Marking the 47th anniversary of the Vietnam War's massacre at My Lai, the inimitable Seymour Hersh - whose chilling reports on the war helped stir public outrage against its atrocities - has visited "the scene of the crime" for the first time. Having thought he knew "most of what there was to learn" about it, he hears more stories "told in bland, appalling detail," grasps anew it was "not an aberration," and affirms its still-crucial lessons - that duplicitous U.S. leaders ensnared us in an immoral war that ended, in part, when the press and the people spoke out against it.
The depravity to which human beings are susceptible.
The photos of “the enemy” are so wrenching.
Only by OWNING this reality, and the rest of its history, and not “obfuscating, withholding information and just plain lying,” can the USA hope to emerge from its accelerating plunge into new depths of depravity.
Too bad that the Vietnam Wall is not a wall of indictment of the U.S. war criminals that used the false flag of the Gulf of Tonkin for their own nefarious and egregious ends. The massacre at My Lai while horrible, was nothing compared to the American war criminals that massacred 55,000 American soldiers and an estimated 2 million Vietnamese for a bald faced lie! The American war criminals that sent Cally to Vietnam in the first place, are the ones that are far more culpable than Cally! And I do not condone the actions of Cally; however, he… was just the sacrificial lamb for the real war criminals.
The Vietnam war was not the only war those in power lied about. From the very beginning of the nations birth war after war was waged and innocents slaughtered all under the lie of “liberty and freedom”. The butchers that slaughtered villagers in Vietnam were not much different then those that slaughtered villagers at Sand Creek. They slaughtered villagers in Korea and In Mexico and In Haiti and In the Philippines.
25 soldiers of the US army that butchered women and children and old men at wounded knee were rewarded with the Congressional medal of honor for their “valor and service to the country”.
All of it because the butchers felt they “justified” and made of “nobler stuff” and “exceptional”.
They were just butchers and murderers nothing more. Even now they try and rewrite the history of Vietnam to turn that butchery into some “noble cause”…Even now the Butchery continues in Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan and Yemen at the hands of the “Finest army in the history of the world”. Contrary to the suggestion that the butchery ended when the people finally spoke up and put an end to to the same the savagery continues to this day against peoples of color the world over.
Even now leadership candidates for the next Presidency speak of the need to butcher people in Iran and Russia and Venezuela and Africa so as to “Preserve the American Way of life”…
Nothing was learned from Vietnam barring the very real fact that those butchers and the ones who gave the orders for that butchery got away with it.
Yes, i was surprised Zimet left it at Lieutenant Calley. Calley played a horrific role on the ground, but there were much more horrific war criminals like Kissinger and Nixon and war secretaries and generals and admirals walking freely on the Earth…
“Nothing was learned from Vietnam…”
They also learned to get ahead of the curve on the social transformations wrought by modernity and technology and mass media. They weren’t going to let “The Sixties” happen again, with mass movements exercising social power and threatening political and economic power.
They “played the long game” but not too long. By 1980 they installed Reagan in the White House, then trotted out a splendid little war in Grenada, and a mass slaughter in Panama, and Desert Storm, and by God they had the Vietnam Syndrome licked and were ready for the Global War on Terror!
We have met the enemy and he is us…Walt Kelly
Yes Calley was a war criminal, no doubt about it, but he was a minor war criminal and like you say; the real war criminals that sent Lieutenant Calley to Vietnam in the first place, are still walking around today exonerated of all blame.
What we learned from Vietnam is that we learned nothing from Vietnam.
the only heroes of My Lai were Hugh Thompson and his crew on a helicopter that flew in and pointed their guns at US troops and ordered them to stop. He was awarded a Presidential Metal years later for his action …for doing the right thing and was called a traitor by some miltary types. go figure!
I see that Robert McNamara was the consummate arrogant jerk even on his deathbed. Yup Bob. It was always about you. God abandoned you.
As Nick Turse put so well when looking into American atrocities;
He went looking for a needle in a haystack and found a haystack of needles.