Showing posts sorted by relevance for query international ANSWER. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query international ANSWER. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

VIDEO: Baltimore 'Gaza Solidarity' Protest Sponsored by Stalinist Front Group International Action Center (IAC)

The Quinton Report indicates that radical activist Steven Ceci, with the Baltimore People's Power Assembly, was one of the organizers of Batimore's anti-Israel protest over the weekend. See, "Anti-Israel protest organized by Marxists."

Ceci is interviewed at this clip from WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore, but as is always the case with media coverage of communist activists, the dude's full background isn't revealed:

A search on Ceci's background picks up a number of results going back to the mid-2000s. He's been affiliated with the Troops Out Now Coalition protesting the Iraq war, as well as Baltimore All Peoples Congress -- both front groups for the IAC, which is itself affiliated with the communist revolutionary World Workers Party.

Here's the Gaza solidarity organizing page at the International Action Center, "Around the world, people stand with Gaza against Israeli massacres." Also at Workers World (newspaper of Workers World Party), "U.S. protests in solidarity with people of Gaza."

Some background on IAC at the World War 4 Report (back in 2002-03):
The dirty open secret on the American left--universally, but rarely openly, acknowledged--is that ANSWER is led at its core by an outfit called the International Action Center (IAC), which is itself a front group for the reactionary and Stalin-nostalgist Workers World Party. What nobody wants to say out loud is clearly evident: IAC and Workers World support genocide.

IAC's frontman, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, is a founding member of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic, and IAC routinely dismissed accounts of the atrocities against Bosnian Muslims and Kosovar Albanians as imperialist "lies." Even now, IAC supports Milosevic almost without reservation, portraying him as a defender of socialism. During the worst of the Bosnia bloodshed, IAC«s Clark travelled to Bosnia to meet with Serb strongman Radovan Karadzic (now indicted on war crimes charges) and offer his support.

Workers World also supported Deng Xiaoping in the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, portraying the protesters as "counter-revolutionaries." In 1991, Workers World split the movement against Desert Storm by refusing to condemn Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. In the ensuing years, Clark and IAC dismissed human rights allegations against Saddam as more imperialist propaganda.

Workers World Party--whose cadre such as Brian Becker are ANSWER's most visible spokespersons--is a vigorous apologist of mass murder.
And see John Perazzo, at Discover the Networks, "The Many Faces of Socialist 'Peace' Activists: The International Action Center" (2006):
The socialist International Action Center (IAC) is one of the most significant and influential organizations on the American political landscape today. It is also among the most dangerous. Its leaders have spawned a considerable number of additional groups –ostensibly independent entities focusing on their own respective crusades. But in truth, they are not independent at all; each of these groups is the International Action Center – radical socialism dressed up in the variegated vestments of such noble sounding causes as “peace,” “social justice,” “civil liberties,” and “human rights.” The unifying theme underpinning IAC’s (and its cohorts’) activism is an unwavering contention that a racist, imperialist United States is the world’s chief violator of these high ideals; that America is the central wellspring of evil on earth – guilty of unspeakable atrocities, past and present, foreign and domestic. Based on this premise, IAC aggressively supports a host of organizations and individuals who detest America so passionately that they in fact seek its destruction – so that a new socialist paradise might one day be built atop its smoldering ruins. This would be of little import if IAC were an impotent group of fringe lunatics without much social influence. But such is not the case. Rather, millions of unsuspecting Americans have been subtly, incrementally infected by IAC’s axiomatic belief that the United States is the focus of evil in the modern world. To understand how this has occurred, we must first understand exactly what IAC’s mission and worldview are.

IAC is, most notably, the driving force behind the antiwar group International ANSWER (henceforth, ANSWER), about which more will be said momentarily. IAC is a fiercely anti-American organization whose creed reads, “Information, Activism, and Resistance to U.S. Militarism, War, and Corporate Greed.” It is staffed by members of the Workers World Party (WWP), a Marxist-Leninist vanguard that idolizes the former Soviet dictator and mass murderer Joseph Stalin and regards Fidel Castro as a hero of the common man. Founded in 1959, WWP has been, since its inception, a fierce critic of the United States. Having supported the Soviet invasions of Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan, as well as the barbaric regimes of Slobodan Milocevic in the former Yugoslavia and Kim Jong Il in North Korea, WWP frankly defines itself as follows: “We’re independent Marxists who respect the struggles for self-determination and progress of oppressed nations. We try to understand their problems in a world dominated by Western imperialism. . . . Our goal is solidarity of all the workers and [all the] oppressed against this criminal imperialist system. . . . We fight hard for a better life right now, but we know that nothing is secure . . . as long as capitalism exists. So our goal is a society run by the workers, not just as pawns in a capitalist political game but as collective owners of the social wealth.” Such are the ideals of the organization behind one of the largest “peace” movements in world history. IAC was founded by Ramsey Clark, the onetime U.S. Attorney General (under President Lyndon Johnson) who now works as a defense lawyer, generally representing clients he portrays as victims of American civil liberties and human rights violations. For decades, Clark has consistently condemned American foreign policy and its related military campaigns, from the Vietnam War, to the Iraq War, to the broader War on Terror. Conversely, he has backed myriad groups, governments, and individuals with rabidly anti-American, and even terrorist, agendas. Whatever the nature of any conflict, Clark invariably sides with America’s adversary.
IAC and ANSWER remain loosely affiliated today. Brian Becker is now ANSWER's national coordinator. IAC founder Ramsay Clark frequently headlines ANSWER events, for example, at the San Francisco chapter's 2012 teach-in on the 9th anniversary of the Iraq war.

Here's the statement on the group's from the Anti-Defamation League, "International Action Center & ANSWER: An ADL Backgrounder" (2011):
Under the guise of an anti-imperialist and anti-war agenda, the Far-Left International Action Center (IAC) and its affiliate, the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition, have been at the forefront of injecting anti-Israel fervor and support for terrorism into the anti-war movement.

