UPDATE-02/28/2008: I'm informed that Emily Meinhardt was not in attendance. I apologize for writing that she was. I'll be sure to triple check next time. I apologize for any and all inconveniences this error on my part caused.
Pitzer professor and terrorist-turned-activist-turned-progressive guru, Thomas Hayden, was one of the headliners of a progressive journalism clinic I attended this past weekend. The conference was attended by progressive journalists from all over the Western United States.
Hayden gave several criticisms of the "Bush regime" and talked about how three issues -- race, class, and gender -- are important coming into the 2008 election. But Hayden stressed the most important issue: The War.
Hayden, despite all evidence even from the UN, still believes the Iraq War is a quagmire and that we are losing. One wonders whether this is just wishful thinking, given his history of collaboration with the Communists. (More about that in a moment.)
He further believes that Iraq which will rapidly become a counterinsurgency campaign akin to Latin America and that no president will really get American troops out. Later, in a question and answer period about how progressive journalists might cover national news, Hayden suggested that people hitchhike, but if that wasn't a possibility, they could talk to Nick Warshaw, head of the California Democrats, about establishing some kind of fund to get progressive journalists to important events.
As an aside: The event was sponsored by Campus Progress -- a group which favors the Fairness Doctrine and which Claremont McKenna's Abhi Nemani credited with helping him get The Claremont Port Side off the ground. Nemani gave a warm introduction to anti-capitalist and Milton Friedman slanderer, Naomi Klein. Klein, ironically enough, claims to have written the anti-Friedman book against "radical free market reforms," knew nothing about Estonia's, India's, or China's economic transformations using Friedman policies when I questioned her in front of her audience of sycophants. (I would link up the video of her inability to answer even that most basic of questions, but Aditya Bindal's camera wasn't working and I doubt very much that Campus Progress wouldn't edit that little conversation out.)
Other than Abhi Nemani, several other Claremont McKenna students were in attendance, including, but not limited to, Emily Meinhardt and Nick Warshaw.
In any event, today Hayden has come out in support of Barack Obama in The Huffington Post. More specially, Hayden came out in support of the "movement Barack Obama leads." As we shall see, Hayden knows a thing or two about leading movements, like the Students for a Democratic Society, a radical organized that wanted to overthrow the American system of governance in exchange for a Marxist government.
Here are a few cherry-picked quotations from his piece. The emphasis is mine.
- If history is any guide, the new "best and brightest" of the Obama generation will unleash a new cycle of activism, reform and fresh thinking before they follow pragmatism to its dead end.
- For at least a brief moment, people around the world -- from the shantytowns to the sweatshops, even to the restless rich of the Sixties generation -- will look up from the treadmills of their shrunken lives to the possibilities of what life still might be. Environmental justice and global economic hope would dawn as possibilities.
And yet, here is my favorite quotation from Hayden's piece, with my emphasis.
We are in a precious moment where caution must yield to courage. It is better to fail at the quest for greatness than to accept our planet's future as only a reliving of the past.Normally I would just pass over this phrase as the ramblings of a man too far out to pasture to be called back home, but Hayden's history demands digging into. Hayden was once part of another failed quest for greatness that we refer to today as international communism. Let's look at his record in that (thankfully) failed struggle for the masses.
He collaborated with North Vietnamese Communists, organized riots at the Chicago-based Democratic Convention in 1968, trained black anti-American paramilitary groups in the U.S., and organized a successful lobby to cut ties with moderate regimes in Vietnam and Cambodia in favor of genocidal regimes. With the help of Democrats and later Senators Kerry and Kennedy and his wife, Jane Fonda, Hayden organized the Indo-China Peace Campaign (IPC). The IPC worked on behalf of the North Vietnamese Communists and the Khmer Rouge. Both groups later murdered millions of ordinary Southeast Asians. The IPC has never been held to account even though some of its own members questioned the human-rights violations of the Communist victors. Hayden called those members tools of the CIA. The POWs who returned home with horror stories of the brutal treatment they received in the Hanoi Hilton Hayden also dubbed "liars."
I could go on about Hayden, but you get the point. If anyone knows a thing or two about creating a "counterinsurgency" or a movement, it's Hayden, who ought to be locked up rather than teaching progressive journalist clinics.
He once called the North Vietnamese a "rice roots democracy." Tell that to the millions of Vietnamese boat people who voted with their feet and got the hell out. I admit that I am not a neutral observer on the Vietnamese genocide given that my girlfriend's family hails from there and that I once lived in Little Saigon, but I hope you won't be either when you consider the facts.
The real questions are the following: Does Democratic Candidate Barack Obama approve of Hayden's endorsement? Has anyone even asked yet? Why does the mainstream media comb over the records of campaign contributors to Ron Paul, but give a pass to Thomas Hayden and Barack Obama?
Might it be that, at least some in the media have admitted that they have a hard time being objective when covering Obama?