The marches held this past weekend to oppose military action against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, like many such events in recent months, were organized by International ANSWER, a front group for the communist Workers World Party, and the International Action Center, whose website includes support of the oppressive and murderous regime in North Korea. I don't know about you, but when I think of peaceful regimes, North Korea is not exactly the first country that springs to mind.
A "peace" protest in San Francisco included a violent confrontation with the police. Evidently, these protesters aren't opposed to violence; they just prefer to target the SFPD rather than Saddam Hussein. The IAC is also associated with the fringe movement supporting convicted cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal. It looks like they're opposed to violence against Stalinist dictators but not against cops.
Now, before anyone starts screaming "McCarthyism," let's be clear - no one is accusing all those who are against war in Iraq of being communists. But imagine for a moment that some neo-Nazi group was spearheading an event analogous to the "Books not Bombs" student walkout, observed by high school and college students all over America.
The National Youth and Student Peace Coalition organized the March 5th walkout. Among the members of the coalition is the Young Communist League. Would school officials and parents accept a march organized by a coalition that included a neo-Nazi youth group in its membership? Not a chance.
What if a neo-Nazi front group organized a march to support war against Iraq? Would average Americans, or the average peace activist for that matter, remain indifferent about the politics of the organizers? Would the major news media ignore their fascist ideology? Would they say, "We can't judge the efforts of all the pro-war marchers because of the beliefs of a few leaders"? It's impossible to imagine that happening.
Yet the communist sympathies of the organizers of anti-war events go largely without comment. Nazism is correctly considered the epitome of evil in the eyes of most people, but communism generally doesn't elicit the same sort of visceral reaction. It's not as if communism and Nazism are polar opposites; they are much more alike than they are different. Both have murdered millions and oppressed millions more.
Ironically, many "peace" marchers can be seen with signs comparing President Bush to Hitler, or the American flag defaced with a swastika. Many on the American Left are quite fond of calling practically anyone who disagrees with them a Nazi. These signs are meant to smear America and especially Bush by association with Nazism and therefore with evil. Yet these same "peace" marchers are actually associating themselves with the comparable evil of communism every time they attend an event organized by a group like ANSWER or the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition. It's like someone denouncing the KKK while at a rally organized by members of the group Aryan Nations.
Many activists complain that they're being painted as "anti-American" simply for opposing Bush Administration policy toward Iraq. Well, no one is saying that everyone who opposes war in Iraq is "anti-American." However, hostility towards America clearly animates many of the protesters. And if you march with Stalinists, you can be suspected of at least some kind of acceptance of their views. After all, anyone seen marching with a bunch of swastika wearing, goose-stepping skinheads should reasonably expect some condemnation. So those who don't actually support concentration camps and mass starvations, who really do support peace, freedom, and American democracy, should at least take care who they march with.
The true agendas of groups like ANSWER need to be examined by their fellow travelers, uh, fellow marchers. If they really were all about peace and understanding, then they would march for the liberation of Iraq, North Korea, Cuba, and other tyrannies. Instead, they mostly ignore or excuse the actions of those regimes, or side with them, while painting every action of America in the most unfavorable light possible.
Event speakers often spend a great deal of time disparaging President Bush, without a so much as a mention of any wrongdoing by Saddam Hussein. Many even deny that Iraq has any chemical, biological, or nuclear capability (some simultaneously arguing that he'll use such weapons against us if we attack).
Finally, those who find themselves surrounded by these supporters of tyrants may want to reexamine their own position. If people who have supported thugs like Stalin, Castro, and Kim Jong Il are walking side by side with you, working in effect to keep Saddam Hussein in power, maybe, just maybe, you're on the wrong side of the issue.