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Trump demanded Kim surrender nuclear weapons during failed summit in Vietnam: Report

US President Donald Trump reportedly gave North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a list of demands that included a call for handing over nuclear weapons...

A Pox on the Houses of Trump and McCain, Huxleyan Media, and the Myth...

Photograph Source DVIDSHUB • CC BY 2.0 You’re going to have to shut up or I’ll call the police…Get out of here you low-life scum.” — John...
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Video: Vietnam: My orange pain (RT Documentary)

50 years after the US military intervention in the Vietnam War, the weapons it used continue to harm the local population. Unexploded mines still...
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Video: Bye, bye, Kim! Pyongyang leader leaves Vietnam after talks with Trump

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un departs the border of Vietnam & China by train, ending a five-day trip that saw talks with US President...
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Video: Historic peace opportunity? What to expect from 2nd Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam

READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9p3z US President Donald Trump kicks off his second historic summit with Kim Jong-un RT LIVE ... Via Youtube
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Video: Trump & Kim shake hands as 2nd summit kicks off in Vietnam

Trump & Kim shake hands as 2nd summit kicks off in Vietnam RT LIVE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFAcqaNzNSc Check out http://rt.com Subscribe to RT! Via Youtube

Trump-Kim summit starts with dinner in Vietnam amid Cohen testimony

US President Donald Trump has started his summit with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi. Read more
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Video: Vietnam deports Kim Jong-un impersonator ahead of US-North Korea summit

A Kim Jong-un lookalike who recently wandered around Hanoi with a Trump impersonator says Vietnam has demanded that he stop performing stunts that may...
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Video: N. Korea’s Kim arrives in Vietnam ahead of summit with Trump

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has arrived to Vietnam on a train from China on Tuesday for the second summit with US President...
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Video: Kim seen smoking cigarette at China train station hours before arriving in Vietnam

COURTESY: TBS-JNN READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9p3p North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been filmed taking a pre-dawn smoke break at a train station ... Via Youtube
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Video: Kim Jong-un leaves hotel in Vietnam for North Korean embassy

READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9p3c RT LIVE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFAcqaNzNSc Check out http://rt.com Subscribe to RT! Via Youtube

A New Vietnam? – LewRockwell

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Video: If US intervenes, it will have another Vietnam war – Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called on the people in the US to deter the Trump administration from putting boots on the ground in Venezuela,...
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Video: Documentary on Impact of Vietnam War Recalls Responsibility to Stand Up & Say...

https://democracynow.org - “The War at Home,” a landmark documentary about antiwar protests in the 1960s and '70s in Madison, Wisconsin, has just been ... Via...

US Opened Doors After Vietnam War and Can Do So Again – Consortiumnews

People from Central America, as well as those displaced by wars in the Middle East, should get the kind of...

US general made preparations to nuke Vietnam behind president’s back, declassified memo shows —...

The commander of US forces in Vietnam had devised a secret plan to use nuclear warheads...
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Video: ‘Too lenient sentences’: Two US nationals jailed for attempted coup in Vietnam

Two US nationals in Vietnam have been sentenced to 14 years in prison - for attempting a coup. They were among 12 people sentenced...
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Video: ‘Yemen is this generation’s Vietnam’ – analyst as US bomb pieces found at...

Thousands gathered in Yemen on Monday to mourn and bury dozens of children killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike that hit a school bus....

PBS Series, The Vietnam War, Receives Emmy Nomination. Should It?

Silence. That’s the overriding theme of this episode. Silence, as in Martin Luther King’s admonition that “our lives begin to end the day we...

Mass Protests Sweep Vietnam for the First Time in Decades

“An Arab spring has started to emerge in Vietnam,” said Pham Chi Dung, a former member of the ruling Communist Party, following the largest and most...
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Video: Sy Hersh: Henry Kissinger Must “Count Burned and Maimed Cambodian & Vietnamese Babies”...

https://democracynow.org - While Sy Hersh was working at The New York Times Washington bureau, he would watch reporters call then-Secretary of State ... Via Youtube
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Video: Remembering the My Lai Massacre: Seymour Hersh on Uncovering the Horrors of Mass...

https://democracynow.org - In 1970, Seymour Hersh won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on how the U.S. slaughtered more than 500 Vietnamese women, ... Via...

Does the Burns/Novick Vietnam Documentary Deserve an Emmy?

Emmy nominations are ongoing. Veterans For Peace recently announced it will place this full-page ad in Variety urging an Emmy not be awarded to...
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Video: Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg: Civil Disobedience Against Vietnam War Led Me to Leak Pentagon...

https://democracynow.org - Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg was a high-level defense analyst in 1971 when he leaked a top-secret report on U.S. involvement in ... Via Youtube

Civil Disobedience Against Vietnam War Led Me to Leak Pentagon Papers

Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg was a high-level defense analyst in 1971 when he leaked a top-secret report on US involvement in Vietnam to The New...
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Video: 50 Years Ago Today: Catonsville 9 Burned Draft Papers with Homemade Napalm to...

https://democracynow.org - Fifty years ago today, on May 17, 1968, in the Baltimore suburb of Catonsville, Maryland, a group of Catholic priests and activists...
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Video: Viet Thanh Nguyen & Ariel Dorfman on the Vietnam War, How Hollywood Reframes...

https://democracynow.org - Extended interview with the writers Viet Thanh Nguyen and Ariel Dorfman, who have both contributed essays to the new collection, ... Via Youtube

Welcome to Vietnam, Err, I Mean Syria, Mr. President

As President Trump faces strong opposition from generals, war profiteers, “mainstream media,” and — not least — Israel to pulling U.S. troops out of...

Welcome to Vietnam, Mr. President – Consortiumnews

From the Archives:  As President Trump faces opposition from his generals to pull U.S. troops from Syria, here’s a look...

Welcome to Vietnam, Mr. President

From the Archives: As President Trump faces opposition from his generals to pull U.S. troops from Syria, here’s a look back to a similar...
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Video: My Lai cover-up: How US tried to suppress infamous Vietnam massacre

On March 16, 1968 an US Army unit entered the Vietnamese village of My Lai and massacred hundreds of men, children & women, raping...
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Video: The GI Resistance Continues: Vietnam Vets Return to My Lai, Where U.S. Slaughtered...

https://democracynow.org - As a group of Vietnam War veterans and peace activists travel back to Vietnam to mark the 50th anniversary of the My...

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...
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Video: 50 Years After My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, Revisiting the Slaughter the U.S....

https://democracynow.org - Fifty years ago, on March 16, 1968, U.S. soldiers attacked the Vietnamese village of My Lai. Even though the soldiers met no...

Why Vietnam Still Matters: an American Reckoning

Exclusively for CounterPunch, Matthew Stevenson travels from Haiphong and Hanoi, in what was North Vietnam, to the Central Highlands and Ho Chi Minh City,...

