Quite a coup for Barack Obama--friendship with terrorists at home and abroad--is this the change we've been waiting for? Radical to be sure.
Barack Obama's only claim to executive experience allied him with bomber of the US Capitol Bill Ayers--an educator who advocates turning children into little radicals rather than teaching them reading, math and science. Together they wasted millions in grant money and failed miserably in lifting achievement in Chicago's public schools, among the worst in the country. Barack Obama's only claim to executive experience saw him start his political career in the home of the same man, a domestic terrorist who is unrepentant to this day. Bill Ayers, who tried to kill the family of a judge. Barack Obama has yet to tell us the truth of this relationship--the story keeps changing.
How can we believe anything Barack Obama says?
After all, all he has is words--he has a very thin track record and the record he has is the most liberal in the Senate. In the majority Democrat Illinois legislature he voted present on centrist stuff--moderation was too controversial for Barack Obama--he happily voted for liberal measures.
Take a look at Rashid Khalidi, former PLO spokesman when the PLO was classified as a terrorist organization. Bill Ayers' best friend and part of Barack Obama's cozy political circle in Hyde Park. Stanley Kurtz on Khalidi in a recent interview with Hugh Hewitt:
Rashid Khalidi and Bill Ayers were practically best friends. People don’t know this, and I’m actually saying this for the first time. I haven’t written about this. They were best friends, and we know that Obama had interactions with Khalidi, that Khalidi had held the coffee that kicked off his Congressional campaign, I believe. And Ayers and Khalidi were extremely close if you look at the acknowledgements in their books.Then there was the going away party for Khalidi in Chicago as he headed off to a professorship at Columbia (the Edward Said chair), reported on by the LA Times last spring, with a personal testimonial by Barack Obama:
HH: Tell us about Khalidi. Tell us who he is and his role in Obama’s life.SK: Rashid Khalidi is really, in a sense, the American successor of Edward Said, a very strong advocate for the Palestinians, extremely radical in his views and his opposition to American foreign policy. He was a friend and colleague of Obama. Apparently they used to get together and discuss world affairs. And he’s practically the best friend of Bill Ayers. Bill Ayers features Khalidi in some of his books about how to politicize the teaching for students. So actually, the more you look into it, the more you see that this is not just people running into each other. And again, I object to the idea of just simply counting the times people were together in a room. When you [Obama through the Annenberg Challenge] fund Bill Ayers education projects, with hundreds of thousands of dollars, when you as Bill Ayers publish Rashid Khalidi’s essay in your book of collected essays, they might have gone on. That’s a lot without meeting once.
It was a celebration of Palestinian culture -- a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York.
A special tribute came from Khalidi's friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi's wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.
His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation -- a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table," but around "this entire world."
Sitting around the dinner table with a spokesman for terrorists. What a recommendation. This is Barack Obama's judgment. Andrew McCarthy underscores the connections:
Precisely because they shared the same views, Obama and Ayers also worked comfortably together on the board of the Woods Fund. There, they doled out thousands of dollars to Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity Church to promote its Marxist “black liberation theology.” Moreover, they underwrote the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) founded by Rashid Khalidi, a top apologist for Yasser Arafat. As National Review’s David Pryce-Jones notes, Khalidi once directed WAFA, the terrorist PLO’s news agency. Then, like Ayers, he repackaged himself as an academic who rails at American policy. The AAAN, which supports driver’s licenses and public welfare benefits for illegal aliens, holds that the establishment of Israel was an illegitimate “catastrophe.” [snip]Early on, Barack Obama chose as his friends and political allies those who espouse a rabid anti-Americanism. McCarthy:
And while Obama now ludicrously pleads ignorance about Ayers’s terrorism — the terrorism that made the unabashed Ayers an icon of the Left — understand that this rabid anti-Americanism is the common denominator running through Obama’s orbit of influences.As did Ayers, Khalidi moved into academic circles to put a bland face on his radicalism. You could say Barack Obama has followed the same path. He has used Khalidi's words, sat for 20 years in the Rev. Wright's pews, read his radical screeds. And we still don't know about that mysterious trip to Pakistan, who financed his Harvard Law education. This gives any reasonable observer huge concern about Barack Obama's undisclosed foreign donations.
Yes, Ayers is blunter than Obama. As he so delicately told the Times, America makes him “want to puke.” The smoother Obama is content to say our society needs fundamental “change.” But what they’re talking about is not materially different.
Such sentiments should make Obama unelectable. So, when it comes to his own radical moorings, Obama is engaged in classic liar behavior.
The radical associations keep adding up. The questions keep piling up. Obama Ayers Khalidi is the latest in a series. Barack Obama knows it's an issue--he's tried to sanitize it before. The American people need answers before they decide who will lead us in an uncertain world.
UPDATE: Chicago blogger Experimentum Crucis has gone back to early newspaper reports on the Annenberg Challenge to begin to establish a connection between Ayers and Obama. (The campaign continues to deny Ayers hired the young, inexperienced non-educator Obama to head up the Challenge)
UPDATE: Obama accuses the McCain campaign of personal attacks and attempting to score "cheap political points" on Bill Ayers. Well. Now this is sure to come up in the next debate:
The McCain campaign has presented Obama as an untested and unknown political figure, but Obama said, "the notion that people don't know who I am is a little hard to swallow." "I've been running for president for the last two years. I've campaigned in 49 states. Millions of people have heard me speak at length on every topic under the sun. I've been involved now in 25 debates, going on my 26th. And I've written two books which any -- everybody who reads them will say are about as honest a set of reflections by, at least, a politician as are out there," Obama said.Hey Barack--how come this stuff isn't in your books? You yourself have said they are composite characters or something. Who is Barack Obama? We can't ask Bill Ayers--he won't talk. How come you tell your friends and those who disagree with you to shut up? How come so many of your records have been kept secret by you?
UPDATE: Chicago's Bill Baar from 2007, today, and Gateway Pundit with more on Obama's Columbia years--Ayers was in NY as well.