A swine of a man

May 5, 2015

While anyone watching the news on Southeast Asia at the moment will be sated with anniversary retrospectives of the fall of Phnom Penh, followed swiftly by Saigon, forty years ago, there is another anniversary that is worth mentioning: last Sunday marked the 45th anniversary of the Kent State shootings in Ohio, where National Guardsmen fired over 60 times into a crowd of unarmed college students peacefully protesting the illegal war in Cambodia, wounding nine and killing four. No one was ever found responsible for the killings.

kentbig

And despite decades of efforts by a Kent State Truth Tribunal, the US government will not accept responsibility, and, in 2012, the Justice Department refused to reopen the case, citing “insurmountable legal and evidentiary barriers.”

Kent_State_massacre

Clearly, I don’t remember Kent State, but I can remember the sense of outrage I felt when I found out about it (helped by Neil Young’s magnificently potent Ohio). And the anger I felt towards President Richard Nixon and national security advisor Henry Kissinger.

I was thinking about Nixon recently, as I often do when I’m in a bad mood. But specifically about the release last year of extended versions of Nixon’s papers that now confirm the long-standing belief that Nixon was a traitor to the US.

Nixon’s newly released records show that in 1968, as a presidential candidate, he ordered Anna Chennault, his liaison to the South Vietnam government, to persuade them to refuse a cease-fire being brokered by President Lyndon Johnson.

Nixon’s interference with these negotiations violated the Logan Act, banning private citizens from intruding into government negotiations with a foreign nation.

Nixon’s sabotage of the Vietnam peace talks has been confirmed by transcripts of FBI wiretaps. On November 2, 1968, LBJ received an FBI report saying Chennault told the South Vietnamese ambassador that “she had received a message from her boss: saying the Vietnamese should “hold on, we’re gonna win.”

In the four years between the sabotage and what Kissinger termed “peace at hand”, just prior to the 1972 election, more than 20,000 US troops died in Vietnam. More than 100,000 were wounded. More than a million Vietnamese were killed.

And as Wikipedia has it, “with limited data, the range of Cambodian deaths caused by US bombing may be between 40,000 and 600,000.”

But in 1973, Kissinger was given the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the same settlement he helped sabotage in 1968.

Nixon won re-election in 1972, then swiftly became the first American president to resign in disgrace, in 1974. Hunter S. Thompson’s obituary of Nixon is probably a good place to end this, for the good of my blood pressure.

He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.” 

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3 Responses to “A swine of a man”

  1. scucos said

    Great piece. It’s also the 44th annniversary of Nixon waging his cynical “war” on drugs. A neat trick to deflect attention away from his rotten administration, the increasing losses in Vietnam and his illegal war against Cambobia. Nixon’s war has achieved nothing except to put a global market worth $300 million annually into the hands of criminals and the pockets of corrupt politicans. God Rot Tricky Dicky.

  2. David Hayhurst said

    I’ll be very interested to see if there are any media or other commemorations of the killings that happened a week after Kent State at Jackson State in Mississippi, an event that even at the time got nowhere near the coverage, and has been all but forgotten since. I think the victims were all black, so naturally their deaths were significantly less important.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_State_killings

    People talk now about how bitterly divided Americans are, but I can well imagine the current climate is nothing compared to the atmosphere of the early 70s as the Vietnam war ground on, then extend to Nixon and Kissinger’s sick sideshow in Cambodia and Laos.

    I don’t think I’ll be able to stomach the news when Kissinger finally dies and all the “Great Statesman” bullshit starts flying. The douchebag has had the media in his pocket for decades.

    People also talk about GW Bush as the country’s worst president. I can only imagine if Bush 2 had not been a fucktard, lazy, dry drunk frat boy and had Nixon’s intellect, drive, paranoia and other attributes.

    Bemused to see you speak well of Neil Young, since I have on more than one occasion heard you refer to him as a moron. What, but he’s YOUR kind of moron?

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