Monday, November 22, 2004


Who Is International Answer?

When the massive protests against the (then pending) US attack on Saddam were in full swing, not many people stopped to question who was behind them. Not so much the people who demonstrated, but rather, who put them together and why. The answer is International Answer, an offshoot of a Stalinist organization.

IA is the group that has consistently been able to attract the greatest number of demonstrators. I guess no one else has as much support, and they are at it again:

Anti-war protesters planning to come to town for President Bush’s inauguration in January say they remain undeterred despite reports that Washington, D.C., is going to be a virtual fortress...
protest organizers like Brian Becker of ANSWER (Act Now To Stop War And Racism) say the move is less a response to post-Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist threats, and more a way to discourage demonstrators.
Workers World Party or WWP (that's the Stalinist parent), created International A.N.S.W.E.R. and runs it to this day. They are on record as supporting the following:

* The massacre in Tiananmen in 1989.

* The dictatorship of Saddam Hussein.

* North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il.

* Slobodan Milosevic.

The above is just a sampling of the more recent events on which they have commented.

Why don't other groups just organize their own demonstrations rather than associate with a known Stalinist group? I find it hard to believe that a majority of the protesters share IA's views on the points above, yet there they are, marching to IA's drummer. Is it just inertia, or perhaps a lack of organizational capability on the part of the other groups? What?

Lastly, no one knows how WWP/IA is funded, though it's widely assumed that various dictators such as Saddam (in his day) and Kim Jong Il use it as a front. In any event, it's certainly not transparent.

While I don't recommend that demonstrators stop demonstrating when they believe it to be for an important cause (albeit in this case I would disagree with their conclusions), I would urge them to cut their ties to IA. At the very least, they should learn all they can about just who is calling their shots; forewarned is forearmed. If you truly believe in what you are demonstrating for, you owe it to the world to do that much, eh?