Founded in 1992 by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, IAC regularly organizes protests against capitalism and what it perceives to be American imperialism, including policies related to the economy, immigration issues and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. ANSWER, its anti-war spinoff which was founded in 2001, has a narrower agenda and focuses on "campaigning against U.S. intervention" in foreign countries.

IAC and ANSWER's ideology is strongly rooted in the Workers World Party, a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist party founded in the 1950s on the principle that only socialism will end "exploitation, racism and war." Both IAC and ANSWER organize many anti-war rallies around the country and they have become a galvanizing force behind the anti-war movement, leading the way in expressing opposition to the United States' wars abroad.

Along the way, they have consistently sought to link the Palestinian cause with other "anti-colonialist" and "anti-occupation" initiatives. ANSWER signs at anti-war rallies often read, "Occupation is a Crime: Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine." By equating the United States' wars abroad to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ANSWER has sought to put the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the anti-war movement's agenda, and has, to some extent, succeeded in making the conflict a core issue for the anti-war left.

In addition to its anti-war activity, IAC and ANSWER have sponsored and organized numerous anti-Israel events, rallies and demonstrations in the United States. ANSWER in particular has positioned itself as the leading organizer of the large rallies against Israel that usually take place during periods of heightened tension, including the Gaza War in the winter of 2008-2009 and the summer 2006 war in Lebanon. These protests, often co-sponsored by other anti-Israel organizations, regularly featured anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic rhetoric, expressions of support for terror and offensive Holocaust imagery likening Jews and Israelis to Nazis.

ANSWER and IAC have both repeatedly expressed support for terrorist groups determined to dismantle the state of Israel, including Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as "resistance" groups fighting U.S. forces abroad. Hamas and Hezbollah flags and signs expressing solidarity with these groups are often on display at ANSWER and IAC-organized anti-Israel rallies. IAC representatives have also attended conferences in the Middle East with Hamas and Hezbollah representatives to discuss strategies for shoring up support for these groups.

These groups are vehicles for the most vile eliminationist anti-Semitism. Mainstream media outlets do significant harm in omitting any mention of the ideological, anti-Semitic background of organizers like Baltimore's Steven Ceci and his ilk.

PREVIOUSLY: "Los Angeles #Gaza Protesters Demand Extermination of Israel and Death to the Jews."

Monday, November 16, 2009

International ANSWER Thugs Attack Tea Party Protesters in Florida

These are the hardline communists I've covered in my numerous reports on International ANSWER. Via Michelle Malkin, "Far Left’s ANSWER Goons Attack Foes of Illegal Immigration":

Here's the blurb at the video:

Supporters of President obama's Amnesty plans attacked Tea Party Against Amnesty & Illegal Immigration demonstrators in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on November 14, 2009. One of the men attacked is 62 years old. Dave Caulkett of FLIMEN (Floridians for Immigration Enforcement) is assaulted and then kicked in the face while he is down. The other camera man from the Tea Party is hit with several signs ...

Those attacking the Americans that oppose Amnesty for illegal aliens were organized by ANSWER Florida.
Also, from Gateway Pundit, "Commie Che-Supporting Goons Beat Tea Party Protesters In Florida (Video)." Gateway links to ANSWER Florida's page. Plus, from, Americans for Legal Immigration, here's the announcemnt from these communist thugs:
Racism is like anything else in this world: in order to make it fall, you must smash it! That is why we are calling on all people to come out tomorrow, to organize a militant confrontation with the so-called “tea baggers.” Beating back these forces will require us to organize together, take the streets, fight the racists wherever they show their faces and drive them out of every community.

The racist demonization of immigrants only serves the interest of the ruling class during this historical economic crisis. The same bankers, CEO’s, and politicians, both Democrat and Republican, which have for decades devastated the economies of countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, have once again devastated the economy in this country. The same ruling class that devastates the lives of working people in other nations through war and super-exploitation are the ones throwing workers out of their homes, denying them healthcare, and laying them off from their jobs in this country.

Racism is consciously used as a tool by the ruling class because they know that as long as working people are divided and fighting each other, the people are not fighting the bankers, CEO’s, and politicians. Only under a brutal system that puts profit over people can you have a whole section of society whose only crime is being forced from their nations because of imperialism and forced to work in the most hostile of conditions in this country. Only racism can justify this reality.

The continual devastation of working people because of this crisis, however, is not the fault of one group of workers. On October 28th, President Obama signed the largest military budget in U.S. history-$680 billion dollars, which does not include the cost of the criminal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. The new administration is also continuing to hand out the $9.5 trillion dollars in working people’s tax dollars to bailout the already rich.

The money to end the suffering of all working people tomorrow is there. It is our choice as to whether we will allow the right of a few to profit from labor of workers to continue, or whether we will rise up as one class of working people to and take political power into our own hands.

We are building a movement that will beat back racism so that working people of all nationalities can unite and fight against our one, shared enemy: capitalism. Amnesty, full rights for ALL immigrants, is a demand that should be raised not just by the immigrant communities, but by every working class community in our struggle to solve this crisis by our own means.

Join us tomorrow, and join us in building the movement against racism and capitalist exploitation!
See also, Red Alerts, "Florida A.N.S.W.E.R. Chapter Beats 62-Year-Old Man on Street Corner!":
Sounds like a call to violence to me. Also notice how A.N.S.W.E.R. references the various “tea party” groups as “tea baggers” much the way the Democrats and MSNBC do. When will Keith Olbermann take responsibility for the actions his heated rhetoric causes?

