The group at the forefront of the recent anti-war rallies, International A.N.S.W.E.R (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is in reality a front organization designed to further the radical agenda of several extremist movements from the political Left. Despite the media’s assertions to the contrary, present incarnation of the peace movement, led by ANSWER, is anything but representative of mainstream America.
ANSWER’s steering committee reads like a "Who’s Who" of radical political organizations. The most influential member of ANSWER’s steering committee, Ramsey Clark’s pet project known as the International Action Center (IAC), is considered by many observers to be little more than a communist front organization for an obscure Stalinist organization known as the World Workers Party (WWP). Yet, the IAC is not the only member of ANSWER’s steering committee committed to extremist causes. The Korean Truth Commission and Pastors for Peace are staunch allies of Kim Jong Il and Fidel Castro, respectively, and both groups continue to support these murderous regimes’ violation of International law. In addition to its role as a front for the support of totalitarian/communist governments in North Korea and Cuba, members of ANSWER’s steering committee such as the Muslim Student Association and the Free Palestine Alliance continue to provide ideological, logistical and financial support for organizations devoted to the destruction of the state of Israel, including the terrorist group, Hamas. A comprehensive investigation of the members of ANSWER’s steering committee make it clear that the organization is in actuality one of Peace’s greatest enemies.
Since its inception in the early nineties, Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark’s International Action Center has been documented to be a front organization for the World Worker’s party. While the WWP’s history and support for murderous regimes and bloody crackdowns on communist/totalitarian dissidents has already been extensively documented by Front Page Magazine, as well as other several media outlets, through a deliberate infiltration strategy in which key WWP operatives have assumed high level positions in Clark’s organization, the WWP has been able to exert tremendous ideological sway over the IAC, and subsequently, ANSWER. As noted by Kevin Coogan, a contributor to the Hit List who has extensively investigated the WWP-IAC connection, "it is undeniable that without the presence of scores of WWP cadre working inside the IAC, the organization, for all practical purposes would cease to exist."
It was Ramsey Clark’s seduction by the WWP that marked the beginning of the WWP’s movement to the forefront of liberal activism. In 1991, the National Coalition was born out of the ashes of another WWP front organization known as the People’s Anti-War Mobilization (PAM). The WWP’s role in the creation of the National Coalition was immediately made apparent through the selection of prominent WWP member Monica Moorehead as the head of the new organization. The National Coalition quickly established its headquarters in a Manhattan office building adjacent to the offices of Ramsey Clark, which was already infested with WWP members. Gavriella Gemma, a WWP and National Coalition coordinator, was a legal secretary in Ramsey’s office, and was allegedly instrumental in bringing Clark into the WWP fold. Clark quickly fell under the sway of the WWP, and within months was announced as the organization’s official spokesman.
Clark’s appointment as National Coalition spokesman marked the beginning of his alliance with the WWP, an alliance that resulted in the formation of the International Action Center. Workers’ World, the official newspaper of the WWP announced the creation of the IAC, describing it as a "center of international solidarity." However, with Clark as its spokesman, and WWP member Sarah Flounders as its coordinator, IAC was clearly designed to be the National Coalition’s successor as a sanctuary for WWP front groups and other affiliated organizations, including the National Coalition to Stop U.S Intervention in the Middle East, the Hati Commission, the Campaign to Stop Settlements in Palestine, the Commission of Inquiry on the U.S. Invasion of Panama, the Movement for a People’s Assembly, and the International War Crimes Tribunal (Coogan, p. 3). Brian Becker, member of the secretariat of the World Workers Party, is now a national co-director for the IAC. Other WWP members overtly associated with IAC are Sarah Sloan (youth coordinator), Teresa Gutierrez (co-director) and Gloria La Riva (correspondent, Workers World.) Of course, IAC WWP members are never identified as such at ANSWER rallies. Ostensibly, this lack of WWP identification is because their positions at the IAC are to be the focus of the rallies. While this may be superficially accurate, one wonders how many of the anti-war demonstrators at ANSWER events would be pleased to know their time and donations are aiding a group (WWP) that supported the Tiananmen Square massacre?
