The Heritage Foundation

Institutional Analysis #11

September 19, 1979

September 19, 1979 | Institutional Analysis on

The Anti-Defense Lobby Part 2: "The Peace Movement, Continued"

(Archived document, may contain errors)

September 1979


(Executive Summary)

one of the more interesting developments of recent years, from the perspective of concern for defense and national security issues, is the proliferation of groups regarded by some observers as the "antidefense lobby," within which category one finds the Center for Defense Information and other projects of the Fund for Peace, such enterprises as the Religious Committee on SALT and Americans for SALT, and the Coalition for a New Foreign and Military Policy, a nationwide apparatus which claims some 43 groups as members and which, from an organizational standpoint, is probably the most comprehensive such effort to date. What is not generally appreciated, however, is the extent to which these efforts are made up of individuals and organizations formerly active in the national antiVietnam war coalitions of the 1960s and early 1970s which organized and carried out mass protest in key areas of the United States in coordination with, and with the explicit approval of, international Communist front groups and official representatives of the North Vietnamese government and the Hanoicontrolled National Liberation Front of South Vietnam. It is the purpose of the present study to provide at least a brief sketch of this background.

The major antiVietnam war coalitions evolved directly from the National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam, an apparatus formed in 1965 and characterized by leadership from "members and sympathizers" of the Communist Party, U.S.A. Subse quent incarnations were the November 8 Mobilization Committee, organized in September 1966; the Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, organized in November 1966; the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, outgrowth of a national gathering held in Washington, D.C., in May 1967; the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, which succeeded National Mobe as of July 1969; and two rival coalitions, the



To those who are concerned with the defense and national security POBition of the United States, one of the more arresting phenomena to emerge in recent years has been the proliferation of organizations Beeking to effect the MOBt fundamental and, in Bome cases, even radical change in American foreign and mili tary policy by mounting intensive lobbying and other campaigns against Buch targets as the antiballiBtiC Missile, the B1 bomber, sales of military equipment to other countries, and the defense budget in general and, more recently, in favor of the Btrategic arms limitation (SALT II) agreements. Of these, one of the MOBt prominent is the Center for Defense Information, a project of the leftoriented Fund for Peace and, along with other interrelated Fund affiliates, the Bubject of a previous Heritage Foundation Btudy (Institution AnalYBiB No. 10, "The AntiDefenBe Lobby: Part I, Center for Defense Information," April 1979), while the MOBt comprehensive, from an organizational Btandpoint, is probably the Coalition for a New Foreign and Military Policy, which has Bome 43 national organizations among its current members.

What has not been generally discussed heretofore is the extent to which many of the groups which now comprise what some observers call the "antidefense lobby" were also active compo nentB of the national coalitions that labored during the Vietnam war to organize mass protest in WaBhington, D.C., and elsewhere across the United States to a Bteady chorus of encouragement and appreciation from the CommuniBtB in North Vietnam and the Viet Cong. ThUB, many organizations now represented in such coalitions as the Religious Committee on SALT and the CNFMP or interlocked with Buch enterprises as Americans for SALT were no less active in their Bupport for the antiVietnam war movement of the 1960s and early 1970B. The fact is that the preBentday "antidefenBe lobby" is, to a significant degree, the antiVietnam war movement with a somewhat different, but by no means unrelated, set of issues around which to group itself. It is the purpose of this Btudy to document this pattern Of BucceSBion, UBing the Coalition for a New Foreign and Military Policy, with which BO much of the "antidefense lobby" interlocks and which describes itself as "the peace movement, continued," as a representative and convenient basis for comparison.


American Opposition to the war in Vietnam was carried on at least Bince 1962 and involved a wide variety of individuals and organizations, both Communist and nonCommuniBt; but it Bays much about the direction taken by this movement that the group which claims credit for organizing the first Btreet demonstration against the war, a demonstration held in New York City in August

National Peace Action Coalition and Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice, the latter the successor to an intermediate apparatus known as the National Coalition Against War, Racism, and Repres sion. NPAC represented the strength of the Trotskyite Communist Socialist Workers Party in the antiVietnam war movement, while both NCAWRR and PCPJ were effectively dominated by the Communist Party, U.S.A. It is of the greatest significance that NPAC and PCPJ achieved unity around the massive protests held in Washington, D.C., in April and May of 1971 only after a personal appeal from the chief North Vietnamese negotiator in Paris, Xuan Thuy. Among organizations now involved with the "antidefense lobby," especial ly with the Coalition for a New Foreign and Military Policy, which were also active in such efforts as New Mobe and PCPJ were the American Friends Service Committee, National Council of Churches and several of its member denominations, SANE, War Resisters League, Fellowship of Reconciliation, National Student Association, Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Clergy and Laity Concerned, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Women Strike for Peace, and National Lawyers Guild, the last officially cited as the "legal bulwark of the Communist Party."

The movement in which these groups participated was organized in accordance with the doctrine of "nonexclusion," which meant that Communists were welcome at all levels. As a result, Commu nist leadership tended to predominate at every stage, something indicated even by several of the movement's key activists. In addition, as one New Mobe leader stated in 1970, "almost all" of the movement's principal organizers felt that "if there had to be a side in" the war in Vietnam "most of us feel we would be on the other side." Thus, American activists worked closely with inter national Communist leaders and organizations to bring about a Ovictory for the Vietnamese people," which meant, of course, a military defeat for the "imperialist" United States. Another principal benefit accruing to the CPUSA and SWP from their success ful domination of the major "peace" coalitions was a gain in recruitment of new members. As a resolution adopted at the 1969 convention of the SWP expressed it, "The majority of new recruits to the Socialist Workers Party in the past few years have come directly out of the antiwar movement."

