Thursday, October 8, 2009

#164 BHO and LBJ II

Yesterday, fortuitously for this post, marked the eighth anniversary of the Afghanistan War, and what did my wearied eyes behold on the local news but STUDENT PROTESTERS! Yes, there they were: earnest youngsters from the University of of North Carolina from nearby Chapel Hill on the State House grounds in Raleigh. They declaimed against our occupation of that despoiled country with picket signs and angry voices reminiscent--finally--of the Vietnam protests of long ago. Did that do my old heart good? Most would agree, in fact, that college students deserve the the credit for initially stirring up the conscience of America and getting the anti-Vietnam ball rolling. Of course they had an added incentive for protesting in those days: THE DRAFT. Selfish motives aside though, their ball would be passed to the rest of America, until virtually universal opposition to our involvement in Vietnam eventually brought it to a close. It couldn't last, after all, once the MOTHERS joined in.

In the late 60's when student-protests got under way across the nation's campuses, I was there. By that time my draft card had already by-passed the student deferment and was comfortably "3A" status--married with kid(s)--virtually impervious to induction. I was there, though, during those years on those very quads of "student unrest" as teacher and sympathetic observer and occasional TV commentator. Well, just once. Shortly after I arrived at my first full-time teaching job at a small southern college, and sporting a bit of "hippie" hair barely over my ears, I was put on the spot by a local newsman covering OUR little anti-war demonstration going on in the video background behind us: "As a teacher at this institution, what do you think of ... etc, etc?" I don't think my response ever got on the air, probably because it was far from "Bomb the Cong!" My students congratulated me, anyway. That was a good thing.

Yesterday, the Chapel Hill kids didn't directly attack Obama, giving him a pass at this point, no doubt thinking as most do that he inherited the bulk of the problem from the former administration. The picket signs were thus generic like "No More Troops!" and "Stop the War!" Sorry, but sad to say Obama's only other definitive accomplishment--besides The Stimulus (and Bush started that)--since taking office has been to expand The War. Health care, etc? Not yet. But lots of blood. (See my "Report Card" posts and earlier.) He's got his own record now to answer for.

No My Lai massacre yet, though, you say. Perhaps not the March '68 premeditated murder pictured above right, but not far from it. Aye, there's the rub--Obama's massacre's are "far from it." Conducted from far above in piloted air-strikes, or from far away on a remote-control, robot-missile computer-screen in New Mexico, the killing of innocent civilians has gone on unabated since Inauguration Day. Here's what was discovered last May:

... the bodies of dozens, perhaps well over a hundred, women, children and men , their corpses blown to bits of human flesh by iron fragmentation bombs dropped by U.S. warplanes in a village in the western province of Farah ... Afghan survivors carted some two dozen corpses from their villages to the provincial capital in trucks this week to publicly denounce the carnage. [Chris Hedges, Truthdig 5/11, via Red Cross reports]

This "My Lai" happened BEFORE the President sent in his fresh 21,000 troops to do even more killing. And more accompanying air-strikes. And more robot-bombs for Pakistan.

Ell-Bee-Jay, Ell-Bee-Jay ... How many kids have you killed today?
Ell-Bee-Jay, Ell-Bee-Jay ... How many kids have you killed today?
(Repeat, repeat, repeat ..............)

The students drove LBJ crazy with that one ... and out of office. Hasn't come to that point yet for BHO, but it might. He's weighing his options as I write. A wrong decision might conceivably result in Bee-Aytch-Oh, Bee-Aytch-Oh ... Don't kill no kids no mo'! OR, Obama, Obama ... Please don't murder their mama! OR, maybe the students will come up with something better. (more)

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