Category Archives: Cambodia

White Power and apocalyptic cults: Pro-DPRK Americans revealed

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Jason Sutter, a former pro-North Korean support group ringleader, now a self-proclaimed hindu priest, in an illustration created by NK News for this article

American homegrown terrorist groups are the chosen favorites of Pyongyang

BY NATE THAYER , MAY 6, 2013

WASHINGTON D.C. – In September 2003, John Paul Cupp, the 22 year old son of a fundamentalist Christian preacher from Indiana received a message from the government of North Korea.

“Upon the authorization of the Central Committee” it read, Pyongyang “extends militant greetings to you who extend warm support and solidarity to the Songun policy of our respected Marshal Kim Jong Il, treasure sword of our nation.”

The “formation of the Songun Politics Study Group USA has been reported to our Central Committee and, through it, to the Workers Party of Korea….Now your organization has been introduced to the entire Korean nation in the south and the north We are very pleased to have a revolutionary organization and comrades like you in the land of the United States, the bulwark of imperialism and determined to further the relationship with you in depth,”

Rodong Sinmun, the official voice of the ruling Korean Worker’s Party (KWP), reported the news on September 11, the two year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.

The message from Pyongyang promised to send further information “by DHL” to the address of “Comrade John Paul Cupp.” What North Korea didn’t mention was at the time was John Paul Cupp had no address because he was homeless and living in a tent under a highway in Portland, Oregon.

“My father is a loser. He lives in Lynn Haven, Florida,” wrote Cupp on an online family genealogy thread in October 1999. “I moved to Portland to join the communist party and get my poetry published. I am 19 years old.”

By the time Cupp vowed his loyalty to Pyongyang and was made Chairman of the newly created Songun Politics Study Group USA, his evolving political ideology embraced white supremacy, pro Islamic Jihadists, virulent anti-Semitism, and launching domestic terrorism to achieve the armed overthrow of the U.S. government.

John Paul Cupp (c) in trench coat when he was homeless living in Portland Oregon in the early 2000’s when he became the chief U.S representative of the Pyongyang sanctioned group of U.S. supporters of North Korea. North Korean media heralded Cupp as a “prominent U.S. public figure.”

John Paul Cupp (c) in trench coat when he was homeless living in Portland Oregon in the early 2000’s when he became the chief U.S representative of the Pyongyang sanctioned group of U.S. supporters of North Korea. North Korean media heralded Cupp as a “prominent U.S. public figure.”

In recent years, the North Korean government has joined in alliance and found common cause with American citizens from the violent armed fringes of both the political far right and left who are members of registered U.S. domestic terrorist organizations, have been convicted for violent racial attacks, claimed to have  sent Anthrax chemical warfare agents to the President of the United States, been sentenced to mental institutions for threatening to assassinate sitting U.S. presidents, and been imprisoned for plotting terrorist attacks on U.S soil.

“Comrade Kim Il Sung and Dear Leader Comrade Kim Jong Il are the two greatest human beings in the entire history of the world”

Several have made official visits to North Korea as the invited guests of the Pyongyang government.

The American political activists of the pro North Korean political organizations created by Pyongyang in the U.S.  include leaders of armed white power groups accused of trying to spark violent race wars, ; Americans fighting for the creation of a U.S. state populated exclusively  by white people; supporters of the extermination of the Jewish race; who applaud the 9/11 and Oklahoma City terrorist attacks; and others who hold as their ideological mentors the religious suicide cult leader Jim Jones, Pol Pot, Osama Bin Laden, and the assassins of three U.S. presidents and civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

John Paul Cupp with SKS rifle in 2009 with confederate flag in the background. Photo taken in 2009 while he was advocating white supremacy and head of the official U.S. Songun Politics Study Group

John Paul Cupp with SKS rifle in 2009 with confederate flag in the background. Photo taken in 2009 while he was advocating white supremacy and head of the official U.S. Songun Politics Study Group

But according to North Korean official propaganda, these American citizens and the Pyongyang government they view as their ideological mentors agree on one thing: The Kim family dynastic leadership are the greatest political thinkers of our times.

“My personal opinion,” John Paul Cupp said in a 2007 interview, “is that great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung and Dear Leader Comrade Kim Jong Il are the two greatest human beings in the entire history of the world. For us, it would be impossible to even wake up in the morning should we lose the ability to cherish them.”

Within months of creating the pro-Pyongyang group, Cupp was regularly featured in North Korean propaganda as a ”prominent U.S. public figure,” who was the leader of a broad U.S. movement with deep loyalty to the Kim family’s global political vision.

John Paul Cupp at the top of the Juche Tower, Pyongyang, North Korea, on an official trip by invitation of the North Korean government as head of the U.S. Songun Politics Study Group in 2006

John Paul Cupp at the top of the Juche Tower, Pyongyang, North Korea, on an official trip by invitation of the North Korean government as head of the U.S. Songun Politics Study Group in 2006

FROM WHITE SUPREMACIST TO ISLAMIC CONVERT

While serving as the Chairman of the Songun Politics Study Group USA, recognized by Pyongyang as their primary U.S. support group, and several other political front groups created in North Korea but portrayed as homegrown U.S. mass political movements, Cupp’s political platform included anti-Semitic laced rhetoric (“hey anyone, actually killing Jews is to be supported in so far as they are killing  Jews”) to racism (“I fully invite every member of an Islamic or Third World country that US imperialism wants to bomb to join us in a cross burning and Jena-rope-the-goat/President event to show how much we love scabs and tools of the Jews and imperialist finance capital”) to support for “Aryan hero Lee Harvey Oswald” and the Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh.

In a post on a white supremacy website titled “A Call for White Resistance” Cupp wrote “One of the things that was brought to my attention while I was visiting North Korea is that during the course of the anti-Japanese struggle the masses began scattered and wanting, then non-violently resisting, and then resisting with ‘terrorism’ and what we call ‘lone wolf actions’ today,” he wrote.

“When looking at our White European-American nation, one finds a people who have not lost their desire to fight the enemy oppressor and who are willing to take matters into their own hands.”

Cupp cited a list of American “Lone Wolves” to be emulated which included the far-right White Supremacist who committed the most deadly domestic terrorist act in U.S. history when he blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City, a White Supremacist group who stockpiled weapons and explosives then went on a murderous campaign of assassination against blacks, and the assassins of Presidents Kennedy, Lincoln and McKinley as well as Martin Luther King.

But that didn’t stop the North Korean government from appointing him the head of the officially sanctioned political organization of U.S. citizens supporting the government of North Korea. Nor did it inhibit Pyongyang prominently depicting the then 22 year old American in state media dozens of time in the following years as a “prominent U.S. Public Figure” and inviting him on official government sponsored visits to the DPRK.

A photograph of John Paul Cupp, Chairman of the U.S Songun Politics Study Group taken at the demilitarized zone on the border with South Korea from the North Korean side. Photo is with a North Korean military officer in the neutral zone during a 2007 trip Cupp made to North Korea as an official guest of Pyongyang

A photograph of John Paul Cupp, Chairman of the U.S Songun Politics Study Group taken at the demilitarized zone on the border with South Korea from the North Korean side. Photo is with a North Korean military officer in the neutral zone during a 2007 trip Cupp made to North Korea as an official guest of Pyongyang

For many North Koreans, the only source of information on developments outside the DPRK is the strictly controlled government media and many therefore believe that the world masses are ardent supporters of Kim Il Sung’s Juche political ideology.

On April 15, 2004 (Kim Il Sung’s birthday), Cupp sent a poem to Pyongyang expressing his fealty to Kim Il Sung and Juche which was promptly republished by North Korean media.

“Marshal Kim Jong Il is the most outstanding revolutionary leader of our era. His Songun army-centered stance, against the fascist scum goons of the White House, cannot be called anything short of genius, extreme bravery, defiant, principled, and even scholarly,” Cupp wrote. “Marshal Kim Jong Il has clearly shown that the gun is the revolution. He clarified that the gun is the faithful and uncompromising companion of the revolutionary. This gun-based approach is correct in every single way.”

In October 2004, the KCNA heralded Cupp as praising the wife of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung and mother of then leader Kim Jong Il which spoke of “a revolutionary comrade-in-arms most loyal to President Kim Il Sung and gave birth to leader Kim Jong Il.”

Another KCNA dispatch the following month published an article by Cupp titled “What a great man Comrade Kim Jong Il is” which read “Then there are questions as to why do intellectuals respect and revere General Kim Jong Il so deeply,”

“He [Cupp] explained in the article that Kim Jong Il is the most prominent leader in the present era just as President Kim Il Sung was. Though the socialist movement suffered setbacks in different countries, the brilliant and august name of Kim Jong Il serves as a symbol of the militant and invincible defender of the world, he stressed,” wrote KCNA.

Cupp remained head of the U.S. Songun Study Group for the next seven years during which he travelled to Pyongyang as an official guest of the North Korean government. Simultaneously, he forged alliances with other American White Power extremist groups who shared his fidelity to Pyongyang, created other political front groups espousing armed revolution to create a racially pure state, and joined with apocalyptic fringe religious sects espousing suicide bombers as a tactic for achieving religious and political goals.

In an article Cupp wrote while serving as head of the U.S. Songun Study Group , he said “Imagine a racial communist super-State comprising all of Europe and Russia and stretching across the reclaimed Siberian Land Bridge Project into White North America and includes Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Argentina in its project. Bloodline shall supersede geographical boundaries [this will be] the total victory of White Power over the conspiracy for our genocide, more than just racialism, but true socialism, and the rebirth of the neighborhood and family again.”

“The best models existing today are those of North Korea and the Iraqi Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party”

“Long live the White race!,” the article concluded, “Long live the communist revolution! Let us vow to die in the trenches of combat before ever even considering the thought of surrendering our European-American Nation!”

In December 2009, Cupp penned a piece in which he wrote “White Power, when correctly defined, ultimately wants both separation from and death to America. Indeed, ‘White Power, Death to America!’ … the best models existing today, and worthy of careful study, admiration, and solidarity by our people are those of North Korea and the Iraqi Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party.”

In February 2010, Cupp created another organization called “Aryan Athiests.” The next month, he formally converted to Islam and changed his name to Wahid Yayah Cupp.

By 2011, his erratic behavior and a myriad of infighting among other American contenders for the official endorsement of Pyongyang caused Cupp to be eased out as top leader of the U.S. Songun Politics Study Group.

The road travelled by pro-North Korean American citizens since 2003 has been similarly strewn with controversy, intrigue, and buffoonery. During the last decade, other politically-active Americans were also going through important transitions on their way to joining John Paul Cupp as staunch supporters of Pyongyang and their brand of government.

JOSHUA CALEB SUTTER: PREACHER’S SON, NEO-NAZI, FEDERAL PRISONER

Joshua Caleb Sutter has one of the more colorful resumes in fringe American politics. Also the son of a fundamentalist Christian preacher, David Sutter, a well-known South Carolina white supremacist leader, Joshua Sutter was primed for the world of extremist politics from a young age.

He began dabbling in white racist politics as a teenager and rose rapidly through the ranks to become a national leader of the Aryan Nations, a white supremacist neo-Nazi group which advocated the armed overthrow of the U.S. government in order to impose a whites-only racially pure state in its place.

Joshua Sutter , former Aryan Nations white supremacist leader and leader of the Rural People’s Party in his guise of Hindu priest, Shree Shree Kalki-Kalaratri at the Hindu New Bihar Mandir temple located on Sutter’s rural South Carolina property. (Photo: newbiharmandir.org)

Joshua Sutter , former Aryan Nations white supremacist leader and leader of the Rural People’s Party in his guise of Hindu priest, Shree Shree Kalki-Kalaratri at the Hindu New Bihar Mandir temple located on Sutter’s rural South Carolina property. (Photo: newbiharmandir.org)

Sutter lived at the headquarters compound of the Aryan Nations in Pennsylvania until his arrest by undercover federal agents in February 2003 for purchasing illegal automatic pistols with their serial numbers scraped off, and possession of silencers in a foiled plot to launch bomb attacks in a domestic U.S. terror campaign.

At the time, Sutter was also a preacher for the Church of the Sons of Yaweh, a white supremacist “Christian Identity” church with links to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).

“Roses are red, violets are blue – for every dead Arab, another dead jew!”

After the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center bombings in New York, Sutter assumed the title of the Aryan Nations “Minister for Islamic Liaison”, tasked with building alliances with international Islamic jihadist groups.  Sutter caught the attention of federal authorities in 2002 after he released a “message of solidarity and support” to Saddam Hussein after Sept. 11 predicting that “the evil regime of the United States … shall be utterly wiped off the face of the earth.”

Among other aliases, Sutter used the name Wulfran Hall, High Counsel of Aryan Nations, while living at the rural Pennsylvania Aryan Nations headquarters owned by Sutter’s mentor, Aryan Nation’s head August Kreis.

On the Aryan Nations website, after leading a large White Supremacist, anti-Semitic rally in Washington D.C., Sutter wrote: “Skinheads, Aryan Nations and Identity, National Alliance, Creators all marching side by side with one enemy in mind – the jew,” citing as a “poignant example” the slogan of the demonstration: “Roses are red, violets are blue – for every dead Arab, another dead jew!” Calling whites “the true chosen race”, Sutter wrote ‘Yes, oh yes… and it shall be much worse this time. Jew – all of your planning, scheming and attempts and preparedness shall not save you from that fateful day, for no man knows the hour….But a little bird told a friend of a friend of a friend who told me that it “shan’t be too far off”…”

Joshua Caleb Stutter, former leader of the Rural People’s Party, selling racist knick knacks (L) and posing in front of a Nazi flag (R)

Joshua Caleb Stutter, former leader of the Rural People’s Party, selling racist knick knacks (L) and posing in front of a Nazi flag (R)

Sutter was arrested in February 2003 for purchasing gun silencers and an automatic pistol with its serial numbers scratched off from an undercover federal agent. The arrest was part of a sting operation which foiled attempts by Sutter’s White Supremacist extremist comrade to use explosives and weapons to blow up abortion clinics and kill political opponents.

Sentenced to two years, Sutter was released from a Georgia federal prison on Nov. 9, 2004 and moved back to his hometown in rural Lexington County, South Carolina.

THE RURAL PEOPLE’S PARTY AND THE JIM JONES JUCHE CARAVAN

That is when Sutter began a twisted web of sharp u-turns in his ideas, veering off to remote side roads of political ideology, and formed a new underground political organization–the Rural People’s Party (RPP)–which embraced both Kim Il Sung’s Juche ideology and that of Jim Jones as its twin political mentors.

In documents compiled by the Department of Religious Studies at San Diego State University (which has an extensive archive of the Jim Jones People’s Temple organization), a member of the Rural People’s Party submitted a biography of the history of the party. Documents and other evidence obtained by NK News show that  the author of the RPP biography was Joshua Sutter and the article was sent from Joshua Sutter’s property in South Carolina.

“The Rural People’s Party (RPP) was officially ratified into existence in 2004 when our founder was released from federal prison after serving a sentence on weapons charges,” the document says, revealing details which mirror the biography of Joshua Sutter.“Other comrades on the outside had already scouted out and purchased a rural location for the founding of a commune,” said the RPP document.

A plaque presented by the Rural People’s Party and Songun Politics Study Group to Kim Jong Il on Kim Il Sung’s birthday

A plaque presented by the Rural People’s Party and Songun Politics Study Group to Kim Jong Il on Kim Il Sung’s birthday

According to Lexington County title records, on Aug 19 2003, David and Laura Sutter, Joshua’s parents, purchased 3.61 acres of land and a mobile home on 480 Sherwood Drive for $75,000 –the same location of the headquarters of the Rural People’s Party, according to multiple documents obtained by NK News during this investigation.

A photograph on the official RPP website shows a single wide mobile home with a North Korean flag flying on a flagpole in a wooded area and is captioned: “ Central People’s Commune of the Rural People’s Party: Militant Juche Songun and Jim Jones thought Communism North America.”

But Sutter didn’t abandon his far right, extremist white supremacist politics when he was released from the penitentiary at the end of 2004.

The singe wide mobile home in Lexington County, South Carolina that served as the headquarters of the RPP. A North Korean flag flies in the foreground, and large cloth portraits of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, obtained from the North Korean government, decorate the entrance.

The single wide mobile home in Lexington County, South Carolina that served as the headquarters of the RPP. A North Korean flag flies in the foreground, and large cloth portraits of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, obtained from the North Korean government, decorate the entrance.

Upon release from prison, Sutter began working at the Southern Patriot Shop, a White Supremacist retail outlet managed by Sutter’s father, Pentecostal preacher David Sutter. The shop sells racist paraphernalia and is owned by the League of the South, an established hate group.

While it was on the date of his release from federal prison that Sutter founded the Rural People’s Party—it was also in the following months that, Sutter using alias’s including Wulfran Hall, actively resumed his leadership role in the white supremacist terror organization Aryan Nations.”We can become more than simple domesticated pawns in the games of jewish commerce. We spit upon the false sanctity of the ‘flag’ – of whatever country,” wrote Sutter in February 2005 on the Aryan Nations website. “We spit upon the erroneous sanctity of the cross – and all the meaningless relics of organized religion which is but another way to enslave us and control us, to keep us from realizing the potential that we possess as a race.”

Audio recording of “Forbidden Knowledge” by Joshua Stutter, during which he outlines his extremist political beliefs. Source: Archive.org

Sutter also provided an approved list of books which he positively reviewed. They included “A Practical Guide to The Strategy and Tactics of Revolution” which demonstrates four ways to “undermine/overthrow/disrupt/de-stabilize the present anti-Aryan System, and thus create or provoke a revolutionary situation”.

The book lists four methods for revolution: “(1) assassination of individuals; (2) terror bombing (including targets where civilian casualties are probable); (3) sabotage of the infrastructure of the System – such things as roads, communications, television transmitters, airports, railways, power stations, food supplies, businesses, shops, financial institutions and so on; (4) terror campaigns directed at our enemies – indiscriminate or otherwise.”

Mobile trailer home which serves as headquarters for the RPP, the pro North Korean political group started by white supremacist Joshua Sutter

Mobile trailer home which serves as headquarters for the RPP, the pro North Korean political group started by white supremacist Joshua Sutter

Also, Sutter provided helpful tips and instructions on killing perceived enemies. “The best types of soft target in this respect are: (1) enemies of Aryan freedom” and “politicians who have spoken-out against Aryan groups or who have done things harmful to our race and our freedom (such as supporting some new anti-Aryan law or encouraging race-mixing). On the practical level, the organization must collect intelligence on suitable targets, acquire suitable weapons and prepare statements for after the action. Individual covert cells can then be supplied with a list of targets, and armed with suitable weapons.” Instruction for terrorist attacks and sparking a race war are also detailed by Sutter.

By April 2005, the Aryan Nations leader and Sutter’s mentor, August Kreis, moved the group’s national headquarters to a doublewide trailer in Lexington County to be near Sutter. On April 9 2005 Aryan Nations leader Kreiss bought a .732 acre piece of land, with a mobile home, at 160 Maplewood drive, Lexington SC for $18,000.

But the following month, Louisiana based Aryan Nations leader and preacher of the White Supremacist hate church Sons Of Yaweh Morris Gulett wrote from the Louisiana West Monroe Correction Center on May 12, 2005 accusing Joshua Sutter of being an undercover government informer. “Brother Charles Thornton from Alabama and myself are in federal custody here in Louisiana charged with Conspiracy to Commit Armed Bank Robbery. We were set up by one of the church’s oldest members, Joshua Caleb Sutter.”

“Let me say that this entire debacle was an FBI set up from the very beginning. There would be no alleged crimes, were it not for an FBI informant/agent provocateur, one Joshua Caleb Sutter, a now former member of the Church of the Sons of YHVH/Legion of Saints.”

Interior of mobile home used by the RPP as the headquarters of the Songun Policy Study Group (USA)

Interior of mobile home used by the RPP as the headquarters of the Songun Policy Study Group (USA)

Within days, Kriess removed a photo of Sutter posing in a black turban and face mask, and articles he wrote from the Aryan Nations Web site, and Sutter went underground. The following years, Joshua Sutter focused on supporting the government and Juche ideology of North Korea using a variety of aliases

KEVIN WALSH AND ZIAD SHAKER AL-JISHI: THE WHITE NATIONALIST AND THE PALESTINIAN AMERICAN

It was also in 2004 that Kevin Walsh, an articulate virulent white nationalist and anti-Semite both began an alliance with Cupp and was arrested himself for threatening to assassinate by gun then U.S. president George W. Bush.

“Police in Phoenix cautiously approached Walsh, a registered handgun owner. Guns drawn, Walsh responded by drawing his own”

“John Paul Cupp and I were political collaborators discontinuously from 2004 to 2010” said Walsh in a series of email interviews.  In 2004 “I was arrested and was incarcerated until 2006.”

Police in Phoenix cautiously approached Walsh, a registered handgun owner. Guns drawn, Walsh responded by drawing his own. The standoff ended without violence, but an Arizona judge declared that Walsh must have been insane and committed him involuntarily to a mental institution for 180 days.

