As radicals from across the country descend upon New York City this week in their malicious attempt to violently disrupt the Republican National Convention, it appears the perfect time to dissect the affiliations and leadership of one of the most influential anti-Bush “peace” groups to emerge since 9/11: Win Without War.
Comprised of 42 environmental, feminist, religious and human rights groups that claim to be united in promoting peaceful solutions for international problems, Win Without War first burst onto the political scene in December 2002, at an international press conference featuring leftist actor Mike Farrell. Although the organization was initiated with a letter signed by over 100 celebrities calling for an end to America's “imperialist” wars, with the help of David Fenton, the founder of the public relations firm, Fenton Communications, and the rabidly anti-Bush Internet outfit, Moveon.org, the campaign was presented as a non-partisan patchwork of American life. But while Fenton may want Americans to see Win Without War as being “middle of the road,” the sum of its parts paints a vastly different picture.
Fenton Communications is a “socially responsible” PR firm with a penchant for backing Marxist regimes, and Win Without War boasts a number of “progressive” operatives, like the coalition's director, Tom Andrews, and Clinton employee, Maggie Williams, who use non-profits to front for the Democratic Party line.
In addition, elements of the fringe Left like Veterans for Peace, which held a solidarity convention in Havana with Cuban veterans of Angola in 1992, are also members of the Win Without War team. And, to top it off, funds are channeled through billionaire George Soros' Open Society Institute and the ultra-leftist Tides Foundation into many of the coalition members' bank accounts. Indeed, Win Without War isn't even close to the mainstream- it's the Left Bank.
The radical Left owes a great debt of gratitude to David Fenton. He has mixed Neo-Marxist ideology with junk science, trial lawyers, labor, progressive millionaires, politicians, and radical policy wonks to construct a complex, moneymaking left-wing advocacy empire. Fenton Communications reported billing $6 million dollars in 2002, and will likely make much more this year with high profile clients like The Heinz Family Foundation, the aforementioned Open Society Institute and Moveon.org.
Fenton has never forgotten his radical 60s roots, and surrounds himself with like-minded comrades. His client list has included the Cuban-backed Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and Grenada's Maurice Bishop, who welcomed hundreds of Cuban and Soviet “advisors” to his small island before radical Marxist members of his own cabinet murdered him in October 1983 (Ten days later, the US invaded Grenada, and ended all Cuban military construction projects). Fenton Communications also had no trouble taking money from El Salvador's revolutionary Marxist guerillas, the Farabundo Marti Liberation Front (FMLN), a group responsible for thousands of innocent deaths in that country's thirty-year civil war. Fenton’s organization has also served as the mouthpiece for Nicaragua's Sandinistas.
Fenton presently makes a name for himself as a champion of environmental junk-science scare campaigns - the type favored by trial lawyers and “earth-friendly” companies like Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. In a 2002 report titled, “Fear Profiteers: Do ‘Socially Responsible’ Businesses Sow Health Scares to Reap Monetary Rewards?” a highly respected panel of research scientists found “a tangled web of non-profit advocacy groups with a public relations 'ring leader' playing spider.” The web spinner was none other than David Fenton.
But while he currently poses as a fervent environmentalist, Fenton has a militant political past and has cut his radical teeth in the 60s as a photographer for the pro-Vietcong Liberation News. He was a long-time friend of radical left icon, Abbie Hoffman, and was also a leading advocate and promoter of the Nuclear Disarmament movement, a stronghold for Marxists after the end of the Vietnam War.
According to Frontpage Magazine’s Thomas Ryan:
“[Fenton] began his ‘journalism’ career as a photographer and media specialist for the Liberation News Service, which was named in admiration of and loyalty to the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam. The anti-American, Communist movement Fenton and his colleagues emulated called for the ‘overthrow [of] the camouflaged colonial regime of the American imperialists and the dictatorial power of Ngo Dinh Diem, servant of the Americans, and [to] institute a government of national democratic union [in Vietnam].’”
Fenton was also a member of the White Panther Party (a Caucasian-led offshoot of the Black Panthers), and even did photography work for the Weathermen, the Communist/anarchist group which bombed the U.S. Capitol building, along with other prominent U.S. institutions in Washington, DC and New York City.
At Win Without War, Fenton has gathered together many of his oldest friends and clients. The assembled cast of characters has a long history of pushing the far left's political agenda through Democratic Party activism backed by millions of dollars from wealthy philanthropic clients.
Tom Andrews is Fenton's assistant spin-doctor at WWW. Andrews served two terms in Congress beginning in 1990 and was called the House of Representatives' “most progressive member” in 1994. Andrews was defeated by Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) in a bid for the Senate, and subsequently started a decade-long career as a rabble-rouser for progressive, Democratic Party causes in the murky world of left-wing non-profit organizations like Citizen Action, where he was national programs director.
