Robert Bergdahl’s Radical ‘Pacifist’ Friends, Part Two
June 6, 2014 - 2:57 pm
In Part One, we introduced contacts that Robert Bengdahl has been in touch with and promoted on the family’s website, including Code Pink and Jamila Raqib with the Afghan Tree Project, as well as their own connections. In this part, we will illustrate further concerns stemming from these two.
As previously shown, Jamila Raqib is the Executive Director for Gene Sharp’s Albert Einstein Institute (AEI), which teaches “nonviolent” revolution. It is very popular with radicals and the techniques are being used in their efforts. Jamila has discussed the techniques as a guest on an Occupy radio show and has done workshops for the Fellowship for Reconciliation (FOR), so she clearly hopes they will put the methods to work for their causes.
The relationship with FOR seems very close. In the Institute’s own newsletter (pg. 5), they reprint an appeal that FOR sent out to all its’ membership on their behalf, asking for funds to keep the Institute going:
The Albert Einstein Institution needs an immediate infusion of $150,000, a sum that seems daunting, absent the imaginative power of nonviolence.Yet this amount can be raised through 3,000 contributions of $50 from donors around the country, a goal that seems eminently achievable. It is of vital interest to the Fellowship of Reconciliation that the work of Gene and the Albert Einstein Institution continue.
In another newsletter, they announce young human rights activist visitors, sponsored by FOR to work with AEI. They practically seem to be part of the FOR organization:
On November 22, the Institution welcomed four young human rights activists as part of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation’s fellows program. The fellows spent the day learning about the Institution’s work and the field of nonviolent action.
Yet another example is Patrick Coy. Now a professor at Kent State teaching Applied Conflict Management, he has previously worked as a research fellow for AEI and as National Chairperson for FOR.
Both groups are also featured resources on Peter Ackerman’s “A Force More Powerful” website, and Ackerman has been very involved with the AEI.
There are many more examples, but the point is these two groups are joined at the hip, and that is not a good thing.
FOR was founded by communists almost 100 years ago, and using a pacifist, peace loving front, they have spun off many other leftist groups and movements including the ACLU, CORE , International Committee of Conscience on Vietnam movement, Peaceful Tomorrows (using 9/11 victims) which involved Code Pink as well.
As one founder is described by Discover the Networks:
Roger Nash Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), leftist, anarchist, and Communist, was born in Wellesley, Massachusetts to comfortably situated parents, in 1884. He was educated at Harvard College, where he earned an M.A. degree, and then moved to St. Louis, where he taught Social Work at Washington University.
At the approach of World War I, Baldwin, a pacifist, co-founded the Fellowship of Reconciliation, which opposed the use of warfare in the settlement of international disputes. Among his colleagues in this endeavor were Norman Thomas, perennial Socialist candidate for President; the pacifist/Marxist A. J. Muste; and radical journalist Oswarld Garrison Villard, Editor of The Nation.
Along with the AEI, another very radical group has worked with the FOR many times, too. The ANSWER Coaltion (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is described on Wikipedia as being so radical that most radicals distance themselves from it.
ANSWER characterizes itself as anti-imperialist, and its steering committee consists of socialists, civil rights advocates, and left-wing or progressive organizations from the Muslim, Arab, Palestinian, Filipino, Haitian, and Latin American communities. Many of ANSWER’s lead organizers had ties to the International Action Center, and Workers World Party at the time of ANSWER’s founding.
ANSWER has faced criticism from other anti-war groups for its affiliations, tactics at demonstrations, and allegedly sectarian approach to joint anti-war work. It also faced criticism from various sources for its claimed anti-Zionist politics.
The group and its’ National Coordinator Brian Becker have been described as a front for the Workers World Party (WWP). Many of the anti-war protests you have seen over the years were put together by ANSWER. A quick search online will show how many of the forementioned groups such as Code Pink and FOR are part of these events, as well as aligned together in groups such as The Alliance for Global Justice. You’ll also find ANSWER coordinated events using faux Christianity with the help of Jim Wallis.
“This war, from a Christian point of view, is morally wrong — and was from the beginning,” the Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, one of the event’s sponsors, said toward the end of the service to cheers and applause. “This war is … an offense against God.”
More disturbing is their current targeting of our troops and veterans. James Circello of ANSWER leads that particular effort. An example is this 2009 protest which teamed the Iraqi Vets Against the War (IVAW) with ANSWER.
James Circello explained
“This is the beginning of three days of sustained activities timed to coincide with the sixth anniversary of the illegal invasion of Iraq. On Saturday, March 21st, veterans and service members will be the lead contingent in the National March on the Pentagon.”
The IVAW present the event as ‘Operation Not Change’. The group, who has consistently called for three main points: the immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces from Afghanistan and Iraq, reparations for people of Afghanistan and Iraq, and full veterans benefits for returning soldiers.
But it is not just the veterans they have been working on. A current effort by ANSWER is called Our Lives Our Rights, under another name, March Forward, which of course all leads back to the ANSWER Coalition. This effort asks people to sign up, claiming the right (as a service person) to refuse to go to the “immoral” wars. That’s right; you join the military but you have a right to refuse to participate. That sounds an awful lot like Bowe Bergdahl, does it not? The March Forward site has a soldier holding a sign, saying he signed up for educational and financial opportunities. Another page shares their thoughts on the Bergdahl-Taliban swap.
I stand in support of the mission and goals of Our Lives, Our Rights. U.S. service members have the absolute right to refuse to take part in the Pentagon’s and Wall Street’s illegal, immoral wars and intervention.
One last interesting coincidence is that ANSWER’s director, Brian Becker, happens to write for the same publication (London Progressive) as Carol Anne Grayson, the anti-war filmmaker who quotes her friend, Bob Bergdahl, and communicates with the Taliban.
Reflecting on the type of groups directly or indirectly associated with the Bergdahl’s, it would be difficult to deny that there is much more going on here. Much more.