Vietnam unraveling, symptoms sound familiar

New investigations with new tools indicate that the Kent State Massacre was a mistake and that the anti Vietnam protesters were not as pure as often portrayed. The pattern should be familiar. Ideologues don’t quite get reality right to rationalize the feelings they express in their protests. Then, when the irrational behavior results in tragedy, denial comes to the fore. As Turner notes in the essay:

Perhaps the greatest irony is that the angry students – as so often was the case throughout the war – had their facts wrong. … The student protesters who may have believed they were struggling to end the suffering in Indochina were sadly mistaken.


Much of the Vietnam war protests were not about the war or about Nixon but rather about a personal fear. As time passes, the realization of this reality becomes more clear. There are lessons that should be learned from history.

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