Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Heritage Foundation: Modern Day McCarthyism.
By Dana Milbank and Alan Cooperman
Wednesday, August 31, 2005; Page A05 WASHINGTON POST
Cindy Sheehan: anti-American communist?
That was the accusation coming yesterday from the Heritage Foundation, which hosted author John J. Tierney Jr. for a forum titled "The Politics of Peace: What's Behind the Anti-War Movement?"
Tierney researched the movement for a book and came up with some choice descriptions. "I have to say it is communist," he told an audience at the conservative think tank, also describing the groups involved as "revolutionary socialistic" and "cohorts" of North Korea, Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro's Cuba. "We're really dealing with . . . a comprehensive, exhaustive, socialistic anti-capitalistic political structure," he said.
Tierney, of the Institute of World Politics, identified five groups: ANSWER, Not in Our Name, Code Pink, United for Peace and Justice, and MoveOn.org. He said these groups "come from the Workers World Party" and are an "umbrella" for smaller groups, such as the "Communist Party of Kansas City" and the "Socialist Revolutionary Movement of the Upper Mississippi." Of the last two, he said, "I'm just making these up."
Tierney singled out Sheehan, whose son died in Iraq and who camped out at President Bush's ranch this month to protest the war. "I've never heard of a woman protesting a war in front of a leader's home in my life," he said. "I've never heard of anything quite so outrageous."
Heritage's Dana Dillon introduced Tierney by saying that "the discussion today does not oppose the antiwar movement per se or question the patriotism or loyalty or common sense of Americans on either side of the debate." But the blurb promoting the event on Heritage's Web site said of the movement: "At root, they are anti-American rather than anti-war."
The author said he has "grave, grave problems with the conduct of the operation in Iraq" and wouldn't want to see his 20-year-old son go there. But he said it is "automatic" that anybody who joins a protest by one of the offending groups is supporting communists.
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, an official with ANSWER, said: "Sounds like he's channeling Joe McCarthy, basically. That's a pretty heavy-duty résumé of redbaiting."
One questioner at the event tripped up Tierney when he asked if there was an analogy between this sort of guilt by association and efforts by Ronald Reagan's opponents to tie Reagan to the John Birch Society. "There could be," Tierney allowed.