"You just wait until 1996, then you'll see a real right-wing tyrant." (1)
Pat Buchanan, before his 1996 presidential campaign
The following American 'Left' article warns its readers against deals with the 'Right' and refers to de Benoist. There are lessons here to be learnt.
While debates about "violence" and "property destruction" have dominated post-WTO discourse, another much more divisive issue has managed to escape almost undetected in the world of progressive media. This progressive media blackout centers on the apparent willingness of progressive organizations to support alliances with the far right, particularly in the "anti-globalization" campaign; an allegation originally publicized by Dutch anti-racist group de fabel van de illegaal (The Myth of Illegality).
In the article "Seattle '99: Marriage Party of The Left and The Right" (2), De fabel van de illegaal document their relationship to IFG and subsequent departure from the "anti-globalization" campaign after receiving information indicating that Public Citizen and prominent members of IFG, both important organizers of N30 in Seattle, were supporting alliances with the far right, including Pat Buchanan.
In an email to a PGA listserve in March 1999, Mike Dolan, Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch field director, argues that the “populist” movement against the WTO transcends “partisan politics” and that "(w)hatever else you say about Pat Buchanan, he will be the only candidate in the 2000 presidential sweepstakes who will passionately and unconditionally defend the legitimate expectations of working families in the global economy." (3)
Of course Dolan doesn't say whether this includes Jewish families, whom Buchanan describes as controlling Washington and "big capital", whose witness to the holocaust was, to Buchanan, the result of “group fantasies of martyrdom and heroics”. (4) Nor does Dolan mention African-American and Latino families who might be concerned about Buchanan denouncing the notion that “white rule of a black majority (the former apartheid regime in South Africa) is inherently wrong. Where did we get that idea? The founding fathers did not believe this.” (5) or "How, then, can the feds justify favoring sons of Hispanics over sons of white Americans who fought in World War II or Vietnam?" (6) Or gay or lesbian families who might not feel Dolan's enthusiasm after hearing the following Buchanan observation:"The poor homosexuals-they have declared war upon nature and now nature is extracting an awful retribution (AIDS)." (7)
As for working families with left political sympathies? Well Dolan's new ally reveals his feelings when he offered these thoughts on those murdered by Pinochet in Chile:"With military and police and freelance operators, between 6,000 and 150,000 leftists disappeared. Brutal: yes; also successful. Today peace reigns in Argentina; security has been restored." (8)
Mike Dolan is not alone in his willingness to transcend the “partisan politics” that divides the left from racists like Pat Buchanan. IFG Director Mark Ritchie also seems to celebrate a potential left/right coalition. In “Cross Border Organizing” Ritchie observes that “(t)raditional antagonists as politically far apart as Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan are finding some common ground on trade issues” and “aside from Nader and Buchanan, the anti-GATT and NAFTA trade alliance included a wide spectrum of what would have previously been called right and left elements. This diversity of view and constituencies gave the campaigns much of their strength.” (9) And IFG member Susan George in an email to De fabel defended a left-right alliance, arguing that the “anti-NAFTA and anti-WTO forces of the left defeated fast-track authority for the president only with the help of the far-right. It was still a good thing to defeat fast-track.” (10) The Seattle Times alleges that this left-right coalition also included Public Citizen (11)
The flattery in emails, coalitions for “fast-track” and wishful writings about some right/left synthesis have led to speculations about the exact nature of the relationship between Public Citizen and the far right. A year-end article in the rightwing New Republic (12) reports that right-wing, nationalist business man Roger Milliken, a union buster and campaign financier of Pat Buchanan, “has been quietly financing the anti-globalization efforts of Public Citizen and related organizations.” While the article was was thin on sources, Public Citizen founder, Ralph Nader admits in the article to having “two or three meetings with people both on the right and left with Roger Milliken being there”. The article also alleged that Milliken’s lobbyist, Jock Nash, has “forged a close alliance with (Lori) Wallach, Public Citizen’s top trade lobbyist [and IFG director]”; an allegation also made in the article by left, anti-racist researcher Chip Berlet.
