40 Years On

by Rich Gibson


It is the 4oth anniversary of a lot of things, the French uprisings (documented in Singer's Prelude to Revolution, among others), the Chicago Democratic Convention (following on the 1967 March on the Pentagon and the many urban uprisings of the time in the US), and March 16 is the 40th anniversary of the My Lai Massacre, conducted by US GI war criminals who, following the pattern of the day, decided to gang rape who they could and kill everyone they could in the village of My Lai.

As we can see in the past weekend magazine of the NY Times (which I cannot find a way to link but check on the war story if you can) the same thing is going on now---and invasion in which the people of a given nation quickly realize the US troops are there to rob and kill them, and US troops realize everyone is the enemy, hence, "exterminate all the brutes." It is, to me, impossible to read that NYTimes piece and not think: Kurtz.

We are now going to witness a replay of the Winter Soldier investigations which happened in Detroit in 1971. In that event, soldiers for the most part simply related the fact that they had committed one war crime after another, were war criminals--as are the volunteer troops who are busy losing another war now. Today, the United for Peace and Justice coalition, led by the CPUSA, claims that the WS drew a great deal of publicity which is flatly not true, but it did serve to further demoralize a military that was already in ruins, awash with drugs, riddled with mutinies, fragging, awols, contempt for officers, and open resistance in the form of hundreds of small veteran operated antiwar newspapers.

So what came of WS? Or, what will come of it this time around? And, as we are on the brink of another round of (probably shrinking) national antiwar demonstrations, what of the analysis, strategy, and tactics of whatever there is of the present day antiwar movement?