by Ghassan Kadi
Love or hate the Hippie era, it was definitely different, and it heralded the beginning of a new type of awakening in the West, and this time the awakening was not against the Western Church(es), but against the establishment.
It is not by accident that this movement climaxed when the Vietnam War reached its zenith, and the more Johnson and later on Nixon intensified the US-led attack on Vietnam, the louder and the more vehement Western youth grew in pronouncing their outrage about the actions of their governments.
The rebels who were seen by the upper crust as bearded, greasy, dope-smoking, LSD-using, promiscuous bunch of young boys and girls of California were not alone. They were joined by a world-wide movement. When Mohamed Ali refused to fight in Vietnam, he became an instant hero and an inspiration for other celebrities of influence. Bolstered by the horror of war and domestic American tragedies such as the assassination of Dr. King, the rise of the Black Rights Movement, and of course pop culture where former Beatle John Lennon played a big role and his song “Imagine” was transformed into a de-facto peace manifesto and the song “Give Peace A Chance” became like an anthem the youth sang in groups of tens of thousands marching the streets of major Western cities demanding peace.
Unable to mobilize its own people, unable to stop the very intense Viet Kong resistance, eventually the US military drive had to capitulate, and the flower power managed to help ground the B-52’s, and Kissinger was forced to go and talk peace terms as a loser.
Such was the might of peace activism. And it was fought at different fronts; including Hollywood. People of my age group cannot forget movies such as “Soldier Blue”; a turning point Western in which the Native Americans were the good guys for a change. And of course, who can forget the movie “Billy Jack”, the Woodstock happening and movie and many, many similar anti-establishment movies and events?
The course of history was changing as it were, and the awakening was enabling Westerners to see the hypocrisy of their governments and their inhumane treatment to native cultures and other cultures globally. The military slumped to its lowest level of respect in the eyes of the people of the West.
If we fast forward to 2003, we can also clearly remember the hundreds of thousands of Westerners who filled the streets of major cities protesting against the “Coalition of The Willing” and its drive to invade Iraq. But Western politicians did not worry much about those protests, because they were not organized like the previous protests of the 1960’s and 70’s. This is because in between the seventies and the first decade of the current century, many changes have taken place that have seen the peace movement vanish.
When the Falklands/Maldivas war broke out, to the dismay of the then UK PM Maggie Thatcher, the BBC was too embarrassed to support the war and reported it with impartiality. It beggars belief that the same BBC has later on engaged in fabricating evidence against the Syrian Government and engaged in beating the drums of the establishment on Ukraine.
A serious change has happened in between; a change in outlook, and a change in perspective.
If my personal recollection is of value and relevance, I recall my outrage seeing the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman” back in 1982. For the first time in more than a decade, a Hollywood movie glorified the military. What is going on? I wondered. Then “First Blood”- turned-Rambo came in, followed by a series of gung ho movies including “Black Hawk Down”, “Broken Arrow”, and the list goes on and on. Any such movies made in the 60’s or 70’s would have been shot down and ridiculed by critics and viewers, but the critics and viewers of the 80’s onwards were not the same as the critics and viewers of a couple of decades ago. Only Oliver Stone kept carrying the torch.
This article is not about offering a critique of Hollywood or Pop Music. It is about the mass Western mentality that seems to be so much under the control of Hollywood, music, and the infamous mainstream media (MSM).
This situation is auspiciously reminiscent of a Hippie era song title by Peter Paul and Mary; “Where have all the flowers gone?”
For seven and a half decades we did not hear a single American President speak of putting an end to the foreign intervention policy until Donald Trump did just a few days ago.
For decades, peace activists and their supporters worked hard, rallied, fought riot police, went to jail, got tortured and killed, and all of this just to end one specific war or to avoid another from erupting. Never before have we heard of a possibility of all American foreign intervention wars, present and future to end.
Whether or not Trump will keep this promise is something to be seen, but what is mind boggling, and I dare say sinister, is that not a single peace activist seems to have made any positive comment.
Where have all the flowers gone?
Not even the Dalai Lama made a whisper of hope in the wake of Trump’s proclamation. Even Greenpeace seems none-the-wiser, probably because Trump is not “green” leaning and mocks global warming.
Does the world prefer an American President who on one hand acknowledges global warming but does nothing about it, and then turns around and fills the planet with the smoke and pollutants of war?
Do the so-called peace activists of today prefer to see mutilated human body parts than to hear a politician saying that he does not believe in climate change?
And what about the Holy Pontiff? Isn’t the Pope of present times meant to be the most ardent advocate for humanity? How does he explain his silence? Does anyone ask why is he silent?
The silence of all of those who allegedly promote peace is dubious to say the least. If there was a shred of truth to their love for peace, they would have an obligation to promote and praise, or at the very least acknowledge whoever pledges to end wars. Their silence speaks volumes and reveals hidden true colours.
Obama received a whole Nobel Peace Prize possibly for just speaking in Cairo and for promising to close down Guantanamo Bay prison. At the end, he reneged on the latter and his trip to Egypt and the talk he gave only invoked the so-called Arab Spring and thereby empowering the Muslim Brotherhood. Will Trump win a Nobel for promising to end all American interventions? If he keeps his word and actually does stop all future American interventions, will he get a Nobel Peace Prize then?
And the European NATO allies who are reminding Trump of his military obligations, have they not had enough wars? Are there more countries left for them to pillage? How many more millions need to die before their thirst is quenched? How many more refugees does the EU want to help create? Are they truly stupid enough not to see that they are reaping the fruits of their own actions?
And now that America seems to have had enough after seventy five years of continuous wars that followed the infamous Pearl Harbor day, who in his right mind wants to keep the torch of war lit?
The flower power that brought down America’s invasion of Vietnam is no more. The flower has lost its petals. Its stem has shriveled, its aroma has long gone, and its spirit is dead.
Today’s so-called peace activists are mostly and unwittingly pawns in the hands of Soros and other magnates. They move them and keep them under control, because in controlling them, they control the masses.
This is where all the flowers have gone.