Wallach's response in an email was that Public Citizen "does not take money
from Roger Milliken" and "there is no uber 'coalition', much less Public Citizen
working with Buchanan". (13)
While Public Citizen may not be in a formal "coalition" with Buchanan, Nader himself certainly is. In a November 1999 interview with Pat Buchanan on Time.com. Nader was asked “Have Messrs. Nader and Buchanan discussed WTO-related issues in depth together? Or is it strictly a marriage of convenience - "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" sort of thing?” Nader responded “Nonsense. We've discussed this for five years. We've held press conferences. And it's a cooperation of convictions that we must defend and improve our democracy so that we can agree to disagree freely.” Added Pat Buchanan: “Ralph and I have been in this battle for almost six years since the great NAFTA fight. And we stand together firmly on one principle, that whatever the decisions about the economic destiny of Americans are, they will be made by the American people and not by the trans-national corporations in collusion with this embryonic institution of world government.” (14)
In an interview in The Nation magazine before the New Republic article was printed Wallach also seemed more receptive towards potential right-left alliances. Asked what she thought about the “strange coalition between presumably leftish forces and right wing republicans and reactionary businesspeople like the anti-union textile magante Roger Milliken” Wallach responded that on “a handful of issues, like globalization, campaign finance and corporate welfare, I see that people you would think of as really right wing and people you’d think of as the left of the left are closer to one another than to moderates or centrists. Obviously people agree a lot more on what they’re against than on what they are for, and what they are for is very different, depending on whether you are Pat Buchanan or Ralph Nader.” (15)
This willingness to find “common ground” with the far right is taken, quite literally, to extremes in the relationship between IFG director and publisher of The Ecologist, Edward Goldsmith, and the European far right. This relationship includes Goldsmith lecturing at far right forums, including those organized by GRECE, a think tank connected to the French Front National; associating with leaders of the European far right, including GRECE directors Alain de Benoist and Laurent Ozon and far right activist Antoine Waechter; his membership in the right-wing ecology party “Mouvement Ecologiste Independant” (MEI), which he quit in February 1999 after Le Monde revealed co-MEI member Waechter’s extreme-right views; (16) and publishing advertisements in Ecologist for the Australian anti-Semitic fanzine Nexus, who this spring published an article on the "powerful position" of Jewish capital in Europe. (17)
Goldsmith's own writings, which promote a rigid social hierarchy and cultural separation, (18) have become very popular among European neo-fascists. For example, GRECE ecology branch head Laurent Ozon has interviewed Goldsmith and often quotes Goldsmith in his articles. (19)
It is important to note that this was not a case of Edward Goldsmith attending a GRECE lecture to debate their policies on say, separating non-European immigrants from Europeans or the deportation of immigrants to their country of origin. (20) On the contrary, Mr. Goldsmith's response in a telephone conversation with Eric Krebbers of De fabel was that GRECE leader Alain de Benoist was "a good guy, this Benoist, there's nothing wrong with him." (21) Goldsmith goes on to suggest in a letter to the French magazine Silence that he read a lot of Benoist's "very interesting" books and articles and believes the ideas of GRECE "have changed very much these last dozen years" (22)
Whether or not Edward Goldsmith accepts the ideological goals of the far right is open to debate. What is not is that his statements and actions, like those of other members of IFG and Public Citizen, are legitimizing the far right by making them more acceptable within progressive circles. Instead of alerting the mainstream public to the often racist and anti-Semitic agendas underlying far right anti-globalization campaigns, prominent members of progressive institutions are preferring to see these groups as potential allies and to hide their agendas by not mentioning them or referring to far right constituencies under innocuous terms like “populists” and "nationalists".
This is particularly disturbing within the context of anti-immigrant racism and violent and deadly attacks by the far right on gays, people-of-colour and abortion clinics. Even more so considering revelations that Larry Pratt, a Buchanan campaign co-chair in 1996 is linked to the militia movement and has attended rallies organized by the white supremacist Christian Identity Movement (23) and Buchanan’s other co-chair, Michael Farris, attended the “White Rose Banquet” dinner honoring anti-abortion activist who have gone to jail for acts of violence against abortion clinics and physicians. (24)
The real question for the left is how have campaigns against global capitalism and the institutions that support it found themselves shoulder to shoulder with the racist right and why is it that so few on the left seem to care. One answer is a change of tactics on the far right.
In recent years the far right has become more ingenious in disguising its agendas in seemingly progressive discourse, in order to gain legitimacy and a wider audience. Former Editor of the Ecologist, Nicholas Hildyard, who in 1997 quit with the rest of the editorial team over concerns about Goldsmith's views on culture and patriarchy, describes the way GRECE appropriates the language of cultural difference to argue that "'racism is nothing but the denial of difference', be it in the form of xenophobia or in the form of liberal, humanitarian integrationist programmes." (25) This linking of "racism" with "integration" leads to the more candid observation of former GRECE member Guilaume Faye: "In keeping with the core of the right to difference doctrine, we must reject multiracial society and envisage, together with the immigrants themselves, their return to their country of origin." (26)
This appropriation of "progressive" discourse by the far right tactic has not been confined to "culture" nor have connections to the far right been confined to IFG and Public Citizen. Researcher Janet Biehl describes in “'Ecology' and the Modernization of Fascism in the German Utra-right", that the appeal to “blood and soil”, coded in progressive discourse has allowed the infiltration of the far right into the German Green Party and into New Age circles, usually attempting to push anti-immigration agendas by linking “overpopulation” with environmental destruction. Biehl gives the example of Herbert Gruel, who participated in the formation of the German Greens in the 1970s and the 1980s and who ironically formed the phrase “we are neither left nor right, we are in front” (27) Gruel left the Greens after the party’s left-wing succeeded in defining the movement and went on to form the fascist-ecology group, Ecological Democratic Party (ODP) before abandoning this project in 1989. He continues to appear as guest speaker at various neo-Nazi and holocaust denial events. Another example is Rudolf Bahro, still regarded as part of the independent left, who in recent years has openly endorsed fascism and has called for a reclaiming of the "positive" side of the Nazi movement. In "The Logic of Salvation" Bahro asks,"Is there really no thought more reprehensible than a new 1933? But that is precisely what can save us! The ecology and peace movement is the first popular German movement since the Nazi movement. It must co-redeem Hitler." (28)
In North America, the deceptive use of “progressive” language in right-wing anti-globalism is found in “producerism”, a repressive “populism” that sees a hardworking, productive middle-class and working-class being squeezed from above and below by "social parasites". (29) These “parasites” are inevitably identified by the right as Jews pushing from above and people-of-colour, immigrants, welfare recipients and “sexual deviants” pushing from below. These scapegoats of right-wing populism are deemed expendable in calls for right/left coalitions and why it is essential that racism, sexism, homophobia and other so-called "social issues" be front and centre in any anti-globalization campaign.
