It is easy to lose track of all the Obama advisers, past and present, who hold similar views, including Zbigniew Brzezinski, who said he would urge Obama to shoot down Israeli planes to protect Iran’s nuclear facilities, and Samantha Power, who advocated sending a “mammoth protection force” to defend Palestinians from Israel (citing the Rwanda genocide as a cautionary example of insufficient force being sent in).
Obama appointed Power as director for Multilateral Affairs at the National Security Council.
Similarly, when one mentions that the president had a longtime mentor/fundraiser who dedicated a book to a Palestinian terrorist, you have to ask, “Which one?” Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers dedicated a book to Sirhan Sirhan; Rashid Khalidi dedicated a book to Yasir Arafat.
Questioned by a voter about his closeness with Khalidi, a professor and former PLO spokesman, Obama defended him as a “respected scholar” and noted the value of hearing differing viewpoints. Implicit in his answer is that anti-terror and pro-terror views both have merit, and one might understandably wonder if we are now seeing the results of his Mideast tutor having provided “consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases.”
Khalidi, who has characterized terrorist atrocities as understandable responses to “Israeli aggression,” labeled Israel as racist, and mocked “hysteria over suicide bombers,” co-founded the Arab American Action Network, an organization that laments the creation of Israel as a “nakba” (catastrophe). The AAAN received $75,000 in grants from the Chicago-based Woods Fund when its directors included Obama and Ayers.
The three men would converge again in 2003, at a farewell party for Khalidi marked by anti-Israel vitriol that the Los Angeles Times described in part. But the newspaper left out what Obama said when he spoke at the event, as well as his reaction to other speakers, and refused to release the videotape.
The phrase “missed warning signs” resonates today on so many levels.
Anyone aware of concerns raised during the presidential campaign; anyone who saw these concerns disturbingly confirmed in the contrast between Obama’s coldness toward Benjamin Netanyahu and his affectionate, playful greeting of Hugo Chavez, an enthusiastic supporter of Ahmadinejad and Hizbullah, would not be surprised by policies that seemingly treat friends as foes and vice versa.