Sunday, November 11, 2012

Brian Becker

Only a few days after his victory in the US presidential election, Barack Obama is already making bold steps in the international arena. The US has sent an air force detachment to service warplanes in Poland - which had pressed Washington for a security guarantee against its perceived threat from Russia. For more on Washington's foreign policy moves, RT talks to anti-war activist Brian Becker.

  • Co-Director of the International Action Center
  • Member of International A.N.S.W.E.R.’s steering committee
  • Member of the Secretariat of the Workers World Party

Brian Becker is a Co-Director of Ramsey Clark's International Action Center (IAC) and a steering committee member of International A.N.S.W.E.R.  Both are front groups for the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party (WWP). Through his association with these organizations, Becker has been a prominent figure in the anti-war movement's massive rallies against the war on terror. 

Becker is a member of the Secretariat of the WWP of the United States, which is a staunch supporter of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. As Chairman of the "U.S. Troops out of Korea Committee," Becker has accused the United States of conducting a campaign of genocide against North Korea.

Becker is also a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

In March 2002, Becker was elected Vice-Chairman of the Committee of the International Liaison for Reunification and Peace in Korea (CILRECO). According to one source, this Committee (under Becker’s stewardship) has developed a pro-Kim public relations campaign designed to force the U.S. to withdraw its troops from the Korean peninsula.

In Becker’s calculus, America’s entire history has been laced with unremitting evil. In July 1999 hestated:
The United States government leaders speak so piously about human rights in countries that they have decided to attack. This is part of war propaganda, but it is also designed to divert attention from their own history.

We all learn in school and the government leaders tell us and it’s repeated in the media that the United States became a rich and powerful country because of the so-called "magic of the free market." Because of the purported virtues of capitalism. Or sometimes they tell us it’s because of their love for democracy, or "the rule of law." These supposed virtues are supposed to have le[d] to such a spontaneous and creative outpouring of human energy that it made the United States a wealthy and powerful country.

But what is the truth? For more than three centuries U.S. capitalism grew largely from the accumulation of wealth from slave labor. Millions and millions of African people worked as slaves, as human chattel, and it was their unpaid labor that led to a vast accumulation of capital and wealth. Was this slavery legal according to U.S. law? Yes it was. But do we consider it any less of a crime against humanity? Of course not. In the United States slavery was legal, but the system of slavery was a criminal affront to humanity.

The rulers in the United States speak in the name of legality and about the rights of national minorities. But they neglect to mention that the wealth of this country was also derived from the theft and the genocidal ethnic cleansing of millions of Native Indian people. They neglect to mention that these Indian people were deliberately massacred throughout the continent of North America and that the few survivors were forced into reservations, deprived of their language, and of their culture. It was the theft of their rich, bountiful land that made the corporate establishment of the United States very rich indeed.
On November 6, 2001, less than two months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Becker called America's military retaliation against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan "one of the great crimes and acts of terrorism." "Let us not forget," he said, "that September 11 was not the beginning of violence, but just one point in a long continuum of violence that is fundamentally a consequence of U.S. policies around the world."

According to Becker, "September 11 was an unanticipated attack on the American 'homeland.' As an empire, the U.S. was required to respond massively, though not necessarily on terrain of its own choosing, to offset the impression it was no longer invincible. Our government rashly hit out at poverty-stricken and weak Afghanistan as the only immediately available target.... But this was not simply a defensive war to prove a point. It is part of an existing American strategy [of expansion] already in place in the Middle East. Thus, the U.S. is not seeking just to 'defend itself' but is looking for advantages such as new markets and profits." 

In Becker's estimation, the American government is also using the war on terror as a pretext for an assault on the civil liberties of its own citizens. "It's really not about terrorism but about repression,"he argued. "So-called anti-terrorism laws will be used against the growing anti-war movement.... Anti-terrorism has replaced anti-communism [as a unifying ideology] in the U.S. and on a global scale." 

In September 2002, Becker condemned the Bush administration for contemplating military action against Iraq. Characterizing the U.S. as a "rogue state," he likened members of the Bush administration to "drunken gunslingers who shoot up the town in a Saturday night frenzy -- just because they can." He ridiculed their "sneering, swaggering and threatening foreign policy." He stated that any claims of an Iraqi WMD threat were "all lies -- incredible lies." He identified the world's foremost nuclear threat as the United States, "the only country to have used atomic bombs, which it did against the civilian cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki...."  And he asserted that America's motivation for attacking Iraq was its desire to achieve a "re-conquest of a country that had earlier dared to nationalize Western oil installations."
Becker has worked closely with Muslim American Society (MAS) President Esam Omeish. Both were guest speakers at a July 2006 rally in support of Hezbollah and Hamas. In Becker's view, Israel's military response to the rockets that Hamas had fired (from Gaza) at Israeli towns constituted a "criminal reaggression." He minimized Hezbollah's cross-border raid that had killed three Israeli soldiers and ended with the kidnapping of two others. He made no reference to the Hezbollah rocket fire which was raining down on Israeli civilian neighborhoods. And he arguedthat Israel is supported by U.S. aid because "Israel carries out the fundamental colonial functions against not only the Palestinians but against all Arab people and against other peoples of the Middle East."

In the fall of 2007, Omeish was forced to resign from his recently-appointed position on Virginia Governor Tim Kaine's immigration commission when a series of videos -- featuring Omeish at a December 2000 rally praising Palestinians for using “the jihad … to liberate your land” -- were brought to the governor's attention. Becker stepped forward as a character witness for Omeish, asserting that Omeish was the victim of a smear campaign conducted by "right-wing anti-Muslim bigots.”

On February 4, 2011, Becker said: “The most important thing we can do for the people in Venezuela and the people in Cuba and the people everywhere who want to be free, is build a revolutionary party and organization and movement in the United States, that can fight and defeat U.S. imperialism.” "We're building a revolutionary party," he added, "wiith one idea in mind: That the same phenomenon that happened in Egypt [where popular uprisings has forced a major shift in the structure of the country's government] will actually happen in the United states."

On April 1, 2011, Becker said: "While we dont like violence, we [PSL members] are not pacifists. And in fact, we recognize that sometimes violence not only is necessary, but necessary for the liberation of human beings.” He likened the notion that PSL and its ideological allies might someday resort to violence, to General George Washington's “armed struggle against British colonialism,” and to the Civil War's role in bringing about “the end of chattel slavery as a legal institution.”

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