This article was first published here on Sept 11, 2009.
Those who were surprised by the White House appointment of Van Jones – a self-styled “communist,” and a proponent of the idea that the Katrina catastrophe was caused by “white supremacy,” haven’t been paying attention to developments on the left since the fall of Communism, or to president Obama’s extensive roots in its political culture. Van Jones is the carefully groomed protégé of a network of radical organizations — including Moveon.org — and of Democratic sponsors like billionaire George Soros and John Podesta, former Clinton chief of staff and co-chair of the Obama transition team.
At the time of his appointment as the President’s “Green Jobs” czar – and despite a very recent 10-year history of “revolutionary” activity – Jones was a member of two key organizations at the very heart of what might be called the executive branch of the Democratic Party. The first is the Center for American Progress which was funded by Soros and is headed by Podesta. The second is the Apollo Alliance, on whose board Jones sits with Podesta, Carol Browner and Al Gore. This is a coalition of radicals, leftwing union leaders and corporate recruits, which had a major role in designing Obama’s green economy plans, including the “cash for clunkers” program. The New York director of the Alliance, who will be writing its applications for tens of millions of dollars in “stimulus” funds, is Jeff Jones (no relation) who was a co-leader of the terrorist Weather Underground along with Obama’s close friend and political ally William Ayers.
According to his own account, Van Jones became a “communist” during a prison term he served after being arrested during the 1992 Los Angeles race riots. For the next ten years Jones was an activist in the Maoist organization STORM – “Stand Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement.” When STORM disintegrated Jones joined the Apollo Alliance and the Center for American Progress Democrats. As he explained to the East Bay Express in a 2005 article, he still considered himself a “revolutionary, but just a more effective one.” “Before,” he told the Express, “we would fight anybody, any time. No concession was good enough;… Now, I put the issues and constituencies first. I’ll work with anybody, I’ll fight anybody if it will push our issues forward…. I’m willing to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends.”