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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Tuesday, December 10, 2002
12:06 PM

Glib coverage of anti-war organizers in The Peace Warriors--For Now, Anarchists, Socialists, Quakers, And More Are Marching to the Same Drum

The story tenuously acknowledges the link between International ANSWER and the Workers World Party, and more on that in a second, but this bothers me as much as anything:

The dogs of war are baying in their kennel, drooling for another romp in the desert, and the din has awakened . . . what -- the doves of peace?...

That's the lede, and the lame, joking tone is a distraction from something that should be tackled more seriously.

There are a couple of brief apperances by the Workers World Party, and though the story briefly notes that some antiwar organizers are concerned that far-out causes could hinder the movement, it fails to connect the dots.

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

This doesn't explain what the WWP's politics really are--inquiring minds want to know. They really are this, as outlined by Ariel Cohen in an NRO excerpt that appeared in the Nov. 4 Washington Times:

"A key player in organizing [the protests] is Ramsey Clark, former attorney general under Lyndon Johnson, who never met a dictator he didn't like. "For over 12 years Clark has been affiliated with the Workers World Party (WWP). WWP splintered from the Trotskyite movement in the 1950s and became — of all things — Orthodox Stalinist. It supported China's repression of Tibet, North Vietnam's war against the South and the U.S., the Tiananmen Square massacre, and the coup against Gorbachev.

And of course you must re-read the superb David Corn story on the truth of the WWP.

WWP is mentioned once again in the Post story:

The secret of how ANSWER organizes is mundane: systematic hard work, not so common in radical circles. Sarah Sloan, a local ANSWER activist, explains it sitting in the cramped white brick D.C. chapter headquarters, on the outskirts of Capitol Hill. Sloan is 22, serious, with cropped hair and wire-rim glasses, fond of beginning sentences with the phrase "Our perspective is . . . ." She dropped out of college at 17 to join the movement after traveling to Iraq with activists to witness the devastation of the sanctions. She's unpaid, like everyone else organizing full time with ANSWER. She pays the rent by transcribing interviews for writers late at night. She's a Workers World Party member, unlike most of the D.C. volunteers.

Speaking for ANSWER, she says, "Our perspective is that massive attacks and intervention could lead to . . . a rebirth of a massive progressive people's movement."

Well, we all look for war to solve different problems.....

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