AntiWar: What Is It Good For?

    Absolutely nothing! At least, according to a government hack.

    AntiWar.Com is an anti-war site, obviously, started by libertarian Justin Raimondo to oppose U.S. military intervention in Iraq, Bosnia, and elsewhere. The site does an excellent job of covering U.S. interventions.

    For that, government-subsidized hack Mark Pitcavage includes AntiWar.Com among his list of militia-related groups on his Militia Watchdog site. Mixed in with groups like the Army of God, which calls for the murder of abortion doctors, and the white supremacist Delta Rebel’s Reb is AntiWar.Com.

    Why was AntiWar.Com added to this list of right wing extremists? The description of AntiWar.Com describes the site as “An unusual site, essentially an isolationist right-wing/libertarian site consciously designed to appeal to anti-war activists from the left as well. Particularly against any foreign involvement in Kosovo.”

    Apparently, advocating an isolationist foreign policy (and it is unclear that AntiWar.Com is isolationist), is enough to lump an organization into the same category with folks who weave conspiracy theories about the United Nations and want to blow up abortion clinics.

    Should any of this matter, though? Does anyone really care whether Mark Pitcavage thinks AntiWar.Com is representative of right-wing extremism? It just might, according to the Left-ish CounterPunch. CounterPunch editor Alexander Cockburn is one of the few prominent individuals on the Left willing to meet the libertarian AntiWar.Com halfway to work against U.S. intervention.

    Writing for CounterPunch, Cletus Nelson (Antiwar.Com Meets the New McCarthyism) notes that Pitcavage is more than just a private individual with a web site — he is in fact directly involved in U.S. law enforcement. According to Nelson, Pitcavage is employed full time as a senior associate researcher with the Institute for Intergovernmental Relations which provides training services to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Pitcavage head the Institute’s State/Local Anti-Terrorism Training Program. Since 1997, the U.S. Justice Department has given the SLATT program in the neighborhood of $4 million.

    As Nelson puts it,

Piss of Pitcavage and you could find yourself denounced on CNN as a terrorist. … The relationship between Pitcavage’s public and private roles poses the question whether his recent posting of Antiwar.Com on his personal web site was done to please his federal paymasters.

    Or it could be more of a personal dispute. Pitcavage was featured in an article for the New York Times last September defending the government’s actions at WACO — of course nowhere in the article did the reporter bother to mention that Pitcavage receives his funding from a Department of Justice grant. (In his interview, Pitcavage actually laments about the movie Waco: Rules of Evidence, “They [McNulty and Hardy] deserve a little bit of credit. But you wish that someone else had discovered this stuff instead. These guys have ulterior motives.” Bizarre considering in Pitcavage’s world view, people who don’t buy the government’s story about Waco are right wing extremists.)

    A third option is more likely — what scares people like Pitcavage to death is something that Nelson over looks. AntiWar.Com, as Pitcavage puts it, “appeal[s] to anti-war activists from the left as well.” This is the real danger. AntiWar.Com may be run by libertarians, but it strikes a blow against U.S. military intervention that is shared people across a broad range of the political spectrum. There is still resistance to Right-Left cooperation on issues. Alexander Cockburn has discussed some of the negative comments directed his way for his willingness to work with folks like AntiWar.Com, and similar attitudes exist on the Right.

    But web sites like AntiWar.Com are breaking down those barriers. The rise of libertarianism also creates a lot more opportunities, as libertarians and the Left tend find a lot of common agreement on issues such as the drug war, military intervention, etc.

    If I were a minion of the state, as Pitcavage is, I’d probably worry too about the effect that more coordination between Left and Right might have on deterring future U.S. intervention in places like Kosovo. God forbid an organized, persuasive critique of state power should threaten the positions of people such as Pitcavage.

Animal Rights Activists Target Bank of New York

    Activists on both sides of the Atlantic have decided to target, of all companies, the Bank of New York. What is BNY’s sins in the eyes of the activists? BNy owns 41 million shares of Huntington Life Sciences — the large EUropean research laboratory.

    A press release by Stop Huntington ANimal Cruelty included a quote from Joe Bateman saying, “We want Bank of New York to sell its 41 million shares in HLS. Their investment is not saving human lives nor supporting valuable research.”

    The press release practically gloats that Huntington “…has been the object of firebombs because of its cruel treatment of animals” (which would be accurate if written as “…has been the object of firebombs because of the irrational ignorance of some animal rights activists) and that “…workers for the Huntington Life Sciences have been targeted with arson attacks at their homes in Europe in recent weeks.”

    But, of course, it is the researchers who are cruel and unreasonable.

Source:

“Bank of New York Target of Protest; Activists Want BNY to Sell Research Lab Stock.” Press release, Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty, May 18, 2000.