Infiltration by the far right into progressive campaigns has also not been limited to Europe or to Public Citizen and Pat Buchanan. Chip Berlet has documented the attempt by the anti-Semitic Larouchians, who under Lynden LaRouch infiltrated the anti-Gulf war movement (30) and in 1998 the Political Ecology Group exposed a well organized attempt by 10 far right, anti-immigration groups, many linked to white supremacists, that succeeded in getting the Sierra Club to offer a ballot initiative to support immigration restrictions (31); an initiative made more disturbing by the fact that it only failed 40% to 60% and that it was also supported by prominent environmentalists such as Paul Watson, Farley Mowat and Dave Forman. (32)
Even more recently David Icke, a New Age anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist from the UK, has found support from supposedly left-wing sources here in British Columbia through his own anti-globalization campaign. In "David Icke And The Politics Of Madness: Where The New Age Meets The Third Reich", Will Offley reveals that "Connie Fogal, married to the long-time leftie (Vancouver) alderman Harry Rankin, has had her organization, the Defense of Canadian Liberty Association, set up a literature table at one of Icke's appearances. Paul Hellyer's Canada Action Party also had a table at Icke's last Vancouver speech." (33) Icke is also a contributor to the supposedly left-wing tabloid The Radical, published in Quesnel and distributed widely throughout B.C. The Radical also publishes articles from Icke's web site and dismissed criticism of Icke's anti-Semitism in a recent editorial. And Icke's tours have been advertised in local New Age publications like Shared Vision and Common Ground. This despite Icke's endorsement of the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Tsarist anti-Semitic forgery that informed Hitler's notion of a global Jewish conspiracy, Icke's support for holocaust denial and his association with members of the Canadian far right.
The threat of far right infiltration into the left has not gone unnoticed. According to the Seattle Times, Peoples Global Action earlier this year amended its manifesto to specifically reject alliances with the right.(34) IFG issued a similar statement last summer, however, the close relationship between IFG and Public Citizen (Wallach and Nader are both on the executive board of IFG) and the actions and statements of its directors seem to belie this anti-alliance stance. Public Citizen, for its part, has issued no public statement rejecting alliances with the right.
As for the motivation of "progressive" organizations in wanting to find “common ground” with the far-right? How about indifference by predominantly white organizations towards those attacked by the far right. How about ignorance, naivete and a complete miscalculation of how dangerous this project is.
It may be that progressive institutions, out of touch with a resurgent grassroots left and ecology movement that has rejected electoral/reformist politics for a more anarchistic/direct action approach, view the left as a spent force and look to the right and its affluent constituency for resources (35) Pat Buchanan, his Reform backer, Ross Perot, and Roger Milliken definitely have resources and numbers and it is precisely this fact that makes Buchanan so dangerous.
The far right has also exploited the unwillingness of organizations like Public Citizen and IFG to commit to struggles that go beyond narrow campaigns against "free-trade" and "globalization" and to clearly articulate what it is they are fighting against and fighting for. Vague words like "globalization" and concepts like protecting “culture and national sovereignty" clearly leave room for far-right anti-Semitism, anti-immigration campaigns and conspiratorial theories that see "foreign" powers secretly undermining "national culture". Often missing in the analysis coming from members within these organizations are any reference to the relationship between colonialism and racism, between transnationals and domestic capitalism and the role of the U.S. and other Western states in maintaining global capitalism and institutions such as the WTO, the IMF and World Bank and the neo-colonialist relationships of these states and institutions to indigenous peoples and the third world.
As for why most people on the left seem unconcerned? While many people are not aware of right-left collusion, it does seem that the progressive left feels a whole lot more comfortable delegitimizing people who bust windows of corporations who starve and torture workers than confronting their own wealthy institutions; even ones that may be boosting another Hitler into the U.S. presidency.
Apathy towards this issue in the anti-authoritarian left may be due, in part, to the persistance of bumper sticker philosophies that preach “my enemies enemy is my friend” (ie. if the far right opposes the state and free-trade and we oppose these same institutions then they must be our allies) and to a mistaken believe that this a “progressive issue”. The truth is, Public Citizen funding saturated virtually every layer of activism in Seattle. We were all working with this coalition and we will all feel the effects of a world with expanded far-right influence and power.