Vietnam’s Lessons and the U.S. Culture of Violence – Consortiumnews

In the wake of another deadly school shooting in Florida, the lessons of past massacres in Vietnam can teach us...

Vietnam’s Lessons and the U.S. Culture of Violence

Photo by manhhai | CC BY 2.0 Back in October 2016 I wrote an analysis entitled “Natural Born Killers? It described and commented on research...

Vietnam Will Win: the Politics of Strategy

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the 1968 Têt Offensive, CounterPunch is serializing Wilfred Burchett’s Vietnam Will Win (Guardian Books, New York, 1968) over...

Vietnam Will Win: Introduction

Wilfred Burchett interviews Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, 1962. Introduction by George Burchett “One man, Wilfred Burchett, alerted Western public opinion to the nature of this war...

the Bloodbath in Vietnam Was Us

For Mark Bowden, author of Hué 1968, the pivotal battle of the War in Vietnam did not follow the script most Americans were used...
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Video: A Lifetime of Activism: Jane Fonda on Gender Violence, Indigenous Rights & Opposing...

https://democracynow.org - We are joined by the political activist, feminist and Academy Award-winning actress Jane Fonda for an in-depth interview at the Sundance Film...
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Video: MLK’s Radical Final Years: Civil Rights Leader Was Isolated After Taking On Capitalism...

https://democracynow.org - Fifty years ago this April, Rev. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. He was just 39 years old. Today we...

Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence | By Martin Luther King, Jr

Speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at Riverside Church in New York City:I come to this magnificent house...

Donald Trump Marks America’s “Heavy Toll of War” From Vietnam

One day while I was in a bunker in Vietnam, a sniper round went over my head. The person who fired that weapon was...
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Video: Vietnam War Echo: US releases videos of secret weapons used in military ops

Over 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War, and the US has released a series of videos of its military operations in...
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Video: Presidential Encounter: Putin and Trump to come face-to-face in Vietnam

According to the Russian president's office, Vladimir Putin will meet his American counterpart, Donald Trump, this Friday in Vietnam. RT's Ilya Petrenko reports. Via Youtube

US releases gruesome footage of Vietnam War air assaults — RT US News

Published time: 10 Nov, 2017 08:20 Edited time: 10 Nov, 2017 08:38 While US President Donald...
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Video: VERIFIED: Residents of Hoi An navigate flooded streets in a boat following Typhoon...

Dozens have been killed and tens of thousands evacuated after Typhoon Damrey struck Vietnam, officials say. The storm hit the country just days before...

McCain blasts draft-dodging Trump for Vietnam ‘bone spur’ excuse — RT US News

Arizona Senator John McCain appears to have taken a swipe at President Donald Trump for avoiding...

The Tragic Failure of Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War”

Photo by FDR Presidential Library & Museum | CC BY 2.0 There is so much to love about this series. The uncompromising scenes of combat,...

The Great Communicator, Vietnam Syndrome and Another Mass Atrocity

Photo by betancourt | CC BY 2.0 Empire equals militarism. In order to maintain an empire, a nation must make either threats of violence or...

Veterans Express Dismay At "Vietnam War" Series

St. Louis, MO. - With the conclusion of the Burns/Novick “The Vietnam War” series, veterans express dismay over the lack of attention paid...

Vietnam Déjà Vu

Armies, Addicts and Spooks: the CIA in Vietnam and Laos

At 7:30 a.m., on March 16, 1968, Task Force Barker descended on the small hamlet of My Lai in the Quang Nai province of...

Ken Burns’ Vietnam War: An Object Lesson in the Failures of the Objective Lens

In Ken Burns’ introduction to The Vietnam War, bombs fly back into airplanes and flames leap off of houses into flamethrowers. If journalism resigns itself...

The ONLY thing you need to know about The Vietnam “War”

“The Vietnam War” began airing on PBS this week. But, besides the fact it was not legally a “war,” THIS —...

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s “Vietnam War”: Some Predictions

This Essay is an Experiment How Ken Burns and Lynn Novick became the semi-official film documentarians of United States history is an interesting question.  Part...

The Vietnam War: A Tragic Mistake?

I’ve watched the first three episodes of the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick series on the Vietnam War, which take us from the French colonial period...

PBS’ ‘Vietnam War’ Tells Some Truths

Exclusive: The PBS 10-part Vietnam War series offers valuable insights into the horrific conflict but still treads lightly on U.S....

Vietnam Full Disclosure

Visit the site today. Read more

Hué Back When: Vietnam’s Pivotal Battle Reconsidered

Photo by Raymond Depardon | CC BY 2.0 For Mark Bowden, author of Hué 1968, the pivotal battle of the War in Vietnam did not...

Getting the Gulf of Tonkin Wrong: Are Ken Burns and Lynn Novick “Telling Stories”...

This past spring I attended an advance screening of excerpts of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s documentary about the US War against Vietnam at...

Veteran Group Reacts To First Episode Of Burns/Novick Vietnam Series

WASHINGTON - Veterans For Peace (VFP)  members in every U.S. time zone and beyond tuned in to watch the first episode of Ken Burns...

Ken Burns and the Vietnam War: Ten Items To Watch For

In two weeks (Sept. 17), a new TV documentary series on the Vietnam War by Ken Burns (famous for past series on the U.S....

Ken Burns & Lynn Novick Do Vietnam: a Tale of Two Critics

Still from “The Vietnam War.” In the run-up to the Burns/Novick documentary on the Vietnam War to air on PBS beginning the 17th of September,...

'Phony Vietnam con artist!': Trump lashes out at senator behind ‘Russian payouts' accusations

Published time: 7 Aug, 2017 17:52 In a series of tweets, US President Donald Trump accused...

Why I Did Not Go to Vietnam

Wars are folly.  Rudimentarily, we know why wars happen.  We know they spring from inhumane impulses and ignorance.  We know the corrupting nature of...

My Vietnam War, 50 Years Later

Each of us carried in his heart a separate war which in many ways was totally different . . . we also shared a...

GIs Who Invaded Vietnam, Iraq, etc. Are Criminal Under International Law and US Army’s...

Memorial Day will someday mean a double mourning, a mourning for the violent deaths suffered by millions of American military and a much more...

The Fat Lady Finally Sings: Bob Kerrey Quietly Resigns from Fulbright University Vietnam...

“One simply cannot engage in barbarous action without becoming a barbarian… one cannot defend human values by calculated and unprovoked violence without doing mortal...
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Video: ’16 years, same tactics’: America’s longest war since Vietnam fails to bring end...

Eight people have been killed and 28 more injured as a reported suicide bomb blast targeting a NATO convoy hit the Afghan capital, Kabul,...

Vietnam Revisited During Trump’s Bonkers Brinkmanship

I returned to Vietnam in April, having not been there since the war, nearly 50 years ago. I’d sailed there as a seaman in...