Animal rights terrorist's conviction/sentencing will bolster RICO

    Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade member Joseph Bateman, 20, was to
be sentenced on April 12 after being convicted in February of felony criminal
mischief and misdemeanor possession of an “instrument of crime.” Although
Bateman still professes his innocence and called for demonstrations at
the court house, this conviction should strengthen the hand of Jacques
Ferber Furs’ lawsuit against CAFT.

    In that Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization-based lawsuit, Ferber essentially maintains that CAFT is
engaged in a criminal conspiracy to shut down its legitimate, legal business.
Such lawsuits have already succeeded against pro-life groups and individuals
who merely advocated breaking the law but apparently didn’t engage in
the act themselves. Having a CAFT member not only advocating breaking
the law but also being convicted for doing so, strengthens the Ferber
lawsuit immeasurably.

    If I were CAFT, I’d try to find a way to settle with Ferber quickly,
though since I’m not, the best outcome of the trial, beyond any verdict,
will hopefully be focusing a national spotlight on the endemic tolerance
and encouragement of illegal behavior by much of the animal rights movement.

PCRM, activists vs. March of Dimes

    Deviating from the moment from its “we’re just a public interest group”
script, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has launched a billboard
campaign against the March of Dimes Walkathon.

    The PCRM paid for billboards in parts of the country reading, “How many
animals will be killed with your March of Dimes donation?” A better question
would be, “How many people would die if PCRM banned animal experiments?”

    As March of Dimes spokeswoman Michelle Kling replied to a question about
the billboards from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “Thousands of children
are alive today and millions of people are living healthier lives because
of advances in treatment and prevention made possible by March of Dimes-funded
research involving animals.”

    Meanwhile activists online were busy distributing sample letters for
people to write to corporate and celebrity sponsors of the March of Dimes.
The sample letter is typical animal rights cant claiming animal experiments
have played no role in better understanding birth defects.

Frankly, we are disturbed that MOD the charity has spent millions
of dollars on disturbing animal experiments that have contributed little
or nothing to the prevention and treatment of birth defects.

. . . MOD has also provided money for experimenters to give
nicotine, cocaine, and alcohol to animals, even though we already know
from human clinical experience that these substances can harm a developing
baby.

    That last line belongs in a college-level logic textbook as an example
of a false dichotomy – of course we now known cocaine and other substances
are potentially harmful to fetal development, but a) we gained a much
better understanding of the scope of such danger from animal experiments,
and b) studying exposure in animals allows for scientist to test a variety
of hypothesis on the total extent of such problems and possible treatments
much faster than could possibly be done in clinical trials. Scientists
might know that alcohol and cocaine can harm a human fetus, but there
is still so much we don’t know about the full effects of such exposure
and the best ways to treat or ameliorate such problems.

References:

“Write to March of Dimes Sponsors” Physicians Committee for Responsible
Medicine press release, April 2000.

“March of Dimes gets flak for its funding of research with animals.”
Michael Stetz, San Diego Union-Tribune, April 7, 2000.

“PCRM Steps Up Attack On March of Dimes.” Americans for Medical Progress
Newsletter, April 8, 2000.

“Billboard criticizes March of Dimes; group’s ad in Dallas denounces
animal experiments.” Jeff Prince, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, April 1, 2000.

UPC on the Horror of Easter Eggs

    United Poultry Concerns will once again make its presence known at
the annual egg roll at the White House. The even features 2-to-6-year
old children pushing hard-boiled eggs down a 10-yard lane with plastic
soup ladles on the White House lawn. According to UPC, about 20,000
people attend the event annually and more than 7,000 hard boiled eggs
are used.

    UPC plans to have an information table near the White House detailing
the evils of eggs, including a promotional pamphlet answering the burning
question, “Where Do Eggs Come From?” (I believe the correct answer is
chickens.)

Reference:

“Stick up for Chickens!” United Poultry Concerns Press Release, April
2000

Newkirk's increasingly bizarre behavior, and UPC on the horrors of Easter eggs

    Americans for Medical Progress reported that after chicken magnate Frank
Purdue was involved in yet another major car accident (Purdue should have
been banned from driving years ago), Ingrid Newkirk sent him a bizarre
get well card which read, in part:

A chicken is like you in a lot of ways. The important difference
is that you can take pain killers, the police will arrest anyone they
find harassing you, you will never be transported for long hours in a
crate in which you cannot even stand up…

    I don’t really like to psychoanalyze people, but Newkirk’s behavior
seems to be getting extremely bizarre in the last 3-4 years. The card
of the text reads like she might be in dire need of some animal-tested
Prozac.

Reference:

“Ingrid Again,” Americans for Medical Progress News, April 8, 2000.