Political Hay

The Anti-War Warriors

How does identifying with terrorists promote peace?

By 8.9.06

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Three years ago the head of Amnesty International warned the anti-war left that it must confront terror with the same zeal that it battles the Bush Administration -- or risk becoming irrelevant. Three years later and the anti-war groups have not only refused to "confront terror," but they are increasingly and enthusiastically giving their support to terrorist groups.

The more radical elements of the anti-war movement have never been -- strictly speaking -- about opposing the war in Lebanon or Iraq or Vietnam for that matter. Indeed the real issue has never been war at all, but in opposing U.S. and its ally Israel's power at every turn. Yet even that villainy isn't enough for today's anti-war warriors. Today's peacenik must actively support the enemies of America, including terrorist organizations.

Of course, the anti-war movement has itself long been allied with terrorist groups. It was leaders and members of the Students for a Democratic Society that splintered and became the Weathermen (a radical group of communists whose stated purpose was to carry out terrorist attacks to achieve the revolutionary overthrow of the U.S. government, and capitalism as a whole). But even in the darkest days of the Vietnam War there were no public rallies in support of the North Vietnamese or the Viet Cong. Indeed, supporting the communists -- as did Hanoi Jane Fonda -- was certain to lead to universal castigation and denouncement. My, how times have changed. Rather than existing on the underground fringe, today's supporters of terrorist groups are happily rallying before the TV news cameras.

This brings us to the events of this past week in central Londonistan where tens of thousands of Britains -- many British Muslims -- paraded through the streets, waving Hezbollah flags and chanting, "We are all Hezbollah!" And "Bush: World's #1 Terrorist." The powwow was organized by the Stop the War Coalition, a group formed to oppose the U.S.-led war on terror, and which seems intent on importing the tensions and conflict of the Middle East to Europe and Main Street USA -- not least by inviting Jew-hating rabblerousers as guest speakers. Such rallies are taking place all over the free world. A July 18 event in suburban Detroit eerily resembled a Nazi rally circa 1938. One noted speaker, Osama Siblani of the Congress of Arab-American Organizations, whooped, "We know that the president is being bought by the Zionist lobby! We know that the Congress is being bought by the Zionist lobby!" When a Muslim speaker unveiled a portrait of Hezbollah's Terrorist-in-chief Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the crowd erupted into extravagent hoots and hollars.

Refresh my memory: isn't Hezbollah a terrorist organanization whose stated primary goal is to "destroy Israel?"

I haven't the space to document all of Hezbollah's atrocities -- there are simply too many -- but here are a few Golden Oldies: Between 1982 and 1992, Hezbollah kidnapped about 30 westerners, including the Archbishop of Canterbury's special envoy Terry Waite. At the same time Hezbollah kidnapped and tortured to death U.S. Marine Colonel William R. Higgins and CIA station chief in Beirut William Francis Buckley, and was responsible for the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut (63 killed); the 1983 suicide truck bombing in Beirut (241 U.S. Marines killed); the 1984 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in East Beirut (20 Lebanese and two U.S. soldiers dead); the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847; the 1992 Israeli Embassy bombing in Buenos Aires, (29 dead), and the attack two years later on a Buenos Aires Jewish community center (85 dead).

But enough. The pattern is clear. A year ago, a prominent anti-war organizer wrote a piece urging "solidarity" with the thugs killing American troops and murdering their neighbors in Iraq. John Catalinotto of Act Now to Stop War and Racism (ANSWER) and the Workers World Party, wrote that "the U.S. anti-war movement, especially the serious opponents of imperialism, think of the Iraqi resistance as an important ally. The duty of the movement here is to join the struggle to make the continued U.S. occupation of Iraq impossible and to do this in solidarity with the Iraq sisters and brothers who have stopped the empire in its tracks." Simply being against the war in Iraq or in Lebanon is not enough. One must actively come out in support of the "resistance," the codename for terrorists. Considering the Sunni insurgency is led by Saddam Hussein's former fascist Baathists and Al Qaeda in Iraq, the anti-war gang doesn't seem too picky about who it crawls into bed with: terrorists, fascists, communists, it hardly matters. All that matters is that the U.S. is defeated.

One can object to Israel's military action in Lebanon without supporting the terrorist organization Hezbollah. That's the anti-Israel defense. We're not pro-Hezbollah. We simply oppose Israel's disproportionate response to Hezbollah's attacks and the killing of Lebanese civilians. But when one parades down the streets of London identifying with a terrorist group, when one invites anti-Semitic loudmouths to spew their vile propoganda at your "anti-war" rally, that, my friend, is taking sides. That's being "pro-war." And that's being pro-terror. More and more, that's what the anti-war movement has become.

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About the Author
Christopher Orlet writes from St. Louis.