Saturday, October 4, 2008

Obama and ’60s Bomber: A Look Into Crossed Paths

This is 2008 version of the Swift Boat. Attempting to connect Obama to Ayers is an attempted ambush, a way to sully him and plant fear in enough minds to undermine his candidacy. Its nonsense, but so was Swift Boat.

These sentences jumped out at me from the piece.

In a televised interview last spring, Senator John McCain, Mr. Obama’s Republican rival, asked, “How can you countenance someone who was engaged in bombings that could have or did kill innocent people?”

Of course, no one in public life will say that McCain's bombs dropped on North Viet Nam killed innocents.

More recently, conservative critics who accuse Mr. Obama of a stealth radical agenda have asserted that he has misleadingly minimized his relationship with Mr. Ayers, whom the candidate has dismissed as “a guy who lives in my neighborhood” and “somebody who worked on education issues in Chicago that I know.”

A stealth radical agenda? What nonsense.

A review of records of the schools project and interviews with a dozen people who know both men, suggest that Mr. Obama, 47, has played down his contacts with Mr. Ayers, 63. But the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called “somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.”

He was 8 in 1968.

“He’s done a lot of good in this city and nationally,” Mayor Richard M. Daley said in an interview this week, explaining that he has long consulted Mr. Ayers on school issues. Mr. Daley, whose father was Chicago’s mayor during the street violence accompanying the 1968 Democratic National Convention and the so-called Days of Rage the following year, said he saw the bombings of that time in the context of a polarized and turbulent era. “This is 2008,” Mr. Daley said. “People make mistakes. You judge a person by his whole life.”

Only Mayor Daley can get away with, and has the nerve to say, that.

The next sentences is the most astounding one, for me. Ayers has unmitigated gall to say it.

My memoir is from start to finish a condemnation of terrorism, of the indiscriminate murder of human beings, whether driven by fanaticism or official policy,” he wrote. But he added that the Weathermen had “showed remarkable restraint” given the nature of the American bombing campaign in Vietnam that they were trying to stop.

Restraint? What the hell does that mean? If he showed restraint, what did people who simply march show?

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