Skip to comments.MARCHING FOR SADDAM
Posted on 02/18/2003 10:10:37 AM PST by Dqban22
MARCHING FOR SADDAM
By J. Michael Waller Insight Magazine U.S.A. Colaboración: Armando F. Mastrapa III New York E.U. La Nueva Cuba Febrero 17, 2003
Meet the leaders of the antiwar protests who sought to spread their defense of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein worldwide on Feb. 15-16, going to the streets with a style and message that seemed eerily familiar:
One urged U.S. troops to mutiny and murder their commanding officers.
One is a leader of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslavian leader on trial for war crimes.
One was made an "honorary nephew" of North Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh during the Vietnam War, returned home wearing a ring made from the wreckage of an American fighter plane and later became executive director of an alleged Soviet front organization that reportedly took its marching orders from the KGB.
Several organized protests in solidarity with the FARC narcoterrorists of Colombia.
Others have been waging campaigns in support of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Many of the most influential are professional radicals with a fanatical devotion to the late North Korean communist dictator Kim Il-sung and his communist dictator son, Kim Jong-il.
**** has criticized Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. In a globally coordinated campaign, these and other aging veterans of Cold War "peace" protests are running today's antiwar movement. This has other antiwar activists pulling at their hair.
They argue that the affiliations and extremist opera tions of the current organizers risk discrediting the cause. Some even have gone public with these complaints. Writing in the Washington Post, sixties-era historian Michael Kazin, a professor at Georgetown University, says the American left is "sharply divided" about leadership of the protests. "The organizers of the recent Washington and San Francisco marches refuse to say anything critical of Saddam Hussein," Kazin lamented.
Who's Paying for it All?
But the critics don't have much clout with the "antiwar" leadership, as they themselves recognize, because they aren't doing the organizing or paying the expenses to mobilize hundreds of thousands of people into the streets. Today's protests require huge amounts of work and are coordinated worldwide. United for Peace and Justice (UPJ), one of the two main groups that ran the Feb. 15-16 protests across the United States, claims simultaneous demonstrations were held around the world in more than 300 cities, including Baghdad.
Peace activists are torn between joining the Axis of Evil or not protesting at all. Some look the other way. Some rationalize involvement. "We can't divide the peace movement, you know," said a paid antiwar organizer at Our Lady of Mercy Church in wealthy Potomac, Md.
The demonstration planners are, in fact, professional agitators who have mass protest down to a science, having participated in or run grass-roots mobilizations since before most of today's picketers were born. Critical authorities on U.S. radicalism say the track record of the leaders reveals not a principled opposi tion to war but a calculated commitment to undermining U.S. security and foreign policy, regardless of their ideology, and exploiting the naïveté and idealism of whatever influential or mainstream people can be persuaded to join them. That's how a group such as the International Action Center (IAC) could support Milosevic's mass murder of Muslims on the one hand, and back Islamic terrorists and Saddam on the other.
The organizers divide into two distinct groups: the IAC and Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, known as International ANSWER, lead one group, and UPJ heads the other. IAC and ANSWER are front groups of the Workers World Party (WWP), a tiny Marxist-Leninist group whose leaders display a fanatical devotion to the late North Korean dictator Kim Il-sung and his son and successor, Kim Jong-il (see sidebar). According to longtime homeland-security analysts, UPJ's leaders built their political-organizing careers in the old Soviet-funded Communist Party USA (CPUSA).
Indeed the very concept of "front groups" -- umbrella organizations set up by communists to trick liberals and innocents into supporting the party line -- has been a veritable hallmark of Marxist agitation since the 1920s.
Many are tempted to laugh off the idea that graying old extremists are running current protests, and they roll their eyes at hearing the "C"-word, even Moscow having given up communism. But many others, especially liberals in the peace movement, are not at all amused. "I think the demonstrations would have been twice as big had the organizers been from a wider range of antiwar groups and not so dominated by this tiny Marxist-Leninist faction," said Stephen Zunes, chair of the peace- and justice-studies program at the University of San Francisco.
The IAC has felt the sting. In a statement it blasted those who "dishonestly claim that ANSWER is a 'front' group in order to diminish the coalition," though it acknowledges "the presence of socialists and Marxists, in particular members of the Workers World Party." Their critics, IAC says, are racists: "Those who claim that ANSWER is a 'front' organization demonstrate their own racist and elitist perception of reality."
And ANSWER has ripped what it calls "a repugnant red-baiting campaign against the ANSWER coalition because of its role as a principal organizer of the mass grass-roots movement of opposi tion to war throughout the United States."