He was released two years later, whereupon he resumed his political alliance with John Paul Cupp, based on their shared support of the North Korean vision for how to politically organize a government.

Walsh joined another organization which was run by Cupp—the North American Committee Against Zionism and Imperialism (NACAZI). Together, the two created the European-American Socialist People’s Front (EASPF).

Photo of hammer and sickle flag inside the RPP headquarters in rural Lexington County South Carolina

Photo of hammer and sickle flag inside the RPP headquarters in rural Lexington County South Carolina

A synthesis of White Nationalism and Marxism-Leninism “EASPF is essentially a national communist or racial communist organization,” wrote Cupp on a Yahoo! Group message. “I have been to North Korea and am deeply in love with them.”

Cupp wrote that the North Korean Juche ideology supported “biological and cultural distinctiveness” and were “not nihilistic towards the realities of bloodline in the creation of national identities of people the way Western leftists are.”

Kevin Walsh was more direct in his assessment of the two outfits. “NACAZAI and EASPF were only websites. We didn’t have any kind of mass following or street organization. We would write essays and solicit support, but no support came,” Walsh told NK News in an email interview.

“Jewish power and American imperialism are the source of great misery for the Arab people and the rest of the world, and they must be smashed”

All of Walsh’s emails end with a quote from an April 2006 Rodong Sinmun article: “The south Korean pro-American traitorous forces advocating the theory of ‘multiracial society’ are riffraff who have not an iota of national soul, to say nothing of the elementary understanding of the view on the nation and social and historic development.”

NACAZI was run by Cupp and a Palestinian American by the name of Ziad Shaker al-Jishi, who also held the title of deputy chairman of the U.S. Songun Politics Study Group. Ziad has made numerous trips to Pyongyang on the invitation of the North Korean government over the last decade.

“Jewish power and American imperialism are the source of great misery for the Arab people and the rest of the world, and they must be smashed. We have made great progress in the last decades for the revolutionary anti-imperialist struggle both in the DPRK and Iraq. We at NACAZAI from our geographic position have tried to contribute to this just and worthy effort to rid the world of Jewish power and American imperialism,” said Ziad, in an interview published on the now defunct NACAZI website.

In an October 2006 letter to Kim Jong Il, Ziad said “For the last several years, I have been active in supporting the DPRK, because of my firm convictions in support of socialism and against imperialism and Zionism. The Korean revolution, through my numerous conversations and recent August visit, has demonstrated to me that it is not only genuine in its efforts, but further-more, the most advanced outpost for anti-imperialism in the world today.”

The letter concluded: “While you long for Korean unity, I long for Arab unity. Like the Korean people under your care, my Arab people long for unification and independence. The lessons you have propagated against flunkeyism, by calling for preserving the Juche and national character of the revolution and synthesizing the people’s cultural and historical identity simultaneously with the anti-imperialist class struggle under the banner of ‘nationalist in form and socialist in content’, is nothing short of genuineness creatively putting its pulse on the needs and desires of the great masses of periphery.”In recent years, North Korean state media has heralded Ziad’s visits to Pyongyang and his messages of support to the Kim family dynasty numerous times.

ZIAD, CUPP, SUTTER AND THE JUCHE CARAVAN

In December 2007, Ziad and Cupp travelled to meet Joshua Caleb Sutter at his rural mobile home in the woods of South Carolina, and formed a political alliance.

“A successful Songun Conference was held outside of Lexington, South Carolina at the Rural Peoples Party’s Central Commune […] Participants included the US Songun Group, the RPP, and the North American Committee Against Zionism and Imperialism,” wrote Cupp in a December 2007 message to political supporters.

While the cast of characters and organizations in the U.S. supporting Pyongyang increased, so did the tension between the extremist leaders with varying political agendas fighting for control over the small  U.S. Juche organization officially sanctioned by Pyongyang.

The U.S. Songun Politics Study Group’s official North Korean government contact was through a known front group for North Korean intelligence agencies, the Committee for Cultural and Foreign Relations, charged with garnering foreign support for the government, and their offices and contacts are located in Pyongyang. For the U.S. political activists and groups, a man using the name Zo Il Min was their primary North Korean contact.

“Cupp told me that Zo Il Min is from southern Korea but had moved to the DPRK and that he has a cable connection to an e-mail address in Japan to do Songun work internationally,” said Walsh in a series of email interviews with NK News from his Arizona home over recent months. “I don’t know if that is true and whether the Juche study group really is sanctioned by the DPRK government. Given the sort of people they’ve been tolerating in positions of leadership recently, I certainly hope not.”

“The first time the RPP and John Paul Cupp crossed paths was in July 2007, when the RPP released a message of support for Pol Pot”

During the late 2007 meeting in the South Carolina woods with former Aryan Nations leader Joshua Caleb Sutter, the leader of the  Rural People’s Party, both Cupp and Ziad quickly found common political ground with the White Supremacist-turned Pyongyang disciple.

“In 2008 Cupp and Ziad had become involved with the Rural People’s Party and had actually travelled to South Carolina to meet their leader, known as David Woods. Cupp would later say that Woods was a pseudonym for Josh Sutter and that Sutter had been arrested for some offense and had become a government agent” said Walsh. “Cupp and Ziad had initially thought Woods/Sutter and the RPP were sincere,” Walsh told NK News.

Jillian Hoy—or “comrade Morrison” of the pro North Korean Rural people’s party holding a Korean trade magazine sent to them by the Pyongyang government in 2008. The photo is from inside the mobile home in rural South Carolina that served as headquarters for the RPP.

Jillian Hoy—or “comrade Morrison” of the pro North Korean Rural people’s party holding a Korean trade magazine sent to them by the Pyongyang government in 2008. The photo is from inside the mobile home in rural South Carolina that served as headquarters for the RPP.

The first time the RPP and John Paul Cupp crossed paths was in July 2007, when the RPP released a message of support for Pol Pot, the former leader of the Cambodian Khmer Rouge movement, on a pro-Khmer Rouge website. 1.8 million people died during Pol Pot’s 3 years and 8 months in power in the 1970s.

Sutter sent a message. “We stand in firm solidarity with the Group for the Study of the Theories of Pol Pot and as a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist organization have held steadfast in defense, study, assimilation into party line and, by our work in establishing the Central People’s Commune, advancing toward practical implementation of Pol Potism. Please find as follows some links to photographs taken at the CPC, a place which all who uphold the glorious line of the CPK are most graciously welcome.”

The message contained photographs of the Khmer Rouge flag flying over a vinyl-sided mobile home in a rural setting – the Central People’s Commune of the Rural People’s Party. In photographs published elsewhere, the same trailer and property later show pictures of the North Korean flag and large portraits of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on the exterior of the small building.

John Paul Cupp wrote back a month later “On the Occasion of CPK Foundation Day” to the RPP: “It takes a lot of courage and guts to defend Democratic Kampuchea and Comrade Pol Pot in the U.S. I congratulate the RPP on this statement.”

After the December 2007 meeting in South Carolina between Joshua Sutter, the RPP, John Paul Cupp and Ziad, the group of extremist leaders decided to join forces. Joshua Caleb Sutter, Jillian Hoy (an RPP committee member), James Porrazzo (another White Supremacist leader), and others affiliated with the RPP were all present.

Literature and propaganda material also sent by the North Korean government to the Rural People’s Party (RPP)

Literature and propaganda material also sent by the North Korean government to the Rural People’s Party (RPP)

On February 9, 2008, a joint statement was released in celebration of Kim Jong Il’s birthday, announcing “The Songun Politics Study Group (USA)… are pleased to announce the formation of the US Preparatory Committee for the Celebration of February 16th and Red Sun’s Day.”

“The Committee will be chaired by John Paul Cupp and Ziad Shaker al-Jishi, Chairman of the North American Committee Against Zionism and Imperialism (NACAZAI) will be the Vice Chairman,” the statement said. Included in the release was an RPP Statement, a letter to Kim Jong Il from John Paul Cupp and a similar letter from Ziad Shaker al-Jishi, Chairman of the North American Committee Against Zionism and Imperialism (NACAZAI).”

“Weapons-grade anthrax isn’t something some redneck can make on the weekend in his tool shed”

The meeting between the unlikely grouping of white power extremists, Palestinian Americans and a formerly homeless person produced several new elements in the nexus between Pyongyang and their American citizen comrades.

“Cupp did tell me that Woods/Sutter had been talking about having been involved with sending anthrax to the White House,” Walsh told NK News.

“Ziad had said something similar. I said, ‘I seriously doubt that he had anything to do with that.  He doesn’t have the technical know-how to make weapons-grade anthrax. I have two university degrees, and I don’t have that technical knowledge. Weapons-grade anthrax isn’t something some redneck can make on the weekend in his tool shed. It takes a great deal of medical and biological expertise and expensive laboratory equipment. It’s not a do-it-yourself project for revolutionaries.’”

Picture of Pol Pot on the wall inside mobile home on secluded South Carolina property of the Rural People’s Party (RPP) headquarters

Picture of Pol Pot on the wall inside mobile home on secluded South Carolina property of the Rural People’s Party (RPP) headquarters

Walsh said if Sutter and Ziad were correctly recalling the conversations, “then it would seem that Woods/Sutter is some kind of government provocateur trying to entrap people by inciting them to use harmless powder that he claims is weapons-grade anthrax.”

Walsh added that North Korea had no control over the white nationalist group, European American Socialist People’s Front (EASPF), which he and Cupp ran, “because I had veto power over everything there, and I originated a lot of the ideas, and no one in Korea told me to do anything.  I suspect the Rural People’s Party is run by the FBI, so if the DPRK is having anything to do with them, it’s probably not a good idea for them.”

In the South Carolina backwoods on April 15, 2008, Kim Il Sung’s Birthday, the RPP changed its official constitution to formally pledge loyalty to Pyongyang and their Juche ideology, giving equal status to both Kim Il Sung and Jim Jones. , officially adopting Juche as its “guiding ideology” and announcing a new “officially authorized” website which posted North Korean official propaganda “provided to the RPP by the Pyongyang Mission of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front of South Korea (AINDF).”

The RPP also posted a picture of RPP Central Committee member Jillian Hoy holding an inscribed plaque sent to “KPA Supreme Commander Kim Jong Il on the occasion of the birth of his father Kim Il Sung” which was captioned: “RPP Central Committee member holds plaque for KIM JONG IL presented on behalf of RPP and the Songun Politics Study Group (USA).”

The RPP copied the official policy of the North Korean Ministry of Propaganda and Agitation  by using a different, bolder and larger font and type style for the North Korean leader’s name.

THE PLOT THICKENS, THE GROUP UNRAVELS

But like any good melodrama script, the new alliance also produced a subtext of love, betrayal, and treachery.

And so began what would be a rapidly unraveling political alliance of U.S. North Korea supporters as  the U.S. Songun Study Group and the RPP ushered in a tumultuous period worthy of a bizarre soap opera script.

“The rivalry was to get tenser, including an exchange of death threats and an alleged assassination attempt.”

During early 2008, John Paul Cupp fell in love and became engaged to Jillian Hoy, but that relationship would implode within months amongst accusations of it having been a politically motivated “honey trap” whereby Hoy was accused of attempting to poison Cupp in an alleged RPP bid to take over control of the officially recognized U.S. Songun Study Group.

By the summer of 2008, the RPP, having established their own direct connection to Pyongyang, cut all ties with Cupp. The rivalry was to get tenser, including an exchange of death threats and an alleged assassination attempt.

“Cupp was involved in a sexual relationship with one of the female members and had told me on the telephone that they were to be married. In July 2008, Cupp became severely ill with chronic appendicitis and some kind of lung infection and had to be hospitalized,” Walsh recalled in an email to NK News.

“He wanted to talk to his ‘fiancée,’ and I e-mailed the RPP on his behalf but got no response.  When he was released from hospital, she still didn’t respond.  It was then that Cupp came to the conclusion that it was all some kind of set-up.”

Jillian Hoy—who used the name “Comrade Morrison” in her role with the RPP—was in fact Joshua Sutter’s girlfriend—and soon to be wife.

The RPP “contact[ed] the then Songun Politics Study Group USA in 2007 and had very cordial relations with them,” wrote Jason Adams-Tonis in December 2011, the head of the Songun Politics Study Group by that time. Jillian Hoy “became the fiancée of the then chairman John Paul Cupp” but in June 2008 the RPP “cut off all ties, unprovoked, with us. Cupp believes his illness was caused by being poisoned by Jillian” and Adams-Tonis charged the “whole RPP action was designed as a government attempt to seize control over the Study Group.”

Jason Adams-Tonis added “with Cupp dead, Woods [Joshua Sutter] would have become the study group leader and thus have an inside connection to the DPRK leadership.”

“[Sutter] later boasted to me that Jillian was in fact his own girlfriend and that he had indeed poisoned Cupp,” wrote Adams-Tonis, quoting Sutter as saying Cupp was “insane” and the Study Group “deserved” a better leader.

“In personal conversations I had with the RPP leader, who utilized the pseudonym Woods, Woods told me that he had been a member of Aryan Nations before his ‘conversion’ to communism and that he feared retribution by Aryan Nations for his defection,” according an online post by Adams-Tonis in December 2011.

He wrote that Sutter, in “statements to me and also to other comrades”, tried to recruit them as loyalists to seize control “in his unsuccessful 2007-8 attempt to take over the group.”

Cupp had a lengthy hospitalization in July of 2008, but emerged seemingly even more radical in his political beliefs.

“The content of [Cupp’s] political manifestos were extreme enough to draw the pointed but gentle rebuke of Pyongyang directly.”

In August of 2008, Cupp wrote numerous public screeds extolling the mass killing of all Jews, support for suicide bombers, Saddam Hussein, Sirhan Sirhan (the assassin of Robert Kennedy), and various calls for  a new government to replace the U.S. authorities with  a nation populated by an Aryan race.

CUPP DRAWS PYONGYANG’S DISSAPPROVAL

Cupp posted many of these screeds on the official North Korean U.S. Songun Politics Study Group which was disseminating propaganda sent by and on the instruction of Pyongyang.

The content of his political manifestos were extreme enough to draw the pointed but gentle rebuke of Pyongyang directly.

In an email from North Korea to Cupp on September 15, 2008, Pyongyang wrote instructing Cupp  to pull non DPRK provided political propaganda from the U.S. Songun Study Group’s website and refrain from posting DPRK material on Cupp’s incendiary white supremacist anti-Semitic web pages.

“Dear comrade CUPP,” the North Korean message began “We would like to make a comradely suggestion to you on the matter of publishing the great Juche and Songun-related photos and articles, great leaders’ works, etc, on the internet. Could you please publish those materials exclusively on the US Songun website and the US Solidarity webpage and not post non-DPRK materials on this, and not post those Juche-Songun and DPRK photos and articles on your?”

“That’s only for the sake of the dignity and prestige of our great leaders and the DPRK. We hope you who sincerely and ardently follow and revere the great leaders could understand what we mean and soon rearrange the materials on the internet, please. We’re waiting for your reply in this connection and the good news of your better health. With our sincere and comradely regards, Zo Il Min, Representative of the Pyongyang Mission of the AINDF, September 15, Juche 97 (2008), Pyongyang, DPRK.”

On September 15, Juche 97 (2008) John Paul Cupp replied to Pyongyang requesting him to tone down his virulent extremist politics.

“I will most certainly, as always, comply with the dictate given to me, and all these articles will be removed and I will comply with the request by this by Sunday… I do believe in…fulfilling the tasks assigned to me. I never ever even remotely wanted to disparage the DPRK in any way, shape, or form… what brought about this concern? Did someone complain? Am I in trouble?  I wish to tell you that I have never stopped in my reverence to the DPRK leadership.”

“the DPRK has known we support Saddam, hollowcause revisionism, reject ‘Israel’ and detest Jews for several years now and sided with us privately on most of that”

But Cupp reacted to  the rebuke with alarm to his U.S. comrades . A September 16, 2008 email from Cupp to a half dozen members of the U.S. Songun Study Group with the subject “HUGE EMERGENCY NEWS” said: “I need you to promise me you aren’t going to contact the DPRK […] Someone is fucking with us, and whining up the ass to the DPRK, and crying to them about three things: A. My open support for European-American nationalism (which they probably went and told Zo Il Min I was a KKK lynching or something), our position against the Jews (but they’ve known that for like 6 years!) and our support for armed struggle to bring down the American regime”

“I mean I told them I laughed my ass off at Sept 11 and they chuckled,” Cupp said.

Cupp concluded “We are the most open and honest about not bowing to the Jews and hating America and supporting all international and national violence or other means to stop them….this is a major security issue attempting to wreck our ties to the DPRK (and the DPRK has known we support Saddam, hollowcause revisionism, reject ‘Israel’ and detest Jews for several years now and sided with us privately on most of that).”

His erstwhile comrade, Kevin Walsh, told Cupp that he would have told Pyongyang differently.

“Quite frankly if Zo Il Minh had come to me with such a request, I’d have told him to fuck off. No one is going to stop my expressing support for the DPRK, not even the DPRK leadership itself.  NACAZAI is an independent anti-imperialist organization, not an agent of any foreign government, no matter how progressive.  The Korean Revolution is worthy of defense, even if the leadership no longer think so.”

“You don’t get to vote in DPRK elections,” Walsh wrote to Cupp, “So you don’t have any obligation to go along with DPRK decisions. You are not an agent of a foreign government, and for the sake of your legal status, it is for the best that things stay that way.”

Cupp did not take North Korea’s advice.

Immediately after the rebuke to Cupp from the North Korean government, Cupp posted a virulent message on the Aryan Nations website in support of a White Supremacist U.S. terrorist, David Lane, who had been sentenced to death  and executed after his arrest for a spree of racial and terrorist violence in 2001. Cupp wrote Lane “rests with our martyrs and ancestors for all of eternity” and said it was “time for raising the White Power battle cry….David Lane is a symbol of our struggle for liberation by any means necessary.“Lane recognized that America is the enemy of White people and the world.  He taught us to love the White woman with all our hearts, and to defend her in with the same fanaticism of Timothy McVeigh… and Palestinian human bombs….On the day when a great army of Aryan guerrillas answers the call, we will honor him through victory and martyrdom. White Power, build the People’s War!

FROM JUCHE CARAVAN TO HINDU TEMPLE: A NEW GOD IN LEXINGTON COUNTY

On November 18, 2008 Joshua Sutter and Jillian Hoy (aka Comrade Morrison and Cupp’s erstwhile ex-fiancé) married at a South Carolina Apostolic Pentecostal church “on the anniversary of the People’s Temple martyrdom” to the tune of the song “Hold On, Brother” from the People’s Temple album “He’s Able”, and “Marching to Zion” used for the movie Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones, according to Lexington County, South Carolina probate Court records.

Jillian Hoy, wife of white power leader, pro North Korea advocate, and Jim Jones supporter Joshua Caleb Sutter. Here Hoy, who bills herself a Hindu priestess Jayalalita Devi Dasi, is pictured at the rural South Carolina property where the Hindu temple New Bihar Mandir is located which worships the deity Kali, the “Goddess of Destruction” is located

Jillian Hoy, wife of white power leader, pro North Korea advocate, and Jim Jones supporter Joshua Caleb Sutter. Here Hoy, who bills herself a Hindu priestess Jayalalita Devi Dasi, is pictured at the rural South Carolina property where the Hindu temple New Bihar Mandir is located which worships the deity Kali, the “Goddess of Destruction” is located

By 2009, both the RPP and the U.S. Songun Politics Study Group vied for control over the officially-sanctioned U.S. support group for North Korea. In doing so, both groups veered farther into extremist white supremacist and apocalyptic religious politics.

“In 2009, leaders of the clandestine U.S. White Power movement created another religious organization—a Hindu sect worshipping an apocalyptic Hindu Deity, Kali”

“The RPP continues to work within religious circles in line with the example given to us by Jim Jones and Peoples Temple,” said the RPP in a November 2009 biography written for the University of California at San Diego Center for Religious Studies,

Also in  2009, Joshua Sutter, Jillian Hoy, and other leaders of the clandestine U.S. White Power movement created another religious organization—a Hindu sect worshipping an apocalyptic Hindu Deity, Kali.

Taking on the aliases of a Hindu priest and priestess, Sutter and Hoy established the New Bihar Mandir Temple at the same rural South Carolinian location  as  the Rural People’s Party  headquarters and where the U.S. Songun Study Group represented by Cupp and the Palestinian American activist Ziad secretly travelled months earlier to formalize their political alliance.

Sutter adopted an additional new identity of a Hindu Hare Krishna priest calling himself Shree Shree Kalki-Kalika Mandir. Sutter’s bride, Jillian Hoy, took on the name Jayalalita devi dasi, and billed herself as a Hindu priestess.

While ostensibly clandestine in its formation using aliases and other tactics to obfuscate who was in fact behind the new Hindu temple, the New Bihar Mandir Hindu Temple used the same mailing address and phone numbers used for the RPP. Public recruitment notices in local newspapers and in new age circles listed the physical address as that of the Sutter owned property and Joshua Sutter was given as the contact person to call for directions to worship services.

