Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mark Weisbrot: Communist Tool or Chavez' Fool? You Decide

Today we perform a little Other McCain Rule 3 action, a little fisking of one Mark Weisbrot, Communist. In today's column, we will see how Dr. Weisbrot writes leftist propaganda for the so-called main stream media. He is co-director of a socialist think-tank, and he is president of an anti-war pacifist organization trying to pass itself off as centrist.

Leftist Propaganda for the Left Wing Machine

Mr. Weisbrot came to my attention as I was doing research for a column on "Op-Ed Roundup on Honduras". (By the way, I found it difficult to find all the major newspaper op-ed pieces on a given subject. Is there a central clearing house for Newspaper Op-ed articles? Yahoo isn't it...) Anyway, I read Mark Weisbrot in the Los Angeles Times Op-Ed pages decided I have to out him. He is either a tool or a fool, you be the judge. Here he is on Honduras:
Meet Lanny Davis... hired by a coalition of Latin American business interests to represent the dictatorship that ousted elected President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras in a military coup and removed him to Costa Rica on June 28.
Lanny Davis does not represent a 'dictatorship that ousted' Zelaya. Such is the typical circular reasoning of the left. First state a falsehood, assume it to be true. Then state another falsehood dependent upon the first falsehood and show it supports your point. In this case, the 'dictatorship' is the first lie. Zelaya was removed form power by the unanimous action of the supreme court of Honduras, an the near unanimous action of the legislature of Honduras. Moreover, Lanny Davis was not hired by any government, he represents legitimate business interests from Honduras.

Having dispensed with the opening paragraphs of Weisbrot's article as lie upon lie, I will simply let the near unanimous commenters at the Los Angeles Times no less, tell you what is wrong with the rest of his article. Here are the first five comments, in entirety (emphasis mine):
  1. The editorial is highly questionable as it completely ignores much relevant information. The author incorrectly calls the referendum proposed by Zelaya a non-binding poll... This depiction is innacurate (more info at ). To state that Zelaya fought corruption could not be further from the truth, especially when his cousin, Marcelo Chimirri, was accused of taking a $1Million bribe while running the state telecom. In addition to this, Zelaya ran the goverment without submitting a budget to congress so that tracking expenses would be diificult. Submitted by: Hondurenovd, 4:13 PM PDT, July 23, 2009
  2. I am a columnist for venezuelas major newspaper EL UNIVERSAL and a political analist. I have followed Mr Weisbrot since he became and agent for the regime of hugo chavez. And what he writes on certain subjects are first aproved by his contact in the regime, Mr. Samuel Moncada actual venezuelan ambassador to the UK. Maybe the IRS should check his income and the state dep demand that he register as an agent of a foreign government. Maybe he could write about the rampant antisemitsm of hugo chavez regime, but that would be asking too much. Submitted by: sammy eppel 3:53 PM PDT, July 23, 2009
  3. I'm an American living in Honduras and ashamed of what you are peddling as journalism. Zelaya tried a Chavez style power grab plain and simple. He put himself above the law and thumbed his nose at his country's democratically elected institutions. He got caught in his scheme. As for violence and repression under the current government...haven't seen it. You should probably do some further fact finding before making blanket statements so you can present a more balanced point of view. Submitted by: J. Martin 3:36 PM PDT, July 23, 2009
  4. As a Hondurean I am amazed that Mr. Mark Weisbrot don't get its facts straight. Yes, it was wrong the way Zelaya was ousted and sent to Costa Rica, he should have been declared an outlaw first, detained and judged for trying an "innocent" referendum to seek lifetime re-election. Zelaya was ousted because he wanted to go against the Hondurean Constitution, what he wanted to do is a punishable crime and by attempting this, he became subject to detention and prison. Too bad he is not in jail, that is what our Constitution says he should be. Submitted by: Andres Diaz 3:36 PM PDT, July 23, 2009
  5. Honduras Attorney General, Supreme Electoral Court and Appellate Administrative Court all branded the poll “illegal”.UNANIMOUSLY impeached,removed from office,and Speaker Micheletti seated in his stead.Due process had been observed.His exile did lack legal cover,ergo his return must be allowed,even if to face charges of contempt of Court.Many who now show righteous indignation over Zelaya’s ouster are not as keen to condemn deserving democracy-bashers as the Castros in Cuba.Pray be more even-keeled on fingering human-rights miscreants everywhere,instead of heaping condemnation on one side,while keeping mum on the other side’s trespasses. Submitted by: Roberto Soto Santana 1:52 PM PDT, July 23, 2009
Commenter number two above accuses Dr. Weisbrot of being in Hugo Chavez pocket. It could be, as Mr. Weisbrot wrote this laudatory piece on the Venezuelan economy after ten years under Chavez Rule. I have not fact checked it, so I leave that as an exercise to the reader. However, I will note the conclusion of the document: "The main challenge for Venezuela in the next couple of years will therefore be to implement an effective stimulus package that can keep the economy on a steady growth path." Of course, Mr. Weisbrot calls for more government, bigger government, ergo he is looking more and more like a socialist.

You know that when someone is shouted down ten to one on the Los Angeles Times Opinion page they are really really out there. They are either a nut, or a right wing radical. We know he isn't the latter, so he is looking more like a communist fool.

