August 24, 2010

"I was there when it happened, asleep in an apartment about eight blocks east of Sterling Hall."

Michael Haz writes about the bombing that took place here in Madison 40 years ago today:
The blast threw me out of bed. I scrambled into the dark hallway and ran into others; we all thought that a bomb had been detonated in the basement of our building. We ran apartment-to-apartment making certain everyone was awake and okay. Then we helped the grad students get their notes, manuscript drafts, computer data cards, etc. out of their apartments in into cars for safe keeping.

We heard the approaching sirens of emergency vehicles, and were astonished when they went past rather than stopping. It slowly dawned that the explosion hadn't been in our building, but was somewhere on campus.

More and more emergency vehicles raced past. They were heading in the direction of the (old) University Hospital. A neighbor said "My God, did a boiler at the hospital explode?" We got dressed and ran toward the hospital, partly from curiosity, and partly to offer help evacuating patients from the hospital.

The street was filled with glass three blocks away. We got to Sterling Hall, which was across a narrow street from the hospital, and saw that it's front had been blown off. One side of the hospital had been severely damaged; its windows were gone. Nearby buildings were heavily damaged and buildings several blocks away lost their windows. There was a crater where the explosion had occurred.

My roommate asked a fireman "What happened?" He answered "It was a bomb." That answer was shocking. How could it have been a bomb? You mean someone did this on purpose? How can that be? the peace movement isn't about bombs, it's about peace?!

A cordon was set up and we were pushed back. Standing near a fire truck so I could hear its radio I heard a fireman report finding one body in Sterling Hall. Stunned, I stood for a few more minutes than walked back to my apartment.

Two days later I cut my shoulder length hair and notified my landlord that I wouldn't remain as a tenant for the fall term.

I was done with UW and Madison, except for completing my studies. I rented and apartment west of Middleton and commuted, spending as little time on campus as possible. I didn't attend my graduation.

The anti-war movement was a sham; a cover for violent anarchists. It wasn't actually anti-war; it was mostly anti-draft, and nothing more. It was over-indulged white males who didn't want to be conscripted. It would never have happened if there hadn't been a draft.

I don't have a romantic version of the late 60s in my head. I lived through it, it was horrible. Sure, the music was good, the weed was abundant, "liberated" coeds eschewed underwear, and contraceptive sex had no risk. It was still an awful time.

Karleton Armstrong was lucky. He should still be rotting in prison.

92 comments:

traditionalguy said...

A real witness is so much more interesting than creative stories making up noble causes for mindless destruction. Thanks.

Chip Ahoy said...

Oh man, that déjà vu thing is happening again.

Srsly tho, that's an amazing account.

edutcher said...

Too bad a lot more of the long hairs didn't have his integrity.

And sense.

AJ Lynch said...

"Romantic view of the 60's". Nope me neither. I never did - except for the music and the fun stuff. In fact, the "classic vinyl" station on my satellite radio takes me back there whenever I lisen to it.

jr565 said...

Can I say, that while I commend the author coming to the realization that the antiwar moment wasn't all that antiwar, it shouldn't have taken a bomb to go off to trigger that epiphany.
Also,this may sound reactionary but aside from a few giants, rock music was not very good in the 60's. For every Beatles, there were a hundred Strawberry Alarm Clocks. All you have to do is listen to an old Nuggets compilation to see some of the absolute dreck that was put out in the 60's. A lot of it is just embarassing to listen to nowadays.

Gabriel Hanna said...

In the last ten years, the biggest mass protest movements that I can remember are the anti-Iraq war protests and the Tea Party.

And it's reassuring to see that there hasn't been terrorist violence like there was in the 1960s. When the invasion of Iraq happened and afterward the people who opposed it were still pretty mad, but they didn't set bombs, and the Tea Party is not doing it either.

peter hoh said...

The commenters remain one of the best things about this blog -- especially when they share their first person accounts.

Thanks, Michael.

Has this anniversary felt different than any of the previous anniversaries?

I suspect that we're due for a lot of 40 year anniversaries of things that feel different now than they did 10 years ago.

David said...

I'll bet you are reading this, Leo Burt.

You've had your life now.

Come on in an pay for Robert Fassnacht's. It's time.

Beth said...

Thank you for this powerful writing, Michael.

Bob said...

This is what the death penalty is for.

AST said...

@Chip: Oh man, that déjà vu thing is happening again.

In this case, it's more like PTSD.

Before 9/11 there was Oklahoma City. Before that, there was this. Before that, there was the War in Vietnam and the Chicago Riots, before that Pearl Harbor and WWII, and so on.

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Eric said...

In the last ten years, the biggest mass protest movements that I can remember are the anti-Iraq war protests and the Tea Party.

Those are teeny, tiny blips compared to the Vietnam protests, both in terms of numbers and intensity.

Eight blocks away and the bomb threw him out of bed? That must have been a really fast explosive and a lot of it.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Powerful, particularly to someone like me, born too late to know any of this first hand, but who dwelled on the romantic notions of it for far too long.

