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Jodie Evans: Activist in Pink By: John Perazzo
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, December 08, 2003


If Howard Dean is the increasingly the voice of Democrats in America today, activist Jodie Evans is the face of the Democrats' future. A radical activist and Democratic fund-raiser, she mirrors the Party's core on its three most important issues: hating President Bush, denouncing the war and engineering the L.A. Times' last-minute sexual harassment accusations against Arnold Schwarzenegger during the California recall election.

Evans rose to prominence via her role in Code Pink for Peace, a self-described “grassroots peace and social justice movement” formed just one year ago to organize public protests against America’s impending war in Iraq. Though its leaders benignly present themselves to the public as ordinary, concerned women who would simply rather “wage peace” than go to war, this group was in fact founded by four experienced activists and hardcore communists – Jodie Evans, Medea Benjamin, Diane Wilson, and a radical Wiccan activist calling herself Starhawk. Code Pink works closely with United For Peace and Justice, whose leader Leslie Cagan is a longtime devotee of Fidel Castro and the Socialist Party USA.

Another Code Pink ally is Medea Benjamin’s group Global Exchange, which has strong ties to the communist Workers World Party. Imbued with a deep hatred for the United States and capitalism in general, Benjamin is a pro-Castro activists who lived in Cuba (and was married to a Cuban) was a principal organizer of the 1999 Seattle riots in which some 50,000 protesters wreaked havoc and tried to shut down the World Trade Organization meetings.

Throughout the 1990s, in fact, many of the Marxists currently working for Code Pink were busy organizing anti-free trade protests – some of them violent – and filing numerous high-profile lawsuits that forced American corporations to spend enormous sums of money to defend themselves. When we examine the backgrounds of Code Pink’s major players, we find that they have very little in common with “average, everyday, concerned” American women or activists just interested in peace.

Jodie Evans, for instance, sits on the board of directors of the Rain Forest Action Network (RAN), a coalition of anti-capitalist, anti-corporate environmentalist groups. RAN’s co-founder Michael Roselle also founded the Earth Liberation Front, which the FBI ranks alongside the Animal Liberation Front as the foremost domestic terrorism threats in the United States. According to the FBI, during the past seven years those two groups have been responsible for more than 600 criminal acts and $43 million in damages. And in 1985, Code Pink spokeswoman Sand Brim, who was then the executive director of Medical Aid, flew an American neurosurgeon to San Salvador to operate on the combat-wounded hand of Marxist Revolutionary Party Commander Nidia Diaz, whose group had recently murdered four American Marines and nine civilians. (MASH star and celebrity “antiwar” activist Mike Farrell assisted in the general’s surgery.)

Code Pink now consists of more than 90 chapters in numerous American cities and such far-flung nations as Costa Rica, Norway, and India. Mocking the Bush Administration’s color-coded security alerts, the “Code Pink Alert” warns that this administration poses “extreme danger to all the values of nurturing, caring, and compassion that women and loving men have held.” Professing their commitment to “wage peace,” Code Pink members see no justification for war under any circumstances – where the U.S. is concerned.

In addition to scorning America’s military action in Iraq, Code Pink members also condemn the racism, sexism, poverty, corporate corruption, and environmental degradation they claim are rampant in the U.S. In this respect, Code Pink is like other prominent “peace” movements in our country – portraying America as a moral cesspool and an imperialist aggressor, while remaining mute about whatever barbarities occur anywhere else on earth. Not even the pre-war atrocities of Saddam Hussein drew a scintilla of condemnation from Code Pink. 

Proclaiming that “women have been the guardians of life . . . because the men have busied themselves making war,” Code Pink calls on “women around the world to rise up and oppose the war in Iraq. We call on mothers, grandmothers, sisters and daughters . . . and every ordinary outraged woman willing to be outrageous for peace.” During one Code Pink demonstration in Washington, D.C., participants marched up the steps of the Capitol, unfurled their slogan-bearing banners, and stripped down to the dove-adorned bras and panties they wore beneath their clothes. “We’re putting our bodies on the line,” they shouted. “You Congresspeople better get some spine. We say ‘Stand back, don’t attack – innocent children in Iraq!’” Another popular chant was, “We don’t want your oil war. Peace is what we’re calling for!”

 

Every day for four months, Code Pink also staged all-day antiwar vigils at the White House. Moreover, it initiated a campaign that involved presenting pink slips (women’s lingerie) to President Bush and other pro-war officials – a metaphor for pink slips of the paper variety, which are given to employees whose jobs are being terminated. These unique tactics have brought Code Pink’s members considerable national news coverage and many talk show invitations.

 

Earlier this year Jodie Evans led a delegation of fifteen Code Pink women to Baghdad, where they met with Iraqi women for the purpose of “creat[ing] the understanding that the people of Iraq are no different than you and me.” “We understand,” said Evans, “the love of a mother in Iraq for her children, and the driving desire of that child for life . . . We who cherish children will not consent to their murder. Nor do we consent to the murder of their mothers, grandmothers, fathers, grandfathers, or to the deaths of our own sons and daughters in a war for oil.” She said nothing about the fathers, grandfathers, mothers and children murdered, tortured or raped by Saddam Hussein’s regime, nor its 12-year refusal to abide by the terms of the UN’s many resolutions. While in Baghdad, Evans and her companions repeatedly and publicly painted America as an unprovoked aggressor, and Iraqis as noble defenders of their invaded homeland. “Children continue to die of hunger,” they reported, “and electricity is unreliable. However, Iraqis continue to resist the occupation in their own way.”