But more realistically, when will A.N.S.W.E.R. be held responsible for the violence and mayhem they create in our communities? No matter where you stand on this issue, all people of good conscience can agree that two guys beating the hell out of an old man on a corner is wrong, can’t we?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Stop the Wars! - ANSWER L.A. 'U.S. Out of Afghanistan and Iraq' - March 20, 2010

The image of these two attractive young women will stick with me for a long time. I approached them as they were preparing their headscarves for the march down Hollywood Boulevard. They led a contingent carrying coffins draped with Palestinian flags. What to think when one sees militant Palestinian jihadis in America? I did not speak with them, but they eagerly posed for the cameras with fists clenched and raised in solidarity. They reeked of hatred, anti-Americanism, and violent intifada against Israel. Something unexpected in Southern California, now mainstream among the college-communist activist networks:

According to the ANSWER website:

We will ... be making dozens of coffins with flags representing the multinational victims of U.S. wars of aggression, and many people and organizations are bringing coffins that they are making themselves. You can help make and carry coffins in the march by arriving at Hollywood and Vine between 11am and 12 noon.

And here's the flyer and map for the event, from ANSWER L.A., "On the 7th Anniversary of the Iraq War: U.S. OUT OF AFGHANISTAN & IRAQ NOW! STOP THE WARS!":

What follows is a chronological account of the afternoon. After parking at a lot just north of Hollywood and Vine, here's the scene at exactly Noon on Saturday. Unlike tea parties, which are grassroots and frequently spontaneous, International ANSWER is the hardline left's protest industry behemoth. Everything is scripted and outrage is manufactured. Don't have a homemade sign? No problem. Hundreds of cheap cookie-cutter protest signs are available for any Jerry Rubin wannabe who comes along. And that yellow box with the "stop the war machine" insignia? That's a donation repository. International ANSWER, a self-proclaimed revolutionary communist vanguard outfit, makes lots of money off this stuff (just temporary capitalist profiteering, no doubt):

Waiting for the march, Rubin-wannabes hang out with the caskets:

With the exception of "O-bomba" here, the protest, by a 3-to-1 margin, resurrected the dreaded Bush-Cheney hatred of previous years (more on that below):

At left below is Michael Prysner. He's talking to Long Beach ANSWER stooge Douglas Kauffman. Prysner is often described as an "anti-war Iraq war veteran," although I've heard conflicting reports on the degree of his direct combat experience. Prysner's reviled by the veterans groups I've spoken with. His discharge information is below (and available on request). He was a communications specialist in Iraq. Active in the "Winter Soldier" antiwar events during the George W. Bush years, he heads ANSWER's para-military resistance unit, "March Forward." The big showcase of Saturday's protest was Prysner's contingent of "Iraq Veterans Against the War." (See also, Ben Johnson, "Communists Against the Military.")

And what would an L.A. antiwar demonstration be like without Vietnam vet Ron Kovic, author of "Born on the Fourth of July"? An American patriot during Vietnam, Kovic's wounds turned him into a man who hates his county, and one who aids the forces of global terrorism. Kovic allied with communist George Galloway to launch Viva Palestina USA, a "humanitarian" group committed to the destruction of Israel. (See, "Hamas Leaders Warmly, Repeatedly Greet Viva Palestina Convoy.")

And here they are, 9/11 truthers. I'm still trying to absorb what these people are about, but the "troofers" always end up being one of the biggest outfits at the ANSWER demonstrations (and FWIW, check the website, We Are Change):

And below, seemed like a real sweet lady. But no word on how many children died under Saddam's reign of terror:

I think this is her husband. He was real excited and proud to be protesting. He can't wait for Bush/Cheney war crimes tribunals, it turns out:

More Bush/Cheney hatred, Latino-style. Passing along the hate to the niños as well (a common occurrence at the demonstration, sadly):

Democratic activists and SEIU thugs came out. These folks want Marcy Winograd in the June primary over Jane Harman of South Bay. Winograd's a radical leftist and President of Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles, the local front for the Progressive Democrats of America. She's an FDL communist and Ron Kovic ally:

Lots and lots of police on hand, up and down Hollywood Boulevard:

Another one of the much fewer anti-Obama signs:

Organizers are readying for the march, with the veterans giving their speeches from the stage. That's ANSWER's Peta Lindsay with yellow shirt and keffiyeh. She's a hardline party cadre for PSL, ANSWER's political arm:

More union thugs, even if she's a pretty one:

As I moved down in front of the stage to take a couple of pictures, some of the flag-bearers blocked my view and hit me on the head with their flagpoles. They know who I am (after having infiltrated their meetings repeatedly), and they obviously can't stand my exposés. The First Amendment for me, but not for thee, I guess:

Starting to march, going west on Hollywood Boulevard, Kovic and Prysner:

I had been hanging out down the street waiting for the march to start, having a slice of pizza and a Coke. Running back to the pizza shop, the woman who served me (in white) steps outside to take a look:

I finished my Coke and ran out to get a snapshot before the marchers passed. Protesters numbered well over a thousand people:

These protesters are from We Are Not Your Soldiers. The hooded guy at center was a native Spanish speaker. He and cohorts in the staging area, near Vine, spoke entirely in Spanish. International solidarity, I guess:

The LaRouchies marched. These folks are not conservatives, so it's time for idiot left-wing bloggers to put that meme to bed. Communists and Democrats attack President Obama as Hitler (just as I reported last year at the Adam Schiff town hall):

Code Pink marched, although Jodie Evans -- President Obama's liaison to the Taliban -- stayed away this time:

Check out this guy's sign. On the front, "BOOSH" (mocking the Jews, I'd say):

And on back, the obligatory Bush/Nazi slur. The "SS" stands for "Schutzstaffel," which was Adolph Hitler's elite paramilitary guard and the Nazi regime's most genocidal detachments:

The march winds down at Hollywood and Orange. We see our Palestinian activists next to their coffins:

A round of concluding speeches. This is Blase Bonpane, a communist "peace" activist with the Office of the Americas:

Bonpane spoke of turning active-duty troops against the war, which would facilitate an American defeat in Afghanistan and Iraq, just like the military insubordination, mutiny, and resistance in Vietnam contributed to the America's withdrawal there (or that's the line heard repeatedly by the ANSWER cadres):

89.3 KPCC has additional pictures, "Hundreds Gather at Hollywood and Vine to Protest War":

I have more pictures too, but this report, long already, is the major record.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

'No New War on Iraq!' Stalinist International ANSWER Protests War in the Middle East

Lovely clown show!