Michael, I guess I was just skimming at first, and didn't catch that this was from a commenter, not a professional writer. Even thinking it was a pro, I was thinking as I was reading that this writing was exceptional. Wonderful work.

Ralph L said...

Whenever I forget to ctrl C a comment, blogger eats it.

By August 1970, the US had largely withdrawn from ground combat, so a new draftee's risk would have been much smaller. death toll

As with Iraq, the hard core protesters were anti-US, not anti-war.

I remember Kent State, but the only time I've heard of this bombing is on this blog (we were probably at Grandma's lake cottage, without TV or papers [or hot water]). The media conveniently forgets it.

DADvocate said...

Sure, the music was good, the weed was abundant, "liberated" coeds eschewed underwear, and contraceptive sex had no risk. It was still an awful time.

For the most part I have to agree. I was almost as happy to escape that as I was to escape high school.

Pogo said...

Powerful testament.

Can I get a witness?

The Drill SGT said...

Eric said...
Eight blocks away and the bomb threw him out of bed? That must have been a really fast explosive and a lot of it.


2,000 lbs of fertilizer fuel oil mix. The same type of stuff McVey used in OKC

Ralph L said...
By August 1970, the US had largely withdrawn from ground combat, so a new draftee's risk would have been much smaller. death toll


LOL, I arrived in Nay 70, and trust me, the war was still going on. troop strength was about half that of the peak, but at 330k, there were lots of US divisions. For context that is about double what we sent to Iraq.

Ari Tai said...

Wow. This brings back the memories. Thank you Ann.

“Where were they when & are they now?”

I was at Purdue and working for John Rice where the reaction was to secure access to access to the basement of the Math-Science building. Why Math? Because that’s where the supercomputers of the day were often located. Computing was just the separating itself into a separate discipline (from Math.. imo the beginning of the end of computing-as-a-science). It changed the dynamic of how easy it was for many researchers to get physical access to the machines to run more than trivial (card-deck) problems. Which was how I met my wife. I had access, she was in the sociology department which then as now was killing trees with SPSS (and discovering even back then there was no glory in admitting that correlation was seldom causality). She baked great cherry pies which was one of the bribes the ladies would hold up to the closed circuit TVs to beg admittance to the holy-of-holies. No Wisconsin terror, maybe no little Tai-s.

Bob Borchers some years later became the Director of (the DOE) Livermore Labs – one of the trio of government labs responsible for all-things nuclear. He and his researchers made important contributions to solving the tactical threat issues we had during the Cold-War where the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries would run these yearly full-up war exercises where most of their forces and reserves would charge at the NATO country borders and only turn right or left in the last few miles. It was pretty clear that if the Soviets ever did go to war (simply not turn these armies at the last minute), the West would face the challenge of defeating massed armies, artillery and tanks all on friendly soil (and irrespective of the horns the left would draw on the military (and conservative leadership) there was a genuine reluctance to use strategic nuclear in response to a conventional attack). The answer was designing a new generations of weapons that would kill people but have a minimum of blast effects and no lasting radiation affects. They succeeded, and these “enhanced radiation devices” (aka “neutron bombs”) are the unsung hero of the cold war since it fundamentally changed the Soviet calculus on using their superior numbers in boots on the ground (and armor). The “you wouldn’t nuke yourself” changed to “ok, maybe you would.”

Granted, the Left and the “Utopia-on-earth-is-achievable-if-we-just-enslave-everyone” proponents hated it (and were given even larger voices given the influence Soviet back-door funding enabled. After the Wall fell, one of the interesting tidbits in the KGB archives were all the signed receipts they insisted on obtaining from their own “agents of influence” in the press and academia. Unlike U.S. budgeting where we simply criminalizing misbehavior rather than run a full accounting system around the Treasury’s checkbook, the Soviets actually demanded semi-competent double-entry bookkeeping of their departments).

Issob Morocco said...

Well, we can make his life a daily prison by visiting Karleton in Madison and relaying our thoughts about his murderous endeavor.

A daily reminder of what he hath wrought upon the earth, a Karleton Armstrong Smoothie, if you will.

Cheers!

Pogo said...

I really do wonder if any of these killers have made amends to the wife and 3 kids that Robert Fassnacht left behind.

Forgiveness is all they can offer for whatever paltry apology they could make. Still, I wonder how they can get up every day and face themselves knowing what they did never received real justice.

Only a sociopath would be untroubled.

Crimso said...

Perhaps what's needed is a monument to the antiwar movement placed near the location of the bombing. Unless all you UofW people are, you know, just bigots.

HDHouse said...

All well and good I guess except for this section:

"The anti-war movement was a sham; a cover for violent anarchists. It wasn't actually anti-war; it was mostly anti-draft, and nothing more. It was over-indulged white males who didn't want to be conscripted. It would never have happened if there hadn't been a draft."

