Middle East studies in the News
Barack Obama's Connections to Socialism, Communism and Racial Divisiveness [incl. Rashid Khalidi]
by Dee Gerrish
There's no need for a long introduction… this article will "speak" for itself. The following is a list of Barack Obama's connections to socialism, communism, Marxism, racial divisiveness, and political corruption. If you can ignore this and still support the man who refuses to disclose much of his past, then you should not be voting in November.
The Early Mentors and Influences
Barack Hussein Obama Sr. – Barack's father was an African socialist. While he was not with his son for much of Barack Jr.'s childhood, they did keep in touch through routine correspondence according to the memoir, Dreams From My Father.
Stanley Ann Dunham – Barack's mother was a 60's liberal feminist and an atheist – all the makings of a rebellious, 60's-era, left-wing radical. There is little written about Barack's mother and her political views, but from what is known, she was certainly on the left of the political spectrum.
Saul Alinsky – Mr. Alinsky was an avid and open socialist and the king of social activism, commonly called the "father of community organizing." He created many organizations that relied on street agitation tactics, such as the Industrial Areas Foundation, which trained Obama in organizing tactics. He wrote the book, Rules for Radicals, which outlined many of the tactics used today in community organizing campaigns. Barack Obama worked with the Developing Communities Project and the Gamaliel Foundation – both inspired by Saul Alinsky's tactics and socialist philosophy. Barack even wrote a chapter on community organizing in the book, After Alinsky. Saul Alinsky's son, Lee David Alinsky, recently praised Obama on his ability to perform Saul's tactics, saying that Barack "learned his lesson well."Frank Marshall Davis – "Frank," as Barack Obama refers to him in his book, Dreams From My Father, was a member of the Communist Party (USA). He was also a former community organizer in Chicago. As a youth, Barack was treated to many of Davis' rants about white supremacy, white Christianity, and undoubtedly was aware of Davis' pro-Soviet writings. In his memoir, Barack merely says he was "intrigued" by Davis.
John L. McKnight – Referred to as Obama's "community organizer mentor," McKnight taught Barack about community organizing while they were both working with the Gamaliel Foundation – a Saul Alinsky production. John McKnight is also a former ACLU director and sits on the board of the National People's Action (NPA), another leftist community organizing group. He teaches at Northwestern University and he wrote a letter of recommendation to Harvard for Obama.
Radical Faith Testimonials
Reverend Jeremiah Wright – "Uncle J" was Barack's former pastor and mentor at Trinity United Church of Christ. The philosophy of the Church is based on the teachings of James Cone's black liberation theology. Cone admits that his theology is a mix of "black religion and Marxist philosophy." Wright's fiery anti-white, anti-capitalist, and anti-United States sermons landed him in a media controversy that eventually led to Barack's denouncement of him in the spring of 2008, after 20 years of friendship. Wright had married Barack and Michelle and had baptized their two children. The pastor has also worked with Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan, and his church's magazine, Trumpet, has given Farrakhan a lifetime achievement award with praise coming from Wright.
The black liberation theology that is practiced at Trinity is based on James Cone's version of the religion. He has stated that Trinity represents the most accurate interpretation of his theology. Among the ideas expressed by Cone is the notion that "black religion and Marxist philosophy may show us the way to build a completely new society." He also believes that "to be black is to be committed to destroying everything this country loves and adores." Recently, reports have stated that Cone believes nothing Barack Obama has said or written in his books and speeches contradicts Cone's black liberation theology. Obama has simply blunted the more "radical edge." On the other hand, Reverend Wright seems to have a firm grasp on what his theology represents – and he was able to influence Barack Obama with it for 20 years.
Father Michael Pfleger – This seemingly out-of-place white priest with a predominantly black congregation in South Chicago has had a relationship with Obama for nearly 20 years as well. He has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in earmarks and foundation grants from Obama and has contributed to Barack's multiple political campaigns. He had appeared on Barack's campaign website under the "Faith" category, but he has since been removed. Much like Wright, Father Pfleger spews fiery racial sermons and gives his support and admiration to Louis Farrakhan. According to Wright's Trumpet magazine, Pfleger also claims he "got very educated by the [Black] Panthers – very educated."
