“The likelihood of another U.S. imperialist oil war in Iraq increases daily. The control of energy supplies remains crucial to U.S. bosses' plans for decades of world domination,” states the article from the website of the Revolutionary Communist Progressive Labor Party (this is an organization that condoned the genocide of Pol Pot in Cambodia). Similar sentiments are echoed by communist organizations such as the Workers World Party, Communist Party USA, Democratic Socialists of America, et. al. This concept of an imperialistic American petroleum industry conspiracy has resonated with some segments of America. Callers to talk shows repeat this mantra. The hard left propaganda machine seems to be communicating its message effectively.
Why is there this affinity for a Muslim dictatorship from believers in an ideology that is famously atheistic? Is it just anti-Americanism? Is it because they share a totalitarian ideology? Politics as usual? The answer is certainly all this and more.
The Soviet Union and Iraq were related militarily, diplomatically, industrially and by education. Many Iraqis were educated in the USSR. Soviet-educated Iraqi engineers assisted in the development of Iraq’s oil industry. Many Iraqi professionals attended Soviet universities and are fluent in Russian. Iraq is indebted to the Soviet Union financially as well. Iraq owes Russia several billion dollars. These are funds that Russia needs for foreign currency to buy imports.
Partly because of this previous relationship, communist-leaning groups in the U.S. are extraordinarily sympathetic to this former Soviet ally. These groups have organized anti-war protests. They did so during the Gulf War, they did again in 1998 when the Clinton Administration was pondering military action in Iraq, and their doing so now. They certainly had their share of influence during the Clinton administration.
According to this article in the February 23, 1998 edition of The Communist Voice:
The shouts of angry protesters are ringing out against the war drums of Clinton and his media flunkies. In Columbus, Ohio, the administration and CNN tried to stage-manage a phony "town hall" meeting to promote the war, but anti-war slogans drowned out the speech of Secretary of State Albright and activists challenged the government's lies and hypocrisy in the brief chance they had to make comments. A 300-strong demo was also held. …at the U. of Illinois, 250 people participated in a forum challenging the pro-war editors of the school newspaper who mocked a campus protest the week before. On Feb. 21, over a thousand people protested in San Francisco. Dozens of other protests were held or scheduled, including big regional actions in San Francisco and New York on Feb. 28. Join the protest! Raise your voice against the oil war at workplaces, communities and schools. Views from the far left of this kind purportedly changed Clinton’s Iraq policy. How much influence they will have with the Bush administration is unknown.
During the Gulf War the National Coalition to Stop U.S. Intervention in the Middle East was formed. The National Coalition claimed Iraq was a victim of "U.S. Oil Imperialism." The National Coalition evolved from the Workers World Party (WWP), which started another group the called International Action Center in 1992 with Ramsey Clark as its director. Clark felt "the international center can become a people’s United Nations based on grass-roots activism and the principles of peace, equality and justice."
With Clark and the WWP’s Sarah Flounders as coordinator, the IAC participates with several anti-American and anti-Israeli groups and organizes “People’s Tribunals” and similar absurdities — many of which I described in my recent column "What is the A.N.S.W.E.R?". The IAC referred to the military action in Afghanistan as US terrorism. A sentiment, by the way, that was echoed one of my professors at Saint Joseph’s University — a Catholic nun.
Since the Gulf War, Clark has been a member of IAC delegations to Iraq. The relationship between the IAC and Saddam Hussein is intimate.
The IAC is well funded, as I mentioned in my March 29 column. Their cadres travel worldwide attending meetings, and the People’s Rights Fund is the conduit for their money.
What is continually amazing about IAC and other anti-war groups is that the mainstream media continues to disregard the relationship between them and communist organizations. They interview members of these groups as if they are legitimate pacifists.
I often wonder if mainstream journalists have the IQ of house dust or if they just think everybody else does.