The IFG’s Susan George said, “the anti-NAFTA and anti-WTO forces defeated fast track authority...only with the help of the far right. It was still a good thing to defeat fast-track.” And this statement encapsulates the decision facing the anti-authoritarian left. Do we trade away long-term control over our ability to define the content and goals of our struggles against capitalism, white-supremacy, patriarchy, ecological destruction and the state in return for short-term coalition “victories” over narrowly defined issues. Public Citizen, their far right allies and benefactors have resources that eclipse or own. Their message dominated the media coverage before, during and after N30. It was their silent complicity that gave Pat Buchanan space and their eagerness to join the corporate media in equating window smashing with “violence” that attempted to delegitimize those protesters who operated outside of accepted mainstream bounderies. After our victory in Seattle, the grassroots left and ecology movement needs to move away from the shadow of alliances that can operate so comfortaby with the far right and to re-establish who we are and where we are going.
As for what should be done? Here's a couple of suggestions:
1) email, write, call Public Citizen and demand a public statement saying they will not ally themselves with the right and until this happens do not work with Public Citizen.
2) Demand that your involvement in "anti-globalization" campaigns contain clear messages about what it is you are fighting against and fighting for. If you are against global capitalism, make sure your group says that. If you are against colonialism, racism, homophobia and sexism make sure your group says that. If you believe that the state exists to support corporations and the rich and oppress the poor, say that too.
3) Build bridges don’t burn bridges: The left should never make alliances of convenience with the right. Building bridges to the right burns bridges to those they attack: women, people-of-colour, non-Christian religions, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered, the poor. Coalitions with the far right result in left goals that become broken down into pieces, removed from their context and narrowly defined so that they appeal to more conservative elements in the coalition. Issues that may “divide” this coalition, like say racism, sexism or homophobia, get left off the agenda and without these issues on the agenda their is little motivation towards the already difficult task of building bridges between movements that are not predominantly middle-class, white and heterosexual and those that are.
4) After Seattle, the left needs to re-establish who we are and where we are going. The next global protest is Mayday2K (May 1, 2000). We should use this opportunity to build bridges to other struggles. Particularly, indigenous sovereignty, anti-racism, anti-patriarchy and third world struggles.
Seattle was a victory for the grassroots left. It was an incredible feat of organizing and strategizing that filled the blockades and streets around the convention centre to shut down the WTO. We withstood tear gas and pepper spray and stood our ground to say "NO WAY, NOT THIS TIME!" to the rich, the transnationals and to authoritarianism. To hand any part of this victory to the right would be to hand our hard work and momentum to those who would attack our allies and throw away our identity at the very moment we gave it rebirth in the streets of Seattle.
As for Public Citizen and IFG? Hopefully your association with the Pat Buchanans of world only leaves you with a sorry conscience to struggle against, not the rest of us with something far worse.
1. The Nation, June 26, 1995
2. “Seattle 99’:Marriage Party of the left and the right”, De fabel van de illegaal, Eric Krebbers and Merijn Schoenmaker, November 1999.
3. Email to “pgalist” listserve, February 3, 1999. Dolan has also confirm with me by email that this was his writing. He did not explain the support for Buchanan other than to distance himself from Buchanan's other views. The Dolan letter and reply and can be viewed in full below.
[Note: notes 4-8 and 21-22 can be found at Pat Buchanan's Seleton Closet and at and FAIR.
4. New York Post, March 17, 1990
5.Syndicated column, Feb 7, 1990
6.Syndicated column, Jan 23, 1995
7.Los Angeles Times, Nov. 28, 1986
8. Rightwing Revolt Against The Modern Age, Chip Berlet & M. Quigley
9. “Cross-border organizing”, Mark Ritchie, in “The case against the global economy and for a turn towards the local”, Ed. Jerry Mander and Edward Goldsmith, 1996
10. Email to De Fabel by Susan George, September 17, 1999
11.“Buchanan on same side as liberals”, Nov.29, 1999, Seattle -Times. The reporter for this article, David Postman, told me by email that his source was Pat Choate, quoted in the New Republic article as the Reform Party operative who is organizing Pat Buchanan's campaign for the Reform presidential nomination.
12. “Silent Partner: The man behind the anti-free-trade revolt”, Ryan Lizza, The New Republic, December 30, 1999. Chip Berlet also confirmed via email "that key Nader activists have worked closely with the Milliken family (union-busting funders of the John Birch Society)."
(Note:Not to be outdone in the funding scandle department is IFG, which was a project of El Bosque, a foundation started by Peter Tompkins. Tompkins made his money through his partnership in the Esprit and Northern Face clothing empire and earned his reputation as a sweathop union buster in 1972 by shutting a factory in San Francisco's Chinatown after the workers organized a union. He is currently the second largest landholder in Chile where he is attempting to convert his holdings into a giant land preserve for eco-tourism. See: "Antiglobalization", by Doug Henwood
13. Email from Lori Wallach to me, January 20, 2000. A response to Wallach's critisism of the New Republic article has been provided by the article's author, Ryan Lizza and is printed below.
Also, Wallach's insistance that Public Citizen is not working in coalition with the right and only shares information is disputed by an article in the Wall Street journal, of which a portion is reprinted below.
14." Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan, The Battle In Seattle": Time.com, November 1999
15. “Whose Trade?”. Doug Henwood, The Nation, December 6, 1999
16. ”Waechter, Goldsmith, etc.” in Silence, #243 and “Chombeau, La derive extremiste d’Antoine Waechter” in Le Monde, Feb. 18, 1999.