At Live Leak, "Dueling protests at the White House over new Iraq intervention," and at Reuters, "Calls for and against U.S. involvement in Iraq.

And on Twitter:

And taking the way-back machine to FrontPage Magazine in 2002, "What is the A.N.S.W.E.R.?":
The IAC [International Action Center] has been described as a Stalinist organization and one that supports authoritarian regimes and communist dictatorships. Incidentally, both Serbia and Iraq have retained [former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey] Clark as their U.S. counsel. The IAC is affiliated with the Workers’ World Party, which is affiliated with ANSWER. All of these organizations are advocates of Arafat.
More at Discover the Networks.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

STOP THE WAR! Teach-In on Afghanistan and the Anti-War Struggle - ANSWER L.A.

I had an interesting day at the ANSWER Coalition's "Teach-In On Afghanistan & the Anti-War Struggle: WHY WE MUST END THE WAR NOW!"

The event was held at Los Angeles City College, on Vermont Avenue, just north of U.S. 101. I parked on a sidestreet, and as I was walking over to the campus I snapped this shot of a street vendor's display. Che Guevara's quite hip with the L.A. homies:

Here's the scene inside the LACC Chemistry Building upon entering:

Some readers might remember the communist "sales" woman from the Westwood protest a couple of weeks ago. I hope she's making good money (despite ideological prohibitions against capitalist profiteering), because no doubt by now she's heard the Marxist-Leninist line ad nauseum:

Notice the black and green book at the lower-left of the display stand. That's the new release by ANSWER'S Richard Becker, Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire. I picked up a copy. More on that below.

This is
Michael Prysner. He spoke at the Westwood demonstration against the Afghanistan war. I noticed him as I was finding a seat and asked if I could take his picture:

An Iraq war veteran, Prysner's a cadre with March Forward!, ANSWER's military resistance cell. During his talk, Prysner parroted the March Forward! talking points, which include such gems as:

Service members should no longer be sent to fight, kill, die, be seriously wounded and/or psychologically scarred furthering the domination of U.S. corporations over other nations. We have nothing to gain from these wars. The occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan serve only the interests of the rich, not the service personnel who are sent over and over to repress people who have the right to determine their own destiny. The people of Iraq and Afghanistan are not our enemies. The more than 800 U.S. bases in 130 countries around the world should be shut down and the troops, fleets and air power brought home.
I'm still a little dumbstruck by his speeches. Not mentioned in the March Forward! media-babble is Prysner's call for insubordination and mutiny in the ranks. Enlisted personnel should "fight the system" from the inside to sabotage the U.S. military's neo-imperialist global campaign. Disaffected G.I.s would join with the "entire nation" to repudiate the "criminal" deployments launched to fill the coffers of the hegemonic U.S. multinational corporations. It's not particularly original, but Prysner make up for it with an enthusiastic communist esprit de corps.

Okay, below is the start of the "teach-in" lectures. That's Muna Coobtee pictured. An activist with
the National Council of Arab Americans (an ANSWER front group), she M.C.'d the Westwood Afghanistan rally on October 7th. Ms. Coobtee laid out the raison d'etre for the day's events. And like Michael Prysner, she hewed closely to the party line. The most important theme for the communists is that Afghanistan's a doomed neo-colonial war, and that American military goals are exclusively to "avoid defeat ... or to avoid the perception of defeat." Ms. Coobtee was following the script in ANSWER's communist pamphlet, Liberation. Specifically, Brian Becker's, "Afghanistan and Iraq Will NEVER Accept U.S. Colonialism."

Ms. Coobtee was followed by ANSWER's Peta Lindsay (a longtime cadre with the Party for Socialism and Liberation) and Blase Bonpane (of the Office of the Americas and KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles). Toward the end of his address, Bonpane argued that "the art of revolution is the art of organizing the majority of Americans to end the warfare state."

A number of other speakers also addressed the audience, seen below (and including those not pictured, probably seventy-five or so people altogether):

At the end of the lectures, I moved out to the building's front hallway to get a photo of Richard Becker:

Becker's part of ANSWER's national steering committee and he's the West Coast Director of the International Action Center (according to the website, the "IAC defines itself as an 'anti-capitalist' and 'anti-imperialist' organization").

Becker was talking to a supporter when I took the picture above. He was spooked and asked me who I was? I told him my name was "Donald," and Becker snapped back, "Donald Douglas?" I was surprised! I asked how he knew my name? "Someone said you were going to be here," was the reply (I guess ANSWER apparatchiks are reading my blog). He continued, clearly agitated: "What right-wing organization are you with?" I gave him my business card and told him "No one. I'm a professor." I hung out in the hallway a little longer but one of Becker's thugs starting herding people out of area, so I decided I'd better take off.

Richard Becker's a longtime U.S. communist hardliner. He's got a write-up at
Discover the Networks, where it notes that "Becker detests America and has written, 'No one in the world ... has a worse human rights record than the United States'."

