* Member of International A.N.S.W.E.R.’s steering committee
* West Coast Coordinator of the International Action Center
* Formerly ssociated with the Workers World Party
* Currently a key figure in the Party for Socialism and Liberation
* Views the United States and Israel as oppressors of the Palestinian people
Richard Becker is a prominent member of the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party and a key figure in the Party for Socialism and Liberation, a national steering committee member with the ANSWER Coalition, and the Western Region co-director of Ramsey Clark‘s International Action Center (IAC). Viewing America as the principal wellspring of evil on earth, he once asserted that “no one in the world … has a worse human rights record than the United States.” In early 1976 Becker represented WWP at a national “Hard Times Conference” condemning American “imperialism” and “oppression.” The event was organized jointly by the Weather Underground Organization and the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee, a pair of New Left groups.
As a leading Bay Area activist in the protest rallies against the first Gulf War, Becker helped organize a January 19, 1991 demonstration in San Francisco that reportedly drew 200,000 participants. After the war was over, he helped coordinate an “International War Crimes Tribunal” which Ramsey Clark established to investigate “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” that America had allegedly committed before, during, and after the conflict.
In February 1994 Becker traveled to Iraq with an IAC “fact-finding delegation” headed by Ramsey Clark. Becker also represented the IAC at an international meeting held by opponents of the United Nations‘ economic sanctions against Saddam Hussein‘s Iraq. In 1996 Becker co-authored The Children Are Dying, a book documenting the allegedly catastrophic effects which the sanctions were having on the Iraqi people. He subsequently co-produced a pair of videos on the same theme, titled Genocide by Sanctions (1998) and Blockade: The Silent War Against Iraq (2000). And in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Becker was a leader of the Iraq Sanctions Challenge, a delegation that delivered medicine to Iraq in defiance not only of the UN sanctions regime, but also of several U.S. laws and presidential executive orders.
Becker co-authored the 1998 IAC-published book NATO in the Balkans, and he spoke at many teach-ins and forums against the 1999 U.S./NATO war in Yugoslavia.
In 2000, Becker testified at an “International Tribunal on U.S./NATO War Crimes Against the People of Yugoslavia,” which, like the aforementioned Gulf War Tribunal, found American and NATO political and military leaders “guilty of war crimes.”
Becker has long viewed Israel as a nation guilty of egregious human-rights violations, and has objected to America’s close alliance with the Jewish state. In February 1998, for instance, he denounced the U.S. government for: “provid[ing] “billions of dollars a year in critical military and economic aid to Israel”; “blocking innumerable United Nations resolutions condemning Israeli seizures of Arab land”; “allow[ing] Israel to ignore the [UN] resolutions that have been passed”; and “display[ing] the most virulent hostility” toward the Palestinians. Accusing the U.S. and Israel of “working together to undermine the emergence of a Palestinian state,” Becker blamed both countries for “[t]he strangulation of the Palestinian economy,” the “huge rise in [Palestinian] unemployment,” and the “decline in [Palestinian] living standards.”
In October-November 2000, Becker led an IAC delegation to Palestine to deliver medicine to the Palestinian medical system.
In June 2002, Becker accused the Israeli government of seeking “to destroy the Palestinian movement in order to take possession of all of historic Palestine, once and for all.” He charged, moreover, that “the U.S. rulers want to crush the Palestinian resistance as a part of their program, disguised as the ‘war on terrorism,’ of smashing all resistance to the U.S. empire on a global scale.” “Dismantling the Palestinian resistance would pave the way for establishing uncontested U.S. hegemony in the region,” Becker elaborated, and “would also pave the way to a new all-out war of recolonization against Iraq.”
During the Israel-Hamas war of July 2006—a conflict initiated by Gaza-based Hamas terrorists firing hundreds of rockets into Israeli territory—Becker accused Israel of waging an unjustified “assault on the Palestinian people,” trying to “dismantl[e] the recently elected [Hamas-led] Palestinian National Authority government,” and unjustifiably holding in Israeli jails “more than 9,000 Palestinian political prisoners, all abducted from their homeland.” Further, he charged that Israel had already inflicted “years of economic strangulation” on the Palestinians.
In October 2009, Becker was the keynote speaker at an ANSWER-sponsored antiwar “teach-in” at Los Angeles City College, where he suggested that a U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan—which he strongly advocated—would strike a mighty blow against America’s “empire” in South Asia. “Every empire falls, and this empire will fall as well,” Becker declared, to rousing applause. At the same event, Becker defended the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Based on information derived from a single source—a 1998 interview with former President Jimmy Carter‘s National Security Agency chief, Zbigniew Brzezinski—Becker argued that the Soviet incursion was a strategic counter-thrust to U.S. imperial influence in Kabul. Specifically, he suggested that the CIA was planning to establish an American colonial outpost in Afghanistan for the purpose of consolidating U.S. control over Caspian crude oil.
In 2011 Becker supported the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street demonstrations that swept across the United States, boasting that his ANSWER coalition had “played a key role in linking the anti-war struggle to the Occupy movement.”
For additional information on Richard Becker, click here.
Further Reading: “Richard Becker” (Keywiki.org); “International War Crimes Tribunal Hearing on the U.S./NATO War Against Yugoslavia” (2008); “U.S. Not Neutral in Palestinian-Israeli Conflict” (Richard Becker, Workers World, 2-12-1998); “A.N.S.W.E.R.Coalition is Marxist-Leninist Activism in Ferguson” (American Thinker, 11-14-2014); “When Defeat Is the Answer” (Donald Douglas, FrontPageMag.com, 10-18-2009); “The CIA’s Intervention in Afghanistan: Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski (Le Nouvel Observateur, January 15-21, 1998).