The WWP is nothing if not consistent. According to a 1974 congressional report, it split from the Socialist Workers Party in 1959 in a dispute over the Soviet invasion of Hungary three years before. The Socialist Workers opposed the invasion, while Workers World partisans supported it.
"In 1968, the Workers World Party supported the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the communist Warsaw Pact armies," the report continued. The party, which never numbered more than a few hundred people, supported the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese army against the United States during the Vietnam War, according to the congressional report. Some of its activities were coordinated with enemy military actions.
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 World "newspaper," and occasionally represents the IAC.
Party members received revolutionary training in Cuba as members of the Venceremos Brigades in the 1960s and early 1970s, and at about that time the party oriented itself ideologically with North Korea. Deirdre Griswold Stapp, a voice of the party and currently editor of Workers World, described how the party functioned in a 1972 report to the Cuban Communist Party.
Explaining its "international relationships," she told Cuban leaders about the WWP's new contacts with North Korea, via a front group called the American Servicemen's Union, according to congressional investigators.
"The chairman of the American Servicemen's Union, Andy Stapp, recently visited the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and opened friendly discussions with the party there," she wrote. She later married Stapp.
In a speech to the 6th Congress of the League of Socialist Working Youth of Korea, the youth branch of North Korea's ruling party, Andy Stapp praised "Comrade Kim Il-sung, ever victorious, iron-willed, brilliant commander and outstanding leader of the international communist and working-class movements," according to a transcript published in a congressional report.
"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."
Today, the WWP and its fronts claim to be nonviolent, but they remain as enthusiastic as ever about North Korea. Visiting Pyongyang to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung in April 2002, Griswold Stapp signed a statement 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."
Filing an article from the North Korean capital for the July 23, 2002, issue of Workers World, Griswold Stapp called Pyongyang "truly one of the most beautiful cities in the world."
Brian Becker, a WWP secretariat member and a director of ANSWER and the IAC, visited North Korea in March 2002 to denounce the United States, discredit the presence of U.S. troops in South Korea and reaffirm a commitment to reunify the divided peninsula along the lines of the plan set by Kim Jong-il. Becker serves as a spokesman for the IAC and its antiwar campaign.
The second major coordinating faction of the present-day antiwar movement, headed by UPJ under Leslie Cagan's leadership, has its roots in the old Soviet "active-measures" agitprop networks, say homeland-security experts.
Insight has traced Cagan's career to Cuba, where in the early 1970s as a member of the Venceremos Brigades she received revolutionary training and indoctrination. In the last years of the Cold War, Cagan organized mass protests from an office called Mobilization for Survival, according to former congressional investigators. She coordinated with Soviet international front organizations and the CPUSA as the vanguard element of broader-based demonstrations around the world against U.S. resistance to Soviet expansion.
This magazine has obtained Mobilization for Survival documents from the 1980s that show the group's support for Marxist-Leninist insurgencies and terrorist groups in the Third World, Middle Eastern terrorists (including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), Soviet-backed dictatorships in Africa and Latin America, and Soviet-inspired campaigns for the unilateral disarmament of the United States.
In 1990-91, when the United States led an international coalition to free Kuwait from the Iraqi military, Cagan coordinated the National Campaign for Peace in the Middle East to organize grass-roots opposi tion to the liberation. Also in 1991, when the CPUSA broke into two factions, Cagan cofounded the splinter group, called the Committees of Correspondence.
Now she runs the UPJ, coordinating opposi tion to the war on terrorism in general and the effort to destroy Saddam's arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.
Meanwhile, longtime Cagan associate Michael Meyerson is helping to run protests in New York, according to the Associated Press. Formerly a member of the national council or "Politburo" of the CPUSA, Meyerson has been involved in protests since at least 1960.
It was Meyerson who, in a 1965 visit to Hanoi, was made an "honorary nephew" of North Vietnamese Communist Party leader Ho Chi Minh. He returned home to attend "antiwar" protests sporting a Viet Cong cap and the ring he famously said was made from the wreckage of an American fighter plane.
He ran the U.S. Peace Council, the New York-based branch of the World Peace Council, a Soviet international front organization that, according to 1982 CIA and FBI testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, received covert funding and direction from the KGB.
J. Michael Waller is a senior writer for Insight magazine.
Related ArticleWho's Paying for It All? [re: anti-war demostrations
Source: INSIGHT magazine;m Published: February 18, 2003; Author: J. Michael Waller
Some great FReepers will hopefully stand up and show us the way to the next level. We need to up our numbers, if only to play the media game. If 100,000 conservatives ever showed up for something we could not be ignored.
Exactly. I like the idea of putting up signs asking, "Who pays for these marches, Saddam or Kim Jong-Il?