Vietnam: Thiệu’s Stratocracy, 1968-1975

Ever the idealist, Lê Xuân Nhuận refused to participate in Nguyễn Cao Kỳ’s plot to seize power from his running mate Nguyễn Văn Thiệu....

The Life and Times of a South Vietnamese Special Police Officer

The Vietnamese perspective is rarely found in English language books about the Vietnam War, especially regarding the CIA’s “liaison” relationship with South Vietnamese police...
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Video: Silence is Not an Option: Rev. Barber on Dr. King’s Historic “Beyond Vietnam”...

http://democracynow.org - Tuesday marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's groundbreaking speech against the Vietnam War at New York City's ... Via Youtube

The Unwinnable Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was a historical turning point for the U.S., a moment when political leaders plunged the military into...
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Video: ‘Lose scenario’? Do U.S. invade to take over, or destroy? Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq,...

My father straight off told me, “The VietNam war is about drugs,” and that there were secret societies involved. I didn't understand, and since...
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Video: ‘This is how we got into Vietnam’: US commander says more troops may...

More US troops may be needed in Syria to speed up the campaign against Islamic State, the top commander for the Middle East has...

Multicultural, Progressive, Totalitarian Vietnam

I last saw Vietnam in 2001. Back then, Saigon had no American fast food joints save a Kentucky Fried Chicken. Long-term foreign residents were...

Vietnam is well, but that angers Western Imperialism

Some fifteen years ago, when I lived in Hanoi, I used to come very often to the rooftop bar at the Meritus Hotel for...

Will Vietnam Embrace China After Trump Elected?

Common wisdom says that after Donald Trump got elected in the United States, Vietnam should be in panic. True, there could be some ‘objective’ reasons...

Crossing the Acheron: Back to Vietnam

Photo by manhhai | CC BY 2.0 In classical mythology, the Acheron is one of the rivers of the Underworld. It marks the boundary between...
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Video: Tom Hayden (1939-2016) on Vietnam War: We Must Challenge the Pentagon on the...

http://democracynow.org - Legendary civil rights and antiwar activist Tom Hayden died Sunday in Santa Monica, California, after a lengthy illness. He was 76 ... Via...

The Vietnam War and Our Latest war on Yemen Have One Thing in Common:...

The missile attack on a US ship off the coast of Yemen was a major news event, but the subsequent follow up story, that...

Vietnam and the Things We Must Never Forget

It’s all around us and is destined to remain all around us: the perpetual star-spangled, noisy tribute to lives lost defending the Empire aka...

The Great Game: Is Britain playing both sides in China-Vietnam standoff?

Just a day after the UK pledged to bolster its support for Vietnam, the British...

Britain & Vietnam cozy up on defense amid deepening South China Sea dispute

Britain and Vietnam are building fresh ties after their respective defense ministers quietly met to...

Gangs smuggling Vietnamese kids from Calais to UK for work on cannabis farms –...

Vietnamese children are being hidden in the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp as cover before being smuggled...

Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership President Obama's Vietnam?

President Obama, US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and business leaders discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership at the US Department of Agriculture in Washington,...

Welcome to Vietnam, Mr. President

From the Archive: With still no end in sight for the Afghan War, President Obama can’t say he wasn’t warned....

Afghanistan: President Obama’s Vietnam

Exclusive: President Obama is keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan fighting an unwinnable war for fear of the political consequences if...
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Video: “Just Take Me to Jail”: Remembering Muhammad Ali’s Refusal to Fight in Vietnam

http://democracynow.org - Thousands are expected to gather in Louisville Friday for the funeral of Muhammad Ali, one of the world's most iconic figures of...

When Phoenix Came to Thanh Phong: Bob Kerrey and War Crimes as Policy in...

On May 16, 2016, former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey was named chairman of Fulbright University, a US-backed college with ties to the State Department in...

"Just Take Me to Jail": Remembering Muhammad Ali's Refusal to Fight in Vietnam

Thousands are expected to gather in Louisville Friday for the funeral of Muhammad Ali, one of the world's most iconic figures of...

Obama in Hanoi: Vietnam Arms Embargo To Be Fully Lifted

Obama in Hanoi: Vietnam Arms Embargo To Be Fully Lifted Peter Van Buren, May 24, 2016 What other nation on earth...

Trajectory of US Policy in Vietnam Offers a Roadmap for the Mideast

As President Barack Obama’s visit to Vietnam and the lifting of the arms embargo to that country represents his "pivot to Asia,"...

Obama in Vietnam: Diplomacy Or Deep State Duplicity?

Obama in Vietnam: Diplomacy Or Deep State Duplicity? Daniel McAdams, May 23, 2016 Ron Paul’s Liberty Report: President Obama’s visit to Vietnam...
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Video: In 2006 Interview, Fr. Dan Berrigan Recalls Confronting Defense Secretary McNamara over Vietnam...

http://democracynow.org - We revisit a 2006 Democracy Now! interview with legendary antiwar priest, activist and poet Father Daniel Berrigan, who has died at ... Via...

Vietnam War at 50: Have We Learned Nothing?

Last week Defense Secretary Ashton Carter laid a wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington in commemoration of the "50th anniversary" of that war. The...

US Military tries out Vietnam War planes against ISIS

Half-century old warplanes have been tested on Islamic State targets, as the military determines whether they...

CIA Assassinations in Vietnam

The Phoenix Program in Vietnam in many ways provides a blue print for our own times. Assassinations and torture are the essence of the...

Yemen as Vietnam or Afghanistan

From the Archive: With U.S. weapons, Saudi Arabia is waging a brutal air war on impoverished Yemen, turning a long-simmering civil war into a proxy...

Vietnam accelerates military build-up, plans for war

By John Braddock In its biggest military re-armament program since the end of the Vietnam War, the country’s leadership is accelerating a decade-long drive to modernise...

Yemen: Saudi Arabia’s Vietnam

The war on Yemen has left thousands dead and created hundreds of thousands exiles. Pictured: Yemen capital Sanaa. (Photo: Richard Messenger / Flickr Commons) Cross-posted...

It’s the Vietnam War Show!

Hmmm…so, then, what exactly are “unilateral operations” anyway? I bet we’d all like to know. Evidently, that’s what the U.S. military SOCOM operators will...
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Video: Terror in Little Saigon: New Doc Ties US-Allied Kill Squad to Unsolved Murders...

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubuoLkwQdg0&w=580&h=385] Democracynow.org - During the 1980s, five Vietnamese-American reporters were murdered in the United States. Despite lengthy FBI probes, none of the ... Via Youtube

Waging Endless War From Vietnam to Syria

As October ended, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest announced that the U.S. would be sending “less than 50” boots-on-the-ground Special Operations forces into northern Syria...

Public Law 86-90 – The Vietnam War Shows the Strength of Donbas’ Rights!

