Bill Ayers speaks

A couple of days ago, Terry Gross interviewed Bill Ayers on NPR's "Fresh Air." Ayers had decided to remain silent while the McCain campaign was using his name to attack Obama, but now he is talking.

I would urge everyone to give it a listen, and pay particular attention to Ayers' discussion of the decisions and choices he and others made during the Vietnam War.

Ayers, pointing out that neither he nor other members of the Weatherman group ever killed anyone (other than themselves), asks who was more morally culpable, the people who tried to stop the Vietnam War or the people who killed millions of Vietnamese while prosecuting it.

After listening to the program, you might conclude, as I did, that someone like John McCain--who dropped bombs on the Vietnamese people in an illegal and immoral war--is a moral midget compared to a man like Ayers, who tried to stop it.

Obama's hawks? The Los Angeles Times reports today on concerns by anti-war activists that Obama is appointing people who supported the war in Iraq to his cabinet, despite his anti-war stand during the campaign. I think this is a legitimate concern, but there is one problem: Why didn't the anti-war activists build an effective anti-war movement all these years? Then there would be sufficient pressure on Obama to do things differently. Instead, there were only a handful of large but largely token marches early in the war, which were mostly organized by the super-sectarian left group behind the organization A.N.S.W.E.R. In effect, anti-war leftists abandoned their posts and let the far left run the anti-war movement, which called marches only when it served their sectarian purposes. The rest of the left relied on Congress to stop it, and when that didn't happen, relied on Obama. Well, Obama has told us what he is going to do: Withdrawal of troops within 16 months of taking office. If the left wants better than that, it will have to organize for it.

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