EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN: A.N.S.W.E.R. PROTESTS DONALD TRUMP. The sign being held by an anti-Trump protestor in this AP photo taken yesterday outside of the Hyatt Regency Hotel near SFO hosting the California Republican Party Convention is largely in Spanish, but notice the URL underneath it — it’s our old friends A.N.S.W.E.R.
As Wikipedia notes, ANSWERcoalition.org is the URL of…
Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), also known as International A.N.S.W.E.R. and the ANSWER Coalition, is a United States-based protest umbrella group consisting of many antiwar and civil rights organizations. Formed in the wake of the September 11th attacks, ANSWER has since helped to organize many of the largest anti-war demonstrations in the United States, including demonstrations of hundreds of thousands against the Iraq War.
Longtime readers of Instapundit will remember A.N.S.W.E.R. behind seemingly every anti-Iraq War protest during the early naughts, which made perfect sense in a way — of course Iraq’s Ba’ath Socialist Party, which Saddam led, would be propped by another group of avoid socialists. Back in October of 2002, Glenn linked to this L.A. Weekly article by David Corn, with some background on A.N.S.W.E.R.’s roots:
If public-opinion polls are correct, 33 percent to 40 percent of the public opposes an Iraq war; even more are against a unilateral action. This means the burgeoning anti-war movement has a large recruiting pool, yet the demo was not intended to persuade doubters. Nor did it speak to Americans who oppose the war but who don‘t consider the United States a force of unequaled imperialist evil and who don’t yearn to smash global capitalism.
This was no accident, for the demonstration was essentially organized by the Workers World Party, a small political sect that years ago split from the Socialist Workers Party to support the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. The party advocates socialist revolution and abolishing private property. It is a fan of Fidel Castro‘s regime in Cuba, and it hails North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il for preserving his country’s ”socialist system,“ which, according to the party‘s newspaper, has kept North Korea ”from falling under the sway of the transnational banks and corporations that dictate to most of the world.“ The WWP has campaigned against the war-crimes trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. A recent Workers World editorial declared, ”Iraq has done absolutely nothing wrong.“
Officially, the organizer of the Washington demonstration was International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism). But ANSWER is run by WWP activists, to such an extent that it seems fair to dub it a WWP front. Several key ANSWER officials — including spokesperson Brian Becker — are WWP members. Many local offices for ANSWER’s protest were housed in WWP offices. Earlier this year, when ANSWER conducted a press briefing, at least five of the 13 speakers were WWP activists. They were each identified, though, in other ways, including as members of the International Action Center.
The IAC, another WWP offshoot, was a key partner with ANSWER in promoting the protest. It was founded by Ramsey Clark, attorney general for President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s. For years, Clark has been on a bizarre political odyssey, much of the time in sync with the Workers World Party. As an attorney, he has represented Lyndon LaRouche, the leader of a political cult. He has defended Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic and Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, who was accused of participating in the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. Clark is also a member of the International Committee To Defend Slobodan Milosevic. The international war-crimes tribunal, he explains, ”is war by other means“ — that is, a tool of the West to crush those who stand in the way of U.S. imperialism, like Milosevic. A critic of the ongoing sanctions against Iraq, Clark has appeared on talking-head shows and refused to concede any wrongdoing on Saddam‘s part. There is no reason to send weapons inspectors to Iraq, he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: ”After 12 years of brutalization with sanctions and bombing they‘d like to be a country again. They’d like to have sovereignty again. They‘d like to be left alone.“
It is not redbaiting to note the WWP’s not-too-hidden hand in the nascent anti-war movement. It explains the tone and message of Saturday‘s rally. Take the question of inspections. According to Workers World, at a party conference in September, Sara Flounders, a WWP activist, reported war opponents were using the slogan ”inspections, not war.“ Flounders, the paper says, ”pointed out that ’inspections ARE war‘ in another form,“ and that she had ”prepared party activists to struggle within the movement on this question.“ Translation: The WWP would do whatever it could to smother the ”inspections, not war“ cry. Inspections-before-invasion is an effective argument against the dash to war. But it conflicts with WWP support for opponents of U.S. imperialism. At the Washington event, the WWP succeeded in blocking out that line — while promoting anti-war messages more simpatico with its dogma.
To bring things more up to date, in November of 2014, Lee Cary of the American Thinker provided additional and more up to date information on their history in an article titled, “A.N.S.W.E.R.Coalition not letting Ferguson crisis go to waste.”
And in 2016, they’re not letting the presidential election go to waste, either. As David French of NRO wrote yesterday, “We know leftist radicals aren’t shy about taking so-called ‘direct action’ to intimidate opponents. We also know that at least some Trump supporters are spoiling for a fight. Trump himself has been spoiling for a fight. We risk the worst political violence in a generation. Am I wrong to believe that some in the media are thrilled at the prospect — so long as the Left is leading the charge?”
Well, that was certainly the case in Ferguson and Baltimore. French’s article was memorably headlined, “Dear Mainstream Media, Don’t You Dare Whitewash Anti-Trump Violence,” but longtime Instapundit readers will remember that’s precisely what most of the MSM (with a few notable exceptions, such as Corn’s article above) did with A.N.S.W.E.R. Don’t hold your breath watching for them connect the dots in 2016.