Friday, May 04, 2007

In Memory: One Monday in Ohio

Today is Friday, 4 May 2007.

On this day in 1970, soldiers of the Ohio National Guard fired on unarmed students at Kent State University in Ohio, many participating in protests against the American invasion of Cambodia.

The invasion of Cambodia, an illegal war of aggression under American and international law, begun on 25 April, and announced on 30 April, had been concocted by President Richard M. Nixon and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, and followed hard on the heels of an American instigated- and backed-coup which had overthrown the neutralist Cambodian government and replaced it with a military dictatorship.

This “wider war” was supposed to be the catalyst to win the Vietnam War. Instead, it provided the conditions necessary for the Khmer Rouge (pseudo-communists) to defeat the incompetent military dictatorship and establish a sociopathic regime which exterminated more than a million Cambodians.

As of this writing, the surviving co-author of the invasion, Henry Kissinger, has still not been brought to justice, and, indeed, is esteemed by some as a distinguished elder statesman.

That the Kent State killings were pre-meditated murder, there can be no doubt, as demonstrated by an analysis of photographs by Peter Davies, in his book, The Truth About Kent State: A Challenge to the American Conscience (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1973). National Guardsmen advanced on the students, who were too far away to present any threat. The Guardsmen then began to withdraw, while a small segment of their number huddled together in conversation. As the Guardsmen reached the top of a small hill, those who had conversed suddenly turned and opened fire, perhaps on orders, triggering others to fire also.

Four students were killed.

When Nixon assumed office in 1969, he could have ended the Vietnam War on the same terms which he accepted in 1973. Instead, cowardly safe in his bunker in The White House, he chose to slaughter millions of Indochinese and tens of thousands of Americans in pursuit of a hopeless and pointless victory.

The Guardsmen may have pulled the triggers at Kent State, but Nixon and Kissinger (and those who, knowing their murderous ways, nevertheless chose to put them in power) handed them the loaded weapons and gave them the opportunity to fire.

The Museum of the Bourgeois mourns the deaths of Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer, and William Schroeder.

Ironically, Seymour Hersh won the Pulitzer on this date in 1970, for reporting on the US Army extermination of ca. 542 civilians at My Lai.

Neil Young’s great song, “Ohio”, acoustic version:

Electric version:


Anonymous RtR said...

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Satanyana

"Many of those who glorify the past are pleased to repeat it." First Corollary

"Many of those who can remember the past are eager to repeat it." Second Corollary

"Don't mourn. Organize!" Joe Hill

3:07 PM  

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