Terrorists, Then and Now

Saturday was the anniversary of the Kent State shootings in 1970. The keynote speaker at the annual commemoration service on the Kent State campus was Bill Ayers, Barack Obama’s political mentor. At the time of the Kent State confrontation, Ayers was underground, a terrorist on the run. Terrorists are perhaps less popular today then they were forty years ago, and after Ayers’ speech, a reporter had the temerity to ask Ayers whether he was any different from the Tsarnaev brothers. Good question!

There is no relationship at all between what Weather Underground members did and the bombings that two brothers allegedly committed on April 15 in Massachusetts, Ayers said in response to a reporter’s question. No one died in the Weather Underground bombings.

That is debatable: the Weathermen are widely believed to have been involved in the bombing of a San Francisco police station in which one officer was killed and another blinded, and Ayers’ former colleagues carried out the 1981 Brinks robbery in which three people were murdered. To the extent that the Weathermen’s casualty count was low, it was due entirely to the group’s incompetence. Ayers conveniently fails to mention that the famous 1970 Greenwich Village explosion that killed several of his fellow Weather Underground members occurred while they were making bombs packed with nails to kill soldiers at Fort Dix.

And there is no question that Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, enthusiastically advocated violence, including mass murder. Their book Prairie Fire, published in 1974, advocated the violent overthrow of the United States government:

The only path to the final defeat of imperialism and the building of socialism is revolutionary war…. Socialism is the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie, the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the eradication of the social system based on profit…. Revolutionary war will be complicated and protracted…. It includes mass struggle and clandestine struggle, peaceful and violent, political and economic, cultural and military, where all forms are developed in harmony with the armed struggle. Without mass struggle there can be no revolution. Without armed struggle there can be no victory.

Ayers and Dohrn were bloodthirsty, even by the often-depraved standards of the time. Dohrn is the only person, to my knowledge, who publicly applauded the Charles Manson murders. She thought they were “groovy.”

You might think that someone with Ayers’ criminal past would be ashamed, and would try to make amends. But no:

The United States is the most violent country that has ever been created, Ayers said.

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., committed daily war crimes in Vietnam “and I get asked about violence when what I did was some destruction of property to issue a scream and cry against an illegal war in which 6,000 people a week are being killed,” Ayers said. “Six thousand a week being killed and I destroyed some property. Show me the equivalence. You should ask John McCain that question … I’m against violence.”

This is, of course, exactly the rationale that the Tsarnaev brothers and every other terrorist under the Sun employs. The reporter who wrote this local news story doesn’t seem to be buying it:

In his talk to the crowd, Ayers mentioned that in 1970, he lost three friends in the Weather Underground, including his lover, Diana Oughton. He did not explain in his talk how they died – they were killed when nail bombs they were making in a Greenwich Village townhouse blew up.

Telling the crowd the circumstances of those deaths would have been “inappropriate,” Ayers said afterward. “Everybody here knows,” he said.

I doubt that. Certainly the liberal news media haven’t publicized the fact that the man who launched Barack Obama’s political career in his living room was the leader of an organization that attempted the mass murder of American soldiers at a dance.

Authorities said the bombs were intended to be used at a dance at the Fort Dix Army base in New Jersey.

“No one knows for sure but I think they were. And had they carried it out it would have been a catastrophe,” Ayers said. “But they didn’t and it didn’t happen. But what did happen is, on that same day John McCain murdered civilians. Do we have any responsibility for that? Should there be any reconciliation for that? Should he tell the truth about it?”

Actually, on the day when the townhouse explosion occurred, March 6, 1970, John McCain had been a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for two and a half years. He was shot down in 1967. Bill Ayers is a lying sack of shit, and that is one of his better qualities.