No Matter How Bad Things Seem, 1968 Was Worse

Moderators: DrVolin, 82_28, Elvis, Jeff

No Matter How Bad Things Seem, 1968 Was Worse

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:18 am

yes it was but

I was so much older then I'm younger than that now


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtDbbO2OLHY

No Matter How Bad Things Seem, 1968 Was Worse

Image
Lyndon Johnson, MLK assassination riots, Democratic Convention, Chicago, 1968
President Johnson listens to a tape sent by his son-in-law, Captain Charles Robb, who was serving in Vietnam, July 31, 1968 (left). Soldier standing guard on the corner of 7th & N Street NW in Washington DC with the ruins of buildings that were destroyed during the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., April 8, 1968 (upper right). Young "hippie" standing in front of a row of National Guard soldiers, across the street from the Hilton Hotel at Grant Park, at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, August 26, 1968 (bottom right). Photo credit: Jack Kightlinger / LBJ Library, Warren K. Leffler / Library of Congress / Wikimedia, and U.S. News & World Report / Library of Congress
Just how bad are things today? Let’s compare. Exactly 50 years ago, the Vietnam War was raging, the Tet offensive had begun and 30,000 more troops went to Vietnam, while the war dead were returning home in body bags.

Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, race riots broke out in almost every large city in America, and one political party’s convention became a domestic war zone. In Europe, Czechoslovakia’s Prague Spring was crushed by a bellicose Soviet Union.

Even before being elected, Richard Nixon was interfering with foreign policy in his own interests. President Lyndon B. Johnson was driven from office, and he was succeeded by a man who would end up resigning in disgrace.

Imagine if all of this had been covered by cable news 24/7? We would have had a national breakdown.

In this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, Jeff Schechtman talks with Arizona State University professor Kyle Longley, who has written extensively about Johnson and 1968.

Longley reminds us how angry and frustrated the American people were throughout that decade. During the 1966 midterms, the Democrats lost 47 House seats. Johnson, who had sought power and the presidency his entire life, was watching the world spin out of his control. We learn much about the inability of even so well prepared a leader as LBJ to handle so many crises simultaneously.

By the end, Johnson had clearly lost his political grip, and his manic behavior, as seen through today’s lens, was troubling. What’s most striking, Longley tells Jeff Schechtman, is how many of the same themes and issues of race, class, political corruption, nuclear disarmament, Russia, and the limits of American power once again unsettle the US this year.

Kyle Longley is the author of LBJ’s 1968: Power, Politics, and the Presidency in America’s Year of Upheaval (Cambridge University Press, February 22, 2018).

Click HERE to Download Mp3
https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/06/01/no-ma ... was-worse/
The only card he has left to play is his resignation
— Neal Katyal

Is minic a bhris béal duine a shrón

Russian/Siberian Agent school girl Maria (NRA) Butina pleads guilty to CONSPIRACY against the U.S. and is cooperating with prosecutors
seemslikeadream
 
Posts: 28696
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:28 pm
Location: into the black
Blog: View Blog (83)

Re: No Matter How Bad Things Seem, 1968 Was Worse

Postby liminalOyster » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:04 am

I had really expected there would be some sort of French "50 years after 1968 " type event with a bit of global visibility.
“Mankind’s relationship with the natural world is aggravating these problems and is potential source of crisis itself. ... Compromised access to food and water greatly increases the prospect for famine and deadly epidemics.” -- John Brennan 2015
User avatar
liminalOyster
 
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 10:28 pm
Location: The Tropic of Fancy
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: No Matter How Bad Things Seem, 1968 Was Worse

Postby JackRiddler » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:58 am

.

Macron is working on inspiring one.

A comparison is unnecessary and probably obscures more than it clarifies. If we're going to be all U.S.-focused about it, and focused on government and politics, then Trump is worse than Nixon but has yet to do worse (cumulatively) than even Obama, let alone Bush. Both embody intensely reactionary moments in the culture, so 50 years later there's a great deal of "I don't believe we're still dealing with this bullshit!" The current one has the feel of reaction due to decline in the power of the right, rather than a rise. Neoliberalism is much worse currently than its in early stages, but also seems out of ideas; will a real economic and social justice movement therefore come together? I don't know. Much in the assessment would depend on unknowable outcomes yet to come. Nixon played mad-dog. There was no nuclear war and a summit with Mao, but the genocide in Indochina was intensified. They made plans for martial law, but it didn't happen. Not officially, anyway: the drug war was re-launched to boost police-state action and incarceration on a never-before seen scale, COINTELPRO reached a climax, Pinochet was installed and Condor was organized. On the other hand, awareness for the catastrophic treatment of the biosphere mushroomed and produced an EPA, as opposed to today's awareness of something even more catastrophic underway producing a regulatory rollback, a double-down on fracking and, in Canada, government buyouts of oil pipelines to keep them going. These billionaire bozos have never been as powerful or prominent. The means of communication have never been as open or controlled at the same time. We don't know what's coming tomorrow. I doubt it will be the Handmaid's Tale, but it might be Mad Max.

