Saturday, October 04, 2008

Bombings, History, McCain, Ayres and all that...

from the New York Times, October 3, 2008:

"In a televised interview last spring, Senator John McCain, Mr. Obama’s Republican rival, asked, 'How can you countenance someone who was engaged in bombings that could have or did kill innocent people?'

Of course, at the time he was referring to William Ayres, a founder of the Weather Underground nearly forty years ago, now a long time Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Hmmm. Let's see. "Someone who was engaged in bombings that could have or did kill innocent people." Does Bill Ayres fit that profile? Yes. Undoubtedly. Though exactly which bombings he actually participated in is something known only by Professor Ayres himself and likely a handful of others, the likelihood that he was involved in bombings that had the possibility of killing innocents is at least reasonable.

Strangely, though, the exact same phrase describes one of the candidates for president as well. After all, what exactly was John McCain doing in the summer of 1967? Say what you will about the intentions of the war in Vietnam, the Cold War and everything else; looking at it through the lens of history is not my intention here. Still, given his commentary, there's an obvious question: What, after all, is the likelihood that, in his twenty three bombing missions over North Vietnam, no innocent was killed?

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