George H Eliason (RINF) - Could US Senator John McCain find North Vietnam on a map during or before the period he spent 5 years...

Exposing Nixon’s Vietnam Lies

By James DiEugenio Richard Nixon spent years rebuilding his tattered reputation after he resigned from office in disgrace on Aug. 9, 1974. The rehabilitation project...
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Video: SDS Leader Tom Hayden on Vietnam: We Must Challenge the Pentagon on the...

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMZtpQDjZ10&w=580&h=385] http://democracynow.org - As the nation celebrates Memorial Day, we look back at the Vietnam War. Fifty years ago, on March 7, 1965, 3500...

Some 3,000 Vietnamese children enslaved by gangs in UK: Report

Some 3,000 Vietnamese children are enslaved by criminal gangs in the UK to work in brutal conditions in the European country, a report says. “By...

The Vietnam War: After 40 Years

Today, 40 years after the American war in Vietnam ended in ignominious defeat, the traces of that terrible conflict are disappearing. Traveling through Vietnam during...

Vietnam Remembers ‘Barbarous Crimes’

As crowds gathered in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday to mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung reminded...

40 years after Vietnam, the military industrial complex continues its rampage of war crimes

It was 40 years ago today that the last troops from America's criminal war against the people of Vietnam scurried ignominiously onto a helicopter...

Burying Vietnam, Launching Perpetual War

The 1960s–that extraordinary decade–is celebrating its 50th birthday one year at a time. Happy birthday, 1965! How, though, do you commemorate the Vietnam War,...

‘The War is Not Over’: Many Vietnam Veterans Still Afflicted by PTSD

Research finds that combat stress affects 11 percent of Vietnam veterans Nadia Prupis Four decades after the Vietnam War, roughly 283,000 veterans are still plagued by...

“Iraq” Is Still Arabic for “Vietnam”

Ira Chernus When George W. Bush and the neocons launched their war in Iraq, critics coined the slogan, "'Iraq' is Arabic for 'Vietnam.'" The point...

Daniel Ellsberg: United States Nearly Used Nukes During Vietnam War

Marjorie Cohn We came dangerously close to nuclear war when the United States was fighting in Vietnam, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg told a reunion...

Back to Vietnam

I am one among millions of people around the globe who protested the American war in Viet Nam. I am also one of perhaps...

Another Vietnam? American support for War in Afghanistan hits historic new low

American support for the war in Afghanistan is shrinking to unprecedented levels, even sliding below the lowest points seen for the Iraq and Vietnam...

Vietnam banker sentenced to death for fraud

Al JazeeraNovember 18, 2013 A Vietnamese former banker and his business associate have been sentenced to death for their part in the embezzlement of $25...

JFK Conspiracy Fact #8: Part Two of Discussion on JFK, LBJ and Vietnam

In Part One, I engaged writer Jack Durish in a debate over the causes and effects of Vietnam. In Part Two, another writer, Arthur Frank, challenges my assertions. (Note: I have neither edited nor proofed other writers’ comments; they appear here unvarnished, with typos and faulty grammar.)

Arthur Frank, Novelist:
“Timothy: It is not the dead that should concern you. There were 2 categories, black plastic bags, blown to bits in the theater of operations, and aluminum boxes, died later in field hospitals. One went out in a flash, the other went out over tie in great pain. They knew they were dying, it was only a matter of time.

"The ones that you should cry about are the wounded, dismembered, disoriented , permanently scarred to smaller or larger degrees. I got out of it pretty much unscathed, but not a lot of others. A friend of mine who is still screwed up all these years later used to fly medivac helicopters, He doesn't remember much because he used to fly stoned. I asked him how he flew a chopper , which is all hands and feet, constant motion, when he was stoned. He said it was simple. If he wasn't stoned, he was too scared shitless to fly, when he was stoned, basic instincts operated the chopper, he had little to do with it.

"If you really want to know. ask someone who was on the ground over there. If they like you , they might tell you, all these years later. Or maybe not.
It wasn't Bell, it was Sikorsky who made the Huey.If you had a Bell, oit was on;ly good for reconnaoisance and if you were in one, you wwerre probably dead, They were easily shot down and fell out of the sky like a stone.

"It wasn't Ling Temco Voight, it was Ling Temco Vine, which was basically a holding company . They bought out all kinds of smaller manufacturing firms, many of whom made civlian and military supplies. I used to work for LTV in Labor Relations after I got out of yhere service. They went bely up.It was a long time ago, and now we buy all kinds of stuff from people that we used to shoot at. Look in Home Depot.Go figure.
Everybody gives JFK a pass on Viet Nam. It was Jack who sent all kinds of advisors to the Arvn, shipped them all kinds of militray supplies and started drafting Americans into the Army and Navy . Ity was LBJ wjho escalated it further, and It was RMN who gave it an all time , make it or break it push. It failed and he pulled pout in response to political pressure. I was back home by then.

"I was there for every belessed minute of it.It is a brutal business, and if you can't follow the Marine addage, "kill them all and let God sort it out." then you shouldnt be there at all.”

Fleming:
“Lots of misinformation in your posts, Arthur. If you're civil, we can discuss. Cronkite interviewed JFK on Sept. 2, 1963, the evening of the first half-hour news broadcast in history. When asked about Vietnam, JFK said, "It's their war (meaning the South Vietnamese); they're the ones who have to win it." Shortly afterwards, he issued National Security Action Memo 263, calling for complete withdrawal of all advisors and military assistance by 1965. LBJ reversed this the very week he took office.

"The owner of Ling-Temco-VOUGHT was one David Harold Byrd. He is a prominent character in my book. Byrd was a wealthy Dallas businessman who hated JFK. His oil cronies were H.L. Hunt, Murchison, and Richardson. Byrd just happened to own the Texas School Book Depository building, and he was the founder of the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol. That's right, incredibly enough, Byrd provided the first and last places of employment for Lee Harvey Oswald. This is no coincidence. Byrd, Hunt and Murchison were LBJ's guardian angels and benefactors. As were Brown & Root and Halliburton. When LBJ ramped Vietnam, his cronies got huge defense contracts. (Bell Helicopter of Dallas/Fort Worth made a fortune off the Huey too.) Rewards for services rendered getting him to the White House.

"It is not the dead that should concern you." Really? You're saying it was better to die than live the rest of your life wounded? Okay. You seem to have a great deal of bitterness about the whole thing, and you resent those who did not go there and yet write about it like they were experts. Be that as it may, I knew plenty of people who were on the ground over there; some came back, some not. The ones who came back are grateful to be alive. I wrote about survivors of the Battle for Hill 875 near Dak To in the Central Highlands, November 1967. You should read it, then maybe I'll have some cred with you. "The Barefoot Hero" appears in the anthology Writers On The Wrong Side Of The Road.