The principal significance of the antiVietnam war agitation was, however, an international one. As a North Vietnamese repre sentative said to an American member of the Venceremos Brigade during a visit to Communist Cuba, "you go to the battlefield at the same time as we, and we are fighters on the same front." And, in the words of an American "peace" activist and Communist Party member after participating in an international Communist front gathering in 1970, "There was great appreciation of the U.S. peace efforts at Stockholm, especially among the Vietnamese, who call our movement the 'Second Front' of the Vietnam war."1962, is not a pacifist group but a Communist one, Youth Against War and Fascism, youth apparatus of the dissident Communist Workers World Party, a grouping formed in 1959 by disaffected members of the Socialist Workers Party. Pacifists did, of course, participate actively in the movement throughout its course, but there is considerable evidence that their influence was never really decisive. As the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities reported in 1967,

genuine pacifist elements and organizations in this country are relatively small and weak. Alone, they have never succeeded in staging a major demonstration. While the sincerity of these groups in agitating for peace in Vietnam and elsewhere is not to be questioned, it is clear that they have played, and are playing, a minor role in Vietnam Week [a principal focus of anti Vietnam war organizing during 19671 and in other anti Vietnam war demonstrations that have taken place in this country in recent years.

Every major, largescale demonstration against the war in Vietnam which has taken place in this country has had allout Communist support. They have, in fact, achieved the status of "largescale" and "major" mainly because of the effort put into them by Communist ele ments.

This assessment is certainly borne out by the history of the major antiVietnam war coalitions as they evolved during the 1960s and early 1970s. 1965 was clearly a crucial year in this evolution. In April, Students for a Democratic Society sponsored a march on Washington which involved virtually every significant pacifist and subversive group in the nation and represented what was probably the first serious attempt to gather all opposition to the war into a single united front with a truly national focus. The national coalitions had their real origins, however, in the Assembly of Unrepresented People in Washington, D.C., in August 1965 under the nominal leadership of the late A.J. Muste, a professed pacifist and veteran supporter of Communist operations who had once been a leader in the American Workers Party, an early Communist group. Muste served until his death as an extreme ly important force within the American left, especially as a unifier of contending groups, because of his prestige among leftists of varying persuasions who found him of great value in promoting their fronts and causes. One of his preeminent accom plishments within the context of the antiVietnam war movement was his successful promotion of the doctrine of nonexclusion, perhaps the principal organizational tenet of the movement, by which was meant that Communists were to be welcomed as partici pants at all levels, including the allimportant leadership level.

Support for the Assembly came from a broad group of pacifists and Communists, including members of the Moscowcontrolled Communist Party, U.S.A, the Trotskyite Communist Socialist Workers Party, and the Pekingoriented Progressive Labor Party. The direction the movement was taking was indicated by an article in the August 21, 1965, edition of the independent Communist National Guardian, which reported that planners of the Assembly had "con sciously sought to include the left" and that a "primary purpose of the assembly had been 'to begin the long awaited dialogue between activists in various political struggles,' not only between the peace movement and the civil rights movement, but also between the peace movement and the left student movement." This development was of the highest importance because, as stated by former Progressive Labor member Phillip Abbott Luce, "United fronts especially on the Left united fronts between commu nists and noncommunists inevitably end up totally controlled by the communists to their own ends." Luce's argument, as given in a 1970 motion picture on the antiVietnam war movement, In the Name of Peace, was both accurate and succinct:

Once you allow the communists into an organization they ultimately take it over. And the reason for that is because most people who are interested in a movement, be it a peace movement or a union movement or a movement for civil rights or anything else, are basically good people. They're for liberal concerns. They're there because they don't like what's going on in the world. And then you confront them with power politics and communists are in all circumstances power politicians. So you get a person who's utopian, who's interested in the good life and the concerns of people, up against within an organization, the power politicians. And we all know the story lately what's happened: the power politicians always win.


As a result of workshop discussions held during the Assembly of Unrepresented People, there emerged the first national coordi nating agency for the developing antiVietnam war movement, the National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam. Staughton Lynd, prominent movement activist and one of the orga nizers of the Assembly, viewed the creation of the NCCEWV in terms of a continuing lack of leadership from SDS after that organization's April 1965 march on Washington and stated: "Moving into the vacuum, communist Party members and sympathizers helped to create a National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam, with themselves in key roles at its national headquar ters .... 11 Speaking of the founding conference of the NCCEWV, Peter Camejo, a leading member of the SWP's youth arm, the Young Socialist Alliance, wrote that "The CP carried the majority at that conference. The national coalition that came out of that conference the National Coordinating Committee never really had the character of a national antiwar coalition it was always run by the CP.11 It is interesting that Lynd's assessment, written from the perspective of one whose support for CPUSA fronts has been rather marked, was generally in agreement with that of the Trotskyite Camejo.


The failure of the NCCEWV was attributable in large measure to the constant struggle for power waged by the CPUSA and the SWP within the "peace" movement. As Lynd observed, the "Trotskyists responded [to the predominance of CPUSA members and sympathizers at NCCEWV national headquarters] by a disciplined attempt at takeover at the NCCEWV1s first national convention." As a result of these difficulties, a conference was held in Cleveland, Ohio, in September 1966 which resulted in creation of the November 8 Mobilization Committee, the first truly direct, lineal predecessor of the nationwide coalitions which organized the massive Washington, D.C., protest demonstrations of 1967, 1969, 1970, and 1971, as well as the riotous demonstrations held in Chicago, Illinois, during the August 1968 Democratic National Convention. The proceedings of this conference indicate that it was the idea of the University Circle TeachIn Committee, a Cleveland group, and its leader, Professor Sidney Peck, a former member of the Wisconsin State Committee of the Communist Party, U.S.A. According to Camejo, however,

the NCC started to fall apart. It held a meeting in which the majority voted against putting out a statement calling for immediate withdrawal [from Vietnam, a consistent demand of both the YSA and its parent SWP]. Then the leadership of the NCC began endorsing Democratic Party candidates without asking anybody. They just did it. So what we did was initiate an antiwar conference in which antiwar forces could coalesce, bypassing the NCC. We got such a conference called which set the November 58, 1966, actions. They turned out very small we were about the only ones who built them.*

This conference was attended by approximately 150 delegates and observers from around the United States. Of those registered for the gathering, at least ten have been identified at various times as members of the CPUSA or of its youth front as of that time, the W.E.B. DuBois Clubs of America, while no fewer than 30 have been identified as members of the SWP or its youth front, the YSA. It is important to note also that these individuals weref in many cases, the principal activists in the various local and regional coalitions that formed the backbone of organizing for nationwide protest, as well as for such a national apparatus as November 8 Mobe and its successors.