17. “Millionaire Goldsmith supports the left and the extreme right”, Eric Krebbers, De Fabel van de illegal, September 1999
18. see both Blood and Culture: Ethnic Conflict and the Authoritarian Right”, Nicholas Hildyard, The Corner House, 1999 and “Goldsmith and his Gaian hierarchy”, Eric Krebbers, De Fabel van de illegal, September 1999
19. “Millionaire Goldsmith supports the left and the extreme right.”
20. “Blood and Culture”
21.”Millionaire Goldsmith supports the left and the extreme right.”
23. “Buchanan Co-Chair linked to white supremacist groups”, Center For Public Integrity, 1996
24. “Los Angeles Times, Feb. 26, 1996
25.”Blood and Culture”
27. “'Ecology’ and the modernization of fascism in the German ultra-right”, Janet Biehl in “Eco-fascism:Lessons from the German Experience”, Janet Biehl and Peter Staudenmaier
29.Chip Berlet, “Beware right wing anti-globalism”
30. ”Right Woos Left”, Chip Berlet, Political Research Associates
31.” Exposing the greening of hate: Wooing the Sierra Club: Anti-Immigration Groups Make Unlikely Suitors”, the Political Ecology Group.
32. “Immigration Control: An attempt to subvert the ecology movement”, The Fifth Estate, Winter 1999
33. David Icke And The Politics Of Madness: Where The New Age Meets The Third Reich
by Will Offley February 29, 2000
34. ”Buchanan on same side as liberals”, Seattle -Times, November 29, 1999
35.For example see "USA: Globalization Foes Plan to Protest WTO's Seattle Round Trade Talks" by Helene Cooper, The Wall Street Journal, July 16, 1999. The section of the article printed below describes how Republican councillor Brian Derdowski, at a strategy meeting attended by Mike Dolan, hopes to attract affluent suburbeans to the WTO protest.
At a recent lunch at a Pioneer Square Italian restaurant, Mr. Dolan and four council members hold a strategy session. King County Councilman Brian Derdowski, the Republican who championed the MAI-Free Zone proposal, is particularly excited. "If there are police officers walking around, then there should be elected officials in the street standing with the people," he says.
Mr. Derdowski frets over how to get folks from his affluent conservative district on Seattle's East Side to join with the mostly left-leaning protesters. "We need a diversity of protests," he says. One possibility offered by his staffer, Maria Cain: Get buttoned-down David Korten, author of the antiglobalization bestseller "When Corporations Rule the World," to speak to conservatives. "He fits the image theycan accept," Ms. Cain says.
She is on a roll now. "If we can help the people in the suburbs to understand why people are p_____ off, causing a ruckus in Seattle, maybe they'll come join," she says. "Maybe we could close I-90. That way, they can walk into Seattle -- the East Side people. These people aren't going to drive into town when all these demonstrations are going on."
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 10:34:55 -0500
Trade Patriot Buchanan
We observe that the populist movement against the so-called "free trade"
agenda of the transnational corporate elite transcends partisan politics;
and whatever else you say about Pat Buchanan, he will be the only candidate
in the 2000 presidential sweepstakes who will passionately and
unconditionally defend the legitimate expectations of working families in
the global economy.
We note further that the defeat of "Fast Track" last year depended upon 71
Republican votes in the House to butress the progressive Democratic
antipathy to NAFTA expasnion.
Finally, we direct your attention back to the L.A. Times story [February
28, 1999, Sunday, Part A; Page 1: "TRADE PACTS ACCUSED OF SUBVERTING U.S.
POLICIES" by Evelyn Iritani], recently posted to this modest listserve.
Fair Trade partisans across a wide ideological spectrum share our concern
-- even indignation -- over the damage to the fundamentals of governance
and sovereignty wrought by the NAFTA and the GATT/WTO.
Mike Dolan, Field Director
Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch
ph 202.546.4996 x322
(note: Dolan added a pro-Buchanan Washington Post article to this email which is reproduced below)
Mike Dolan in response to whether the email supporting Buchanan was his and given Buchanan's far-right views why he wrote the email.
Mon, 17 Jan 2000 13:48:27 -0500
I agree with you about Pat Buchanan. That's why I said in Email last year that "WHATEVER ELSE YOU SAY ABOUT PAT BUCHANAN ... " (emphasis now added).
All else that you say about Buchanan is true. I do not agree with any of his positions on other issues. That should be clear, OK?
Email from Lori Wallach re: New Republic article, coalition with Pat Buchanan and explanation of Mike Dolan's email supporting Pat Buchanan (note: Wallach did not respond to my request for an explanation of Dolan's support for Buchanan. Interestingly, as of March 1, 2000, two months after the New Republic article was published, no letter from Public Citizen had appeared in the New Republic responding to the allegations in their article. )
Re: New Republic Article alleging connection to Roger Milliken and
Thu, 20 Jan 2000 16:50:08 -0500
Not only have we tried to refute this garbage once it was run, but the answers to your questions were given - both verbally ands in writing - to the New Republic person who wrote that goofy article - BEFORE he wrote it when he was interviewing us. That piece was obviously written before any interview was conducted and was in furtherance of the usual neoliberal NR agenda. Indeed, several other people quoted in the piece have forwarded me their to letters to NR stating that they were quoted saying things they had never said.... Generally, the article was greated by a yawn and laugh in DC because the writer had no named sources, no conformation of anything, repeated a bunch of allegations that had been misproved before, etc.