The IAC’s formation of the Korea Truth Commission, another ANSWER steering committee member, provides further evidence of WWP’s heavy hand in the ANSWER coalition. Presumably incorporated to uncover some form of "truth" about the Korean War, the KTC has proven itself to be little more than a mouthpiece for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and the communist nation’s lackeys in the IAC and WWP. Once again, the infamous Ramsey Clark is the organizer behind this entire charade. Under guidance of Clark’s IAC, the KTC has sent eight delegations to the Korean Peninsula in order to gather "evidence" of war crimes allegedly committed during the Korean War. These fact-finding delegations unsurprisingly included all of the usual suspects: Ramsey Clark, Gloria La Riva, and Brian Becker. Most of these delegations accomplished little more than finding every excuse to vilify the United States, while praising Kim Jong-Il’s North Korea. The reports filed by these delegations were often short on concrete fact, choosing instead to spend pages extolling the virtues of the communist regime in the North. For example, the eighth delegation reported back:
To the visitor, Pyongyang leaves the impression of a clean, modern world capital. It is a city of two million people with an efficient public transit system, wide, tree-lined streets, and all the cultural amenities, hospitals, schools, parks and sports facilities that one would expect to find in a large metropolis. Industry has been located on the perimeter of the city to avoid the problem of pollution as much as possible…the people of Pyongyang present themselves as cultured and purposeful. There is no sign of vagrancy or homelessness. Instead of billboards with product advertising, the streets are adorned with posters, banners and inscriptions exhorting citizens to work together to build a powerful nation.
Anyone familiar with the Pyongyang regime knows such a glowing representation of the city and its government is inaccurate. However, since much of the KTC is controlled by Kim Jong-Il’s fan club at the WWP and the IAC, such misrepresentations should come as little surprise.
In fact, at the time of this article’s publication, the KTC does not even have its own website; the IAC has simply devoted a portion of its Iacenter.org to information on the KTC. While other organizations are active in the KTC, it is clear that Ramsey Clark and the IAC/WWP alliance dictate the commission’s agenda.
The KTC’s flurry of activity in the late nineties culminated with an International War Crimes Tribunal on U.S. Crimes in Korea, a shameless travesty that made a mockery of the Tribunal concept. Once again, the WWP and IAC’s fingerprints were all over the tribunal. Sarah Flounders served as the Tribunals co-chair, while Ramsey Clark appointed himself Chief prosecutor. Brian Becker was listed as a Tribunal Sponsor, while Sandra Smith, Gloria La Riva and Anne Becker all led discussion groups related to the tribunal. Unsurprisingly, with the WWP running the show, the tribunal, like many of today’s anti-war protests, dissolved into an orgy of anti-Americanism, with little adherence to its stated purpose, the truth.
WWP influenced groups like the IAC and the KTC are not the only members of ANSWER’s steering committee that back rogue dictatorships. Another of ANSWER’s steering committee members, Pastors for Peace (PFP), is partially funded by the ARCA foundation, an organization devoted to supporting pro-Castro groups in the United States. In the last decade alone, ARCA has granted well over one hundred thousand dollars to PFP. According to PFP, these grants go towards humanitarian relief cargo such as medicine, computers, and school buses. Of course, PFP fails to note that in Cuba, everything is owned by the state. And that Castro is the State. So essentially, PFP is using ARCA’s grant money to prop up Castro’s worker’s paradise.
Reports from Cuba indicate that the medicine PFP claims has gone directly to the Cuban people is in fact often sold at the government’s "foreigners only" stores. Since regular Cubans are not allowed to own computers, the government immediately seizes the machines. As for the school buses donated by PFP to the Cuban people? Cuban refugees have reported these buses are now used by the police for raids against anti-Castro dissents.
Not only do these humanitarian shipments aid Castro, but they are also in flagrant violation of US law. Although the 1992 Cuban Democracy act allows for private humanitarian donations to Cuba, "appropriate licensing and inspection procedures must be met by all donors." PFP has repeatedly failed to follow such procedures, as illustrated in a letter composed by a group of US Congressmen to the Director of the Office of Foreign Asset controls. The letter documents PFP’s numerous violations of the Cuban embargo, concluding that "Pastors for Peace has publicly and intentionally violated the law in an attempt to challenge US policy towards the Castro dictatorship. If Pastors for Peace was truly the peaceful humanitarian organization which it claims to be, it would not make its travel and resources contingent on political posturing, or violently violate the law and injure customs officials."
In its zeal to bolster Castro’s Communist cabal, the PFP has even resorted to violence in order to defy the Cuban Democracy act. Despite the fact that the PFP could ship humanitarian goods to Cuba if licensed under the Trading with Enemies Act , the group has consistently sought out confrontation with United States authorities. The most violent of these clashes occurred in 1996 when thirty vehicles carrying two hundred activists and three hundred computers was stopped at the Mexican border by US customs officials. PFP activists then exited their caravan and attempted to break through the blockade. A physical confrontation quickly erupted between the Customs officials and the activists, and although PFP profess adherence to "non-violent techniques," the melee resulted in serious injuries to four customs officials, three of which required hospitalization. A single PFP activist received minor injuries.
