May 3, 2008

On May 4, 1970, four students at Kent State University in Ohio were killed by Ohio National Guardsmen at an on-campus march to protest Nixon's invasion of Cambodia five days earlier. Those of us who remember Kent State first hand (I was in first grade, the daughter and granddaughter of KSU professors) know the "order to fire" did not come from some commander. The contempt for the life of the "dirty f**king hippies" came from Ohio Governor Rhodes, J. Edgar Hoover, and Richard Nixon. In 1970, the Vietnam war was going horribly wrong, the public that was waking up incredibly quickly, and the President and his administration's reaction was not only to stay the course but to dig in their heels and question the patriotism of anyone who did not go along.

We do not need anyone to tell us that there is an "Iraq-Vietnam Link." The "Vietnamization" of this war is happening before our eyes.

Update: Great minds think alike. Here's what Howie Klein had planned for Late Night Music Club before this post appeared (we've swapped out the original youtube for Howie's:
The publisher of Thrashers Wheat, the best of the many Neil Young fan sites, put together a post with pictures and videos over at DownWithTyranny. Tonight's song, predictably, is "Ohio" by CSNY, the song Neil wrote when he read about the shootings-- and saw the horrifying and galvanizing photos in Life, a spread that pretty much set the course for a crumbling of any support left for Nixon and his agenda. CSNY released a single immediately and included a live version on an album the following year but it wasn't until 1974, when they put out So Far that a studio version was available on LP. There are few songs that I can remember in my life that had as profound an impact on politics. So... why aren't students protesting the war in Iraq? Is it because they like the war-- or don't care about it (since there is no draft right now)? Or is it because they're afraid Bush will do to them what Nixon did to the four dead in Ohio?

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