Raising the Specter of the ’60s

Like over 3000 other academics, I’ve signed the “Support Bill Ayers” statement defending Ayers from the desperate, opportunistic attacks of the McCain campaign. I think it important to combat the depiction of a distinguished scholar as a “terrorist” by the likes of Sarah Palin, whose ignorance and extremism terrify many. But I also think that the campaign might be doing us all a favor by drawing our attention to the 500 pound guerrilla in the room: the ’60s.

Or more properly, the ’60s and early ’70s: that era shaped by an unpopular imperialist war and massive social movements demanding racial and gender equality. The antiwar and civil rights movements mobilized millions and influenced everybody. Without the gains of those years, arguably, a black man would not be leading in a presidential race today. The public would not reject the Iraq War as a wrong war based on lies but rather rally around the flag, trusting the leaders.

John McCain has built a political career on one episode in his life: his plane was shot down in October 1967 as he was bombing a power plant in a heavily populated area of Hanoi. (In 1995 the Vietnamese government estimated that two million North Vietnamese civilians died during the war, mainly due to such bombing.) His downed plane landed in Truc Bach Lake, and his life was saved by a Vietnamese civilian. The Vietnamese, realizing the McCain came from a distinguished military family, granted him special medical treatment although he had suffered no mortal injuries. He was held as a POW to 1973. During that time he publicly praised his captors for providing him “very good medical treatment.” While he has claimed to be the victim of torture, and claimed his statements acknowledging war crimes were forced, he has also opposed the release of his government debriefing that might shed light on these subjects. He was reportedly bound by ropes, and subjected to beatings during his confinement. But no one has suggested he was terrorized by attack dogs, sexually humiliated, water boarded or subjected to the refined torture tactics used in Gitmo or Abu Ghraib. It is doubtful that his treatment would fit the Bush administration’s current (very narrow) definition of torture.

Somehow McCain’s been able to parlay this history into a reputation as a “war hero” whose faith in God and country kept him strong against his evil “gook” captors. This is the account the mainstream media accepts, as it accepts and promotes the idea that somehow McCain is “strong on national security.” Up until recently polls showed the public generally buying this line, however logically inconsistent it may be with the general assessment of the Vietnam War as a “mistake” if not a crime. How can you be a “war hero” in a war that was so unheroic and so wrong?

Bill Ayers represents an era of widespread outrage at American imperialism, including in the U.S. itself—an era of deep division unparalleled since the Civil War. An era McCain and his right-wing fringe running-mate would like to forget or undo. They see nothing wrong in the Vietnam War except for a lack of will to win. The ’60s “protesters” for them were a genus of traitors, whose very right to protest was somehow being defended by those bombing Hanoi. If the communists weren’t stopped in Vietnam, they argued, they’d be invading the west Coast. Rational people see this argument as highly stupid now.

Three years after McCain was shot down over Hanoi while on that bombing mission, Ayers by his own admission participated in a bombing of a New York City police station, and went on to bomb the Capitol and Pentagon in the next two years. Each action came in response to a specific escalation of the Vietnam War. There were no casualties, and Ayers was never convicted of a crime. He denies that the bombings were acts of terrorism and points out instead that the war in Vietnam was a war of terror. (During this time, by the way, the 11 to 13 year old Obama was living in Indonesia and Hawai’i.)

Bill Ayers like many of his generation was a follower of Martin Luther King before joining the SDS then some of its spin-offs which (like many in the New Left) parted company with the doctrinaire non-violence they perceived as ineffectual. But consider his background. While studying at the University of Michigan in 1965, he joined a picket line protesting an Ann Arbor pizzeria’s policy of refusing service to African-Americans. (18 years later, when I studied at UM, such racist exclusion was unimaginable. How the world had changed because of people like Ayers!) He participated in a draft board sit-in, punished by 10 days in jail. He worked in progressive childhood education. These are the kind of rebellious activities that enraged the white supremacists (then far more respectable and mainstream than now), the knee-jerk anticommunists, the reactionaries terrified by rock ‘n roll and the youth counterculture. But what’s there to damn here, for those who aren’t misled by a washed-up generation of racist uptight bigots?

People over 50 remember that period very well, and many much younger people view it with envy and fascination. After all, today’s youth listen to the Beatles, Stones, Doors, Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead, considering them their own. (We in the ’60s rarely listened to the music of the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s.) College students flock to courses on the ’60s, viewing that decade as one of turmoil, excitement, and progressive change. The verdict’s in: the war was wrong, segregation and all racism was wrong, sexism and homophobia were wrong—and the limited social progress as we’ve seen since the ’60s is largely rooted in the tireless efforts of the activists of that decade. The ’60s were good!

But McCain doesn’t see it that way. Nor does Sarah Palin. She of course is 44 years old, but obviously atypical of her generation. There’s no reason you can’t be the popular governor of a state of 676,987 while expressing contempt for such ’60s fixtures as “community organizers,” sexual liberation and the questioning of wars of aggression. Palin, the lipstick-painted pit-bull, has chosen to attack Ayers as a “terrorist” decades after the demise of the Weather Underground, after he’s become a Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and received a Citizen of the Year award (1997) from the city of Chicago for his work on education reform. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley (son of the infamous Mayor Daley who ordered the police attack on antiwar protesters at the Democratic Convention in 1968), who regularly consults Ayers on school issues, says: “He’s done a lot of good in this city and nationally.” But for Palin, he’s a terrorist, present-tense.

Now, no honest person can actually suggest that Obama’s association with Ayers, dating from 1995 when Ayers hosted a fund-raising event for Obama in his living room and including service on the board of the philanthropic Woods Fund of Chicago (along with several Republican business executives from 2001) constitutes “palling around with terrorists.” Journalists from a variety of publications have concluded that Obama had at most a friendly casual acquaintance with a man he knew as a liberal activist. Even “palling around with former terrorists” would be a dubious charge, but that qualifier would weaken the McCain-Palin smear-job effort so Ayer and his wife Bernadine Dohrn become, for campaign purposes, lifetime terrorists

McCain and Palin say “we need to know the full extent” of the Obama-Ayers “relationship”–so we can know if Obama “is telling the truth to the American people or not.” The fact is, of course, that the politically careful Obama has steered clear of Ayers since January 2005 when he took his Senate seat. So what do they want to know? How many times the two men met on the street in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, where both live? How many times Obama visited Ayers’ house? Do we need to know the content of their conversations?

Obviously with her “palling around with terrorists” remark Palin wants to set voters’ imaginations working. What does she want them to imagine? Obama patting Ayers on the back, saying “Good job on that Pentagon bombing, Bill”? Maybe. Recall the famous July 21, 2008 New Yorker cover, showing Obama in Muslim dress, fist-bumping Michelle sporting an Afro and AK-47, American flag burning in the fireplace, Osama bin Laden picture on the wall. It was “satire” supposedly, but in a country where 11% believe Obama is a Muslim (Newsweek poll, May 2008), and one-third believe U.S. Muslims are sympathetic to al-Qaeda (USA/Gallop August 2006) that sort of image, and Palin’s kind of language, can be poisonous.

