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Who Snuck The Anti-Semitism
© Jack Cashill
On October 2, 2002, at an impromptu rally staged by the Chicagoans Against the War in Iraq (CAWI), Barack Obama gave a speech second in career importance only to the 2004 DNC keynote.
This is the speech that enabled his handlers to position him to the viable left flank of naifs like Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, “who took the president at his word” and voted for the War in Iraq.
Although effective, this speech was factually adrift in any number of key details and sneakily anti-Semitic. In Obama’s defense, he probably did not sense the anti-Semitic riff because he likely did not write the speech or fully comprehend it.
Like Obama’s memoir, Dreams From My Father, the speech was as calculated as it was well crafted. For all the bones thrown to the progressive masses, there was a nuance to Obama’s words that likely frustrated the Chicago left in 2002.
The long slow march through the institutions had to be subtle. There was no point in blowing Obama’s presidential viability for a bunch of crazies in Chicago.
Indeed, in the very first sentence, Obama offered the caution that he was “not opposed to war in all circumstances,” a point that he was at pains to reinforce.
Obama promptly cited the American Civil War as a war he could support. That the war led to a bloody, twelve-year insurgency and occupation, which ended only when the U.S. military yielded to the insurgents, was likely something Obama did not know.
Obama also gave his belated approval to World War II and sang the praises of his grandfather, who fought in Patton’s army and “heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka.”
By Memorial Day 2008, however, Obama was claiming that it was his “uncle” who was “part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz.”
When reminded that his mother was an only child and his father a Kenyan, Obama designated his “great uncle” as the liberator of Auschwitz.
This proved problematic as well because Auschwitz, as the Republican National Committee gleefully pointed out, was actually liberated by the Russians.
The media dependably liberated Obama from the Republican seige. “What's worse,” opined the Los Angeles Times, ”Obama's apparent gaffe or the RNC pouncing on a Holocaust-related historical mistake for political advantage?”
What was worse actually was that Obama used his “uncle” to make the point that America then lacked the facilities to deal with those traumatized by war.
“The story in our family,” Obama told the Memorial Day crowd in New Mexico, was that when his “uncle” came home after the war, he promptly went up to the attic and did not come down for six months.
One would think Obama might have remembered this striking detail in 2002 when he attributed the liberation of Auschwitz not to his uncle, but to his grandfather’s “fellow troops.”
As to why Obama opposed the war in Iraq six months before it began, there is some confusion. Six years later, he would tell Rick Warren’s Saddleback forum that he “was firmly convinced at the time that we did not have strong evidence of weapons of mass destruction.”
This point would have delighted the crowd at Chicago’s Federal Plaza in October 2002, if Obama had actually made it, but he did not.
There, Obama made a more politic claim entirely, namely that Saddam “butchers his own people” and has “developed chemical and biological weapons and coveted nuclear capacity.”
Regardless of why he opposed the war, Obama would tell Warren that protesting the war was his most “gut wrenching decision,” largely because of its “political consequences.”
This claim would be reinforced on Obama’s official website. “As a candidate for the United States Senate in 2002,” the website claims, “Obama put his political career on the line to oppose going to war in Iraq,”
Of course, Obama did no such thing because he was no such candidate. In 2002, Obama was an unknown ward healer from Chicago’s hard left South Side. He would run for the U.S. Senate in 2004, not 2002.
Indeed, given the political drift of his state senate district, supporting the war in 2002 would have been the courageous thing to do.
In 2002, Obama suggested to the crowd that he opposed going to war in Iraq because he had access to intelligence that the Clintons and Edwards apparently did not.
Nearly six months before the war began, Obama had already sniffed out “a cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz,” the only two officials so named, “to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats.”
This is the kind of intelligence that Obama could have gotten only from his pals in Chicago’s unrepentant radical community.
In fact, the key organizers of the anti-war rally were two proud veterans of the militant Students for a Democratic Society, Carl Anderson and Marilyn Katz.
As Katz tells it, she was one of a group of five individuals who put the rally together, and they did so on just ten days notice.
Left unsaid, of course, is how they so quickly recruited Obama, in Katz’s words, “the most senior elected official at the first popular rally.”
The most likely connection is Bill Ayers, the former Weatherman bomber and fugitive and the probable speechwriter as well. Katz admittedly had known Ayers since she was seventeen, forty-some years earlier.
One senses the radical contribution to the speech. On his own, Obama would not have made the quietly anti-Semitic reference to Perle and Wolfowitz, two names in common parlance only on the hard left.
A less sophisticated protestor might have blamed the anticipated war on Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush, Rice, or Tenet, not two obscure Jews from within the bureaucracy.
“Let’s look forward to the day Wolfowitz will be tried as a war criminal,” Ayers would insist some years later.
Ayers, however, was no garden variety anti-Semite. Despite his fondness for Islamic Jew-haters, there were any number of ethnic Jews in the Weather Underground.
Curiously, however, just about all of them—Terry Robbins, Ted Gold, Mark Rudd, Kathy Boudin, Laura Whitehorn, and wife Bernadine Dohrn—were so deracinated that their names had long since been Anglicized.
They would have to been totally severed from their roots, however, not to be appalled by one passage in Ayers’ 2001 memoir, Fugitive Days.
“The streets became sparkling and treacherous with the jagged remains of our rampage,” writes Ayers of his window-breaking spree through the streets of Chicago in the famed “Days of Rage.”
Then Ayers lovingly describes the scene, in a metaphor that has to chill the blood of any Jew, as “crystal chaos.”
Just thirty years prior, the Nazis had called their sparkling rampage through the streets of Germany as “Kristallnacht” or “Crystal Night” in English. Ayers knew what he was saying.
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