Sure the anti-war movement would have been there draft or not. Some people actually don't believe wars of choice are the last resort and this one, built around a domino theory of some dispute was certainly one of them.

At the time of this bombing the war was in its 6th year after Johnson's ramp up in early 1965 and we were in our third year of Nixon's secret plan for peace.

The writer's interaction with anti-war movements may have been very limited and drawing from his conclusions about the depth of feeling and driving forces behind being active in the movement, I suspect that it wasn't all that deep.

Michael said...

I was teaching at another large public university in the Midwest at the time of this bombing. There the anti war movement was animated principally by the draft but egged on by academic pacifists. Protests were an excellent opportunity to blow off class, wear black arm bands and otherwise fuck around. The pro Ho chants were in abundance and sickening.

No way would there have been that many protesters had there been no conscription. A couple of years ago I was caught in a smallish protest in Washington and was appalled to see that most of the protesters were around my age, draft eligible at the time of VietNam. No young men in attendance. Might be plenty of youthful opponents of war but none in sight.

Michael Haz said...

@Althouse - Thanks for front-paging my comment.

@traditionalguy, Chip Ahoy, edutcher, peter hoh, Beth, lyssalovelyredhead, Pogo - Thanks for your kind compliments.

peter hoh asked: Has this anniversary felt different than any of the previous anniversaries?

It felt different for two reasons. First, it seemed to have more publicity than did previous anniversaries, so it was pushed to the forefront of things I as thinking about yesterday.

And second, my son is now the age Robert Fassnacht was when he was killed by Armstrong, Armstrong, Fine and Burt. Fassnacht's death seems all the more real, and all the more horrible because of it.

@hdhouse - If what you say is true, then you and others like you would be protesting Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere. See any major protests? Nah, neither do I.

Big Mike said...

@Michael Haz, nice takedown of HDHouse.

@Gabe Hanna, there was a huge difference between the anti-Iraq protests and the Tea Party. I had the sense that the anti-Iraq protests were a combination of the "professional protesters" -- what the late Al Capp once lampooned as "Students Wildly Indignant about Nearly Everything" (SWINE) -- and people who had been in their twenties back in 1968 - 1973 trying to recover their lost youth.

The Tea Party people I've met consists of people who had never protested and wouldn't normally dream of protesting.

But anyone can be pushed too far.

Joe said...

(The Crypto-Jew)
Sure the anti-war movement would have been there draft or not. Some people actually don't believe wars of choice are the last resort and

Are you really that F*cking Stupid? “Wars of Choice?” Here’s a clue, ALL WARS ARE WARS OF CHOICE. One choises to fight or not fight, if both sides CHOOSE to fight it’s a war…if only one side fights, it’s an aggression…Austrian Anschluss, aggression, Czech Occupation (1939) Aggression, Czech Occupation (1968) Aggression…Invasion of Norway, Denmark, and the Low Countries a war, the Danes and Norwegians CHOSE to fight back! Any war is a CHOICE, the US CHOSE to fight Japan in 1941, the US CHOSE to fight Germany in 1941….the US could have CHOSEN acquiescence to Japanese aggression and German aggression and acceded to their demands. Your Leftist “logic” is a foolish rhetorical trick….

this one, built around a domino theory of some dispute was certainly one of them.

Yeah no Dominoes fell did they? I mean after S. Vietnam ceased to exist Laos and Cambodia remained neutral and non-Communist…OH WAIT….HDHouse you are either an idiot or a liar. I let you chose which one you want me to believe you to be.

Fen said...

HDHouse: Sure the anti-war movement would have been there draft or not.

Wrong. The majority of those protesting dropped their signs once the prospect of being drafted was taken off the table.

They were selfish cowards cloaking themselves in a "righteous" cause. And the Left hasn't changed much since then.

Some people actually don't believe wars of choice are the last resort

And most of them are either 1) dead or 2) conquered or 3) parasites leeching from the system thats kept them safe and free.

Shanna said...

Fascinating account. I read it last night but didn't comment. I wasn't around for the 60's, so it's very interesting to hear a first hand account.

All my dad's/uncle's accounts from the 60's are about playing around in the guard (none of them had any special pull, btw, except for my mom had a friend who died in Vietnam and he made an effort to get anybody in the guard that he could and that's how one of my uncles got in).

Ric Locke said...

Armstrong, Fine, Burt, and Ayers owe their short sentences and/or pensions to nostalgia.

At this distant remove, after what amounts to a total inversion of the odd non-system set up by the Founders, it can be difficult to imagine that, in the minds of the American people, many of the protesters had a valid point. The "movement" was hijacked by Leftists, but it didn't start that way.

Regards,
Ric
[the shortlink is to my blog; no viruses or popups that I know of]

Joe said...


The "movement" was hijacked by Leftists, but it didn't start that way.


