Is Ayers "Rehabilitated" as Obama Maintains? You be the judge

Global Labor Special Repost
Global Labor has been in the forefront of pointing out that there is no reason to worry about the Ayers of 28 years ago (when Obama was in fact 19 and already politically active himself, not 8) when Ayers was still underground with a violent authoritarian cult called the Weather Underground.
Instead I have argued that the “teacher bashing” authoritarianism of Ayers’ education politics, evidenced by his leading role in securing $160 million for school “reform” in Chicago, is more significant given his long-standing relationship with Barack Obama, likely recruited and certainly appointed by Ayers himself to be the Chairman of the Board of that reform project, known as the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.
But Ayers himself has his own views of course and recently he went out of his way to remind everyone of his actual politics.  His cartoon, although quickly removed from his website when its embarrassing content likely caught the practiced cynical eye of David Axelrod, reminded me of the wacky comments of Rev. Jeremiah Wright at the National Press Club earlier in the year.
One can unfortunately only wish that Obama would finally use this cartoon as the stimulus to reject, clearly and aggressively, any support for or interest in the authoritarianism of Ayers and his crowd.
For those who missed the cartoon (which Ayers posted on his website but then quickly removed after it was attacked on the web), it’s linked above and below, but let’s post the text here and consider it with my comments in bold:
“It’s impossible to get to be my age and not have plenty of regrets. The one thing I don’t regret is opposing the war in Vietnam with every ounce of my being.
[Everyone should recall that opposition to the Vietnam War was led in overwhelming part by conscientious Americans who relied on peaceful and democratic argument, protest and, occasionally, civil disobedience.  Ayers’ destructive irrational tactics helped destroy the reputation of that movement. And now Ayers and Klonsky and Dohrn are giving the right wing another opportunity to undermine the left.]

“During the Vietnam war, the Weather Underground took credit for bombing several government installations as a dramatic form of armed propaganda. 

[“Armed propaganda” – now there’s an interesting oxymoron.  If Ayers and the Weather cult had a serious interest in patient discussion and argument they would have never walked down the road of senseless violence.]
Action was taken against symbolic targets in order to declare a state of emergency. But warnings were always called in, and by design no one was ever hurt.
[Let’s momentarily give Ayers the benefit of a doubt and say there was no intent to injure individuals.  So what?  The purpose of the bombing was to terrorize and there is never any justification for that.  

[In any case, of course, the Weather Underground cell that blew itself up (including Ayers’ girlfriend Diana Oughton) in New York was planning an armed attack on a dance at a nearby Army base where the intent was to kill and maim as widely as possible. 

[In 1981 an offshoot of the Underground cult helped a black nationalist group rob a bank in which 2 police officers and 1 security guard were gunned down and killed. Bernardine Dohrn, Ayers wife, refused to testify in front of a grand jury about her possible involvement in the incident and served 6 months in jail for contempt.]
“When I say, ‘We didn’t do enough,’ a lot of people rush to think, ‘That must mean, “We didn’t bomb enough s—.”‘ But that’s not the point at all. It’s not a tactical statement, it’s an obvious political and ethical statement. In this context, ‘we’ means ‘everyone.’
[There you go again, Bill. Ayers claims he was part of “everyone” of “we”, meaning the entire anti-war movement. But Ayers did everything he could to destroy that movement and lead it down a path of violent and sectarian behavior.  

[In my view the opponents of the war here in the United States did do everything they reasonably could to end U.S. involvement in an illegal war against a sovereign nation.  It did not help that people like Ayers and Dohrn advocated stalinist politics as part of their approach to the war. 

[In fact, I would argue the case could be made that the authoritarian politics of people like Ayers, Klonsky and Dohrn did as much to undermine the impact of the anti-war movement as did the FBI.]

“The war in Vietnam was not only illegal, it was profoundly immoral, millions of people were needlessly killed. Even though I worked hard to end the war, I feel to this day that I didn’t do enough because the war dragged on for years after the majority of the American people came to oppose it. I don’t think violent resistance is necessarily the answer, but I do think opposition and refusal is imperative.”

[Well, I am glad this is on the table: Ayers indeed reserves the right to engage in “violent resistance.” Against what? Why? When? None of these are laid out. Of course, if one is a Georgian and there are Russian tanks rolling into your capital, perhaps there is a logic to considering resistance. Most people call that self-defense.

[Is that what Ayers is talking about? 

[How about when the Russian tanks rolled into Prague? That event led Ayers’ pal Mike Klonsky to switch his lifelong allegiance to Russia to China’s stalinist regime!
[Of course I don’t think Ayers knows what he is talking about. He is just stumbling around throwing out romantic allusions to “revolution” and “armed propaganda” and “violent resistance” that suggest to me that he has, in fact, not left behind the days of the Weather Underground after all.]

Ayers has now had his Jeremiah Wright moment – all the more reason for Obama to get serious and dump this guy under that bus.

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