“This is not a man who sees America as you see it and how I see America,” Palin declared earlier this month to a select crowd of people who in her words “see America as the greatest force for good in this world… [a] beacon of light and hope for others who seek freedom and democracy…” (Has she read the international polls about how this country is really perceived nowadays?)

Maybe, in fact, Obama doesn’t see America precisely as she does; he seems, after all, more aware of the real world in general. Unfortunately, with his plans to escalate the hopeless counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan, provoke further confrontation along the border with Pakistan, and support the strike on Iran favored by his top Middle East advisor and the Israel Lobby, he sees America all too much as do McCain and Palin: through the eyes of an imperialist.

His campaign ads make clear, lest anyone might doubt, that Bill Ayers will have no role in his administration. Colin Powell, on the other hand, might. This is the Colin Powell who, as an Army Major in 1968, six months after the My Lai Massacre charged with investigating charges of U.S. atrocities in Vietnam, dismissed them blithely declaring “relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent.” That was his ’60s, as McCain’s ’60s were his glory days bombing those Vietnamese people.

For many of us, the antiwar movement of that time remains a cherished memory. So too the Freedom Rides, the marches on Washington. The counterculture. The Stonewall Riots of June 1969. That groundswell of necessary rebellion in this country that dovetailed with the near-revolutionary upsurge in Europe in 1968 and even the Cultural Revolution in China. Those ’60s–emblematic of all the subsequent challenges to mandatory “patriotism,” butt-headed religiosity, attacks upon science, criminalization of inner-city youth under the guise of the “War on Drugs,” resurgent assaults on women’s rights–is the real focus of the attack on Ayers, and through him on Obama.

What sort of political operative sits behind a desk, weighing options, decides, “Ok, let’s go with this Ayers thing?” The sort of operative who imagines that the base can best be energized by a frontal attack on the ’60s. The sort of Rovian manipulator who calculates that the ideal simple-minded voter seeing Atta in Ayers will see Osama in Obama. If one can exploit Islamophobia to conflate al-Qaeda with Iraq with Yassir Arafat with Hizbollah, one can exploit the lingering Republican bitterness at the ’60s and revolutionary possibilities that era represents to confer an aura of radicalism around the Democratic presidential candidate.

He surely doesn’t deserve it. But neither does he necessarily suffer from it. For many of us, the ’60s were and remain a time of youthful exuberance and idealism, sincere questioning of received wisdom, righteous resistance to obvious lies, institutional racism and vicious immoral war. By all means, Ms. Palin, raise that specter, and see what good it does you!

Gary Leupp is a Professor of History at Tufts University, and author of numerous works on Japanese history. He can be reached at: gleupp@granite.tufts.edu. Read other articles by Gary.

61 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. teresa said on October 25th, 2008 at 7:59am #

    This is the most sophistic interpretation of history I’ve read in a long time.

    Bill Ayers and the rest of the WU were murderers, as any criminal is, for the deaths of their co-terrorists who accidentally blew themselves up. He was responsible for a great deal of damage and theft, which through some planning and a great deal of luck avoided killing anyone else. But none of their violence was perceived at the time by bystanders as somehow safe. No one being terrorized by this group ever thought they were safe from being killed, although Ayers uses this as some sort of defense now. Ayers was and is a terrorist — by the very definition of that word, by his very purpose of influencing politics with violence against civilians — and by the fact he does not apologize still today, regretting only that he didn’t do more damage.

    You say, “How the world had changed because of people like Ayers!” Are you kidding me? The world changed because of people like King, not Ayers, who abandoned King’s principles for the greater safety of shadows and seductive power of violence.

    You’ve conflated those who hate Ayers’s violence with those who hate his liberal ideals. That serves your rhetoric but not the truth.

    How is Ayers any different from those conservative extremists posting abortion doctor hit lists — or any extremist with the view that he alone holds the truth and has the right to terrorize or do harm in pursuit of his goals, rather than serving as example, offering reason, and suffering rather than inflicting violence in pursuit of social justice?

    You’ve diminished the human suffering of your “enemies” to support your “friends,” as many ideologues do. That McCain suffered in his duty to this country is no less heroic than Ayers own. In fact, McCain put a lot more on the line than Ayers ever did, and perhaps in your view that as an agent of imperialism, McCain deserved to suffer, you should realize that Ayers avoided any punishment for his own “crimes”.

    The enlightened notion that violence doesn’t end violence is what I mistakenly thought I was reading on this blog. But this post is no different in substance from any warmongering right-winger saying anyone but us deserves to suffer. The one truely dissident voice is apparently dead. R.I.P Martin Luther King, Jr.

  2. Keila said on October 25th, 2008 at 8:04am #

    Great article!
    What Mrs. Folksy doesn’t realize is that for people like me, the malicious inferences made to tie Obama to Ayers and hang Jeremiah Wright’s beliefs on him are a HUGE HOPE. I know Obama is -unfortunately – more of the same. Although I sense a true and keen intelligence in him that gives me a slight glimmer of hope. I hope in my heart of hearts that Obama’s associations with those two men is an indication that under his smooth, political surface there is a radical, a true progressive hiding there somewhere. That perhaps all this time he’s been voting present in the senate, and he’s been going with the flow of his party, he’s been doing it as part of a strategy to be able to make it to the white house without being branded the angry black man and thereby losing his chance to be elected. Maybe this Uncle Tom thing is just a carefully crafted ruse, an act to help him walk this tight rope that is his candidacy as a black man in America. After all, who would possibly vote for man who came out swinging, a true progressive challenging the status quo, who also happens to be black? NO ONE. Americans, and sadly, many white Americans have to be made to feel secure and none-threatened. They would never vote for a Malcolm X, although Malcolm would have made for an incredibly fair and good president – especially after his trip to Mecca, after which he realized that it wasn’t strictly about color, but about the abuse of power, GREED.
    But no, I doubt Obama will turn out to be what I hope….as you indicated, he is more like John McCain than the public knows. With his corporate buddies in tow, supporting and funding his campaign, I don’t quite see how he can do a 180 and go radical on us…I don’t see it at all…

  3. Keila said on October 25th, 2008 at 8:12am #

    Um, Teresa, everything can’t be done MLK’s way…while he’s one of my heroes I don’t think you can apply his philosophy to every single situation. Just there has been TONS of bloodshed to create the corrupt, criminal system we now enjoy, sometimes you need bloodshed to break free of the system. I, for one, believe in revolution….or are you saying that the American revolution was terrorism, that maybe those Americans should just have continued under English rule? Don’t you think there were civilian casualties resulting from that war?? That cannot be avoided…Now, do I personally condone bombings? NO. But I can’t say I wouldn’t take up weapons to fight the enemy if I had to in order to defend my beliefs, my livelihood and that of my children. Form of self defense…

  4. Steve Z said on October 25th, 2008 at 8:29am #

    Thanks to George W. Bush and his gangster friends, we may be now watching the political demise of the far-right coalition that first appeared with Barry Goldwater’s rise during the early 1960s.