What is wasn't hi-jacked...it was ALWAYS the New Left leading the Movement....they co-opted willing or useful idiots into the movement! "Hey let's protest the Draft, gte high and pull some hippie chicks!" "OK"....Tom Hayden, Michael Walzer and the rest were always Left-of-Centre trying to create a Mass Movment.

vet66 said...

I received my draft notice in the mail the same day I attended High School graduation July 1966. Mustered out in 1972.

Several points spring to mind;

1. Traitor Jane Fonda,
2. Russian involvement with NVA,
3. Charles Manson,
4. Khmer Rouge,
5. Viet Nam boat people,
6. Deserting our ally in South Viet Nam,
7. Winning the war militarily and losing it politically,
8. Perfidy of the leftist anarchists,
9. Unforgivable rejection of those who fought, served and died in the war by so-called university intellectuals and elitists who haunt us to this day.

seattleWa said...

Wait!....I liked Strawberry Alarm Clock!

The 1910 Fruit Gum Company was another story. You remember....."Yummy, yummy, yummy, I got love in my tummy"....wassup wit' dat!

jr565 said...

HDHouse wrote:

Some people actually don't believe wars of choice are the last resort


I could see someone arguing that they don't believe in wars of choice as the first resort. But if we're talking about the last resort, doesn't that imply that other things have been tried and failed? What that sounds like then is that you don't believe wars should be fought under any resort. How nice for you. Of course that will mean endless capitulation on your part to those who are not so inclined to refrain from using force. And your objections won't prevent them from using war as a first resort or last resort.
In short, you have no response to aggression.

jr565 said...

-cont-
In short, you have no response to aggression....other than putting your head up your ass that is.

k*thy said...

Touching story. Thank you for sharing it.

Big Mike said...

@jr, no, he doesn't put his head up his butt. He merely kisses his ass goodbye.

knox said...

I don't have a romantic version of the late 60s in my head. I lived through it, it was horrible.

Growing up in the 70s and 80s, I had to endure an awful lot of that romanticization in the pop culture and the myths promulgated by boomers in the entertainment industry.

Anyone remember that TV miniseries "The 60s"s? Puke-worthy.

rocketeer67 said...

The anti-war movement was a sham; a cover for violent anarchists. It wasn't actually anti-war; it was mostly anti-draft, and nothing more. It was over-indulged white males who didn't want to be conscripted. It would never have happened if there hadn't been a draft.

AY.

MEN.


PREACH it brother.

Scott said...

"The writer's interaction with anti-war movements may have been very limited and drawing from his conclusions about the depth of feeling and driving forces behind being active in the movement, I suspect that it wasn't all that deep."

The bombing was an act of terrorism. Michael describes the impact of that terrorist act on his own well-being.

And Harold responds with shitty condescension.

AlphaLiberal (PLP stooge), Jeremy, and the rest of the self-styled leftish "activists" are conspicuous by their absence from these threads. In their world of violent rhetoric and violent protest, the UW bombing was nbfd.

But even as dull-witted as they are, they have apparently mustered the common decency to stay out of the discussion, lest they be exposed as the moral vacuums they are.

Then in walks Harold House, a man (giving him the benefit of the doubt) who has obviously never experienced the effects of terrorism firsthand.

And he tosses off that comment.

So cool. So urbane. So superior. So dispassionate.

So ugly. So repugnant. So shameless.

The Drill SGT said...

Michael said...
There the anti war movement was animated principally by the draft but egged on by academic pacifists.


Add the Academic Reds to that list.


vet66 said...

don't forget to add:

10. Winter Soldier
11. Lt Kerry, Reserve Officer, going to Paris to meet with our enemies during wartime.

Vet66, and the rest of us have not forgotten any of that.

I still remember being a pariah on campus (UC) when I returned from Nam.

Issob Morocco said...

Tsk Tsk now jr565, HDHouse learned how to fight wars in East Lansing, showing the man his stuff at the SBS when buying his school books and has used those learnings to pitch aggression on those who would dare to put astroturf on a field of play. He has waged war, , virtually bloody, brutal and incessant. He obviously knows the waste of it from his endeavors.

former law student said...

How could it have been a bomb? You mean someone did this on purpose? How can that be? the peace movement isn't about bombs, it's about peace?!

Exactly.

The terrorists who seized upon the antiwar movement to spread terror were no more representative of the antiwar movement than Ted Kaczynski was representative of math majors or Adolf Hitler was representative of art students.

Randy said...

@hdhouse - If what you say is true, then you and others like you would be protesting Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere. See any major protests? Nah, neither do I.

Fair point!

(Appreciated your witness-to-history essay, btw.)

HDHouse said...

Dear people who can't read and understand simple sentences.

There is a difference between a war of necessity and a war of choice. I'm sorry you can't see that. A war of choice is simply that - a country at whatever stage chosing to go to war even when all else fails and it usually is marked by having nothing to gain by doing so. There was very little to gain early on in Viet Nam and by the end of it, absolutely nothing to gain.

