TTT Vol. 4, #2 March-April 1991
Wolves in Peace Clothing
Several groups on the racist right wing made opposition to the U.S. military build-up in the Persian Gulf a major focus of their recent organizing. Efforts included an anti-intervention demonstration by the Populist Party, (the agglomeration of neo-nazis and tax protesters that ran David Duke for president in 1988), and a national “student peace” conference held in Chicago on Dec. 15-16 under the auspices of several front groups for jailed neo-nazi presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche. In Nevada, neo-nazi skinheads with ties to the KKK and Tom Metzger’s WAR organization sent upwards of 7000 letters addressed to “any white service member” to soldiers in the Gulf, urging them not to fight for Israel.
White supremacist Tom Metzger has been using the Gulf issue to fight back from his recent legal defeat in Portland, OR (for inciting nazi skins to kill an Ethiopian refugee). On his telephone hate-lines and in recent media appearances, such as on “Harvey Levin In the Lion’s Den” on Channel 2 KCBS-TV in L.A., Metzger has emphasized his opposition — on “white racialist” grounds — to U.S. military action in the Gulf. Referring to Arabs as “sand niggers” and “camel jockeys,” he portrays the U.S. action as a policy of the “ZOG” (zionist occupational government, a white supremacist term for the federal government popularized by the clandestine combatants of the Order).
Metzger urged “racially conscious” white soldiers to get their training and return to fight the real war at home for white domination. Metzger, who also opposed U.S. intervention in Vietnam and Central America, says no white soldier should die for “inferior colored people.” He criticizes fellow racists whose anti-Jewishness has caused them to ally with Arab groups. “Arabs are also Semites,” Metzger reminds his anti-Semitic brethren. “We only fight for Aryans.”
Similar thinking may motivate the Populist Party, which has long received substantial funding and organizational support from Willis Carto, founder of the anti-semitic Liberty Lobby. Echoing some of the views expressed by Metzger and by syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan, the Populists decry the “war party” in Washington as being controlled by Israel. They claim Bush is planning a war in Israeli rather than American interests.
The reactionary John Birch Society, which recently has been conducting a national campaign against Nelson Mandela and the ANC, also redirected its attention to the Gulf, organizing against the war at Merrimack College and elsewhere in Massachusetts. The Birch Society set up tables at several recent L.A. demonstrations against the war. They focused their propaganda on opposition to Israel and the U.N.
In “White Beret,” the newsletter of the White Knights of the KKK, former Imperial Dragon Dennis Mahon urged Klansmen to work with anti-war activists. “Keep your white power thoughts to yourself and learn how the hard core lefties get the job done…. Most Klansmen are afraid to do some of the things these people will try…. Shame on you when I have to go to the left for help to fight ZOG. Some of these lefties … will make excellent Klansmen and women.”
Perhaps the largest and most sophisticated campaign by neo-nazi forces against the U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia was mounted by the groups associated with Lyndon LaRouche, the former SDS’er turned fascist. The LaRouchies have stepped up their organizing in L.A., among students and at such events as a city-wide teach-in on the Gulf crisis. LaRouche’s newspaper, the New Federalist, has been focusing on the question, and issued a supplement headlined “Force Congress to Stop Bush’s Mideast War!” which LaRouchites have been distributing at anti-war rallies. The group is actively seeking new adherents in the upsurge of spontaneous anti-intervention activism with some limited success.
Many new activists may be unaware of the history of LaRouche and his organization. LaRouche is a notorious homophobe who led efforts to impose a quarantine on people with AIDS through two California initiatives. He is a sophisticated anti-semite who received funds and an entree to the racist right from Willis Carto of the Liberty Lobby. LaRouche’s security was run at one point by Ray Frankhauser, a KKK leader. His followers received para-military training from Mitch WerBell, a noted right-wing mercenary.
LaRouche had access to top White House officials early in the Reagan administration and shared “intelligence” about progressive groups with contacts on the National Security Council. In the 70″s, LaRouche’s followers became known as “brownshirts” for their strategy of physical attacks on left groups which LaRouche referred to as “Operation Mop-Up.”