    Thanks to the hindsight we now have at our disposal, it is clear that what came to be known as the New Right and the New Left were weakly related responses to the political situation which marked the post-war era. That situation was defined by American capitalism’s “golden age” and the defense and of its newly won global empire. Of course, the New Right meant to provide an authoritarian defense of that empire while the New Left meant to critique it radically. We can consider ourselves fortunate that the New Right, which is not very new since it is about fifty years old, will soon lack the institutional core that it typically seeks to defend in a reactionary way: Pax Americana. The crises of the moment suggest that Pax Americana’s days are numbered. The New Left, on the other hand, will see many elements of its radical democratic critique validated by the situation now coming into being.

    It is not that authoritarianism in the United States has been defeated by the left or by circumstances. Far from it. America has provided a long and successful defense of those institutions meant to reconcile a minimal form of political liberty with authoritarian government. This regime might collapse, but it will not quickly or radically reform itself. What has changed is worldly sense which surrounds words like “sustainability,” “dignity,” “respect,” “co-habitation,” “responsibility,”“democracy,” “participation,” “reasonable discussion,” “public action,” “well-being”…. These values, which were often derided as utopian, now point to a form of life that might be the only realistic and thus feasible response to mess humanity has made of the world.

    It is difficult to see what use America’s post-Nixon political and economic elite (which includes Republican and Democrats) would have for these values and this form of life. So, whatever they make of themselves today and in the future, I would expect that they will remain opposed to the radical sense which motivated the movements of the 1960s. In other words, they will oppose participatory democracy.

  5. bozhidar bob balkas said on October 25th, 2008 at 8:30am #

    let’s stop obamanizing and start looking at US did and does now. and why US did what it did and why it is doing now.
    propper thinking is done in three steps:
    1)gather all salient facts (don’t worry, all r pertinent)
    2) why all that happened. in uisng the word “why”, i am speaking of the causative factors and justification for US actions and not ab rationalization, perception.
    eg, there was no causative factors to justify iraq invasion but plenty of rationalization.
    3)suggest action.
    and education/enlightenment is the way to go. and dear, folks, expect failure for a long time or even forever. thnx

  6. Don Hawkins said on October 25th, 2008 at 8:44am #

    The problems we now face are they different than in the sixties? Yes they will take a complete change in the way we think what we thought we knew that’s all. Unfortunately the art of keeping people in this sort of dreamland state has gotten much better in 40 years or so. Another way of looking at it is the talk we hear from just these two candidates for President and the problems we face is crazy or nuts is a good word. There are a few of us older folks who managed to keep our heads together but today the younger people seem to be standing alone. Somehow that must change.

  7. Tree said on October 25th, 2008 at 9:18am #

    Yes. The fact that the youth of today, rather than overcoming their apathy and rampant consumerism, listen to the Grateful Dead, etc. proves that your generation is just SO cool and SO important. Because your generation is the ONLY generation that ever protested a war. Ever.
    We’ll politely turn our gaze away from the truth of what your generation has done since the ’60s, okay? How tacky it would be to bring up the spectre of Yuppies, corrupt Wall Street, or any of the other ills this country is dealing with now thanks in part to your stellar generation.

    Sarah Palin’s hyperbolic statements regarding Ayers are wrong but this article does nothing to help, either. The FACT, the unmitigated, impossible to deny fact is that Bill Ayers bombed buildings. The fact that he didn’t kill anyone is more a stroke of luck than anything else; it doesn’t in any way make him a hero.
    So while McCain repeatedly runs for president, Bill Ayers is ensconced in the so-called Ivory Tower of academe. Neither one is any prize.
    The ’60s are over for EVERYONE. Get over it and move on.

  8. Deadbeat said on October 25th, 2008 at 11:55am #

    This is not just about smearing the 60’s but this is also about smearing your opponent right out of the Lee Atwater/Karl Rove playbook. The reason for the Ayers angle has to do with the acceptance of Zionism in the U.S. The outgrowth of the acceptance of Zionism is anti-Muslim and anti-Arab racism through the use of the label “terrorism”.

    For nearly 40 years the label “terrorism” has been applied to the Palestinian struggles and primarily to the PLO. Let’s go back some 30 years when Jesse Jackson and Andrew Young met with the PLO in a symbolic attempt to demonstrate the need by the U.S. to meet with the PLO in order to bring about some peace to the region. The reaction was to label Jackson an “anti-Semitic” and to fire Andrew Young from his U.N. Ambassadorship.

    If we go back to the Oklahoma City bombing — the initial reaction was to accuse Middle Easterners.

    Since 911, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism has been on the rise and why the anti-war movement four years ago was extremely important in order to confront Zionism which heightens such racist attitude toward Arabs and Muslim.

    Zionism is not just an ideology that should be obscured as “imperialism”. It is a virulent yet acceptable within the United States, form of racism that seeks to tar all Arabs and Muslims as “terrorists”. This is why McCain has chosen Ayers rather than resurrect Rev. Wright.

    There is an excellent article on CounterPunch by Ishemel Reed that discusses in depth the GOP racist appeals in depth.

  9. HR said on October 25th, 2008 at 12:41pm #

    Great to see that academics have the courage to back Ayers. Where were they when Ward Churchill, another fellow academic was being smeared for simply stating the truth?

  10. bozhidar bob balkas said on October 25th, 2008 at 2:13pm #

    zionism may be best (or better) described as an ism of a people of a faith living thruout europe/americas and having full citizenships in the countries of that area, wanting to steal land from people who lived in palestine.
    let us also recall a significant fact: zionism arose in europe in the 19th century.
    perhaps a full cent. before the holocaust.
    thus, they were neither landless nor countriless. since holocaust did not yet happen, zionists/christians later latched onto that as well to justify the theft and their crimes against humanities.
    however, on their own, they wld have never established the terror state w.o. massive help from christian.
    now the christians having obtained palestine want not only to christianize ‘jews’ but also the world.
    US is their leader. and probably 90% of amers r zionists.
    so, biden is correct: nearly all christians r zionistic/expansionistic.
    sorry ab. this, deadbeat. this anlyses does not support ur thesis that israel controls US. perhaps, to some degree. but which? i don’t know! thnx

  11. Michael Hureaux said on October 25th, 2008 at 3:45pm #

    There is simply no excuse for the slander of Bill Ayers, Weatherman and all be damned. His work as a teacher is exemplary and that ought to be where the focus is, but as usual, Amurrikkka would rather talk shit.

