Brian Becker is the national director of International ANSWER. He has been a co-director of the International Action Center (IAC), and was a member of the Secretariat of the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party (WWP) until 2004. He was also a contributor to the WWP newspaper, Workers World. Through his association with these organizations, Becker became a prominent figure in the anti-war movement’s massive post-9/11 peace rallies.
In 1994 Becker was a signatory to a letter drafted by the Peace for Cuba International Appeal (PCIA), a movement composed of Communist Party USA fronts and affiliates calling for increased trade and travel between the United States and Cuba. Other signers included such notables as Ramsey Clark, Teresa Gutierrez, Alice Walker, and Quentin Young.
In Becker’s calculus, American history is a narrative punctuated on every line with injustice and oppression. In July 1999, he mocked U.S. government leaders for “speak[ing] so piously about human rights in countries that they have decided to attack,” and for spreading “war propaganda” designed to “divert attention from their own [sordid] history.” Specifically, Becker explained that the U.S. had not become wealthy and powerful by means of “the so-called ‘magic of the free market’” or “the purported virtues of capitalism,” but rather as a result of “the accumulation of wealth from slave labor” as well as “the theft and the genocidal ethnic cleansing of millions of Native Indian people.”
In early 2000, Becker traveled with a fellow WWP writer to North Korea to help build what he (Becker) called “a movement of genuine solidarity” with Pyongyang. Both were deeply impressed by what Becker’s companion described as “the unbreakable determination of the North Korean people to defend their socialist society against U.S. imperialism.”
At a December 2000 Workers World Party conference in New York, Becker:
During a speech he delivered in Highland, New York, on November 6, 2001—less than two months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks—Becker characterized America’s military retaliation against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan as “one of the great crimes and acts of terrorism” in modern history. “Let us not forget,” he said, “that September 11 was not the beginning of violence, but just one point in a long continuum of violence that is fundamentally a consequence of U.S. policies around the world.” Further:
In March 2002, Becker was elected vice-chairman of the Committee of the International Liaison for Reunification and Peace in Korea, an organization that: (a) developed a public-relations campaign on behalf of dictator Kim Jong Il, and (b) called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Korean peninsula. Becker also chaired the U.S. Troops Out of Korea Committee, a role in which he accused the United States of systematically and maliciously murdering Korean civilians in a campaign of genocide.
At a June 18, 2002 news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Becker joined a number of other speakers in announcing the formation of the National Campaign to Defend Civil Rights, an organization whose purpose was to protest the Bush administration’s allegedly unjustified domestic spying against Muslim organizations in the post-9/11 era. Other speakers at the press conference included representatives of the Rainbow Coalition/PUSH, the Partnership for Civil Justice, the Muslim Students Association of U.S. & Canada, the Mexico Solidarity Network, the Nicaragua Network, and Black Voices for Peace.
In August 2002, with the possibility looming that the U.S. might soon decide to invade Iraq, Becker traveled to Baghdad as part of a five-person delegation led by Ramsey Clark. In an August 26 press release outlining the objectives of the delegation, International ANSWER wrote:
“The delegation is meeting with high government officials, family members of people who were killed in the U.S. bombing of Basra August 26, and visiting hospitals and food distribution centers. The group is touring Basra at the site of yesterday’s bombing raid that killed eight civilians. The purpose of this trip is to report on the latest effects of U.S.-led UN sanctions against the Iraqi civilian population, and to show solidarity with the people of Iraq who are facing the prospect of an imminent U.S. war of aggression. Ramsey Clark is the founder and chairperson of the U.S.-based International Action Center, which has campaigned against the devastating economic sanctions on Iraq for the last decade.”
Meanwhile, in an article in Workers World, Becker denounced the “lawless aggression” of the “imperialist” and “racist” U.S. air patrols that were enforcing a no-fly zone over Iraq at that time.
Depicting the U.S. as a “rogue state,” Becker in September 2002 likened members of the Bush Administration to “drunken gunslingers who shoot up the town in a Saturday night frenzy—just because they can.” He ridiculed their “sneering, swaggering and threatening foreign policy”; condemned America as “the only country to have used atomic bombs against … civilian cities” in the past; and asserted that if the U.S. were to attack Iraq, it would be for the “re-conquest of a country that had earlier dared to nationalize Western oil installations.”
On January 19, 2003 in Washington, D.C., Becker spoke at an International ANSWER rally titled “No War, No Way,” an event designed to delegitimize any calls for a U.S. invasion of Iraq.
On March 20, 2004 in New York City, Becker spoke at a massive Global Day of Action rally initiated by International ANSWER and United for Peace and Justice. The purpose of the event was to protest the allegedly unjustified wars and occupations that had been carried out by the United States and the Pentagon.
Becker left the Workers World Party in 2004, when he affected a major split in the organization by grabbing much of its membership and co-founding member of his own radical-Left outfit, the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
Becker has had noteworthy ties to radical Islamists. During a July 31, 2006 interview with FOX News, for instance, he said: “Do I consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization? The answer is no.” That same month, Becker and then-Muslim American Society president Esam Omeish were guest speakers at a rally in support of Hezbollah and Hamas, where Becker argued that the U.S. supported Israel because the latter “carries out the fundamental colonial functions against not only the Palestinians but against all Arab people and against other peoples of the Middle East.” In 2007, when a series of seven-year-old videos showing Omeish at a rally praising Palestinians for using “the jihad … to liberate your land” were uncovered and made public, Becker stepped forward as a character witness for Omeish. He asserted that critics of Omeish were nothing more than “right-wing anti-Muslim bigots.”
In December 2008, Becker went to Los Angeles to attend a National Conference on Socialism, organized by the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
On February 4, 2011, Becker said: “The most important thing we can do for the people in Venezuela and the people in Cuba and the people everywhere who want to be free, is build a revolutionary party and organization and movement in the United States, that can fight and defeat U.S. imperialism.” Two months later, he stated that while he and his fellow PSL members “don’t like violence,” they “recognize that sometimes violence … is necessary … for the liberation of human beings.” Becker likened the possibility that PSL and its ideological allies might someday resort to violence, to General George Washington’s “armed struggle against British colonialism,” and to the Civil War’s role in bringing about “the end of chattel slavery as a legal institution.”
Today Becker hosts the program Loud and Clear on Sputnik radio, a media organization funded by the Russian government with offices around the world. His show is broadcast from a studio in downtown Washington, just a few blocks from the White House.
By Byron York
February 10, 2003