Professor William Ayers lives a quiet life of academic prestige. But 40 years ago, young Bill Ayers fully embraced the anti-war movement, condemned its ethnocentric assault on the yellow man, and acted on his passion. His Weather Underground bombed the New York City Police Department, the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol Building to protest the Vietnam War.
A generation later, Dr. Nidal Hasan also fully embraced an anti-war movement, also condemned its ethnocentric assault on the brown man and the Muslim man, and also acted on his passion. He opened fire at a military base in Texas.
One can only wonder if, say, two or three decades from now, Professor Hasan will be endowed the William Ayers' Chair of Cultural Evolution at the same state university where Ayers now enjoys honored tenure.
And why not? Leftwing America embraces Bill Ayers. A somewhat younger Barack Obama embraced Ayers in the 1990s, moving into his Chicago neighborhood, socializing with him, getting appointed to the same Board of the politically charged Woods Fund - along with friend Rashid Khalidi, radical Muslim and former Arafat spokesman (yes, that Arafat, the now-deceased leader of the PLO terrorist organization).
Leftwing America rewarded Bill Ayers with a tenured professorship. Why shouldn't the Left now embrace Nidal Hasan? How was his crime different from the Weather Underground or Bill Ayers? If anything, Hasan can claim a more personal affront than Ayers, as Hasan, an Arab Muslim, suffered the indignity of serving in the same military that waged its unprovoked war-based-on-lies against fellow Arabs and Islam.
But as in the Vietnam era, you will not immediately hear any vocalized "attaboys" from the Left. They will, as they did with Ayers, solemnly wag their fingers and demand "justice" (though, to the Left, their vision of justice was likely served with Bill Ayers.) So for now, we are lectured about not jumping to conclusions, with commentaries on how the emotional stress of Bush's War has caused untold stress on many a good man. The stage is set. In 2040, Professor Hasan's leftist biographers will solemnly wag their fingers at those who condemn Hasan. They will observe how Hasan acted out, perhaps inappropriately, but only in response to the bloody pogrom waged against his Arab and Muslim brothers. No, we never would condone his specific act of violence, but we must not be judgmental and allow emotion to cloud an appreciation of why he felt the need to act so boldly.
But that is the rhetoric of 2040. Today, we hear the obligatory "tsk tsks" from the Left, though give it time. It took decades, but they feel safe in letting their guard down when speaking of Ayers. The leftist FactCheck.Org cautions against describing Ayers' bombings as "terrorism" (sound familiar in the current stories about Hasan?) And as Obama lectured us during the campaign, Ayers may have "engaged in some despicable acts 40 years ago", but ....