*Peck's prior record included collaboration with SWP members in founding the Cleveland Committee to End the War in Vietnam, so that the accounts given by the conference proceedings and Camejo are not necessarily wholly exclusive of one another; it is clear that, as indicated by both of these authoritative sources, the impetus for the gathering was not really pacifist, but Communist. SPRING MOBILIZATION COMMITTEE TO END THE WAR IN VIETNAM

The demise of November 8 Mobe occurred at another conference in Cleveland, Ohio, in November 1966. By now, Communist domina tion was even more blatant. Of the 117 individuals registered for this gathering, 75 approximately 65 percent were members of the Socialist Workers Party or the Young Socialist Alliance, while both the CPUSA and its DuBois Clubs also enjoyed official representation. It is indicative of the bias at the leadership levels of the movement that, as reported in the December 5, 1966, issue of The Militant, official SWP newspaper, the conference "was deeply moved" when "peace" activist David Dellinger, self described as a nonSoviet Communist, "reported on his visit to North Vietnam and described the heroic resistance of the Vietnamese people to U.S. aggression and the need for the American antiwar movement to emulate their inspiring example." The extent to which this movement was in Communist hands is indicated by another of Camejols assessments:

The coalition by then had collapsed, so we initi ated another conference. Only 180 people showed up [an estimate that appears somewhat high], but it formed the Spring Mobilization Committee. We helped get coalitions organized in other cities and got the thing off the ground. Before three or four months were out, we had half a million people demonstrating in the streets against the war April 15, 1967, the biggest demon Btration in the history of the antiwar movement until November 15 [1969]. Without the YSA, it would never have happened.

At this juncture, it should be noted that Camejols rhetoric is admittedly selfserving. As a YSA leader, he must do every thing possible to place maximum credit on his own constituency. But it must also be pointed out that his discussion was printed in the young socialist organizer [sic], a publication intended primarily for distribUtlonamong his own comrades rather than for circulation among the public in general. Thus, this is not a case Of someone trying to sell the public on an idea; rather, it is a case of one member of a Communist group informing other members as to the extent or success of their activities. These are obviously two very different concepts, and the distinction must be borne in mind when one is attempting to evaluate the various kinds of propaganda issued by "peace" activists as to their roles and accomplishments.

The November 1966 Cleveland conference resulted in a resolu tion reconstituting the November 8 Mobilization Committee as the spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, popular ly known as Spring Mobe. This coalition and its successors the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, National Coalition Against War, Racism, and Repression, Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice, and National Peace Action Coalition were all subjects of intensive investigative and research effort by the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities and its successor,, the House Committee on Internal Security, as well as by the Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security. These investigations resulted in several volumes of hearings and reports, all carefully documented, which constitute what is still the Most extensive fund of information available on the realities of antiVietnam war organizing in the United States, more recently supplemented by release of a formerlyclaBBified August 20, 1976, report, FOREIGN INFLUENCE WEATHER UNDERGROUND ORGANIZATION (WUO), f ld office of the Federal prepared withinFbe Chicago, Illinois, ire Bureau of Investigation. This report contains a vast store of information detailing contacts by American antiVietnam war and other radical activists with foreign Communist personnel, particu larly Cuban and Vietnamese.

On March 31, 1967, the House Committee on UnAmerican Activi ties issued its report on the Communist Origin and Manipulation of Vietnam Week. In this document, which deal tb Spring Mobe and a closely allied group known as the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, the Committee formally concluded that "Communists are playing dominant roles in both the Student Mobilization Committee and the Spring Mobilization Commit tee." The principle of nonexclusion continued to be fundamental to Mobe organization, the rationale being, in Muste's words, that "In practice a nonCommunist coalition is in danger of becoming an antiCommunist one.... 11 Another of Muste's observations taken from the same source, an issue of MOBILIZER, the coalition's official publication, is especially instruFtive as an indication of the central importance of Communists and their considerable organizational expertise to the antiVietnam war movement: "What no doubt clinches the matter is that if we were to abandon the Inonexclusion' principle we would quickly disintegrate." It is noteworthy that the major activity conducted by Spring Mobe, organizing massive demonstrations on April 15, 1967, in New York and San Francisco, was condemned specifically for its pronounced proHanoi bias by both the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy and the Young People's Socialist League, youth group of the Socialist Party, neither of which was known for support of the war in Vietnam. As the YPSL declared, Spring Mobels program was "a continuation of the kind of unitedfrontism that clouds the real issues ... with the result that supporters of a Vietcong military victory are lumped in with some who sincerely hope to make a contribution to peace."


In May 1967, the Spring Mobilization Committee held a National AntiWar Conference in Washington, D.C. of the more than 700 people who registered for this conference, more than 300 were members of the Communist Party, U.S.A., W.E.B. DuBois Clubs of America, Socialist Workers Party, Young Socialist Alliance, or Youth Against War and Fascism. Conference workshops were charac terized by active participation on the part of CPUSA and SWP officials; and a principal result of the conference was a call for a massive march on Washington on October 21, 1967, a project proposed and endorsed the previous weekend at a Chicago conference held by the Communistcontrolled Student Mobilization Committee. After the Washington gathering, the coalition became known as the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, under which name, however, as the House Committee on Internal Security stated in its annual report for 1970, "the composition of Mobels leadership remained substantially the same as before [i.e., Communistdominated in character]." That the Committee's assess ment was accurate is clearly indicated by an observation taken from a November 30, 1970, internal document of the Young Socialist Alliance, which stated that both the National Mobe and its succes sor, the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, "rested in large part on three main elements: the Trotskyists, the Communist Party and the radical pacifists."

