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Dash of Pepper

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We are judged by who our friends are...
By SHEILAH PEPPER
The Gazette Staff
I clearly recall (and I'm sure you do too) my mother and my grandmother both admonishing me that I would be judged by the type of people I hung around with.
In other words, when we select our friends, we speak volumes about our own character.
It seems to me that Senator Obama has more than a small problem in this respect. It's not simply a matter of having run across an undesirable acquaintance accidentally. If that was the case, the senator could distance himself from that quite easily. But, it's not the case.
The connection with Rev. Jeremiah Wright has been broadcast across the country and many wonder why the senator would stay for 20 years in a church that had a pastor who was spewing hate speech with some frequency.
The connection with Bill Ayers, who, according to The New York Times, among others, participated in an effort by the Weather Underground years ago to bomb U.S. government buildings, is also well known by now.
However, if that terror connection is not enough, the story doesn't end there.
There are other disturbing connections. Chief among these is Obama's association with a man by the name of Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian supporter and now a professor at Columbia University. Khalidi was one of the people behind a visit to the Columbia campus last year by Iranian President Ahmadinejad.
According to Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes, Khalidi is a former professor at the University of Illinois and was a close friend of Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. According to Pipes, at a farewell dinner for Khalidi before he took the Columbia job, Obama made a speech filled with glowing praise for his friend. He reportedly included references to the many meals they had shared. He also thanked Khalidi for opening his eyes to the problems of the Palestinians. Nothing shocking there.
But here's where it becomes interesting: Khalidi has given vocal support to suicide bombers. Also, during documented speeches and public events, Khalidi has called Israel an "apartheid system in creation" and a destructive "racist" state.
He has multiple times expressed support for Palestinian terror, calling suicide bombings a response to "Israeli aggression."
He dedicated his 1986 book, "Under Siege," to "those who gave their lives ... in defense of the cause of Palestine and independence of Lebanon." Critics assailed the book as excusing Palestinian terrorism.
The connection broadens. Khalidi's wife Mona ran a Chicago-based charity, the Arab American Action Network. This organization received substantial assistance from the Woods Fund. This is the same left wing foundation that Obama and unreconstructed terrorist Bill Ayers were board members. The AAAN is well known for its pro-Palestinian sympathies.
There are other actors in the Obama drama who are rumored to have had an association with the senator. They include Ali Abunimah who runs a viciously anti-Israel web site called the Electronic Intifada; anti-Israel foreign policy adviser Robert Malley, who was fired when it was revealed that he had been holding talks with someone from Hamas, and Hatem el-Hady, a former official of the charity Kindhearts, which some alleged to be tied to Hamas funding and has since been closed by the justice department. Another association that has been broadcast is that with Tony Rezko, a Chicago operator who helped Obama buy his home in the exclusive Hyde Park neighborhood. Rezko is in a bunch of legal trouble related to various deals.
Additionally, Obama was a lawyer for a period of time for an organization called ACORN. It is self-described as a community activist outfit but is under investigation for several cases of voter fraud across the country. The senator has since tried to distance himself from involvement with ACORN.
There seems to be a pattern here. I can think of only two explanations. One would be sheer political expediency. That is, the need Obama felt to build "street credibility" as newcomer to the Chicago scene with political aspirations. His Hawaiian youth and his Ivy League college years would not help him politically in Chicago so his church affiliation and other connections might be viewed as simply expedient, a route into the Illinois legislature.
The other explanation is simply bad judgment. With no real experience in his resume, Obama really needs to convince voters he possesses the kind of judgment needed to be president of the United States.
The mainstream media isn't covering much of this, including the broadcast networks, wire services and major daily papers. The McCain campaign can only hope that the cable/satellite news channels and the internet will get the word out.
Copyright©2008SheilahPepper
Last Updated on Friday, 12 June 2009 14:29  

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