Domestic Terrorism and Social "Reform"
William Ayers – Mr. Ayers is an unrepentant domestic terrorist and an anti-capitalist. He was a leader of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in the 1960's and one of the militant spin-offs, the terrorist Weather Underground organization. These organizations were comprised of communist ("small 'c'") and anti-capitalist radicals. Part of Ayers' Weather Underground strategy was to align with black revolutionary organizations like the Black Panther Party because among other things, they felt "white America" exploited black people and they were taken to the military-like discipline exhibited by those groups. Their activities included bombing police stations, the Capitol Building, and the Pentagon. In recent years, Ayers has publicly stated that he is not sorry for what he did and wishes that he had done more. He has been photographed stomping on the American flag and says the idea that the United States is a fair and just nation "makes me want to puke." He has also given speeches in Venezuela praising the efforts in education that the Hugo Chavez regime has been making…efforts that he has been trying to implement in the Chicago school system for decades.
Bill Ayers served for six years on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) with Barack Obama. Both men headed up separate branches of the CAC that worked together on project funding. He also served on the board of the Woods Fund with Obama for three years. In 1995, Ayers hosted the event at his house which would become the kick-start to Obama's political career. In that "meet-and-greet," Alice Palmer handed over her Illinois State Senate reins to Barack (more on that later). Ayers wrote a book on the juvenile justice system which Barack endorsed warmly, then the two were on a panel set up by Michelle Obama to discuss the merits of the book and current (at the time) legislation on the subject – which both Ayers and Obama opposed, as well as Bernardine Dohrn. Barack also taught classes at the University of Illinois-Chicago, where Ayers is a faculty member. In 2002, the Black Radical Congress (BRC) hosted a panel discussion at the University of Illinois-Chicago called "Intellectuals in Times of Crisis." Barack Obama, Bill Ayers, and three endorsers of the BRC were on this panel. Contrary to the protestations by the Obama campaign, Bill Ayers is more than "just a guy" who lives in Barack's neighborhood.
Bernardine Dohrn – She is the wife of Bill Ayers and a former radical herself. Dohrn was the leader of the Revolutionary Youth Movement of the SDS and the Weather Underground. She was also a signatory of the Weather Underground's "Declaration of War" against the United States. She was a communist (Marxist-Leninist) and is a convicted criminal for her actions in the violent radical groups she was involved with throughout the 60's and 70's, particularly the aforementioned bombings. Dohrn later obtained a position at Sidley & Austin, the law firm where Michelle Obama worked. Dohrn's father-in-law, Tom Ayers, owned a company which had received long-time outside counsel from Sidley. She obtained her position at Sidley & Austin through Howard Trienens, a senior partner. Trienens, Tom Ayers, and Sidley partner Newton Minow, all served on the board of trustees at Northwestern University. Dohrn is now an adjunct professor at Northwestern.
Mike Klonsky – He was a Maoist, a former SDS national chairman (1968), and formed the "October League" when the SDS broke into several factions. The October League later became the Beijing-recognized U.S. Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), of which Klonsky became a leader in the 70's, traveling to China and praising the Maoist leadership. He took over the Small Schools Workshop which was created by Ayers, when Ayers headed up the CAC in 1995. The CAC, with Barack as one of its chairs, continued to fund the Workshop throughout the CAC's existence. Klonsky was also an official blogger for the Obama presidential campaign website in 2008.
Marilyn Katz – She oversaw security for the SDS, where she met Ayers. She was part of the Committee of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, which organized the 2002 anti-war speech in Chicago where Barack Obama famously spoke out against the Iraq War. Katz is a signatory of the Progressives for Obama website and the founder of Chicagoans Against War on Iraq. She also happens to have played poker games with Judson Miner, the liberal lawyer who hired Obama upon his return to Chicago after graduating Harvard Law School. Obama met Katz through the Miner Barnhill & Galland law firm. Miner was also a law school classmate of Bernardine Dohrn at the University of Chicago in the 60's. Katz has held fundraisers for Obama in her home and is a media advisor for the Obama presidential campaign.
