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Official logo of the World League for Freedom and Democracy.

The World League for Freedom and Democracy (WLFD, formerly the World Anti-Communist League, WACL) is an international anti-communist political organization founded in 1966 in Taipei, Taiwan, under the initiative of Chiang Kai-shek. It was founded with the aim of opposing Communism around the world through "unconventional" methods. It had eight regional branches, with a presence in up to 100 countries on six continents. The honorary life chairman of the WACL was Dr. Ku Cheng-Kang, a senior leader of the Kuomintang (KMT), and the president of Taiwan's National Assembly.

The U.S. chapter of WACL, the United States Council for World Freedom (USCWF), has been one of the most active branches. USCWF was founded in 1981 by Major General John K. Singlaub. This branch has generated controversy, as it prominently supported Nicaraguan guerrillas in the Iran–Contra affair[1] and, in 1981, the USCWF was placed under watch by the Anti-Defamation League, which said that the organization had increasingly become "a point of contact for extremists, racists, and anti-Semites".[2][3] During the 1980s, the USCWF and WACL conducted a purge of these elements, and invited ADL observers to monitor its conferences;[4] by 1985, the Anti-Defamation League declared itself "satisfied that substantial progress has been made since 1981 in ridding the organization of racists and anti-Semites."[5]

Contents

History

The WACL held annual conferences at various locations throughout the world. Its core activity involved providing financial and material aid to right-wing organizations and anti-communist militias around the globe, notably by providing scholarships for psychological warfare training at the Political Warfare Cadres Academy in Taiwan. However, by the mid-eighties WACL had become the leading non-governmental supplier of arms to anti-communist rebel movements in southern Africa, Central America, Afghanistan and the Far East.[6]

It has been alleged but not proven that the League had close ties with the governments of Taiwan under Kuomintang rule, and (to a lesser extent) South Korea. Numerous groups participated, including the Unification Church of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. The WACL also enjoyed support from both the Carter and Reagan administrations in the United States, particularly with regard to its role in Central America,[7] and many U.S. Congressmen, most notably 2008 presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ),[8][1] who sat on the USCWF Board of Directors in the early 1980s.[9][10] McCain has said previously he resigned from the council in 1984 and asked in 1986 to have his name removed from the group's letterhead.[11]

At the 17th Annual WACL Conference held in San Diego, California, John K. Singlaub, president of the WACL's US chapter, read a letter from President Ronald Reagan which said in part, "The World Anti-Communist League has long played a leadership role in drawing attention to the gallant struggle now being waged by the true freedom fighters of our day. Nancy and I send our best wishes for further success."[12]

Singlaub was the former US Chief of Staff of both United Nations and American forces in South Korea, but was relieved in 1977 by U.S. President Jimmy Carter after publicly criticizing Carter's decision to reduce the number of troops on the peninsula. Singlaub became a member of the WACL in 1980, and founded and became president of its U.S. chapter, the United States Council for World Freedom.

In 1978, Roger Pearson, became the chairman of the WACL, until he was expelled in 1980 after allegations were made of him having been member of neo-Nazi organizations.[13][14]

During the 1980s, the WACL was particularly active in Latin America, notably by aiding the Contra forces in Nicaragua.[15] During this period, WACL was criticized for the presence in the organization of neo-Nazis, war criminals, and people linked to death squads and assassinations.[3]

The WACL produced numerous publications, such as Can the Two Chinas become One? by S. Senese and D. Pikcunas (1989).

The 21st WACL Conference was held in Geneva, 27–29 August 1988, and was addressed by U.S. Congressmen Richard Armey, South Vietnam's President Nguyen Van Thieu and George Wortley, and Major-General Singlaub.

The League held its 22nd World Conference in Brussels in July 1990. But following the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe in 1990 and 1991, WACL's main purpose, at least in Europe, became less clear.

On September 17, 1994, The Irish Times reported that the WACL is now known as the World League for Freedom and Democracy. It is still sponsored by Taiwan and South Korea, and now officially has turned itself to "global affairs, the need for peace initiatives and co-operating with developing countries."

Two further reports claim that the World League for Freedom and Democracy is responsible for producing what its opponents call "troops of killers", while ostensibly organizing to provide support for Corazon Aquino from the right-wing in the Philippines (The Village Voice, February 27, 1996), and for supporting the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) movement in Mozambique (The Guardian, August 6, 1994).