New Bihar Mandir’s Myspace page, created in 2009, says “A new god has come to rural Lexington County, South Carolina: Their Lordships Shree Shree Kalki-Kalika.” Adding “Lord Kalki will appear as the “Killer Avatar” to cleanse the earth as the pivotal factor in a worldwide annihilation, from which, like a phoenix arising from the ashes, will come a new Golden Age (or ‘Satya-yuga.’)”

The New Bihar Mandir proclaimed “Lord Kalki is our commander, ultimate master and final authority life after life.” According to ancient Hindu scriptures, history is divided into four epochs: now is the ‘Kali Yug’, the Age of Kali, an epoch of darkness and disintegration…New Bihar Mandir, a worldwide movement of devotees and temples, is beginning to bring this prophecy into fruition.”

Map showing location of the “New Bihar Mandir Hindu Temple” – a religious cult ran by the same people who once operated a pro-North Korean organization from the same location. Map: Google.

‘Shree Shree Kalki-Kalika Mandir’ and ‘Jayalalita devi dasi’ both list their marriage dates on My Space as November 18, 2008, the same date listed on Sutter and Hoy’s marriage license in Lexington County probate court records. In keeping with their affinity for violent apocalyptic religious sects with a political agenda, The New Bihar Mandir Temple heavily promotes Velupillai Pirabhakaran, the head of the Sri Lankan LTTE ‘Tamil Tigers’ armed guerrilla group, who was a devoted follower of the same Kali sect of Hindu and responsible for creating suicide squads of teenage girls dispatched to explode deadly terrorist bombings and assassinate political leaders, including the May 21, 1991 killing of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, home to India’s Tamils.

“New Bihar Mandir of Lexington, South Carolina has as its foremost mission providing the facilities for persons in our area hitherto unfamiliar with ancient Vedic wisdom to engage in this bhakti-yoga (devotional yoga) and commune personally with Lord Kalki and Goddess Kali,” reads the New Bihar Mandir MySpace profile.

Photo of weapons and other offering to the Hindu Goddess kali at Joshua Sutters rural South Carolina property. Titled “Their Lordships Shree Shree Kalki-Kalaratri , New Bihar Mandir, United States”, the photo is taken from the official New Bihar mandir temple website and posted in 2009

Photo of weapons and other offering to the Hindu Goddess kali at Joshua Sutters rural South Carolina property. Titled “Their Lordships Shree Shree Kalki-Kalaratri , New Bihar Mandir, United States”, the photo is taken from the official New Bihar mandir temple website and posted in 2009

The New Bihar Mandir Temple Face book page, used the slogans “Where Worlds Collide” and “I have become death, the destroyer of worlds “and invites the public to “Contact us to learn how to get involved in NBM.”

The previous year Sutter had professed loyalty to the Hare Krishna sect of Hinduism. “In retrospect I can see just how much my life has been enriched by your work,” Sutter wrote in a letter to the head of a North Carolina-based Hare Krishna temple.

“[My wife] is now having some of the happiest times I have seen her have since our marriage because of the enriching potency of Krishna consciousness,”

“[We] covertly inserted ourselves into various religious organizations in the rural Lexington County area”

By 2010, in addition to proclaiming loyalty to Pyongyang and their Juche ideology Sutter and the RPP simultaneously asserted their devotion to white racist Christian Identity churches; the Jim Jones religious cult; a Hindu apocalyptic sect worshipping “the Goddess of Destruction”; a mostly black South Carolina fundamentalist Pentecostal church, and the more mainstream Hare Krishna Hindu sect – all within a matter of several years.

A biography of the RPP published by the University of San Diego in 2010, and written by Sutter, explains the reasoning behind the discordant affiliations.

The many shades of Jillian Hoy: (L) Jillian Hoy in a photo  taken during a pilgrimage to visit the former church headquarters of Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple in Los Angeles, (C) Hoy holds an RPP plaque devoted to Kim Jong Il and poses for a photo (R) Hoy in her guise as a Hindu preistess

The many shades of Jillian Hoy: (L) Jillian Hoy in a photo taken during a pilgrimage to visit the former church headquarters of Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple in Los Angeles, (C) Hoy holds an RPP plaque devoted to Kim Jong Il and poses for a photo (R) Hoy in her guise as a Hindu preistess

During 2008, the Rural People’s Party “covertly inserted ourselves into various religious organizations in the rural Lexington County area,” wrote Sutter for the archives of Jim Jones’s People’s Temple. “Many communists might look upon our activity…as suspect, due to what – in our opinion – is a naive belief… that all political activity must by default primarily be “above-ground.” These same people seem to forget that Joseph Stalin began his political activity at Tiflis Theological Seminary as a seminarian, and that Kim Il Sung organized many pre-revolutionary anti-imperialist activities while an accomplished organist at his parents’ Presbyterian church in Korea….at the peak of the RPP’s involvement in local Pentecostal and Apostolic circles, two members of our organization were married in a ceremony at a local Apostolic church on November 18th, the anniversary of the Peoples Temple martyrdom.”

THE NEW BIHARD MANDIR WHITE SUPREMACY CONNECTION

The members of the  New Bihar Mandir temple include a veritable who’s who  of North American white power activists. They include a ‘Minister Black’ identified as ‘Works at New Bihar Mandir’ and a former white power activist; James Porrazzo the former leader of the American Front, once the largest white power neo Nazi group in the U.S.; ‘Emily Putney, Porrazzo’s girlfriend in Massachusetts and convicted of an anti-Semitic assault and hate crime on an elderly Jewish man in 2010; ‘Jayalalita Devi Dasi of Lexington, South Carolina’ who is Jillian Hoy of the Rural People’s Party and Joshua Sutter’s wife; ‘Rex Morgan’ a white power activist with a history of involvement in Satanic cults; and Chris Hayes a long time white supremacist activist with the American Front.

“The Aryan is white and noble in contradistinction to the black and ignoble.”

The group all using numerous aliases.  are affiliated with white supremacist groups, Satanic cults, and underground political groups who call for the violent armed overthrow of the U.S. government.

On James Porrazzo’s web site “OPENREVOLT” he posted an article “NOTES ON THE BHAGAVAD-GITA” on August 22, 2011 which begins: “We assume, quite justifiably, I think, that the Bhagavad-Gita sets forth Aryan philosophy. The Aryan is white and noble in contradistinction to the black and ignoble. This book then, if Aryan, must give us a noble system of philosophy and ethics.”

The article concludes with: “This post is dedicated to his Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabupada, my anonymous Krishna Conscious Spiritual Advisor (you know who you are) and my brothers and sisters at New Bihar Mandir.”

Jillian Hoy at hare Krishna ceremony at hare Krishna temple retreat in North Carolina in 2009

Jillian Hoy at hare Krishna ceremony at hare Krishna temple retreat in North Carolina in 2009

On July 4, 2012, on the white separatist web site run by Porrazzo “American Front”, there is a graphic labeled as the artwork of New Bihar Mandir dedicated to the military unit of suicide bombers of the Sri Lankan LTTE, listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S., the EU and others.

ENTER JASON ADAMS-TONIS AND THE ‘FBI INFORMANT’

In late 2009, John Paul Cupp and Kevin Walsh got into a confrontation with Joshua Sutter and James Porrazzo of the Rural People’s Party over a young recruit by the name of Jason Adams-Tonis.

A New York University college student from New Jersey, Tonis had contacted the RPP earlier in 2009 interested in working with U.S. supporters of North Korea. Tonis was unaware about the ongoing clash between the U.S. Songun Politics Study Group, and was taken aback by the RPP private denunciation of the Songun Study Group, and contacted them.

“Someone has told me that your leader, Woods, was formerly a member of a white gang. He and few others did something, got caught by the cops, and Woods snitched to avoid going to jail.”

Tonis then contacted Cupp at the U.S. Songun Study Group who denounced the RPP to Tonis as possible government informants.  On August 25th, Cupp wrote to Walsh, saying that Tonis told him he had “contacted the RPP some time back and they claimed to be the real representatives of the AINDF in the US! I made clear to him that they only time the AINDF ever contacted them was at my suggestion to which I take enormous self criticism.”

Tonis wrote to the RPP head Joshua Sutter afterwards on October 31. “Someone has told me that your leader, Woods, was formerly a member of a white gang. He and few others did something, got caught by the cops, and Woods snitched to avoid going to jail.”

“This person believes that Woods founded the RPP as an FBI/CIA or other government attempt to infiltrate the American Songun movement and the DPRK. Care to comment on the allegations?” Tonis wrote. “I wish you would be more open with me, a Communist party is supposed to be a family but how can we ever become a family when you don’t even tell me your names?”

“All you do is keep secret, said Tonis, “Secrecy is important for some kinds of political work, but how can you even build a party if we don’t even know each other’s names?”

The message was not well received.

Sutter replied back, saying “Consider all friendships between us as ended. This email is being forwarded to the Special Dictatorship Group intelligence apparatus of the party as facsimile copy. Please return any and all materials the party has sent you to the party post office box. Should you choose not to reciprocate in the requested manner, we will take other measures”

On November 3, Tonis emailed Cupp in panic. With the subject line I think the RPP is coming after me, Tonis wrote “ooh my god…I just got an email from the RPP, they’re making some sort of threat against me, what should I do?”

John Paul Cupp responded Tonis regarding the conflict in an email, saying “Okay so it looks like we are going to wind up getting stuck with an ugly fight with the RPP, maybe even literally.”

“Woods went nuts and is basically threatening to kill Jason in not so many words….I think he is afraid the RPP is going to send some ZOG agent to kill him and his family,” wrote Cupp.

“We cannot promise they aren’t crazy enough to try killing him”

Cupp decided to “avoid confrontations that needlessly waste literally years of our time or get people killed and locked up” and opted to warn Joshua Sutter that he would publicly identify him by his real name and his white supremacist past unless he backed off.

Cupp wrote that he told Tonis “we cannot promise they aren’t crazy enough to try killing him” and that “I have already told him about my lung stories and true or not he is sure I was poisoned so he will listen.”

“We [could] avoid these people and not waste years fighting with them,” Cupp concluded, “but if we do, we fight them ruthlessly. I also genuinely think one of two things, either a) Jason is some sort of agent or tool or b) his life is in serious danger. Woods is crazy enough that if he feels all is lost, to just drive up to such said address and kill him. He really is that nuts. He’d do that to me, also.”

“I am concerned that lots of well meaning sort of national communistic types, both White and Black are going to contact the RPP in the next few years looking for options ‘outside the box’ and could wind up dead or seriously harmed,” Cupp said. “At some point we need to eliminate the RPP, likely for now we see if it can implode. If it doesn’t we make clear who they are out in the open and destroy them, but first get inside their allies so these people know who they are dealing with.”

Cupp’s 2010 conversion to Islam did not ring true with Kevin Walsh, who broke all ties with Cupp and resigned from both Nacazai and the EASP. “In March 2010, Cupp made a public and obviously false conversion to Islam on Face book three weeks after posting on a Face book group that he had himself founded called “Aryan Atheists,” Walsh said.

Cupp was eased out of the leadership of the Pyongyang-recognized U.S. Songun Politics Study Group, and was replaced by Jason Adams-Tonis by February 2011.

In a statement posted in December 2011, the Study Group said: “In February 2011, John Paul Cupp’s mentally ill state and devolution reached a point whereby he totally abandoned Juche and communism. Jason-Adam Tonis was left to take over leadership of the group and try to rebuild it.”

Jason-Adam Tonis “decided to lead it in a strictly orthodox Juche-Songun framework, away from racism and all those who supported racist ideas. Jason-Adam Tonis since 2009 had always opposed John Paul Cupp’s white nationalist line but his attempts to lead Cupp back to the orthodox Juche camp always ended in failure due to Cupp’s increasing mental illness.”

“Mr. Tonis was at that same time campaigning for ‘Prime Minister’ of a Japanese based political organization called the Manchukuo Temporary Government.”

TONIS: A TEMPORARY PRIME MINISTER OF A TEMPORARY GOVERNMENT

The transition, however, was far from smooth and Jason-Adam Tonis’s promotion in February 2011 hardly brought a semblance of harmony to the U.S.-North Korea political movement.

In fact. Mr. Tonis was at that same time campaigning for “Prime Minister” of a Japanese based political organization called the Manchukuo Temporary Government. The Official Website of the Manchukuo Temporary Government states on May 28, 2011 “Mr. Jason Adam Tonis was elected as the new Prime Minister.”

The state of Manchukuo existed as a puppet state of Imperial Japan between September 1932 and the 1945 Russian invasion, and was the site of some of the worst atrocities committed by the Japanese military and is a symbol of Japanese imperialism and aggression to many Asians.

“The sovereign rights and ruling right was handed to the Temporary Administrator Mr. Jason Adam Tonis,” announced the Manchukuo Temporary Government in April 2011.

Their manifesto includes the statement: “We put emphasize in watching the Korean peninsula’s relation. If the two Korea are at war with each other [sic]. We will no doubly declare war on North Korea to fight the totalitarian Kim regime and liberate the North people [sic].”

JAMES PORRAZZO: THE PRO-NORTH KOREAN WHITE SUPREMACIST

An increasingly prominent figure among U.S. citizens supporting North Korea in recent years is James Porrazzo.

Porrazzo became a key figure in pro Pyongyang activist circles in America when he was released from prison in 2007 or 2008 after a stint for selling illegal growth hormones used by athletes to increase strength.

He was also former head of the largest white supremacist group in the United States, the American Front.

Founded in 1987, the American Front was affiliated with racist groups such as the White Aryan Resistance, and gained publicity for breaking U.S. chat show host Geraldo Rivera’s nose live on his television show. Starting out as a White Supremacist skinhead group targeting blacks and Jews, it soon went through numerous internal power struggles and ideological programs.

“In 1998, Porrazzo was arrested for assault against an anti-racist activist in Springfield, Missouri, given a one-year suspended sentence and ordered to give up racist politics”

American Front members committed numerous violent racial hate crimes in the 1990s. In 1991, police offers searching a Beaverton, Oregon residence found a “hit list” of Portland police officers. In 1993, in California and Washington states a series of bombings targeting blacks, gays and Jews were attributed to the American Front. The U.S. Attorney in Washington State said the American Front were part of a larger conspiracy to incite a race war.

Their motto was to “Secure National Freedom and Social Justice for White people in North America.”

In 1996 James Porrazzo took control of the group, and moved to Arkansas where he professed an ideology known as “Third Positionism” – an amalgam of far right racial politics and leftist communist economic policies which had its roots with the European fascist right.

In 1998, Porrazzo was arrested for assault against an anti-racist activist in Springfield, Missouri, given a one-year suspended sentence and ordered to give up racist politics.

“By the early 2000s,” the anti-racist Anti-Defamation League wrote, “Porrazzo had largely run the group into the ground and it was Porrazzo’s approach to Islamists which seems to have been the final cause of his undoing.” The group promoted not only Hamas and Hezbollah, but even Al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden. After 9/11, that kind of promotion “inspired some heavy state harassment and severely limited our ability to safely expand or organize,” Porrazzo said.

Porrazzo advocated “socialist revolution in a racialist context,” explaining “We propose a workable, realistic alternative, and that is Separatism! White autonomy, Black autonomy, Brown autonomy and death to the current twisted system…. The only other obvious route would be an eventual winner take all race war: I don’t think anyone with any sense would want that… ”

After the September 11 terrorist attack, Porrazzo disappeared from public activism. The American Front was taken over by another virulent white racist, David Lynch, who was murdered by an assassin on March 2, 2011.

A man, possibly Porrazzo, at the RPP headquarters, now a temple.

A man, possibly Porrazzo, at the RPP headquarters, now a temple.

Like many of U.S. citizens supporting North Korea, Porrazzo goes to great lengths to hide his real identity and obfuscate his real political agenda by using a myriad of pseudonyms and front groups. In doing so, he and his confederates continued to try to lure potential supporters to their true political beliefs.

A careful dissection of their complex web of front religious cults, White Supremacist groups, and neo Nazi front organizations all lead back to the same core group of people and extremist political objectives.

“In 2008, Porrazzo, a long time member of the U.S. based Hare Krishna Hindu sect, joined forces with Joshua Sutter in the RPP.”

In a March 2013 interview with Polish National Socialist organization XPortal, Porrazzo explained “The American Front  took “what we could from left-wing sources” but a “very influential” ideology was what was called “ ‘occult fascists’, this on top of the foundation of our having been America’s first national ‘Skinhead’ organization” and “very importantly from Gaddafi‘s Green Book.”

“One of the areas we studied heavily was the Islamic resistance movements towards the Globalists. This study would backfire on American Front when Sept 11th occurred” which resulted in “heavy state harassment and severely limited our ability to safely expand or organize. By 2002 we voted to put American Front into a ‘tactical hibernation’ until we felt the situation was better suited for us to act openly.”

In 2008, Porrazzo, a long time member of the U.S. based Hare Krishna Hindu sect, joined forces with Joshua Sutter in the RPP. He was also was a leader in the 2009 formation of the New Bihar Mandir temple.

In a series of August 2011 email communications between a group of radical anti-racists, one American Front member, Kent McLellan, broke with Porrazzo and detailed his political activities.

I’m done with American Front,” wrote McLellen. “James Porrazzo, former leader of American Front…is a convicted GHB peddler, as well as actual contributor to Libya, (in fact in 2003 Libya tried to give him $3 million but was denied by the US government) […] He also [believes] in Hindu/Satanism/Allah.”

Kent McLellen, at the time was an avowed white supremacist who had spent time in prison for racial hate crimes.

TYLER MOSES AND THE UNITED JUCHE FRONT OF NORTH AMERICA

On November 17, 2011 the United Juche Front of North America was created by someone using the name Tyler Moses.

Tyler Moses was an alias used by Joshua Sutter in 2002 while serving as the “Pennsylvania state coordinator” for the white racist terror group Aryan Nation shortly prior to his arrest for buying illegal weaponry from an undercover federal law enforcement agent in a plot to launch a bombing campaign in the U.S.

“The sole mission of The United Juche Front of North America is to disseminate information related to the practical application of Songun and Juche based ideologies on the American continent,” the organization’s manifesto read.

“We recognize as Americans that support of the DPRK is seen as a hostile act and are acting in accordance [with] the engagement of operating behind enemy lines.”

Just as David Woods was the alias used by Sutter as head of the Rural People’s Party, Tyler Moses was the alias he used to coordinate a White Power march on Washington D.C.

Jillian Hoy, who also claims to be a disciple of the mainstream Hare Krishna Hindu sect, holds up Hare Krishna literature at a rural South Carolina library in 2009

Jillian Hoy, who also claims to be a disciple of the mainstream Hare Krishna Hindu sect, holds up Hare Krishna literature at a rural South Carolina library in 2009

Jillian Hoy, who also claims to be a disciple of the mainstream Hare Krishna Hindu sect, holds up Hare Krishna literature at a rural South Carolina library in 2009

In his time as leader of Aryan nations Sutter also used his real name and other aliases, including the name Wulfran Hall. In his incarnation as a Hindu priest for the New Bihar Mandir temple he assumed the name Shree Shree Kalika-Kalki. In other covert communications with outsiders, he used the name Stephen Browne.

But numerous South Carolina, online, and other records show that all these identities are, in fact, Joshua Sutter. They share birthdates, marriage dates, telephone numbers, and addresses.

THE BID FOR PYONGYANG RECOGNITION

In December 2011, in an apparent attempt to seize control over the organization and become the only official organization supporting North Korea in the U.S., Joshua Sutter and James Porrazzo, used the RPP, New Resistance and another pro-Pyongyang group created using pseudonyms to attack the Pyongyang-recognized leadership of the North American Juche-Songun Ideas Study Group.

“The Juche movement in North America has been hampered in its development because of the study group’s former chairman John Paul Cupp’s deviationism from Kim Il Sungist Thought”

“A few weeks ago, a man using the name Tyler Moses formed a group calling itself the Juche Front this man was also an Aryan Nations figure and he claimed also to be a Hare Krishna and member of New Bihar Mandir, as part of our group’s routine background check for applying member candidates, we discovered the identity of New Bihar Mandir’s leader Shree Shree Kalika-Kalki Mandir was actually Sutter,” wrote the North American Juche Songun Study Group in December 2011.

The statement continued: “Over the past several years, the Juche movement in North America has been hampered in its development because of the study group’s former chairman John Paul Cupp’s deviationism from Kim Il Sungist Thought and his flirtations with anti-communist philosophies such as white nationalism.”

Cupp’s deviations “led him to bring many dangerous and suspect people into the group; two of these individuals were Joshua Caleb Sutter and James Porrazzo,” the statement said, referring to the former leader of the Aryan Nations and the former head of the American Front.

the fault for these matters rests solely upon John Paul Cupp and his adoption of a pro-white nationalist line; had he not done so James Porrazzo and Joshua Sutter would never once have ever been considered for a moment to be validly qualified to be members of this study group, from now on we will pursue a more vigilant anti-racist, anti-white nationalist policy.