Carl Davidson – He was a former leader of the SDS and a Maoist, like Klonsky. He was also one of the organizers for the 2002 anti-war speech. Davidson is the webmaster for the website, Progressives for Obama, which posts blogs from other 60's radicals like Tom Hayden and Bill Fletcher, who created the website and its agenda.
Bill Fletcher – As mentioned, he was a 60's radical (a Maoist) and is one of the creators of the Progressives for Obama website. While there is no evidence of a direct connection to the Obama campaign, he has endorsed the call of the Black Radical Congress along with Obama advisor Cornel West and has connections to others that are directly involved with Obama and his campaign.
Incestuous Relationships and Friendly Donations
Woods Fund – In 1993, Barack Obama became a board member with the Woods Fund. A man named Ken Rolling was a program officer with the fund at the time. During the late 80's the Woods Fund gave grants to the Developing Communities Project, where Obama had worked as a community organizer. At the time, the Woods Fund was supporting the Chicago Local School Councils (LSC's) which were created from the 1988 Chicago School Reform Act. Bill Ayers was involved with establishing these LSC's along with his brother John, who was a leader in the LSC's and became head of the Leadership for Quality Education (LQE) in 1993. The LQE was a group formed at the time of the Reform Act and was supported by a local business lobby that wanted to use the LQE as a means to train the LSC's. Ayers joined Obama on the board of the Woods Fund in 1999 and they worked together there until 2002.
Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) – Bill Ayers played a seminal role in the creation of the CAC. One of the main goals of the Challenge was to build on the 1988 Reform Act and the LSC's, which he supported and in which his brother was involved. In 1995, the CAC began its operations with Barack Obama as Chairman of the Board. Bill Ayers was co-chair of the Chicago School Reform Collaborative, one of three branches of the CAC – the Board being another. Ken Rolling was brought in from the Woods Fund as Executive Director. In the first year a 5,000 grant was awarded to the Small Schools Workshop which was founded by Ayers but control was turned over to fellow radical, Mike Klonsky, once Ayers began the CAC. Obama and Ayers worked together in the CAC from 1995 until its end in 2001. That year, the CAC came to an end but handed startup funds over to Penny Pritzker and the Chicago Public Education Fund (CPEF). Pritzker is now part of the fundraising operation in the Obama campaign. In 2003, the CAC's own report admitted that the ultimate goal of the CAC – to improve academic achievement – was a failure. Regardless of the outcome, it is plain that the goals for Ayers and Obama were similar…and knowing Ayers' past, it isn't something that should be taken with a grain of salt.
Sidley & Austin – This is the Chicago law firm that brought in Obama as a summer associate in 1989. It's also the firm where Michelle Obama worked and reportedly met Barack for the first time. Sidley had been outside counsel to Tom Ayers' company, Commonwealth Edison. Howard Trienens, the partner that handled Commonwealth Edison, hired Bernardine Dohrn at Sidley. Trienens was on the board of trustees at Northwestern with Tom Ayers, Dohrn's father-in-law, and Newton Minow, another Sidley partner.
ACORN – Obama has extensive ties to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, as do his two prominent spiritual influences, Wright and Pfleger. Obama's Developing Communities Project and his "Project VOTE" campaign worked closely with ACORN. Both the Woods Fund and Joyce Foundation – where Obama sat on both boards – gave frequent donations to ACORN. He filed a successful lawsuit on behalf of ACORN to enforce the "motor-voter" law in Illinois. Madeleine Talbot, a former ACORN leader in Chicago, hired Obama to train her staff on organizing tactics. Talbot was arrested for a protest that broke into a Chicago City Council session in 1997. In return for training Chicago ACORN leaders in community organizing techniques, Obama received their help with his political campaigns. Obama had also joined with ACORN to try to overturn Indiana's voter I.D. laws, but the Supreme Court rejected their complaint.
What is ACORN's record? In St. Louis, eight local ACORN workers were indicted on charges related to voter fraud from fake information on registration forms in 2006. One of the eight pleaded guilty in March. Seven workers were indicted on felony charges in Seattle because of phony registration forms and some of the workers already had criminal records. Three workers pleaded guilty in 2007 and ACORN eventually settled the largest case of voter fraud in Washington State history, paying ,000 in restitutions. Similar problems are being investigated in at least twelve other states. ACORN's political action committee (PAC) has endorsed Barack Obama for president.