  12. cemmcs said on October 25th, 2008 at 7:40pm #

    The fact that he didn’t kill anyone is more a stroke of luck than anything else

    It’s lucky his bombs didn’t kill anybody but wasn’t it his intention to just destroy property?

  13. Sheldon said on October 25th, 2008 at 8:30pm #

    Bravo is all I have to say about this article.

  14. corylus said on October 25th, 2008 at 8:58pm #

    Teresa, You’re full of it – delusion, misconception, false bravado, the whole litany of Republican chicanery. STFU!

  15. Poilu said on October 25th, 2008 at 9:47pm #

    The Second Coming

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    – W. B. Yeats

  16. Paul said on October 26th, 2008 at 4:26am #

    What is the source of the international polls? Who is funding the polls?

  17. Michael Kenny said on October 26th, 2008 at 8:14am #

    One small word of warning. Does Bill Ayers really need to be “supported”? McCain has used him as a stick to beat Obama but it seems to me than nobody has attacked him as such. Onece the election is over, he will probably be forgotten. Be careful therefore of turning him into a “cause celèbre”, making his continuing employment at the University of Illinois a right v left issue and forcing the university to dismiss him. Causing him to lose his job and/or pension (he’ll be 64 in December) can hardly be called “support”! I would have thought that the best way to support Bill Ayers was to keep quiet and stop drawing attention to him.

  18. bosunj said on October 26th, 2008 at 10:39am #

    My oh my, isn’t it foolish the things Ameristanis will argue about. GOP-DEM, Ford-Chevy, Muslim-Christian, Black-White, Ameristani-Everybody Else, Pepsi-Coke and yet again, generational differences.

    Is it no wonder that Ameristan is the biggest force for evil on the planet? Ameristanis fight with each other about EVERYTHING all the time! Ameristanis are so enculturated to fighting that they will fill any moment of peace and quiet with some kind of fight over some form of silliness.

    All the fighting of Ameristanis wouldn’t be so bad if contained within Ameristan.

    Like many around the world I wait patiently for Ameristanis to destroy themselves with their silliness. I look forward to a world free of Ameristani evil.

  19. Doug said on October 26th, 2008 at 12:38pm #

    John McCain was never a POW and he was never tortured.

    Using the current US military policies, which John McCain supports legislatively (if not verbally), he was simply a “detainee” who was only “interrogated” using “enhanced interrogation techniques”. The President of the United States, George W Bush, has declared that torture only occurs when there is organ failure, maiming or death. John McCain had no organ failure, was not maimed, and is (unfortunately) still alive. Therefore, he was not tortured.

    What would Americans do if they caught someone who flew a dozen or more bombing missions over a major American city? Given the treatment meted out to innocent people rounded up for a bounty in Afghanistan and Iraq, it would likely be the most brutal torture and murder possible. That the Vietnamese did not torture every American “detainee” to death speaks volumes about their morals and the humanity of their society.

    Most Americans claim to be Christians and most Vietnamese claim otherwise, but their actions show the opposite – Vietnamese act more like Christ would act, while Americans act like brutal barbarians.

  20. Tree said on October 26th, 2008 at 1:50pm #

    I see the point you’re trying to make, Doug but it’s wrong. McCain was maimed as is obvious to see in his inability to move his arms freely. This came about from the humane Vietnamese hanging him by ropes from his shoulders until they dislocated. I believe it was done to him many times.
    Now what was your point? Oh yeah, lying about the state of humanity and glorifying the Vietmanmese to make Americans look really, really bad.

  21. Truthman said on October 26th, 2008 at 2:19pm #

    Thanks for standing up for Ayers! I have been wondering when someone with some facts to present would do this, and I knew they would be as compelling as they certainly are. I am 54, a survivor of the sixties and seventies, and though I didn’t have to go to ‘Nam, many of my friends did and have consequently been left with permanent marks that will never heal. I can personally relate to all of your comments regarding that era and with three children ranging from 29 to 21, they are all students of the music and culture from that time. They are all also atheists and enlightened to points far beyond where most in their generation reside. They realize the nature of organized religion and American politics, the elite control of civilization and the truth about history. Perhaps some of it came through osmosis, but I think that the preponderance of their opinions came because I told them from a very young age to “question everything, especially authority.”

    I have been on a mission to seek the truth since I was about 11 or twelve years old. That is when I fell from the “church” and began to see everything in a whole new light. Once I learned the truth behind organized religion (which is simply control…sheep herding) I began to learn the truth about history (no, Columbus did NOT discover America unless you’re willing to disavow the testimony of 6 million natives when he arrived) and then the truth about America. And that truth is horrible. America IS the biggest terrorist in the world and has been for a century, as was stated quite plainly by MLK. Rev. Wright is 100% “right”, pun intended. And all of you who fall for the poetic nonsense of “America being the greatest fighter for good and democracy in the world” are suffering extreme cognitive dissonance. I agree with earlier posters about the “Zionist control” of America, but it’s even worse. The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion is THE BLUEPRINT for what is going on. It is widely disclaimed as a “forgery” which is so ludicrous if not only because what is a “forgery” if not an exact duplicate of the original? So if that is the argument against it’s authenticity, it is the weakest one that could be posed, is it not?

    If any of you are unfamiliar with the “Protocols” I urge you to “google” and weep. If you are familiar, I urge you to re-read them and then ask yourself, what doctrine would you think that these so called “Zionists” are using for guidance and direction if not the “Protocols”. This is not conspiracy now, because the Zionists our out of the closet. They actually “flaunt” their racist nature and are proud of it. They also “flaunt” the “noble lie” and are totally non-repentant. How and why? Because they control the media, the corporations, the US government, the banking and insurance industries, well what else is there?

    I understand totally the difficulty admitting to yourself that you have been misled, duped, taken for a ride, fooled, lied to, bamboozled, hoodwinked, or whatever you’d like to call it. It is painful beyond words or description and it can not happen overnight or over one essay or epiphany or sermon or beer or conversation. It IS a process. Americans are currently going through this process and it is going to get pretty ugly.

    People don’t like to be lied to. We have been for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It is going to take a lot of forgiveness and understanding for human beings to reconcile the malevolence and direction that the oligarchs have guided us for these many centuries. And while we MAY be up to the task, their systematic use of fear and hate is going to be hard to put asunder when the truth is revealed. And it will be. As it shall be.


  22. Doug said on October 26th, 2008 at 2:21pm #

    There is nothing anyone could say that would discredit American society more than has been done already by the actions of the US military in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. Nothing anyone could say could blot out the reality shown in the images and reports that have come out of Bagram, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

  23. Tree said on October 26th, 2008 at 4:22pm #

    Doug, there is American government and its policies, American military and its policies and the American people. Learn the difference. Hyperbolic, blanket statements weaken your argument considerably.

