A Red-Brown Rally to Avoid
…Get a Load of the Speakers
By Stanley Heller
Feb. 5. In a couple of weeks in DC there’s going to be a curious event, an “anti-war” rally called by people claiming to be on the Left joined with people on the far Right. It's called "Rage Against the War Machine". It's first (and only real) demand is “Not One More Penny for War in Ukraine”. The organizers for the event are from the Libertarian Party and the now (one-man-show) Peoples Party. The Nation had an article a few months ago on how the Libertarians were moving to the Far Right under the leadership of the Mises Caucus. The Libertarians are listed as a Organizer and the Mises Caucus is listed as an independent “Silver” sponsor of the event. Another sponsor of the event is the “Radical Caucus” which is another Libertarian Party group. It thinks the Libertarian message has gotten too tame.
On the Left there’s a group called “Center for Political Innovation” led by one Caleb Maupin. He calls for socialism and government ownership, but he’s a strange kind of Leftist. Alexander Reid Ross wrote about him in 2019 saying he converted from the "’hedonism of the [Marxist-Leninist] left’ to ‘populism’ in a discussion with Dugin and other far-right activists in Moscow last year.” Dugin, of course, the Russia fascist thinker sometimes called Putin’s Rasputin. World Beyond War, another rally sponsor, is a legitimate pacifist outlet. Sad that it thinks Roger Waters has something intelligent to say about the U.S, Russia and Ukraine.
There’s a phrase about this kind of politics, “Red-Brownism”, an unprincipled alliance based on willingness of Leftists who collaborate with the Far Right against conservatives, liberals and socialists. It was tried for a while by the German Communist Party in the early 1930’s with, shall we say, very poor results. Stalin doubled-down in 1939 with is “non-aggression pact” with Hitler. For a while there was a payoff, the Soviet Union being able to swallow half of Poland. Yet come Hitler’s invasion in 1941 Stalin’s strategy was exposed as disastrous.
Anti-war is a very fine principle if it means opposition to imperialism and never-ending arms buildups. Yet you found no “anti-war” movement in Vietnam when that country was under attack and you find no anti-war movement in Ukraine today.
Here’s background about some of the speakers:
He’s a liberal on labor issues and has a “Strike” tab on his website, but he’s a loathsome atrocity denier about Syria. He tweeted in 2019 the poison gas attacks on Syrians were a “hoax”. The Syrian (that is Assadist) news site SANA praised him in 2021 for having “documented” how Western government manipulated the media to wage war on “Syria” and to support “terrorism”. On Ukraine he recently appeared on Fox’s Tucker Carlson show to say that the U.S. “provoked” the Russians.
Until 2015 he had good liberal politics (father is a big Clinton advisor). He discovered Palestine and wrote a good book about Israel. He visited a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan and wrote a good piece about why the refugees feared and hated Assad. He spoke to Danny Postel of the University of Denver in 2015 about why he resigned from a good job at a paper in Lebanon (Al Akbar English) because it had become overwhelmingly a pro-Assad.
But then something weird happened. At the end of 2015 he went to Russia to join in a celebration of RT (Putin’s propaganda TV channel)! Ever since then he’s become a total apologist for “anti-imperialist” authoritarians Putin, Maduro, Assad, you name it. In 2018 he made fun of a Syrian father who tried to improvise some gas protection for his son from plastic bags and cups. Disgusting.
I’ll quote from an article about Hedges I wrote last year, “For decades Chris Hedges has been a brave and prize-winning reporter, an educator of prisoners, and a fine analyst of the Christian Far-Right. But in the last few years he’s lost his way.” He thinks Russia was baited and provoked into invading Ukraine.
Again, from that article I talk about Hedges, “He was on Russian state TV for six years and never said a word about Russia, nothing about Putin’s hideous bombing of Syrian hospitals, nothing about assassinations of dissidents by the Russian state, nothing about the poisoning of Navalny or Navalny’s imprisonment when he returned to Russia, etc. “
In 2011 the International Business Times had a piece about the former Congressman called, “Ron Paul: A Long History of Racism and Anti-Semitism”. Some of the quotes are pretty devastating. In 2018 he was criticized after posting a tweet showing stereotyped minorities attacking Uncle Sam. He deleted it and said a staff member had put it up. He’s against foreign wars, but his position on immigration is shall we say unpleasant. He doesn’t favor a border wall, but he thinks all that’s needed is to eliminate “welfare” benefits that he thinks immigrants are rushing to the U.S. to enjoy. Watch “Eliminate The Welfare Magnet For Illegal Immigrants”. Lots more about Ron Paul and the foolishness of a Left-Right alliance in this 2010 article.