The Center for Economic Policy and Research, a Saul Alinsky Think Tank

What else do we know about Weisbrot? He has a PHd in economics from the University of Michigan. That apparently qualifies him to be co-director at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). CEPR is trying to pass itself off as a centrist organization "CEPR is committed to presenting issues in an accurate and understandable manner, so that the public is better prepared to choose among the various policy options." Who is on the Board of Directors for the CEPR?
  • There is Peter Barnes, Founder, Working Assets, San Francisco, CA. Working Assets is a green company, "Supporting peace, equality, human rights and the environment is the reason we exist."
  • Julian Bond, Chairman, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • Heidi Hartmann, Director and President, Institute for Women's Policy Research, Washington, DC
  • Brennan Van Dyke, Senior Advisor to CEO, Global Environment Facility (UNDP), Washington, DC
  • Eileen Appelbaum, Professor and Director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University
  • Richard Freeman, Professor of Economics at Harvard University (Pro-Union Economist)
A circle-jerk of left wing policy proponents. Having established the 'editorial board' credentials, let us take a look at a roundup of CEPR editorials:
This, in addition to the pro-Chavez piece... it doesn't seem to me they are presenting multiple views of any issue. That is OK though, by them, because "an informed public should be able to choose policies that lead to an improving quality of life, both for people within the United States and around the world." I take it back -- they do have two kinds of views, both communist and socialist views. Ha ha! Congratulations, CEPR passes the Saul Alinsky test, clearly a leftist propaganda machine.

Pacifist PAC President

Mark Weisbrot, (Dr. Wesibrot to you) is also the President of Just Foreign Policy. Just Foreign Policy is a 501(c)(3)-registered non-governmental organization founded in January 2007 which is dedicated to reforming U.S. foreign policy. Here is the stated Just Foreign Policy mission (emphasis mine):
Just Foreign Policy is an independent and non-partisan membership organization dedicated to reforming U.S. foreign policy by mobilizing and organizing the broad majority of Americans who want a foreign policy based on diplomacy, law and cooperation.

We have seen through the Iraq war that unnecessary military actions can undermine civil liberties and democracy at home, and can be used to remove pressing domestic issues like the economy from the political agenda to the detriment of the great majority.
Interpretation: It is an anti-war group. They say as much. Ok, fine. But to make the claim of being 'independent and non-partisan' is too much. They are clearly anti-war, no-guns-more-butter left wing radicals, trying to pass off as centrists. Does that sound familiar to anyone?

On the same page of the Mission Statement is this advertisement for Pro-Zelaya action. He gives you a little on-line interface to urge your congressman to support Zelaya's corrupt regime. They can be neither independent nor non-partisan since they take one side over another in this conflict.

Now we have come full circle on Mark Weisbrot: Communist Tool or Chavez Fool -- You make the call on that one. Several things are clear: The CEPR is a leftist propaganda machine, and Just Foreign Policy is anything but independent and non-partisan. It is a pacifist and socialist political action committee. Which makes Dr. Weisbrot a pacifist socialist PAC president, and a dangerous propaganda generator.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Well, they are non-partisan. One-third Greens, one-third socialists, and one-third Democrats.

Bob in Los Angeles said...

Ha bahbaaHAHAA You had me going there for a minute... but yes -- "both kinds of music" is now "all three kinds" :-)

Thanks for reading, I didn't think anyone liked this one.

OBloodyHell said...

Sorry, bob, I thought I'd e-mailed you on it. It's quite good. Very nicely fisked.

Anonymous said...

Opposing the wrongs of the PSUV/Chavista Junta is not a partisan position. The evils of the deficient and unrealistic philosophy of man supported by Marxist-Leninist dogma has its' opponents among right,left, and centrist thinkers. The operative word thinkers. There may bemany things we all disagree about, but a dirty dog is a dirty dog, QED. The evidence about Chavez support of corruption, drug smuggling,uranium for Iran, harboring terrorists, shredding his nation's old and new constitution, trampling on human rights, gagging the freedom of the press, conniving with criminals to create massive civil insecurity, his insane and stupid arms race an militarization of what once was the most peaceful country in Latino America,and on and on---these things hurt us all, and offend everybody's sense of morality and justice, except for the exceptional folks like Markypoo.

Probably as many left-wing ideologues such as Weisbrot and Eva Golinger get paid by the Venezuelan Info Office or its' successor, or through outright grants from El Caudillo as Republicans on New Business development missions winked at the regime to win petroleum related opportunities, the late Jack Kemp among them--sorry to mention anything like this about the dead, but it is true...Eva got $3.5 mil US, Danny Glover tens of mil, Sean Penn? Oliver Stone? While ordinary Venezuelans have little to no flour, rice, beans,meat, milk...the clinics have no meds or other supplies, electricity is sporadic at best, water the same. Where is the justice here? I say unite, do not divide with imprudent rhetoric. I am a Dem, a relative of Daniel F O'Leary, I have relatives there who were on the Tascon list, andmany who have been kidnapped for high ransoms of late. The Rule of Law in Vzla is all but dead, what comes next? A formal declaration of La Gran Cubazuela?

Jeff said...

He was my econ prof in college. He's a die hard commie!