The Peace movement is hardly the silliness descriptions persons assign it here. There were plenty of people of good will and responsibility opposed to the war and to call it an "anti draft" centered movement is seriously underestimating it. Certainly the draft played a role as it wasn't applied either fairly or evenly and had a substantial effect on life choices at the time. That is was male only was one unfairness of it. The school I went to for my first two years had a "fail the bottom 10% policy" which meant the draft the day your grades were posted.

And why the populace isn't on Obama's case for Iraq and Afghanistan - for you historians out there - he is extricating himself from one of Bush's wars of choice and an ill fought and underman quasi-war of necessity. The boat has sailed as to if these were a good idea from the getgo but he is acting responsibly now and that is one reason he gets no protest movement.

You all just need to read a little more carefully next time and stop the lunacy put forth by the so called and ill named "patriots".

MadisonMan said...

I'll bet you are reading this, Leo Burt.

It's interesting to think that that is indeed happening. Althouse should give all the urls of those reading this to the FBI.

I agree that it is high time for Mr. Burt -- if he's alive -- to surrender. A life lived on the run, constantly looking over one's shoulder, wondering when the knock on the door will come? What kind of life is that?

HDHouse said...

edutcher said...
Too bad a lot more of the long hairs didn't have his integrity."

not discounting his account...what integrity do you refer to? cutting his hair?

MadisonMan said...

Suppose you take all the blog entries on Leo Burt, and all the ip addresses that access them. You should be able to -- if Leo Burt is a narcissist who likes to read about himself -- and can we all assume this might be true? -- assign probabilities to his being at one location or another, and enhance the manhunt there.

If that is ultimately how he is run to ground, it would be a fascinating story to read.

former law student said...

I found an interesting quote regarding the anti-war movement and the terrorist movement from Larry D. Grathwohl, the self proclaimed "FBI informant who was the only one to have penetrated the Weather Underground."

The Weather Underground was not an anti-war group. They saw themselves as part of an international revolution with connections in Cuba, China and North Vietnam. They believed they were going to be part of a revolution that would cause the collapse of the United States. Plans for the creation of camps for "re-educating" Americans -- and the elimination of 25 million people -- were discussed with the belief that protecting the NEW order from a counter-revolution justified wholesale murder.

Beth said...

I can't look back and see a single movement with one motivation. I despise the activists who took up violence here on the homefront. Their defense is that they targeted "property" but of course that property was inhabited, even on late nights and early mornings, either by academics like Fassnacht, or blue-collar guards and janitors. I completely understand Michael's perspective.

But good people also opposed the war, and the draft, without causing violence, without selfish motivations.

I was ten at the time of this bombing. My brother was serving in 'Nam; two uncles had served in 'Nam and Korea. My father was in his second career, a Red Cross Field Director serving active duty military on base, after 20 years in the Air Force - including WW II. He opposed this war. He didn't want his sons to be drafted, and he arranged for one to go to Canada and live with friends there if his number came up.

He wasn't alone. Lots of people across the country didn't hit the streets, but they made their opinions known, in talks with one another, in their votes. I don't confuse that opposition, both to the war and the draft, with the actions of these terrorists. Those people prolonged the war, if anything, through their idiocy.

Kirby Olson said...

Which one of the four had the bomb-making knowledge? It was a better bomb than most. It was better than Faisal's.

On the Wiki page for the Sterling Hall bombing, it said that none of these terrorists regretted doing what they did. They still felt justified. One of the brothers has since died of cancer.

I think one of the things that happens with movements like the peace movement is that they tend to demonize another segment of the population, and the very young are too silly to be able to put this demonization into proper proportion. It's something like what feminists have done to men.

The older feminists know what they are doing is just stoking hatred, but some of the younger feminists go crazy with anger.

The animal rights movement has had a similar effect.

Chicano Studies, Black Studies, and any other studies movement that speaks to the goodness of one group and how they've been screwed over, tends to create angry activists with a skewed perspective.

You get something similar with any polarizing movement. White racists up in Idaho, or madrassas in Pakistan: they work by polarizing, and demonizing, and the result is ultimately terror because the young come to believe that gendercide or some kind of genocide is the only answer.

It's inevitable.

Pogo said...

Dehumanization is essential to permit murder.

Dehumanization of an entire race is essential to permit mass murder.

Roux said...

The anti-war movement was a sham; a cover for violent anarchists. It wasn't actually anti-war; it was mostly anti-draft, and nothing more. It was over-indulged white males who didn't want to be conscripted. It would never have happened if there hadn't been a draft.

Sounds like he's describing a friend of the POTUS from Chicago. Nah he's just an old guy from the neighborhood.

roesch-voltaire said...

For those who suggest the anti-war protestors were only about draft dodging, and what is wrong with that given the false reasons for starting the war, I suggest you read Robert McNamara's Reflections: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam, where he candidly admits the strategy was misguided,and in my opinion worth resisting. True the pressures of the draft added numbers to those who initially protested against the war because they were Quakers, COs or Jehovah's Witnesses, but also the protest increased as more was revealed about the folly of occupying a divided country.