  24. Poilu said on October 26th, 2008 at 4:35pm #

    I know ONE spectre of the 60’s I’d like very much to see resurrected — the spirit of ACTIVE resistance in the American people. I myself felt a genuine admiration for the efforts of the Weather Underground and like groups, who took it upon themselves to forcibly intervene when it became obvious that the “powers that be” were not responsive to either the desires or the Constitutional RIGHTS of the American people. The Establishment of that era had in fact positioned itself as an ENEMY of the people, at least of those who democratically opposed its violent, racist, belligerent agenda.

    ENOUGH is enough! Tyranny flourishes under meek acquiescence. Thomas Jefferson knew that well, and openly declared that the Tree of Liberty REQUIRED the occasional blood of patriots and tyrants to nourish it. And today we are again witnessing the tragic withering of that once-noble tree.

    It is increasingly clear — to me, at least — that it is now necessary for everyday citizens to turn the tide in this country, making it abundantly clear to those who would indulge themselves in “sanctioned” (governmental) lawlessness that “People should not be afraid of their governments; governments should be afraid of their people!” [V for Vendetta].

    The ruling elite of this nation have attempted to make public fear the dominant theme in this country ever since 2001. It is time that “We, the People” instill some genuine fear in them! That, at least, the Weathermen and their kinsmen DID achieve during the Sixties, long serving America for the better.

  25. bozhidar bob balkas said on October 26th, 2008 at 4:37pm #

    govts r not governance. US military has no separate policy on anything
    there’s tho ab 90% of amers w. no policy; ie, they do not influence or shape any policy. thnx

  26. Poilu said on October 26th, 2008 at 4:58pm #

    “Sarah Palin … course is 44 years old, but obviously atypical of her generation.”

    Gary: While I admire your essay in general, I have to point out that Palin, at 44, seems much too young to be representative of any Sixties Era mindset. But she IS quite typical of her nominal age droup, more appropriately entitled the “Me Generation”.

    Palin exhibits all the self-centered smarminess and conscienceless narcissism suggested by that generational caption. Fortunately, most of her peers do NOT overtly manifest such brainless megalomania.

    May I say it just once without fear of being branded terminally “politically incorrect”? Sarah Palin is unmistakably a Fascist BIMBO, an utterly unbridled mouth with NO obvious brain attached and even less regard for “veracity” than the vast majority of the GOP’s would-be “Master Race”! As Rolling Stone recently put it, Palin is the epitome of “white trash”.

  27. Brian said on October 26th, 2008 at 6:15pm #

    Your central point is (how you say) ‘right on’. Since Reagan in 1980, these troglodites have been peddling their spin that the Sixties were a terrible abberation, when the Left was allowed to get out of hand. Everything that has happened since has proven that WE were right; right about who’s controlling the country, right about the war, and right about getting out there and stopping it! People like Jane Fonda and even Bill Ayers have NOTHING to apologize for. If it weren’t for the likes of them, we’d probably still be fighting in Vietnam in one of McCain’s ‘hundred year wars’! And no, I would not equate a man who flew bombing missions with ‘colatteral damage’ to civilian populations (conributing to a total of 2 million dead?), to someone who blew up several buildings killing NO-ONE in order to stop it. The popular culture of the Sixties ‘counterculture’ was vital, artful, fresh, life-affirming, and often profound. Witness the vapid, soul-dead corporate crap that is served up today. They have taken total control, and they don’t even have to produce a fake ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ incident for war, because now we can be ‘pre-emptive’! Few people (women, blacks, greys, and gays) in this country would be willing to give up the rights that were hard won by the social movements of the Sixties. But knocking the Sixties is a way of begrudging those rights and changes. This supposed ‘real America’ Palin keeps talking to would apparently like to see a lot of people ‘learn their place’ again. People should stop apologizing for the Sixties, and embrace again the values that drove that decade. We’re going to need them. The peaceful struggle to stop the corporate warmongers does not end with Barak Obama’s election.

  28. bosunj said on October 26th, 2008 at 7:11pm #

    Palin is the poster child for “white trash”, true! That being the case, what might be the percentage of citizens who are her constituents?

  29. evie said on October 26th, 2008 at 7:24pm #

    It’s a good thing Daddy Ayers was CEO of Commonwealth Edison and on the board of several important Chicago institutions, and good friends with old man Daley, so that son Bill got off free as a bird on a “technical” issue – anyone else would still be in prison.

  30. Doug said on October 26th, 2008 at 8:33pm #


    The US military is the enforcement arm of the US government. The legislative and executive branches set policy and the military executes that policy. The military does not make policy, they simply do what the civilian leaders dictate they should do. If the US President and Congress had not wanted the military to go into Afghanistan and Iraq, they would still not be there.

    The US military is composed of American citizens. Their attitudes and prejudices are those of the American population as a whole. American citizens select their government leaders. More than 90% of US voters select Republican and Democratic politicians and the overall policy differences between the two parties is negligible, especially foreign policy in regard to Israel’s enemies.

    Yes, there are Americans who are in opposition to their government’s policies and the actions of their military, but they are not representative of the majority of the population. Bill Ayers was one such individual and we see the overall opposition to his position and actions.

    The fact is that the people of no other nation on earth, now or at any other time in history, are more directly responsible for the actions and policies of their government and military than are Americans.

  31. Truthman said on October 26th, 2008 at 8:44pm #

    Evie, George Bush’s grandfather, Prescott, almost single handedly funded Hitler’s rise to power. You really wanna bring that tiny little crap up? Cause if you do, you’re gonna be wasted by REAL facts regarding who supports the organized crime syndicate that is American politics. And baby believe, the Bush’s are at the heart of it all. They ARE organized crime and they ARE corrupt to the core and have been since Prescott proposed a coup to General Smedley Butler in the 30’s. You can’t hide this sort of corruption without more corruption and by god, what a stroke of luck, they found it! The media!

    So they have bamboozled us all to believe these lies about democracy, humanity, blah, blah, blah, blah. while getting us to agree to continue to pay 40% of every thing we earn to support the biggest, most terrorist, killing and willing machine in the world. And for what? To FEED ITSELF!!!!!!!!!!

    That is the only reason to continue the charade of all charades. The USA’s military budget now exceeds the rest of the world’s combined. What a fucking joke. The only reason any other country even HAS a military budget is to defend themselves against US!!!!!!! Are you so stupid that you cannot see the duplicity and the power grab going on here? Who really, I mean REALLY wishes you or your family or your grandmother or your grandfather ANY HARM? ANY HARM AT ALL? What would they, I mean THEY, want from them? Their FREEDOMS???? What freedoms, precisely, and what would THEY do with them when they “acquired” them? Would George W Bush please explain that, I mean THAT, to me and the millions of Americans who are still going, duh?

    America has sponsored terrorism for five decades against countries all over the planet. And the kicker is that they have more often than not sponsored terrorism to subvert a democratic election. Look it up jack asses! It is not a theory, it is a FACT!