Some members or former members

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Yost, Pete (2008-10-07). "McCain linked to group in Iran-Contra affair". San Francisco Chronicle. Associated Press. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/10/06/politics/p212035D66.DTL. Retrieved 2009-08-20.  
  2. ^ Anti-Defamation League (1981), "Terrorism’s Targets: Democracy, Israel and Jews", p23 - cited at ADL on the WACL & John McCain
  3. ^ a b Anti-Semitism Charges Lead To Delay on Religion Prize, New York Times, April 19, 1988.
  4. ^ Singlaub, Hazardous Duty, p. 447
  5. ^ ADL on the WACL & John McCain
  6. ^ David Pallister, David Beresford and Angela Johnson. "Guns, Goons, and Western Goals", The Guardian, April 24, 1993.
  7. ^ "Growth of Reagan's Contra Commitment excerpted from the book The Iran-Contra Connection Secret Teams and Covert Operations in the Reagan Era". Thirdworldtraveler.com. http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Ronald_Reagan/ReaganContraCommit_TICC.html. Retrieved 2008-10-17.  
  8. ^ Smith, Ben. "A shot across the bows". Politico.com. http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1008/A_shot_across_the_bows.html. Retrieved 2008-10-17.  
  9. ^ Meet the Press transcript for Oct. 5, 2008
  10. ^ "US election: Democrats threaten to hit McCain on Iran-Contra link". The Guardian. 2008-10-07. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/oct/07/uselections2008.johnmccain2. Retrieved 2008-10-07.  
  11. ^ "McCain tied to Iran-Contra group". MSNBC.com. 2008-10-07. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27062761/. Retrieved 2008-10-17.  
  12. ^ "Censored News 1986". Thirdworldtraveler.com. http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Project%20Censored/CensoredNews_1986.html. Retrieved 2008-10-17.  
  13. ^ Paul W. Valentine (1978-05-28). "The Fascist Specter Behind The World Anti-Red League". Washington Post.  
  14. ^ Tim Kelsey; Trevor Rowe (1990-03-04). "Academics were funded by racist American trust". The Independent.  
  15. ^ USA Today, 7 October 2008, McCain linked to group in Iran-Contra affair
  16. ^ Videla himself was one of the member presidents of the World League in 1973, see La Liga Anticomunista Mundial, internacional del crimen, Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire
  17. ^ An Urgent Appeal Concerning World Anti-Communist Conference, ALOR - OnTarget Vol.12 - No.10, to quote ... The Australian League of Rights has also been accepted as the Australian Chapter Member of the World Youth Anti-Communist League
  18. ^ Historic Demand For Economic War Against Communism, ALOR - OnTarget Vol.10 - No.15, Mr. Eric Butler reports from Washington, U.S.A., where he has been representing The Australian League of Rights at the 7th World Anti-Communist League Conference
  19. ^ the party's founder, dictator Hugo Banzer, was one of the member presidents of the World League in 1973, see La Liga Anticomunista Mundial, internacional del crimen, Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire
  20. ^ Roberto D'Aubuisson was deeply involved in the WACL
  21. ^ Through its leader and founder, Stefano delle Chiaie. See "Inside The League by Scott Anderson, and Jon Lee Anderson."
  22. ^ La Liga Anticomunista Mundial, internacional del crimen, Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire
  23. ^ the party's leader, dictator Alfredo Stroessner, was one of the member presidents of the World League in 1973, see La Liga Anticomunista Mundial, internacional del crimen, Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire
  24. ^ Ferdinand Marcos was one of the member presidents of the World League in 1973, see La Liga Anticomunista Mundial, internacional del crimen, Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire
  25. ^ the party's founder and leader, dictator Park Chung-hee, was one of the member presidents of the World League in 1973, see La Liga Anticomunista Mundial, internacional del crimen, Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire
  26. ^ party leader Nguyen Van Thieu was one of the member presidents of the World League in 1973, see La Liga Anticomunista Mundial, internacional del crimen, Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire
  27. ^ Paul W. Valentine (1978-05-28). "The Fascist Specter Behind The World Anti-Red League". Washington Post
  28. ^ Rich Jaroslovsky (1984-09-28). "Racial Purist uses Reagan Plug". Wall Street Journal
  29. ^ World Anti-Communist League, Right Web
  30. ^ United States Council for World Freedom, Political research Associates, Right Web, January 09, 1990
  31. ^ Through deputy director Ray Cline. See "Inside The League by Scott Anderson, and Jon Lee Anderson."

Further reading

  • Witold S. Sworakowski, The Communist International & Its Front Organisations, The Hoover Institution, Stanford, California, 1965, Library of Congress Cat.no: 65-12622.
  • Charles Hobday, Communist & Marxist Parties of The World, UK, 1986. ISBN 0-582-90264-9.
  • Ian F.W. Beckett, The Roots of Counter-Insurgency, London, 1988. ISBN 0-7137-1922-2.
  • Free World Report, January, 1989, p.4.
  • Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson, Inside The League: The Shocking Expose Of How Terrorists, Nazis and Latin American Death Squads Have Infiltrated the World Anti-Communist League, Dodd Mead, New York, 1986. ISBN 0-396-08517-2.

External links

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