- “There’s something happening here.
What it is ain’t exactly clear.
There’s a man with a gun over there,
a-tellin’ me I got to beware.”
–Buffalo Springfield, 1966
There was an old pro-police, law-’n’-order slogan in the ’60s that
went something like this: “Next time you’re in trouble, don’t call a
cop, call a hippie.”
The idea was to illustrate how absurd the growing anti-cop sentiment
of that era was. After all, who would ever think of calling a hippie
when they were in trouble?
Well, folks. We’re in trouble. And I’m calling all hippies.
That’s right. I’m looking for a few good hippies. I’m looking and
looking, but I’m not finding any.
Where are those hippies when we finally need them?
That’s the trouble with hippies. They’re never around when you need
You see, I was hoping to enlist the efforts of some left-wing
activists, pacifists and career peacenik-types to take on the latest
outrage from the Pentagon.
The mock invasions of Kingsville, Texas, and surrounding communities
by Army Special Operations Command forces are being called
That’s how they were described in the Associated Press report that
finally appeared in The New York Times more than a week after the most
dramatic and controversial air raid.
Anti-terrorism? I’d say the Army has done a pretty good job of
inflicting terror on the populaces of some small southern Texas towns.
Black helicopters … live-fire drills … explosions … fires in the
town square … scared civilians. It sounds like the military is
perpetrating terror in the name of anti-terrorism.
Which raises the question of the lack of organized opposition to
these ongoing exercises. Oh, sure, the townspeople are holding meetings,
even threatening lawsuits. But that’s not the kind of opposition I’m
talking about. I’m wondering where the usual anti-military suspects are?
Where’s Hanoi Jane? Where’s Noam Chomsky? Where’s Tom Hayden? Where’s
Ramsey Clark? Where’s Martin Sheen?
I’m waiting for Woody Harrelson, Alec Baldwin and Jackson Browne to
place their bodies on the line and get between the next target and those
black helicopters piloted by Night Stalkers. I want to see the Berrigans
and the Ellsbergs protect Texas civilians from those Delta Force
Where are the pacifists when you need them?
I have a feeling I know where they are. They are out on their yachts
and golf courses. They are driving around in their limousines. They are
not, however, storming any barricades, or staging any sit-ins, or
carrying any placards.
I wonder why? Could it be that they see this Pentagon and this
politically correct Army as their Army? Could it be that scaring the
knickers off a bunch of rednecks is just OK with them? Could it be that
all you have to do to placate the anti-war crowd is put a draft-dodger
in the White House?
The peace, love and brie crowd doesn’t seem to mind that President
Clinton has engaged American troops in more foreign entanglements than
any of his modern predecessors. They don’t mind that America’s fighting
young people are being placed under foreign command. They don’t mind
that thousands more are about to be shipped off to Kosovo.
Evidently, it’s time to make war, not love. We’ve got a president who
likes to do both — simultaneously. And, thus, the old allegiances, the
old slogans, the old incantations just don’t work anymore.
Nobody’s attempting to derail troop trains. Nobody’s sticking flowers
down the barrels of M-16s. In fact, there’s not so much as a whimper of
protest to be heard over the growing militarization of America — the
arming of more and more federal police agents and the introduction of
more military activity in civilian life.
I don’t get it. What has happened to those values of the ’60s? Civil
liberties? Stopping the war machine? The military-industrial complex?
Have all the concerns and ideals of my generation evaporated with the
election of a dope-smoking, character-challenged Baby Boomer to the
Calling all left-wing radicals! Where art thou? Where have you gone,
Benjamin Spock? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
Calling all hippies. …