The October demonstrations, which resulted in several hundred arrests and injuries, were, like all such efforts, characterized by fullscale support from Communist elements, both domestic and foreign. In a message to National Mobe, North Vietnamese Premier Pham Van Dong declared that "The Vietnamese people thank their friends in America and wish them great success in their mounting movement." Such exhortation was typical of Vietnamese Communist support for their "friends in America" at every stage of the war; and such support was by no means onesided, a fact indicated by a remarkable letter written in 1968 to a North Vietnamese official by Thomas E. Hayden, project director for National Mobels demon strations at the Democratic National Convention. Hayden, who once stated that "We are all Viet Cong," has since gained accept ance in some political quarters, as witness his recent visit to the White House where he was told by the President of the United States that he has "made important contributions to our country," a fact which makes the 1968 letter of more than passing interest:

June 4, 1968

Dear Col. Lao:

This note is to introduce you to Mr. Robert Greenblatt, the coordinator of the National Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam. He works Closely with myself and Dave Dellinger, and has just returned from Hanoi.

If there are any pressing questions you wish to discuss, Mr. Greenblatt will be in Paris for a few days.

We hope that the current Paris discussions go well for you. The news from South Vietnam seems very good indeed. We hope to Bee you this Bummer in Paris or at a later time.

Good fortune!


/s/ Tom Hayden

The August demonstrations during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago were the high point of "peace" movement activity in 1968 and were marked by massive violence, large numbers of arrests, a clear proHanoi coloration, and the explicit approbation of international Communist authorities, as well as by the decisive participation of domestic Communist and proCommuniBt activists at all levels. organizations involved in the planning and execution of these riotous protests, according to contempora neous documentary evidence, included the Communist Party, DuBois Clubs, Socialist Workers Party, Young Socialist Alliance, and Workers World Party, in addition to the Maoist Progressive Labor Party, several major Communist fronts, and Students for a Democra tic Society, which had long since removed a Communistexclusion clause from its constitution as it moved steadily leftward. other groups involved included several which have more recently been identified with the Coalition for a New Foreign and Military Policy, among them the American Friends Service Committee, Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam (now known as Clergy and Laity Concerned), the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and the ubiquitous Women Strike for Peace, while vital assistance in organizing legal teams to deal with expected arrests was rendered by the National Lawyers Guild, which has been cited as the "legal bulwark of the Communist Party." AFSC, Clergy and Laymen Concerned, and Women Strike for Peace were also well represented in National Mobels last major demonstration, the socalled "CounterInaugural" action held in Washington, D.C., in January 1969.


The successor to National Mobe was the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, formed at a conference held in Cleveland, Ohio, in July 1969. The host organization for the conference was the Cleveland Area Peace Action Council, a coali tion run by the Socialist Workers Party; and the program adopted, as shown by the eyewitness testimony of an informant, was largely the result of extensive preconference organizing and manipulation by the SWP and its allies, although a wide range of organizations, both Communist and nonCommunist, enjoyed representation. Among these, in addition to the CPUSA, the SWP, and their respective youth fronts, were several recently affiliated with the Coalition for a New Foreign and Military Policy or its various Working Groups: Americans for Democratic Action, AFSC, Clergy and Laymen Concerned, Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Fellowship of Reconcilia tion, National Council of Churches, National Lawyers Guild, National Student Association, SANE, War Resisters League, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and Women Strike for Peace. The stark reality, despite the presence of some genuine pacifists, was clearly indicated in an article published in the July 18, 1969, edition of the SWP's official newspaper, The Militant:

Representatives of the Socialist Workers Party and Young socialist Alliance [whose policies clearly domi nated the proceedings] sought to demonstrate that revolutionaries who regarded themselves as partisans of the Vietnamese liberation struggle had the obligation to build a broad mass movement in opposition to the war from the viewpoint of aiding the Vietnamese revolution as well as from the standpoint of accelerating the radicalizing process in this country.

As observed by the House Committee on Internal security in its annual report for 1970, "The membership of the New Mobe steering committee was indicative of the organization's communist domination." Among the participating organizations which were particularly well represented, both by avowed members and especial ly by members masquerading as representatives of ostensibly nonCommunist organizations, were the Communist Party, U.S.A., and the Socialist Workers Party, along with their respective youth fronts, the W.E.B. DuBois Clubs of America and Young Social ist Alliance. Again, there were also a number of groups which have since become active in the coalition for a New Foreign and Military Policy, among them the United Methodist Church, Women Strike for Peace, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, National Council of Churches, Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam, SANE, Episcopal Peace Fellowship, War Resisters League, Unitarian Universalist Association, American Friends Service Committee, and Institute for Policy Studies (see Heritage Foundation Institution Analysis No. 2, "Institute for Policy Studiest" May 1977).

New Mobels major activities included the socalled "Fall Offensive" demonstrations in Washington, D.C., during October and November 1969, an effort characterized by HCIS Chairman Richard H. Ichord (DMo.) as "a propaganda maneuver designed and organized by Communists and other revolutionaries," and a May 1970 demonstra tion, also in Washington, D.C., to protest the incursion into Cambodia and the deaths of students at Kent State University. Organizing for the "Fall Offensive," which included the October 15, 1969, Washington march sponsored by the Vietnam Moratorium Committee, a Mobeaffiliated group one of whose coordinators, Sam Brown, now serves as director of ACTION in the Carter administra tion (see Heritage Foundation Institution Analysis No. 9, "The New Left in Government: From Protest to Po11r'c_y_MakiiTg_,11 November 1978), was heavily dependent on activists and expertise provided by another primary New Mobe affiliate, the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, an organization tightly controlled, both nationally and locally, by members of the SWP and YSA. Organizing for the November 1969 Washington march was charged to a Mobe subgrouping known as the Washington Action Committee, a body which, like the steering committee, included significant numbers of identified or professed members of the CPUSA, the SWP, and their youth groups, and representatives of such currently CNFMPaffiliated organizations as the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, IPS, SANE, National Council of Churches, American Friends Service Committee, Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam, Episcopal Peace Fellowship, agencies of the United Methodist Church, and Women Strike for Peace.