.
To Justice my maker from on high did incline:
I am by virtue of its might divine,
The highest Wisdom and the first Love.

Top Secret Wall St. Iraq? & more
User avatar
JackRiddler
 
Posts: 13630
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:59 pm
Location: New York City
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: No Matter How Bad Things Seem, 1968 Was Worse

Postby Cordelia » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:48 am

Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated,....


....During the 1966 midterms, the Democrats lost 47 House seats. Johnson, who had sought power and the presidency his entire life, was watching the world spin out of his control. We learn much about the inability of even so well prepared a leader as LBJ to handle so many crises simultaneously.

By the end, Johnson had clearly lost his political grip, and his manic behavior, as seen through today’s lens, was troubling


Several interesting videos of LBJ fwiw.....

Rehearsing his speech (& speed reading peace in S.E. Asia) in March 1968.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJn-NmgJkcg

The 'animosity' (to put it mildly) between LBJ & RFK is very well known of course, but in his address following RFK’s assassination, Johnson does nothing to hide that imo, woodenly reading the words from the teleprompter and abruptly exiting the podium.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2mE1cBSQgU,

Two months earlier, addressing the nation after the assassination of Martin Luther King, his speech seems slurred to me, as though he'd been drinking.

(Sorry......can't embed.)
https://abcnews.go.com/US/video/april-1 ... n-46549568
"We may not choose the parameters of our destiny. But we give it its content." Dag Hammarskjold ~ 'Waymarks'
User avatar
Cordelia
 
Posts: 2899
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:07 pm
Location: USA
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: No Matter How Bad Things Seem, 1968 Was Worse

Postby Elvis » Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:27 pm

I was looking for somewhere to post this classic 1968 Army film. Many here have seen it before, but it always seems to have fresh relevance.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugf2IulhYOk

Note e.g. where we're told how to create restrictions in a foreign country—censorship, food shortages, curfews and other suspensions of civil rights—and how the public must be convinced that the restrictions and shortages are all the fault of the other side, and will be lifted once the bad side is defeated. <coughvenezuelacough>

Classic formula, it never seems to get old. Note also the need to "harmonize" (love that) "writers and publishers" with U.S. interests. Of course, in the U.S., that's the corporate-owned press, and that's why they don't report on the psyops. In most cases I doubt they're even aware of the fact they're carrying water for a psyops.

All in all, I'd have to say that since 1968 psyops has gotten worse, because it's technically better than ever. Buyer beware.


Edited to add video
"Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous."
User avatar
Elvis
 
Posts: 5497
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:24 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: No Matter How Bad Things Seem, 1968 Was Worse

Postby American Dream » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:06 pm

1968 wasn't universally so horrible...

Image
From May Made Me: An Oral History of the 1968 Uprising in France
User avatar
American Dream
 
Posts: 19637
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: No Matter How Bad Things Seem, 1968 Was Worse

Postby American Dream » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:41 pm

'1968' and all that: Left legacies and the counter culture of remembrance

By Phil Cohen

The paradox of ‘1968’ is that its legacy has survived as a metaphorical statement of intent to overthrow an ancien regime, while the events themselves actually mark the end, or at least the supercession, of that revolutionary narrative in which this project has been embedded in Europe since 1789. Equally the transformative values and attitudes associated with the social movements that came into such spectacular existence in this period now appear to be either prefigurative or outmoded, but, for that very reason continue to provide a focus point for debate on the Left .

There are some more local reasons for the present 68 notalgiafest. 1968 did not start in 1968, or even in 1965 but in 1945, in the sense that its genealogy lies in the long aftermath of the second world war and its austerity regimes through the 1950’s and early 60’ and then their sudden collapse. And that evokes identification with today’s ‘Generation rent’ who must hope against hope that the end of austerity politics is in sight.

Another reason is that historical generations, demographic cohorts formed around a significant event or singular conjuncture, are imagined communities which create their own invented traditions, their own shared memoryscapes, their own vectors of meaning centring on once- upon- a- time prospects or predicaments. There is a correspondingly strong investment in creating occasions of commemoration as a way re-uniting the faithful and making a pre-emptive bid for posterity.

