Which Way

I'm sure that Times readers are eating it up today, believing everything that Bill Ayers has to say in his self-serving op-ed piece.
IN the recently concluded presidential race, I was unwillingly thrust upon the stage and asked to play a role in a profoundly dishonest drama. I refused, and here’s why.
Poor boy.
Unable to challenge the content of Barack Obama’s campaign, his opponents invented a narrative about a young politician who emerged from nowhere, a man of charm, intelligence and skill, but with an exotic background and a strange name. The refrain was a question: “What do we really know about this man?”
Invented? Wasn't that the obvious question to ask about an inexperienced candidate, driven home by his strong affiliations with the lunatic fringe?
Secondary characters in the narrative included an African-American preacher with a fiery style, a Palestinian scholar and an “unrepentant domestic terrorist.” Linking the candidate with these supposedly shadowy characters, and ferreting out every imagined secret tie and dark affiliation, became big news.
There was nothing "supposedly shadowy" about any of them, particularly Wright, Pfleger and Ayers. Wright and Pfleger are bizarre exploiters of the underclass and the racial divide - and Ayers once fought a war against America. It's all pretty simple, and obvious.
Now that the election is over, I want to say as plainly as I can that the character invented to serve this drama wasn’t me, not even close. Here are the facts:
Okay. Let's see how much he's spinning.
I never killed or injured anyone...  In 1970, I co-founded the Weather Underground, an organization that was created after an accidental explosion that claimed the lives of three of our comrades in Greenwich Village. The Weather Underground went on to take responsibility for placing several small bombs in empty offices — the ones at the Pentagon and the United States Capitol were the most notorious — as an illegal and unpopular war consumed the nation.
His use of the word illegal is important. He's saying the evil misdeeds of the U.S. government justified his evil, illegal misdeeds - he comes out on top of the moral scale.
The Weather Underground crossed lines of legality, of propriety and perhaps even of common sense. Our effectiveness can be — and still is being — debated. We did carry out symbolic acts of extreme vandalism directed at monuments to war and racism, and the attacks on property, never on people, were meant to respect human life and convey outrage and determination to end the Vietnam war.
Setting off bombs is a shaky way to make individuals more safe. People did die as a result of the Weathermen's activities.
Peaceful protests had failed to stop the war. So we issued a screaming response. But it was not terrorism; we were not engaged in a campaign to kill and injure people indiscriminately, spreading fear and suffering for political ends.
Here's the dictionary definition of terrorism:
1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes. 2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
I cannot imagine engaging in actions of that kind today. And for the past 40 years, I’ve been teaching and writing about the unique value and potential of every human life, and the need to realize that potential through education.
Well, which is it? If what Ayers was doing was so noble, the required response to an immoral government - if we shouldn't look at him as a bad person, and thus, question the nature of Barack's relationship with him - then why wouldn't he do it all over? Which, by the way, he and his wife and co-conspirator say they we do.
The antiwar movement in all its commitment, all its sacrifice and determination, could not stop the violence unleashed against Vietnam. And therein lies cause for real regret.
The truth about their relationship will not be revealed by Ayers, who continues the phony storyline that they were neighbors who happened to serve on a board together.
President-elect Obama and I sat on a board together; we lived in the same diverse and yet close-knit community; we sometimes passed in the bookstore. We didn’t pal around, and I had nothing to do with his positions. I knew him as well as thousands of others did, and like millions of others, I wish I knew him better.
Demonization, guilt by association, and the politics of fear did not triumph, not this time. Let’s hope they never will again. And let’s hope we might now assert that in our wildly diverse society, talking and listening to the widest range of people is not a sin, but a virtue.
The fact that Bill Ayers never went to prison is a sin. And that he is embraced and applauded by the liberal/educational elite is as well. Seeing the truth come out about the relationship between Ayers and Obama, someday, will be as nice as having OJ finally behind bars.