Kirby Olson said...

Vietnamese Christians got hammered after the war. We should have stood with them as our neighbors.

Westmoreland had a better understanding of what the war was about.

rocketeer67 said...

"But good people also opposed the war, and the draft, without causing violence, without selfish motivations."

He opposed this war. He didn't want his sons to be drafted, and he arranged for one to go to Canada and live with friends there if his number came up.

Beth, I wish you'd elaborate. I'm confused by the seeming contradiction.

damikesc said...

If there was no draft, there would've been no movement. Period. Which is why the Left tried to invent draft fears in 04 to try and beat Bush..

I can get self-preservation. I don't get the need to romanticize it.

mariner said...

roesch-voltaire:

I'd suggest they watch the Yuri Besmenov interview.

Videos available on YouTube and elsewhere.

The anti-war movement, the feminist movement and the civil rights movement were all supported and manipulated by the KGB for its own ends.

Eric said...

The anti-war movement was a sham; a cover for violent anarchists. It wasn't actually anti-war; it was mostly anti-draft, and nothing more. It was over-indulged white males who didn't want to be conscripted. It would never have happened if there hadn't been a draft.

True that! I was in Chicago for the 68 convention. Spoiled Hippies and Cuban paid commies.

Tom said...

Ten years ago at the farmers' market in Madison I overheard a man say, with nostalgia and pride, "Yeah we blew up the math building in 1970".

That's Madison in a nutshell.

Patrick said...

Michael Haz - thanks for the post and the moral clarity. Thanks also for the update on Armstrong (could've sworn he was selling falafel circa 1988). this reminds me of St. Paul, where we had a 1970's era terrorist living, pseudonymously among us -Kathleen Soliah n/k/a Sara Jane Olson. When she was captured, all of the usual suspects pooh-poohed the murder in which she was a participant, and said she was nothing more than a little old soccer mom. Really, she was doing all the right things politically, and all the right people raised money for her legal defense. A mere 7 years later, she was freed. Ridiculous. when they got her, I immediately thought of the Sterling Hall bombing.

RebeccaH said...

Michael Haz is absolutely right about the 60s. I was a college student then too, although my university, being in Texas, didn't attract any major players in the antiwar movement. The most we endured was a lame march and chant around the university cafeteria.

The 70s were just as bad, because drug use had passed the "fun" stage and had become a horrible, horrible blight on young lives, and the "peace and love" group were finally showing their true colors. I remember the Madison WI bombing, the holdups of banks and armored cars, the murders of police and bank employees and security guards, all to the tune of self-righteous rants about the evils of capitalist society and the "military-industrial complex".

I think (and hope and pray) that what we're seeing of that movement today is its death throes.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Someone please explain to me the moral difference between drafting your youth and a volunteer military. I'm thinking of joining the right wing and before I do, I understand that it's required that I forget that distinction as soon as possible. Especially when it comes to throwing away 17 lives per day on a war that we weren't likely to win.

Throwing bodies at a conflict seems a lot more justifiable when the decision to do so is made by people without a personal stake in the matter, don't it?

To pass up criticism of the decision to throw 17 American bodies per day into the ground, so that one can choose to harp on acts like these as the more serious atrocity of the Vietnam era, must require cognitive dissonance of mind-boggling proportions.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The sixties happened. Their consequences involve more than just the iconic sensationalisms of the day that you're fixated on (drugs, sex, music). Get over it.

Steve Jobs? Paging Steve Jobs. You've been recalled back to the Eisenhower era. No one needs your stinking creativity, your inspiration, your appreciation for the decade that was more consequential and ultimately positive in its impact than what preceded it.

Rich said...

I remember this bombing as I was 20 when it happened. I remember the bombing at the Manhattan court house and the Greenwich Village townhouse which was blew up because it was a bomb factory. The so called peace movement was mainly about the draft and people not wanting to go to Vietnam. I was lucky my number in 1970 was too high to be drafted with which good because I lost my deferment and became 1A. Would I have gone - most likely I would have tried to sign up for something besides the army. My beef with the war was if you are going to fight and commit peoples lives then fight it like you wanted to win. That was not happening and yes to me Jane Fonda is still a traitor.

Clioman said...

What a shame. If only they'd met. Somewhere in a small, locked room there's a hairy, 300-lb. creature that answers to the name of Tiny. They let him out once a day, but he's lonely. Mr Armstrong could have been Tiny's roomie. He could have become a means of comfort and solace. Not an especially comfortable place, perhaps, but at least Mr Armstrong could have been...useful.

tom said...

I was a grad student there 40 years ago, living 6 blocks due south of Sterling Hall. It sounded like someone exploded an M80 under my bed. I'm not as willing as others to say the campus activity was mostly anti-draft. If so, grad students should have been the most radicalized after Nixon ended the grad student deferments: that was not my experience. Maybe it was an undergrad vs. grad student thing. I saw National guard troops with fixed bayonets outside my lab building and the smell of tear gas was common on Sat mornings going to class (yes, they had Sat AM classes then). The local police were virulently anti-student. There were extremists on both sides of this issue. What I remember is the campus opinion about radical anti-war activity turned on a dime, coming so soon after Kent State.

