<blockquote>When President Nixon spoke of "defeat," therefore, he meant the defe

at of military forces that were the only ones not ruled out by the fear of human
extinction. It was solely by standing firm in these little crises - these test
crises - that a "real crisis," which was to say a nuclear crisis, could be avoid
ed. If President Nixon, theoretically the most powerful man in the most powerful
nation in the world, was haunted by images of impotence - not only in foreign a
ffairs but in domestic affairs, including matters as remote from foreign policy
as crime legislation and the nomination of Supreme Court Justices - and if he ha
d now come to conceive of virtually all his struggles at home and abroad as mere
facets of a deeper crisis of Presidential authority, it may well have been beca
use by far the largtest component of his power (nuclear arms was more a restrain
ing, paralyzing influence than a source of strength. In his thinking, a momentou
s struggle was under way, and it was not only betwen the United States and Commu
nism but between the President and those at home who would wrest from his hands
the nation's chosen weapons for its defense in the nuclear age, and would thereb
y "defeat or humiliate" the United States even before the "real" struggle overse
as began in earnest. And so it had become necessaery, according to his way of th
inking, to do what he had in fact been doing almost from the moment he arrived i
n office: make war against Americans.</blockquote>
<blockquote>The day after the Cambodian speech, the President gave the country a
nother glimpse of the full extent of his rage. He was speaking at a gathering of
civilian employees in the Pentagon, and cut loose extemporaneously, it appeared
- on the subject of campus rebellion. The White House later released a transcri
pt of his remarks. "You see these bums, you know, blowing up the campuses," the
President said, and he rushed on, "Listen, the boys that are on the college camp
uses today are the luckiest people in the world, going to the greatest universit
ies, and here they are burning up the books, storming around about this issue. Y
ou name it. Get rid of the war, there will be another one. Then out there we hav
e kids who are just doing their duty. They stand tall and are proud."
Two days after this, one public official who thoroughly agreed with the Presiden
t - Governor James Rhodes, of Ohio - travelled to the town of Kent in is state,
where there had recently been student disorders at Kent State University, and, s
peaking of disruptons on campus, he announced, "We are not going to treat the sy
mptoms. We are going to eradicate the problem." He said that "a group" numbering
"three or four" was responsible for "the most vicious form of campus-oriented v
iolence" in Ohio. Pounding a table, he said, "They're worse than the Brown Shirt
s and the Communist element and also the night riders and the vigilantes. They'r
e the worst type of people that we harbor in America." He seemed to have picked
up some language that Vice-President Agnew had used on the eve of the Cambodian
action. The Vice-President, in his most intemperate attack on the anti-war movem
ent so far, had invited the public to look upon the demonstrators as Nazi Storm
Troopers or as members of the Ku Klux Klan, and to "act accordingly." On May 4th
, the day after Governor Rhodes spoke, National Guardsmen shot fifteen students
on the Kent State campus during a demonstration, killing four.</blockquote>

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