Checking my local paper in the US, I ran across this small note:

Sentence restored for Sara Jane Olson, former SLA member

Ah yes. The former terrorist turned yuppie housewife. When she was arrested, the politically correct in Minnesota came to her defense, raising money, and trying to stop her extradition. We all saw the spin when she was arrested for the bombing.
Oh, she never did anything wrong…whoops, evidence showed that was a lie. Well, it was a minor thing…

Luckily the governor, Jesse the Body Ventura, came from the “other side” of the sixties, and pointed out that if murder was a minor thing, then he didn’t know what was a big thing.

But a funny thing happened during the delays while trying to get out of the charge of trying to bomb policemen.
A “cold case” was opened.

One of the hijinks of the SLA was when they robbed a bank. And Emily Harris, who had practiced drills about the bank robbery using a gun with a hairpin trigger, “accidentally” shot one of the innocent bystanders. And, instead of trying to assist the lady (who they later dismissed as ““Oh, she’s dead, but it really doesn’t matter. She was a bourgeois pig anyway. ..) the nice, affluent would be revolutionaries let her bleed to death on the floor.

This lady had a name: Myrna Opsahl. And she was a nurse who had worked in a mission clinic in Trinidad. She was in the bank depositing funds from her church. And she died in the hands of her physician husband who was the surgeon on call. A needless death, since if she had received immediate medical care she would have lived.

In some ways the craziness of those days were blamed. It was the war, of course.
Except that it really wasn’t about the war: As one prominent protester in today’s New York Times admitted back in 1969: ” every protest was “unabashedly an attempt to forge an identity in this particular age.”

It wasn’t about the dying Vietnamese, you know. One can count on a single hand (Jone Baez and…??) the number of famous anti war protesters who came to the aid of the 2 million refugees that poured out from VietNam for fear of their lives or from the ethnic cleansing of the Chinese community in Viet Nam. How many Hmong did Jane Fonda or other protesters help? How many mass protests occured to try to stop the killing fields of Cambodia?
Nope. Jane Fonda went on to become an exercize guru. And the others continue to congratulate themselves for their “courage” in opposing an enemy whose atrocities were often overlooked in the MSM during the war and rarely blamed afterward. Two million Cambodians slaughtered? It was Kissenger’s fault, just like when a Saudi suicide bomber kills Iraqi women and children it is Bush’s fault.
You see, it’s not about seeing a suffering ordinary human being. It’s about them. Its about upper class children “forging an identity”. And alas it continues to be about them.
But at least one expects to see a small notice of the victims in the papers when killers are mentioned.

Her name was Myrna Opsahl. She had a name. She had a family who loved her.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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