Qaddafi, Billy Carter, Healy, Idi Amin
Who’s Behind WL Provocations Against Spartacist?
“Q: What Do Idi Amin, Billy Carter and Gerry Healy have in Common?On May 6 trade unionists and supporters of the Spartacist League demonstrated at the Hotel Taft in New York City and the Alameda County Labor Temple in Oakland, California against new provocations against workers democracy by the notorious Workers League (WL), American cohorts of the British-based “International Committee” (IC) of Gerry Healy/Mike Banda. Once a claimant to the mantle of “anti-revisionist Trotskyism,” the Healyite WL/IC has in recent years placed itself in the service of Muammar Qaddafi, megalomaniacal strongman of Libya, utilizing on behalf of its patron the characteristic “method” of the Healyite political bandits – gangsterism and slander.
“A: The Qaddafi Connection!”
Demanding “Defend Workers Democracy Against WL Provocation!” the militant demonstrators outside the WL’s May 6 meetings (called ostensibly in celebration of May Day) were replying to a pathological smear article in the WL's yellow journalism Bulletin (1 May) entitled “The Spartacist League: Provocateurs Against Trotskyism and the Iranian Revolution.” This I2-column tirade was the Healyites’ frenzied reaction to the SL's exposure of the WL/IC’s press agentry on behalf of its oil-rich Libyan patron. Last issue, WV had excoriated Healy/Banda for their efforts to justify the bloody suppression of the Iraqi Communist Party at the hands of the Qaddafi-allied bourgeois-nationalist Ba'ath regime (see “Healyites: Kill a Commie for Qaddafi,” WV No. 230, 27 April). Also goading the Healyites to new paroxysms of slander was the SL’s political offensive against Qaddafi’s pal Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, highlighted by the widely publicized tour by Fatima Khalil, the Near Eastern communist who spoke in eight cities on “No to the Veil! For Workers Revolution Against Islamic Reaction!”
Hoping to egg on the Muslim fundamentalists who have mounted physical assaults on Spartacist forums several times over the past few months, the Bulletin takes the SL’s Trotskyist line on Iran as the excuse for a new orgy of cop-baiting slander:
“[The Iranian revolution] has earned the hatred of the CIA, the U.S. corporations, the military and the entire Carter administration. Nowhere is this hatred expressed more viciously however, than in the pages of the revisionist press The Militant, published by the Socialist Workers Party [SWP], and Workers Vanguard of the Spartacist group.These vile slanders are intended to provide a “political” cover for physical gangsterism against the SL, befitting the Qaddafi henchmen who applauded the Iraqi colonels’ execution of Communist militants and who now endorse Khomeini’s butchery of Kurdish nationalists in the name of preserving the territorial integrity of “Iran, Iraq and Syria, all centers of anti-imperialist revolutionary activity.” These tools of the capitalist Arab dictators – the worst enemies of the Arab working masses – will stop at nothing to still the voice of authentic Trotskyism.
“Utterly degenerate both politically and morally, it may be said without exaggeration that these groups represent not so much a political tendency within the workers movement, as an out-and-out provocation against the entire working class.
“Upon reading the articles on the Iranian Revolution in both of their newspapers, one cannot help but wonder aloud, In what police academies did these writers complete their educations?...
"If the antics of the Spartacist were directly orchestrated by the FBI and CIA, they could not be more provocative. And, in fact, there is every reason to believe that they are....
“[SL national chairman] James Robertson, an unmitigated degenerate....”
Lynn Marcus, Gerry Healy – Brothers Under the Skin
Of course, cop-baiting is nothing new for the Healyites, who slandered the SL as “the fingerman for the world capitalist class” as early as 1966. But the Bulletin article represents the full flowering of Healyite paranoia to an extent reminiscent of ex-leftist cultist Lynn Marcus:
“[The SL] is a small sect that was set up by the late Joseph Hansen, the proven FBI agent who for many years ran the Socialist Workers Party, for the specific purpose of organizing provocations against the International Committee of the Fourth International and, in the United States, against the Workers League.The present slanders thus carry forward the scurrilous campaign to smear Hansen as an “accomplice” of the Stalinist secret police in the 1940 assassination of Leon Trotsky. This slander campaign, ludicrously dubbed “Security and the Fourth International,” has constituted the WL/IC's main activity for four years. The SL replied to these provocations with demonstrations demanding “Who Gave Healy His Security Clearance?”
“The activities of Spartacist are intimately bound up with the massive infiltration of the SWP by FBI agents. For many years, Hansen and other FBI agents within the top leadership of the SWP used Spartacist to carry out those sordid political operations with which they preferred not to be associated publicly.
“It must also be said, that if the Spartacists did not exist, the Stalinists of the Communist Party would have had to invent them. Indeed, because of the history of the infiltration of the revisionist movements by the Soviet secret police as well as the FBI, it is not unlikely that the Stalinists did have a hand in the birth of this diseased organization....”
To support this grotesque paranoid schema, the Bulletin must now create the SWP’s Iran line out of whole cloth. As everyone knows, the SWP has enthused over Khomeini’s reactionary clericalist regime in Iran with only the most perfunctory finger-wagging when the mullahs sought to reimpose the veil and suppress the national minorities. Only the WL/IC can justly claim to be more vulgarly nationalist, more slavishly pro-Khomeini, more programmatically reactionary than the reformist SWP.
And no wonder. The SWP’s pro-mullah capitulation represents mere opportunism; that of the WL/IC is dictated by its sinister ties to Qaddafi. Like the Stalinists whose political line is an apology for the foreign policies of the Sino-Soviet bureaucracies, the WL/IC takes its cues from the Libyan government – with one significant difference: the regimes the Stalinists seek to defend through suicidal “peaceful coexistence” are deformed workers states; the Healyite homeland is a theocratic, militarist, capitalist dictatorship.
The Shoe Fits You, Gerry!
The May 6 SL protest demonstrations reaffirmed the SL’s commitment to defend workers democracy for all tendencies in the workers movement, not only the SWP and the Stalinists but also ourselves. The chants and slogans included:
• What Keeps Billy Carter Out of the Workers League?
• WL Cheers as Iraqi Ba'athists Murder Communists
• Khomeini Attacks ‘Satanic Marxism’ – WL Hails Khomeini
• Lynn Marcus and Gerry Healy: Brothers Under the Skin?
• Healyites: From Political Bandits on the Left to Pimps for Qaddafi
• Gangsterism and Slander – Hallmark of Provocateurs
• For the Rebirth of the Fourth International!
At both demonstrations the picketers far outnumbered the WL supporters and easily rebuffed the WL’s attempts to provoke violence.
The WL/IC cop-baiting succeeds only in demonstrating how well the shoe fits them. Organizationally, their “method” of gangsterism and slander has long since been an open invitation to provocateurs. Politically, they sold their soul to the bourgeois “Arab Revolution” so many years ago that when it came time to auction off the stinking body, only the wretched Qaddafi was bidding. It seems likely that the present Bulletin attack was “made in U.S.A.” (or in London) rather than in the Libyan embassy, but it’s getting harder and harder to tell.