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View Diary: Call Out the National Guard: May 1-3, 1970, at Kent State (45 comments)

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  •  I'm Not Sure--Rhodes Had All the Motivation (1+ / 0-)
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    he needed, and remember that May 4th was 6 full days after the big Ohio State riots. He had lots of motivation to use force with the primary so close, he'd already mobilized the Guard on Thursday at Ohio State, 2 days before deploying guardsmen to Kent, and the KSU guard having been coping with some physical threats from teamsters would have been easily spooked. That's what had my father freaked out when he phoned me about the KSU situation on Saturday or Sunday. He basically stated that a disaster was going to happen.

    Everything cross checks for the classic multi-failure "shipwreck" of the May 4 calamity with only state and local involvement. That in itself doesn't rule out Nixon of course.

    It's also odd and curious that the KSU guard contingent I've seen in footage was so small, after the large presence we experienced at Ohio State days earlier. It seems to have been very easy for the guard to get themselves surrounded or restricted in movement early in the encounter.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 04:56:59 PM PDT

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    •  easily surrounded (1+ / 0-)
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      In fact, it's even worse than that. Their commanders actually marched them into a situation where they were surrounded by students on Monday. But I'm getting ahead of the story....

      I agree that Rhodes had enough motivation on his own and he was certainly there to exploit the situation. Nevertheless, I think there was also great interest in the White House about this and they joined up with Rhodes because he was of the same frame of mind.

      Your father was very prescient. And, btw, it was one of the companies of guardsmen who had been in the Teamsters strike who were then woken up in the middle of the night on Sunday/Monday and told to straighten their tents. When I first learned of that, I couldn't believe it. Clearly, there were people trying to keep them on edge. Some guardsmen are extraordinarily culpable and others were also victims.

      We need not stride resolutely towards catastrophe, merely because those are the marching orders. -- Noam Chomsky

      by kainah on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 05:03:33 PM PDT

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