Ayers Escalates Cold War With Obama
Earlier this week, in a video interview with Anastasia Churkina of the Russian news service, RT, radical activist Bill Ayers chose to escalate his rhetorical war with President Barack Obama
Ayers called Obama’s decision to send additional troops to Afghanistan a “catastrophe” for Afghanistan and for the United States and a natural result of our “insane policy in the Middle East.”
This was not a feint by Ayers to make Obama look more attractive to the center. He has been on Obama’s case from the beginning.
Although coy with Churkina about the nature of his relationship with Obama, Ayers was likely telling the truth when he told her, “I wish I were a close friend, and I wish he would call me for advice, but of course it is not going to happen.”
Ayers had begun signaling his displeasure in late February 2009, less than five weeks into the Obama era, when he blasted Obama’s decision to send additional troops to Afghanistan as a “colossal mistake.”
This fall, while Obama dithered on the question of whether to honor the military’s request for additional troops, Ayers, I believe, used the leverage he does have with Obama to dissuade him from pursuing the war in Afghanistan.
After celebrity biographer Christopher Andersen—in his book, Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage--confirmed my theory that Ayers was the principal author of Obama’s acclaimed 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father, Ayers admitted his authorship on two separate occasions.
I suspected then, and still do, that this these unprompted admissions, however ironic their delivery, were designed to remind Obama of the power that Ayers held over him.
The truth about Dream’s authorship is Ayers’ nuclear option. He watched the media ignore Andersen’s bombshell as universally as they had my own literary detective work.
Ayers knows that now only he can deliver the truth about Dreams’ authorship, a revelation that would critically undermine Obama’s claims to genius, to honesty, and to independence of thought.
Obama, I suspect, gambled that Ayers would not go nuclear.
Accordingly, after months of indecision, Obama approved the troop surge in Afghanistan.
Immediately after the surge was announced, Ayers took to the streets of Chicago to protest. He told an interviewer that he was “appalled and alarmed that once against we are escalating the war.”
Ayers was not kidding. It is becoming increasingly evident that Ayers’ protest was not part of some strategy to burnish Obama’s moderate credentials.
As Ayers described the process to Churkina, Obama had yielded to the generals and to weight of the foreign policy establishment.
Ayers has little use for this establishment. “The idea that we have been a force for good for the last six decades,” he insisted, “is utter nonsense.”
Obama’s capitulation disappointed Ayers but did not surprise him. He claimed that Obama has always positioned himself as “a moderate, pragmatic, compromising politician.”
“People on the left think he is secretly winking at them,” Ayers continued, but he believes that leftists deceive themselves into so thinking.
For all of Ayers’ radicalism, one cannot deny him his consistency over time. He loathes the “warrior nation” that is America as purely as he did forty years ago.
Obama, however, has been consistent about little. The evidence suggests that Ayers initially supported Obama because he thought him a likely mayor of Chicago, a position in which “compromising” is a threshold job requirement.
As Chicago mayor, Obama could have been very helpful to Ayers. As a leftist president of color willing to compromise on the big issues, Obama is pure problem.
Although Ayers had less of a role in Obama’s 2006 book, Audacity of Hope than he did in Dreams, the former book’s epilogue seems to be his handiwork and points to the trouble to come.
In it, “Obama” tells of a conversation he had at a pivotal moment in his life with "an older man who had been active in the civil rights efforts in Chicago in the sixties"
When Obama tells the man of his career plans, the man responds, "Both law and politics required compromise," something that he himself had refused to do.
The man sounds very much like Ayers, who has long been battling what he calls in his memoir, Fugitive Days, “the culture of compromise."
In Audacity, Obama concedes that he was "perhaps more tolerant of compromise" than this older friend was. Ayers always knew this about Obama.
He may have underestimated, however, just how tolerant of compromise Obama was.
Editor's note: For a more complete account of this phenomenon, read Jack Cashill's amazing new book, "Hoodwinked: How Intellectual Hucksters Have Hijacked American Culture.
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