The Many Faces of Socialist “Peace” Activists: The International Action Center
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 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:
This is but a cursory overview of Clark’s record. His organization, IAC, is the vehicle through which he disseminates his anti-American proclamations. IAC professes to support “information, activism, and resistance to U.S. militarism, war, . . . corporate greed, [and] struggles against racism and oppression within the United States.”
Now, consider how IAC’s message might influence the thinking of an average American of good will who opposes U.S. involvement in the Iraq War; an individual who loves his country deeply but believes that there were better alternatives, other than military intervention, for dealing with Saddam Hussein and safeguarding Americans from nuclear terror. Suppose that one day, in an effort to register his opposition to the war by adding his voice to a chorus of likeminded people, this average American decides to participate in an anti-war rally – perhaps one of the massive demonstrations (with tens and hundreds of thousands of attendees) that have been held in many cities nationwide and around the world. Let us assume that he attends a rally organized by ANSWER, which is a creation of IAC.
Our hypothetical attendee could scarcely avoid being influenced by these messages, and by the thunderous applause they evoke from the throngs of seemingly self-assured, committed, likeminded activists all around him. Most likely unaware of ANSWER’s deep communist roots and its founders’ passionate hatred of America, he gradually comes to conclude that being on the side of “peace” requires him also to embrace the entire constellation of ANSWER’s assertions about the United States. In this way, a well-intentioned, non-partisan, aspiring peace activist is transformed into an America-hater who considers the U.S. to be on the wrong side of every international conflict in which it becomes engaged.
By accepting ANSWER’s views about the United States, one is actually accepting the positions (outlined above) of the International Action Center and Ramsey Clark. IAC and ANSWER are separate entities in name only. In practice, they are one in the same. IAC is located in New York City, at 39 West 14th Street, #206. Its phone number is 212-633-6646. (Upon stepping into IAC’s Spartan office facility, one’s gaze is quickly drawn to a large poster of the convicted cop-killer and leftist icon Mumia Abu Jamal displayed on a wall.) This is precisely the same contact information as ANSWER’s – same city, same street, same room, same phone number. In other words, ANSWER, the self-identified voice of peace, is in fact the voice of Ramsey Clark, his International Action Center, and the Workers World Party. It is revolutionary communism dressed up in the garb of “nonviolence” so as to conceal its more radical agendas and thereby make it more palatable to an unsuspecting public. IAC is listed as one of several member organizations of ANSWER’s “steering committee,” but in fact it is the very heart and soul of ANSWER.
ANSWER and WWP are by no means the only far-left groups intimately tied to the International Action Center. An organization called People Judge Bush (PJB), for instance, proudly claims ideological kinship to IAC, as reflected in the familiar theme of the former’s self-identified mission: “to address the growing evidence of crimes against peace, war crimes, and other human rights violations committed by the U.S. leadership in Iraq and elsewhere.” PJB presents itself as an independent, self-governing organization that just happens to share IAC’s views about American foreign policy. But in truth, People Judge Bush is the International Action Center – under an alternate name intended to augment public perceptions of an alliance broader than the agendas of Ramsey Clark and the Workers World Party. How do we know that PJB and IAC are a single entity? PJB’s address is the familiar 39 West 14th Street, #206, in New York City. Its phone number is 212-633-6646. On August 26, 2004, PJB held a “War Crimes Tribunal” in New York City where none other than Ramsey Clark gave a nineteen-point indictment of George W. Bush and his administration, calling for their removal from office and their conviction. Following presentations by Clark and some others, the members of the “tribunal” voted unanimously to indict Bush, Cheney, and others for war crimes.
IAC also has a connection to an organization calling itself the Korea Truth Commission (KTC), which proudly states that it is “dedicated to discovering and prosecuting alleged U.S. war crimes committed during the Korean War, as well as ejecting American troops from the Korean peninsula.” KTC has sponsored delegations to visit what it calls “civilian massacre sites,” and encourages Koreans to step forward “to tell their eyewitness accounts of the killing of civilians by U.S. troops.” At first blush, these may seem like the objectives of a nonpartisan group dedicated to bringing war criminals and human rights violators to justice. But closer inspection reveals that KTC, which ANSWER identifies as yet another member of its “steering committee,” also happens to be based at 39 West 14th Street, #206, in New York City. And its phone number is 212-633-6646. Moreover, KTC’s Washington, DC branch shares office space with the International Action Center’s chapter in that city. IAC ideology fits KTC like a glove, predicated as it is on a profound hatred of America. But in reality, there is no distinction between these groups; they are essentially one entity.
