Some years ago, a newspaper article credited a European visitor with the wry observation that Americans are charming because they have such short memories. When it comes to the nation’s wars, however, he was not entirely on target. Americans embrace military histories of the heroic “band of [American] brothers” sort, especially involving World War II. They possess a seemingly boundless appetite for retellings of the Civil War, far and away the country’s most devastating conflict where American war deaths are concerned.
In case we forget what the military side of exceptionalism entails… the good professor tallies up the vast numbers of dead we left behind us. Truly vast. Poor tiny Laos… all that can be said is ‘What did they do?’ They didn’t do anything that I remember.
Today is May 4th. Never forget the “Four Dead in O-hi-o”, who were murdered by the state, most innocent bystanders, during a protest of one of our needless wars. RIP:
Allison Krause Jeffery Miller Sandra Lee Scheuer William Schroeder
Yes, poor Laos! Having lived in Vietnam and traveled in Laos I started to wonder: The US bombed the whole country, making it the most bombed country per capita in history. They flew 580,000 bombing missions equal to a planeload of bombs every 8 minutes, 24-hours a day, for 9 years. Oregon, where I live, has the same land area as Laos, and it would be hell if a planeload of bombs came down every eight minutes day and night. My question was why did they not only bomb along the border with Vietnam where the Viet Cong were sneaking through? The answer (though not confirmed) is that in periods when bombs could not be dropped on North Vietnam due to cease fires and the like, the US military simply dumped the surplus bombs on Laos, so that the bomb manufacturers could keep up production! All in all, the USAF dropped 2.1 million tons of bombs on Laos over the nine year period, so somebody back home got to manufacture an equal quantity of bombs…
One could ask a second question: How do you fight a few Viet Cong sneaking through the jungle by dropping planeloads of bombs from 30,000’? It seems like an absurd way to approach the problem, perhaps it is time for me to read Catch-22 again!
Nothing to argue with in this sad litany. Should be required reading in schools and in Congress. Hats off to Prof. Dower.
Nazis weren’t a different species … and they rule in the USA.
Bring back the draft and bring the war home.
Also, don’t adopt the money-power’s official wordings and go with the original meanings: War Department not the Defense Department, Profits not Earnings, Inheritance Tax not Death Tax, Gambling not Investing, Killing not Neutralizing, The Crusades not War on Terror and so on…
Eva Bartlett on the current U.S. terror campaign in Syria.
This is a very good examination of who we really are as a nation; that what we say, and what most think and believe, does not stand up in the face of what we actually do, and have done.
And every bomb that fell took with it a little piece of our national soul, the loss of which diminishes us to this day, and probably forever, as we are starting to turn on one another.
These were American Citizens, murdered by the US Govt, and were the only ones to pay a price, as the Govt got off scot free, with its treasonous crime.
Yes, nature boy, and I would add, give a good share of the Trillion Dollars “defense budget” to a equally large, modern day Peace Corps, and a huge share of the rest going towards making American lives livable, again.
Thank You for recalling that for us.