"To recap: JFK wanted out of Vietnam entirely by 1965; LBJ: massive escalation by 1965. JFK murdered in LBJ's home state, and in city ruled by LBJ's cronies who made a fortune off the war. If you can't connect the dots, Arthur, well..."

Frank:
“The whole Viet Nam thing is totally fubar. It goes back to the 1800;s with the French colony of French Indo China, which included territories of Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam.

After WW 2 m the Big One, the French had trouble with their colonies, as did everybody else more or less. The US didn't have colonies, so we didn't have the trouble.There were uprisings and the French put troops in there to contain it. They ran a poor campaign and Eisenhower started to send them help. Ike liked the French for some unknown reason. He treateed De Gaulle like the Pope. Eisenhower escalated the troop support. You didn't see much in the papers.The French pulled out altogether, Kennedy escalated the troops to fill the vacuum. Foriegn campaigns benefit officers, especially 1 st Looies and Captains, it is the patthway to Field Grade- Light Col and Bird, maywe even Brigagier Foriegn wars kill grunts, elevate the officers.

In fact , if JFK wanted the troops out , he could have puklled them - He was the President, Even if the Pentagon got pissed at him, it would not have hurt him. He was the Golden Boy. He could do no wrong.The idea that he wanted them out is just bushwah.
Regarding the dead, any soldier will tell you that you kind of distance yourself emotioanlly from others in hot zones.because you feel like crap if your buddy buys the farm. Feeling like crap is a good way to get killed yourself. You are also tickled silly that you are glad it was somebody else amnd not you, which also makes you feel like crap, but not enough to get you killed too.. If anybody tells you different, they are either lying to you or they were a clerk, not a grunt.

The bottom line in Viet Nam is that NOBODY was determined to win it and get ouit. If they were serious, they would have pattern bombed the border for a 10 mile stretch, pulled concertina wire, set up guard posts along the border, identified the enemy, and when they caught them, hung them and let them swing in the breeze as an example to others.. The military doesn't think that way anymore, not since Black Jack Pershing , Douglas Mac Arthur and George Patton...kill the enemy, preserve the peace.Simple.

Basically, that is the way it is, once you scrub out all the politically correct crap. War sucks. You do your best to win it, because if you lose you are screwed. You bury the dead, you do what you can for the injured and you pray that some field grade asshole who is sitting fat and happy far behind the lines doesn't get you back into the crap you just got out of.

Winston Churchill said that ‘Total extasy is having been shot at and missed.’ The man had a point.”

Fleming:
Arthur: "Completely missed my point, or evaded it. The truth of Vietnam is ugly, I grant you. And it may be painful, and it may hard to face. But it is the truth nonetheless. Defense contractors, the CIA, and every other scourge of the 20th century were making barrels of cash. From p. 184 of Barry & The Boys: The CIA, the Mob and America's Secret History: ‘Do you want to know why the Vietnam War lasted so long? Because too many people were making too much money.’ If JFK had lived, America would have been out of Vietnam in his second term. Oh, what's the use...that's the problem with America. Too many people believing whatever they damn well please, regardless of the facts. Bye Arthur, and bye to your peculiar version of history."

“War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to be to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.”
--Major General Smedley Butler, USMC

www.leftlooking.blogspot.com
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/ASIN/098882907X


http://m.stltoday.com/entertainment/books-and-literature/book-blog/penned-in-st-louis-by-jane-henderson-tim-fleming/article_

JFK Conspiracy Fact #9: JFK, LBJ and Vietnam

Recently I got caught up in a history discussion with some other writers on a LinkedIn forum. The topic of “What was America’s worst war” was introduced by Dennis Byrne, Chicago Sun Times columnist and author of Madness: The War of 1812.

The material is lengthy, so I will present it in two parts. Part 2 will appear tomorrow in my post etitled JFK Conspiracy Fact #8. I present the discussion unedited and unproofed (typos and all), because it is an illuminating conversation. Misinformation about the “why” of Kennedy’s death is rampant, even among the supposedly historically literate. I will identify the writers as they appear.

Dennis Byrne:

“I suggest that America's worst war was the War of 1812.

Not Iraq? Not Vietnam?”

Timothy Fleming Author of The President’s Mortician: A Story of How and Why JFK’s Murder was Executed and Covered Up:
“Vietnam...pointless and cruel. War profiteers got rich, of course, but no one else benefitted.”

Jack Durish Author/Historical Fiction, Spy Thrillers, Action/Adventure, Short Stories:
“Every war seems pointless and cruel and war profiteers always get rich, but no one else benefited? How about the other communist inspired insurgencies that failed in Southeast Asia because we attempted to hold the line in Vietnam? Thailand. Indonesia. Et al. And we would have succeeded in Vietnam - indeed we succeeded and then walked away - because we were so poorly led politically.”

Fleming:

“So it is America's right and privilege to determine by what system others will decide their fate? 58,000 dead Americans to accomplish what? Prevent SE Asians from determining their own fate? We lost the war. The North overran Saigon in April 1975. Did you miss that chapter? And you seem to ascribe innocent motivations to USA intentions. Naïve.”

Durish:
“No, Timothy, I do not advocate that the US has any special privileges or rights to determine anything for others. Indeed, it's a fool's errand to attempt it (as seen so clearly in Iraq). Especially when we espouse a system (democracy) that we do not ourselves want (well at least those among us who think).

The fact is that the South Vietnamese had made their choice to avoid communism and made that choice clear. The partition of Vietnam was based on that decision. However, the communists were hell bent on expanding their plans for world domination throughout Southeast Asia (and later everywhere else) and invaded South Vietnam. Yes, there were South Vietnamese who joined their cause, but it was never a popular movement in that country.

Now tell me: Where should we have fought that war?”

Fleming:
“Where? Nowhere. It was never our war. It was theirs. We made it our war for profit. It was Bell Helicopter's war. It was Halliburton's war. It was Brown & Root's war. It was Ling- Temco-Vought's war. It was Dow's war. It was General Dynamics war. It was not fought to beat back the communists; it was fought for profit.”

Durish:
“Timothy: What proof do you have of your assertions? Yes, those companies profited from the war. Profits in and of themselves are not evil. (Well, to communists they were evil) However, those profits were merely an outcome of the conflict unless you can provide specific proof that those organizations actually caused the US entry into the war. Where's the proof?

Harry Truman became famous for investigating and uncovering "war profiteering". These were people who "took illegal advantage" of the opportunity. They paid bribes and gave favors to those who insured that they obtained government contracts at excessive profits. However, even in that case, he never found that the proof that they inspired Hitler to invade Europe or the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor. Likewise, there is no proof that any American organization colluded with Joseph Stalin to strive for world domination or encouraged North Vietnam to invade their southern neighbors.”