Further shoehorning its way into the office at 39 West 14th Street, #206, in New York City (and sharing the 212-633-6646 phone number) is No Draft, No Way! (NDNW), which depicts itself as an independent group taking a moral stance against America’s possible reinstatement of a military draft – basing this position on the conviction that the U.S. tends to use its armed forces for mostly evil purposes, and thus is neither worth defending nor serving. NDNW has set up an online petition that reads, “We, the undersigned, declare that we will refuse to be inducted into the military under any circumstance. Furthermore, we pledge to actively resist any return of conscription.” But as evidenced by its obvious alliance with the International Action Center, No Draft, No Way is an organization chiefly dedicated to excoriating America; its stated objective of preventing the potential deaths of would-be soldiers merely serves as a springboard from which to launch its anti-U.S. rhetoric.
According to TON, America’s abominations are by no means limited to events overseas. Charging that the U.S. turns a blind eye toward its own destitute masses, TON states, “Amongst the many challenges that we face as anti-war activists and organizers, nothing is more important than linking the concrete struggles of poor and working people, especially people of color in this country, to the anti-war struggle.” Characterizing America as a veritable snake pit dominated by racist vipers, TON portrayed the December 2005 execution of multiple murderer Stanley “Tookie” Williams as “only the latest example of the systemic racism that oppresses, tortures and kills people in many different ways.” TON also contends that the chief torturer on the world stage was never Saddam Hussein’s Iraq but rather the United States. Moreover, TON sounds the trumpet in favor of expanded rights and amnesty for illegal aliens. “Our unity is strengthened,” says TON, “by supporting full rights for immigrant workers here in the U.S. -- not sweeps, arrests, deportation and fear. And our unity is strengthened by standing with people struggling for the right to return to their homes -- this includes tens of thousands of people in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast kept from their homes by the criminal neglect and racism of FEMA, to the Palestinian people struggling for the right to return to their historic homeland.”
Activist San Diego (ASD) is another affiliated “peace” group describing itself as “a social justice organization that promotes and facilitates the development of an active, inter-related, progressive community in San Diego through networking, culture and electronic technology.” ASD helps leftwing activists consult and coordinate activities with one another via “cyber contact.” Publicizing events chiefly in the San Diego area, ASD deems such prominent leftists as Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, and Howard Zinn men of great “insight.” Strongly opposed to America’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, ASD has enthusiastically supported the anti-war rallies held in cities across the United States. On its website, it promotes marches sponsored by Code Pink for Peace, founded by the hardline communists Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin, and urges its readers to sign the anti-President Bush petition of VoteToImpeach.org. ASD shares office space for its East Coast operations at 39 West 14th Street, #206, in New York City, where its phone umber is 212-633-6646.
Another noteworthy organization with ties to IAC is the People’s Video Network (PVN), which says, “We are a group of media activists who video and audio podcast, produce and edit dvd’s and videos about issues the corporate media will not touch. In our archives are hundreds of dvd’s and videos documenting the struggle. We have sent correspondents to the Lacondon Jungle, Russia, Cuba, Korea, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and Iraq. Our goal is to break the information blockade of big business media.” All PVN videos share one overriding theme: that the United States is a fundamentally racist, discriminatory, evil nation. Among these productions are such titles as: Korea & the Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism; Demand Justice for Katrina/Rita Evacuees in New York (which accuses the U.S. government of having turned its back on Hurricane Katrina victims in August 2005 because they were poor and black); March on New Orleans: 'We Shall Not Be Moved' -- The Hurricane and Bush’s Criminal Negligence; U.S. Occupations from Haiti to Iraq; and Audio Commentaries by Mumia (which provides a platform from which the incarcerated cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal portrays himself as a “political prisoner” of a corrupt, racist justice system). Other PVN productions concerning this Abu Jamal include Legal Developments in the Case of Mumia Abu Jamal, and Mumia Addresses The World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa – a 2001 event that degenerated into an anti-Semitic, anti-American hate fest.
The People’s Video Network has also produced a Palestine Organizers Video, which features what PVN calls “moving talks” given “in support of Palestine” by Michael Shehadeh, who hosts the program Radio Intifada and is an official of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Free Palestine Alliance. This PVN video also features a “Call to Action” by Ramsey Clark and Sara Flounders, a pro-Hamas communist and a member of the Workers World Party. In addition, Clark is featured in a two-hour videotape of the December 13, 2001 forum, “What Is Behind the War on Terrorism?” – wherein he portrays the war as a U.S. government-concocted pretext for stripping Americans of their civil liberties and creating a police state. Anyone wishing to contact PVN can do so at 39 West 14th Street, #206, in New York City (or by calling 212-633-6646).
