintain that anarchy, the absence of rulers, is a viable form of social system and so work for the maximisation of individual liberty and social equality. They see the goals of liberty and equality as mutually self-supporting. Or, in Bakunin's famous dictum:
"We are convinced that freedom without Socialism is privilege and injustice, and that Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality."
[The Political Philosophy of Bakunin
, p. 269]
You folks get the point? This is all from Infoshop.org
, which seems to be your one-stop shopping point for all things anarchistic.
One last point:
All branches of anarchism are opposed to capitalism. This is because capitalism is based upon oppression and exploitation (see sections B
). Anarchists reject the "notion that men cannot work together unless they have a driving-master to take a percentage of their product"
and think that in an anarchist society "the real workmen will make their own regulations, decide when and where and how things shall be done."
By so doing workers would free themselves "from the terrible bondage of capitalism."
[Voltairine de Cleyre, "Anarchism"
, Exquisite Rebel
, p. 75 and p. 79]
(We must stress here that anarchists are opposed to all economic forms which are based on domination and exploitation, including feudalism, Soviet-style "socialism" -- better called "state capitalism" --, slavery and so on. We concentrate on capitalism because that is what is dominating the world just now).
Well, now that we have discussed the ideologies of the various components of what is most accurately called the pro-surrender protest movement, let us ask whether or not Americans can support these organizations.
Make no mistake, by marching with, donating money to, or otherwise supporting these organizations or their protests in any way, you are support the organization. That's called forming a Popular Front
. Even other anti-war agitators recognize this. Znet has an excellent article
on the subject. Here's what they have to say that's relevant to my point.If past experience is a guide, IAC demonstrations will have programs skewed in the direction of IAC politics, but without excluding alternative voices. In general, the IAC speakers will not be offensive so much for what they say, but for what they don't say. That is, they won't praise Saddam Hussein from the podium, but nor will they utter a critical word about him. However, as long as other speakers can and do express positions with a different point of view, the overall impact of the event will still be positive, particularly in the absence of other options. Most of the people at the demonstration will in fact be unaware of exactly who said what and whether any particular speaker omitted this or that point. What they will experience will be a powerful antiwar protest. And most of the public will see it that way too. (As was the case during the Vietnam War too: few demonstrators knew the specific politics or agendas of demonstration organizers.)
The article concludes that in order to stop the war, it is acceptable to form a popular front with the WWP. Not in so many words, of course.
Here's my point. If you don't want to be associated with a Communist agenda, then don't demonstrate under a Communist banner alongside committed Communists.
Have a nice day.