Saturday, October 25, 2008

Weather Underground's 1974 Revolutionary Manifesto "Prairie Fire"

"Obama and his supporters at first claimed he barely knew who Ayers was, but when public awareness of the connections between Obama and Ayers became too numerous and too strong to deny, Obama's supporters have now begun resorting to a fallback position: that William Ayers wasn't such a bad guy after all, and that it is no shame to be associated with him."--Zombietime (10-22-08) [See also the Zomblog]

Zombietime (10-22-08) reviews Weather Underground's 1974 terrorist revolutionary manifesto Prairie Fire (Hat Tip, Mr. Paine, 10-22-08). The title Prairie Fire is an allusion to Mao's observation in a 1-5-30 letter that "A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire." [See text here.]

Praire Fire was dedicated to, among others, Sirhan Sirhan, the man who assassinated Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.

Be sure to check the links Zombietime includes that document some of Obama's many connections to William Ayers. Zombietime even links to recent speculation by Jack Cashill that Bill Ayers may have helped write Senator Obama's memoir Dreams from My Father.

Senator Obama told us on TV that Bill Ayers is just a professor who lives in his neighborhood. Obviously, the Senator has a lot of contempt for Americans. We can read in the Chicago Tribune (12-21-97) that Senator Obama wrote a laudatory review of Ayers' book on the juvenile justice system, A Kind and Just Parent (1997). We can read on pages 81-82 in Ayers' book that he knew the "writer" Barack Obama.

Jack Cashill observes (10-23-08):

There was a good deal of literary back-scratching going on in Chicago’s Hyde Park. Obama, for instance, wrote a short and glowing review of Ayers’ 1997 book, A Kind and Just Parent, for the Chicago Tribune [See Senator Obama's review on page 5 of the Chicago Review book section on December 21, 1997]. In that same book, perhaps with a self-congratulatory wink, Ayers cites the “writer” Barack Obama [see A Kind and Just Parent, pg. 81-82] as one among the celebrities in his neighborhood. [See a series of articles by Jack Cashill that makes the case that Bill Ayers ghosted Senator Obama's book Dreams from My Father here. Cashill believes that Senator Obama's memoir bears a strong resemblance to Bill Ayers terrorist memoir Fugitive Days. ]

Zombietime (10-22-08) explains:

This essay features many high-resolution scans of quotes and entire pages taken directly from Prairie Fire, which journalists, bloggers and other media members are free to copy and re-post...

This essay only exists to correct and unequivocably debunk claims routinely made by the mainstream media over the last few weeks about William Ayers, his beliefs, and the purpose behind his bombing campaign during the 1970s.

Specifically, when questions arose during the 2008 presidential race about Barack Obama's past associations with William Ayers, many media reports and articles blandly described Ayers as a "Vietnam-era radical" and the Weather Underground as a group that set bombs "to protest against the Vietnam War." Both of these characterizations are demonstrably inaccurate.

Furthermore: Obama and his supporters at first claimed he barely knew who Ayers was, but when public awareness of the connections between Obama and Ayers became too numerous and too strong to deny, Obama's supporters have now begun resorting to a fallback position: that William Ayers wasn't such a bad guy after all, and that it is no shame to be associated with him.

Here are some highlights of the Zombietime (10-22-08) review, but read the whole essay and the comments:

Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism...was written and published in 1974 by William Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn and other members of the Weather Underground. In this slim volume, which functioned as the Weather Underground's ideological manifesto, Ayers declares himself to be a communist, and announces that his group's bombing campaign was intended to start a violent revolution to overthrow the American government...

Ayers was not simply protesting "against" the Vietnam War. Firstly, he wasn't against war in principle, he was agitating for the victory of the communist forces in Vietnam. In other words: He wasn't against the war, he was against our side in the war. This is spelled out in great detail in Prairie Fire. Secondly, and more significantly, the Vietnam War was only one of many issues cited by the Weather Undergound as the justifications for their violent acts. As you will see below, in various quotes from Prairie Fire and in their own list of their violent actions (and in additional impartial documentary links), Ayers and the Weather Underground enumerated dozens of different grievances as the rationales for their bombings -- their overarching goal being to inspire a violent mass uprising against the United States government in order to establish a communist "dictatorship of the proletariat," in Ayers' own words.

Ayers and his co-authors freely brag about their bombings and other violent and illegal acts, and even provide a detailed list, most likely typed up by Ayers himself, of the crimes they had committed up to that point. Ayers' list, scanned directly from Prairie Fire, is shown below. He may have escaped conviction due to a legal technicality (the prosecutors failed to get a warrant during some of their surveillance of the Weather Underground), but this in no way means that Ayers was factually innocent of the crimes. As has been widely reported, after the case against him was dropped, Ayers decribed himself as "guilty as hell, free as a bird."

Just because Ayers tries to appear respectable now doesn't mean that he wasn't a violent revolutionary in the past. In fact, as the text of Prairie Fire shows, Ayers was one of the most extreme extremists in American political history. And as the links given as the end of this essay will prove, Ayers is just as politically radical now as he was back then. He has never renounced the political views he professed in the 1960s and 1970s. The only difference is that now he no longer commits violence to achieve his goals. After his stint as the leader of the Weather Underground, he shifted to a different tactic: to spread his ideology under the aegis of academia. But the goal remains the same: to turn America into a communist nation. Ayers' contemporary writings contain many of the same ideas (and even the same phrases) found in Prairie Fire, just toned down to make them more palatable in polite society...

On page 16 of Prairie Fire, Ayers and his fellow co-authors brag about their numerous acts of domestic terrorism, and provide a handy list detailing not only each crime but in most cases the justification for each crime as well. Note an important detail: Most of the stated rationales for the Weather Underground's violent acts have nothing whatsoever to do with Vietnam. This disproves the ubiquitous media assertion that Ayers and the Weather Underground were "Vietnam War protesters." Also note Wikipedia's list of Weather Underground actions that provides additional details regarding their putative justifications, including bombing a bank "in solidarity with striking Puerto Rican cement workers" and bombing a federal office building due to "the need for women to take control of daycare, healthcare, birth control and other aspects of women's daily lives," among many others which make no mention of Vietnam. Also note that the bombings and other violent acts continued after Prairie Fire was published, and that all the Weather Underground "actions" in 1974 and '75 happened after the United States had already pulled its ground troops out of Vietnam and was no longer an active combatant in the ground war, which would have rendered any Vietnam War protests pretty much meaningless.

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