Inside The League by Scott Anderson, and Jon Lee Anderson

Inside The League by Scott Anderson, and Jon Lee Anderson

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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

was 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

through 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

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hero-worshipers, it serves as the primary coordinating body through which

anti-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

warfare 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

sold 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. Why are

these lessons so hard to recall, and why do so many voices that still cry

out against Nazi ideology remain silent when the Nazis themselves receive

letters of praise from our President?


    "Inside The League: The Shocking Expose Of How Terrorists, Nazis, And

Latin American Death Squads Have Infiltrated The World Anti-Communist

League."  Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson. Dodd Mead, New York, 1986.

352 pages. $19.95 hardcover. ISBN 0- 396-08517-2. Publication date May 28,


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