Haunting Lesson from Vietnam

The Vietnam 'war' was horrible. There are horror stories about life in the jungle and the killing of innocent civilians in acts so brutal that it causes, for me, emotional shock. Some stories have already surfaced about horrible stories from Iraq like Haditha, and the siege of Falluja. I wonder what, and how many, horror stories will continue surface, in time, about the current 'war' (of occupation) in Iraq. Here's an excerpt from a Robert Parry article about one horrible incident from the Vietnam War. The article is entitled The Truth About Colin Powell:
...
My Lai

On March 16, 1968, a bloodied unit of the Americal Division stormed into a hamlet known as My Lai 4.

With military helicopters circling overhead, revenge-seeking American soldiers rousted Vietnamese civilians – mostly old men, women and children – from their thatched huts and herded them into the village’s irrigation ditches.

As the round-up continued, some Americans raped the girls. Then, under orders from junior officers on the ground, soldiers began emptying their M-16s into the terrified peasants.

Some parents used their bodies futilely to shield their children from the bullets. Soldiers stepped among the corpses to finish off the wounded.

The slaughter raged for four hours. A total of 347 Vietnamese, including babies, died in the carnage.
...

1 comment:

  1. I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

    Politicians make no difference.

    We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read how this happens please see:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/03/spyagency200703

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/11/halliburton200711

    Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

    There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

    The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

    So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

    This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

    The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

    For more details see:

    http://rosecoveredglasses.blogspot.com/2007/02/warped-priorities.html

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/16076312/the_great_iraq_swindle/print

    ReplyDelete

 
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