Posted by Curt on 25 October, 2008 at 2:26 pm. 13 comments already!

Andy McCarthy reminds us of a great interview done by Hugh Hewitt of Stanley Kurtz a few weeks ago that is an excellent primer on the Obama/Ayers association. It also highlights an association that isn’t talked about much. Ayers/Khalidi ties.

Here is the interview, lasts a little over 16 minutes but well worth the time to listen to the whole thing:

[audio:https://www.floppingaces.net/Audio/hewittkurtzoct6.mp3]

Here is the transcript of the Ayers/Khalidi part:

SK: Now if you lived just a few blocks away from someone, and you’ve been on a foundation together, and at least in the first year, you were on the board together, and then you’re on a panel together, when you run into each other, what are you going to be talking about? Here’s something I also haven’t mentioned. Rashid Khalidi and Bill Ayers were practically best friends. People don’t know this, and I’m actually saying this for the first time. I haven’t written about this. They were best friends, and we know that Obama had interactions with Khalidi, that Khalidi had held the coffee that kicked off his Congressional campaign, I believe. And Ayers and Khalidi were extremely close if you look at the acknowledgements in their books.

HH: Tell us about Khalidi. Tell us who he is and his role in Obama’s life.

SK: Rashid Khalidi is really, in a sense, the American successor of Edward Said, a very strong advocate for the Palestinians, extremely radical in his views and his opposition to American foreign policy. He was a friend and colleague of Obama. Apparently they used to get together and discuss world affairs. And he’s practically the best friend of Bill Ayers. Bill Ayers features Khalidi in some of his books about how to politicize the teaching for students. So actually, the more you look into it, the more you see that this is not just people running into each other. And again, I object to the idea of just simply counting the times people were together in a room. When you fund Bill Ayers education projects, with hundreds of thousands of dollars, when you as Bill Ayers publish Rashid Khalidi’s essay in your book of collected essays, they might have gone on. That’s a lot without meeting once.

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HH: So Stanley Kurtz, Rashid Khalidi, very close to Barack Obama, read during the break that Khalidi had a farewell dinner in 2003 that Obama was one of the presenters at, and in those remarks, alluded to the numerous dinners he’d had at the home of the Khalidi’s.

SK: Yes.

HH: It simply defies imagination to think that Khalidi was not a bridge between Ayers, that this is not an operating subgroup of Hyde Park, doesn’t it?

SK: Right. I mean, that’s what it seems like when you look, when you read these acknowledgements back and forth between Khalidi and Ayers of how close they are as friends, and you see that Khalidi had dinners at Obama, it really, to think…and then that Khalidi hosted something to kick off Obama’s Congressional campaign, you’ve got to think that Ayers and Khalidi are both talking about Obama, because they’re so close. And you’ve go to think that…it begins to look like a pretty tight network. You know, you can only show what’s actually in the papers, and what are in the documents as far as the number of meetings and everything else. But it sure looks a lot tighter than what we can absolutely see. It looks like a lot more. But it’s hard to show for sure, just like people, I think rightly assume that Barack Obama had to have known a lot more about what Jeremiah Wright was saying all those years than he’s letting on.

These relationships, and there shared views, are quite important in understanding Barack Obama and the way he thinks. What he believes.

The evidence known so far tells us that Obama and Ayers have known each other since at least the early 90’s but Andy believes it goes back a bit further to Obama’s Columbia days, the days he refuses to comment on.

In 2003 there was a dinner held for Khalidi who was leaving the University of Chicago to go to Columbia. Among those at the dinner were Ayers and Obama. Both gave glowing remarks about Khalidi. Obama’s remarks gave us some insight into how well he knew the man:

It was a celebration of Palestinian culture — a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York.

A special tribute came from Khalidi’s friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi’s wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.

His many talks 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.”Obama and Ayers both gave Khalidi a rousing send off at a party to celebrate Khalidi leaving the University of Chicago to Columbia.

