Middle East studies in the News
Obama's Radicalized Mind (Part Two of Two) [incl. Rashid Khalidi]
by Candace de Russy
Two Decades of B.L.T. ‘Mentor' Wright
What of Obama's widely reported, now former membership in Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, led by Rev. Jeremiah Wright of "'God D*** America!'" renown, and whose mission is rooted in radical and racist "black liberation theology" (B.L.T.)?
Jerome Corsi shows that how this ideology refashions the biblical history and message of Jesus Christ in order to put forth a revolutionary racial call. Hence black liberation theology per se, the work of black theologians such as James Cone and Dwight Hopkins, actually originates in the thought of black political radicals, including Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X (who, recall, greatly impressed the younger Obama), and Frantz Fanon. Cone, notably, stated that black power entails "'emancipation of black people from white oppression by whatever means black people deem necessary.'"
It was this "B.L.T." zealot Wright Obama called his "spiritual mentor." It was to this extremist congregation, dedicated to a warped ideology of "black values" which demonizes whites, that he became a committed member and to which he donated substantially. Obama was married and had his children baptized by this minister. Obama and Wright took it on themselves to visit dictator Muammar Khadafy in Libya, and the pastor presented a lifetime achievement award to the Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan. In the sermon from which Obama took the title of his second memoir, The Audacity of Hope, Wright admits to having been a militant Black Muslim in the mold of Malcolm X. Wright has also blamed whites for starvation in the world, defamed black Republicans, and claimed that the U.S. government created the virus which causes AIDS.
Yet Obama and his wife Michelle stayed on at Trinity, remaining silent for over 20 years in face of what they could not have failed to recognize as their minister's hateful tirades. Only after his ravings had been made public, and out of rank political expedience, did Obama finally break his silence on the matter. In a botched attempt to bury the scandal, he defended Wright, all the while feebly distancing himself from his diatribes.
Most disquieting, however, throughout this affair, and for the two decades Obama attended Trinity, the Democrat Party's now presidential nominee never condemned black liberation theology. Voters should demand that he do so.
Consorting with ‘Unrepentant Terrorist' Ayers
Well on the nation's radar now are Obama's ties (described by his spokesman David Axelrod as "a friendly relationship") to the aforementioned Ayers, now Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and his wife Bernardine Dohrn, now Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern University and Director of its Children and Family Justice Center.
The two were indicted in 1970 for inciting to riot and conspiracy to bomb numerous government buildings. Ayers later infamously pronounced, "I don't regret setting bombs," and Dohrn, once tagged "la Pasionara of the Lunatic Left," served a second prison sentence for refusing to cooperate with prosecutors in the trial of another bomber.
As Rita Kramer surmises, there must have been at least "a certain kindred spirit" between the two professors and Obama and his wife Michelle, for Ayers and Dohrn held a fundraiser in their home for Obama early in his political career. In addition, Ayers and Obama served jointly on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which today gives large grants to left-wing groups, and on two academic panels.
Stanley Kurtz notes further Obama's "warm endorsement … of Ayers' book on juvenile justice, which Obama dubbed ‘a searing and timely account.'" "Radicalism pervades" this book, writes Kurtz.
The Khalidi Connection
Among other of Obama's academic friends and associates, writes author Freddoso, has been Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, a backer of the Palestine Liberation Organization while it was designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. Peter Wallsten, who has reported extensively on the Obama/Khalidi connection, says that Khalidi, while teaching on a Beirut campus, often spoke to reporters on behalf of Yasser Arafat's PLO; advised the Palestinian delegation during peace negotiations in the early 1990s; and assailed U.S. policy in the Middle East as biased toward Israel.
Additionally, while Obama and Ayers served on the Woods Fund board, the trust made substantial grants to the Arab American Action Network, founded by Khalidi. The organization reports that it conducted an oral history project on "an-Nakba," or the "catastrophe" of Israel's founding.