Notable Friends and Advisors
Linda Darling-Hammond – Currently an education advisor to the Obama presidential campaign, Darling-Hammond has some less obvious connections to the leftist agenda, so it will take a little longer to define them. She has writings and has supported the notion of an "education debt" which is said to plague minority communities. This concept is a product of another educator, Gloria Ladson-Billings. Ladson-Billings is one of the pioneers of the phrase "education debt," which is apparently the by-product (at least in part) of a reparations agenda pushed by people like the factually-incorrect and racist, Randall Robinson and books like, The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks. In 2006, Ladson-Billings gave her Presidential Address to the leftist-tainted American Educational Research Association (AERA) in which she spoke about repaying the "education debt." She also announced the selection of Darling-Hammond to the Association's governing council that same week. As it turns out, Bill Ayers was recently elected as an AERA vice-president (but for some reason, he no longer appears on their website as a VP of curriculum studies.)
Darling-Hammond and Ladson-Billings also appear together in two different liberal education programs, the Forum for Education and Democracy (FED) and the Economic Policy Institute's (EPI) "Bold Approach." Both of these programs preach the concept of "social justice," which seems to be code for socialist redistribution programs. And they both have more connections to Bill Ayers. Ladson-Billings has contributed writings for Ayers-edited books, she's been a co-editor with Ayers, and wrote a forward to another of his books. Darling-Hammond, who has taken up the agenda of the two liberal programs, including the notion of the reparations-inspired "education debt," and is a long-time member of the AERA, has also had her writings appear in an Ayers-edited book. Ayers obviously supports the liberal agenda of both of these educators, the two programs, and the AERA, as does Mike Klonsky, who is a co-signer of the "Bold Approach" agenda.
Laurence Tribe – Mr. Tribe was one of Barack's professors/mentors at Harvard. He co-founded and is on the board of advisors of the American Constitution Society (ACS), a leftist counter to the Federalist Society. The ACS defines itself as promoting the "progressive" agenda in law. Mr. Tribe has been accused of plagiarizing in one of his books and believes animals should have legal standing to sue humans and businesses. He is on a short list of possible Supreme Court nominees if Obama wins the presidential election and is currently an advisor to his campaign.
Charles Ogletree – He is another one of Barack's Harvard professors/mentors and an advocate for reparations for slavery, despite the fact that he believes reparations could cost the government trillions of dollars – and the fact that those trillions would come from the taxpayers, including other black people. He has also been accused of plagiarizing, like his colleague Laurence Tribe, and is currently an advisor to the Obama campaign.
Cornel West – Mr. West defines his political ideology as "non-Marxist socialist." He is an anti-capitalist and honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America. He is a contributor/signatory to the Progressives for Obama website and has endorsed the Black Radical Congress' (BRC) call for a "renewed struggle." He appeared together with Reverend Jeremiah Wright on a panel called "Faith as a Weapon: Spirituality and the Role of the Church in the Radical Movement" hosted by the newly formed BRC in 1998. West was also involved in the Million Man March and has many other connections to the racist and anti-Israeli, Louis Farrakhan.
Alice Palmer – She is a former executive board member of the U.S. Peace Council (a communist front group), which is an affiliate of the World Peace Council (a Soviet front group). In 1983, she attended the World Peace Council's Prague Assembly. Palmer wrote an article in the People's Daily World – a CPUSA newspaper – describing how impressive the Soviet system was when she attended the 27th Congress of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union. When she decided to give up her Illinois Senate seat in an effort to win an election for U.S. Representative, she identified Barack Obama as her successor in the State Senate. She held a "meet-and-greet" at the home of Bill Ayers for Obama's introduction into the Illinois political arena.