Fenton's firm worked for Citizen Action and paired the non-profit group with the Sierra Club (also Fenton's client) to target Republicans in 15 key Congressional races in the 1996 election cycle. In 1997, Citizen Action collapsed under an avalanche of scandal and corruption generated by its role in the 1996 Teamster's money laundering scandal. This happened just as Tom Andrews was leading a campaign to “clean up” the Republican Congress.
Andrews then joined forces with Fenton to form New Economy Communications, a non-profit media company supported by the far left Tides Foundation. In keeping with David Fenton's philosophy, New Economy Communications is known for smearing companies like Nike in anti-sweatshop campaigns and bringing media attention to obscure, Marxist-leaning anti-globalization groups.
The backbone of Win Without War is coalition member Moveon.org. Thousands of foot soldiers for the Democratic Internet sensation provide the bulk of Win Without War's membership. Moveon.org is currently partnering with Win Without War in a media campaign attacking the Bush administration's continued “ownership” of Iraq after the handover of sovereignty. The blatantly partisan ads also solicit donations for Moveon.org's 527 Political Action Committees.
Like Moveon.org, most Win Without War coalition members are closely linked to Fenton Communications. The NAACP, Medea Benjamin's Global Exchange and ice cream mogul Ben Cohen, founder of coalition member True Majority, all do business with Fenton. Other WWW members, like NOW, WAND, Peace Action and Fourth Freedom Forum have close ties with Fenton's rich clients or employees.
Three coalition members - the Sierra Club, Families USA and Center for International Policy - are typical of the nexus between the Democratic Party, Fenton Communications and Win Without War. The Sierra Club, David Fenton's client since the earliest days of his company, is now a proud member of the peace coalition. The Sierra Club's “unaffiliated” political committee has already contributed thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates this election cycle. And that's not counting the soft money the PAC will dole out to Sierra-friendly Democrats when the campaign season heats up.
Families USA is an organization that claims to be “the voice of the healthcare consumer.” Yet this non-profit organization has such close ties with the Democratic Party, it was called the “de facto public relations manager of the Clinton Administration's campaign for comprehensive health care legislation” by the New York Times. The organization also received over $300,000 from George Soros's Open Society Institute in 2002. Families USA has another connection to Fenton: Maggie Williams, who now serves as a board member for the health care group, is a former employee of Fenton Communications. Williams was a president at the PR firm in between her years working at the White House for Hillary Clinton and her current job leading the staff at Bill Clinton's Harlem office.
One of the most sophisticated of Fenton's anti-war projects is the co-mingling of Win Without War and the Center for International Policy (CIP). Before 9/11, CIP, a Fenton Communications client, mainly acted as Fidel Castro's greatest “think tank” ally. Much of its million-dollar budget was spent lobbying to end economic sanctions and travel restrictions against Cuba.
Now, it has another mission. Fenton has established a “war room” with CIP called The Iraq Policy Information Program (IPIP). Its main job is getting the anti-Bush foreign policy message out to the media and providing guests for talk shows. A featured speaker of the IPIP is former ambassador Joe Wilson, one of the Bush administration’s most vocal enemies. Like Moveon.org and Win Without War, the contact for the Iraq Policy Information Program is Fenton Communications. Win Without War also collects tax-deductible donations through CIP.
In addition to progressive non-profits associated with Win Without War, Fenton Communications flaks for the politically motivated wealthy patrons who fuel their efforts. Fenton has a client list filled with America's richest, most left-leaning philanthropic organizations. They include the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, The Blue Moon Fund (formerly the W. Alton Jones Foundation), The Heinz Foundation and George Soros's Open Society Institute. Fenton Communications undoubtedly crafted Win Without War with its left wing clients, like Soros and Heinz-Kerry, in mind. Through non-profit coalition members, John Kerry-supporting billionaires are free to dole out taxpayer subsidized millions to oust the Bush administration without spending limits and scrutiny from the Federal Election Commission.
Win Without War is not promoting human rights and a peaceful world. Coalition members NOW and Medea Benjamin's “Global Exchange” aren't concerned about whether or not the women of Afghanistan and Iraq are free from the torture and oppression of the Taliban and Saddam. Greenpeace and the Sierra Club could care less that the Bush Administration has removed the greatest environmental criminal in history. And Families USA would have been pleased to leave Iraq's children without adequate nutrition and healthcare under Saddam Hussein and the corrupt Oil for Food program.
Win Without War is about raw power, soft money and selling a false, radical Left bill of goods in order to defeat the Bush administration in November. The sooner the American people find out the truth, the better.