Singer/Songwriter Neil Young wrote the song ‘ Four Dead in Ohio’ for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young:

Four Dead In Ohio Lyrics

Tin soldiers and Nixon’s comin’.
We’re finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drummin’.
Four dead in Ohio.

Gotta get down to it.
Soldiers are gunning us down.
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her and
Found her dead on the ground?
How can you run when you know?

Gotta get down to it.
Soldiers are cutting us down.
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her and
Found her dead on the ground?
How can you run when you know?

Tin soldiers and Nixon’s comin’.
We’re finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drummin’.
Four dead in Ohio.
Four dead in Ohio.
Four dead in Ohio.
Four dead in Ohio.

It was a beautiful Spring day in May of 1970 when four Kent State University students, protesting the illegal bombing of Cambodia and the entire Vietnam ( so called ) War, were gunned down by Ohio National Guard troops, many the same age as them. The event made national headlines and ignited a mass of students from literally hundreds of universities to go on strike. This writer was in my third or fourth year at Brooklyn College, who remembers, and I finally became outraged. Up until then, at my own admission, I only cared about playing on our soon to be first year football team, and of course, chasing woman. Oh yeah, and enjoying the pot that my friends and I smoked each and every Friday and Saturday night. I was just 20 years of age and really ‘ feeling my oats’. Yet, when the news made the daily headlines about those four kids, well, just like ME, I swayed over to the campus looking for action. A large group of us literally chased the military recruiters from our campus. No violence. Those guys probably knew deep down that the shit was gonna eventually hit the fan over this ongoing Amerikan tragedy.

The stench from the dual killings of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy still filled many of our young minds two years after the fact… Or should I say facts? Two well respected leaders gunned down and by now, 1970, the conspiracy theories were holding lots of water. I had already known about The Beast, ever since, believe it or not, I read the 1967 Playboy magazine interview with New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison about the JFK assassination. It opened my eyes to what probably happened, as compared to what my government was telling us. The more I read of that fateful day in November of ’63 the more I knew, intuitively, that The Beast was real. So, we closed down the campus, took over the school president’s office, and waited for the cops to come. That event never occurred ( to my satisfaction) and we ended the strike after a few days. There were some concessions made, nothing of major importance, but enough to make us say that ‘ We Won!’. Those four kids at Kent State didn’t bask in our glory, did they? They say, from historians looking back , that President Nixon was affected enough to start realizing that he had to get out of this mess called Vietnam. Of course, when it comes to The Beast and how it operates, it only reacts when it already has the table turned. So, Nixon waited it out until he won re-election 30 months later to then slowly use the ‘ Get out of jail free ‘ card beginning the process… of course his impeachment/resignation left it to another. Point is, the Kent State killings, coupled with the illegal bombing of another sovereign nation, slowly woke up our Moms and Dads to the truth of it all: This ( so called ) war was not worth it! I can recall, at an Easter dinner a few weeks earlier, with all my aunts and uncles present, the famous words of my father, who voted for Nixon in 1960, Goldwater in ‘ 64 and Nixon again in ’68: ” Let me make this clear. Before I see either of my two sons being sent to Vietnam, I ‘m gonna personally drive them to Canada!! And that’s that!”

Perhaps it was when a guy a few blocks away from me, Tommy L., joined the Marines and came home in a box. I didn’t know him well at all, but I knew his mom. She was our crossing guard on Ocean Ave, which was right by our church, St. Edmunds. Each Sunday after Mass we would see Mrs. L. as we crossed Ocean Ave. She always had this beautiful smile and greeted everyone with it. After her son died in the Nam, you could see how she now had what I always called ‘ The Mona Lisa smile’ from that famous DaVinci portrait. It had that look, to me, of someone who was saying ‘ If you only know what I am going through’. Then, a year later, another guy from our neighborhood, a Polish born son of my friend’s building superintendent, Vito P., was killed on some famous ( for whom?) hill in Vietnam. The last time I saw Vito was , coincidentally,at Mass in St. Edmunds. He was home on leave from the Army, standing there in his Ranger uniform, replete with beret tucked onto his shoulder. Months later we got the word. I used to see his kid brother, who I knew adored Vito, at the school yard where we played softball. He would be hanging out with characters that I would always warn him against. He ignored me, and got into glue sniffing, Quaaludes and finally horse ( heroin). Sometime later, maybe a few years after Vito’s death, his brother OD’d and died. What is it they say ‘ When the war comes home’? Well in May of 1970 it had… and transformed me into the activist anti empire and anti war writer and street corner protestor I have been since then.

And what about ‘ Feeding the beast’? Well:

1933 Germany: Reichstag fire and Enabling Laws to snuff out political parties and dissent

1964 Amerika: Gulf of Tonkin resolution based upon imaginary attack by North Vietnam on our ship

1991: Saddam Hussein encouraged by US non commitment to Kuwait to invade Kuwait over oil drilling dispute. War on Iraq followed

2001, September 11th- Twin Towers and Pentagon attacked in highly suspicious manner, leading to the Patriot Act, increased military spending and 2nd war on Iraq to follow

March 19th , 2003 – Illegal and immoral war on Iraq over WMDs to this day never found. More increases in military spending along with occupations of Iraq & Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and NATO servicemen dead or damaged for life.

2008-09 – Subprime scam costs taxpayers trillions of dollars to bail out failed Wall Street companies.

Meanwhile, health care system is still a joke as is the needs of infrastructure throughout Amerika.

2011 Libya- USA led NATO carpet bombing of Libya, causing death , destruction and refugee crisis that has still caused havoc throughout the region and Europe.

2020 Pandemic- Trump crew ignored the crisis for almost 2 months, even denying it as a HOAX. Our economy is teetering on default as the super rich get most of the bailout. Oh, but the increased military spending survives, eating up around HALF of our federal tax revenues.

Philip A Farruggio is a contributing editor for The Greanville Post. He is also frequently posted on Global Research, Nation of Change, Cross Currents and Off Guardian sites. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen and a graduate of Brooklyn College, class of 1974. Since the 2000 election debacle Philip has written over 400 columns on the Military Industrial Empire and other facets of life in an upside down America. He is also host of the ‘ It’s the Empire… Stupid ‘ radio show, co produced by Chuck Gregory. Philip can be reached at paf1222@bellsouth.net.


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