    So YOU tell me how it is that America is the biggest sponsor of Democracy in the world when ALL of the evidence supports the very opposite? HAMAS? HUGO CHAVEZ? Both overwhelming victories for the PEOPLE of democracy. Doesn’t fit the American model, so what do we do? Demonize them immediately!!!! What a crock.

    America is a crock of shit. I hate it and anyone with any sense of fairness and humility would as well. WE SUCK! So what do we do?

    We ask for forgiveness and admit that we didn’t know, which we didn’t, and hope that our fellow world brothers and sisters will somehow welcome us back in to the community. My guess is that they will, but only if we ask them nicely.

    From my stupid little world, it seems to me that many have lost all sense of “community” and “humanity” and simply think that because “We’re America, We’re the Best!” I feel sorry for those people, but at the same time understand how and why they feel that way. They have been lied to since birth about this country. We have always been Imperialistic in our vision and even more so in our predication of wars and invasions. There is not ONE INCIDENT of a “war” that Americas has involved herself in that was not a grab of resources, whether it was sugar, oil, heroin, marijuana, or otherwise. That is a fact, uninitiated one. You are now an initiate.

    So now you MUST evolve from the crap of
    “we’re the good guys” to the inevitable crap of “it’s just business” to truly understand the way that “things” work. And things work like this:

    Corporations are bound “by law” to provide dividends for their share holders and if they cannot or do not, they must answer to them. They can not and must not EVER use their feelings and/or “best intentions” to circumvent profits. That is in and of itself a violation of the covenant between corporation and stock holder. And THIS IS ANTI HUMANITY AND THIS IS THE PROBLEM AND THIS IS WHY WE WILL ALL BE DEAD IF WE DON’T END THIS MADNESS THAT WE CALL FREE ENTERPRISE!!!!!!!

    It is NOT free. It comes with a price and that price is the strangling of THE COMMON GOOD!!! If we cease to realize this theory, we will cease to be.

    The common good. So simple. So true.

  32. evie said on October 26th, 2008 at 9:04pm #

    Prescott was small potatoes compared to the Swiss and British bankers, along with Roosevelt’s Sec. of Tres. – Henry Morgenthau, Jr. All governments are organized crime syndicates.

    Good luck with Obama – hard times are coming.

    Fascism will come wrapped in a flag called “change.”

  33. HR said on October 26th, 2008 at 9:33pm #

    Evie, in case you hadn’t noticed, fascism has been here for a long, long time. What we have now is not far removed from total police-state fascism, which also comes wrapped in the flag and is greeted by the herd with worship of “warriors” and bellows of god bless us.

  34. DavidG. said on October 26th, 2008 at 11:55pm #

    Evie, where is Adamie? Obviously he has not been paying much attention to you of late. How else could you get such strange ideas?

    I hope all is well on your planet!

  35. brs said on October 27th, 2008 at 8:05am #

    Ayers is just as much a criminal as the KKK or other right wing bombers. He got away with it because of rich family. Most of the Weathermen, SDS etc. were spoiled rich kids in a snit because they might have to go to Vietnam too and that’s just for poor kids. They would not have cared if it was only someone not of their Class on the line. It shows in how they have acted since. Ayers and the academics supporting him are a strong argument for Mao’s Cultural Revolution, where they were sent to the countryside to work for a living. Sorry folks, I despise the bushjunior clan as much as anyone but Ayers moved out of any struggle into a cushy, high paying academic job. Anyone from the working class who pulled the stunt he pulled would be locked away and if they had gotten out now they would be starting at the bottom with Wal Mart salaries, not where he is today. It is still about class warfare folks and he is on the wrong side.

  36. evie said on October 27th, 2008 at 12:51pm #

    You need to get out of the country more – we have not been living under “fascism.” But I do think it is fast approaching on the horizon, unrecognized under the slogans of pols talking about hope, change, spread the wealth around, etc.

  37. HR said on October 27th, 2008 at 1:57pm #

    Evie, “our” government has done nothing but legislate in favor of corporations over workers since its beginning. A partnership between government (at all levels) and business has been the norm from the get-go.

    You need to listen to the crowds chanting, particularly at right-wing rallies, but even at sporting events, or at other local events, including local government meetings, as they recite the pledge, sing “God Bless America”, chant, “USA, USA, USA,” call those who disagree with them traitors, worship the military, going on at length about how it “spreads democracy”, and “protects our freedom”, and all the other nationalist crap. This has been a right-wing, authoritarian, “my country, right or wrong”, business-supporting place for much, much longer than my 58 years. I’ve seen it all my life. Compare my observations with any realistic definition of fascism … or continue living in your dream world.

  38. bozhidar bob balkas said on October 27th, 2008 at 2:49pm #

    evie is back. she needs just a lot of caressing. after that she’l see things like us halfmen.
    aside from use of the word “fascism” to describe US governance, one can clearly see in US a stratified society.
    but not just in US; one sees that just ab everywhere. the difference is not in kind bwtn US and nepal, bhutan, egypt but in degree.
    the differences can be also spotted in degree of econo-military-political powers of the rulers in nepal and US.
    nepal ruling class does not wage wars 10td kms away against americas but america does.
    yet the rulers in jordan, syria, israel can be called fascist just like the rulers in US .
    but it doesn’t explain anything. does this help? thnx

  39. Poilu said on October 27th, 2008 at 3:27pm #

    Compare THIS little account to Bill Ayers’ previous acts of pre-announced property destruction.

    Then ask yourself one KEY question: Why was the term “terrorist” not ONCE used in any part of this article to describe these acknowledged Right-wing mass-murderers to be? (And WHY is such nauseatingly supine deference afforded the “so-called”, “alleged”, ADMITTED plotters throughout?):

    “Feds Stop So Called Obama Assassination Plot”
    ABC News

    ‘ The ATF has arrested two neo-Nazis for an alleged plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama.

    ‘ The alleged plotters were also planning to kill 88 individuals by gunfire and 14 African-Americans by decapitation, federal law enforcement sources tell ABC News.

    ‘ Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman were arrested in Tennessee after the Crockett County Sheriff’s Department received a tip from the Haywood County Sheriff’s Department.

    ‘ According to law enforcement sources, the suspected plotters admitted to investigators that they were planning to rob a gun shop to steal weapons for their killing spree. Their final act was to be a plan to kill Obama.

    ‘ Investigators say the men had several weapons, including a FASI .308 rifle and sawed off shotguns.

