For more than a year Clay Claiborne has been waging a relentless crusade calling on the American left to support US military action in Syria, to assist those in armed rebellion against the Assad regime. This campaign includes writing what appears to be a single issue blog, calling for US military action in Syria. Issues such as massive unemployment, poverty, homelessness, evictions, and crippling student debt appear to be of little interest to this self described Marxist.
Claiborne's single issue campaign, includes denouncing all who oppose the US going to war with Syria as supporters of the Assad government. He has even denounced Veterans for Peace, for not suppporting US military action in Syria. This would be difficult for the anti war veterans group, since one of the points in their Statement of Purpose is "to restrain our government from intervening, overtly and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations". He also denounced an anti war demonstration in Los Angeles, which occured, July 11, 2013, as a pro Assad rally. The rally was endorsed by over a dozen organizations, whose point of unity was no US military intervention in Syria, NOT support for the Assad government.
Claiborne had been a member of the October League, a Maoist aka New Communist Movement organization, which later changed it's name to the Communist Party Marxist Leninist during the 1970's. During that period he appears to have been a dedicated leftist and anti war activist. He served several months in jail as a result of his opposition to the war in Vietnam.
In the early 1980's about the time CPML dissolves, he becomes somewhat of an enigma. He went into business for himself as a computer repair technician. He basically drops off the political map during the 1980's and 1990's.
In 2008 , he produced a documentary about the Vietnam War, narrated by actor Martin Sheen, Vietnam: American Holocaust. The documentary is available for viewing on YouTube. He next shows up with Occupy LA, during the height of the Occupy Movement.
Leftist blogger and part time film critic, Louis Proyect, after seeing the documentary makes contact with Claiborne, and next thing we know Claiborne is posting on the Proyect moderated online discussion list, Marxmail. Claiborne next shows up commenting at The North Star. Consistent with his blog entries, his comments, on both sites, are exclusively about events in Syria.
While doing an online search, I found that Claiborne was elected to the State Central Committee, of the California Peace and Freedom Party, from Los Angeles county, where he lives. For the benefit of those not familiar with Peace and Freedom Party, this is a political party that describes itself as socialist, has ballot status in Califronia, and has consistently opposed U.S. military intervention abroad. My sources in Peace and Freedom inform me that although he was also elected to the Los Angeles County Central Committee, he has never attended a single meeting of either of these leadership committees. Honesty would have required Claiborne's election platform to have been, if nominated I will run, and if elected I will not serve.
In a recent posting on Marxmail, Claiborne submitted a post calling for support of a pro war rally, supporting US military intervention in Syria. The rally was held in Washington, DC, September 9. The moderator of the list, who does not support direct US military action in Syria, responded with a post expressing his disappointment, that anyone would advocate support of a pro war rally on a Marxist discussion list. Good call there, Moderator.
Claiborne's conduct raises some questions. If he is so pro war, why hasn't he made a serious effort to build a pro war movement. If his intentions were serious, by now he would have reached out to forces beyond the left, where he is becoming even more isolated. Potential allies on the right of the political spectrum, who are supportive of Claiborne's pro war stance, include Senator John McCain. McCain, who is so wealthy, that he isn't even sure how many houses he owns, could certainly assist in raising money for such a venture.
Claiborne drops out of the picture, politcally speaking, for almost three decades. Then after the Occupy movement he goes on a single issue campaign, for US military intervention in Syria. He wins election to not one, but two leadership bodies in Peace and Freedom Party, than apparantly blows it off. His only real political accomplishment thus far, has been to serve as a divisive force within the left. This raises the question, what is Claiborne's real agenda. Who or what is Clay Claiborne?
Clay Claiborne's blog: http://claysbeach.blogspot.com