The statement concluded “The North American Juche-Songun Ideas Study Group repeats and reaffirms our warning to all comrades and friends of the DPRK and Juche to avoid James Porrazzo and his New Resistance group.”

Porrazzo and Sutter lashed back, creating another front group, the Swords of Songun and went public with attacks on Tonis the same month.

Swords of Songun was a newly created pro-North Korean web page that posted propaganda it had obtained from the North Korean government describing itself as the journal of “Juche Truth, a North American National Revolutionary think-tank focusing on the study of Juche and Songun.”

But its sole posting was a vitriolic screed against Tonis titled “A warning to all Revolutionary friends of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Juche Thought: This silver spoon fed NYC metro-sexual exposed.” contending “Tonis’s true beliefs as the Manchukuo group is obsessively pro-Japan and anti-China, anti-communist (Tonis professes to be pro-Stalin and Mao to some he is spying on), anti-”racist” (Tonis also advocates racial separatism to others he spies on) and most disturbingly militantly anti-DPRK.”

Swords of Songun spewed venom at Tonis saying “He tongues the toes of the Japanese along with his Manchu reactionary cohorts as if they were his 55 year old tranny possible police contact / boy-girlfriend’s – then he attacks the Japanese attempting to curry favor and trust with the DPRK!” and threatened Tonis with death.

“Tonis went too far when he tried to infiltrate the New Resistance. In addition to whatever harm he has caused to the DPRK through his weekly contacts with DPRK representatives… turbulence was ignited between Juche Front and NR”

“After the Revolution he will answer for his crimes.”

New Resistance is a clandestine front organization controlled by James Porrazzo, and other veteran hard-core members of extreme right wing white supremacists that had their origins in the Aryan Nations and American Front of the 1990’s and early 2000’s.

The Swords of Songun website, aside from posting long sections of official North Korean propaganda detailing Juche ideology and praising the Kim dynasty, attacked the U.S. Songun Study Group and its leadership.”Jason-Adam Tonis…has repeatedly tried to drive a wedge between New Resistance and other revolutionaries  in North America and the Eurasian Movement led by Comrade Alexander Dugin. This will not continue. New Resistance urges all revolutionary organizations to break communication with Tonis and his fake Juche honey trap’s pig work.”

After the Revolution,” the article warned, “he will answer for his crimes.”

But the dissension within the U.S. group, not to mention the extreme racist and white supremacist public views of its top leaders, did not stop the North Korean government from heralding the U.S. figures in their official media.

On December 19, 2011 Kim Jong Il died.

One week later, the official North Korean state media said in an article headlined “Organizations of Foreign Countries Mourn Demise of Kim Jong Il” said that “Different organizations of the world sent letters… on Dec. 19 and 20, expressing profound condolences over the demise of leader Kim Jong Il.”

“They included,” the article said, “the North American Group for Study of the Juche, Songun Idea in the U.S. and the North American Committee against Zionism and Imperialism.”

EPILOUGE

The 2011 split amongst U.S. Juche supporters did not usher in a new harmony.

The U.S. Juche Study Group became wary of infiltrators. “Advocates of a global melting pot  may not find this the group for them. While parallels can be drawn between the Great Leaders’ ideas and those of third positionists, they are notoriously filled with police officers, would-be-terrorists and a whole host of other shady folks and we ask that if you’re a member of any of these types of groups, stay away from us.”

The most prominent advocate of third positionism, James Porrazzo, explained his political strategy in March 2013.

“We took from left-wing sources” and the “very influential ideology of ‘occult fascists’,” calling American Front “America’s first national ‘Skinhead’ organization.”

“We studied heavily the Islamic resistance movements” which “backfired on American Front when Sept 11th occurred” with “heavy state harassment severely limiting our ability to expand. By 2002 we voted to put American Front into ‘tactical hibernation’.”

In 2009, Porrazzo sabotaged rival “bandit groupings, disrupted it and reestablished American Front as a National Revolutionary movement.”

In March 2011, American Front leader David Lynch was assassinated and Porrazzo attempted to seize power. Law enforcement infiltrated the group and uncovered a muder plot against to Porrazzo by rivals “conspiring with (white power group) Combat 18.”

Porrazzo recruited American Front members to his New Resistance group promoting North Korea, racial separatism, and the overthrow of the U.S. government.

In May 2012, 14 American Front members were arrested plotting “race war” and charged with stockpiling weapons, paramilitary training using automatic weapons, and murders of political enemies.

Porrazzo’s rival’s sidelined, he disbanded the group and its website, directing to links  to New Resistance. FBI documents show Porrazzo  threatening challengers to  his leadership.

“We “cleared the slate” continuing our revolutionary efforts under a new banner…and New Resistance was born. Anyone claiming to be American Front is a renegade,” Porrazzo said in March 2013.

On March 16, 2013, the far right Russian Defense League named Porrazzo its “Ambassador” to the U.S.

May of 2012 also saw  renewed  infighting within the U.S. Songun Politics Study Group.

Despite Jason-Adam Tonis’s claim of  moving away from racist politics after taking over from the Muslim convert John Paul Cupp, private emails obtained by NK News show Tonis denigrating rival U.S. DPRK sympathizers as “all Jews or else fags.”

“Have you ever heard of a group called the American Front ? Sutter/Woods is now working with them,” Tonis wrote white supremacist Kevin Walsh. “I’ve made received “death threats…because I believe bloodline is the main determinant of nationality as Kim Jong Il postulated” adding “comrade Woods aka Joshua Sutter came back under a new alias and tried to steal control of the group by accusing me of being a CIA agent.”

Walsh replied “The WWP are a bunch of Jews” and “I can’t believe any thinking person would take “Woods” seriously. My advice is to cut off all relations with anyone who wants to work with Woods.  Those who want to work with him are either government agents or too fucking stupid to be of any use to you.”

However Walsh soon discovered Tonis’ claims of renouncing white supremacy. Walsh–a committed racial separatist and anti Semite–objected.

“I maintain that white nationalism is the correct interpretation of Juche for the European-American community and is in no way incompatible with communism.  The  Korean people in the north keep their blood pure, and so should the European-American people,” Walsh wrote. “Tonis didn’t have a problem with this in 2009. Whatever the ultimate cause of Cupp breaking with Tonis, it was not white nationalism. I support solidarity with the Korean people against imperialism, but I don’t knowingly work with liars, hypocrites,  fraudsters, and traitors. If the Korean people want to work with such people, more the fool they.”

Tonis replied to Walsh with a violent threat. “The Juche party is based on absolute unity around the Leader. As leader of the US study group I demand you submit to me and follow my orders. If not then, the next time I’m in Arizona, I’ll gladly crack your skull open.”

“I must make self-criticism for wasting too much time and been too patient with hypocrites and cowards. I am making an implied criticism of the Koreans for having such flakes as Cupp represent them in North America, but in their defense, they probably didn’t have a whole lot of volunteers come forward and couldn’t be terribly choosy. In any case, I wish the Korean people well, but I will sever all relations with this particular group.”

John Paul Cupp did not reply to messages seeking comment. Using the name Walid Cupp, he said. “I support the Korean [stance] against American Imperialism, but I have been a practicing Muslim for a few years now and no longer am directly involved.”

Jason-Adam Tonis responded to NK News interview requests for an saying “I’ve not been in good health lately and have been unable to reach a computer. Of course I would love and am always ready to talk about the DPRK and Americans such as myself who are supporters of it.” He did not  respond to further questions in a subsequent emails. Neither Joshua Sutter or James Porrazzo responded to messages left for them.

Source

Anniversary of the Liberation of Saigon, the Unification of Vietnam and the Victory of the Vietnamese People Against U.S. Imperialism

April-30-1975-tank_1626541i

A North Vietnamese tank rolls through the gates of the Presidential Palace in Saigon.

Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk, burns himself to death on a Saigon street on June 11, 1963, to protest persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government. (AP Photo/Malcolm Browne, File)

Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk, burns himself to death on a Saigon street on June 11, 1963, to protest persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government. (AP Photo/Malcolm Browne, File)

A father holds the body of his child as South Vietnamese Army Rangers look down from their armored vehicle March 19, 1964. The child was killed as government forces pursued guerrillas into a village near the Cambodian border. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)

A father holds the body of his child as South Vietnamese Army Rangers look down from their armored vehicle March 19, 1964. The child was killed as government forces pursued guerrillas into a village near the Cambodian border. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)

Hovering U.S. Army helicopters pour machine gun fire into a tree line to cover the advance of South Vietnamese ground troops in an attack on a Viet Cong camp 18 miles north of Tay Ninh, northwest of Saigon near the Cambodian border, in Vietnam in March of 1965. (AP Photo/Horst Faas, File)

Hovering U.S. Army helicopters pour machine gun fire into a tree line to cover the advance of South Vietnamese ground troops in an attack on a Viet Cong camp 18 miles north of Tay Ninh, northwest of Saigon near the Cambodian border, in Vietnam in March of 1965. (AP Photo/Horst Faas, File)

An unidentified U.S. Army soldier wears a hand lettered “War Is Hell” slogan on his helmet, in Vietnam on June 18, 1965. (AP Photo/Horst Faas, File)

An unidentified U.S. Army soldier wears a hand lettered “War Is Hell” slogan on his helmet, in Vietnam on June 18, 1965. (AP Photo/Horst Faas, File)

A U.S. B-52 stratofortress drops a load of 750-pounds bombs over a Vietnam coastal area during the Vietnam War, Nov. 5, 1965. (AP Photo/USAF)

A U.S. B-52 stratofortress drops a load of 750-pounds bombs over a Vietnam coastal area during the Vietnam War, Nov. 5, 1965. (AP Photo/USAF)

Berkeley-Oakland City, Calif. demonstraters march against the war in Vietnam, December 1965. Calif. (AP Photo)

Berkeley-Oakland City, Calif. demonstraters march against the war in Vietnam, December 1965. Calif. (AP Photo)

A napalm strike erupts in a fireball near U.S. troops on patrol in South Vietnam, 1966 during the Vietnam War. (AP Photo)

A napalm strike erupts in a fireball near U.S. troops on patrol in South Vietnam, 1966 during the Vietnam War. (AP Photo)

A U.S. paratrooper moves away after setting fire to house on bank of the Vaico Oriental River, 20 miles west of Saigon on Jan. 4, 1966, during a “scorched earth” operation against the Viet Cong in South Viet Nam. The 1st battalion of the 173rd airborne brigade was moving through the area. (AP Photo/Peter Arnett)

A U.S. paratrooper moves away after setting fire to house on bank of the Vaico Oriental River, 20 miles west of Saigon on Jan. 4, 1966, during a “scorched earth” operation against the Viet Cong in South Viet Nam. The 1st battalion of the 173rd airborne brigade was moving through the area. (AP Photo/Peter Arnett)

Women and children crouch in a muddy canal as they take cover from intense Viet Cong fire at Bao Trai in Jan. of 1966, about 20 miles west of Saigon, Vietnam. (AP Photo/Horst Faas, File)

Women and children crouch in a muddy canal as they take cover from intense Viet Cong fire at Bao Trai in Jan. of 1966, about 20 miles west of Saigon, Vietnam. (AP Photo/Horst Faas, File)

Water-filled bomb craters from B-52 strikes against the Viet Cong mark the rice paddies and orchards west of Saigon, Vietnam, 1966. Most of the area had been abandoned by the peasants who used to farm on the land. (AP Photo/Henri Huet)

Water-filled bomb craters from B-52 strikes against the Viet Cong mark the rice paddies and orchards west of Saigon, Vietnam, 1966. Most of the area had been abandoned by the peasants who used to farm on the land. (AP Photo/Henri Huet)

Seen here are pickets demonstrating against the Vietnam War as they march through downtown Philadelphia, Pa, March, 26 1966. (AP Photo/Bill Ingraham)

Seen here are pickets demonstrating against the Vietnam War as they march through downtown Philadelphia, Pa, March, 26 1966. (AP Photo/Bill Ingraham)

Empty artillery cartridges pile up at the artillery base at Soui Da, some 60 miles northwest of Saigon, at the southern edge of War Zone C, on March 8, 1967. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)

Empty artillery cartridges pile up at the artillery base at Soui Da, some 60 miles northwest of Saigon, at the southern edge of War Zone C, on March 8, 1967. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)

Anti-Vietnam war demonstrators fill Fulton Street in San Francisco on April 15, 1967. The five-mile march through the city would end with a peace rally at Kezar Stadium. In the background is San Francisco City Hall. (AP Photo)

Anti-Vietnam war demonstrators fill Fulton Street in San Francisco on April 15, 1967. The five-mile march through the city would end with a peace rally at Kezar Stadium. In the background is San Francisco City Hall. (AP Photo)

South Vietnamese Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, chief of the national police, fires his pistol into the head of suspected Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem, also known as Bay Lop, on a Saigon street, early in the Tet Offensive on Feb. 1, 1968. (AP Photo/Eddie Adams)

South Vietnamese Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, chief of the national police, fires his pistol into the head of suspected Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem, also known as Bay Lop, on a Saigon street, early in the Tet Offensive on Feb. 1, 1968. (AP Photo/Eddie Adams)

Bodies lay in the road leading from the village of My Lai, South Vietnam, following the massacre of civilians on March 16,1968. Within four hours, 504 men, women and children were killed in the My Lai hamlets in one of the U.S. military’s blackest days. (AP photo/FILE/Ronald L. Haeberle, Life Magazine)

Bodies lay in the road leading from the village of My Lai, South Vietnam, following the massacre of civilians on March 16,1968. Within four hours, 504 men, women and children were killed in the My Lai hamlets in one of the U.S. military’s blackest days. (AP photo/FILE/Ronald L. Haeberle, Life Magazine)

Mary Ann Vecchio gestures and screams as she kneels by the body of a student lying face down on the campus of Kent State University, Kent, Ohio on May 4, 1970. National Guardsmen had fired into a crowd of demonstrators, killing four. (AP Photo/John Filo)

Mary Ann Vecchio gestures and screams as she kneels by the body of a student lying face down on the campus of Kent State University, Kent, Ohio on May 4, 1970. National Guardsmen had fired into a crowd of demonstrators, killing four. (AP Photo/John Filo)

JFK secretly freed rapists, drug dealers and Mafia hitmen to kill Castro and curb threat of Communism, claims explosive new book

  • Revelations made by journalist Bill Deane in new book ‘Smooth Criminal’
  • It tells story of alleged CIA spy and ‘one-man crime wave’ Dave Riley
  • Claims criminals allowed on ‘crime sprees’ in US when not working for CIA
  • Deane: ‘Riley was typical recruit: Intelligent, ambitious and without morals’
  • While JFK did not order the programme, Deane says he was ‘aware’ of it

By MATT BLAKE

President John F. Kennedy secretly endorsed the release of hardened criminals to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro to curb the Communist threat, a new book has claimed.

At the height of tensions between America and neighbouring Communist Cuba in the early 1960s, JFK was implicit in the freeing of rapists, drug dealers, and Mafia hitmen through CIA in a bid to recruit ‘untraceable’ spies willing to risk their lives on dangerous missions rather than go back to jail, a new book sensationally claims.

Desperate to remove Castro from power, the president resorted to using dangerous criminals as operatives – rather than CIA agents – to ‘do America’s dirty work’ as they couldn’t be linked back to his administration, it is claimed.

In one failed plot, an ex con was smuggled into Cuba in 1962 to pose as a waiter in Castro’s favourite restaurant where he would drop poison tablets into the revolutionary leader’s soup.

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy appearing on television talking about the Cuban Missile Crisis.
President Kennedy secretly endorsed the release of hardened criminals to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro to curb the Communist threat, experts have claimed.

Height of the Cold War: Desperate to remove Fidel Castro, right, from power, President John F. Kennedy, left, resorted to using dangerous criminals as operatives – rather than CIA agents – to ‘do America’s dirty work’

The explosive claims come in a new book by veteran American Journalist and author William Deane, who claims specially-recruited criminals became ‘untouchable’ and were allowed to embark on ‘crime sprees’ in the US without fear of prosecution.

Deane, former assignment editor at American news networks ABC and CBS, says he uncovered the programme – which he believes is still in operation today – after following the ‘trail of destruction’ left by one such operative.

Though JFK did not order the setting up of the top secret programme, Deane says that as president Kennedy would have ‘been aware’ of it.

‘For over 50 years, the CIA and American government has been systematically releasing dangerous criminals back into society to work for them on secret missions overseas,’ said Deane, whose new book Smooth Criminal details the life of alleged CIA operative and ‘one-man American crime wave’ Dave Riley.

‘The programme started during the Kennedy administration at the start of the 1960s as a clandestine means of dealing with the Communist threat of Castro, and was given the seal of approval by JFK – who was still smarting following the political embarrassment of the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba in 1961.

Journalist and author William Deane
President Kennedy secretly endorsed the release of hardened criminal to assassinate Cubas President Castro and curb the Communist threat

‘One man American crime wave’: The details of the plot were revealed by veteran journalist and author William Deane, whose new book Smooth Criminal, right, details the life of alleged CIA operative and ‘one-man American crime wave’ Dave Riley

‘Criminals were ideal operatives as they were ruthless and willing to risk their lives during missions rather than be sent back to prison. They also couldn’t be officially connected with the CIA so it didn’t matter if they were captured – there was no risk of America’s shady policies being exposed.

‘Riley was a typical recruit. Highly intelligent, ambitious and with no morals. The CIA sent him on many missions abroad, including to Cuba to assassinate Castro,’ added Deane.

‘Between missions he was allowed to do what he liked – which generally consisted of embezzlement, fraud, gunrunning and drug dealing – without fear of being arrested or prosecuted.’

Warning: Deane claims the CIA continues to recruit hardened criminals to 'do America's dirty work' with impunityWarning: Deane claims the CIA continues to recruit hardened criminals to ‘do America’s dirty work’ with impunity

Deane claims to have first encountered Riley back in 1961 while working as a DJ at a radio station in Miami, Florida.

Riley, then in his early 20s and with ambitions of being the ‘next Frank Sinatra’, had connections with the Mafia and used his connections to ‘persuade’ the radio station to play his records.

Though they lost touch, Deane next heard of Riley in April 1962 when working as a cub reporter for a Miami TV station – after hearing he had hijacked a plane to Cuba.

According to news reports, on Friday, April 13, 1962, Riley and an accomplice had forced pilot Reginald Doan at gunpoint to fly them to the communist island, where they planned to defect, only for the Cuban authorities to imprison them before sending them back to Miami.

Deane says he was contacted by Riley prior to the Black Friday Skyjacking trial and during that meeting revealed that he was working for the CIA and had been sent to infiltrate Cuba as a spy.

‘The skyjacking was just a smokescreen conjured up by the CIA after the mission went wrong.

‘Riley confessed that he’d been recruited by the intelligence agency while in prison for extortion of a public official back in 1960, and had been sent to Cuba to carry out a number of assignments – including one to assassinate Castro.

‘He had posed as a waiter at one of Castro’s favourite restaurants and been supplied with Botulinum tablets – an untraceable poison – by the CIA to drop into his soup, but Castro must have got wind of the plan as he suddenly stopped eating there.’

Deane admits that at first he thought that Riley was a ‘fantasist’ and, after the criminal was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the skyjacking by the U.S. Supreme Court in November 1964, largely forgot about him.

Kennedy with military leaders in 1962: The programme started during the Kennedy administration at the start of the 1960s as a clandestine means of dealing with the Communist threat of Castro.JFK with military leaders in 1962: The programme started during the Kennedy administration at the start of the 1960s as a clandestine means of dealing with the Communist threat of Castro. but Deane claims the practice is still in use today

It was only after his retirement from CBS in 2005, when he started writing Smooth Criminal, that Deane discovered that Riley might have been telling the truth about the criminal operatives programme all along.

Deane traced Riley’s whereabouts from the time of the skyjacking trial onwards and found that far from serving his time in jail, he had apparently been back on the streets committing crimes within a matter of months.

The journalist uncovered over 40 newspaper reports of Riley’s various crimes in archives and gained further corroboration of his seeming invulnerability to prosecution after tracking down several of his victims.

He added: ‘Riley was a one-man crime wave who was allowed by the CIA, and indirectly the president, to consistently get away with his crimes in return for his occasional assistance.

‘In the late 1960s and early ’70s he went on undercover missions to Vietnam, Cambodia and other troubled South Asian countries, and back at home got away with embezzlement, fraud, gunrunning, drug dealing and sexual assault among other crimes.

Smoking gun: Deane says Riley had posed as a waiter at one of Castro's (pictured) favourite restaurants and been supplied with Botulinum tabletsSmoking gun: Deane says Riley had posed as a waiter at one of Castro’s (pictured) favourite restaurants and been supplied with Botulinum tablets – an untraceable poison – by the CIA to drop into his soup, but Castro must have got wind of the plan as he suddenly stopped eating there

‘He has left a string of victims across the USA over the last 40 years, but the police and FBI have been powerless to act because he is protected by the CIA. The agency maintains a policy of complete secrecy and doesn’t want to risk compromising operations by having one of their operatives involved in a public trial.