Khalidi and his wife lived in the Hyde Park neighborhood near the Obamas, and the families became friends and dinner companions. Khalidi also hosted a political fundraiser for Obama, and Obama in turn offered a testimonial at a dinner in Khalidi's honor. (Ayers and Dohrn also gave testimonials for him.)
Obama's congenial relations with both Khalidi and Ayers – and others like them – is worrisome. One must conclude that there was at least some meeting of mind among them. Candidate Obama, says John Fund about his involvement with Ayers and others associated with criminal acts, needs to "come clean." In fact, he should come clean about every aspect of his radical past.
Radical Campaign Advisers
The editors of The Wall Street Journal have criticized Obama for populating his "national security councils" with "superdove" academics and others such as Anthony Lake and Susan Rice.
Moreover, just as Obama did not in the past hesitate to support the work of Khalidi, so did he not hesitate in his campaign to hire Mazen Asbahi as his Muslim-Outreach Adviser. Asbahi recently resigned in the wake of publicity linking him to legacy groups of the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood. "This is relevant," comments Douglas Farrah of the International Assessment and Strategy Center, "because of the MB's historical ties to radical Islamist terrorism and the ties of members of legacy groups in the United States to multiple terrorist cases, investigations and convictions."
Other of Obama's "radical advisers" in his campaign, Freddoso decries, include Cornel West, an African-American studies professor at Princeton University who describes himself as a "'progressive socialist.'" West has called Marxism "'an indispensable tradition for freedom fighters,'" and lauded the usurpation of executive power by leftist strongman Hugo Chavez in Venezuela as a "'democratic awakening.'"
There is also Charles Ogletree, a Harvard law professor who favors reparations to the descendants of slaves, and Robert Malley, who resigned when it became known that he had been meeting with the terrorist group Hamas, which in 2006 called for attacks against the U.S.
And the list goes on, leading Freddoso to conclude "it would be difficult to find so many radicals in the ranks of any of the other serious presidential campaigns from either party."
It should raise an alarm that leadership positions in an Obama administration would certainly be filled by a similar assortment of superdoves and radicals – and, this, at a time when we must wage war on Islamic terrorists, stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, confront a once again bellicose Russia, and face up to out-of-control government spending and other serious economic problems.
Mind and meaning matter, especially in presidential candidates. What one can glean of Obama's mind and meaning reveals that he has inherited and consciously nurtured mainly radical or radically tending ideas.
His is not a moderate, mainstream political philosophy. Rather, at his core, as Kurtz deduced, he
is profoundly race-conscious, exceedingly liberal, free-spending even in the face of looming state budget deficits, and partisan. Elected president, this man would presumably shift the country sharply to the left on all the key issues of the day - culture-war issues included.
If the American people grasp in time who Obama really is and what he really believes in, he will not be elected. For this reason, a reporter told Gabriel Sherman of the New Republic, his campaign leaders are "'terrified of people poking around Obama's life.'"
To hide evidence of Obama's radical past and persuasion, his campaign has even resorted to trying to suppress legitimate concerns about him by intimidating his critics. It has tried to bully GOP donors, muzzle TV and radio stations, and silence an investigative journalist who had the temerity to question the candidate. Above all, the campaign has been making frantic attempts to prevent any further highlighting of his longtime working relationship with domestic terrorist Ayers.
Combined with the presidential nominee's pass from the media are such no-holds-barred efforts to hide his lifelong connections with what Investor's Business Daily calls "a network of stone-cold socialists and full-blown communists."
Obama is also freely playing the race card in an effort to deflect critical scrutiny. Early this summer, for example, he conflated justified questions about him (specifically, his youth and inexperience) with racism. "They're going to try to make you afraid of me," he said. ‘He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?'"
But it is not the candidate's race or name that should frighten us. It is, rather, his radical mind and instincts. The presidential decisions to which these could lead, decisions of life and death importance to us all, should make us afraid. Very afraid.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Dr. Candace de Russy is a former college professor who was appointed by George W. Bush to serve on the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy from 2002-2005. She currently serves on many education-related boards, and is a nationally recognized writer and lecturer who contributes regularly to such publications as National Review Online.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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