Andy takes it from there:

Khalidi was leaving to become director of Columbia’s Middle East Institute, assuming a professorship endowed in honor of another Arafat devotee, the late Edward Said. A hero of the Left who consulted with terrorist leaders (including Hezbollah’s Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah) and was once photographed hurling rocks at Israelis from the Lebanese border, Said was exposed by researcher Justus Reid Weiner as a fraud who had created a fictional account of his childhood, the rock on which he built his Palestinian grievance mythology.

We know precious little about Obama’s Columbia years, but the Los Angeles Times has reported that he studied under Said. In and of itself, that is meaningless: Said was a hotshot prof and hundreds of students took his comparative-lit courses. But Obama plainly maintained some sort of tie with Said — a photo making the Internet rounds shows Obama conversing with the great man himself at a 1998 Arab American community dinner in Chicago, where the Obamas and Saids were seated together.

Said had a wide circle of radical acquaintances. That circle clearly included Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. When they came out of hiding in the early 1980s (while Obama was attending Columbia), Ayers took education courses at Bank Street College, adjacent to Columbia in Morningside Heights — before earning his doctorate at Columbia’s Teachers College in 1987.

Said was so enamored of Ayers that he commended the unrepentant terrorist’s 2001 memoir, Fugitive Days — the book in which the haughty Ayers brags about his Weatherman past — with this glowing dust-jacket blurb:

What makes Fugitive Days unique is its unsparing detail and its marvelous human coherence and integrity. Bill Ayers’s America and his family background, his education, his political awakening, his anger and involvement, his anguished re-emergence from the shadows: all these are rendered in their truth without a trace of nostalgia or “second thinking.” For anyone who cares about the sorry mess we are in, this book is essential, indeed necessary, reading.

Sorry mess, indeed. For his part, Ayers is at least equally enthralled by Said, of whom, even in death, Ayers says “[t]here is no one better positioned … to offer advice on the conduct of intellectual life[,]” than the man who was “over the last thirty-five years, the most passionate, eloquent, and clear-eyed advocate for the rights of the Palestinian people.”

After they left Columbia, both Obama and Ayers went to Chicago: Obama to become a “community organizer” (the director of the Developing Communities Project, an offshoot of the Gamaliel Foundation dedicated to Saul Alinsky’s principles for radicalizing society); Ayers, two years later, to teach at the University of Illinois. Diamond details how they both became embroiled in a major education controversy that resulted in 1988 reform legislation.

Ayers’s father, Tom Ayers, a prominent Chicago businessman, was also deeply involved in the reform effort. Interestingly, in 1988, while Obama and Ayers toiled on the same education agenda, Bernadine Dohrn worked as an intern at the prestigious Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin — even though she could not be admitted to the bar due to her contempt conviction for refusing to cooperate in a terrorist investigation. How could that happen? It turns out that Sidley was the longtime outside counsel for Tom Ayers’s company, Commonwealth Edison. That is, Ayers’ father had pull at the firm and successfully pressed for the hiring of his daughter-in-law.

The next summer, though he had gone off to Harvard Law School (another impressive accomplishment he prefers not to discuss), Obama returned to the Windy City to work as an intern at Sidley. Dohrn was gone by then to teach at Northwestern. A coincidence? Maybe (Diamond doesn’t think so), but that’s an awful lot of coincidences — and a long trail of common people, places and experiences — for people who purportedly didn’t know each other yet managed to end up as partners in significant financial and political ventures.

In short, Bill Ayers and Barack Obama moved in the same circles, were driven by the same cause, and admired the same radicals all the way from Morningside Heights to Hyde Park. They ended up publicly admiring each other, promoting each other’s work, sitting on the same boards, and funding the same Leftist agitators.

You could conclude, as I do, that it all goes back to a formative time in his life that Obama refuses to discuss. Or you could buy the fairy tale that Bill Ayers first encountered an unknown, inexperienced, third-year associate from a small Chicago law-firm over coffee in 1995 and suddenly decided Barack Obama was the perfect fit to oversee the $150 million pot of gold Ayers hoped would underwrite his revolution.

Obama, Ayers, Khalidi, Wright…..peas in a pod who believe in revolutionary causes to take this country apart brick by brick and make it into something it was never meant to be.

Come November 5th they may be one step closer.

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