Friday, February 22, 2008

When The (Former) Terrorist Kissed Hillary

By Cernig

What kind of world is it when Democratic partisans are attacking John Podhoretz for his defense of a Democratic candidate? A topsy-turvey born out of a win-at-all-costs mentality where smearing your current rival is more important than party unity, that's where.

But Larry Johnson asks the question of news that Obama once visited Weather Undergrounder William Ayers: "What politician in their right mind would visit a known terrorist?...Is there anyone else other than Obama?"

Well, Larry and Taylor, there's this:

The accompanying London Times article - from December 8th 2007 not years ago - reads:
When the puckered lips of Martin McGuinness made contact with Hillary Clinton’s soft white cheek yesterday, a loud “Mmm-wwakk” noise could be heard across the hotel lobby – and, perhaps, beyond if American voters were listening closely enough.

Mrs Clinton had briefly stepped off the presidential campaign trail to meet the Rev Ian Paisley, the Northern Ireland First Minister, and his deputy, Mr McGuinness, who were in Washington on a week-long American charm offensive.

The two men, once sworn enemies, were later heading over to the White House for their first joint meeting with President Bush, where they were expected to ask for help in attracting investment to Northern Ireland.
The guy on the right is Mr McGuiness, who on one occasion was labelled the "IRA godfather of godfathers". McGuiness was certainly more than "some college kid spray painting railroad bridges with graffitti". He was tried and convicted of belonging to that terrorist organisation after after being caught with a car containing 250 lb (113 kg) of explosives and nearly 5,000 rounds of ammunition and at the time said he was "very, very proud" of his membership of the IRA.

(The guy on the left, by the way, was never a terrorist but is widely regarded as an odious bigot as well as funder and enabler of the opposite side's terrorists and as such has almost as undesirable a past.)

Mr. McGuiness, like Mr Ayles, has never apologised for his terrorist past - but time moves on and yesterday's terrorist has become today's statesman and messenger of peace. That's a good thing - and something he shares with several other Clinton buddies such as IRA leader Gerry Adams and Menachem Begin, the former head of Irgun. Talking to former terrorists is very often a good thing. But Johnson, Marsh and others are painting themselves into a corner by stating bluntly that talking to American former terrorists is always a bad thing.

So what's it to be, Larry and Taylor? Were Hillary and Bill wrong to share a podium with unrepentant foreign former terrorists or is it that you think American lives count more than, say, Irish ones? Or is it just that in your zeal to smear your favorite's rival you've lost all sense?

I suspect the latter.

Look, I mistrust Obama - he seems to me to have read Tony Blur's handbook on how to win elections by appearing to appeal to all the people much of the time far to closely. But this kind of dirty campaigning is even more abhorrent to me and, I suspect, to millions of voters. Cut it out.

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