During his lecture, Becker made an extremely twisted defense of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Based on a single source (
a 1998 interview with Carter NSA chief Zbigniew Brzezinski), Becker argued that the Soviet incursion was a strategic counter-thrust to U.S. imperial influence in Kabul. That is, the CIA had plans on tap for a U.S. colonial outpost in Afghanistan. The ultimate goal was to consolidate U.S. control over Caspian crude and to establish an oil pipeline to the Arabian Sea and the waiting arms of global capitalism's "Big Oil" multinational tanker fleet.

The region's geopolitics, of course, are much more complicated that than; and indeed, Moscow's interest was in propping up Kabul's pro-Soviet government that took power the early-1970s. American interests kicked up after the assassination of Muhammad Taraki by forces of the Marxist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. It's very difficult to impute U.S. imperial causes to the overthrow of Taraki's predecessor, the Mohammed Daoud regime. The Soviet invaded to bolster a pro-Moscow communist regime, not to overthrow an American neo-imperialist puppet (See, "
The April 1978 Coup d'etat and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.")

In any case, Becker went on about how a defeat for the current American deployment under General Stanley McCrystal would strike a blow to the American "empire" in South Asia: "Every empire falls, and this empire will fall as well."

I was rolling my eyes, but the audience erupted in applause at Becker's exhortation for America's defeat.

Plus, recall that Becker's got his new book out, Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire. I was actually hesitant to purchase a copy, but after listening to this man's perverted historical revisionism my sense was that I'd do well to read the book. This type of anti-imperial gobbledygook has a way of making it into college classrooms, and I might as well be prepared to rebut the radical left's latest demonizations of Israel and the West.

P.S. Note that International ANSWER is organizing a National March on Washington, for Saturday, March 20, 2010. See the announcement here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When Defeat is the ANSWER

From my essay yesterday at FrontPage Magazine, "When Defeat is the Answer":

President Obama is still dithering over the war in Afghanistan, but his hard-Left base has increasingly decided to break with the administration to cheer for American defeat overseas.

The latest sign of the Left’s defection over the war comes from the Los Angeles chapter of the anti-war group
International A.N.S.W.E.R. On Sunday, ANSWER sponsored an antiwar “teach-in” on Afghanistan at Los Angeles City College. The event was the group’s latest “local action” in its self-described “struggle” against alleged U.S. imperialism in “Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, the Philippines, Latin America and beyond.” All this is standard fare for the radical group, with one notable exception: It now considers the Obama administration the enemy.

To that end, ANSWER is accelerating its calls for grassroots resistance to the administration. In particular, ANSWER organizers claim they are seeking to block U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s recent request for an additional 40,000 troops. But ANSWER’s ultimate goal is to support the insurgency seeking to topple the Hamid Karzai government in Kabul. According to
Richard Becker, ANSWER’s West Coast Regional Director, and a keynote speaker at this weekend’s teach-in, a defeat for the current American mission in Afghanistan would strike a blow to the American “empire” in South Asia.
Read the whole thing at the link.

Marxist Violent Revolutionary Doctrine - CAPITALISM IS A CRIME!."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Berkeley's Wheeler Hall Protest Marks Escalation in Campus Intifada

There's been a good bit of commentary on the student fee protests at the University of California. For example, regarding this week's action at Berkeley, CSPT, Michelle Malkin, NRO, and Tiger Hawk all discuss the spoiled brats of the elite university system. And Dan Riehl provides some quotes from activists on the ground, "Some Priceless Prose From Berkeley" (via). But as I've argued, and what's becoming more clear as the pace of activism picks up, the current unrest is being driven in large part by the hardline revolutionary contingents on the streets and in the halls of academe. I covered this previously. See, "‘Mobilizing Conference’ for Public Schools Revives ’60s-Era Campus Radicalism."

This photo, from the San Francisco Chronicle, captures the visual imagery of the protest's roots in the struggles of international revolutionary solidarity:

The Wheeler Hall protest has now been shut down (see, "Wheeler Hall Occupation Ends Peacefully"). But a wide array of "progressive" neo-communist groups are at the base of this latest wave of mobilizations, and they're vowing an escalation in the struggle.

Recall that International ANSWER organized the November 17th protest against the CSU Board of Tustees. The UC Solidarity group is an alliance of radical academics and student protesters seeking to rekindle campus unrest of the 1960s. The communist Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! is endorsing the protests, "Why Are We Destroying Public Education? University of California Students and Staff Prepare for System-Wide Strike to Protest Cuts," and "As UC Regents Approve Major Tuition Hike, Students, Faculty Decry Erosion of Public Education in CA and Nationwide." And from the hardline communist Fight Back! journal, "Student Struggles Continue Across California." The International Committee of the Fourth International has a report, "University Protests Continue in California," and that group's splinter faction, International Socialist Organization, as well, "Struggle Heats up in California."

The Wall Street Journal reported on the unconditional demands of the occupiers, which turned off moderate students focused on fee increases rather that worldwide revolution:
UC Berkeley officials condemned the action at their campus. "We certainly understand the students' frustrations and concerns, but it's disappointing they expressed their frustrations in this way," said Janet Gilmore, a UC Berkeley spokeswoman.

In the crowd, sentiment seemed mostly in favor of the building occupation. Protesters locked arms to block entrances to the building in an effort to impede police.

But some students said the tactics were counterproductive, and that the demands, in some cases, were unreasonable. For example, some protesters demanded the UC regents eliminate the fees. "I agree the tuition hike was not good for me, but I know the state is in a crisis," said Jeffrey Joh, a 19-year-old sophomore. "Their message here is unclear."
Recall that the student insurgency group, Occupy California, is mobilizing revolutionary cadres for widespread campus mobilizations. See, "California is Occupied," which features the image above from inside Wheeler Hall, and this picture below from UC Santa Cruz:

The Student Activism blog has pledged to take direct action to the next level, "Two Days After the Regents’ Vote, UC Fee Protests Go On." Check also the Indy Media blog for direct action updates.