But for your FYI, briefly: no Public Cittizen does not take money from Milliken - nor from any corporation or from the government. More to point, Public Citizen spent very little money on Seattle becauyse most of the work was done by activists and volunteers who had "day jobs." This was a point we noted for the New Rep writer given he was trying to figure out the source of what he assumed (from the business perspective where they pay for everything because they have not grassroots base) were the millions we must have spent to get the level of action in Seattle. (We spent considerably less than $100,000, FYI)
No, there is no uber "coalition," much less Public Citizen working with Buchanan. We have occasionally worked with conservative groups - like local Chambers of Commerce who do not agree with the national Chamber on a trade issue.
People from all over the political spectrum share information (for instance I speak to reporters from neoliberal rags like New Republic.) There are also groups from disparate politica perspectives who may share some common political goals (Corporate Pork fighter Rep. Kasich agrees with Nader and the most left Democrats in Congress about corporate welfare cutting, McCain and Feingold worked together on campaign finance) which is why on a vote like Fast Track, the progressive groups work on getting Democrats to support their no Fast Track position and the likes of Helms works the GOP for his own reasons against Fast Track and if both sides of the political spectrum do their work, sometimes something like Fast Track ends up with a majority against it.
Hope that answers your questions.
Lori M. Wallach
Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch
215 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC USA 20003
Email from Ryan Lizza of The New Republic
I read with great interest your article "The Progressive Left's Dirty Little Secret." I would like to clarify some points made in it--specifically the rather amusing fabrications in Lori Wallach's e-mail to the author that was posted along with the article.
1) Neither Lori Wallach, Public Citizen nor Citizens Trade Campaign has ever unequivocally denied a financial relationship between their organizing and Roger Milliken.
2) The fact that Wallach has formed a Congressional lobbying alliance with Roger Milliken's Washington counsel, Jock Nash, is an undisputed fact, confirmed by labor activists, and Wallach and Nash themselves. This relationship was documented in our original story, and has never been challenged. Note that in her e-mail to Swanson she does not--and indeed could not--deny her alliance with Nash.
3) Lori Wallach refused to be interviewed by The New Republic (TNR) when she learned that we wanted to talk about Roger Milliken. She also terminated an on-the-record interview between her deputy Mike Dolan and TNR. When allegations that there may be a financial relationship between Milliken and Public Citizen/Citizens Trade Campaign came to our attention the official response from all three organizations was that they could neither confirm nor deny such allegations. That is exactly what we reported.
4) Wallach says "several other people quoted in the piece have forwarded me their to [sic] letters to NR stating that they were quoted saying things they had never said." Her statement is patently false and may merit legal action. TNR has never received a single complaint from anyone suggesting they were misquoted in the article. Nor has Wallach ever alleged to us that she has ever received such letters.
5) Wallach states: "the answers to your questions were given - both verbally ands in writing - to the New Republic person who wrote that goofy article - BEFORE he wrote it when he was interviewing us." As stated above, Wallach refused all interview requests, so there was never any "us" who were interviewed. Wallach did finally respond to an e-mail. She wrote, just as she has now written to Swanson, that Public Citizen does not take any corporate money, which is a well-known fact. She refused to reply to a second e-mail asking whether Public Citizen has ever taken any money from Roger Milliken himself, not just his corporation. Recently, during a lengthy phone conversation with Wallach, she again refused to answer any questions concerning a financial relationship with Milliken.
6) Finally, TNR stands by every word of our original article. Not a single
fact in it has been credibly challenged. Your author alleges a right-wing bias;
Wallach alleges a neoliberal bias. In fact, there is no bias at all. It is a
factual report about a very wealthy man and his attempts to influence trade
The New Republic
Letter from Susan George 21-9-99 to de fabel van de illegaal
Thank you for sending me your various documents. I have now read them
[plus previous ones sent on by TNI] and ask you now to delete my name from
your lists. I think you are on completely the wrong track, devoting all
your political time and energy to attacking a man who is now over 70, who
is what he is, who has been deeply influenced by the values of traditional
societies in the South [and also in Italy]. If you wanted to survey a
representative group of Africans or indigenous peoples anywhere, I think
you would find their ideas and values are much closer to Teddy's than to
But that isn't the main point. Right now there are important, crucial
battles to be fought, for which the greatest possible unity is needed--the
fight against the WTO and all it stands for is in my view the main one.
There is even a chance of winning this fight, as we won against the MAI.
You choose not to join in this battle, you are free agents and this is your
own business but then don't call yourselves "left" or "progressive" or
concerned in any way with what happens to ordinary citizens and to the
environment. As Kant said, your hands may be pure but you haven't any hands.