‘One unfortunate woman who came across Riley was swindled out of $20,000 – her life savings – and the deeds to several properties, but the police and Feds weren’t allowed to warn her, and weren’t allowed to stop him.’

Deane says that he has evidence of Riley living in New York in 2005, but after that the scene goes cold.

He claims requests for information from the FBI, CIA, Treasury and other government agencies were ignored and suspects Riley, now in his 70s, is either dead or has been placed into a Federal Witness Protection scheme to put him out of reach.

Deane says he doesn’t disapprove of America’s criminal operatives programme per se, but has written Smooth Criminal to warn the American public about the programme in case they become victims of ‘untouchables’ such as Riley.

He added: ‘America has lots of enemies and security has to be maintained if we are to prevent another 9/11 so I am not against a programme that helps protect the nation.

‘What I do object to is the CIA’s insistence on complete secrecy. The rationale that a few Americans have to suffer for the sake of 315 million is not acceptable.

‘It’s sad and pathetic that totally innocent Americans have lost virtually everything, including their homes and businesses, while the Feds stood by and did nothing but protect their released criminals.

‘The CIA should be capable of controlling freed criminals without exposing their clandestine operations, and if they can’t, should discretely warn potential victims to keep away from these people.’

Source

Forbidding the “G-Word”: Holocaust Denial as Judicial Doctrine in Canada by Ward Churchill

“Where scholars deny genocide, [they] contribute to the deadly psychohistorical dynamic in which unopposed genocide begets new genocides.”

—Roger W. Smith, Eric Markusen and Robert Jay Lifton, “Professional Ethics and Denial of the Armenian Genocide” (1995)

Denial of genocide has become a matter of increasing concern in recent years, primarily as a result of efforts by a relative handful of neo-Nazi “scholars” to rehabilitate their ideological heritage by advancing arguments and “evidence” that the Hitlerian Holocaust of the early 1940s never occurred. (1) So insidious has Holocaust denial been considered by many governments that they have criminalized it, and prosecutions of deniers have occurred in France, Canada and elsewhere. (2) The United States bars known deniers from entering the country, and has supported civil litigation against individuals and institutions engaging in such activities. (3)

A related but far less noticed phenomenon has been the efforts of a significant number of ostensibly more reputable scholars to indulge in a sort of reverse denial. According to this group, the Holocaust undoubtedly occurred, but it was something experienced exclusively by Jews. (4) Here, the fates of the Gypsies, Slavs, homosexuals and others at the hands of the Nazis are routinely minimized and consigned to the ambiguous category of “non-genocidal suffering.” (5)

In their more extreme formulations, proponents of Jewish exclusivism hold not only that the Holocaust was a uniquely Jewish experience, but that it is history’s sole instance of “true” genocide. Exclusivists have gone on record, explicitly and repeatedly, denying that everything from the extermination of the Pequots in 1637, to the Turkish slaughter of more than a million Armenians between 1915 and 1918, to the more recent genocides in Cambodia, East Timor, Bosnia, Rwanda and Kosovo aren’t really examples of genocide at all. (6) Hence, while neo-Nazis deny a single genocide, exclusivists deny many.

There are of course other distinctions to be drawn between Holocaust deniers and those championing the exclusivity of suffering embodied in the Nazi Judeocide. Although their influence often exceeds their actual numbers, (7) the propagandists of neo-Nazism are by any definition a tiny fringe group. Those promoting ideas of Jewish exclusivism, on the other hand, comprise substantial majorities at the very hearts of the academic and media mainstreams. Moreover, their outlook has been adopted as official or quasi-official policy by numerous governments, including most prominently those taking the strongest stands against neo-Nazi deniers. (8) In sum, the Holocaust uniqueness postulations of Jewish exclusivism have assumed the status of an orthodoxy in historical/sociological interpretation, while those of neo-Nazism have not (and hopefully never will).

The reasons for this are not especially mysterious. The magnitude of their people’s catastrophe has generated among Jews an understandable need to find spiritual meaning in the experience, a matter which had led many to an unfortunate perversion of their own tradition in which they, a “chosen people,” were uniquely selected by God to endure the Holocaust. (9) More pragmatically—or cynically—others have realized that such suffering can be translated into a kind of “moral capital” and used to political advantage, particularly in garnering support for the Israeli state. (10) There is thus a clear, and often quite overtly expressed, desire among many Jews to claim an absolute monopoly in terms of genocidal suffering. (11)

For the elites of gentile societies, meanwhile, affirming the pretensions of Jewish Holocaust exclusivism carries with it an automatic absolution: If only the Nazi Judeocide can be qualified as genocide, it follows that only Nazis have ever been perpetrators or beneficiaries of the crime. The point is not insignificant. Genocide has been all but universally decried as a not merely “incomparable,” but an “unthinkable” offense, (12) one defying any possible redemption of those committing it (which is of course why neo-Nazis seek to “prove” their ideological forebears did not engage in it). As the Germans have long since discovered, the citizenry of no nation can take pride in a history besmirched by genocidal comportment. (13) Nor can any citizenry be counted upon to conveniently acquiesce in contemporary policies of genocide carried out in their name.

Far more than mere conceptions of “national honor” are at stake. Among those wishing to see themselves as “good people”—which is virtually everyone—the very term “genocide” provokes such deep and generalized revulsion that any official admission of its descriptive applicability to the national character, even historically, might threaten the hegemony upon which systemic stability largely depends.14 Genocide must therefore be denied at all costs, most often by explaining it away as being or having been something else altogether. For this purpose, constraining perceptions of genocide to the terms set forth by Jewish exclusivism serves non-Jewish interests as readily as Jewish.

Definitional Distortions

Genocide is not an old word, having “naturally” evolved over time to hold meanings contrary to its own. Nor was it meant to serve as a synonym for mass killing. When Raphaël Lemkin coined the term in 1944, he went to considerable lengths in explaining that it was intended to describe policies and processes designed to bring about the dissolution and disappearance of targeted human groups, as such. He wrote “Genocide has two phases, one, destruction of the national pattern of the oppressed group; the other, the imposition of the national pattern of the oppressor.” (15) If these two conditions have been fulfilled, a genocide has occurred, even if every member of the targeted group has survived the process in a physical sense.

Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aimed at the destruction of the essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be a disintegration of political and social institutions—of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups. Genocide is directed at the national group as an entity, and the actions involved are directed at individuals, not in their individual capacity, but as members of the national group (emphasis added). (16)

In 1946, Lemkin was retained by the United Nations Secretariat to draft an international convention codifying the crime. Therein, genocide—that is, “policies aimed at eradicating targeted ethnical, racial, national, religious or political groups”—was defined in a twofold way: “(1) the destruction of a group,” and “(2) preventing its preservation and development.” (17) The offending policies were themselves grouped in three categories, all of equal gravity:

· Physical Genocide, meaning outright extermination as well as the imposition of “slow death measures (i.e., subjection to conditions of life which, owing to lack of proper housing, clothing, food, hygiene and medical care or excessive work or physical exertion are likely to result in the debilitation and death of individuals; mutilations and biological experiments imposed for other than curative purposes; and deprivation of livelihood by means of looting or confiscation of property).

· Biological Genocide, meaning the prevention of births among the target group (i.e., involuntary sterilization or abortion, as well as compulsory segregation of the sexes).

· Cultural Genocide, meaning destruction of the specific characteristics of the group (i.e., forced dispersal of the population; forced transfer of children to another group; suppression of religious practices or the national language; forced exile of writers, artists, religious and political leaders or other individuals representing the culture of the group; destruction of cultural/religious shrines or monuments, or their diversion to alien uses; destruction or dispersion of documents and objects of historical, artistic or religious value, and objects used in religious worship). (18)

The draft was then turned over to a committee composed of nation-state delegates to be “revised and condensed” before its submission to the U.N. General Assembly. During this process, the United States and Canada, acting in concert, were able to arrange deletion of almost the entire provision on cultural genocide, as well as all explicit references to slow death measures.19 As the matter was finally framed in international law on December 9, 1948, “genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:”

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on members of the group conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. (20)

Strikingly, even in this greatly-truncated delineation, only one in five criteria pertain to direct killing. Eighty percent of the legal definition of genocide thus devolves upon nonlethal policies and activities. The responses of the U.S. and Canada to this are instructive. The United States simply refused for forty years to accept the result. Finally, in 1988, embarrassed at being the only country so openly rejecting the rule of law, it attempted a ratification in which it claimed a “right” to exempt itself from compliance whenever convenient. (22)

Canada also submitted an invalid ratification, but much earlier, in 1952. The subterfuge in this case was to write domestic implementing legislation in such a way as to excise from the country’s “legal understanding” those classifications of genocidal policy in which Canada was actually engaged, retaining only those involving “physical destruction… killing, or its substantial equivalents” (that is, Article II(a), (c) and (d) of the 1948 Convention).

For purposes of Canadian law, we believe that the definition of genocide should be drawn somewhat more narrowly than in the [already much narrowed] international Convention so as to include only killing and its substantial equivalents…The other components of the international definition, viz, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of a group and forcibly transferring children of one group to another group with intent to destroy the group we deem inadvisable for Canada. (23)

In 1985, the parliament went further, removing the prohibition on involuntary sterilization (1948 Convention, Article II(d)) from Canada’s genocide statute. (24) No country, of course, whether it be Canada or the U.S. or Nazi Germany, holds a legitimate prerogative to pick and choose among elements of international law, electing to abide by some and not others. It possess even less of a right to unilaterally “revise” the Laws of Nations in conformity with its own preferences. As the Nazis were informed at Nuremberg, the requirements of customary law are binding, irrespective of whether individual sovereignties wish to accept them. (25)

Nonetheless, taking the cue from their governments, a range of “responsible” scholars shortly set themselves to the task of deforming Lemkin’s concept even further. In 1959, Dutch law professor Pieter Drost published a massive two-volume study wherein he argued that usage of the term “genocide” should be restricted to its physical and biological dimensions, and that cultural genocide should be redesignated as “ethnocide,” a term he erroneously attributed to “post-war French scholars.” (26) Thereafter, biological genocide was also quietly dropped from discussion as writer after writer defined genocide exclusively in terms of killing. (27) Forty years of this continuous “genocide equals mass murder” distortion has yielded an altogether predictable effect, not only on the popular consciousness but on that of many otherwise critical activists and intellectuals. This last is readily evident in the recent release of a book by Native Hawaiian sovereigntist and professor Haunani-Kay Trask, wherein genocide is defined as simply the “systematic killing of a people identified by ethnic/racial characteristics.” (28)

Friends of the Lubicon

Questions arise as to whether, after all this, Lemkinesque understandings of genocide still prevail at all, and if so, whether they retain the capacity to galvanize public sentiment. The answers rest, to some extent, in a handful of examples. In 1968, as part of the Russell Tribunal’s verdict condemning U.S. aggression in Vietnam, Jean-Paul Sartre concluded not only that was the policy itself genocidal, but that colonialism as a system inherently produces genocidal results.29 Considerable support was lent to the latter of Sartre’s findings in 1980, when the Tribunal published a report on conditions imposed upon the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere.30

Still further expansions on the theme have accrued through publications like Cultural Survival Quarterly, and in the Native resistance movements which emerged during the 1980s in places like Wollaston Lake, James Bay and Big Mountain, Arizona.31 Perhaps the most potent example, however, concerns the experience of a tiny Cree band at Lubicon Lake, in northern Alberta, who have been confronted with sociocultural eradication as the result of maneuverings on the parts of both the federal and provincial governments to allow the Daishowa Corporation, a transnational manufacturer of paper products, to “deforest” their traditional territory (within which government-sanctioned oil and gas exploration had already wrought a noticeable degree of havoc).32

After fruitlessly attempting to negotiate a resolution with both the corporation and participating governmental entities, the band, working through a non-native Toronto-based organization calling itself Friends of the Lubicon (FOL), announced a boycott of Daishowa products in 1991. The FOL made the genocidal impacts of the corporation’s planned clearcutting of Lubicon territory the centerpiece of its effort, developing a well-conceived media campaign to put its message across. As a Canadian court later put it, the “results of the Friends’ campaign against Daishowa…were, in a word, stunning.”33 Not only did typical Canadians prove quite capable of understanding nonlethal modes of genocide, they displayed a pronounced willingness to decline to trade with businesses complicit in such processes. On this basis:

Approximately fifty companies using paper products (mostly paper bags) from Daishowa were approached by the Friends. The list of these companies reads like a Who’s Who of the retail and fast food industries in Ontario—Pizza Pizza, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Cultures, Country Style Donuts, Mr. Submarine, Bootlegger, A&W, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Woolworth’s, Roots, Club Monaco, Movenpeck Restaurants and Holt Renfrew, to name but a few. Every one of the companies approached by the Friends joined the boycott of Daishowa products. All but two did so…before their stores were picketed…Pizza Pizza was subjected to picketing outside its store on two occasions; Woolworth’s had a single store picketed on two occasions…Both Pizza Pizza and Woolworth’s joined the boycott.34

By 1994, the boycott was costing Daishowa millions of dollars annually in lost sales.35 Under such circumstances, it stood to lose money rather than profiting by cutting timber on Lubicon land. One result was that, although Daishowa had indicated that it would commence logging operations “as soon as the ground freezes over” in the fall of 1991, not a tree was felled.36 As FOL leader Kevin Thomas observed in 1997, the success of the boycott demonstrated clearly that there are viable alternatives for those genuinely opposed to genocide. Rather than simply bearing “moral witness” to what is happening half-a-world away in Tibet or Kosovo, it is entirely possible “to actually make a difference by focusing attention mainly on what our own government is doing right here at home and undertaking direct action to stop it.”37

“This can have a precedential effect,” Thomas suggests. “Halting genocide in one place helps lay the groundwork for halting it in all places. But, for this to happen, it’s essential that people be made aware of what genocide actually is. We’ve all been pretty systematically misled on that score, but if we’re confused, if we can’t recognize genocide for what it is when it’s happening right in front of us, there’s no way in the world we can change anything for the better. That’s why there’s been so much effort expended on keeping everybody confused about it: business as usual pretty much depends on an ability to perpetrate genocide more-or-less continuously, without its being recognized as such and, as a result, without its encountering significant opposition from average citizens.”38

Judicial Repression in Canada

The lesson was lost on neither the corporate nor the governmental sectors of Canada’s status quo. Consequently, naming Thomas and two other key organizers as principle defendants, Daishowa filed a SLAPP suit against the FOL on January 11, 1995. Citing millions in lost revenues and a steady erosion in its client base as damages, the corporation contended that the three men had conspired to employ illegal tactics such as an illegal secondary boycott, and were guilty of defamation by using the word “genocide” in their public outreach efforts.39

Even before the defendants had an opportunity to file a response to the allegations against them, a temporary injunction was issued to prevent them from engaging in boycott activities of any sort for ninety days. By then, Daishowa’s attorneys had requested an interlocutory injunction to extend the prohibition for the duration of the suit. This motion was “substantially dismissed,” but the FOL was ordered not to describe Daishowa’s planned activities as genocidal until a final ruling had been made.40 The following trial ended with one of the more brilliantly obfuscatory rulings in Canadian history.

At one level, Judge J.C. MacPherson’s lengthy verdict was a study in liberal legal scholarship, rejecting in an almost contemptuous tone each of Daishowa’s claims that the FOL’s boycott techniques had been in themselves unlawful. On the contrary, he concluded, “the manner in which the Friends have performed their picketing and boycott activities is a model of how such activities should be conducted in a democratic society.”41 All of this progressive cant, however, was simply a gloss meant to disguise the unmistakably reactionary core of what the judge had to say: that the FOL’s characterization of Daishowa’s corporate policy as genocidal constituted “an enormous injustice…bordering on the grotesque…cavalier and grossly unfair to Daishowa.”42 Having thus found that the FOL had indeed defamed the corporation, he forbade them—and everyone else in Canada—from ever again employing such accurate terminology to describe what the corporation was doing.43

It was not that MacPherson was unaware of the “plight” in which Daishowa’s activities had placed the Lubicons. Indeed, he remarked upon it at some length.

The essential subject matter of everything the Friends say and do is the plight of the Lubicon Cree…There can be little doubt that their plight, especially in recent years, is a tragic, indeed a desperate one…The loss of a traditional economy of hunting, trapping and gathering, the negative effect of industrial development on a people spiritually anchored in nature, the disintegration of a social structure grounded in families led by successful hunters and trappers, alcoholism, serious community health problems such as tuberculosis, and poor relations with governments and corporations engaged in oil and gas and forest operations on land the Lubicon regard as theirs—all of these have contributed to a current state of affairs for the Lubicon Cree which deserves the adjectives tragic, desperate and intolerable.44

Nor was he unaware that imposition of such conditions by “governments and corporations engaged in oil and gas and forest operations” conforms quite precisely with both the etymological and legal definitions of the crime of genocide, even under Canadian law. In his verdict, the judge quoted Raphaël Lemkin, the 1948 Convention and the relevant Canadian statute all three, only to disregard them, along with testimonies of a whole series of expert witnesses,45 in favor of the “plain and ordinary meaning of the word ‘genocide’” contained in Webster’s Dictionary. This, he insisted—although the dictionary actually didn’t—was “the intentional killing of a group of people.”46

MacPherson never specified the point at which he believed the content of abridged dictionaries had come to outweigh black letter legal definition in Canadian jurisprudence.47 Less did he explain how, using his “common sense” approach, anyone is supposed to distinguish between the Nazi extermination of the Jews and such relatively trivial phenomena as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (both involve the “intentional killing of a group of people,” and would thus seem to be equally genocidal under the judge’s “plain, ordinary” and utterly absurd interpretation).48 Nevertheless, he went on to assert that characterizations of genocide deriving from other definitions—those found in international law, for example—do not constitute “fair comment” about perpetrators and their activities.49

It follows that organizations like the FOL, devoted not only to direct action but to what even the judge described as a broader “educational” purpose, are left with an ability to confront genocidal processes only by referring to them as something else (which is to say, in effect, by implicitly denying that they are genocide).50 In the alternative, should such groups—or, presumably, the victims themselves—insist upon calling things by their right names, perpetrators have been perfectly positioned by MacPherson’s judicial prevarications to claim “damages” and/or take other legal action against them.

The Wages of Denial

As prominent exclusivist Deborah Lipstadt has noted, the “general public tends to accord victims of genocide a certain moral authority. If you devictimize a people, you strip them of their moral authority,” and thus a substantial measure of their ability to attract public support.51 Lipstadt was writing from an explicitly Jewish perspective, of course, and of her own people’s natural desire to be compensated in various ways for the horrors of the Nazi Judeocide. Her point, however, is equally valid with respect to any genocidally victimized group. Moreover, where genocide is an ongoing process—as with the Lubicons—the need for public support goes not to securing compensation, but survival itself.

This is by no means an academic consideration. Cumulatively, one result of a half-century of “scholarship” by people like Lipstadt has been the functional devictimization of literally hundreds of indigenous peoples, even as their very existence has been systematically extinguished. Refused moral authority by those better stationed to monopolize it for themselves—and thus unable to command public attention, much less support—a truly staggering number of Native societies have been pushed into oblivion since 1950.52 It is in some ways a perverse testament to the effectiveness of exclusivist propaganda that most such passings—whether physical or “merely” cultural—have gone not only unprotested but unnoticed by the general populace.

In this, the convolutions of legalism have played their role. Arcane preoccupations with the standards of proof required in establishing perpetrator intent, and exactly what scale, mode, tempo or proportionality of killing should be necessary for instances of mass murder to be considered “genuinely” genocidal, have done far more to mask than to reveal the realities of genocide. (53) Small wonder that there has never been a concerted attempt by the international community to enforce the 1948 Convention. Now J.C. MacPherson places his personal capstone on the whole sordid situation, entering a ruling which by implication transforms law from its potential as a weapon against genocide into one with which those engaged in it can shield themselves from any sort of effective exposure and intervention.

Denial of genocide, insofar as it plainly facilitates continuation of the crime, amounts to complicity in it. This is true whether the deniers are neo-Nazis, Jewish exclusivists, renowned international jurists or provincial Canadian judges. Complicity in genocide is, under Article III of the 1948 Convention, tantamount to perpetration of genocide itself. It is formally designated a Crime Against Humanity, those who engage in it criminals of the worst sort. There is no difference in this sense between a J.C. MacPherson, a Deborah Lipstadt and an Adolf Eichmann. (54)

And what of the victims? Unquestionably, any group faced with the prospect of systemically-imposed extinction holds not only the right but the obligation to defend and preserve itself by the best means available to it. Afforded the moral currency attending its circumstance, it may well be able to undertake this task both nonviolently and successfully. This, surely, is a primary lesson of the recent collaboration between the Lubicons and the FOL. Denied such currency, however, the victims can hardly be expected to simply “lie down in a ditch and die.” (30) To paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr., those who endeavor to make the success of peaceful resistance to genocide impossible only make violent resistance inevitable. They can have no complaint, morally, ethically or otherwise, when the chickens come home to roost.