He was a gung-ho U.S. soldier in Iraq who went to work as a U.N. arms inspector. He irrationally thought Saddam was hiding the weapons of mass destruction up until the moment he quit the U.N. body. Once out of the military and U.N. his head cleared for a time. He became a sharp critic of the Bush-Biden drive to war against Iraq. But in recent years he’s become a vicious crank. In 2016 I wrote a piece about him as he joined the ranks of the conspiracists about Syria. For instance, he wrote on the original Truthout site, ““the United States is the No. 1 funder and facilitator of one of the most effective recruiting tools used by terrorists inside Syria today—the White Helmets.”
On Ukraine he’s always talking up Russian power and he in goes for conspiracies. He was even kicked off Twitter for saying that Bucha was a war crime committed by Ukrainian forces.
On November 4, 2022 he said in a Real News interview “I don’t even think the Ukrainians believe it, that they’re going to recapture the Donbas, that they’re going to recapture Kherson.” That was 7 days before Ukrainians liberated the city.
And on Feb. 4, 2023 he did a tweet referring to characters in “To Kill a Mockingbird”. He wrote “There are rabid dogs out there, and we need Atticus Finch’s to shoot them…Ukraine is a rabid dog. Russia is Atticus Finch. Thus ends my lesson.”
Here he is with BS about Syria on Fox News. Also take a look at this article headlined, “Kucinich was paid to speak alongside genocide deniers and pro-Assad lobbyists”. Snopes, the fact-checking outfit, has more on this and Kucinich 2017 trip to Syria to visit Assad. Kucinich work on Syria pretty much sunk him in the 2018 Ohio governor’s race.
And just added to the speakers list … Tulsi Gabbard!
She’s an admirer of the ruler of India, Hindu Supremacist, Narenda Modi. She’s a friend of CUFI, the Christian Zionist group 200% supporting Netanyahu the Israeli far-right. A few months ago she left the Democratic Party because she believes the party is “driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue & stoke anti-white racism”.
She’s a real piece of work.
“Rage Against War” is basically a right-wing rally with a few naïve people from the Left. People with principle and backbone shouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.
Feb. 6 postscript. Today I was made aware of the background of another speaker, Diane Sare. On the Rage site it notes, "She recently ran as an independent 'LaRouche Party' candidate for U.S. Senate against Chuck Schumer." In the '70's for a period Lyndon LaRouche's follower violently tried to destroy socialist parties (and the Communist Party). I remember once being notified in the middle of the night to come down to defend the offices of the American Independent Movement in New Haven in case of a LaRouche goon attack. If you're too young to remember Lyndon Larouche, he was an oddball sort of fascist. His people would peddle his newspaper with articles literally calling for the settling of Mars as a way of dealing with world problems. An article in Jacobin notes, that in the 1970's LaRouche "soon pivoted to the far right. Antisemitic conspiracy theories began occupying a more prominent part of the group’s output, with a cabal of the Rothschilds and the British aristocracy coming to occupy pride of place in LaRouche’s rantings.
In her campaign against Chuck Schumer last fall, Sare's website had a statement, "Is the Suppression of LaRouche Candidate Diane Sare a Prelude to Nuclear War? ". Perhaps a slight overestimation of her own importance? But hysteria around nuclear war has long been a LaRouchite tactic. Enough said.
... Jill Stein - You heard of her because she ran for President on the Green Party ticket against Clinton. She went to Russia in December 2015 to attend a party to celebrate Russia's propaganda channel "Russia Today" (as it was known then). This was three months AFTER Putin began his merciless bombing of Syria. The quality of her views on international affairs has gone steadily downhill since her Russian trip.
Feb. 19 postscript. Found an article on a site (which I generally dislike) but which has more about some of the speakers. Here are two quotes from it:
"The Libertarians and the People’s Party have, for their own purposes, assembled an assortment of “left” speakers to participate in the rally. They includes comedian Jimmy Dore and the editor-in-chief of The Grayzone, Max Blumenthal. Both Dore and Blumenthal have previously promoted an alliance with the far right forces that oppose all critical health measures to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. The have downplayed the significance of the January 6 coup. Dore’s response to the coup was to promote an alliance with the fascistic Boogaloo Boys militia."
and "The most putrid element of the rally is the direct involvement of fascists. Among the featured speakers is Jackson Hinkle, a supporter of Trump and promoter of “MAGA Communism,” who has said it is his aim to “finish the job of Donald Trump” by “uprooting liberalism from America and getting rid of the globalists out of the MAGA movement.” Another participant is Jordan Page, a libertarian who in 2015 wrote the fascist “Oath Keeper” anthem, entitled “Arm Yourselves.”
The article also has a critique of Chris Hedges' politics that I think is illuminating.
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