Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Before Hurricane Katrina took center stage, President George W. Bush was making speeches in support of the war in Iraq. While commemorating the U.S. victory in World War II at San Diego Aug. 30, he warned of the al Qaeda strategy in Iraq, “They want us to retreat so they can topple governments in the Middle East and turn that region into a safe haven for terrorism.” He posed the question “Do we return to the pre-September 11 [2001] mind-set of isolation and retreat, or do we continue to take the fight to the enemy?”

There will be a demonstration in Washington Saturday, organized by people who see the world and the war the same way the president does, but with one difference. They want America to retreat and its enemies to prevail.

The main sponsor for the alleged “antiwar rally” is the group Act Now to Stop War & End Racism (ANSWER), a coalition of far-left organizations dating back to the Cold War, which they had hoped the Soviets would win.

The flyer their activists handed out at D.C. Metro stations did not confine their protest to the Iraq war. It presented the following list of demands: “End the Colonial Occupation of Iraq, Palestine and Haiti; Support the Palestinian People’s Right of Return; Military Recruiters Out of Our Schools and Communities; U.S. Out of the Philippines; U.S. Out of Puerto Rico; Stop the Threats Against Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea.”

ANSWER says “its national steering committee represents major national organizations that have campaigned against U.S. intervention in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia.” Among steering committee members is the Nicaragua Network, set up in 1979 to “to support the efforts of the Sandinista Revolution.” The Sandinistas were communists backed by Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Kremlin hard-liners.

Another member is the Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines, a shadowy group sympathetic to Muslim terrorists menacing that island republic. Another is the Korea Truth Commission, dedicated to “prosecuting” alleged U.S. war crimes during the Korean War, as well as ejecting American troops from South Korea — presumably with an eye to uniting the peninsula under the communist tyranny of North Korea. There is also the Muslim Student Association, which promotes the Wahhabist theology of hate.

ANSWER has scheduled the infamous Cindy Sheehan as a major speaker at the rally. Mrs. Sheehan has become the focal point for all strains of anti-Americanism, whether old Marxist fellow-travelers or new enthusiasts for jihadist terror. She spoke at another pan-leftist rally in San Francisco April 27 in support of the notorious Lynne Stewart, attorney for Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, the spiritual leader behind the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. Miss Stewart was convicted Feb. 10 for helping Rahman continue to run his Islamic Group terrorist cell from prison. Osama bin Laden appeared on Al Jazeera television in September 2000 vowing a jihad to free Rahman.

This terrorist connection did not keep Mrs. Sheehan from praising Miss Stewart. “You all have read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ Lynne is my human Atticus Finch. He did what he knew was right, but wasn’t popular. And that’s what Lynne is doing.” Mrs. Sheehan dishonors her soldier son’s valor, using his death in Iraq to advance her sick views rather than his noble ones.

On the same bill as Mrs. Sheehan was the Green Party’s Matt Gonzalez, who further connected the dots in the left-wing agenda. “After September 11, I think the United States government went in the wrong direction, ” he said, voicing his alternate preference for, “having an open dialogue about how our foreign policy has hurt other nations and caused other nations to want to fight back.”

ANSWER was not formed to oppose the liberation of Iraq. It was formed to oppose going into Afghanistan to destroy the main al Qaeda base and the Taliban regime that had given it a home. In effect, ANSWER wanted to protect the thugs behind the murder of 3,000 people in New York and Washington. This is the same view as the other main sponsor of the Sept. 24 rally, the group United for Peace and Justice. UFPI says on its Web site that its formation was “initiated by Global Exchange, the Green Party of the United States, and others, which organized the April 20 demonstration against the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.” It is also a coalition whose members include the National Lawyers Guild, the National Organization of Women,, the Communist Party USA, Code Pink, Greenpeace, the American Friends Service Committee, and the International Socialist Organization.

These groups are not coming to the nation’s capital to promote “peace.” They are aligned with the planet’s most violent despots and killers. Like Mr. Bush, they understand what is at stake in Iraq and how important America’s “imperialist” power is to world stability and progress. They just want none of it, preferring a new Dark Age where America suffers precipitous decline in isolation and defeat.

William Hawkins is senior fellow for national security studies at the U.S. Business and Industry Council.

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