    ‘ The numbers 88 and 14 are significant in the neo Nazi movement. 14 represents the fourteen words “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children”, according to a law enforcement source. 88 represents “Heil Hitler”, H being the 8th letter in the alphabet. ‘

  40. Poilu said on October 27th, 2008 at 3:51pm #

    For the education of our erstwhile E-V, who scarcely reminds me of her at all:

    “Fascism Anyone?”
    by Laurence W. Britt

    “14 Points of fascism: The warning signs”

    ‘ In his original article, “Fascism Anyone?”, Laurence Britt (interview) compared the regimes of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Suharto, and Pinochet and identified 14 characteristics common to those fascist regimes. This page is a collection of news articles dating from the start of the Bush presidency divided into topics relating to each of the 14 points of fascism. … ‘

  41. Tree said on October 27th, 2008 at 6:15pm #

    You’re right, Doug. Just the other day I had all the leaders of every military branch in my home and I said, “I may be a warmongering, racist, imperialist sumabitch but by god you need to stop being so mean.”
    Being an American and having the power that I have over the government and the military, they agreed with me and will begin immediate withdrawal from Iraq, Afghanistan and every other country in the world. I will also be deciding who will be president and lowering the price of milk. No need to thank me.

    You seem passionate but your logic is deeply flawed and you don’t fully grasp the issues. And in your civics lesson you failed to mention the electoral college, which renders many votes null and void.

  42. Doug said on October 27th, 2008 at 7:40pm #


    Do you understand the concept of the phrase “population as a whole”? Do you understand that the majority decision of a group may be in direct opposition to individual members of that group?

    Do you understand the concept of “democracy” and voting within a democratic system? Do you understand that individuals may vote in ways that are opposite to the voting patterns of the majority, but that the majority opinion will rule?

    As for the electoral college, it is simply a buffer to ensure that each region of the nation is equally represented based on their populations. Additionally, it is only applicable in presidential elections. Elections for congress are direct counts of the votes and there is no electoral college to serve as a buffer.

    If you are an American and you are in opposition to the majority opinion, then I say “Good for you.” However, your individual opposition does not excuse or mitigate the opinions of the majority. There will always be good individuals within an overall corrupt and evil society. Even in Nazi Germany there were good individuals, but that didn’t mean that the population as a whole shouldn’t have been terror-bombed into submission.

    If you are arguing that the United States is a dictatorship, in fact if not in law, then you should be arguing with “evie”.

  43. evie said on October 27th, 2008 at 9:42pm #

    I agree, business/government partnership has been the norm from the get-go, everywhere – often with a big dab of religion. Socialism or any other ‘ism’ is not going to change that – although you may be convinced your “ism” is the cure-all. All governments are dicktatorships, some worse than others.

    Poilu – The 14 points of fascism has been around and used by so many “sides” that it sounds stupid. More than a decade ago the right-wing swore Bill Clinton was ushering in fascism – which is just government controlled by business which Clinton was as much as Bush is.

    We need less government – not more.

  44. joeblow said on October 28th, 2008 at 9:57am #

    We need NO government, not less…

  45. Jonathan said on October 28th, 2008 at 12:45pm #

    I really don’t understand this derision of evie. I found her comment alleging that Ayers avoided the legal consequences of his actions because of his privileged background to have provided good perspective to the article and discussion.

  46. Poilu said on October 28th, 2008 at 2:11pm #

    “The 14 points of fascism has been around and used by so many sides that it sounds stupid.”

    If the term has been plausibly wielded by “so many sides”, I’d say that validates the already stated premise that the US has long been under Fascist rule. The glaring difference under this Bush Reich is that it’s now completely, audaciously out in the open.

    “It sounds stupid?” I think not. What it actually sounds is remarkably illustrative of this government’s dramatic devolution under the Bush-Cheney regime. There’s not even a PRETENSE of “representative government” now.

  47. Danny Ray said on October 28th, 2008 at 5:58pm #

    O.K. class, do any of you silly bastards really know what a fascist is? You people throw around the term fascist more than a tinker throws damns. But do you really know what one is? From the usage I think not.

  48. Jesus-Diciple said on October 28th, 2008 at 11:39pm #

    So, T-Man, what do we do, stand still while the republican continue to F7bek us all, the government continue to finance this war while women. children and old people starve to death, let me ask you a question;

    since you think Obama is not the answer to last 8 years, what makes McCain right? Is it because he’s white?
    BEtter yet, have you read his political report card, Might want to do that, then compare the to again.

    To me it doesn’t matter a person skin color, or political identy, but his ability, morals, respect and expertise tog et te job done,for we the people who put him in office.

  49. Jonathan said on October 29th, 2008 at 12:43pm #

    So Danny, perhaps rather than insulting people you could enlighten us ‘bastards’ with the correct definition of fascism?

  50. Danny Ray said on October 29th, 2008 at 1:14pm #

    Sorry pardner its not my job to teach you people anything.

  51. Jonathan said on October 29th, 2008 at 2:16pm #

    Does that mean you don’t actually have anything to teach?

  52. Danny Ray said on October 29th, 2008 at 2:40pm #

    I could probably teach you a lot, but it just seems like it would be a consummate waste of time. By the by I do not beat dead horses either.

  53. Poilu said on October 29th, 2008 at 3:05pm #

    “… do any of you silly bastards really know what a fascist is?”

    Danny Ray: Since your comment is not specifically directed, I have no idea whom you refer to as “silly bastards”. As for myself, I’m quite aware of what Fascism [in practice] implies, and have never used the term lightly. Should you feel a need to review my own definition, see my links to Evie above. I can also direct you to online sources for “Ur-Fascism” — by Umberto Eco, who lived under Italian Fascism — as well as “Mussolin’s” own (admittedly theory-based) “Fascist Manifesto”, among many others, should you so desire.

    Just let me know, and I’ll gladly point the way.

    Incidentally, I suspect that a good many of the would-be “silly bastards” you hypothesize are actually acutely aware of what a Fascist is, having lived under a regime thoroughly dominated by NeoCoNazis for the past 8 years. While there are always questions of degree in individual case studies regarding the various symptoms expressed, there is little room for doubt that the disease itself has now been forcibly inflicted on Americans.

  54. Danny Ray said on October 29th, 2008 at 4:05pm #

    I am a Socialist, and a very different kind of Socialist from your rich friend, Count Reventlow. … What you understand by Socialism is nothing more than Marxism.

    Adolf Hitler, spoken to Otto Strasser, Berlin, May 21, 1930.
    We National Socialists are enemies, deadly enemies, of the present capitalist system with its exploitation of the economically weak … and we are resolved under all circumstances to destroy this system.

    Gregor Strasser, National Socialist theologian…
    Fascism, which is the very antithesis of Individualism, stands as the nemesis of all economic doctrines and all economic practice of both the capitalist and communistic systems.

    The Philosophy of Fascism, 1936, by Mario Palmieri, Italy’s foremost fascist theologian.
    As late as 1932, Mussolini acknowledged Fascism’s affinities with Communism: ‘In the whole negative part, we are alike. We and the Russians are against the liberals, against democrats, against parliament’.

    Richard Pipes, Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime, 1993.
    [In Mussolini] Socialists should be delighted to find at last a socialist who speaks and thinks as responsible rulers do.
    George Bernard Shaw, 1927…
    … better go down with Bolshevism than live in eternal capitalist servitude.
    Joseph Goebbels, Diaries…
    I must admit that I am not certain of the last quote The one by Gobbels I seem to think that I have seen this same quote by someone else.

