What is it with some American politicians and their fawning over terrorists? Has 9/11 become blasé? Jimmy Carter goes on a highly publicized Terror Tourism trip to sit at the feet of Hamas. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley pronounces Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers a “distinguished” and “valued” member of the Chicago community.
You probably remember Bill Ayers. Back in the Seventies, as a member of the Weather Underground terrorism group, he urged: “Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents.”
The self-described goal of the Weathermen was the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government. Their plan came unglued when a group of them were sitting around making bombs for that very purpose and accidently blew themselves up.
After going underground for years, Ayers has now reengineered his reputation, with the help of the liberal political elite, to become a darling of the academic set. Here’s a contemporary description of Bill Ayers from the New York Times, just after the September 11th attack on the United States: “‘I don’t regret setting bombs,’ Bill Ayers said. ”I feel we didn’t do enough.’ Mr. Ayers, who spent the 1970’s as a fugitive in the Weather Underground, was sitting in the kitchen of his big turn-of-the-19th-century stone house in the Hyde Park district of Chicago. The long curly locks in his Wanted poster are shorn, though he wears earrings. He still has tattooed on his neck the rainbow-and-lightning Weathermen logo that appeared on letters taking responsibility for bombings.” The Times story goes on to note Ayer’s acknowledgement that he would not “discount the possibility” of bombing again. He continues to hold a fascination of such violence: “Even today, he finds ‘a certain eloquence to bombs, a poetry and a pattern from a safe distance,’ he writes.”
One man’s poetry is another man’s violent death, I guess. And another politician’s “valued” member of the community, as Mayor Daley called the Weatherbomber Bill Ayers yesterday.
And then there’s Jimmy Carter, once on the way to becoming the Great Ex-President, who has shattered his reputation with an inexplicable desire to pander to one of the most violent and lethal terrorist organizations on the globe.
Carter claims his trip is not about his own ego but about setting up negotiations to find a peaceful settlement in the Middle East. Perhaps he hasn’t read Hamas’ own charter, which calls for the obliteration of Israel. Talks, Hamas claims, are useless. The violent destruction of Israel is the only solution: ““There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
Cut to today, with Hamas leaders hailing Carter’s visit as international recognition of their legitimacy. Over the weekend, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar used an above-the-fold placement of his op-ed in the Washington Post to proclaim, “President Jimmy Carter’s sensible plan to visit the Hamas leadership this week brings honesty and pragmatism to the Middle East while underscoring the fact that American policy has reached its dead end.”
So if honesty is the end goal here, as Mahmoud Zahar claims, perhaps he can clarify the inherent contradiction of meeting with the globe-trotting Carter for purposes of “peace” while leading an organization that asserts as its founding belief that there can be no peace without “jihad” and violent destruction of Isreal.
And perhaps both Mayor Daley and former President Carter can clarify their reasons for embracing and legitimizing individuals who use murder as a negotiating tactic.