Antoin "Tony" Rezko – The relationship between Obama and Rezko goes back to 1990. That year, Tony Rezko offered Obama a job with his housing development business, but Obama declined. They remained friends ever since and Rezko became one of Obama's biggest campaign contributors. Over the years, Barack has obtained millions of dollars in grants for Rezko to build inner-city housing. However, many of these properties have been plagued by financial misdeeds and problems with infrastructure and maintenance. One project for a senior-citizens complex garnered million for Rezko and his business partner, Allison Davis – an Obama fundraiser and former boss at the law firm then named Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland. At the time Obama's letter was written asking for legislative support for the project, Cottage View Terrace, Obama was a lawyer with Miner Barnhill & Galland – the same law firm but without Davis as a partner. The firm had several companies owned by Rezko and Davis as clients, but not New Kenwood LLC which was in charge of Cottage View Terrace. Tony Rezko was recently convicted of several felonies involving corruption and kickbacks to various Chicago politicians.
In June 2005, Barack Obama and Tony Rezko purchased adjacent properties on the same day and from the same owner in Chicago. Obama paid 0,000 below the asking price while Rezko paid full price. At the time, it was already known that Rezko was under investigation for criminal charges. In January of 2006, Mrs. Rezko sold a ten foot strip of property to Obama. When asked about the questionable circumstances surrounding the purchase of the two properties, Obama apologized and said his actions were "boneheaded."
Rashid Khalidi – Mr. Khalidi is a Palestinian political activist and a professor at Columbia University. For six years in Beirut, he was the director of WAFA, the official Palestinian press agency where his wife had also worked as chief editor of the English section. Mr. Khalidi has also worked with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) during the height of its terrorist campaigns in the Middle East. While in Chicago, the Khalidi's created the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), an anti-Israeli group, and received ,000 in grants from the Woods Fund when Obama and Ayers were on the board. Khalidi has also held fundraisers for Obama and the Obama's have had many dinners at the Khalidi's home in Chicago. Khalidi also started the website Electronic Intifada – an anti-Israeli site – with Ali Abunimah, another Obama associate. Both Khalidi and Abunimah have considered Obama a friend and ally to their cause.
Robert Malley – This former "informal" foreign policy advisor to the Obama campaign resigned in May 2008 due to allegations that he was meeting with members of the terrorist organization, Hamas. Malley dismissed his meetings with these contacts as simply being part of his job. But he is also anti-Israeli with a long list of op-ed articles – some co-authored by former Yasser Arafat advisors – with a revisionist slant and intent to denounce Israeli attempts for peace and security. Not surprisingly, Malley's father was a fervent anti-Western, "Third-Worldist" who wrote about liberation "struggle" – leftist code for anti-capitalism and pro-socialist/communist movements.
Other Supporters of Obama and/or His Policies
Hugo Chavez – Venezuelan dictator
These are not just associations. All of these connections are family members, close friends and "mentors," and affiliations/organizations that Obama willingly participated with and in – and financially supported. If Barack doesn't know about their past and their political ideologies, then he is oblivious to his surroundings and does not belong in the White House as the leader of our country. If he knew about these things but didn't think they mattered, then he is beyond naïve and does not belong in the White House. If he knew about these things and openly welcomed it, then he's just downright dangerous and does not belong on a local school board, let alone in the White House.
All of these incestuous relationships directly place Barack Obama deep inside the socialist/communist movements in Chicago. His plans and policies are radical and his associations and partners are mostly on the very far left of politics. Socialism and communism are not – and shouldn't be – acceptable philosophies in this country, especially from a person running for president. This isn't simply a matter of "guilt by association." These relationships are long-lasting and ingrained into Barack's political philosophy and ideology. There's a reason why he will do anything and everything it takes to ignore, deny, or denounce every one of these associations once they are brought to the public's attention.
Is this guilt by association? Not at all. These associations demonstrate a pattern of relationships with leftist radicals, criminally corrupt developers, and racially divisive activists. These relationships are not a matter of happenstance either. Barack sought out these groups from his early days. He did not grow up in Chicago – he chose to live there. His associations are a direct result of his decision-making and his chosen path to political power. He willingly participated in socialist-minded groups and worked with radicals and unrepentant criminals. He is beyond dangerous to this republic of ours and his policies are beyond destructive.
For all of the voters going to the polls in November to vote for change:
You have been warned.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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