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Inside The League by Scott Anderson, and Jon Lee Anderson

For over ten years progressive researchers in this country and in Europe have been uncovering evidence linking certain American conservatives and rightists to racist and fascist movements around the globe through a shadowy organization called the World Anti-Communist League. Now the book “Inside the League” exposes the hidden nature of the League and documents in devastating detail a parade of League-affiliated authoritarian ideologues marching from the death camps of Nazi Germany into the parlors of Reagan’s White House.

The idea for the book came when Jon Lee Anderson as researching a series of columns on Latin American death squads for Jack Anderson, (Jon Lee’s employer but not his relative). Enlisting the aid of his brother Scott, the two first began tracing the connections between the death squads but soon were unravelling networks and alliances that involved terrorists, Nazi collaborators, racists, assassins, anti-Jewish bigots, and right- wing anti-communist American politicians. The one factor all had in common was their involvement with the World Anti-Communist League.

The Latin American death squads, for instance, were found to be linked hrough an umbrella group of Central and South American rightists called the Latin American Anti-Communist Confederation (CAL). CAL in turn was affiliated with the World Anti-Communist League (WACL), lead by a retired U. S. Major General, John Singlaub. Singlaub boasts WACL is the coordinating body for raising private aid for the Contras, a task support ed explicitly by the Reagan White House which has sent government officials and glowing letters of support to WACL meetings in recent years.

WACL also serves as an umbrella for several Eastern European emigre groups founded and lead by Nazi collaborators, and there is far more. As the Anderson brothers write: “We have examined the World Anti-Communist League… because it is the one organization in which representatives of virtually every right-wing extremist movement that has practiced unconventional warfare are to be found. The League is the one constant in this netherworld; whether looking at Croation terrorists, Norwegian neo-Nazis, Japanese war criminals, or American ultra-rightists…. (p. x, Author’s Note).

WACL is more than a club for aging facists and their modern- day hero-worshipers, it serves as the primary coordinating body through which nti-communist groups meet and debate and implement strategies to prop up anti-Communist authoritarian regimes and defe at popular movements for social and political liberation around the world. The current strategy is to avoid when possible the use of military troops – and use instead a process called “unconventional warfare”.

This practice is employed by the Reagan administration but couched in popular terminology with calls for supporting heroic “freedom fighters” such as the Contras. The Scott brothers explain: “As defined by a League member who advocates its use, unconventional arfare includes ‘in addition to terrorism, subversion and guerilla warfare, such covert and non-military activities as sabotage, economic warfare, support to resistance groups, black and gray psychological operations, disinformation activities, and political warfare.

“Certainly the Nazi forces of World War Two and the rightist death squads of El Salvador and Guatemala today are among this century’s most accomplished practitioners of this unconventional warfare,” write the Andersons. They note that many historia ns have made the comparison before them, but point out “What has not been as well publicized is that the

Salvadoran rightist killing peasants today learned his methods from the Nazis and their collaborators in Europe, and that he didn’t receive this knowledge through the reading of books but through careful tutoring” through the network established by the World Anti- Communist League. It is this group that President Reagan has praised for playing “a leadership role in drawing attention to the gallant struggle now being waged by the true freedom fighters of our day. ” A list of persons involved over the years with WACL is printed on the back cover of “Inside the League. ” Among the more notable:

Yaroslav Stetsko, a Nazi collaborator who in July 1941 presided over the extermination of 7,000 Jews; Stefano delle Chiaie, a fugitive Italian terrorist wanted for robbery, kidnapping and murder; Mario Sandoval Alarcon, architect of the Guatemalan death squads; Chirila Ciuntu, a Romani an fascist who participated in a 1941 massacre of Jews; Ray Cline, former deputy director of the CIA; Jess Helms, Republican Senator from North Carolina; Fred Schlafly, Phyllis’ husband; General Jorge Rafael Videla, former Argentine dictator now imprisoned for mass-murder; and Roger Pearson, a scientific racist whose books on racial superiority are still old today by American neo-Nazi groups.

The authors devote considerable attention to showing that Reagan administration officials and U. S. supporters of the World Anti-Communist League cannot claim lack of knowledge or evidence to support the charges that WACL is riddled with fascists. Almost apologetically they reach the conclusion that in, essence, certain anti-communist forces in this country have decided that working with fascists is an acceptable alternative to dealing with communism.

The book sets out to show how Nazis have infiltrated a worldwide anti-communist organization. It achieves this goal admirably, using a p opular style and approach that should have attracted far more media attention than it has so far received. It is almost as if reporters cannot accept the evidence because the conclusions conflict with our basic notions of decency and morality – how hard it must be for most Americans to believe that among the hands that have crafted our current foriegn policy are those bloodied through participation in the Nazi Holocaust and latter-day bloodbaths. But then history does reveal that the Nazi movement was, among other things, ardently anti-Communist.

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