PFP has no qualms about placing the health and safety of American citizens at risk, as demonstrated by its involvement with "biorat." In July of 2001, Customs Officials seized more than thirty pounds of "biorat" from PFP activists. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, "Biorat is not admissible into the United States," because "it poses a public health risk worldwide." The report cites a "1996 article in the British medical journal Lancet asserting that the product could easily cause food-borne disease in people."
Through his sympathizers like Pastors for Peace, Castro continues to export toxins into the U.S. that could harm the American people. The desire of Pastors for Peace to smuggle contraband biochemicals into the United States needs to be scrutinized carefully, especially as our nation remains on alert against biological and chemical terrorism.
While not directly associated with the WWP or the rogue regimes in North Korea and Iraq, two other ANSWER Steering Committee members, the Muslim Student Alliance (MSA) and the Free Palestine Alliance (FPA), continue to contradict ANSWER’s alleged commitment to peace and ending racism. The Free Palestine Alliance is an outspoken supporter of the intifada, the Palestinian Uprising that has killed thousands of Israelis. Started by the Islamic Jihad, the Intifada has been guided by the PLO and strongly influenced by terrorist organizations like Hamas, which carry out suicide bombings. While the FPA does not overtly endorse the terrorist elements of the Intifada, much of the same rancor and anti-Semitism that drives the Hamas suicide bombers is on display at FPA events. For example, this past April, ANSWER sponsored a Free Palestine Rally, marchers bore signs reading " ‘Chosen People’ : It's Payback Time." The Nation’s Liza Featherstone reported "Some demonstrators' signs bore swastikas and SS symbols [that while] intended to draw parallels between Hitler and Sharon, [could] easily [be] construed as pro-Nazi."
While the FPA’s support of the Palestinian Intifada, an uprising that has claimed the lives of thousands of Jewish civilians and will continue to claim more, is disturbing enough, the Muslim Student Association has indirectly contributed to numerous terrorist organizations, including Hamas, and perhaps even Al-Qaeda. The MSA has actively solicited donations for the Holy Land Foundation.10 Treasury Department Secretary Paul O'Neill named the HLF, as well as two Palestinian-based financial organizations, as "Hamas operated organizations." President Bush described Hamas as "one of the deadliest terrorist organizations in the world today," which seeks the total destruction of the State of Israel. Altaf Husain, national president of the MSA, said his organization has no plans to stop raising money for various groups unless federal authorities crack down. He called suspicions about terrorist links post-attack "hype," and said it is up to the government to trace the money. "We are as American as anyone else. Why should we be the ones looking for all these so-called 'sleeper cells' or whatever?"
Mr. Husain’s indifference towards aiding terrorist organizations seems to have infected many of MSA’s student chapters. For example, according to the Supreme Islamic Council, "The MSA's Ohio State University chapter produces a Web newsletter called MSA News, which has included news releases from the Algerian Armed Islamic Group, which is on the State Department list of terrorist organizations that Americans are forbidden to support or finance, and the Islamic Salvation Front, a fundamentalist party banned in Algeria."
MSA's terror connections appear to even extend beyond Hamas and into the shadowy realm of bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terror organization. In 1998, while investigating the bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa, the FBI recovered diaries maintained by Wadih El Hage, a bin Laden Lieutenant. In Mr. El Hage’s journals, investigators discovered passages that referred to a "joint venture" with the Holy Land Foundation. In addition, Mr. El Hage's address book contained the name and phone number of an alleged Hamas figure who worked with the HFL, Ghassan Dahduli.14 If the HLF was indeed involved with El Hage, then it seems indisputable that some MSA money has gone to fund al-Qaeda. Subsequently, a strong argument could be made that members of International ANSWER’s steering committee indirectly contributed to the September 11th attacks that massacred 2,792 women and men. Quite an impressive feat, for an organization dedicated to "peace."
The tolerance for anti-Semitism and violence against Jews that taints the MSA and IFA also manifests itself in the WWP. When a WWP delegation, lead by Sam Macy and Sue Bailey, traveled to North Korea in April 1992 to attend Kim Sung Il’s 80th birthday celebration, the group entered into discussions with other hardline Communist groups, including an anti-Semitic Stalin-worshipping sect called the Russian Communist Workers Party (RCWP) (Rossiskaia Kommunisticheskaia Rabochaia Partiia, or RKRP), which emerged from the anti-Gorbachev, "anti-revisionist" Movement of Communist Initiative in November 1991.