As with every previous incarnation, New Mobels efforts drew the enthusiastic support of foreign Communist elements, including both the North Vietnamese and the international Communist "peacell apparatus run by the Soviet Union. North Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong expressed his confidence that "the struggle of Vietnamese people and of progressive people in the United States against U.S. aggressions will end in total victory" and, in a cable sent directly to New Mobe, added that "I wish your 'Fall Offensive' a brilliant success." Similar messages of approval came from two Communist organizations in South Vietnam, the South Vietnam People's Committee for Solidarity with the American People and the South Vietnam Liberation Students' Union. In like manner, the Stockholm Conference on Vietnam, described by the House Committee as "a project of the World Peace Council," a "Sovietcontrolled" international Communist "peace" front, urged full international support for the New Mobels activities and hailed the coalition as the embodiment of "the crucial work of mobilizing the American people against the war of aggression and counterrevolution in Vietnam." The relationship between New Mobels leadership and that of the international Communist "peace" apparatus was at all times a close one, a fact indicated by the wording of a 1969 Stockholm Conference document which told of how, at a May 1969 gathering, "The Vietnamese and U.S. delegations were numerous and took a leading part in the deliberations of the conference." In view of the importance of the Stockholm Conference on Vietnam within the overall Soviet and Vietnamese communist "peace" campaign, it is of the greatest significance that the Stockholm Conference reported in February 1970 that its Interna tional Liaison Committee "considered it one of its main duties to raise world support for the U.S. fall offensive and will continue to support the initiatives taken by the U.S. movement."

That this support was aggressively reciprocal was again clearly indicated by several statements made by New Mobe leaders and by activists who, while demonstrably on the political left, were nonetheless unwilling to be trapped into advocacy of a Communist military victory in Vietnam. The Young People*s Social ist League, for example, issued a statement which said, as quoted in the Washington Post for October 18, 1969, that "Many in the leadership [of New Mobel are more committed to an NLF victory than to peace," while YPSL leader Josh Muravchic declared that

"many people involved" in New Mobe "are active, proclaimed sup porters in every public speech they make of the what they call the 'liberation movement' in Vietnam the Viet Cong.11 Muravchic then added a particularly incisive assessment: "I think those people do not properly belong in the peace movement. They are not for peace. They are hawks on the other side." Such is certainly the clear import of an unusually candid statement made by Cornell University Professor Douglas Dowd, one of New Mobels cochairmen, in the film, In the Name of Peace:

One of the tensions that we've had to work out within the National Mobilization [Committee] and conse quently the New Mobilization [Committee] is that the people who are doing the organizing for this kind of thing, almost all of them, really feel that not only the war should end but if there had to be a side in that war I think most of us feel we would be on the other side.


During 1970, the New Mobilization Committee dissolved because of a deepening split within the movement over a fundamental tactical question, "singleissue" as opposed to "multiissue" protest demonstrations, with leadership of the "singleissue', and "multiissue" camps in the hands, respectively, of the Socialist Workers Party and the Communist Party, U.S.A. The direct result of this dispute was the convening of two rival gatherings from which ultimately emerged two national coalitions vying for leader ship of the antiVietnam war movement. The first of these gather ings was the Emergency National Conference Against the Cambodia LaosVietnam War, held in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 1921, 1970; the second was the New Mobe Strategy Action Conference, held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on June 2728, 1970.


As the House Committee on Internal Security stated in its annual report for 1971, "the host organization" for the Emergency National Conference "was to be the Cleveland Area Peace Action Council," described elsewhere in the same report as being under the "firm domination" of the SWP and YSA, "while the real motivat ing force was the Socialist Workers Party" which, along with its youth arm, the YSA, "represented the real power at the conference." The call to this conference, like the program adopted during its proceedings, constituted, as the House committee observed, "a perfect capsulization of the SWP position in the peace movement." Endorsers of the gathering included numerous members of the SWP and YSA from around the country, many of them leading activists in local and regional coalitions which reflected dominant Trotsky ite Communist influence; they also included other "peace" activists not known to be tied to either the SWP or YSA, among them representatives of such CNFMPaffiliated organizations as the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and the United Electri cal, Radio, and Machine Workers of America, the latter one of several trade unions involved in such activity and cultivated most assiduously by the SWP for such purposes.

The primary consequence of the Cleveland conference's efforts was creation of a national coalition in direct opposition to the New Mobilization Committee. This apparatus was known at first as the Peace Action Coalition and later as the National Peace Action Coalition. The first five national coordinators for this effort included one representative of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, one wellknown leader of the Socialist Workers Party, and three other individuals representing two major "peace" coalitions controlled by the SWP, one in Cleveland, Ohio, and one in Detroit, Michigan. This pattern continued throughout NPAC's existence, both with respect to the national leadership and with regard to the many local and regional coalitions which, along with such SWP creatures as the YSA and SMC, formed the backbone of NPAC's organizational structure. Thus, it is small wonder that the House Committee on Internal Security concluded that the National Peace Action Coalition was "tightly controlled by the" SWP, a somewhat backhanded confirmation of which was given in the November 27, 1970, issue of the SWP's official newspaper, The Militant, which boasted that the Socialist Workers Party "is tE_eonly major leftwing group giving active support to NPAC.11


