The Killing of History

In the early 1970s, I went to Quang Ngai province, where in the village of My Lai, between 347 and 500 men, women and infants were murdered by American troops (Burns prefers “killings”). At the time, this was presented as an aberration: an “American tragedy” (Newsweek ). In this one province, it was estimated that 50,000 people had been slaughtered during the era of American “free fire zones”. Mass homicide […]

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A Look at “Kill Anything that Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam”

The ethos of the US’s Vietnam attack plan was “embodied most fully” in Secretary of Defense (1961-68) Robert McNamara. The plan, which was carried out with “corporate”, “businesslike”, “scientific”, “assembly line … efficiency”, was fairly simple: to kill so many people that the independence/communist movement would “give up the fight” […]

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Hiroshima, Vietnam, Cuba: A Hegemonic Power Never Says Sorry…

Just before his trip to Japan, Obama also visited Vietnam a country that the US had attacked brutally in the sixties and seventies allegedly in order to stop the advance of communism. What the US fought against was essentially a nationalist movement which had defeated its French coloniser and was in no mood to yield to another imperial power […]

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What We Still haven’t Learned from the Vietnam War

Fifty years ago today, in 1967, nearly 100,000 Americans marched on Washington, DC, to protest the Vietnam War. In those days there was a mandatory draft in place, and the risk was very real that a young man just out of high school could quickly wind up 13,000 miles away, fighting an unseen enemy in jungles that didn’t need tanks or B-52 bombers to inflict fear […]

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American Rape of Vietnamese Women was Considered “Standard Operating Procedure”

Rape of Vietnamese women by US troops “took place on such a large scale that many veterans considered it standard operating procedure.” It was “systematic and collective”; an “unofficial military policy”. One soldier termed it a “mass military policy.” Indeed, rape followed by murder of Vietnamese women was “so common that American soldiers had a special term for the soldiers who committed the acts in conjunction: a double veteran” […]

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