Under the auspices of Food for Peace, its farm organizing front group, and the Schiller Institute, a supposed cultural foundation, the LaRouche network held a so-called “national student peace conference” at a hotel in Chicago, with associated activity at a local campus, on the weekend of Dec. 15-16. LaRouche forces had been organizing for the event among students in southern California and around the country, but most participants were actually farmers who have been drawn into the Food for Peace operation, and Black people who have been attracted by his anti-drug rhetoric, with only a small number of students, mostly from the midwest.
The LaRouche groups are particularly dangerous because, despite their fascist orientation, they have been attempting to recruit among Black groups for some time, and are casting their opposition to the Gulf war with an “anti-racist” slant. Their propaganda emphasizes the disproportionate non-white make-up of U.S. troops in the desert, and calls for an investigation of chattel slavery of Blacks by the royal families of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
“Economically, the war will mean genocide on a scale unseen in human history, affecting .. the Arab world, the Indian sub-continent, Africa and Ibero-America,” LaRouche’s propaganda proclaims, in an echo of his long-standing view that the Rockefellers and the Queen of England are plotting to eliminate up to 40% of the world’s population. The LaRouchies refer to the troops deployed in the Gulf as the “Anglo-American forces.”
The LaRouche forces have had some success over the years with their ap-proaches to the Black community, winning some Black religious and political figures to a defense of LaRouche himself as a victim of political persecution by the U.S. government for example. Several LaRouche gatherings, including a meeting of his International Caucus of Labor Committees in Washington D.C. this fall, have featured speakers from the Nation of Islam (NOI), and the editor of the NOI’s newspaper, The Final Call, spoke at the LaRouche anti-war conference in Chicago.
A longer research report by PART on racist right infiltration of the peace movement “WOLVES IN PEACE CLOTHING” is available for $2.00 postpaid from PART, P.O. Box 1990, Burbank CA 91507. Or send $10.00 for a one year subscription to TTT plus all of PART’s research reports, including KLAN-TV, A HISTORY OF THE KKK, ENGLISH ONLY and NEO-NAZIS IN THE ANTI-ABORTION MOVEMENT. Individual reports are $2.00 each.
1-2-3-4 We Don’t Want Your Racist War!
The racist nature of the Gulf war is as evident in the aftermath as in the build-up. Despite the opposition of some racist groups to the Gulf War (see article elsewhere in this issue), U.S. intervention in the Gulf grew out of racist roots. The disproportionate number of Blacks and Hispanics among front line troops was noted (their relative scarcity among high prestige pilots less commented on). When Blacks picketed recruting centers in L.A., the L.A. Times reported several young Blacks about to sign up as saying that they felt they’d be safer in Saudi Arabia than on the streets of South Central L.A.
This is beyond the poverty draft; it is driving people into military “careers” with the stick of genocidal violence. And in fact, casualty rates for U.S. troops in Desert Storm were far, far lower than the casualty rate for young Black men in America’s cities in the comparable period.
What does it say about our society that we have the resources to send half a million people half-way around the world, but can’t end the homelessness, joblessness, racism and hopelessness that produces this plague of violence at home?
We must also ask ourselves who gave George Bush the power to wage this war — and the uncomfortable answer is that we did. If 100,000 had taken the streets when Reagan invaded Grenada and Bush invaded Panama, nations close to home with a large Black population, then Bush wouldn’t have been so free to unleash violence in the Middle East.
If the anti-war movement had been more forceful over the years in fighting for peace and justice in the Middle east, in defending the Palestinians, perhaps the U.S. wouldn’t have been able to sustain the double standard of condemning the Iraqis in Kuwait and upholding the Israeli occupation of Palestine Syria and Lebanon.
If we’d been up in arms for 10 years while the government refused to fund the war on AIDS, refused to spend money on healthcare, housing, education, childcare, while they spent trillions for more guns, bombs cops and prisons, George Bush would not have been able to launch this war. Every bomb dropped in Iraq was a school, a hospital, a medical research center that was never built in this country.
The smart bombs and missiles were paid for with the blood of people who died needlessly of AIDS, with the blighted lives of a generation of inner city youth. We allowed those weapons to claim lives here in building them, as well as there in dropping them.
