December 10, 2002

YET ANOTHER ANTIWAR PUFF PIECE in the Washington Post. The ANSWER group gets a mention, but this article -- which is by David Montgomery, not the predictably protester-friendly Evelyn Nieves -- seems to whitewash the shady nature of that outfit, which David Corn has called a "front group" for the Stalinist "Worker's World Party." Here's what Corn wrote:

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.

Here's what Montgomery writes:

ANSWER is not a socialist organization, but key members of its brain trust happen to be active in the Workers World Party. Their party politics are irrelevant to the vast majority of people, like Democrat Condon, for example, who are attracted to a seasoned outfit that's good at what it does.

I think the original term for those people is "useful idiots."