August 31, 2006


There Is Silence in the Streets; Where Have All the Protesters Gone? (ANDREW ROSENTHAL, 8/31/06, NY Times)

It was almost painful the other night to hear Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sing about a war whose purpose Americans never really understood, started by a president who didn’t tell the truth and then waged the war ineptly. And that was before they sang about Iraq. [...]

[W]hen those four men sang their protest songs four decades ago, their lyrics echoed and personified a powerful political movement sweeping America. Now they are entertainment, something to leave behind in the concert hall.

There were a few political booths outside the Theater at Madison Square Garden. But the concert-tour T-shirt salesmen were getting all the business. The most noticeable sound was the cellphones being restarted by those few who had bothered to turn them off during the concert.

This, perhaps, is the ultimate difference between the Vietnam generation and the Iraq generation: When you hear Young and Company sing of “four dead in Ohio,” their Kent State anthem, it’s hard to imagine anyone on today’s campuses willing to face armed troops.

The armed troops.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 31, 2006 7:40 PM

Now they are entertainment, something to leave behind in the concert hall.

They were always entertainment, and overrated at that. Lynyrd Skynyrd was right.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 31, 2006 8:43 PM

No draft, no protests. Shoot a few protesters, no protest. The lottery ended the protests. Frank Church and the Democrats defunded and betrayed the South Vietnamese, not to mention the Cambodians. But hey, who cared. About a million or so dead Asians. None of these clowns faced any armed troops. Neither did I, but my brother and brother in law did. I admire them. Didn't need amnesty from Carter. A really shameful period. where have all the protestors gone> Indeed.

Posted by: jdkelly at August 31, 2006 8:56 PM

Give it a rest. An anyone too young to have known the days of shame of the worst generation need only ponder how the "anti-war" "movement" then compares with what we see today.

It wasn't only that the draft lottery made the "movement" collapse like a pricked balloon--the shame is deeper than that. You have to look at how the draft worked. Each draft board arranged its files in order of call. Ever time one aspiring slick Willie "beat" the draft, the Army didn't get by with one fewer soldier that call, the board just took the next file in order. Every act of draft evasion went beyond the cowardice and dishonesty of the evader to result in injustice to the one taken in his place.

Why is it necessary to recount this perfidy? We do so to expose the hypocracy of the American peace-creep mentality. Those swine were never peace lovers; on the contrary, they loved only their own safety and comfort.

Posted by: Lou Gots at August 31, 2006 11:15 PM

But yet the peace-creeps are all for violence when it furthers the cause of marxism.

Posted by: lebeaux at September 1, 2006 12:14 AM

Ultimately there are no protestors because of several reasons. The biggest is there is no draft. The other is that 3,000 casaulties are not 58,000, and while the ongoing war saps morale, major combat is over and will not resume. Vietnam was not only ongoing, but major combat was as well. Lastly, the Vietnam era protests were a result of a large youth movement. Whenever you have a larger youth segment of the population than usual, they agitate - regardless if its American baby boomers, Iranian students, or post-WWI Germans - especially when they have loads of free time (college).

However, we must remember that the antiwar movement was fueled by bad mistakes made by LBJ, just as even the current tepid movement was encouraged by Bush's mistakes. If we had better war leaders, this would not be an issue.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at September 1, 2006 1:40 PM

Chris, I think there was a bit more to anti war movement in the 70's than youthful hijinks. It was a dead serious movement financed by the Soviets with the intent to weaken our faith in our country’s institutions and recruit young people to the party. Read "Radical Son" by David Horowitz for a first hand account by one of the major players.

Posted by: erp at September 1, 2006 7:21 PM