The Strategy Action Conference was an altogether different proposition. The program discussed and adopted at this gathering was pitched to the war in Vietnam, as was that of the National Peace Action Coalition, but also to what the participants saw as intimately related issues: poverty, racism, and repression. As the House Committee stated in its annual report for 1971, "This program dovetailed perfectly with that of the Communist Party." In fact, while some members of the Socialist Workers Party and Young Socialist Alliance were present in the capacity of obser vers, the roster of delegates to the Strategy Action Conference represented a crosssection of those individuals and organi zations within the "multiissue" faction of New Mobe, the leader ship of which, according to a wealth of documentary evidence, was given crucial direction by the CPUSA and its allies. Delegates to the SAC included several members of the Communist Party and its youth front, the Young Workers Liberation League, successor to the DuBois Clubs mentioned earlier; these activists attended in some cases as avowed members of these groups and in others as representatives of local "peace" groups like the Chicago Peace Council and the Peace Action Council of Southern California which operated as fronts for the CPUSA and as key elements in the Party's domination of antiVietnam activity in important areas of the United States. other organizations represented, as shown by the official list of delegates, included a number of groups currently affiliated with the Coalition for a New Foreign and Military Policy: the United Church of Christ, American Friends Service Committee, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Women's Inter national League for Peace and Freedom, War Resisters League, SANE, Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam, National Student Association, and Women Strike for Peace.

The Strategy Action Conference, representing as it did a mobilization of CPUSA and proCPUSA strength within the anti Vietnam war movement, stood in sharp contrast to the Cleveland conference with its clear domination by the SWP and its sup porters. The Communist Party was enthusiastic in its internal assessment of the possibilities presented by its work in Milwaukee. The August 1970 issue of Party Affairs, the Party's confidential internal publication, contained a report on the SAC by Claude Lightfoot, a member of the CPUSA National Committee. Lightfoot spoke of the Party's "initiative" in the Milwaukee conference as an example of the Party's ability to "execute among the masses what we had decided upon." While cautioning his readers that "we have to put our muscle together for the followup," Lightfoot made an observation that proved to be extremely prophetic: "My judgment is we're in a position to begin to put our hands on the steering wheel and nobody is going to be able to stop us."


The "followup" occurred on September 1113, 1970, at another conference in Milwaukee at which New Mobe was reconstituted as the National Coalition Against War, Racism, and Repression. one of the proposals advanced during this gathering ultimately became the disruptive 1971 Mayday protests in Washington, D.C., or ganized by the revolutionary Communistoriented Mayday Collective and the Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice, successor to the NCAWRR; the two principal action proposals approved, however, were advanced by Sidney Peck and by Gilbert Green of the Com munist Party, U.S.A., a fact which indicates the relative im portance of the CPUSA within the Coalition. An NCAWRR mailing disseminated in October 1970 by the Chicago Peace Council, cited by the House Committee as "tightly controlled by members of the CPUSA,11 indicated that, in addition to the Communist Party and Young Workers Liberation League, organizations represented at the second Milwaukee conference included the Fellowship of Reconcili ation, Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam, American Friends Service Committee, and Women Strike for Peace, along with other groups like the National Welfare Rights organization and Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the careful cultivation and exploitation of which was and is a matter of basic Party policy. Documents issued by the NCAWRR show that much of its activity was organized and carried out through its Midwest office, the same address as that of the Chicago Peace Council; and it is signifi cant that, in implementing the multiissue program adopted at the September conference, the NCAWRR operated in close collaboration with two other organizations, the National Coordinating Committee for Trade Union Action and Democracy and the Emergency Conference Committee, which were cited by the House Committee as fronts for the Communist Party and whose control by the Party is a matter of welldocumented public record.

In late November 1970, several NCAWRR activists participated in a World Conference on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia staged by the Stockholm Conference on Vietnam. The executive committee of the Stockholm Conference had met on May 2324, 1970, at which time it had formally invited New Mobe to become a member of the committee and had also adopted a statement which declared that the Stockholm Conference "stands with the people of IndoChina" and "their legitimate representatives: the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam, the Lao Patriotic Front and the Royal Cambodian Government of National Unity." At the November conference a member of the central committee of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam expressed gratitude for the "world wide mass movement, fighting against American aggression in Indochina, [which] has been shown to be of the utmost importance and greatly contributes to isolating the Nixon administration and its henchmen" while the official representative of North Vietnamese Premier Pham Van Dong urged that the conference "Support the antiwar movement in America, and establish a broad program of mass action in coordination with the activities of this movement in the Spring of 1971.11 A careful comparison of the program adopted by this conference with that of the American "peace" movement in late 1970 and early 1971 reveals that, as the House Committee observed in its 1971 annual report, "The program of action for 1971 adopted by the conference was in many respects identical to that of the American antiwar movement, demonstrating again the coordination that exists between American antiwar activists and the international Communist 'peace' movement." The Committee took formal note of the "consistent pattern of such activity over the years" and concluded that

From New Mobe through NCAWRR down to PCPJ, this pattern has never varied as the leaders of these coalitions have continued to cultivate international support especially communist support for their activities; nor is it casual coincidence that study of these docu ments reveals yet another consistent pattern, a pattern of support for the American antiwar movement by the North Vietnamese communists.

On January 810, 1971, the National Coalition Against War, Racism, and Repression met in Chicago, Illinois, to formulate its program for 1971. The official report on the conference was issued by the Chicago Peace Council; and the gathering was given high priority by the CPUSA which, in the December 1970 issue of Party Affairs, referred to its "extreme importance" and urged that each area "be adequately represented @Ry the very broadest delegation (emphasis in original]." The offiF17alEIst of confer ence participants reflects that there was crucial representation from such organizations as the CPUSA and YWLL, as well as from the World Peace Council and such Communist Party front operations as the Chicago Peace Council and Alliance to End Repression. Representatives were also present from the National Lawyers Guild, mentioned previously as the "legal bulwark of the Communist Party," as were observers from the National Peace Action coalition, Young Socialist Alliance, Student Mobilization Committee, and Socialist Workers Party. Representatives were also present from national or local offices of the following groups affiliated with the coalition for a New Foreign and Military Policy: the United Methodist Church, SANE, Women Strike for Peace, United Church of Christ, American Friends Service Committee, War Resisters League, Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam, Fellowship of Recon ciliation, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, National Student Association, United Electrical Workers, Episcopal Peace Fellowship, World Without War Council, and National Council of Churches.