____________________________________________

Endnotes:

1. Pierre Vidal-Niquet, Assassins of Memory: Essays on the Denial of the Holocaust (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992); Deborah Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory (New York: Free Press, 1993).

2. In France, there was the 1981 trial of Robert Faurisson, the country’s leading denier, for defaming Holocaust witnesses and scholars. In Canada, the most notable cases have been the 1985 prosecutions of James Keegstra, an Alberta school teacher who’d spent fourteen years indoctrinating his students that the Holocaust was a “hoax,” and Ernst Zundel, a Toronto-based publisher who is one of the world’s leading purveyors of such tripe. See Nadine Fresco, “Denial of the Dead: On the Faurisson Affair,” Dissent, Fall 1981; Alan T. Davies, “A Tale of Two Trials: Antisemitism in Canada,” Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Vol. 4, 1989.

3. The primary case in the U.S. was Mel Mermelstein v. Institute for Historical Review, et al., Superior Court of California, Civ. No. 356542 (Feb. 1981); British “historian” David Irving is among those barred from entering the United States because of his record as a denier.

4. See, e.g., Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War (New York: Henry Holt, 1985); Leni Yahil, The Holocaust: The Fate of the European Jewry, 1932-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990).

5. This happens by way both directly and by way of omission. In Deborah Lipstadt’s Denying the Holocaust, for example, there is not so much as an index entry for Gypsies, despite the fact that this smaller people was subject to exactly the same Nazi racial decrees as Jews, were exterminated in precisely the same manner and in the same places as Jews, and, proportionately, suffered equivalent or greater population losses; Ian Hancock, “Responses to the Porrajmos: The Romani Holocaust,” in Alan S. Rosenbaum, ed., Is the Holocaust Unique? Perspectives in Comparative Genocide (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996). For direct assertions, see, e.g., Michael Berenbaum, ed., A Mosaic of Victims: Non-Jews Persecuted and Murdered by the Nazis (New York: New York University Press, 1990).

6. Although there are literally hundreds of iterations of the notion available from other authors, the most comprehensive assertion that the Nazi Judeocide is “phenomenologically unique” has been that advanced by Steven T. Katz in his massive The Holocaust in Historical Context, Vol. 1: The Holocaust and Mass Death Before the Modern Age (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).

7. A poll conducted in Italy during the fall of 1992, for example, revealed that nearly 10 percent of the country’s adult population have been convinced that the Holocaust never happened; Jewish Telegraph News Agency, Nov. 11, 1992.

8. Examples of official policy include the quid pro quo entered into between the governments of Israel and Turkey by which the Israelis ban public characterizations of the Armenian genocide as genocide. In exchange, the Turks pronounce the Nazi Judeocide as the “real” genocide. Working together, the two governments were able to prevent the Armenians from being listed as victims of genocide in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.; Roger W. Smith, Eric Marusen and Robert Jay Lifton, “Professional Ethics and the Denial of the Armenian Genocide,” Holocaust and Genocide Studies, No. 9, 1995. Insofar as it has received not inconsiderable governmental support and endorsement, the Holocaust Memorial Museum itself, though nominally private, may be viewed as an example of quasi-official policy.

9. See, e.g., Arthur A. Cohen, The Tremendium: A Theological Interpretation of the Holocaust (New York: Holmes & Meier, 1981); John Roth and Michael Berenbaum, The Holocaust: Religious and Philosophical Implications (New York: Paragon House, 1989). For critique, see John Murray Cuddahy, “The Holocaust: The Latent Issue in the Uniqueness Debate,” in Philip F. Gallagher, ed., Christians, Jews and Other Worlds: Patterns of Conflict and Accommodation (Landham, MS: University Press of America, 1988); Arno J. Mayer, Why Did the Heavens Not Darken? The Final Solution in History (New York: Pantheon, [2nd ed.] 1990).

10. The term “moral capital” is taken from exclusivist writer Edward Alexander, The Holocaust and the War of Ideas (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1994) p. 195.

11. E.g., Yehuda Bauer, “Whose Holocaust?” and Edward Alexander, “Stealing the Holocaust,” both in Midstream, Vol. 26, No. 9, 1980.

12. Roger Manvell and Heinrich Fraenkel, The Incomparable Crime; Mass Extermination in the 20th Century: The Legacy of Guilt (London: Hinemann, 1967); Israel W. Charney, How Can We Commit the Unthinkable? Genocide, the Human Cancer (Boulder, CO, Westview Press, 1982).

13. See generally, Richard Evans, In Hitler’s Shadow: West German Historians and the Attempt to Escape from the Nazi Past (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989).

14. As the Italian theorist Antonio Gramsci described it, hegemony functions by way of a master narrative designed to convince the great mass of people that the prevailing order is natural, right and thus inevitable. Any concession by ruling élites that there is anything fundamentally wrong with the order over which they preside would of course undermine the very belief system upon which their own ascendancy depends; Walter L. Adamson, Hegemony and Revolution: A Study of Antonio Gramsci’s Political and Cultural Theory (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980) esp. pp. 170-9.

15. Raphaël Lemkin, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation, Analysis of Government, Proposals for Redress (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1944) p. 79.

16. Ibid.

17. U.N. Doc. A/362, June 14, 1947.

18. Ibid. For further discussion, see Robert Davis and Mark Zannis, The Genocide Machine in Canada: The Pacification of the North (Montréal: Black Rose Books, 1973) pp. 15-21.

19. On Canada’s role, see Canada and the United Nations (Ottawa: Dept. of External Affairs, 1948) p. 191. Overall, see M. Lippman, “The Drafting of the 1948 Convention and Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,” Boston University International Law Journal, No. 3, 1984.

20. U.S.T. _______, T.I.A.S. _______, 78 U.N.T.S. 277 (1948), Article II. The Convention’s third article makes it a crime not only to perpetrate genocide, but to conspire or attempt to commit it, to incite it, or to be otherwise complicit in its perpetration; for text, see Ian Brownlie, ed., Basic Documents on Human Rights (Oxford: Clarendon Press, [3rd ed.] 1992) pp. 31-4.

21. Lawrence LeBlanc, The United States and the Genocide Convention (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1991) pp. 7-12.

22. There can be no question whether parliament was aware its Native residential school policy violated Article II(e) of the Genocide Convention, the prohibition on forced transfer of children. The issue was raised repeatedly during the debates on ratification; Canadian Civil Liberties Association, “Brief to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, “April 26, 1969, p. 6. Yet this is one of the provisions deleted from the Canadian genocide statute, ostensibly because it had “no essential relevance to Canada where mass transfers of children to another group are unknown”; Special Committee on Hate Propaganda in Canada (1948); quoted in Davis and Zannis, Genocide Machine, p. 23. For background, see J.R. Miller, Shingwauk’s Vision: A History of Native Residential Schools (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996).

23. Special Committee on Hate Propaganda in Canada (1948); quoted in Davis and Zannis, Genocide Machine, p. 23.

24. Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46.

25. As the matter was put by a principle advisor to the chief U.S. prosecutor at Nuremberg, many of the charges brought against the Nazis were based in upon their violation of “customary international law—a system [evolving] under the impact of common consent and the demands of world security. Acquiescence of all members of the Family of Nations is not necessary for this purpose. All that is needed is reasonable proof of the existence of widespread custom”; Sheldon Glueck, “The Nuremberg Trial and Aggressive War,” Harvard Law Review, No. 59, Feb. 1946, pp. 396-456. This rule was affirmed by the International Court of Justice with respect to the Genocide Convention in an Advisory Opinion issued on May 28, 1951: “The principles inherent in the Convention are acknowledged by civilized nations as binding on [any] country, even [those] without a conventional obligation.” In effect, “reservations” to the Convention like that attempted by the U.S., or attempts to limit its scope by deleting portions of it in domestic implementing statutes, as Canada has, have no legal validity at all; see generally, Robert K. Woetzel, “The Eichmann Case in International Law,” Criminal Law Review, Oct. 1962, pp. 671-82.

26. Pieter N. Drost, Genocide (Leyden: A.W. Sythoff, 1959); The Crime of State (Leyden: A.W. Sythoff, 1959). In actuality, Lemkin himself coined the term “ethnocide” in a footnote on page 79 of Axis Rule—the same page on which the neologism “genocide” itself was invented—explaining therein that the two words are synonyms. Interestingly, subsequent researchers have simply repeated without further investigation Drost’s false attribution of “ethnocide” to French scholarship, as well as his unfounded contention that it describes something other than genocide; see, e.g., Kurt Jonasohn and Frank Chalk, “A Typology of Genocide and Some Implications for the Human Rights Agenda,” in Isador Walliman and Michael Dobkowski, eds., Genocide and the Modern Age: Etiology and Case Studies of Mass Death (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1987) pp. 7, 37.

27. Frank Chalk, “Definitions of Genocide and Their Implications for Prediction and Prevention,” in Yehuda Bauer, et al., eds., Remembering for the Future: Working Papers and Addenda, 2 vols. (Oxford: Pergammon Press, 1989) pp. 76-7.

28. Haunani-Kay Trask, From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai’i (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, [rev. ed.] 1999) p. 251.

29. Jean-Paul Sartre and Arlette El Kaim-Sartre, On Genocide and a Summary of the Evidence and Judgments of the International War Crimes Tribunal (Boston: Beacon Press, 1968). Although he was highly critical of Sartre’s “overgeneralized” formulation, Leo Kuper, one of the more astute analysts of genocide, by-and-large incorporated it into his own books: Leo Kuper, Genocide: Its Political Uses in the Twentieth Century (New Haven, CT, Yale University Press, 1981); International Action Against Genocide (London: Minority Rights Group, [rev. ed.] 1984); The Prevention of Genocide (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1985).

30. Russell Tribunal, Report of the Fourth Russell Tribunal on the Rights of the Indians of the Americas (Nottingham: Bertrand Russell Foundation, 1980).

31. Cultural Survival Quarterly is the journal of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Cultural Survival, Inc. On the resistance movements, see Miles Goldstick, Wollaston: People Resisting Genocide (Montréal: Black Rose Books, 1987); Boyce Richardson, Strangers Devour the Land: The Cree Hunters of the James Bay area versus Premier Bourassa and the James Bay Development Corporation (Post Mills, VT: Chelsea Green Publishers, [rev. ed.] 1991); Ward Churchill, “Genocide in Arizona: The ‘Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute’ in Perspective,” in my Struggle for the Land: Native North American Resistance to Genocide, Ecocide and Colonization (Winnipeg: Arbiter Ring, [rev. ed.] 1999).

32. The story of the Lubicon is quite complex; see John Goddard, Last Stand of the Lubicon Cree (Vancouver/Toronto: Douglas & McIntire, 1991).

33. Daishowa Inc. v. Friends of the Lubicon, Ontario Court of Justice (Gen. Div.), File No. 95-CQ-59707, Verdict of Judge J. MacPherson (Apr. 14, 1998) p. 21.

34. Ibid., pp. 21-2.

35. Thomas Claridge, “Judge to Rule May 19 on Lubicon boycott: Daishowa says $3-million annual sales lost,” Toronto Globe and Mail, May 1, 1995.

36. FOL briefing paper distributed by the Sierra Legal Defense Fund, beginning in 1996 (copy on file).

37. Conversation with Kevin Thomas, June 14, 1997 (notes on file).

38. Ibid.

39. Christopher Genovali, “Multinational Pulp Company SLAPPs Suit Against Activist Group,” Alternatives Journal, Vol. 22, No. 3, 1996.

40. Daishowa Inc. v. Friends of the Lubicon (1995), 30 C.R.R. (2d) 26 (Gen. Div.). The corporation immediately filed an appeal which resulted in reinstatement of the injunction against the FOL’s boycott activities more generally. This higher court ruling was later expanded to prohibit the defendants, their attorneys, and even selected expert witnesses from publicly discussing the case; Christopher Genovali, “Daishowa Tries to Gag Critics,” Alternatives Journal, Vol. 23, No. 2, 1997.

41. Verdict, p. 50.

42. Ibid., pp. 72, 68, 76.

43. Ibid., p. 76.

44. Ibid., pp. 42-3. MacPherson’s description of the situation in which the Lubicon have been placed should be compared with the explanation offered by the Saudi delegate to the drafting committee of what was/is meant by the language contained in Article II(c) of the 1948. This includes not only the “planned disintegration of the political, social or economic structure of a group or nation,” but the “systematic debasement of a group, people or nation”; quoted in Davis and Zannis, Genocide Machine, p. 19.

45. Among the expert witness submissions MacPherson ignored were an article, “Modern Genocide,” prepared by the McGill University law faculty and published in Quid Novi on November 30, 1987 (submitted in evidence as Defense Exhibit 30; Thomas Affidavit); a 1990 letter to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney prepared by the late James J.E. Smith, Curator of North American Ethnography for the Museum of the American Indian/Heye Foundation, in which it is concluded that “social and cultural genocide” is being perpetrated against the Lubicons (Defense Exhibit 4; Ominiyak Affidavit); a 1995 affidavit prepared by Dr. Joan Ryan, an anthropologist who combined 15 years experience documenting the destruction of Lubicon society with the very dictionary definitions the judge relied upon in arriving at an diametrically opposing conclusion. Both Dr. Ryan and I presented direct testimony during the trial. None of this is so much as mentioned in the Verdict.

46. Verdict, p. 71. MacPherson in fact quotes three different dictionaries, none of which posits “intentional killing” as synonymous with genocide. Webster’s refers to “the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political or cultural group (emphasis added).”

47. MacPherson claims to have followed the dictum that “defamatory meaning must be one which would be understood by an ordinary and reasonable person”; Verdict, pp. 70-1. He neglects to mention, however, that the rule pertains only to instances where the terms at issue are not defined in law; R.E. Brown, The Law of Defamation in Canada (2nd ed., Vol. 1, p. 52).

48. Even MacPherson seems a bit uncomfortable with his definition. He suggests at one point that “physical destruction” rather than direct killing alone might add up to genocide. But then, apparently realizing that the sorts of conditions he’s already conceded the Lubicons are suffering would all too obviously fit this description, he simply drops the subject; Verdict, p. 71.

49. Ibid., p. 76.

50. Ibid., p. 39. This clearly goes to compelling the employment of euphemisms, the purpose of which is well-known. The Nazis, after all, referred to their Judeocide as the “Final Solution,” the transport of Jews to Auschwitz and other extermination centers as “Resettlement,” the literal killing therein as “Special Handling.” Such innocuous terminology was designed to obscure genocidal reality and thus constrain the probability of popular revulsion and unrest.

51. Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust, pp. 7-8.

52. In the United States alone, nearly a hundred such peoples have been declared “culturally extinct” by the federal government during this period; Raymond V. Butler, “The Bureau of Indian Affairs: Activities Since 1945,” Annals of the American Academy of Political Science, No. 435, 1978, pp. 50-60.

53. The implications were brought out clearly in March 1974, when, in one of the few instances where charges of genocide were filed with the U.N. Secretariat, the International League for the Rights of Man, the Inter-American Association for Democracy and Freedom and several other organizations accused the government of Paraguay of physically exterminating the Aché Indians. Paraguay’s formal response to these allegations was that, “Although there are victims and victimizer, there is not the third element necessary to establish the crime of genocide—that is ‘intent.’ As there is no ‘intent,’ one cannot speak of ‘genocide’”; Paraguayan Minister of Defense, quoted in Norman Lewis, “The Camp at Ceclio Baez,” in Richard Arens, ed., Genocide in Paraguay (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1976) pp. 62-3.

54. Those who experience a visceral reaction to my “overstated” comparison should recall that Eichmann was not accused of actually killing anyone. Rather, he was convicted of having devoted his bureaucratic and technical expertise—that is, his intellect—to organizing the delivery of Jews and others to extermination centers; Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (New York: Penguin, 1964).

55. Unidentified Lubicon, quoted in Thomas Affidavit, p. 24.

Retrospect: A Nervous China Invades Vietnam

By TERRY MCCARTHY
Monday, Sept. 27, 1999

Early in the morning of Feb. 17, 1979, Chinese artillery batteries and multiple rocket launchers opened fire all along the Vietnamese border with protracted barrages that shook the earth for miles around. Then 85,000 troops surged across the frontier in human-wave attacks like those China had used in Korea nearly three decades before. They were decimated: the well-dug-in Vietnamese cut down the Chinese troops with machine guns, while mines and booby traps did the rest.

Horrified by their losses, the Chinese quickly replaced the general in charge of the invasion that was meant, in Beijing’s words, to teach Vietnam a lesson, and concentrated their attack on neighboring provincial capitals. Using tanks and artillery, they quickly overran most of the desired towns: by March 5, after fierce house-to-house fighting, they captured the last one, Lang Son, across the border from Pingxiang. Then they began their withdrawal, proclaiming victory over the Cubans of the Orient, as Chinese propaganda had dubbed them.

By China’s own estimate, some 20,000 soldiers and civilians from both sides died in the 17-day war. Who learned the bigger lesson?

The invasion demonstrated a contradiction that has forever bedeviled China’s military and political leaders: good strategy, bad tactics. The decision to send what amounted to nearly 250,000 troops into Vietnam had been taken seven months before and was well-telegraphed to those who cared to listen.

When Deng Xiaoping went to Washington in January 1979 to cement the normalization of China’s relations with the United States, he told President Jimmy Carter in a private meeting what China was about to do–and why. Not only did Beijing feel Vietnam was acting ungratefully after all the assistance it had received during its war against the U.S., but in 1978 Hanoi had begun expelling Vietnamese of Chinese descent. Worst of all–it was cozying up to Moscow. In November 1978 Vietnam signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation with the Soviet Union. A month later the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia, a Chinese ally. Although Hanoi said it was forced to do so to stop Pol Pot’s genocide and to put an end to his cross-border attacks against Vietnam, Deng saw it as a calculated move by Moscow to use its allies to encircle China from the south.

Soviet adventurism in Southeast Asia had to be stopped, Deng said, and he was calculating (correctly, it turned out) that Moscow would not intervene in a limited border war between China and Vietnam. Carter’s National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said Deng’s explanation to Carter of his invasion plans, with its calculated defiance of the Soviets, was the single most impressive demonstration of raw power politics that he had ever seen.

At the time Deng was consolidating his position as unchallenged leader of China. Having successfully negotiated normalization of relations with Washington, he wanted to send a strong signal to Moscow against further advances in Asia. He also thought the Carter Administration was being too soft on the Soviets, although he did not say as much to his American hosts. Hanoi, for its part, was unfazed by Deng’s demonstration of raw power. The Vietnamese fought the Chinese with local militia, not bothering to send in any of the regular army divisions that were then taken up with the occupation of Cambodia. Indeed, Hanoi showed no sign of withdrawing those troops, despite Chinese demands that they do so: the subsequent guerrilla war in Cambodia would bog down Vietnam’s soldiers and bedevil its foreign relations for more than a decade.

The towns captured by the Chinese were all just across the border; it is not clear whether China could have pushed much farther south. Having lost so many soldiers in taking the towns, the Chinese methodically blew up every building they could before withdrawing. Journalist Nayan Chanda, who visited the area shortly after the war, saw schools, hospitals, government buildings and houses all reduced to rubble. The war also showed China just how outdated its battlefield tactics and weaponry were, prompting a major internal review of the capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army. The thrust for military modernization continues to this day, even as the focus of China’s generals has shifted from Vietnam back to Taiwan–a pesky little irritant that could cause Beijing even bigger problems if it decides to administer another lesson.

Source

Pol Pot Was Not and Is Not A Communist

Who Is and Was Really Responsible for Genocide in Cambodia?

Pol Pot Was Not and Is Not A Communist 

(originally published in Challenge-Desafio, PL Magazine Supplement, February 19, 1986)

Apologists for capitalism are always inventing lies to “prove” how terrible communism is. In recent years one of their favorite tales concerns the mass killings in Cambodia by the supposedly “communist” Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot. Lots of articles, a couple of books and at least one major movie, “The Killing Fields,” have focused on the Khmer Rouge atrocities. Pol Pot has almost replaced Joseph Stalin as number one on the capitalists’ all-time hate list.

But there’s a big difference. Comrade Stalin was a great communist. Pol Pot, however, never was one. Some recent books, written by Western experts on Cambodia and using evidence obtained after the fall of Pol Pot, show this clearly. These books must be used with care; the authors are either pro-Vietnamese revisionists (Vickery, Chandler, Thion) or liberal imperialists (Shawcross). It’s the facts they have uncovered that are valuable, not their own opinions and analyses of these facts, which are ruined by their anti-Communist values.

“Khmer Rouge” (KR), or “Red Khmers” (Khmer is the major ethnic group of Cambodia) was the name given to the peasant rebels under the leadership of the Communist Party of Kampuchea (native name of Cambodia), or CPK. In order to see how the CPK turned into a bunch of anti-Communist murderers, a little history is essential.