My sense is that the only thing missing so far is the arson, kidnappings, and bombings that have marked earlier decades student revolutionary agitation. And unfortunately, my bet is that it's only a matter of time -- we'll be seeing some Bill Ayers wannabes popping up in short order.

RELATED: International ANSWER has released a press statement in solidarity with
jailed pro-communist attorney and terror-enabler Lynne Stewart, "Free Lynne Stewart."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Must America Improve its International Standing?

One of the most common criticism of the Bush administration is that it has damaged America's international reputation.

From renouncing international treaties to the war in Iraq, activists and analysts alike routinely excoriate President Bush's ideology, style, and policies. Can American foreign policy recover?

This is the topic of a symposium over at the January/February issue of Foreign Policy, "
What American Must Do?" Here's the introduction:

America’s relationship with the world is in disrepair. Anger, resentment, and fear have replaced the respect the United States once enjoyed. So, we asked a group of the world’s leading thinkers to answer one question: What single policy or gesture can the next president of the United States make to improve America’s standing in the world?
The selection of responses, by a number of prominent public intellectuals and scholars, is not as balanced as it might be. Jorge Domínguez, who is vice provost for international affairs at Harvard University, captures
the typical left-wing academic renunciations of the "Bush regime":

The United States was the leading architect of the international laws and organizations sculpted in the wake of World War II. It built this multilateral framework because it was useful and because it was right. Yet, during the last decade, the U.S. government has undermined important multilateral agreements concerning climate change, the international criminal court, and nuclear nonproliferation. It has shredded the Geneva Conventions. It has embraced dictators who should have been rightly treated as international pariahs....

Torture? Waterboarding? It is difficult to accept such dishonorable practices being used by the same country that rightly denounced the horrific abuses that its adversaries employed against U.S. soldiers during wars in Korea and Vietnam. The United States should not torture the prisoners it holds, just as it would not want its citizens to be tortured anywhere in the world.

The next U.S. president must rebuild respect for international rules and organizations, many of which the United States once helped mightily to create.
No surprises there - pretty standard stuff.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Prize winner, takes it a little further, declaring that the U.S. needs to apologize for its actions:

After the September 11 attacks, an amazing outpouring of sympathy, concern, and love for the United States sprang forth from all over the world. It was proof that there is no instinctive or deep-seated hostility to the United States, no automatic anti-Americanism. There is, of course, frequent resentment of particular policies. The Reagan White House, for example, pursued constructive engagement with the apartheid government of South Africa. Many of us in South Africa opposed this course of action vehemently, but it did not make us anti-American.

Today, the negative feelings about the United States have been provoked by the arrogance of unilateralism. The administration of George W. Bush has routinely thumbed its nose at the rest of the world and told it to go jump in the lake. It did so over the Kyoto Protocol, the International Criminal Court, and the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. But nowhere did it do so more spectacularly than in the invasion of Iraq, heaping contempt upon the United Nations and upending international law. That arrogant action has turned out to be a catastrophic disaster on all scores....

More than anything else, the United States is looked upon fondly for its remarkable generosity.... If the world’s superpower has the grace and modesty to say it is sorry, people would rub their eyes in disbelief, pinch themselves, and then smile because a new day had dawned.
Apologize? This is a strangely blinkered demand, and it's too bad, because Archbishop Tutu boasts an esteemed reputation in the fight for justice in Africa.

Indeed, given his humanitarian record, one might think he'd at least credit and praise the Bush administration for its successful African HIV project, now widely recognized as the globe's most important AIDS initiative, which has been vital in combatting the disease on the African continent and around the world. "So far, roughly 1.4 million AIDS patients have received lifesaving medicine paid for with American dollars, up from 50,000 before the initiative," according to Sheryl Gay Stolberg in
a recent New York Times report.

Tutu apparently can't see past the Bush Doctrine and our increasingly successful intervention in Iraq.
Bush Derangement Syndrome knows no international boundaries.

The symposium boasts an antidote to this anti-Bush sentiment in Fouad Ajami's essay, "
Steady as She Goes" :

There is a familiar liberal lament that the United States had the sympathy of the world after September 11, but uselessly squandered it in the years that followed. The man who most vehemently espoused this line of thinking in France, former French President Jacques Chirac, is gone and consigned to oblivion. The French leader who replaced him, Nicolas Sarkozy, stood before a joint session of the U.S. Congress in November and offered a poetic tribute to the land his predecessor mocked. He recalled the young American soldiers buried long ago on French soil: “Fathers took their sons to the beaches where the young men of America so heroically died . . . The children of my generation understood that those young Americans, 20 years old, were true heroes to whom they owed the fact that they were free people and not slaves. France will never forget the sacrifice of your children.” The anti-Americanism that France gave voice to for a generation has given way to a new order. This young leader now wants to fashion France in America’s image.

The man or woman who picks up George W. Bush’s standard in 2009 will inherit an enviable legacy. Europe is at peace with U.S. leadership. India and China export the best of their younger generations to U.S. shores. Violent extremists are on the retreat. Millions have been lifted out of dire poverty. This age belongs to the Pax Americana, an era in which anti-Americanism has always been false and contrived, the pretense of intellectuals and pundits who shelter under American power while bemoaning the sins of the country that provides their protection. When and if a post-American world arrives, it will not be pretty or merciful. If we be Rome, darkness will follow the American imperium.
Ajami argues that no great changes are required for the direction of American foriegn policy under the next administration. Indeed, the U.S. has an interest in the continued and vigorous promotion of America's historic freedom agenda, an international program boosted with ideological and military muscle under Bush 43. The U.S. will be less safe if our next leader abandons that project.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Liberal Internationalism and Regime Change Myanmar

Burma Children

In my earlier entry, "Regime Change Myanmar?," I noted:
The humanitarian crisis in Myanmar is the most recent example of state failure among the developing world's authoritarian regimes.