The conference approved three principal activities. The first was a series of demonstrations in cities across the United States on April 24, 1971, to commemorate the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., and relate the war to the issues of poverty, racism, and political repression. The second was circulation of the "Joint Treaty of Peace Between the People of the United States, South Vietnam, and North Vietnam," more generally known as the "People's Peace Treaty," a document drafted and signed in Hanoi by representatives of the National Student Association and "student" groups from North and South Vietnam. In its annual report for 1971, the House Committee on Internal Security found that "This socalled treaty, which involved negotiations with representatives of the communist North Vietnamese Government, fully supports the communist position on Vietnam." The third activity was the May 1971 demonstration in Washington, D.C., projected as "a multiissue action" which would "go beyond rallies and demonstrations," a clear reference to the possibility of what David Dellinger referred to as "active struggle" and what Rennie Davis, another NCAWRR activist, saw as the need "to create an atmosphere of struggle in May that leads to an international crisis." Given such an emphasis, it is hardly surprising that the conference received a message from Madame Nguyen Thi Binh, principal Vietcong negotiator in Paris, expressing her appreci ation for "this initiative of the American antiwar movement" and wishing "the best successes to your spring activities and plans for mass demonstrations in May."


Subsequent to the January conference, the NCAWRR was recon stituted as the Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice. The leadership and program known generally as the "Spring Offensive,, remained the same as before; and nonexclusion continued to be central to movement organizing efforts, as indicated by Sidney Peck's statement that both "the war abroad and the repression at home" were "typically justified by an anticommunist mythology" the response to which must be to "challenge that mythology head on by a nonexclusionary attitude to all forces on the radical left.... 11 PCPJ and Mayday Collective activists attended a February 1971 Student and Youth Conference on a People's Peace in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at which both the People's Peace Treaty and the May demonstrations were enthusiastically endorsed. The House Committee reported that "the program adopted by the Ann Arbor conference, like the program of the NCAWRRPCPJ, which supported the Ann Arbor meeting," was "completely in line with that of the communists in Vietnam.... 11 It is also noteworthy that PCPJ, in a February 20, 1971, mailing, proclaimed that the People's Peace Treaty would be "the antiwar theme for the Spring Campaign."

Like its predecessor coalitions, PCPJ enjoyed the allout support of the Communist Party, U.S.A., its youth apparatus, and its extensive network of front organizations. coalition and other publicrecord documentation reflects that the organization's coordinating committee included several individuals identified at various times as members of the CPUSA, many of them representing other groups such as the Chicago Peace Council and Peace Action Council of Southern California. A mid1971 list of coordinating committee members, both participating organizations and their official representatives, included the CPUSA and YWLL; several CPUSAcontrolled groups like the Chicago Peace Council, Peace Action Council of Southern California, Pittsburgh Peace and Freedom Center, and Southern Conference Educational Fund; the Vietnam Peace Parade Committee, also known as the Fifth Avenue Vietnam Peace Parade Committee, a New York coalition cited by the House Committee as Communistdominated; and such CNFMPaffiliated groups as the American Friends Service Committee, Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam, Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Methodist Church, National Student Association, United Church of Christ, War Resisters League, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and Women Strike for Peace.*

In working for its program of demonstrations early in 1971, especially for those scheduled in May, PCPJ found itself in sharp conflict with the National Peace Action Coalition, which was pushing for its own singleissue, endthewar mass demonstrations in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, California, on April 24. The circumstances under which both coalitions were able to achieve at least a degree of unity provide a nearperfect case study of the subservience of many leading American "peace" activists to the needs and dictates of the Vietnamese Communists.

'The NPAC steering committee also included representatives of WILPF and WSP, in addition to the Philadelphia YWCA, the executive director of Americans for Democratic Action, a cochairman of SANE, Representative John Conyers (D.Mich.), and numerous members of its controlling SWP and YSA. In February 1971, the executive committee of the Stockholm Conference on Vietnam met to consider problems related to the "peace" movement. A national coordinator of PCPJ was present and announced that his organization's spring program was to be worked out at a meeting in Washington the same weekend whereupon, in the words of a Stockholm Conference document, the "Executive Committee decided unanimously to conform its proposals for action to the lines of the decisions to be taken in Washington." On the same day as the Stockholm Conference meeting, Xuan Thuy, chief North Vietnamese negotiator in Paris, issued an appeal for unity in the American antiVietnam war movement, calling on "progressive American people and all antiwar organizations in the U.S. to unite closely" to create "a wide and strong movement" against American "aggression" in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia and wishing American antiVietnam war activists "every success" in the Spring offensive. Then, on February 2728, 1971, the PCPJ continuations committee met in Washington and decided to cosponsor NPAC's April 24 marches in Washington and San Francisco, after which, on March 2, 1971, PCPJ leaders held a press conference in the Rayburn House Office Building to announce this new unity of action. As the House Committee declared in its 1971 annual report, "It is plain that this show of unity was a direct result of the urgent plea from Xuan Thuy in behalf of North Vietnam's communist leaders." Also as an obvious result of this development, known members of the CPUSA were prominent among both organizers and endorsers of the April 24 actions, with active involvement coming from such CPUSAcontrolled groups as the Young Workers Liberation League and National Coordinating Committee for Trade Union Action and Democracy.