That very same address and telephone number will also put one in touch with the headquarters of the Mumia Mobilization Office, which organizes demonstrations on behalf of Mumia Abu Jamal. Mumia’s “political prisoner” status is further trumpeted by Youth and Students for Mumia, an organization that is likewise situated at 39 West 14th Street, #206, in New York City, and can be reached by phone at 212-633-6646. Rainbows Flags for Mumia (RFM) shares the same contact information as well. RFM describes itself as “a coalition of over 200 organizations and individuals of the lesbian, gay, bi, two-spirit and trans people who are organizing to stop the execution and to demand a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal.”
Anyone interested in purchasing an array of leftist, anti-American screeds can contact Leftbooks, also located at 39 West 14th Street, #206, in New York City (212-633-6646). Leftbooks features a host of publications that present favorable portraits of such figures as Che Guevara, Mumia Abu Jamal, and Hugo Chavez. Most prominent among the authors whose works are available through Leftbooks is Ramsey Clark. Leftbooks’ featured titles include, among others:
“The war in Iraq that has now destroyed the lives of more than 2,100 U.S. soldiers and 100,000 Iraqi people; the racism and neglect at all levels of government in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; growing poverty and inequality; the drive to make the Supreme Court even more anti-woman and anti-civil rights; and Rosa Parks’ [recent] death . . . have made this 50th anniversary [December 1, 2005] of her arrest an even more serious and somber occasion to reflect on the need to restart the movement against poverty, racism and war. . . . We urge you to join the more than 1,000 organizations that are also supporting and participating in the . . . Rosa Parks Anniversary Nationwide Day of Absence Against Poverty, Racism, and War. On that day, no school, no work, and no shopping – only protest marches, rallies and teach-ins. . . . Let us use this anniversary as an occasion to affirm that the struggle must continue, and that we cannot separate the struggle against racism from the struggle for the right to health care, a quality education, affordable housing, and jobs that pay a living wage with benefits including the right to organize. Moreover, central to a new Movement must be ending the war in Iraq and bringing the troops home now. . . . It is time to declare that poor and working people will not sit in the back of the economic bus that only runs to make the rich richer. We will not ride in the back of a bus that wants to run over the rights of women, people of color, immigrants, youth, LGBT people and workers. We will not ride in the back of a bus that will cut health care, food and housing programs to pay for war and transfer more wealth to the rich.”
An organization that helps finance the activities of the groups based at 39 West 14th Street, #206 in New York City is the People’s Rights Fund, or PRF (which is also based at that address, and also shares the 212-633-6646 telephone number). Established in 1986, PRF is a not-for-profit 50l(c)(3) foundation that claims to provide “funding
ANSWER in particular is also sponsored by a second 501(c)(3) – the Alliance for Global Justice (AGJ), a Washington, DC-based charity that crusades for “economic justice” (i.e., socialism) and opposes free-market capitalism, underwriting and publicizing the activities of revolutionary Marxist movements from Nicaragua to Mexico. For its January 20, 2005 counter-inaugural protest, ANSWER requested that donations be made through AGJ, which shares office space with ANSWER’s Washington, D.C. headquarters at 1247 “E” Street Southeast. This relationship ties AGJ not only to ANSWER, but also to the International Action Center and every other IAC-affiliated organization named in this article.
In summation, the International Action Center has deep communist roots, has supported some of the world’s most barbaric regimes, and is unwaveringly dedicated to America’s ultimate transformation into a socialist state. Candidly admitting to such realities, however, would not play well in Middle America. Thus IAC presents itself instead as an organization committed to “peace,” “social justice,” and “human rights.” It condemns the United States for supposedly denying these ideals to its own people and to many more around the world. And by associating its organizational mission with these same ideals, IAC effectively appeals to millions who are unaware of its actual, radical motives.
Finally, it should be noted that IAC’s involvement in the anti-war movement extends beyond its intimate links to the groups named previously in this article. It is also a member organization of the United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) anti-war coalition led by the lifelong communist Leslie Cagan, a strong supporter of Fidel Castro who proudly aligns her politics with those of Communist Cuba.
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