Yesterday's Los Angeles Times noted, for example, that the Myanmar government's initial refusal to accept international relief reflected the junta's indecision and fear.

Whatever the cause, it's simply unacceptable for the world community to stand by idly while hundreds of thousands perish, and the nation descends into a nightmare of disease and hunger.
I suggested too that I was seeing little support for outside intervention on either side of the political spectrum, although liberal internationalists have long argued for regime change in precisely situations like these.

Well it turns out that the hippest
liberal internationalist du jour has done a little writing on this, and Ross Douthat offers his response:

Matt has an interesting post on the questions that Burma raises for liberal internationalism of the sort he advances in Heads in the Sand:

Realistically, you're not going to see a forceful U.N. intervention in Burma because no country capable of mounting such an operation (basically the U.S. and maybe Britain and France) would want to mount one, while Russia and China (and probably even post-colonial democracies like India) would be opposed to anyone mounting one, and democratic countries would be secretly glad that Russia and China would block a move like this because they could blame inaction on Russia and China ... for a domestic audience even though they wouldn't want to step in themselves.

That said, if you could sort of bracket the logistics/will/capabilities issues, with any proposed humanitarian military intervention I've come to think that we need to think seriously about two issues - legitimacy and sustainability. We really might be greeted by the Burmese as liberators ... The trouble is what happens the day after you're greeted as a liberator. An occupying foreign power is naturally going to come to be viewed with suspicion by the occupied. This is in many ways an intrinsic problem, but it can be ameliorated a lot by legitimacy -- especially the kind of legitimacy you get from the U.N. where precisely because the UNSC decision-making process is cumbersome you can be ensured that a UNSC authorization reflects a broad international consensus ...

The other thing is sustainability. The international system needs to have some kind of recognized rules of the road. "The United States topples foreign regimes when we decide their government is bad" isn't a reasonable proposal for us to ask people in Beijing, Moscow, New Delhi, Teheran, Brasilia, or anywhere else to live by. By "any large country topples any foreign regime when it decides their government is bad" is a terrible rule that would lead to a lot of destructive conflict of various sorts. At the end of the day, great power conflict -- even if it "only" takes the form of cold war-style standoffs -- will do immense humanitarian damage to the world and avoiding it should be a very high priority. Does that mean we should do nothing? No, it doesn't, it means American officials (and, indeed, civil society figures) should keep pushing the international community to move to a world where something like the Responsibility to Protect has some force in the real world. But it has to be done in a reasonable consensual way that tries to stitch together America and its traditional allies with new emerging powers in various regions ...

I think this argument captures what I take to be the central difficulty with Matt's thesis: Namely, the extent to which it's offering a long-term agenda as a response to a question - how, when where and why the U.S. and our allies should intervene abroad - that tends to manifest itself as a series of discrete and very immediate challenges. It's all very well to say that the United States should be trying to build a world order in which great powers like Russia and China are willing to sign on whatever sort of Burmese intervention might theoretically be sanctioned under the "Responsibility to Protect" umbrella, but even if you're optimistic that such a world order is attainable - which Matt is, and I'm not - it's still far enough off that we can expect many more Burma-style (or Darfur-style, or Kosovo-style, or Rwanda-style) quandaries in the meantime. And answering the "what is to be done?" question that invariably accompanies these crises by saying that "American officials ...should keep pushing the international community to move to a world where something like the Responsibility to Protect has some force in the real world" amounts to answering it by saying "in the short term, nothing."

Now, that may be the right answer, but it's an answer that's more likely to appeal to realists and non-interventionists of the left and right than to the liberal internationalists to whom Matt's addressing himself. Basically, it amounts to telling people who are ideologically invested in the idea of interventions to halt wars, genocides, famines and so forth that they need to accept today's famine, and tomorrow's genocide, and the day after that's bloody civil war ... and someday, if the U.S. plays its cards right and invests heavily enough in a multilateral framework for international relations, the other great powers will come around to "rules of the road" under which it's plausible to imagine the UN conducting humanitarian interventions inside the borders of its more misgoverned member states. And while the Iraq invasion has made this Yglesian, "choose the UN, and patience" approach to world affairs much more appealing to the liberal-internationalist set than it was in, say, 1999 or 2002, as time goes by and more Burmese-style crises pass without an international response, I expect that most liberal hawks will default back toward the more aggressive and UN-skeptical approach to the world's troubles that at present is defended primarily by neoconservatives.

This is a long way of saying what I was trying to get at, clumsily, in my conversation with Matt about his book - namely, that he's trying carve out a "liberal internationalist" middle ground between the sort of liberal hawkery that helped give us the Iraq War and the non-interventionist (or pacifist) left, but that in practice (at least when the U.S. isn't just coming off a disastrous overseas intervention) this middle ground tends to get very narrow very fast: From JFK down to Bill Clinton and the liberals who agitated for the invasion of Iraq, it's hard to find all that many prominent liberal internationalists (at least within the Democratic Party) who resisted the temptation, when it presented itself, to choose interventionist ends even when the multilateral means that liberal internationalism is theoretically committed to weren't available.

I indulged the full quote so readers can digest it themselves - but also because I simply can't stand Yglesias' radical foreign policy project, and I want to give full play to Douthat's takedown.

Douthat mentions his "conversation" with Yglesias (available here), where he frankly puts Yglesias in a bind by suggesting that the international system doesn't just float by itself after one establishes some "legitimate" set on multilateral institutions and rules. The maintenance of international order is a collective action problem, and to overcome the system's inherent free-riding behavior (that will likely kill the regime), a "privileged group" or hegemon is required to bear the greatest burden in supporting the institutional order.