A further reason, which I have already alluded to, is that ‘1968’ has become the site of fiercely contested readings of the Left’s own recent history and future trajectory. In one, mainly Marxist, reading it is a cautionary tale. It marks a historical turning point in which the project of political emancipation founded on the industrial working class auto-destructs; the onward march of labour is permanently halted well this side of the New Jerusalem while capitalism goes cultural as well as global, and becomes hip. The so-called ‘Youth Revolution’ creates a platform for disseminating the hedonistic pleasure principles of consumerism and makes possessive individualism – doing your own thing - sexy, addictive and above all cool. In this optic, recreational sex, drugs and rock’n’roll may not exactly be the devil’s work, but they promote the dispositions of creative self-invention, underpinned by a whole culture of narcissism that post- Fordism, and the just- in-time production of the self requires. Playing it cool becomes the motto of a whole ‘post ’generation: post modernist, post Marxist, post feminist, post political. From this standpoint the ‘counter culture’ is well named, for it is precisely about the merchandising of pseudo-radical life styles, getting your highs from what you can buy or sell across the counter in a way which lends itself to constant recycling and retro-chic.

Another reading, which comes mainly from the libertarian Left, sees 1960’s counterculture as a great disseminator of a popular anti-authoritarian politics, a generational revolt against the patriarchal structures of the family and the bureaucratic structures of state and corporate culture, and as such embarked on the quest for new and more directly democratic forms of collective self-organisation, based on a moral economy of mutual aid. It is also about an aesthetic revolt against the dead weight of elite bourgeois literary and artistic canons and cultural tastes. A rejection then of party politics, whether mainstream or vanguardist, in the name of a cultural avant-gardism embedded in everyday life. This version of the counter culture is celebrated as an incubator of new counter-hegemonic visions, associated variously with feminism, gay liberation, anti-racism, the environmentalist movement, community activism and do-it-yourself urbanism. It prefigures the anti-globalisation and anti-capitalist movements of more recent years as well as radical identity politics.

Every interpretation of the counterculture tends to privilege some aspects over others as symptomatic. Culturalist interpretations emphasise the global impact on music, fashion and other creative industries. Clothes, posters, record covers and other ephemeral artefacts provide a readymade archive for curating such a viewpoint, often drawn from the personal collections of the alternative glitterati. In contrast, political commentators focus on the student and anti-war movements and their often tense and tenuous relationship to traditional Left and labour organisations .

Some of the more sophisticated analyses recognise that alternative life styles could have both progressive and reactionary aspects, could challenge the patriarchal bio-politics of deferred gratification and be part of what Marcuse called the apparatus of repressive desublimation. However, most of the personal accounts produced about this period emphasise the positive, liberatory aspects, whether they concentrate on the cultural or the political side of things.


http://www.pmpress.org/content/article. ... 5162854696
User avatar
American Dream
 
Posts: 19637
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: No Matter How Bad Things Seem, 1968 Was Worse

Postby Elvis » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:35 am

Here's another gem from 1968:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYVwp9nfcqU

Note the weird bit with the flashlight at 27:20 — as if the subject is being hypnotized. The film was probably used in training classes where more details of the techniques came in the instruction (although it almost seems intended as much for the public as for Army trainees). If this really was interrogation in 1968, I'd say things are worse now. But we know things haven't changed all that much in the torture department...

Torture in Vietnam

It’s no secret that torture was used in the Vietnam War – by both sides. However, I’m interested here in the American side of the equation, to wit, when US personnel were involved or bore witness. It’s commonly assumed torture on ‘our’ side of the conflict could be laid at the door of our South Vietnamese allies, both the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) and the national police. Indeed, there were many accounts of ARVN soldiers or police kicking or punching Vietcong (VC) prisoners who were tightly bound as well as civilian VC suspects. There were also reports of waterboarding, a harsh technique for extracting information, now widely known since 9/11.

It was a model soldier, Master Sgt Donald Duncan, who first blew the lid publically on the widespread use of torture in Vietnam. A highly decorated Green Beret sent to Vietnam in ’65, Sgt Duncan turned down a field commission a year later and left the Army over his profound opposition to the mission and how it was being carried out. Part of it was his revulsion as a soldier to the torture he witnessed and the complicity of US forces in handing over civilians suspected of VC sympathy to the ARVN. Duncan published a major firsthand exposé in a radical magazine and testified in ‘67 at the Copenhagen session of the International War Crimes Tribunal organized by Lord Bertrand Russell as to what he saw and heard in Vietnam. The torture issue was out in the open.