The April and May demonstrations marked one of the high points in antiVietnam war organizing in the United States and were never again equalled despite efforts to maintain the momentum achieved during their preparation. As had been the case at every previous juncture, vigorous support was forthcoming from the Vietnamese Communists. At a May 10, 1971, meeting with American "peace" leaders in Paris, Madame Binh indicated strong interest and approval while Nguyen Minh Vy, a deputy minister in the DRV delegation in Paris, declared the demonstrations "a great suc cess" and added that "It is hard to find the words to express our feelings." Similarly, at a World Peace Council gathering in Budapest, Hungary, on May 1216, attended by representatives of several PCPJaffiliated groups, the "warmest reception" the 30member American delegation received, according to an eye witness report by Pauline Rosen of the Communist Party and Women Strike for Peace as quoted in the June 26, 1971, edition of the CPUSA's World Magazine, "was from the Vietnamese delegates, who affirmed that the Spring Offensive had given a new thrust to the world forces opposed to U.S. imperialism and its naked aggression in Indochina." Madame Binh also expressed her "wish to thank here particularly our American friends" for their efforts while the secretary general of the World Peace Council, according to the June 16, 1971, edition of the Daily World, gave strong sup port to the CPUSAPCPJ multiissue progr.Ui@against poverty,


racism and repression" which, "because of this linking of the antiwar movement with the key problems facing the people of the USA at home," has led to "the vast development and growing unity of the U.S. peace movement."

As previously noted, the House Committee on Internal Security, after thorough investigation, found in its 1971 annual report that the National Peace Action Coalition was "tightly controlled by the Socialist Workers Party." In view of the available evi dence, the barest fraction of which has been recounted in the present study, it should come as no surprise that the same Commit tee also found that "a generally predominant influence in the Peoples Coalition for Peace & Justice (PCPJ) has been exercised by the Communist Party, U.S.A." and that PCPJ was "in harmony with the lines of both the Communist Party, U.S.A., and the ... World Peace Council, which, along with the Stockholm Conference on Vietnam, represents the major voice of the Soviet union in the area of international communist 'peace' activity designed to cripple the United States."


In preceding sections, an attempt has been made to summarize a small portion of the evidence available in the public record to indicate certain things about the coalitions which dominated antiVietnam war organizing in the United states during the 1960s and early 1970s. These are (a) that these coalitions were, throughout their existence, beginning with the National Coordinat ing Committee to End the War in Vietnam and ending with the National Peace Action Coalition and Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice, effectively dominated by Communists, the most influ ential organizations at all times being the Communist Party, U.S.A.J. the Socialist Workers Party, and their respective youth groups, and (b) that these coalitions operated, certainly insofar as their principal leadership was concerned, in conscious support of the Communist cause in Vietnam. Certain additional evidence, much of it from writings and utterances of individuals involved at the leadership level of the antiVietnam war movement in this country, may be appropriate at this point to an understanding of the significance of the Communist role in leading the movement from which the Coalition for a New Foreign and Military Policy, by its own account, has evolved.

Basic Communist policy as applied to "peace" agitation involves the concept of a front behind enemy lines, a Communist apparatus which operates to paralyze the enemy's will to resist the Communist armed force trying to conquer another country or overthrow an existing nonCommunist government. This concept was neatly put in a 1936 address by Otto Kuusinen, a Finnish Communist and official of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, before the Seventh World Congress of the Communist International in Moscow: "We want to attack our class enemies in the rear when they start the war against the Soviet Union." To keep "the working class youth" from following "the Catholic priests or the liberal chameleons" rather than the Communists, it is necessary to create "a revolutionary youth movement at least ten times as wide as our Parties, and a united youth front hundreds of times wider still." This is essential if the Communists are to realize the primary goal "of transforming the imperialist war into a civil war against the bourgeoisie" and "preparing the masses in a Bolshevik way for the event of an imperialist war breaking out." As part of this program, "pacifist youth organizations" should be invited to join the united front, but not for pacifist reasons; rather, "we must continually remind the youth of what Lenin taught us" about such relationships:

You will be given a gun. Take it and learn the art of war thoroughly. This knowledge is necessary for the proletarians, not in order to shoot your brothers, the workers of other countries, as is being done in the present war and as the traitors to socialism advise you to do, but in order to fight against the bourgeoisie of your own country, to put an end to exploitation, poverty and war, not by means of good intentions, but by a victory over the bourgeoisie and by disarming them [emphasis in original].

More recently, the concept has been somewhat revised to fit the situation in Vietnam. In his book People's War, People's Army, North Vietnamese general Vo Nguyen Glap w about what he styled the "policy of Front" used by the Vietnamese Communists for the purpose of "neutralising all those which could be neutral ised, dividing all those it was possible to divide in order to direct the spearhead at the chief enemy of the revolution, invad ing imperialism."


In their respective "peace" efforts, both the Communist Party, U.S.A., and the Socialist Workers Party recognize the paramount importance of international rather than national revolu tionary goals. In the April 23, 1969, issue of Party Affairs, two prominent members of the CPUSA explained the Party's TunHilon, stating

That our Party's main contribution to peaceful coexis tence is in building opposition to U.S. imperialism and in solidarity with the national liberation movements; that peaceful coexistance [sic] between countries does not imply peaceful transition to national liberation and socialism within countries; that each victory of national liberation strengthens the possibility for peaceful coexistance [sic]; that victory for the Vietna mese people against U.S. imperialism will be a most powerful blow for peaceful coexistance [sic]. Such a view obviously reflects a conscious commitment to military victory by the Vietnamese Communists over the forces of South Vietnam and the United States despite the Party's rhetoric about working with others to bring about purely peaceful polit ical, economic, and social change; as will shortly be seen, this is equally true of the world Trotskyite movement as embodied in the Fourth International, within which the U.S. section has always been the Socialist Workers Party. It is most significant that the Communist Party, in the words of one of its members in a 1970 report to the New York Section Committee of the Young Workers Liberation League, re

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William Poole Senior Copy Editor
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