That hegemon is the United States, and since Yglesias detests not only U.S. power and prepondrance, but the use of any and all military force as well, there's no way he's going support a U.S.-led invasion of Myanmar to topple the military junta and open up that country to the world's humanitarianism that's practically pleading to help Burma's afflicted.

I've read Yglesias' Head in the Sand, and I'm planning to post a review on it sometime soon.

The book is inconsistent and utopian, and fails because it refuses to see any useful role for the deployment of American hard power.

Douthat is indulgent toward his colleague, who I imagine he has to see at the office quite frequently, and thus prefers some semblance of collegiality.

But let's be honest: Heads in the Sand is a long treatise in the foreign policy of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Yglesias comes out and says at least once explicitly, and by implication on a number of other occasions, that there's nothing - not one thing - redeeming about the Bush administration's foreign policy: Not breaking free from the outdated Cold War arms control framework, not resisting Kyoto-style hypocrisy on international climate change, not on Afghanistan (a war that had bipartisan support, but is pilloried by Yglesias as simply a "superficially important" warmup for toppling Saddam), and not the war in Iraq (where the surge is now looking to be the most important U.S. military turnaround in history).

And that's a serious problem, for even Yglesias' liberal international mentors see elements of utility in American leadership in security affairs, even in cases like Iraq, where (dubious) questions of international legitimacy constrained the American exercise of power.

I'll have more on these themes later.

But regarding regime change Myanmar, see Anne Applebaum, "A Drastic Remedy: The Case for Intervention in Burma."

Photo Credit: "Video footage has emerged showing the bodies of children who died in the cyclone, laid out in a row in a makeshift riverside morgue," BBC News

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Code Pink's Jodie Evans: No 'Rethink' on Afghanistan - 'U.S. Troop Withdrawal Now' ... ANSWER Coalition Decries 'Criminal Occupation'

Here's the promised follow up and confirmation to my previous report, "Calling Bull on Code Pink 'Rethink Afghan' Meme: Antiwar Group Says End 'Occupation' Now!" ... Contrary to the big buzz online Wednesday, Code Pink has not revised its position on a "near-term" U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

I spoke with Code Pink co-founder Jodie Evans Wednesday night in Los Angeles. I snapped the first photo above just as I walked up to the Code Pink contingent on the West side of Wilshire, across the street from the Federal Building. She was busy speaking with activists, and a television crew was setting up for an interview; but as she finished I asked her about Wednesday's report in the Christian Science Monitor, " 'Code Pink' Rethinks Its Call for Afghanistan Pullout." Ms. Evans emphatically rejected the thesis of the article. Medea Benjamin was "misquoted," she told me. Code Pink wants to bring the troops home, now! -- there's been no "rethinking" of the group's demand for withdrawal of U.S. forces. I asked her, then, what should be the U.S. goals for Afghanistan? She said the U.S. should focus on a humantiarian mission - education, healthcare and human rights, especially the rights of women. (Notice the propaganda posters focusing on women and children below.) She said Kabul was the model: "It's the only safe place in the country ... people can get healthcare and education ... we need to expand the success of Kabul to the rest of the country." I told her I was surprised to see the Monitor's report indicating that Code Pink was no longer calling for a troop pull out. She said she'd "been on the phone all day" clarifying Code Pink's position on the war. A troop withdrawal remains the objective, but the U.S. should stay to focus on improving quality of life. (See also, Code Pink's "Afghanistan Talking Points.")

The incompatibility between a total troop withdrawal and the security necessary to promote "unconditional humanitarian aid" didn't seem to occur to Ms. Evans. But I thanked her for her time, and returned across the street to the main protest. (For more on Jodie Evans, see Sweetness and Light, "Code Pink’s “Sugar Mommy” – Jodie Evans.")

Okay, this was earlier ... I arrived in Westwood a little before 5:00pm. International ANSWER's protest announcement is
here: "U.S./NATO Out of Afghanistan! Bring All the Troops Home Now! Health care, Housing, Jobs, Education for All–Not War! End Colonial Occupation—Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine ..."

This woman, from the
Party for Socialism and Liberation, was setting up her table:

She had a full rack of Marxist-Leninist revolutionary tracts as well:

The ANSWER cadres were setting up their signs and banners too. The ANSWER group was leading the crowd with chants, "OCCUPATION IS A CRIME ... IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, PALESTINE ... Also, "MONEY FOR JOBS AND EDUCATION ... NOT FOR WAR AND OCCUPATION..."

There was a big turnout for the 9/11 'Truthers':

These people seriously make me sick. I had some technical problems and didn't take additional photos. The "Truthers" hoisted a twenty-foot banner that read something like, "What we know about 9/11 is killing people ..." and "9/11 = Controlled Demolition." Photographs of similar signs are at the 9/11 Truth Now Action Network. See also, "ACTION ALERT: Anti-War Protest in Los Angeles - Get Out of Afghanistan! "

Check as well the 11:00pm video report from KABC-TV Los Angeles,

There were some "libertarian" representatives from (one of their guys was sporting a '60s-style "mod" haircut ... weird).

Also in attendance were folks running the gamut of the hardline communist-left ... the
Anti-Racist Action Network; the Freedom Socialist Party (socialist feminism); the International Committee of the Fourth International; the International Socialist Organization; Iraq Veterans Against the War; the National Assembly to End the Iraq War and Occupation; the Party for Socialism and Liberation (with pictures above); and World Can't Wait (see, "Demonstrations Mark 8th Anniversary of Afghan War - Demand Immediate U.S./NATO Withdrawal"),

A special note: I said hello to
Ron Kovic before I left (I thanked him for his service to country, and he thanked me back, sincerely). And, as I headed back to the car, an activist asked me if I'd like to sign a petition for Representative Barbara Lee -- I said "no thanks," and the dude just about had a heart attack!