 

Similarly, Evans and her cohorts had blamed America for all of Iraq’s ills during the pre-war months of late 2002. At that time, she claimed, “a child with cancer cannot get pain relief or medication because of sanctions. Childhood diarrhea has again become a major killer. Five hundred thousand children have already died from inadequate health care, water and food supplies due to sanctions.” Yet they uttered nary a word about the reason why those sanctions had been put in place: Saddam’s refusal to honor the very pledges he had made following the first Gulf War in 1991. Nor did they bother to mention that while Iraq’s overall population struggled through the era of sanctions, Saddam and his inner circle lived like royalty, illegally diverting countless billions of “oil-for-food” dollars into their own pockets.

 

Criticizing the cost of the current war, Code Pink laments that “in the United States of America, many of our elders . . . now must choose whether to buy their prescription drugs, or food. Our children’s education is eroded. The air they breathe and the water they drink are polluted. Vast numbers of women and children live in poverty.” The threat of distant terrorists, claims Code Pink, is insignificant when compared to the “real threats” we face every day: “the illness or ordinary accident that could plunge us into poverty, the violence on our own streets, the corporate corruption that can result in the loss of our jobs, our pensions, our security.”

 

“We choose pink,” they say, “the color of roses, the beauty that like bread is food for life; the color of the dawn of a new era when cooperation and negotiation prevail over force.” Such women obstinately refuse to acknowledge that they are free to wax poetic in this manner only because others before them won their security by fighting the very real enemies that sought to destroy our civilization. Moreover, they despise the very society for which those men gave their lives. 

In addition to her Code Pink duties, Jodie Evans also sits on the advisory board of the International Occupation Watch (IOW) center in Iraq, which Code Pink helped establish. The organizers of Occupation Watch -- Medea Benjamin and Leslie Cagan -- explicitly declared their purpose in setting up headquarters in Baghdad was thin U.S. forces by getting soldiers to declare themselves conscientious objectors

 

IOW also monitors American abuses during the reconstruction of Iraq. Implying that America’s true motivation for attacking Iraq was to seize its oil fields, IOW proudly asserts its intent to “advocate for the Iraqis’ right to control their own resources, especially oil.” No mention is made of the fact that, for decades, Iraq’s oil was controlled, not by Iraqis,  but by Saddam Hussein for – largely for his own aggrandizement. IOW further purports to be “a watchdog regarding the military occupation and U.S.-appointed government, including possible violations of human rights, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly.” Again, no mention is made of the fact that these are American concepts that had not seen the light of day in Iraq since the moment Saddam first rose to power. 

Clearly, Code Pink is but another in a long line of “peace” groups whose main goal is to blame the United States for every conceivable international crisis. If peace were indeed Code Pink's chief concern, surely it would be able to find something to say about wars elsewhere in the world. If “nurturing, caring, and compassion” were in fact what Evans and her ilk cared about, surely they would utter at least a few words about human rights abuses in some nation other than the United States. Instead they trace all of humanity’s afflictions to the doorstep of America. 

As a far leftist, Evans has found a comfortable political home in the Democratic Party. Indeed she was a key fundraiser for her longtime friend and political ally, former California governor Gray Davis. Evans’ ex-husband, Westside financier Max Palevsky, actually appointed Davis to his first political job as the fundraiser for Tom Bradley’s 1973 Los Angeles mayoral campaign. Shortly thereafter, Evans and Davis worked closely together during the latter’s stint as chief of staff to then-governor Jerry Brown.

In the weeks preceding the recent California governor’s recall election, Evans was instrumental in convincing several women to come forward and tell the L.A. Times their allegations against Arnold Schwarzenegger. Moreover, she helped organize picketing sessions in front of Schwarzenegger’s campaign headquarters. Yet her purported concern for the protection of women is wholly subordinate to her partisan political affiliations. For instance, she had nothing to say about Gray Davis’ well-documented episodes of violent and obscene behavior toward female staffers. Nor, for that matter, did Evans impugn the ill-advised remarks of her friend Bob Mulholland, the California Democratic Party spokesman, who told ABC News that “Schwarzenegger is going to find out, that unlike a Hollywood movie set, the bullets coming at him in this campaign are going to be real bullets and he is going to have to respond to them.”

In short, Evans’ posturing as a champion of human decency is nothing more than a political battering ram selectively aimed only at those with whom she disagrees. Similarly, her posturing as a woman deeply devoted to “peace” is but a mask for her real agenda: the blanket condemnation not only of our nation’s foreign policy, but its very way of life.  


John Perazzo is the Managing Editor of DiscoverTheNetworks and is the author of The Myths That Divide Us: How Lies Have Poisoned American Race Relations. For more information on his book, click here. E-mail him at WorldStudiesBooks@gmail.com



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