History of the Cambodian Left

In 1951 the old Indochina Communist Party (ICP), dominated by Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnamese, split into Vietnamese, Laotian, and Cambodian groups. Like the world-wide communist movement as a whole by that time, these groups were rotten with nationalism and eager to compromise with “progressive” (anti-colonialist) capitalists.

In the mid-50s, the old ICPers were joined by a number of militant nationalist students returning from France, including the future KR rulers Pol Pot (real name: Saloth Sar), Ieng Sary, and Khieu Samphan. A party, the CPK, was formed by these two groups in 1960, but its existence was kept secret until 1977, long after it seized power. Apparently this was an unprincipled concession to the anti-communism of the nationalist ex-students. When anti-communism is not fought it grows, as we shall see.

Repression by the monarchist government under Prince Sihanouk soon forced the party underground. Most of the communists of the former ICP abandoned the struggle, returning to North Vietnam. Only the nationalist Pol Pot group remained.

When a peasant revolt began in 1967 in the Samlaut region near the border with Thailand, the Pol Pot group joined it. Never communists in anything but name, they assumed a line they thought they could easily win some peasants to – that the cities (home of the absentee landlords and exploitative state which taxed the peasants) and everyone in them were the enemy, including professionals, teachers and workers.

Romantic attachments to the peasantry as a class have long been characteristic of bourgeois radicals. In Russia, Lenin’s earliest polemic (1895) was directed against the Narodniki, or “Friends of the People.” The petty-bourgeois Narodniki too preached a peasant communalism in words, but practiced bloody terrorism. Vickery finds another close similarity between the KR and the ‘Antonov’ and Tambov peasant rebels in Western Russia during the Civil War, who fought communists and monarchists with equal vigor and with hair-raising atrocities.

To this peasant dislike of the cities Pol Pot’s faction added a fierce hatred, amounting to racism, for anything Vietnamese. Hatred of Vietnam is a nationalist view developed by the Cambodian elite, who remembered the conflicts in past centuries between Vietnamese and Cambodian kings, and how the Vietnamese rulers had driven the Cambodians out of what is now the Mekong delta region of Vietnam.

In 1970 the military under Lon Nol, backed by the United States, overthrew Sihanouk. U.S. rulers began huge bomb strikes against North Vietnamese troops and supply lines in Northeast Cambodia. The bombing killed many thousands of peasants and virtually destroyed village life.

As hatred of the U.S. and the Lon Nol government grew, peasants flooded to join the KR army. But on returning from North Vietnam to join the movement, the old ICPers found themselves under suspicion, sometimes even killed by the Pol Pot group. Thus the CPK, which took power in April, 1975, was a tense alliance of two distinct groups. The pro-Vietnamese ICPers and the Pol Pot faction had distinct areas of influence, the former being more influential in the East (near Vietnam). Their soldiers even wore different uniforms.

Nicolae Ceauşescu with Pol Pot

The Mass Killings Begin

Although anti-Communist hacks portray the evacuation of the cities in April 1975 as an atrocity, even capitalist scholars tacitly admit it was necessary (e.g. Zasloff and Brown, in Problems of Communism, Jan.-Feb. 1979, p. 34 — a journal published by the U.S. State Department and devoted to anti-Communist propaganda with a “scholarly” slant). For example, the capital, Phnom Penh, had grown to 2 million from about 600,000 from peasants fleeing the U.S. bombings. As in South Vietnam, the U.S. had completely destroyed the peasant economy in order to wipe out the village society in which the KR flourished. Phnom Penh was provisioned only by massive imports of U.S. food, which stopped abruptly when Lon Nol fell. If the city population hadn’t been evacuated, they’d have simply starved to death!

Between 1975 and early 1977 neither group within the CPK really dominated. Anti-Communist “experts” like John Barron and Anthony Paul (authors of Murder of a Gentle Land – this pair are full-time anti-Communist propagandists for the Reader’s Digest) and François Ponchaud (Cambodia Year Zero) give the impression that massacres took place throughout the whole 1975-79 period. From surviving records and from hundreds of interviews of refugees and of those who remained in the country, Michael Vickery reveals a different pattern. Though there were occasional instances of brutality against former city-dwellers in areas held by Pol Pot supporters, mass executions didn’t begin until 1977, when the Pol Pot group consolidated its power.

A blood purge of all those suspected of being pro-Vietnamese or insufficiently “pro-peasant” began. In 1978 the remaining pro-Vietnamese forces in the CPK led a revolt, which was brutally crushed. The Pol Pot government then slaughtered anyone who had supported this group, plus the many ethnic Vietnamese in Eastern Cambodia. This led to the Vietnamese invasion of 1979. The KR had no support except its army, and the Vietnamese easily set up a puppet régime of the defeated ICP faction, which rules Kampuchea today.

U.S. Rulers Murdered More Cambodians than did Khmer Rouge

How many people were killed during these mass murders? The U.S. media, following Dith Pran of The New York Times (on whom the movie “The Killing Fields” was based), claim about three million. When talking about “communists,” no figure under the million mark will satisfy capitalist writers. Vickery shows that 300,000 — still an appalling figure — is about the upper possible limit. In contrast, Zasloff and Brown write of the “heavy toll in lives” which “the enormous U.S. bombing and the intensity of the fighting” caused before 1975, and imply that the KR claims of 600,000 to “more than 1 million” dead from US bombing are credible [Problems of Communism Jan-Feb 1979, p. 40 col. 2 & note 35]. When it comes to genocide, Pol Pot & Co. were amateurs compared to the U.S. imperialists.

The Anti-Communism of the Pol Pot Régime

Whatever the number, though, these killings were not the work of “communists” of any kind, even of Soviet or Chinese-style revisionists but of anti-Communists.

Not every group which calls itself “communist” is so. For example, the Vietnamese, Soviet, Chinese and other relics of the old communist movement are capitalists in a thin disguise. They give only lip service to Marxism-Leninism, the working class, proletarian internationalism, and the need to build a classless society.

In contrast, Pol Pot, the KR, and the CPK openly rejected the idea of communism itself! A few quotations from Vickery and Chandler illustrate this:

  • On communism: “We are not communists … we are revolutionaries” who do not ‘belong to the commonly accepted grouping of communist Indochina.” (Ieng Sary, 1977, quoted by Vickery, p. 288).
  • On Marxism-Leninism: “The first public admission that the ‘revolutionary organization’ was Marxist-Leninist in its orientation came in the memorial services for Mao Zedong held in Phnom Penh on 18 Sept., 1976” (Chandler, in Chandler, ed., p. 55, note 28).:
  • “They [Kampuchean spokesmen] claim that the CPK is a Marxist-Leninist Party, but say nothing about the writings of these two men.” (Chandler, p. 45)
  • On the need for a revolutionary party: “The most striking feature of the idea of revolution entertained by the Khmer Communists… was that it was unexpressed. In the 1960s, opposition to government policies and calls for an anti-imperialist stand, made up the platform of the left wing … In fact, revolution and the existence of a revolutionary party were not only played down in propaganda, they were completely hidden truths, revealed only to the enlightened few who could achieve senior positions in the apparatus [i.e. mainly the ex-student radicals]. (Thion, in Chandler ed., p. 16, emphasis added).

It was not until September 27, 1977 that the existence of a “communist party” was even publicly revealed, in a Pol Pot speech (Chandler, p. 37).

  • On the working class: “Though tiny, it [the Cambodian working class] existed, scattered in the towns. But instead of cultivating it, the Khmer Communists proceeded to liquidate it as if it were a decadent legacy of the past…(Thion, p. 27-8).

From all this we can conclude the following:

  • Pol Pot & Co. were not communists. In this sense they are no different from the Soviets, Vietnamese, Chinese, or Ronald Reagan, or any capitalist.
  • Unlike the Soviets, Vietnamese, Chinese and other revisionist, phony communists, Pol Pot & Co. boasted that they were not communists.
  • The influence of a pro-Vietnamese faction meant that some Marxist terminology was used, at least up to 1977. After that time the KR abandoned any talk of communism.

The Pol Pot group also sometimes described themselves as communists between 1975 and 1977 in an attempt to get help from China. For example:

…Pol Pot’s tribute to the crucial role played by Mao Zedong’s thought in the Cambodian revolution, contained in a speech in Beijing on 29 September 1977, was not re-broadcast over Phnom Penh radio” (Chandler, in Chandler, ed., p. 45).

Mao and the Chinese Communist party had won millions of peasants to a communist, pro-working class line, whereas the Pol Pot group had tried to win the peasantry to an anti-working class, anarchist line. What China — and, equally important, the U.S. — like about Pol Pot & Co. is their genuine hostility to Vietnam, not their phony praises to Mao.

Khmer Rouge Anti-Communists Propped Up By U.S. Today

In order to weaken pro-Soviet Vietnam, the U.S. ruling class now supports a coalition of Cambodian rebel forces, of which Pol Pot’s KR are by far the strongest element. It is only a mild embarrassment to the U.S. bosses that the group they are now keeping afloat is the very one they point to as guilty of “communist” genocide! In turn, the KR call for “democratic elections” and a reformed capitalism.

For the world’s workers, the lessons of the Pol Pot experience are clear:

  • There is no substitute for communism in the fight against imperialism and capitalism. The KR tried to build a “new kind” of revolution based upon petit-bourgeois radicalism. Instead, they plunged Kampuchea into a nightmare.
  • You can’t believe anything the U.S. media or ruling class say about communism! The capitalists care nothing for the hundreds of thousands who were murdered. If they did, why do they continue to support Pol Pot?

In December 1981, The New York Times Magazine published a story in which the author said he’d visited KR “freedom fighters” leading the war of independence against the Vietnamese occupiers. Jones, the author of the story, claimed to have seen Pol Pot directing the struggle, an heroic figure silhouetted against the sky.

The Times’ editors thought it was so good they printed it without the checking-up they usually give an article from an unknown writer. It turned out that Jones had made it all up while sitting on a beach in Spain! The Times was so eager to believe a story that made the KR and Pol Pot — whom they were already calling a genocidal mass murderer — into an anti-Communist hero that they rushed it into print! Nothing could demonstrate more clearly the willingness of the liberal ruling class to clasp to its bosom any fascist murderer who can help out in the fight against communism.

Bibliography

David P. Chandler and Ben Kiernan, editors, Revolution and Its Aftermath in Kampuchea: Eight Essays, New Haven, CT: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies Monograph No. 25, 1983.

Michael Vickery, Cambodia: 1975-1982. Boston: South End Press, 1984.

Source

The U.S. Is Even More Guilty Than Pol Pot

To the Editor:

In all the hubbub about the death of Pol Pot, neither the U.S. government nor the American news media have seen fit to mention that

  • this mass murderer was supported for fifteen years by the United States.
  • the U.S. bombing of Cambodia during 1970-75 killed as many or more Cambodians as Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge ever did;
  • Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge were not Communists.

These last two facts have been documented by anti-communist researchers (see “Who Is and Was Really Responsible for Genocide in Cambodia? Pol Pot Was Not and Is Not A Communist,”). For example: The Khmer Rouge not communist? Yes, by their own statement:

“We are not communists … we are revolutionaries” who do not ‘belong to the commonly accepted grouping of communist Indochina.”(Ieng Sary, 1977, quoted by Vickery, Cambodia: 1978-1983, p. 288).

As for how many were killed by American bombing, Zasloff and Brown, in Problems of Communism, Jan.-Feb. 1979, write of the “heavy toll in lives” which “the enormous U.S. bombing and the intensity of the fighting” caused before 1975, and imply the Khmer Rouge claims of 600,000 to “more than 1 million” dead are credible. (These two authors are dedicated anti-Communists who did much research for the U.S. government during the Vietnam War.)

U.S. support of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge is thoroughly documented in an article in CAQ magazine (formerly Covert Action Quarterly) by Australian journalist John Pilger, “The Long Secret Alliance: Uncle Sam and Pol Pot.“* Some quotations from that article:

“The US not only helped to create conditions that brought Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge to power in 1975, but actively supported the genocidal force, politically and financially. By January 1980, the US was secretly funding Pol Pot’s exiled forces on the Thai border. The extent of this support — $85 million from 1980-86 — was revealed 6 years later in correspondence between congressional lawyer Jonathan Winer, then counsel to Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation.”

“In 1981, Pres. Carter’s national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, said, “I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot. The US”, he added, “winked publicly” as China sent arms to the Khmer Rouge(KR) through Thailand.”

“In 1980, under US pressure, the World Food Program handed over food worth $12 million to the Thai Army to pass on to the KR. According to former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke,’20,000 to 40,000 Pol Pot guerrillas benefited. This aid helped restore the KR to a fighting force, based in Thailand, from which it destabilized Cambodia for more than a decade.'”

“In 1982, the US and China, supported by Singapore, invented the Coalition of the Democratic Government of Kampuchea, which was, as Ben Kiernan pointed out, neither a coalition, nor democratic, nor a government, not in Kampuchea. Rather, it was what the CIA calls a ‘master illusion.’ … Cambodia’s former ruler, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, was appointed its head; otherwise little changed. The KR dominated the two “non-communist” members, the Sihanoukists and the Khmer Peoples’ National Liberation Front (KPNLF). From his office at the UN, Pol Pot’s ambassador, the urbane Thereon Parish, continued to speak for Cambodia. A close associate of Pol Pot, he had in 1975 called on Khmer expatriates to return home, whereupon many of them disappeared.”

(I have also put another article from Covert Action Information Bulletin No. 34, Summer 1990, on this subject: Jack Colhoun, “On the side of Pol Pot: U.S. Supports Khmer Rouge“.*

The United States government pressured the United Nations to retain Pol Pot’s representative as the “official” representative of Cambodia to the UN, to keep the pro-Vietnamese government out.

During the past year or two the Khmer Rouge guerrilla forces have begun to disintegrate, and Pol Pot’s usefulness to the Western imperialists has evaporated. Therefore the U.S. government has talked vaguely about putting Pol Pot on trial for genocide. His death last week spared the imperialists a potentially embarrassing situation.

What does this all mean for us?

1. There is no substitute for real communism — egalitarian, anti-racist, based on class interests, anti-nationalist. Pol Pot’s nationalism — based upon “peasant” radicalism, anti-Vietnamese racism, and anti-communism — created a nightmare state in which hundreds of thousands of Cambodians, including Communists, who had opportunistically entered into an alliance with them against French and American imperialists, were slaughtered.

2. The western imperialists, the U.S. among them, are the biggest mass murderers in history.

3. The mass media usually play the role of unofficial mouthpiece for government propaganda. What they write about communism, “human rights”, and so on, is normally false. Do not drink water from a poisoned well! Don’t believe anything they say.

Grover Furr
English Department

Source

Enver Hoxha on Pol Pot

This [the Sino-American imperialist alliance] is obvious, also, from the fact that now the American government is trying to put China, which has attacked Vietnam, on the same plane as Vietnam because, allegedly, it has attacked Cambodia. In Cambodia, the Cambodian people, communists and patriots, have risen against the barbarous government of Pol Pot, which was nothing but a group of provocateurs in the service of the imperialist bourgeoisie and of the Chinese revisionists, in particular, which had as its aim to discredit the idea of socialism in the international arena.

Even Prince Sihanouk, who was incarcerated for nearly four years in Pnom Pen, has spoken publicly at UNO about the crimes of the Pol Pot government and its extermination of the Cambodian people. The anti-popular line of that regime is confirmed, also, by the fact that the Albanian embassy in the Cambodian capital, the embassy of a country which has given the people of Cambodia every possible aid, was kept isolated, indeed, encircled with barbed wire, as if it were in a concentration camp. The other embassies, too, were in a similar situation.

The Albanian diplomats have seen with their own eyes that the Cambodian people were treated inhumanly by the clique of Pol Pot and Yeng Sari. Pnom Pen was turned into a deserted city, empty of people, where food was difficult to secure even for the diplomats, where no doctors or even aspirins could be found. We think that the people and patriots of Cambodia waited too long before overthrowing this clique which was completely linked with Beijing and in its service. When the first conflicts broke out on the Cambodian-Vietnamese border, the view of socialist Albania was, and the world is witness to this, that disagreements between the two neighbour countries should be resolved through talks and without the interference of the Chinese or Soviet social-imperialists. But this was not done. On the contrary, the Pol Pot group, incited by Beijing, brought out in Pnom Pen daily communiques in which they announced that thousands of Vietnamese were being kill led by its army on Vietnamese territory.

It was quite apparent that this provocative and warmongering activity was supported and carried out for the expansionist aims of Deng Xiaoping, Hua Guofeng and on their account. And why should Deng Xiaoping not support and back the clique of Pol Pot and Yeng Sari when he has rehabilitated all the scum of Chinese reaction, when he has returned property, money and power over the plants and factories to the big bourgeoisie, the men of the Kuomintang and all the counter-revolutionaries, and has turned China into a social-imperialist capitalist country, as our Party has rightly described it? The bourgeoisie in the party and the bourgeois intellectuals are in power in China. There this scum is considered the élite, while they demand that the working class bend its head and work for the «modernizations». It was precisely these capitalists, the clique of Deng Xiaoping and Co., who kept Pol Pot in power in Cambodia and now, after he has been overthrown, are trying with every means to restore him. The Chinese leadership are trying to cover up the aggressive act they undertook against Vietnam with the absurd pretext that Vietnam is seeking «small-scale hegemony», thinking that in this way they will be excused for the large-scale hegemony of China.

But the question must be asked: Why do the Chinese imperialists allegedly have the right to defend the barbarous fascist Pol Pot group, and Vietnam does not have the right to support the revolutionaries and the people of Cambodia to build a free, independent and sovereign country? The Vietnamese government has officially and publicly rejected the Chinese allegation that it is aiming to set up a federation of Indochina and has declared that Vietnam wants the peoples of this zone to live free, in friendship and independence, each in its own country.

 — From The Chinese Leadership headed by Deng Xiaoping have Launched a Military Attack on Vietnam from the newspaper “Zeri i Popoullit.”

Straight Talk on the Trial of Pol Pot

by Mike Ely

Revolutionary Worker #918, Aug. 10, 1997

In the end of July, ABC News broadcast parts of a videotape showing a trial of Pol Pot in territory controlled by Khmer Rouge forces in western Cambodia.

Pol Pot has been the long-time leader of the Khmer Rouge (which means “Red Cambodians”). The Khmer Rouge armed forces seized power in Cambodia in 1975 after many years of guerrilla warfare. They led the country for three years. Then they were driven out of power and back into the countryside by a 1979 Vietnamese invasion.

With news that Pol Pot had been arrested and put on trial, the U.S. media reissued their familiar charges about “killing fields” during the years 1975-79 when Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge controlled Cambodia. They insisted that Pol Pot be handed over to an international tribunal to be tried for genocide.

Nowhere is it mentioned that for years the U.S. bombed and invaded Cambodia in an attempt to defeat the anti-imperialist forces, totally wreck the country’s economy and punish the people of Cambodia. Given this bloody history, the U.S. imperialists have no right to speak on what is good for Cambodia–and no right to judge those who fought them.

In the hands of the western media, the story of Cambodia has become a crude anti-communist morality tale. New York Times reporter Elizabeth Becker appeared on TV again recently as an official “expert” to hammer home the message: Cambodia, she said, shows that attempts to carry out “wonderful-sounding ideals” about equality using “social engineering” produces a disaster for people.

To make the facts fit this message, official discussion rips the Cambodian events out of any recognizable context. Cambodia is portrayed as a gentle, peasant land destroyed by communist revolution. In fact, any serious approach to the events in Cambodia has to start with the imperialist invasion of Indochina launched by the U.S. in 1965 and the class nature of Cambodian society.

U.S. Destruction and the Challenges of the Year Zero

“Traditional” Cambodia was a brutal feudal society that needed a revolution. About 80 percent of the people were peasants, most of them extremely poor and exploited by a class of government officials based in urban strongholds. Cambodia’s absolute monarchy rested on a military that repeatedly suppressed peasant uprisings. The country was colonized by France in the late 1800s. In one famous incident, 900 workers died constructing a colonial resort at Bokor during nine months of forced corvée labor.

As the French imperialists were defeated in Indochina, the U.S. moved in to assert influence and control. In Cambodia the U.S. maneuvered for influence through aid and arms to the government of Prince Sihanouk, while backing reactionary armed forces in opposition to Sihanouk.

In the 1960s the Khmer Rouge, led by Angkar (which means “the Organization” in the Khmer language), launched a just revolutionary armed struggle by establishing rural base areas among the peasants. (Angkar later publicly named itself the Communist Party of Kampuchea–CPK.) Their goals were to overthrow feudalism, develop an independent new economy, and drive any foreign dominating forces out of Cambodia.

As revolutionary forces made progress in Indochina, U.S. forces invaded in 1965. Within a few years, the U.S. had 500,000 troops in Vietnam.

Unknown to most of the world, the U.S. also launched a “secret war” of massive bombardment of the neighboring countries Cambodia and Laos–targeting the rural base areas of the guerrilla forces. The U.S. expanded its aggression against Cambodia. In 1969 a U.S.-instigated coup overthrew Sihanouk and brought the right-wing general Lon Nol to power. Then, in 1970, President Nixon ordered a land invasion of eastern Cambodia to attack Vietnamese liberation forces based there. It was a defeat for the U.S.–their armies had to withdraw. And the Khmer Rouge made major advances.