US troops were not only accomplices in the use of torture, but active participants as well. A former medical officer told me how he witnessed wounded VC being tortured over his objections. A combat unit back from the field brought a couple of seriously wounded enemy soldiers to his aid tent. He and his staff patched them up so they could be quickly medevaced to a field hospital for urgent medical care if they were to survive for standard post-action interrogation. The combat personnel, however, would not wait and began immediate interrogation through an interpreter before the trail went cold. The objections of the military doc, the regimental surgeon himself, were overruled on the basis the military situation took precedence. The method of ‘persuasion’ was poking the prisoners’ wounds, causing great pain if answers weren’t forthcoming on their unit’s strength, deployment, and equipment. Other times, patrols in the field conducted ad hoc interrogations under threat of torture, trying to learn whereabouts of the elusive enemy.


Image
Field interrogation by knife*

By far though, the most common form of torture employed by US forces was euphemistically called the “Bell telephone hour,” a reference to the instrument used as well as to a familiar stateside music program sponsored by the Bell Telephone Company. This technique involved using a standard military field telephone to deliver a painful shock to the person under interrogation when cooperation was withheld. Military Intelligence (MI), a branch of the Army, was principally responsible for interrogating captured enemy soldiers as well as civilians suspected of being VC. The use of the field phone to extract information was routine for MI’s trained interrogators.

Although Jeff served in Vietnam with the Army Security Agency (ASA), a communications intelligence outfit, he would have been aware of MI and their procedures. Apropos, he located Peter Martinsen, a former MI interrogator in Vietnam, and interviewed him for Vietnam GI (VGI) so that GI readers would know what was going on in those MI tents. A little background on Peter Martinsen: he had also testified before the Russell Tribunal on war crimes, an unofficial body of distinguished international public intellectuals and members of the arts, at the Copenhagen session in ‘67. A member of the tribunal wrote that they were “overwhelmed” by Martinsen’s testimony. A young man, son of a psychology professor, he was demoralized by what he had been required to do, including beating Vietnamese civilians under interrogation; witnessing torture daily; and having caused the death of a teenage girl by forcing her out of hiding with a smoke bomb. Needless to say, Martinsen had turned against the war, deeply upset by what he’d been involved in.

Brother Jeff caught up with Peter in the States. He had been with the 541st Military Intelligence, the MI detachment with the 11th Armored Cav Regiment, which operated in Long Khanh Province about 50 miles east of Saigon. Like Jeff, he was a Vietnamese linguist, but an interrogator as well. Jeff asked him how he tried to get information out of the people rounded up, including women and children. Martinsen replied:

Force was used a lot, and like … you could beat them with your open hand and not leave a mark on them. Electrical torture with a field phone … it really gives a nasty shock. You know how bad it is, and you can imagine being shocked for three or four hours by one of those things. That was pretty common.


Image
Standard torture device of military interrogators

To convert the above EA312 military phone to an electrotorture device, the interrogator merely had to attach a ground wire and a hot wire to the terminal block at the top of the instrument at one end, and to sensitive parts of the prisoner’s body at the other end. Then each turn of the crank on the side (which would normally cause a phone to ring elsewhere), delivered a short but powerful shock to the individual being asked questions.

Peter Martinsen concluded saying, “This is a dirty war, and there’s no reason on earth for us to be there.” At the time of his interview with VGI in early ’68, Martinsen was 23. A few years later he committed suicide.

*Photo credit Joseph Carey

https://jeffsharletandvietnamgi.blogspo ... etnam.html


Perhaps there was greater impunity in Vietnam in 1968, so perhaps it was worse. Nowadays, public knowledge of torture has helped constrain some of it, I hope.
"Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous."
User avatar
Elvis
 
Posts: 5497
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:24 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: No Matter How Bad Things Seem, 1968 Was Worse

Postby American Dream » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:13 am

There was that rough field torture by the U.S. Army, for sure. It got worse than that however, as apparently the CIA in cooperation with South Vietnamese officials ran Provincial Interrogation Centers in every region under their control. This was the real house of horrors where as Frank Zappa said, "the torture never stops". Herein lies the origin of the Infamous "Project X" interrogation manual which was refined in Panama as a resource for the dirty wars in Latin America.
User avatar
American Dream
 
Posts: 19637
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: No Matter How Bad Things Seem, 1968 Was Worse

Postby American Dream » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:51 am