Fleming:
“There's not enough room here to provide the evidence. Please read my latest work, "The President's Mortician." http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/ASIN/098882907X
Sorry for the link and shameless plug, but I have neither the time nor the space here to give you a good answer. Have no doubt, though, that I DO have rock-solid evidence that Vietnam was fought to line the pockets of the wealthiest, most powerful defense contractors...the kind of corporations that can make kings, write the laws, control the information, and subvert democracy for their own means.”

Durish:
“Timothy: Out of respect, I will put your book on my TBR pile. Unfortunately, it is a huge and terrifying thing. Although, I must admit that I've read evidence purporting to prove the same case (maybe different from yours, maybe the same) and all ranks up there with other conspiracy theories alongside such venerable examples as the "Grassy Knoll" conspiracy or the fact that George Bush had explosives planted in the WTC Towers and had it detonated in time with holographic projections of airlines crashing into them. Alternatively, I have read credible history regarding the events we've been speaking of.and found perfectly reasonable explanations for our involvement in Vietnam.

Furthermore, I have studied the history of Korea and Cuba (of which I've written novels) and see the same diplomatic bumbling as evidenced in all US attempts to steer foreign relations. My research has led me to wish on occasion that some secret cabal would take over our relations with other nations. They couldn't do worse than the State Department and would be entitled to some reasonable profits for their efforts.”

Fleming:
"Fair enough, Jack. It is a terrifying thing, but I want to know my real history...not the crap we've been fed to assuage or deepest suspicions. As Thoreau said, "More than love, than riches, than fame. give me the truth!"

Nice talking to you...and please send the link for your Cuba novel."

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Nick Turse and the Real Vietnam War

Nick Turse and the Real Vietnam War

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Posted on Feb 15, 2013
Moyers & Company

Nick Turse.

Nick Turse‘s new book, “Kill Anything That Moves,” is a ghastly revelation of previously unreported war crimes committed in Vietnam in the wake of the My Lai Massacre. He tells Bill Moyers how 15 years ago a staffer at the National Archives outside Washington, D.C., pointed him toward the “horror trove” of accounts that led to the book.

“I really stumbled upon this project,” Turse said. “I was a graduate student when I began it. I was working on a project on post-traumatic stress disorder among U.S. Vietnam veterans. And I would go down to the National Archives just outside of D.C. I was looking for hard data to match up with, you know, self-report material, what veterans told us about their service. And on one of these trips, I was down there for about two weeks. And about every research avenue that I had pursued was a dead end. And I finally went to an archivist that I worked with there.

“And I said to him, ‘I can’t go back to my boss empty-handed. I need something, at least a lead.’ And he, you know, said a few words to me that really changed my life. He said, ‘Do you think that witnessing war crimes could cause post-traumatic stress?’ And I said, ‘You know, that’s an excellent hypothesis. What do you have on war crimes?’

“Within an hour, I was going through a collection of boxes, thousands and thousands of pages of documents. To call it, you know, an information treasure trove is the wrong phrase. It was a horror trove. These were reports of massacres, murders, mutilation, torture. And these were investigations that were carried out by the U.S. military during the war. A collection of documents called the Vietnam War Crimes Working Group Collection. And this was a task force that was set up in the Pentagon. And it was designed to track war crimes cases in the wake of the exposure of the My Lai Massacre.”

Read a transcript of their conversation here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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Vietnam and America’s “Wandering Ghosts”

Nick Turse talks to Bill about the ghosts of people and issues not properly put to rest in the years following the Vietnam war. In Vietnam, says Turse, a person who dies outside his or her home dies "a bad death," and it's the responsibility of the de...

The Vietnam War Memorial in Vietnam Would Be 20 to 50 Times Larger Than...

 When I was on active duty in the Air Force, I visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.  I was moved to tears as I encountered the names of more than 58,000 of my fellow Americans etched in stone.  What a waste, I thought, but at least they died for their country, and at least we didn’t forget their sacrifice.

To be honest, I don’t recall thinking about the Vietnamese dead.  The memorial, famously designed by Maya Lin, captures an American tragedy, not a Vietnamese one.  But imagine, for a moment, if we could bridge the empathy gap that separates us from the Vietnamese and our war with them and against them.  How might their suffering compare to ours?

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/Christian Carollo

America first sent ground combat units to Vietnam in March of 1965.  If we count the Linebacker II air offensive against North Vietnam in December of 1972 (the infamous Christmas bombing) as the end of major combat operations, the U.S. military waged war in Vietnam for roughly 93 months.  Now, let’s consider the number of Vietnamese killed, to include soldiers and civilians, regardless of their political allegiance or lack thereof.  No one knows for sure how many Vietnamese died over this period; the “low” estimate is roughly one million Vietnamese, while the “high” estimate is in the vicinity of three million.  Even using the low estimate, that’s more than ten thousand dead per month, for 93 months.

How can we bring meaning to such mind-numbing statistics?  To imagine the impact of this war on the Vietnamese people, Americans have to think not of one tragic wall containing 58,000 names, but of twenty (or perhaps even fifty) tragic walls, adding up to millions of names, a high percentage of them being noncombatants, innocent men, women and children.

Difficult as that is to imagine, we must also recognize that the impact of the American war in Vietnam was not limited to killing.  The U.S. military bombed and blasted and napalmed and defoliated the landscape as well.  So along with twenty or more Maya Lin-type memorials to list all of the Vietnamese war dead, we’d have to imagine scores of “Super Fund” sites in Vietnam, land poisoned by Agent Orange and similar powerful chemicals, tortured terrain that is still occasionally deadly to the Vietnamese who live there.

How did so many Vietnamese come to die?  How did Vietnam itself become a blasted and poisoned landscape?  And how did the United States come largely to forget its complicity in the killing and blasting?  The reasons are not easy to contemplate, but Nick Turse’s harrowing new study, Kill Anything that Moves, forces us to confront what he terms “the real American war in Vietnam.”

In A Rumor of War (1977), a classic memoir of the Vietnam War, U.S. Marine Lieutenant Philip Caputo recounts how the U.S. strategy of “search and destroy” and the obsession with enemy body count led to “orgiastic violence” in which the goal, in his words, was

“to kill Communists and to kill as many of them as possible.  Stack ’em like cordwood.  Victory was a high body-count … war a matter of arithmetic.  The pressure [from the top] on unit commanders to produce enemy corpses was intense, and they in turn communicated it to their troops.  This led to such practices as counting civilians as Viet Cong.  ‘If it’s dead and Vietnamese, it’s VC,’ was a rule of thumb in the bush.  It is not surprising, therefore, that some men acquired a contempt for human life and a predilection for taking it.”

The horrific reality that Caputo wrote of more than 35 years ago is now fully fleshed out in Turse’s new study.  The obsession with body count—starting with General William Westmoreland, the commanding general in Vietnam—led to, in Turse’s words, “the indiscriminate killing of South Vietnamese noncombatants—the endless slaughter that wiped out civilians day after day, month after month, year after year.”  The enormity of the crime was “neither accidental nor unforeseeable,” but rather “the inevitable outcome of deliberate policies, dictated at the highest levels of the military,” Turse concludes.

The evidence he amasses – of “murder, torture, rape, abuse, forced displacement, home burnings, specious arrests, imprisonment without due process”—is irrefutable.  Indeed, much of the evidence he relies upon was gathered secretly by the U.S. military at the time, only to be suppressed, consigned to archives, and forgotten.  It’s hardly surprising that senior U.S. military officials sought to suppress evidence of atrocities on a mass-scale, since they themselves were both complicit and culpable.

A line that has always stayed with me from Caputo’s memoir came from one of his NCOs, a Sergeant Colby, who in 1965 told then-Lieutenant Caputo that, “Before you leave here, sir, you’re going to learn that one of the most brutal things in the world is your average nineteen-year-old American boy.”  Turse’s study plumbs the depths of such brutality, to include a racist subculture (dehumanizing the Vietnamese as “gooks” and “slopes”) within the U.S. military that facilitated it.  Draft an American teenager, teach him to kill, send him to an utterly foreign land in which he can’t distinguish friend from foe, give him power over life and death against a dehumanized enemy, and reward him for generating a high body count in which “If it’s dead and Vietnamese, it’s VC,” and you have an ineluctable recipe for murderous violence.

Contrast the brutal honesty of Sergeant Colby with the patent dishonesty of an American political scene that to this day fosters a very different interpretation of the Vietnam War.  For many Americans, the true victims of the war are not the millions of Vietnamese who died, or the millions who continue to suffer to this day.  No—the true victims are the American veterans who were allegedly spat upon by unwashed anti-war protesters, or a U.S. military that was allegedly betrayed by back-stabbers at the home front, denying the troops the victory they had so justly earned.  In this narrative, even the infamous slaughter at My Lai becomes the exception that proves the rule, the rule being that with few exceptions the American military fought honorably and cleanly.

For these Americans, the war remains a combination of the Rambo myth mixed with the “noble cause” rhetoric of Ronald Reagan—history as Hollywood fairy tale—a concerted rewriting of the historical record and a rewiring of American culture consistent with feel-good militarism and confectionary war.

To confront the truth, we must abandon the confection.  The truth is that, rather than confronting our nation’s inner heart of darkness during and after Vietnam, the military and our government collectively whitewashed the past.

America’s true “Vietnam Syndrome” was not an allergy to using military power after Vietnam but an allergy to facing the destruction our nation caused there.  And that allergy has only exacerbated our national predilection for military adventurism, warrior glorification, and endless war.

It’s time our nation found the courage to face those twenty (or fifty) walls of Vietnamese dead.  It’s time we faced them with the same sorrow and same regret we reserve for our own wall of dead.  Only after we do so can our nation stop glorifying war.  Only after we do so can our nation fully heal.

William J. Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF), now teaches at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. His books and articles focus primarily on military history and include Hindenburg: Icon of German Militarism (Potomac Press, 2005). He may be reached at wastore@pct.edu.

The Vietnam War Memorial in Vietnam Would Be 20 to 50 Times Larger Than...

When I was on active duty in the Air Force, I visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.  I was moved to tears as I encountered the names of more than 58,000 of my fellow Americans etched in stone.  What a waste, I thought, but at least they died for their country, and at least we didn’t forget their sacrifice.

To be honest, I don’t recall thinking about the Vietnamese dead.  The memorial, famously designed by Maya Lin, captures an American tragedy, not a Vietnamese one.  But imagine, for a moment, if we could bridge the empathy gap that separates us from the Vietnamese and our war with them and against them.  How might their suffering compare to ours?

America first sent ground combat units to Vietnam in March of 1965.  If we count the Linebacker II air offensive against North Vietnam in December of 1972 (the infamous Christmas bombing) as the end of major combat operations, the U.S. military waged war in Vietnam for roughly 93 months.  Now, let’s consider the number of Vietnamese killed, to include soldiers and civilians, regardless of their political allegiance or lack thereof.  No one knows for sure how many Vietnamese died over this period; the “low” estimate is roughly one million Vietnamese, while the “high” estimate is in the vicinity of three million.  Even using the low estimate, that’s more than ten thousand dead per month, for 93 months.

How can we bring meaning to such mind-numbing statistics?  To imagine the impact of this war on the Vietnamese people, Americans have to think not of one tragic wall containing 58,000 names, but of twenty (or perhaps even fifty) tragic walls, adding up to millions of names, a high percentage of them being noncombatants, innocent men, women and children.

Difficult as that is to imagine, we must also recognize that the impact of the American war in Vietnam was not limited to killing.  The U.S. military bombed and blasted and napalmed and defoliated the landscape as well.  So along with twenty or more Maya Lin-type memorials to list all of the Vietnamese war dead, we’d have to imagine scores of “Super Fund” sites in Vietnam, land poisoned by Agent Orange and similar powerful chemicals, tortured terrain that is still occasionally deadly to the Vietnamese who live there.

How did so many Vietnamese come to die?  How did Vietnam itself become a blasted and poisoned landscape?  And how did the United States come largely to forget its complicity in the killing and blasting?  The reasons are not easy to contemplate, but Nick Turse’s harrowing new study, Kill Anything that Moves, forces us to confront what he terms “the real American war in Vietnam.”

In A Rumor of War (1977), a classic memoir of the Vietnam War, U.S. Marine Lieutenant Philip Caputo recounts how the U.S. strategy of “search and destroy” and the obsession with enemy body count led to “orgiastic violence” in which the goal, in his words, was

“to kill Communists and to kill as many of them as possible.  Stack ’em like cordwood.  Victory was a high body-count … war a matter of arithmetic.  The pressure [from the top] on unit commanders to produce enemy corpses was intense, and they in turn communicated it to their troops.  This led to such practices as counting civilians as Viet Cong.  ‘If it’s dead and Vietnamese, it’s VC,’ was a rule of thumb in the bush.  It is not surprising, therefore, that some men acquired a contempt for human life and a predilection for taking it.”

The horrific reality that Caputo wrote of more than 35 years ago is now fully fleshed out in Turse’s new study.  The obsession with body count—starting with General William Westmoreland, the commanding general in Vietnam—led to, in Turse’s words, “the indiscriminate killing of South Vietnamese noncombatants—the endless slaughter that wiped out civilians day after day, month after month, year after year.”  The enormity of the crime was “neither accidental nor unforeseeable,” but rather “the inevitable outcome of deliberate policies, dictated at the highest levels of the military,” Turse concludes.

