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15 Dec, 2009 11:24

We are the biggest military behemoth ever created on Earth - Bill Ayers

The US can step down from a trillion military budget and stop being a militarized country, which does not fit with its self-image but is true by any objective measure, said US scholar Bill Ayers.

During the US presidential campaign, the name Bill Ayers caused quite a stir over claims he was Barack Obama's mentor.

He became known for radical activism in 1960s and used to be called a "domestic terrorist" for his radical opposition activities during the Vietnam War, but he is now a professor.

Bill Ayers said he had known Barack Obama for quite a while, being a former neighbor of the current president and serving on a couple of boards together with him, but this does not mean that one is “responsible for the other’s policies, politics history and so on,” according to Ayers.

“In reality, real Americans come in all shapes and sizes and political orientations and histories and I am one of them,’ he said.

“One of the things that is misunderstood about President Obama is he said, while doing a campaign, “I am a moderate, pragmatic, compromising politician. And people are right refusing to believe this to this day… He is a moderate politician in the American tradition and that means, that, for example, in the current situation, the general and whole weight of the American foreign policy since WWII is driving this insane policy in the Middle East and I do not think that anyone should be surprised. Disappointed – yes, but not surprised.”

Ayers pointed out that in the condition of a deep economic crisis, as the US currently is, the American people are not going to back multi-billion war expenses, “it is going to take a very short time for the American people to turn against it.”

“What we need to do now, is we need to build the biggest and widest and most profound anti-war force that this country ever seen. We need to force government not only to leave Afghanistan and Iraq but to begin to shut down military bases that we have scattered throughout the world, particularly in the Central Asia, to withdraw our trillion military budget and become a nation among nations.”

“We have to get the United States to participate in the world. The idea that we have been a force for good for the last six decades is nonsense. We won’t sign the most basic international treaties: for nuclear disarmament, against landmines, we won’t sign a children’s rights statement. Only the US and Somalia are in opposition to the declaration of children’s rights,” he concluded.