Obviously you believe that to work with anyone, you have to share
absolutely all their ideas. I find your approach McCarthyite, I've read
your previous tracts and it looks to me as though you are trying to set
yourselves up as the Thought Police. Teddy Goldsmith, as founder and
publisher of the Ecologist, has for over 30 years brought many issues to
public attention before anyone else, fighting battles before they became
popular. Most recently, he has almost single-handledly financed the groups
that have publicised the issue of Genetically Manipulated Organisms in
Europe, which is now on its way to being won. Would you rather that GMOs
were freely imported, that Monsanto and Novartis be allowed to go about
their business unhindered and decide what you are going to eat and how much
it will cost?
I'm an Associate Member of the International Forum on Globalisation which
you also criticise severely. I'm sorry to tell you that your description
of it is wrong. Or perhaps you also consider me as some kind of rightist
or fascist. I shall just have to live with that--like the other members of
the IFG--and let my work over 30 years speak for itself. The IFG isn't
supposed to be a mass organisation, that's true, it's a kind of
international think-tank for activism. Its members were all, in their
respective countries, in the forefront of the struggle against the
Multilateral Agreement on Investment. Now they are all fighting the WTO
and IFG is sponsoring a huge teach-in in Seattle. Would you have been
happier if the MAI passed, so that we could all be living now under the
government of Transnational Corporations? Would you be happier if IFG
didn't have the money to rent a 2400-seat hall in Seattle so students and
citizens could join in the protest against WTO? By the way, very little of
the money going to IFG comes from Teddy Goldsmith.
There is one other point in your literature which is correct: Teddy
Goldsmith never attaches any conditions to the money he gives. Like all
donors and all foundations, he believes some subjects are more important
than others and chooses his priorities. Would you rather he devoted his
money to, say, cancer research? There would be nothing wrong with
that--but he chooses to fight, primarily though not exclusively, against
the TNCs that threaten life on the planet and the livelihood of small
farmers everywhere. You should also be aware that Teddy Goldsmith does NOT
control the estate of Sir James Goldsmith, his late brother, or the
foundation attached to that estate. The amounts he gives away are actually
rather small, but to the progressive movement very useful.
You make a good deal of Teddy Goldsmith's presence at a few GRECE meetings
[by the way, GRECE has almost no intellectual influence that I can discern
in France at the moment]. He says himself now that it was a mistake for him
to go to those two or three meetings, but he's curious, he's open-minded,
and he is also very very stubborn. So when he's told he shouldn't do this
or that, his immediate reaction is to do it, and to hell with what anyone
You are making exaggerated judgements about someone you don't know, someone
who has himself suffered from anti-Semitism. From what I hear you are
prepared to try to split the Dutch [and other] movement against the WTO
because you believe you are the appointed guardians of ideological purity.
The left has historically been only too ready to prefer such purity to
actually changing anything--you are part of this sad tradition. Well, I
guess we shall just have to struggle on without you.
10, rue Jean Michelez 91510 Lardy, France
tel. 33 1 6927 4715 fax 33 1 6082 6668
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
web page: http://www.tni.org/george
Second letter from Susan George written 17-9-99 - contains quote supporting left-right coalition on "fast-track":
The letter is directed to and forwarded by another person
(Susan George gives permission in the letter for the original recipient to forward to De fabel)
It's a shame these people obsessed with ideological purity are making life
difficult for you in Holland.
I suggest you convey to them--use my name if you like--that
--in the US, the anti-NAFTA anti-WTO forces of the left defeated fast-track
authority for the President [Congress can make no amendments to trade
treaties] only with the help of the far right. It was still a good thing
to defeat fast track. It is not because the right agrees with some of the
progressive's ideas that the latter are bad. I think I agree with the
Dutch fascist they cite who says governements do not even want to protect
their sovereignty now--a friend who dined the other night with an important
French minister quoted him as having said about our dear European partners
that their is a "desire for Empire", meaning they want to acquiesce to the
demands of America. Does this make me a fascist?
--in France, the anti-MAI campaign avoided the problem of having the
National Front and affiliates join the coalition or ride on its coat-tails
simply by writing a Manifesto [of 28 April 1998] which hundreds of
organisations and individuals have now signed. It was democratically
elaborated and amended by the progressive groups in the coalition and
referred specifically to the rights of immigrants, undocumented people etc.
etc. If you agreed with and signed the Manifesto, you were in the
coalition, if you didn't you weren't.
--Noam Chomsky is a wonderful man and an extreme libertarian who believes
that all views, however repulsive, should be aired. He took this to
extremes by writing a preface for a fascist in France called Robert
Faurisson who wrote a "negationist" book claiming that the gas chambers
never existed. Many French leftists have never pardonned Chomsky for this.
The fact remains that no one else has his anti-imperialist credentials and
his encyclopedic command of America's turpitudes throughout the ages.
--Teddy Goldsmith, a man of 70, has himself suffered from anti-Semitism. He
believes in traditional societies along third-world lines based on family,
religion and shared values which anchor people to their communities. You
can agree with him or not on this--I don't entirely—but you cannot deny
that Teddy's magazine has been in the forefront of the fight against MAI,
WTO, Global warming, GMOs and a great many other important battles. I
remember when in the 70s he [The Ecologist] fought the
Industry Cooperative Programme at the FAO which was my own bete noire at
the time, on which I had done a lot of research, at a time when no one else
would touch the subject. The programme of cooperation with TNCs at FAO
was subsequently stopped.