This contact between the WWP and RCWP continued to intensify after the parties left North Korea. "On September 3rd, 1992, WW ran an article by Viktor Tyulkin, the group's Secretary of its Central Committee. They remained in contact, and on Marcy's 85th birthday Tyulkin sent him a "message of solidarity" from the RCWP that was reprinted in the October 17th, 1996 WW. Tyulkin's comrade Victor Anpilov from the Executive Committee of Working Russia also enclosed his own "message of solidarity." This is the same Victor Anipilov who co-founded the RCWP and recently attacked Boris Yeltsin’s presidency as a "Jewish conspiracy."
Although collaboration and "solidarity" between communist organizations is not in itself shocking, much of the RCWP’s platform, which tends to mirror Anipilov’s Yeltsin comments, is. According to the leftist International Solidarity with Workers in Russia (Sword-SITR-MCPP) group, the RCWP could be best described as "an extremely racist and homophobic party whose members worship Stalin, campaign against black people in general and rap music in particular, issue material calling for homosexuals to be jailed, and published a party document in 1997 that blamed Russia's economic crisis on "American imperialism and international Zionism." The group also attacked current Russian President Vladimir Putin for being so close to "the Jews that he ignores true Russian 'patriots'."
Despite the RCWP’s unabashed anti-Semitic proclamations, the WWP continues to allow RCWP members to present their political views in the pages of Workers World. By declaring "solidarity" with the RCWP, it can only be presumed the WWP sympathizes with the organizations’ public statements regarding Jews. Rather than condemn their comrades’ assertions that Jews will be the downfall of Russia, the WWP has chosen to remain silent.
Further illustrating their sympathy towards anti-Semites, ANSWER’s organizers, many of whom are documented members of the WWP, have frequently refused to let devoted political leftists and peace advocates speak at rallies if they hold a pro-Israel position. The most celebrated of these incidents occurred when Rabbi Michael Lerner was barred from speaking at a recent IAC anti-war rally in San Francisco. Yet, at its January march in Washington, ANSWER "handed a microphone to Abdul Malim Musa, a Muslim cleric who on October 31, 2001 appeared at a news conference at the National Press Club with other Muslim activists and members of the New Black Panther Party, ‘where speakers asserted that Israel had launched the 9/11 attacks and that thousands of Jews had been warned that day not to go to work at the World Trade Center.’ At that press conference, Musa blasted the 'Zionists in Hollywood, the Zionists in New York, and the Zionists in D.C.’ who ‘all collaborate’ to put down blacks and Muslims."
ANSWER’s connection to anti-Semites extends even to Ramsey Clark, the head of IAC and a leader of the new anti-war coalition. As an attorney, Clark has taken it upon himself to represent several clients primarily characterized by their intense hatred of Jews. In 1989, Clark represented Lyndon Larouche, who by the late 1970’s embraced far-right anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. Despite Larouche’s documented history of anti-Semitism, Clark expressed ‘amazement’ at the personal ‘vilification’ directed at Larouche throughout the trial. Clark also represented PLO leaders in a suit brought by the family of Leon Klinghoffer, the elderly vacationer who was shot and thrown overboard from the hijacked Achille Lauro cruise-ship by renegade Palestinian terrorists in 1986. Another Clark client was Karl Linnas, an ex-Nazi concentration camp guard in Estonia (where he had overseen the murder of some 12,000 resistance fighters and Jews), who was being deported from the US to the USSR to face war crimes charges. Clark again lost the case but again went to bat for his client in the public arena, questioning the need to prosecute Nazis "forty years after some god-awful crime they're alleged to have committed."
It is not troubling that Clark defended these anti-Semitic thugs; our nation guarantees every man and woman the right to an attorney. However, there is clearly something highly questionable about a man, especially one with Clark’s profile, who makes an effort to publicly defend Nazis and anti-Semites after their trial has been concluded. However, in light of IAC’s connection with the WWP, an organization that in the past had been vehemently opposed to the state of Israel and, most importantly, supported the RCWP, Clark’s comments immediately assume a far more nefarious context.
Taken one example at a time, each of the facts presented concerning the activities of ANSWER’s steering committee would not be sufficient to indict the organization as a whole. However, even a brief study of some of ANSWER’s steering committee members reveals a pattern of support for governments, extremist organizations and radical individuals whose goals contradict ANSWER’s stated purpose of stopping war and ending racism. Unfortunately, the mainstream media has shown little inclination to investigate the organizations supporting ANSWER, and thus the vast majority of ANSWER’s supporters have no understanding of the group’s true origins. As conflict with Iraq, due to Hussein’s continued lack of compliance with UN Resolution 1441, becomes inevitable, it is likely ANSWER will double its efforts to infiltrate mainstream America’s political consciousness. Therefore, our citizenry must remain vigilant against these front organizations efforts to wrap their poisonous agenda in the banner of peace and brotherhood. After all, the greatest trick the Devil ever played was convincing man he never existed.