By Joshua Melville
The Trump era seems to be echoing the late 1960’s. Even this month, as the news of murdered journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, fades into the sunset of the 24-hour news cycle, there is a reverberance of 1969 Vietnam. Little remembered by today’s news buffs are that murdered or “disappeared” journalists were an almost monthly occurrence between 1965 and 1972, at the height of the Vietnam Conflict. Nixon’s war with the Baby Boomers was not unlike Trump’s with Millennials. In both times zones, the youth of Amerikka rose up in violence against the administration for its callousness towards a smaller, third-world country, invaded by US imperialism, in our futile attempt to curb the spreading of a competing ideology. Communism.
Journalists from Newsweek, Time, Rutgers and from dozens of countries disappeared into the dense Vietcong jungle often when they reported on how belligerently US and French forces were torching the home of millions of Southeast Asians.
Today we see an analog at our southern border, with the Army threatening to disperse “invaders” seeking humble asylum as they storm through Mexico towards our safe haven.
How long will it be before journalists are disappearing on US soil? How long before our own backyard starts to resemble the outliers of Chili, as depicted in the unnerving 1982 Costa Gravas masterpiece, Missing. In that film, real-life journalist and activist, Charles Horman was assassinated by Cillian forces because she was set to publish evidence that the CIA was facilitating the Chilean coup d’état in September 1973.
We value the 1st Amendment above all others in the US. Until it reveals an inconvenient truth for covert operations. Khashoggi is the sacrificial lamb for Tump’s diplomacy. But beware, there will be others.
Don’t forget history. Here’s a list of the journalists who gave their lives, to tell the truth about Vietnam.