We must also look deeper into our character as a nation and the impulse that insists on denying all negative attributes in ourselves and projecting them on to a demonic “other”. This impulse is at the roots of racism and all oppression of those who are different.
The demonization of Hussein and the dehumanization of the Iraqis, which so quickly replaced the cold war, grew out of the genocide of the Native nations, and the invention of the “negro” by racist ideologues seeking to project outward the criminality and guilt of slavery. The American psyche needs that external enemy, or it will be forced to look inward, and confront — and heal — its own divisions and illness.
The dehumanization of Arabs was everywhere, from the Pentagon references to “collateral damage”, to liberal commentators referring to the reaction of the “Arab street” to the callous disregard for the massive casualties. The ratio of a 1,000 to 1 of dead and wounded on the two sides was related more to the history of massacres (like Wounded Knee) than warfare.
The analogies of Iraq to Hitler are laughable. Hitler rose to power in an advanced, industrial country with an imperial history. He enjoyed the support of the other imperial powers so long as his ambitions were directed against the “inferior” Slavs and the commies. Significant sectors of the rulers and the societies of the countries he conquered or allied himself with, supported his genocide of the Jews and gypsies, and his purging of “Christian culture” of homosexuals, decadence and liberalism.
To oppose the war was not to support or glorify Saddam. It was the war which built Saddam up, and which allowed him to carry out atrocities like launching missiles at civilians in Israel and flooding the Gulf with oil. If not Saddam, the perfect foil, Bush would’ve found someone else, somewhere else, because he wanted, needed a war: to test new weapons, to use up the old ones, and strengthen his flag waving stranglehold on domestic politics.
So the struggle against the war must continue. The U.S. still has a massive occupying army in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq. It’s being used for a “settlement” in the Middle East that will leave all the old injustices intact. We must call for U.S. with-drawal. We must demand that the vast store-house of weapons expended in the war not be replaced. We must demand justice and sovereignty for the Palestinians. And we must demand an end to the war at home, through self-determination for the people oppressed inside this country. The recent video-taped beating by the L.A.P.D. shows all too clearly that there are occupying armies inside America that lay the basis for the armies of occupation we send abroad.
Letters to PART
Forgive the mistakes I make, but I know only a little your language. I’ve read that you do a ‘zine about the problem of nazi skinheads, and I would like to get a little information. In my country, nazi skins are a big problem for punks and also for people who go to independent concerts. The stupid nazis have no ideology, no principles, quite no mind. They do no concerts, they have no ‘zine. Nazi skinheads here in Poland are ordinary hooligans.
In my country there are few Black people or other Africans, so the skinheads say, “white power” or “Poland for the Polish,” then they go out and beat up white Polish. They are very aggressive. Anarchists and punks often have to fight with those idiots, because they (skinheads) don’t like peace or freedom. They attack you if you have different hair or clothes.
I don’t know how it is in your country, but I think that there it isn’t hard to get guns in the hands of these skins — it must be horrible. If possible send me some information about your problems, because I am trying to start my own ‘zine about music, art and the problems of society. I live in a very poor country, where even a few dollars is already a lot of money, so I can’t send you anything. I wait for your answer.
Ernest, Zielona Gora, Poland
I read about TTT in mrr (Maximum Rock n Roll). I’ve also read about PART in other anti-racist ‘zines.
Over here in Orlando, things are messed up. There are many nazi skins, and they are screwing up the scene for everyone. I was in SHARP until recently. I left because they are sexist and homophobic, as bad as the nazis. I still love SHARP itself, just this chapter is messed up.
I’m thinking of starting my own anti-racist organization. I love to read and collect anti-racist literature and write to other people who share my views. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Winter Park, FL.
I need your help. I’m in Saudi Arabia and very far from local access to the information I need. I’ve been placed under investigation, due to a break-in in my room back in the States. They found non-racist business cards and a “true skinhead” flyer. They seem to be under the impression that all skins are communists. I need competent information to dissuade them of their beliefs. Please advise. Keep the faith.
APO NY 09657