The "news" comes via Via Jim Henley. Follow all the links to Obama's Communist Mentor:
In his biography of Barack Obama, David Mendell writes about Obama's life as a "secret smoker" and how he "went to great lengths to conceal the habit." But what about Obama's secret political life? It turns out that Obama's childhood mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, was a communist.I see... There is more funny stuff there.
In his books, Obama admits attending "socialist conferences" and coming into contact with Marxist literature. But he ridicules the charge of being a "hard-core academic Marxist," which was made by his colorful and outspoken 2004 U.S. Senate opponent, Republican Alan Keyes.
However, through Frank Marshall Davis, Obama had an admitted relationship with someone who was publicly identified as a member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). The record shows that Obama was in Hawaii from 1971-1979, where, at some point in time, he developed a close relationship, almost like a son, with Davis, listening to his "poetry" and getting advice on his career path. But Obama, in his book, Dreams From My Father, refers to him repeatedly as just "Frank."
The reason is apparent: Davis was a known communist who belonged to a party subservient to the Soviet Union. In fact, the 1951 report of the Commission on Subversive Activities to the Legislature of the Territory of Hawaii identified him as a CPUSA member. What's more, anti-communist congressional committees, including the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), accused Davis of involvement in several communist-front organizations.
and on a more serious note:
Business Times - 19 Feb 2008
Disturbing message from them both
Obama and Hillary both appear to be engaging in populist, protectionist rhetoric to secure the Democratic nomination
By LEON HADAR
AFTER close to eight years during which the relationship between the United States and much of the international community has been dominated by growing tensions over the Bush administration's unilateral foreign policy, many Americans and non-Americans are hoping that under a new Democratic administration, the US approach to the rest of the world will take a dramatic U-turn towards multilateralism.
In particular, there is a growing sense of excitement among young American voters and people of their age group in other countries over the possibility that, for the first time in American history, the White House could be occupied next year by either a woman or an African-American.
In fact, the notion is that Barack Hussein Obama - the young and charismatic son of a Kenyan man and a white-American woman who spent some of his formative years abroad, including in Indonesia - has persuaded many observers that the next US president could turn out to be just the right person that America needs to repair its relationship with the Middle Eastern and other Muslim countries and to promote a new US-driven global multilateral and multicultural vision.
Indeed, these expectations have been part of the 'Obamania' that seems to be sweeping American colleges, where supporting Obama has become the really 'cool' thing to do.
And while Hillary Clinton may not be as hip as her sizzling rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, the conventional wisdom is that, as a president, she would toss aside the neo-conservative agenda of President George W Bush and advance the kind of policies that had been advanced by her husband in the 1990s and that were based on American global diplomatic and economic engagement.
If being cool means projecting an image of change, hope and idealism at home and abroad, there is no doubt that Obama and, to some extent, Hillary, are applying all the right marketing tools and selling the kind of new political brand that many Americans are looking for, after two terms of diplomatic isolation, economic stagnation and political corruption.
If George W Bush can be likened to one of those old and slow IBM computers, then Hillary is a PC ('experience') and Obama is a Mac ('change'). Or at least, that may be the perception of many American voters.
Unfortunately, a new president doesn't come with a warranty which could allow the voter to exchange him or her after a month or two in office.
And right now, both Hillary and Obama are talking the talk - she promises to be 'ready on Day One'; he insists 'Yes, We Can!' - but will they be able to walk the walk?
Hence, while both Obama and Hillary seem to be responding to the pressure of American public opinion and promising to start pulling out US troops from Iraq, they have yet to come up with a coherent strategy aimed at achieving that goal and that takes into consideration the possibility that a US withdrawal could lead to a complete breakdown of Iraq as a state, drawing in other Middle Eastern nations into the country's civil war.
Even more disturbing than what Obama and Hillary are not saying about Iraq is what they have been saying in recent days about the economy, and particularly about trade policy.
The two are facing in about ten days a crucial Democratic primary in Ohio, where large numbers of blue- collar workers have been suffering as a result of the crumbling of many of the state's manufacturing industries.
So it's not surprising that both Hillary and Obama have been sounding less and less like the pro-globalisation New Democrat Bill Clinton and more and more like angry economic populist John Edwards.
Hillary, speaking before a group of auto workers in Ohio last week, promised to conduct a 'review' of all the current trade agreements and to crack down on 'unfair trade' with China and other economies. 'China's steel comes here, our jobs go there,' she said. 'We play by the rules, they manipulate their currency. And we get tainted fish, lead-laced toys and poisoned pet food in return.'
Obama has also adopted a populist message and, like Hillary, has promised to review the trade agreements signed by Presidents Bush and Clinton, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).
Last week, during a speech in Wisconsin, Obama denounced Nafta for making it possible to ship jobs overseas and forcing 'parents to compete with their teenagers to work for minimum wage at Wal-Mart', and argued that 'decades of trade deals like Nafta and with China have been signed with plenty of protections for corporations and their profits, but none for our environment or our workers who've seen factories shut their doors and millions of jobs disappear'.
This kind of populist rhetoric not only inflames the current protectionist and China-bashing sentiment on Capitol Hill and around the country; if translated into policy, a President Barack Obama or a President Hillary Clinton would make it less likely that the US would be able re-energise its leading role in liberalising global trade.
That kind of a global approach runs contrary to the multilateralist brand that the two are selling now to eager young voters. And that is not very cool.
Copyright © 2007 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.