The battle for civil rights and civil liberties was at a turning point. American soldiers were fighting an unpopular war of aggression against people of color in a far away land. The nation’s Texas-bred president was under great pressure from citizens to end the war and from business leaders to keep the war on track. Government agencies were cracking down on dissent by spying on anti-war protestors and other American citizens.
But Huey P. Newton isn’t around anymore, and any sense of deja vu that you have is misplaced. Comparing Iraq to Vietnam is like equating a quagmire in the middle of the desert to a swamp in the heart of the jungle.This is the message of police advocates like Darrell Ross and David Klinger, who claim that despite the recent rash of violent police incidents that have been reported in the media (and showing up on YouTube), police brutality and the use of excessive force are much better than they used to be.