And that brings us back to Ronald Stark. During 1975, just as Operation Julie was closing in on the then-thriving Microdot Gang, Stark would appear in a curious but highly advantageous spot: the Italian prison system. Prior to this, however, he had been living it up as an international drug lord with authorities none the wiser throughout the early 1970s. During this time he made some curious contacts:

"The fact that Stark was wanted on a drug rap in the US hardly put a damper on his international escapades. He spent much of his time in Italy during the 1970s, cavorting with Sicilian Mafiosi, secret service officials, and political extremists of the far left and far right. Stark's antics took him far afield. Occasionally he traveled to the Baalbek region of Lebanon, where he negotiated with a Shiite Muslim sect for shiploads of hashish. Stark claimed to be a business representative of Iman Moussa Sadr, a powerful Shiite warlord who controlled vast hashish plantations and a private army of 6,000 men. The area under his dominion was said to include training camps used by the Palestinian Liberation Organization and other terrorist groups.

"Back in Italy, Stark rented a small apartment in Florence. But he rarely stayed there, preferring the posh hotels of Rome, Milan, Bologna and other cities. By day he carried on as a smooth and successful businessman. At night he donned a pair of faded blue jeans and a work shirt and mingled with student radicals and other extremists. Moving in left-wing circles was nothing new for Ronald Stark. He had a knack for popping up wherever trouble was brewing. An American expatriate bumped into him on the streets of Paris during the peak of the Sorbonne uprising in 1968. In London he frequented the clubs and bars that were hangouts for dissident elements, and he made his first appearance in Milan during the 'hot autumn' of 1969, when massive student demonstrations and labor strikes nearly paralyzed Italy. Furthermore, Stark was tight with the Brotherhood leaders who contributed money to the Weather Underground for Timothy Leary's prison escape.

"Whatever game Stark was playing took an abrupt turn in February 1975 when Italian police received an anonymous phone call about a man selling drugs in a hotel in Bologna. A few days later at the Grand Hotel Baglioni they arrested a suspect in possession of 4,600 kilos of marijuana, morphine, and cocaine. The suspect carried a British passport bearing the name Mr. Terrance W. Abbott. Italian investigator soon discovered that 'Mr. Abbott' was actually Ronald Stark. Among his belongings was the key to a safe deposit box in Rome that contain documents on the manufacture of LSD and a synthetic version of cocaine. There was also a vial of liquid that scientists could not precisely identify (they figured it was something like LSD). Other items seized by police included letters from a certain Charles C. Adams written on stationary with the letterhead of the American embassy in London. The message from Adams, a foreign service officer, began with a confidential 'Dear Ron,' and were addressed to Stark's drug laboratory in Brussels, which had been raided in the fall of 1972 by a team of American agents."

(Acid Dreams, Martin A. Lee & Bruce Shlain, pgs. 279-280)


Image
Stark's "Terrance W. Abbot" passport

Would you be surprised to learn, dear reader, that Stark and associates were able to clear out of the Brussels laboratory just before American agents arrived thanks to this tip from Mr. Adams? Such was the curious fortune of Ronald Stark, a man who seems to have always been Johnny-on-the-spot when radical left elements were stirring in the West (and beyond, as his ties with the PLO indicate). As noted above, he made the scene in May 68; hooked up with the Brotherhood of Eternal Love just as the youth movement was in full swing in their home base of California and encouraged leaders to forge ties with the militant Weather Underground; and rubbed elbows with elements in the UK dedicated to the "armed struggle" all the while he was helping establishing the left-leaning Microdot Gang (as was noted in part three).

Stranger in a Strange Land: The Curious Times of Ronald Stark Part IV
User avatar
American Dream
 
Posts: 19637
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: No Matter How Bad Things Seem, 1968 Was Worse

Postby chump » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:14 pm

User avatar
chump
 
Posts: 1758
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:28 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: No Matter How Bad Things Seem, 1968 Was Worse

Postby Elvis » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:35 pm

Loved Pat Paulson! Can't resist this followup, twenty years later:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qn69wP-jD2Y
"Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous."
User avatar
Elvis
 
Posts: 5497
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:24 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: No Matter How Bad Things Seem, 1968 Was Worse

Postby 82_28 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:44 pm

I always wondered about the significance of this song as a kid.

There is no me. There is no you. There is all. There is no you. There is no me. And that is all. A profound acceptance of an enormous pageantry. A haunting certainty that the unifying principle of this universe is love. -- Propagandhi
User avatar
82_28
 
Posts: 11026
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 4:34 am
Location: North of Queen Anne
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: No Matter How Bad Things Seem, 1968 Was Worse

Postby chump » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:36 pm

User avatar
chump
 
Posts: 1758
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:28 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests