Vietnam Vets Return to My Lai, Where US Slaughtered 500 Civilians

Content Warning: This video contains graphic footage of the Vietnam War.

As a group of Vietnam War veterans and peace activists travel back to Vietnam to mark the 50th anniversary of the My Lai massacre, Amy Goodman and Juan González speak with three members of the delegation: Vietnam veteran Paul Cox, who later co-founded the Veterans for Peace chapter in San Francisco; Susan Schnall, former Navy nurse who was court-martialed for opposing the Vietnam War; and longtime activist Ron Carver, who has organized an exhibit honoring the GI antiwar movement at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City.

TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. I’m Amy Goodman. Today marks the 50th anniversary of the My Lai massacre, when US forces slaughtered more than 500 Vietnamese women, children and old men. A group of Vietnam War veterans and peace activists have traveled back to Vietnam to mark today’s anniversary. Democracy Now!’s Juan González and I recently spoke to three members of the delegation that are in Vietnam today: Vietnam veteran Paul Cox, who later co-founded the Veterans for Peace chapter in San Francisco; Susan Schnall, former Navy nurse who was court-martialed for opposing the Vietnam War; and longtime activist Ron Carver, who has organized an exhibit honoring the GI antiwar movement at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City. I began by asking Ron Carver about what happened 50 years ago today in My Lai.

RON CARVER: Well, 504 civilians, noncombatants, were mowed down by soldiers. As you said, it was horrific, but it was not an isolated incident. It was part of the culture of the war that had been created and fostered and was largely a product of the Pentagon’s insistence on high body counts in order to justify their continued war effort and their continuing, escalating insistence that the US Congress give them ever more money and ever more troops. This is what led to these kind of massacres. The significance to me, however, is of people…

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