As elite Muslim and Arab-American groups rush to join international demonstrations this coming weekend against US policy toward Iraq, a prominent leftist writer warns that the movement has bankrupted itself for standing on the side of tyrants like Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic.
In an elegantly blistering Washington Post essay, Christopher Hitchens comments, “You might think that the Left could have a regime-change perspective of its own, based on solidarity with its comrades abroad” – including repressed Iraqi Communists, Kurds and others they long championed.
Hitchens describes the protest organizer in this way: “a sinister sect — the International Action Center, cover name for the Workers World Party — which refuses to make any criticism of the Saddam regime.” A socialist, Hitchens calls the International Action Center a “quasi-Stalinist group.”
Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark founded the International Action Center. Among his other activities, Clark is a member of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic.
Meanwhile, a Washington Post news story on the planned rally makes no mention of the radicalism of the organizers. Instead, it quotes a prominent Muslim activist, former SDSer Mahdi Bray, supporting the rally. Bray’s website urges people to turn out for the protests, but does not warn potential participants about the organizers’ roots – that they represent forces hostile to Islam.