In a publicity stunt designed to attract the attention of the press, anti-Bush and anti-American demonstrators in London pulled down a paper-m?ch? statue of President Bush, in the same way Iraqis had toppled a statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad. The protesters called themselves the “Stop the War Coalition,” a designation that reporters such as Warren Hoge of the New York Times, Dana Milbank and Glenn Frankel of the Washington Post, and Jane Wardell of the Associated Press accepted without question.
That may be what they call themselves, but the media had an obligation to identify the communists, socialists and radical Muslims behind the anti-Bush protests. Major papers didn’t mention that the coalition steering committee includes such people as Mohammed Aslam Aijaz of the London Council of Mosques, Lois Austin of the Socialist Party, John Haylett of the British Communist Party newspaper Morning Star, John Rees of the Socialist Workers Party, Carlos Rule of the Socialist Labour Party, Tanja Salem Al-Awda of the Campaign for Palestinian Rights, and Wolf Wayne of the Green Socialist Network and Socialist Alliance.
The “Stop the War Coalition” behind the protests includes former member of Parliament George Galloway on its steering committee. Galloway was expelled from the ruling Labor Party for having told British soldiers in Iraq they should disobey orders to fight. Galloway, who visited Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2002, was labeled the British representative of “Baghdad Central.” He has sued Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper for reporting evidence that he had been in the pay of the Iraqi government.
CBS News Reporter Steve Holt noted that some of the marchers chanted “George Bush, terrorist,” and that a few scuffled with three Bush supporters holding U.S. flags and a sign saying “support America.” One of the three, Londoner Robert Temple, said, “I think it’s a disgrace that these people are basically siding with Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.”
The protester had a point. A quick glance at the coalition’s website disclosed that it not only opposes the war in Iraq, it opposes the war on terrorism in Afghanistan and elsewhere. The website declares, “The aim of the Coalition should be very simple: to stop the war currently declared by the United States and its allies against ‘terrorism’?” In the face of 9/11 and other attacks and bombings, the “Stop the War Coalition” wants the U.S. to do nothing militarily to defend itself. Why didn’t our media mention this critical fact?
A fascinating aspect to the British protest was the American connection. The “Stop the War Coalition” features a set of links to its collaborators abroad, including Moveon.org, International ANSWER, and United For Peace. The latter two groups are heavily infiltrated by communists and have played the key role in “anti-war” demonstrations here. Moveon.org is regarded even by the liberal U.S. media as a front of the Democratic Party. It is getting millions of dollars from George Soros, who is also financing the movement to legalize marijuana in the U.S.