  55. Darren Hutchinson said on October 30th, 2008 at 6:53am #

    Well, as one progressive to others: I think the arguments advancing a view that racism, sexism, homophobia, and militarism are “dead” completely miss the point. They actually sound like the irrational exuberance that caused the collapse in the housing market, which led to the current financial crisis. If I took these arguments seriously, I’d have to dust off my CV and look for another job. Apparently, in 2008, we no longer need critical race theory, queer theory, feminism or poverty law! Wow, who knew the revolution would happen overnight, just by hoping for change.



  56. Real in WA said on October 30th, 2008 at 11:25am #

    As we all know, Obama’s association with Ayers and Dohrn went well beyond the “guy in my neighborhood” spin by Obama. The real question now is did this association and others impact Obama’s policies? The answer to that is YES. While not as demonstrably violent, the radical policies of the 60s and in particular those o f William Ayers have informed the current policies of Obama.

    “Kill all the rich. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home. Kill your parents ” …Bill Ayres.

    “Tax the Rich”. Spread the wealth around” …Barrak Obama

    Ayers confessed to “an undying hatred for America”
    Michele Obama called America a “mean country” and said that for “the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country”

    “Socialism is the total opposite of capitalism/imperialism. It is the rejection of empire and white supremacy” …Ayres

    Obama would bring our troops home in defeat and he obliquely accuses the republicans of racism.

    Obama is influenced greatly by his friendship with Ayers and Dohrn. Clearly he ran with that crowd and even spoke in praise of Khalidi, the virulently anti-semetic PLO supporter and close friend of the Ayers.
    In Chicago, the Khalidis founded the Arab American Action Network, and Mona Khalidi served as its president. A big farewell dinner was held in their honor by AAAN with a commemorative book filled with testimonials from their friends and political allies. These included the left wing anti-war group Not In My Name, the Electronic Intifada, and the ex-Weatherman domestic terrorists Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers. (There were also testimonials from then-state Senator Barack Obama and the mayor of Chicago.)
    His many talks over dinners 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.” No wonder Hamas and Hezbollah endorse aan Obama presidency.
    So again, have the violent socialist policies of the Chicago gang that Obama ran with influenced his politics? Indeed they have. To deny it is absurd.
    It will gladden the hearts of the far left to hear that OBAMA IS A SOCIALIST and his presidency would certainly reflect and advance socialism. It should frighten Americans.

  57. Poilu said on October 30th, 2008 at 7:02pm #

    Danny Ray: Who exactly is it you’re responding to with the above relatively cryptic (and fairly internally inconsistent) quote-fest??

    Are you vaguely insinuating that “National Socialism” is somehow a LEGITIMATE brand of socialism??

    And what do Hitler’s ideological proclamations of 1930 — or, for that matter, those of the other Fascist theoreticians [“theologians”??] cited — have to do with the REALITIES of Fascism, as it was practiced? (Hitler, after all, certainly wasn’t above “dirtying his hands” by consorting with the obscenely wealthy capitalists of Germany’s cartels to get himself put into power! And afterwards, in the Night of Long Knives, he simply had those prominent members of the NSDAP who opposed him or his views assasinated en masse. So much for “We National Socialists”, eh?)

    There are certainly reams of material available postulating what Fascism was supposed to be. But the modern use of the word derives far more from what it actually was — an unholy marriage of business and government, resulting in a massive loss of liberty for the populace at large. The truest sentiment expressed above, when all was said and done, is thus an abbreviated excerpt of Palmieri’s statement: “Fascism … is the very antithesis of Individualism.”

  58. Poilu said on October 30th, 2008 at 11:55pm #

    As we all know, Obamas association with Ayers and Dohrn went well beyond the guy in my neighborhood spin by Obama.

    In a word, horseshit — all of it, front to back.

    But then, the McCain rah-rahs have been out in force here lately.

    It will gladden the hearts of the far left to hear that OBAMA IS A SOCIALIST …

    It very well might, if he truly were. But, sadly, he’s not; not even close.

  59. Danny Ray said on October 31st, 2008 at 3:55pm #


    No I am broadly insinuating that “ Socialism” is somehow a LEGITIMATE brand of National socialism??

  60. Poilu said on October 31st, 2008 at 4:49pm #

    Danny Ray: Okay, I give up. Was that supposed to be clever, a la “snappy comeback” ? If so, I missed the “wit” entirely.

    You haven’t answered my questions.

  61. Danny Ray said on October 31st, 2008 at 9:08pm #

    My friend, I do beg your pardon I thought we had moved on from this. The point I wanted to make was, I read all these articles and I hear the term fascist, George Bush is a fascist, Dick Cheney is a fascist, all republicans are fascist, all Christians are fascist. I’m really sick to death hearing people compared to fascist.

    No I’m not saying that national socialism is any way legitimate and certainly not a legitimate part of modern socialism. I do want to point out that fascism, is an outgrowth of Marxism/socialism. That was the purpose of as you put it the “quotation fest”.

    The realities of fascism Are too horrible to even contemplate. The evils that Nazism unleashed upon the world changed the fundamental reality of the human race, under no circumstance should the evils and believes of the NAZI party be allowed to exist today tomorrow or ever,

    This is the very reason I’m very tired of the left in this country using the term fascist. The vast majority of the left have no clue what a fascist is. If George bush and Dick Cheney were Fascist how do you explain the fact that Barak Obama, Keith Oberman, or any one of 100 other left wing politico’s and pundits are still alive. I know you don’t know me from Adam’s off ox but you have to believe I’ve studied NAZI Germany, fascist Italy, Spain Chile and Argentina and I can say with a great deal of certainty that George Bush isn’t a Pimple on Hitler’s ass.

    You stated above that a good many of my readers are living under a socialist regime led by bush junior, I myself live in that and I can’t say that it’s a Fascist regime I can’t even say that it’s much of a totalitarian regime, I don’t see any rights that I had eight years ago that are missing today, as far as the bill of rights being shredded, I don’t see that either. I’m sorry Poulu , I am a realist. I know you’re saying he has his head in his ass. But as you know difference of opinion is what makes a horse race.

    As for referring to the left in this country as a group of silly bastards, that’s how I see it,you spend helluva lot of time worring about things they can’t be changed, you talk about peace and the brotherhood of man but pretty much that’s all the American left does, talk. I’ve made a study of the articles on dissident voice, seems to me like the vast majority of articles that get attention are all articles having to do with people’s pocketbooks or the American election. I see articles about the Palestinians, the poor Sudanese or south Americans getting no comments, this tells me that the American left don’t give a rats ass about half the things they protest.

    Anyway my friend, I think maybe my French friend. This articles is getting buried was in the back of DV. Should you care to discuss this further e-mail me at moc.oohaynull@kcebnaggohnoob and I would be happy to discuss these things further in depth with you. Have a wonderful weekend.