Big Mike said...

I'm thinking of joining the right wing

Please don't.

If I might try to answer one of your questions, the difference between the army consisting mostly of conscripts during Viet Nam and today's volunteer army is huge. The former was filled with people who didn't want to be there (including me, at the time) and who had just enough training to serve as cannon fodder. I met a few officers who were good, but none at or above lt. colonel with the exception of a Navy captain (serving in the Pentagon I met and worked for a number of field grade officers).

The soldier of today has higher morale, is, on average, better educated, and vastly better trained. I venture to say that a squad of today's soldiers could take down a couple platoons of my Vietnam-era soldiers and be back at their forward operating base in time for lunch.

They volunteered to be there. They are arguably the best-trained and best-equipped soldiers in the world (and they know it). They know that every possible effort will be made to look after them if they are wounded, and the Pat Tillman case notwithstanding, friendly fire incidents are extremely rare thanks to a combination of better training and GPS tracking.

Counter-insurgency in Viet Nam was not based on sound doctrine and the little effort that was made to win "hearts and minds" was pretty ridiculous by today's standards.

But the military learns. In the 35 or so years since Saigon fell, it has learned a lot. It makes no more sense to complain about poorly trained, unmotivated soldiers following a bad strategy based on flawed doctrine than to complain that Washington's men used muskets or that Civil War doctors didn't sterilize their instruments. The military learns.

That's what makes them more admirable than liberals.

orbicularioculi said...

So much of the 60s anarchistic and anti-war movement was choreographed and funded by the Soviet KGB.

The left wing idiots who have controlled our colleges and universities for the last 30 years or so are the result of their excellent work.

Alger Hiss WAS a COMMUNIST! The 60s student protesters were dupes led along by their noses by Soviet front organizations in the USA.

The Democratic Party is rife with Communist/Leftist sympathizers and incompetent Socialist drones. This did not occur overnight. Did I mention the Marxist ideologue in the White House?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

In the 35 or so years since Saigon fell, it has learned a lot.

Hopefully one of the lessons was the lack of wisdom in drafting 119 men/week to serve as surefire cannon fodder.


The military learns.

That's what makes them more admirable than liberals.


Try telling that to Tillman himself.

It would be tough to question how admirable it is to turn down a $9 million contract in order to serve in an endeavor you believe in that strongly, only to let the military lie about how they failed to prevent your death.

I guess heroism in itself makes for a better cover story than the integrity one would think should be marshaled to meet it.

Some things the military establishment and its coddlers in Washington just haven't learned, Mike.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

BTW, Mike. How much integrity do you think the military demonstrated in its investigation into Tillman's death? How much of their account (or at least, this version of it) do you believe?

Serious question.

Big Mike said...

@Ritmo, serious answer: none at all.

I said I respect the military more than I respect liberals. That isn't a particularly high bar.

caplight said...

If a fairly small terrorist event of forty years ago still evokes such vivid memory and emotion what does that say about the need to move the mosque? I think we know.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Well Mike, it's good to know that you have enough contempt for tens of millions of Americans that you can accuse them of being worse than an institution that would cover up doctors' reports and credible accusations of fragging just so that they can have a real hero to brag about. A real hero who reads Noam Chomsky, no less.

Are mirror neurons involved in basic ethical reasoning?

It must be pretty twisted to find reassurance in such a simple-minded morality.

JAL said...

Thank you Mike.

Big Mike said...

@Ritmo, yup. Despite the Tillman case, all of the military officers (and NCOs for that matter) with whom I have come in contact display a high degree of personal integrity. I don't think there's a liberal who knows that the word "integrity" means. The few who do, seem to hold it in contempt.

Including you.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Those mirror neurons sure are an impediment to saying something less mature and cogent, aren't they?

I'm not surprised that the lack of proper investigation into a potential atrocity as disgusting as the Tillman case doesn't bother you. Of course, the structure of the military allows people to get away with things that the "poster children" for integrity wouldn't.

That's your plausible deniability speaking, Mike. Any wonder that such a term gained as much currency as it did in America's military circles?

You go on and keep confusing the integrity of a person with the integrity of an institution. You also go on and keep confusing an interest in truth and recognition that knowledge is incomplete with a lack of integrity.

If you keep playing God long enough, you might even let yourself get away with the kinds of things that your proud associates did to Pat Tillman.

Whatever it takes to keep yourself from dis-integrating.

Big Mike said...

I'm not surprised that the lack of proper investigation into a potential atrocity as disgusting as the Tillman case doesn't bother you.

Of course it bothers me. Wasn't that made clear in my 7:42 post? What's wrong with your brain?

