Known by the company we keep

Posted: Feb 19, 2003 12:00 AM
Intended or not, the antiwar protesters in the United States and around the world brought great comfort to Saddam Hussein. The CNN headline reporting the latest protests literally said, "World Antiwar Rallies Delight Iraq." As the protests were talking place and the protesters were happily doing Saddam's bidding, Saddam's rigidly controlled television stations showed footage with the logo "International Day of Confronting the Aggression." Saddam's media puppets weren't referring to the aggression of the "peaceful" protesters in New York, who injured eight policemen and a police horse, but the United States, Great Britain and any other nations that will participate in military action against Iraq. While these antiwar types in America recoil with feigned outrage at the suggestion they're anti-American, when is the last time you heard them praising America? I'm waiting ... Regardless, most of them are useful idiots – useful to Saddam, that is, and idiots if they don't realize it or don't care. But the organizers of the protest care, and they do know what they're doing. The four groups organizing the demonstrations were Bay Area Against War, Not in Our Name project, United for Peace and Justice, and International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism). Some have claimed these groups have communist roots, and I believe that to be the case. But without calling them communists – and thereby giving them undue glory among their leftist sympathizers (who have never met a communist identifier they didn't hate more than the communist being identified) – let's look at the website of just one of the groups, ANSWER, for clues as to its agenda. It advertised various "workshops" in New York City for the week preceding the protests that would examine:
  • "The different ways in which the U.S. government uses racism during times of war to further the war drive;"
  • "The long history of the U.S. government in 'regime change,' including many instances of overthrowing democratically elected governments;"
  • "The historical background of U.S. imperialism in the Middle East. The threatened U.S. war against Iraq must be understood as a continuation of the exploitative, militarist and colonial policy that the Western superpowers have followed in the region for the last century;"
  • "The so-called War on Terror: Where Will the Bush Administration Go After Iraq?" It will "feature speakers from different groups discussing the U.S. threats against and objectives in Korea, Cuba, Iran and other countries on the 'target list' … Speakers will give both the history of U.S. aggression in the country they're speaking on, as well as the more recent targeting of these countries under the guise of the 'war on terror.' We will demonstrate … why the antiwar movement must expand politically beyond the current situation in Iraq and oppose U.S. interventions around the world;"
  • Why "American funds will be diverted from domestic programs for additional military spending, following the pattern of a society that would rather produce missiles than provide health care because it makes for greater profit."
How do the protesters who claim not to be anti-American explain the virulent anti-Americanism of principal organizer ANSWER? Wouldn't the reasonable among them ask themselves why they are marching side by side with people in organizations that stand for everything that is antithetical to America? Their response better not be that ANSWER doesn't speak for them, because, as a practical matter, we now know better. If this weren't apparent before, it became so when leftist Rabbi Michael Lerner publicly complained that he had been "banned" from speaking at the rally in New York because ANSWER objected to his positions on Israel. According to the Washington Post Lerner favors a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestine problem while ANSWER is "fervently anti-Israel." Richard Becker of ANSWER disputed this, saying Lerner wasn't allowed to speak because he had earlier "attacked" ANSWER's positions, and organizers of the rally had agreed not to invite speakers who had criticized any of the organizing groups. In their bizarre stab at self-defense, the organizers couldn't have more convincingly incriminated themselves. Do you grasp the irony here? The free-speech and peace-loving protesters say that war is not an option and we just need to talk through our differences with Saddam and give peace a chance. Yet they won't even allow some of their fellow protesters to voice differing opinions as to why we shouldn't attack Iraq. The hypocrisy is stunning. The insightful proverb, "we shall be known by the company we keep" applies as fittingly to useful idiots as anyone else, no matter how indignantly they "protest."

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