The U.S. responded with one of the most intense and protracted air wars in history. They dropped over 500,000 tons of bombs on Cambodia between 1970 and 1973–three times what the U.S. dropped on Japan during World War 2. In 160 days of “carpet bombings” in 1973, U.S. planes dropped over 240,000 tons, concentrated on the main farming areas along the Mekong River.

This was the real genocidal episode in Cambodia and it marked everything that followed.

In April 1975, when the Khmer Rouge troops took the capital Phnom Penh, Angkar and the masses of people faced extremely difficult conditions. Unable to win the war, the U.S. had set out to wreck and punish the country. Agriculture was in ruins. At least 500,000 people had died during the war–many because of the U.S. bombing. About two million people–a third of the country’s population–had fled the countryside into Phnom Penh, where they faced starvation.

At the beginning of what Angkar called “Year Zero,” the challenges were huge: a new state system, agriculture, and industry had to be rebuilt, virtually from scratch, in one of the poorest countries of the world–under constant threat of new invasion.

In May 1975, U.S. President Gerald Ford staged the so-called Mayaguez incident, launched new air raids and destroyed Cambodia’s only oil refinery.

Under these conditions, any government leading Cambodia would have had to take emergency measures to ensure survival for the masses of people. In the process, the Khmer Rouge attempted to replace the old semifeudal, semicolonial society with their vision of a new independent Democratic Kampuchea.

Any serious analysis of the Khmer Rouge has to start with understanding these conditions–which is precisely what the standard tales about “Khmer Rouge genocide” try to hide.

Dishonest Distortions

The western press repeats a standard formula: “at least a million people died under Pol Pot.” When people hear this, they are supposed to believe that one million people were killed by Pol Pot.

In fact, these numbers include everyone who died from starvation, disease and political execution in the 1975-79 period between wars–and assigns blame for each of those deaths to the new government of the Khmer Rouge-led Democratic Kampuchea.

Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman devote a useful chapter in their book After the Cataclysm: Postwar Indochina & the Reconstruction of Imperial Ideology to documenting how the official myth of “Khmer Rouge genocide” was systematically created using false information and distortions.

In Cambodia, after 10 years of war, revolution, invasion, bombardment, famine and dislocation, the country was dotted with mass graves. Many people, certainly hundreds of thousands, died during the years that the Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia. Their skulls and bones are offered as proof of “Khmer Rouge atrocities.” In fact, the overwhelming majority of those who died during the 1970s died of war, bombardment, starvation and disease.

Michael Vickery, in his book Cambodia 1975-82, shows why no one knows how many Cambodians died during the wars and upheavals of the 1970s. There were no reliable population figures before the fighting. Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman (The Nation, June 25, 1977) point out that John Barron and Anthony Paul, who wrote the first widely publicized book accusing the Khmer Rouge of genocide, estimated that only about 10 percent of those who died in that hard first year of 1976 were from political executions. Vickery’s account covering the larger period from 1975-79 suggests a higher range estimate for the number who died from execution, but he emphasizes the lack of precision inherent in all the data and estimates concerning this period.

A former U.S. Foreign Service officer in Phnom Penh, David Chandler, reported that the U.S. government itself estimated that a million Cambodians were going to die of starvation in the years after the U.S. bombardment. Then–when hundreds of thousands did die of starvation–the U.S. media machine claims all this was “auto-genocide” by those who opposed the U.S. aggression.

Any serious international tribunal on genocide in Cambodia would have to indict the U.S. war-makers Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, General Westmoreland, Defense Secretary Melvin Laird, Gerald Ford and all the rest.

A Standard for a Serious Analysis

The defenders of capitalist/imperialist society examine the experience of Cambodia from their perspective–from the perspective of defending and justifying capitalist society. In these accounts, the disruption of the old society is itself considered a crime. The fact that the upper class elite had to do manual labor under the Khmer Rouge, or that young people and women should be encouraged to break from the traditional family control, or that officials of the old society were deposed and often punished–these things are portrayed as atrocities.

Clearly, analyses that start from that bourgeois class stand cannot serve our struggle for liberation. For oppressed people, a serious analysis has to approach these experiences from a completely different point of view, using a completely different standard–seeking to make radical ruptures in traditional ideas and traditional property relations.

In a discussion of Cambodia, Chairman Avakian asked (Revolution/Fall 1990): “How do you break with these very oppressive and exploitative relations and traditions, customs, and cultures in a way that… fundamentally relies on the masses and acts on the understanding that they are the ones that have to carry out these social transformations. Not that this will just happen spontaneously–it requires that the masses have the leadership of a vanguard party, but a vanguard party that precisely relies fundamentally on the masses to carry this out and doesn’t try to impose it from the top down.”

Evaluating the experience of the Khmer Rouge is a very complex and difficult problem. Reliable information and analysis is hard to come by and fragmentary. But some initial investigation points to several important questions that would have to be looked at in the course of any serious evaluation of the experience of Cambodia and the approach of the Communist Party of Kampuchea.

The Relocation of People and the Reconstruction of Agriculture

The bourgeois press often accuses the Khmer Rouge of atrocities because they immediately evacuated Phnom Penh after taking it in April 1975. This evacuation is portrayed as an irrational and cruel “death march.”

In fact, the Khmer Rouge had real reasons to fear that the U.S. might launch bombing raids to attack Phnom Penh and the people there. The U.S. had done this during the 1968 Tet offensive when Vietnamese fighters seized parts of Hue and Cholon.

In addition, the huge refugee encampments around Phnom Penh had only days worth of food stocks. Eight thousand people there had already starved to death in the month before liberation. Hospitals were terribly overcrowded, and over half the country’s doctors had left for exile. This objective situation has to be taken into account in evaluating the decision to evacuate Phnom Penh.

At the same time, the lines and policies that were then carried out need to be evaluated. The new government of Democratic Kampuchea (DK) put the whole country on an emergency footing–and moved the relocated people into peasant villages or uninhabited forest areas to plant rice, create new irrigation systems, restore agriculture, and rebuild roads. Vickery estimates that after overthrowing Lon Nol, the Khmer Rouge quickly relocated over 2.5 million people to the countryside.

This was undoubtedly a wrenching process. In many areas people had to scratch for roots and edible plants until the first crops could be harvested. There were often few tools, and many of the relocated people knew little about how to farm the new areas. There were many deaths from starvation and disease.

But it was also wrenching in a political sense–strangers were moved in large numbers into isolated and insulated villages, resources were strained–and there were inevitably sharp conflicts over who would rule, who would control the land, and how food, tools and seed grain would be distributed.

Vickery reports a new political arrangement was envisioned where the population was divided into three categories: Full rights, Candidate, and Depositee. “The Full rights people were poor peasants, the lower middle strata of the middle peasants, and workers. Candidates were upper middle peasants, wealthy peasants and petty bourgeoisie; while the Depositees were capitalist and foreign minorities.” People with links to Lon Nol’s officers and police were reportedly made Depositees.

Vickery writes that these divisions often were applied, in practice, so that the “really operative division was between `new’ people (evacuees) and `old’ or `base’ people…who had lived in the revolutionary areas since before April 1975. This division is all the more meaningful in that even peasants from non-revolutionary areas were classed as Depositees, and in some cases there was a distinction between base area Depositees (former capitalists or non-Khmer) and `new’ Depositees from the city.” Some sources report that peasant refugees who had fled to the cities were sometimes accused of having “defected” to the Lon Nol side and were therefore treated as politically suspect. These reports require more investigation.

It would be important to understand better the line and policies of the Khmer Rouge in constructing the new revolutionary power. Were they constructing a revolutionary dictatorship of workers and peasants, and what classes did they see as allies? What were their policies on “land to the tiller” and on land collectivization? Did they envision a united front led by the proletariat?

Vickery and other sources point out that the line and policies that guided reconstruction varied tremendously from region to region, and even between neighboring towns. It would also be important to understand better the causes for the differences in line.

In many cases, these new arrangements had to be set up almost overnight–with little or no participation of trained political cadre. How much of the practical policies flowed from the spontaneous actions and outlooks of the “base” peasants? Cambodian villagers had long-standing hostilities toward towns and townspeople. Some may have resisted uniting with large numbers of strangers entering their villages.

To what degree did organizational and political weaknesses in the Angkar contribute to incorrect and uneven policies? Vickery and other sources report that the centralized connections between Khmer Rouge of various regions were extremely loose–and that widely different polices were carried out in the country’s seven main Khmer Rouge regions. This suggests that lack of strong party organization may have been a serious problem in this movement.

To understand what happened in Cambodia it would be important to evaluate the line associated with Pol Pot that eventually emerged out of intense internal struggles within the Angkar/CPK after the seizure of power. As a unified command was consolidated, the Angkar/CPK attempted to quickly abolish all money, wages systems, marketplaces, religion, and private ownership of land and productive forces.

These policies are often called “ultra-Maoist” in the western press. But in reality, they are quite different from the policies of New Democratic Revolution carried out by Mao in the liberation of China. And Mao developed a whole theory which saw the socialist transition to communism as a protracted and wave-like process of struggling to overcome class society through relying on the masses of people.

Vickery suggests that the implementation of these new consolidated policies coincided with a change in the use of political execution. Before 1977, he writes, extreme punishment was mainly used against officers and officials associated with the crimes of the old regime. After 1977, he believes the numbers of executions rose and involved more punishment of both “new” people and “base” people who ran afoul of the new campaigns and the new authorities. Again, more investigation would be needed to evaluate the truth of such reports, and to understand the extent to which incorrect methods were used to enforce the policies of the new power.

The Problem of Nationalism

It is clear that Khmer Rouge politics were heavily colored by an intense Khmer nationalism. There were apparently attempts to forcibly suppress the language, religion and culture of minority nationalities–such as the Moslem Cham people. Vietnamese people living in Cambodia were reportedly treated very harshly. Vickery’s report that national minorities as a whole were categorized as “depositees” suggests that such policies were not just local errors.

Such narrow nationalism may also have played a role in the alliance between the Khmer Rouge and capitalist roaders in China. The Khmer Rouge movement had developed close ties to Maoist China during their years of guerrilla warfare. But in September 1976, a year after the CPK came to power, Mao Tsetung died and his close allies were arrested in a counterrevolutionary coup. Pol Pot traveled to China in September 1977 in his first public appearance and, on behalf of the DK government and the CPK, embraced the new reactionary leaders of China.

The bourgeois press often connects Pol Pot with the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution that Mao led in China–but in practice, Pol Pot associated himself with forces like Deng Xiaoping who overthrew the Maoist forces and reversed the Cultural Revolution.

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Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge movement only held overall power in Cambodia for three short years. The internal struggles between Pol Pot and the CPK forces of Cambodia’s eastern region erupted into open military fighting–which Vietnam used as a pretext to invade Cambodia and set up a new government allied to them. The Khmer Rouge was driven back into rural base areas in western Cambodia–where they still exist as an armed force. At the time, a section of the population clearly fought to defend the Democratic Kampuchean government–and for years a sizable section of the population supported Pol Pot for his incorruptible reputation, his identification with the peasants and his relentless fight against foreign domination.

Any revolutionary critique of Pol Pot requires much deeper investigation into the events and policies of this complex experience. But meanwhile, Pol Pot’s recent trial in the jungle appears to be an attempt by forces within the Khmer Rouge to make themselves acceptable to factions within the Cambodian government and to the world’s imperialist powers.

Pol Pot kicked the U.S. imperialists out of Cambodia. And that’s why they hate him. By vilifying Pol Pot, the U.S. is pressing ahead with their attempts to slam the door on all dreams of social change–to declare that communist revolution and even national independence for oppressed countries must be rejected and denounced. They cannot be allowed to get away with this.

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Good and Bad Genocide: Suharto and Pol Pot

Good and Bad Genocide

Double standards in coverage of Suharto and Pol Pot

By Edward S. Herman

Coverage of the fall of Suharto reveals with startling clarity the ideological biases and propaganda role of the mainstream media. Suharto was a ruthless dictator, a grand larcenist and a mass killer with as many victims as Cambodia’s Pol Pot. But he served U.S. economic and geopolitical interests, was helped into power by Washington, and his dictatorial rule was warmly supported for 32 years by the U.S. economic and political establishment. The U.S. was still training the most repressive elements of Indonesia’s security forces as Suharto’s rule was collapsing in 1998, and the Clinton administration had established especially close relations with the dictator (“our kind of guy,” according to a senior administration official quoted in the New York Times, 10/31/95).

Suharto’s overthrow of the Sukarno government in 1965-66 turned Indonesia from Cold War “neutralism” to fervent anti-Communism, and wiped out the Indonesian Communist Party–exterminating a sizable part of its mass base in the process, in widespread massacres that claimed at least 500,000 and perhaps more than a million victims. The U.S. establishment’s enthusiasm for the coup-cum-mass murder was ecstatic (see Chomsky and Herman, Washington Connection and Third World Fascism); “almost everyone is pleased by the changes being wrought,” New York Times columnist C.L. Sulzberger commented (4/8/66).

Suharto quickly transformed Indonesia into an “investors’ paradise,” only slightly qualified by the steep bribery charge for entry. Investors flocked in to exploit the timber, mineral and oil resources, as well as the cheap, repressed labor, often in joint ventures with Suharto family members and cronies. Investor enthusiasm for this favorable climate of investment was expressed in political support and even in public advertisements; e.g., the full page ad in the New York Times (9/24/92) by Chevron and Texaco entitled “Indonesia: A Model for Economic Development.”

The U.S. support and investment did not slacken when Suharto’s army invaded and occupied East Timor in 1975, which resulted in an estimated 200,000 deaths in a population of only 700,000. Combined with the 500,000-1,000,000+ slaughtered within Indonesia in 1965-66, the double genocide would seem to put Suharto in at least the same class of mass murderer as Pol Pot.

Good and bad genocidists

But Suharto’s killings of 1965-66 were what Noam Chomsky and I, in The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism, called “constructive terror,” with results viewed as favorable to Western interests. His mass killings in East Timor were “benign terror,” carried out by a valued client and therefore tolerable. Pol Pot’s were “nefarious terror,” done by an enemy, therefore appalling and to be severely condemned. Pol Pot’s victims were “worthy,” Suharto’s “unworthy.”

This politicized classification system was unfailingly employed by the media in the period of Suharto’s decline and fall (1997-98). When Pol Pot died in April 1998, the media were unstinting in condemnation, calling him “wicked,” “loathsome” and “monumentally evil” (Chicago Tribune, 4/18/98), a “lethal mass killer” and “war criminal” (L.A. Times, 4/17/98), “blood-soaked” and an “egregious mass murderer” (Washington Post, 4/17/98, 4/18/98). His rule was repeatedly described as a “reign of terror” and he was guilty of “genocide.” Although he inherited a devastated country with starvation rampant, all excess deaths during his rule were attributed to him, and he was evaluated on the basis of those deaths.

Although Suharto’s regime was responsible for a comparable number of deaths in Indonesia, along with more than a quarter of the population of East Timor, the word “genocide” is virtually never used in mainstream accounts of his rule. A Nexis search of major papers for the first half of 1998 turned up no news articles and only a handful of letters and opinion pieces that used the term in connection with Suharto.

Earlier, in a rare case where the word came up in a discussion of East Timor (New York Times, 2/15/81), reporter Henry Kamm referred to it as “hyperbole–accusations of ‘genocide’ rather than mass deaths from cruel warfare and the starvation that accompanies it on this historically food-short island.” No such “hyperbole” was applied to the long-useful Suharto; one looks in vain for editorial descriptions of him as “blood-soaked” or a “murderer.”

In the months of his exit, he was referred to as Indonesia’s “soft-spoken, enigmatic president” (USA Today, 5/14/98), a “profoundly spiritual man” (New York Times, 5/17/98), a “reforming autocrat” (New York Times, 5/22/98). His motives were benign: “It was not simply personal ambition that led Mr. Suharto to clamp down so hard for so long; it was a fear, shared by many in this country of 210 million people, of chaos” (New York Times, 6/2/98); he “failed to comprehend the intensity of his people’s discontent” (New York Times, 5/21/98), otherwise he undoubtedly would have stepped down earlier. He was sometimes described as “authoritarian,” occasionally as a “dictator,” but never as a mass murderer. Suharto’s mass killings were referred to–if at all–in a brief and antiseptic paragraph.

It is interesting to see how the same reporters move between Pol Pot and Suharto, indignant at the former’s killings, somehow unconcerned by the killings of the good genocidist. Seth Mydans, the New York Times principal reporter on the two leaders during the past two years, called Pol Pot (4/19/98) “one of the century’s great mass killers…who drove Cambodia to ruin, causing the deaths of more than a million people,” and who “launched one of the world’s most terrifying attempts at utopia.” (4/13/98) But in reference to Suharto, this same Mydans said (4/8/98) that “more than 500,000 Indonesians are estimated to have died in a purge of leftists in 1965, the year Mr. Suharto came to power.” Note that Suharto is not even the killer, let alone a “great mass killer,” and this “purge”–not “murder” or “slaughter”–was not “terrifying,” and was not allocated to any particular agent.


The use of the passive voice is common in dealing with Suharto’s victims: They “died” instead of being killed (“the violence left a reported 500,000 people dead”–New York Times, 1/15/98), or “were killed” without reference to the author of the killings (e.g., Washington Post, 2/23/98, 5/26/98). In referring to East Timor, Mydans (New York Times, 7/28/96) spoke of protesters shouting grievances about “the suppression of opposition in East Timor and Irian Jaya.” Is “suppression of opposition” the proper description of an invasion and occupation that eliminated 200,000 out of 700,000 people?

The good and bad genocidists are handled differently in other ways. For Suharto, the numbers killed always tend to the 500,000 official Indonesian estimate or below, although independent estimates run from 700,000 to well over a million. For Pol Pot, the media numbers usually range from 1 million-2 million, although the best estimates of numbers executed run from 100,000-400,000, with excess deaths from all causes (including residual effects of the prior devastation) ranging upward from 750,000 (Michael Vickery, Cambodia; Herman and Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent).

Pol Pot’s killings are always attributed to him personally–the New York Times’ Philip Shenon (4/18/98) refers to him as “the man responsible for the deaths of more than a million Cambodians.” Although some analysts of the Khmer Rouge have claimed that the suffering of Cambodia under the intense U.S. bombing made them vengeful, and although the conditions they inherited were disastrous, for the media nothing mitigates Pol Pot’s responsibility. The only “context” allowed explaining his killing is his “crazed Maoist-inspiration” (New York Times, 4/18/98), his Marxist ideological training in France and his desire to create a “utopia of equality” (Boston Globe editorial, 4/17/98).

With Suharto, by contrast, not only is he not responsible for the mass killings, there was a mitigating circumstance: namely, a failed leftist or Communist coup, or “leftist onslaught” (New York Times, 6/17/79), which “touched off a wave of violence” (New York Times, 8/7/96). In the New York Times’ historical summary (5/21/98): “General Suharto routs communist forces who killed six senior generals in an alleged coup attempt. Estimated 500,000 people killed in backlash against Communists.”

This formula is repeated in most mainstream media accounts of the 1965-66 slaughter. Some mention that the “communist plot” was “alleged,” but none try to examine its truth or falsehood. What’s interesting is that the six deaths are seen as a plausible catalyst for the Indonesian massacres, while the 450,000 killed and maimed in the U.S. bombing of Cambodia (the Washington Post‘s estimate, 4/24/75) are virtually never mentioned in connection with the Khmer Rouge’s violence. By suggesting a provocation, and using words like “backlash” and “touching off a wave of violence,” the media justify and diffuse responsibility for the good genocide.

The good genocidist is also repeatedly allowed credit for having encouraged economic growth, which provides the regular offset for his repression and undemocratic rule as well as mass killing. In virtually every article Mydans wrote on Indonesia, the fact that Suharto brought rising incomes is featured, with the mass killings and other negatives relegated to side issues that qualify the good. Joseph Stalin also presided over a remarkable development and growth process, but the mainstream media have never been inclined to overlook his crimes on that basis. Only constructive terror deserves such contextualization.

A New York Times editorial declared (4/10/98): “Time cannot erase the criminal responsibility of Pol Pot, whose murderous rule of Cambodia in the late 1970s brought death to about a million people, or one out of seven Cambodians. Trying him before an international tribunal would advance justice, promote healing in Cambodia and give pause to any fanatic tempted to follow his example.”

But for the New York Times and its media cohorts, Suharto’s killings in East Timor–and the huge slaughter of 1965-66–are not crimes and do not call for retribution or any kind of justice to the victims. Reporter David Sanger (New York Times, 3/8/98) differentiated Suharto from Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, saying that “Mr. Suharto is not hoarding anthrax or threatening to invade Australia.” The fact that he killed 500,000+ at home and killed another 200,000 in an invasion of East Timor has disappeared from view. This was constructive and benign terror carried out by a good genocidist.

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