I never said that the US Army was perfect. I said that it learns from its mistakes.

Would that you had the personal integrity to do the same.

Beth said...

What's confusing, rocketeer? Having personal concerns is not selfish. He didn't oppose his sons serving - he opposed them serving in that conflict, which he felt was not justified and was being waged badly.

Beth said...

I don't think there's a liberal who knows that the word "integrity" means. The few who do, seem to hold it in contempt.

Wow. I didn't expect that, Mike.

Big Mike said...

Dang you, Beth. I was afraid you'd see that. I wish I could say that you're the only exception, but, fair enough, there are liberals who possess integrity. Misguided as to solutions (sorry, but it is what it is), but nevertheless honest and honorable.

But I think it's fair to say that I don't know very many of them. To me part of integrity is a willingness to stop and look back at the practical results of what you've advocated and what policies you've pursued, and admit you were wrong.

But when I wrote what you quoted I was over the top, unfair to you and others, and wrong. I apologize to you.

But not to Ritmo.

Beth said...

Big Mike,

I wouldn't be fair if I didn't acknowledge that I often feel the same way about the other side of the fence - hey, my red state just put 660 new laws on the books! I'm still trying to figure out exactly what it means to be a Louisiana conservative.

But I know there's more integrity out there in individuals: people, not politicians so much. I'll be apologizing to you at some point, never fear.

Jerry Fuhrman said...

I never considered those who protested on campus to be "anti-draft." Or all that anti-war either. Most would attend a rally, talk bad about "the man," break some windows, and run back to the dorm to smoke some dope and watch "Laugh In."

rocketeer67 said...

Having personal concerns is not selfish.

Acting on them, in contravention of the law, usually is.

Roux said...

Beth like many misguided people in Louisiana think that Bobby Jindal is a conservative. He's not, he's an opportunist with the disease of politics. I supported his candidacy and hoped for the best but it just hasn't happened.

Beth said...

Roux, I think that about most so-called conservative politicians. Bobby loves to cut taxes and he'll save you from having to gay marry an abortionist, so that makes him appealing to his base.

Consider, too, that Jindal didn't pass 660 laws. He just signed them or let them become law w/out a veto. The largely self-identified conservative House and Senate so richly extended the state's interest in our daily lives.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I said that it learns from its mistakes.

In re: Pat Tillman, exactly when can we expect the lesson from that "mistake" to be learned?

Better yet, when can we expect that the military will own up to something that in all likelihood is much worse than a "mistake", but a horrible cover-up at best and perhaps the active malfeasance or heinous crime, at worst, that they covered up?

Would that you had the personal integrity to do the same.

What? Killing someone either negligently, intentionally or through a directed conspiracy and then lying about the event and suppressing evidence into an investigation of what really happened so that I can promote them as a hero?

Mike, the day I ever do something that fucked up, immoral and dishonest is the day you will hear me contritely confessing to something that the military has nowhere near the integrity to confess to when it matters.

Dang you, Beth. I was afraid you'd see that.

There's your integrity for you! More upset about someone actually reading the bullshit you wrote than the fact that you said it.

Morality, integrity and camaraderie form an intense and volatile relationship with one another in Mike's mind.

Dessert Survivor said...

I missed the bombing because I left Madison at the end of the second semester in 1970. I had arrived in the fall of 1968 as a graduate student and endured the insanity of the 1969-70 school year: riots and student strikes related to the war in Vietnam, a teaching-assistant strike, and some black-power related strike. There were enough attempts to shut down the university that they have all blurred together--it seemed that as soon as one cause finished up, something else came up. The national guard was called out more than once, and I recall seeing young guardsmen who looked terrified. During one of the nights of destruction, I recall that some of the undergraduates were very upset about the destruction of cars, but seemed much less concerned about the possibility of serious human injury. The anti-war protesters were not just anti-draft; the hard-core leftists who organized much of the turmoil were against the war because they wanted the North Vietnamese to win. One of the popular chants was, "Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh, the NLF is going to win." (For those to young to remember, Ho Chi Minh was the ruler of North Vietnam and the NLF was the National Liberation Front, the communist front group in South Vietnam. Most of the retrospectives of the era ignore the virulent anti-Americanism of the radical Left--if people were really aware of what the radical left was all about in the 1960s, Obama's association with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn would have killed his presidential candidacy.)

By the spring of 1970, I had had enough of the craziness and dropped out of graduate school to go teach at a small college in West Virginia. After the bombing, the left had innocent blood on its hands and the 1970-71 school year was vastly different. When I returned to finish up graduate course work in 1972, the U of W-Madison was a fairly normal university.

Few people were unaffected by the turmoil. Many students drifted to the left because it seemed to be the thing to do, but others were repelled by what they saw and moved sharply to the right. The right was always in the minority, but they did manage to start a newspaper, the Badger Herald, that challenged the official college paper, the Daily Cardinal, which was controlled by the left.

A note on the draft--Milton Friedman deserves major credit for killing it.

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