Visualizing whirled peas
By Linda Bentley | August 20, 2008
Not just a bumper sticker anymore
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. – Whoever dreamed up the bumper sticker, “Visualize Whirled Peas,” could very well have been mocking the World Peace Council (WPC).
Formed in 1949, the WPC has since expanded into a worldwide mass movement based in more than 100 countries.
Its guiding principles and objectives include total disarmament with international oversight.
Vehemently condemning the United States’ sanctions against Cuba, The WPC has called to end interventions by the United States into Cuba’s inner affairs. It also demands “the U.S. government and other Imperialists stop their attempts to overthrow the legitimate government of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.”
In 2004, when the Assembly of the WPC met in Athens, Greece, it elected Orlando Fundora Lopez, as its first Cuban president.
During the WPC Executive Committee meeting held in Hanoi, Vietnam in November 2007, members ratified their solidarity with the people of Cuba and demanded an immediate end to the U.S. blockade.
When it met in April 2008 in Caracas, Venezuela, the WPC declared humanity, as a whole, was facing the “accelerated aggressiveness” and “imperialistic policies” of the United States, claiming, “Its concerted effort to secure its domination is accompanied by an exacerbation and an upsurge in rivalries over markets, energy and strategic resources …” It called for “a world order of peace and justice based on the peaceful principles of the UN Charter.”
The WPC claims to support “efforts for constructing a society of justice, peace and solidarity in accordance with the wishes of the people,” while referring to NATO as a “self-appointed aggressive alliance of world jurisdiction” and “terrorist organization.”
Rob Prince, U.S. Secretary to the World Peace Council from 1986-1990, in an article for the November-December 1992 issue of Peace Magazine titled: “Following the Money Trail at the World Peace Council,” wrote about Oleg Kharkhardin, the Soviet Peace Committee representative, who left Moscow in September 1991 to visit WPC’s headquarters in Helsinki, citing it was unlikely he “did so to pick mushrooms.”
According to Prince, Kharkhardin found the WPC’s financial picture bleak and, other than interest payments from a “one-time” gift fund managed by an unknown group of confidants close to Kharkhardin, “the WPC had virtually no income.”
Prince said WPC’s President Evangelos Maheras of Greece was upset by the way things were run at Helsinki headquarters, claiming he felt like a figurehead, kept in the dark about the organizations finances while cognizant of the fact many of its “member organizations” existed only on paper and were not dues-paying members.
Prince wrote, “Over the years, Third-World countries and social movements did join the WPC, mostly … to reach Moscow. The essence of the WPC's role was as a kind of brokerage house for the movements wanting ties with the USSR. The USSR funneled these movements through the WPC … it created an illusion that was not matched by reality. Little tangible peace work resulted beyond the usual statements of solidarity.”
Adverse publicity from 1988-1990 caused the WPC leadership to consider leaving Helsinki for a safer, more obscure haven from which to conduct its operations. Speculations and numerous suggestions indicated the organization would relocate to Athens, under the protective wing of the Greek Communist Party, which Prince said seemed interested.
However, Prince doubted the WPC would move to Greece because Greek banks could not assure the kind of confidentiality the WPC enjoyed since the late 1960s in Helsinki, and said it was probably “better to retain a low profile in Finland and keep its bank records secret rather than risk financial exposure,” which, according to Prince, the WPC viewed as “a fate worse than death.”
WPC headquarters subsequently moved to Paris and in 2000 moved to Athens, Greece, where it held a meeting of solidarity with the Korean people on May 11.
During that meeting, honorary chairman Romesh Chandra expressed his belief the Korean people would “surely reunify … and build a powerful country … under the wise guidance of the respected Kim Jong Il.”
Kim Jong Il was born in Khabarovsk, USSR, started work at the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea in June 1964 at the age of 23 and inherited supreme power of North Korea in 1994 upon the death of his father Kim Il Sung’s.
Meanwhile, it appears the California Assembly has been infiltrated by those who also believe “justice, peace and solidarity” can be achieved through Communism and its promotion through public schools.
In March 2008, the California Assembly Democratic majority passed SB 1322, drafted by Senator Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, which repeals and amends various sections of the California Code relating to Communism.
If signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, SB 1322 will allow Communists to teach in public schools and use government property to conduct its meetings.
It also exempts from loyalty oaths those whose “religious beliefs” oppose such oaths.
Arguing in favor of the bill, Assemblyman Gene Mullin, D-San Francisco, said Communism is a “failed ideology” and the government shouldn’t be “allowed to discriminate against Communists.”
Legislative staff commented, “The author contends that references to Communism are antiquated and that a threat of a Communist takeover no longer exists.”
On March 6, 2008, on behalf of California Log Cabin Republicans, Director James Vaughn, sent a letter to Lowenthal stating, “While most formerly Communist nations have properly consigned Communism to the ash can of history, there are many places in the world, including several here in California, which never felt the brunt of the oppression of full Communism, yet still seek to impose its principles through local and state legislation.”
Because Communism still rules in China and Cuba, Vaughn said, “[W]e should maintain a healthy vigilance against its revival, just as firefighters continue to monitor a fire after it is extinguished to ensure no spark reignites a conflagration.”
Vaughn went on to say removing the findings about Communism and its oppression distorts history and the background legislators and historians will need in future generations “to understand why we did what we thought was right and good,” adding, “Those who amend history are doomed to repeat it.”
In conclusion, Vaughn wrote “To whitewash or erase that history of oppression against all Americans is an insult to the memories and lives of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our nation from that evil,” calling it a “slap in the face” to a significant number of Log Cabin veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and said, “We strongly call on you to withdraw this bill.”
While Communists appear to have already infiltrated its legislature, Californians are apparently too busy visualizing whirled peas.
Photo caption: TIME Magazine’s Sept. 17, 1951 cover featured an illustration by Boris Artzybasheff representing the relations between the World Peace Council, Communism, the Kremlin and then-Soviet leader Josef Stalin. The caption says, “Kremlin Courier – Nobody here but us doves.”