Boycott ‘Rage Against the War Machine’

March 21, 2023

From the March-April 2023 issue of News & Letters

Editor’s note: News and Letters Committees is one of many signatories to this statement. We publish it because, although the Feb. 19 event it refers to is past, more such events are sure to be held, and it is vital to be aware of their reactionary “red-brown” nature.

A coalition of extreme right groups and groups nominally on the “left” have organized a rally in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 19 called “Rage Against the War Machine.” The organizers say the event is for peace in Ukraine. However, if many of their demands are implemented, it will be a victory for Putin and the “peace of the graveyard” for Ukraine.

This “anti-war” rally’s demands pertaining to Ukraine have been thoroughly exposed as Russian disinformation. And not all of their demands relate to Ukraine. The rest are general demands, such as, “Global nuclear de-escalation,” which most people agree with. These easy to agree with anti-war demands serve as cover and, they hope, make them appear legitimately concerned about the violence of state warfare as a means by which to attract honest people who want peace.

The “Rage Against the War Machine” event is significant: it represents a dangerous escalation of a developing red-brown alliance.[1] This rally is sponsored by far-right groups and figures that include Ron Paul and the Libertarian Party. Others, such as Chris Hedges, Max Blumenthal, and the People’s Party, pose as being “left” but are worsening conduits to the far right and what can be termed “fascist entryism.” The Green Party, the largest independent progressive party in the U.S., has let itself be co-opted into this red-brown coalition with its endorsement of the event by a narrow 54-50 vote of its National Committee. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s 2012 and 2016 presidential candidate, and an ally of Putin’s regime and Russian geopolitics, has agreed to speak at it. Originally a sponsor of the rally, Code Pink (Russian disinfo purveyors with campist politics) has now withdrawn….

Nevertheless, their duplicitous role is made clear by Code Pink leader Medea Benjamin, in her tweets supporting MAGA neo-fascists Marjorie Taylor Greene and Donald Trump, and in Medea Benjamin’s alliance with “leftist” Vijay Prashad, who supports the Russian imperialist idea of Eurasianism—which was first developed by fascists in the 1930s and was re-popularized by Dugin, a Russian fascist, in the last 40 years. Prashad is also a denier of the genocidal treatment of the Muslim Uyghurs in China.

The Arab Spring was a turning point for the Left internationally. Bashar al Assad’s Syrian Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party has maintained ties with large parts of the Left throughout the world, despite his regime’s brutal repression of the Syrian people’s democratic revolution for a Free Syria, from 2011 to present. Russian imperialism stepped in to save the Assad regime in 2015 and launched a relentless (and ongoing) disinformation effort to cover up the war crimes of the Assad and Russian regimes in Syria. Much of the liberal and socialist Left in the U.S. has been silent and/or complicit in the face of these atrocities.

This disinformation war’s success, and the silence of the Left, paved the way for Putin’s military invasion of Ukraine. Now, Russian disinformation continues directly under the banner of extreme right-wing forces allied with those who call themselves anti-war (some claim to be pacifists), anti-imperialists, and anti-capitalists—but conspicuously no “left” groups, including Code Pink, claim to be socialist, anarchist, and/or anti-fascist. All of the groups taking up “anti-” positions (war/imperialism/capitalism) are trumpeting traditionally leftist slogans and postures. This is noteworthy. Fascist movements have historically tried to expand the base for their reactionary agenda by building red-brown alliances using leftist slogans and posturing. The upcoming “Rage Against The War Machine” rally is no different.

We urge Left and peace activists to not be fooled and co-opted into joining a right-wing movement.

We stand unequivocally in solidarity with Ukraine, and for a military defeat of the Russian invasion.

We oppose all red-brown alliances and we will organize to expose and denounce them.

Sponsored by Ukraine Socialist Solidarity Campaign, Syria Solidarity NYC, CISPOS

[1].  The term “red-brown” is shorthand to describe when the far left, which is supposed to be anti-fascist, and the far right, which is on a fascism spectrum, come into open alliance (red = far left, and brown = far right, named after Hitler’s brownshirts).

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