I suggest these people of Fabel stop constituting themselves as a cadre of
thought-police and get on with the work it is clear we all need to be
doing. It is also clear that some people are always going to be naive, some
are going to be ignorant, some are going to be stupid. This is not a
reason for condemning them wholesale and splitting the movement. Let us try
to learn to give each other the benefit of the doubt. The "reasoning" which
says that a Dutch fascist admires the work of Gramsci, leftists admire the
work of Gramsci [I myself based a long article specifically on cultural
hegemony] therefore leftists are fascists is not worth dignifying with a
Buchanan Dumps on Clinton Steel Policy By Edward Walsh
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 2, 1999; Page A5
WEIRTON, W.Va., March 1-It was only a warm-up, but conservative commentator
Patrick J. Buchanan was at full throttle here today on the subject of
America's place in the global economy and what he described as the threat
posed by the Clinton administration's trade policies toward the country's
manufacturing base and its workers.
With the familiar chant of "Go, Pat, go" ringing in the air, he entered the
Thomas Milsop Community Center to a rousing reception, once again a
seemingly happy warrior delivering an angry message of economic nationalism.
Buchanan's appearance here was a prelude to the main event, his scheduled
announcement Tuesday in Manchester, N.H., that for the third time in this
decade he will seek the Republican presidential nomination.
His candidacy is viewed as the longest of long-shots, but twice before
Buchanan's calls to protect American workers and their jobs have bedeviled
the GOP establishment and its anointed front-runners, and he clearly hopes
to do so again.
"Free trade is the philosophy of nations on the way down," he thundered to
a crowd of about 800 in the community center, where hand-made signs
proclaimed that "Free Traders Are Traitors" and "Stand Up For America."
Asserting that China is using its trade surplus with the United States to
finance an armaments program that could threaten U.S. forces in the
Pacific, he said of U.S. trade policy toward China, "You're walking very
close to the line of treason."
In some ways this was an odd place for a pre-campaign rally for a
conservative Republican. This is solidly Democratic territory, where every
local official is a Democrat and Republicans last ran a candidate for
Congress in 1994.
But Weirton Steel Corp., an employee-owned firm that was rescued in the
mid-1980s when its parent company, National Steel, tried to shut it down,
is emblematic of problems besetting the U.S. steel industry as it tries to
compete with cheap steel imports.
According to company officials, "dumping" of cheap steel products largely
by Brazil, Japan and Russia was the cause of its loss of $13.6 million in
the last two quarters of 1998, forcing it to lay off 800 of 4,700
employees; 10,000 steelworkers have been laid off nationwide.
Responding to "dumping" complaints, the Commerce Department ruled last
month that Japanese and Brazilian steel was subject to stiff duties. A
similar finding against Russia was eased in return for a promise from
Moscow to slash Russian steel shipments by 70 percent. Citing a 34 percent
decline in steel shipments to the United States in the last three months,
the administration argues that the flood of cheap steel coming into the
country is receding.
But that has not satisfied Weirton officials or their employees. Nor did it
satisfy Buchanan, who today demanded that President Clinton impose
"across-the-board quotas on all steel and steel products" shipped to the
"They are letting go with indifference to the heart of this country, the
muscle of this country," Buchanan said in an echo of his 1996 campaign,
when he stunned his party by winning the New Hampshire primary. "For what?
So they can trade pieces of paper on Wall Street."
Buchanan's contention is that the International Monetary Fund has
encouraged the dumping of cheap steel and other products in the United
States by economically troubled countries so that they can raise the money
to repay IMF loans. He made that case in a newspaper column last year that
referred to a rally held here to protest dumping practices.
That led to the invitation to stop here on his way later today to New
It also made him "somewhat of a cult figure" in this gritty industrial town
of 22,000 that is tucked in a valley of West Virginia's narrow panhandle,
said Mayor Dean Harris, 43, a Democrat and 25-year employee of the steel
plant that provides about half of the city's tax revenue.
There are other reasons that Buchanan could expect a receptive audience in
Weirton for his populist, anti-Wall Street, pro-worker message, Harris
said. One is the vivid memory of the 1992 visit here of Democratic
presidential nominee Bill Clinton and his running mate, Al Gore, on their
first campaign bus tour, when Clinton promised to "enforce strictly the
For years, pictures of the visit were displayed at the community center,
but about six weeks ago they were taken down. "The pictures are facing a
wall in a closet collecting dust," said Terry Weigel, who runs the
community center. "That seems to be the action he's taken on the import
crisis -- collecting dust -- so that's what his pictures are doing."
Buchanan made sure to recall that 1992 visit today to an audience that
liked what it heard even if many remained skeptical of the prospects of a
Buchanan candidacy. "At least a voice is heard," said Kent Hudspeth, 58, a
Buchanan hinted that may be enough for him. Dressed casually in a plaid
shirt, white Weirton Steel hard hat and green company jacket, he emerged
from a plant tour this morning and spoke briefly to reporters. "When you
have a campaign, you ought to use it for a cause," he said. "The cause of
my campaign if and when I announce tomorrow will be to put American workers
and people first."
c Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
The Alain De Benoist Collection