The evidence he amasses – of “murder, torture, rape, abuse, forced displacement, home burnings, specious arrests, imprisonment without due process”—is irrefutable.  Indeed, much of the evidence he relies upon was gathered secretly by the U.S. military at the time, only to be suppressed, consigned to archives, and forgotten.  It’s hardly surprising that senior U.S. military officials sought to suppress evidence of atrocities on a mass-scale, since they themselves were both complicit and culpable.

A line that has always stayed with me from Caputo’s memoir came from one of his NCOs, a Sergeant Colby, who in 1965 told then-Lieutenant Caputo that, “Before you leave here, sir, you’re going to learn that one of the most brutal things in the world is your average nineteen-year-old American boy.”  Turse’s study plumbs the depths of such brutality, to include a racist subculture (dehumanizing the Vietnamese as “gooks” and “slopes”) within the U.S. military that facilitated it.  Draft an American teenager, teach him to kill, send him to an utterly foreign land in which he can’t distinguish friend from foe, give him power over life and death against a dehumanized enemy, and reward him for generating a high body count in which “If it’s dead and Vietnamese, it’s VC,” and you have an ineluctable recipe for murderous violence.

Contrast the brutal honesty of Sergeant Colby with the patent dishonesty of an American political scene that to this day fosters a very different interpretation of the Vietnam War.  For many Americans, the true victims of the war are not the millions of Vietnamese who died, or the millions who continue to suffer to this day.  No—the true victims are the American veterans who were allegedly spat upon by unwashed anti-war protesters, or a U.S. military that was allegedly betrayed by back-stabbers at the home front, denying the troops the victory they had so justly earned.  In this narrative, even the infamous slaughter at My Lai becomes the exception that proves the rule, the rule being that with few exceptions the American military fought honorably and cleanly.

For these Americans, the war remains a combination of the Rambo myth mixed with the “noble cause” rhetoric of Ronald Reagan—history as Hollywood fairy tale—a concerted rewriting of the historical record and a rewiring of American culture consistent with feel-good militarism and confectionary war.

To confront the truth, we must abandon the confection.  The truth is that, rather than confronting our nation’s inner heart of darkness during and after Vietnam, the military and our government collectively whitewashed the past.

America’s true “Vietnam Syndrome” was not an allergy to using military power after Vietnam but an allergy to facing the destruction our nation caused there.  And that allergy has only exacerbated our national predilection for military adventurism, warrior glorification, and endless war.

It’s time our nation found the courage to face those twenty (or fifty) walls of Vietnamese dead.  It’s time we faced them with the same sorrow and same regret we reserve for our own wall of dead.  Only after we do so can our nation stop glorifying war.  Only after we do so can our nation fully heal.

Ordinary Evil: Vietnam’s History Reveals the Banality of Systemic Violence

MY LAI, Vietnam — My Lai is known to Americans as the site of a massacre of Vietnamese civilians by American troops. On the morning of March 16, 1968, American forces entered the village and gathered up all living things: elderly men and women, infants in mothers’ arms, pigs, chickens, and water buffalo. Then, the Americans proceeded to kill them all, slowly, carefully, methodically. It took four hours (this was no sudden outburst of passion), until all 504 people and all the animals were massacred. Fifty-six of the people killed were under seven years old; some of the infants were bayoneted to death. Women were raped before being shot.

After the killing orgy, two of the American soldiers (one a religious Mormon) sat down to lunch nearby. Unfortunately, their meal was interrupted by the moans of a few villagers shot and left for dead, but not yet fully dead. The two soldiers, disturbed by the interruption, finished off the few villagers still alive, and then went placidly back to their meal.

Today, there is a memorial here at the site of the massacre. Part of the memorial is an indoor museum. The highlight of the museum is a somber plaque containing the names and ages of each one of the 504 people killed. There is a large outdoor monument and several smaller sculptures on the grounds. There is also a large outdoor mosaic in a pattern that reminds one of Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica” (which was commissioned as a memorial to the victims of an earlier massacre). Here at My Lai, one can walk around the remains of the village and see the Thun Yen ditch in which 170 of the victims died. And one can see the remaining brick foundations of the few burned village houses that had brick foundations. It was raining today in My Lai. Neither the village nor the museum is very large, and it does not take long to see it all.

My friend, Lady Borton, who lives in Vietnam, tried to discourage me from visiting My Lai. Back in 1968, Lady had been living in Quang Ngai Province, where My Lai is located, working for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the co-recipient of the 1947 Nobel Peace Prize. AFSC had a center in Quang Ngai, providing medical aid for civilian war victims. Lady had taken some of the first American journalists to My Lai after the massacre was first revealed in the West by Seymour Hersh. Lady said to me, “The point I made then, which was ignored then, is that this behavior by American GIs happened all the time. I had friends who survived and were killed in subsequent massacres in the same area. There were many massacres…. I hold a contrarian view about [these] tourist sites because they lift up one incident (or one individual) as if this were an aberration, when, at least to my observation, the truth is quite the opposite.”

Lady (that’s her name, not her title) is quite correct; the My Lai massacre was not an aberration. It was an exemplar of what American troops did in Vietnam. The issue that Lady raises is an important one, and it is part of a wider debate that has been going on for decades.

In 1962, Hannah Arendt covered the trial of Adolph Eichmann for The New Yorker magazine, and her articles were subsequently published as a book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Arendt’s book caused a firestorm of controversy. Her argument, reflected in the subtitle of the book, was that Eichmann was not a monster, not an aberration; he was an ordinary man, a bureaucrat, who did his job efficiently and well. In the 50 years since the Eichmann trial, Arendt’s central argument has become a commonplace — so much so that it is difficult for contemporary observers to appreciate how controversial Arendt’s thesis was at the time. Today, Daniel Goldhagen’s book, Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, makes much the same point. Hitler did not kill six million Jews on his own, and atrocities were not limited to a few monsters in the Schutzstaffel (SS). The Holocaust was carried out with the cooperation and assistance of millions of ordinary people. Evil is banal, not extraordinary.

Lady argues that My Lai was just an ordinary example of a far wider phenomenon. Arendt argues that Eichmann was just an ordinary example of a far wider phenomenon. They are both correct.

This argument resonates for me because, growing up, I heard it from my own family, Viennese Jewish refugees who fled Vienna after the Anschluβ, the Nazi takeover of Austria in March 1938. For example, I keenly remember the controversy that erupted in 1972 over the elevation of the Austrian Kurt Waldheim to be Secretary General of the United Nations. During World War II, Waldheim had been an intelligence officer in the Nazi Wehrmacht. His defense of his actions was that Austria had been Hitler’s firstvictim. Don’t blame Austrians for Nazi atrocities, Waldheim said; we Austrians were victims of the Nazis. My grandmother was outraged. She told me how, when Hitler marched into Vienna, jubilant throngs of Austrians packed the streets to welcome him. Mothers held infants aloft to be blessed by Hitler. Austrians were not unwilling victims, my grandmother told me; the Austrians embraced Hitler eagerly and enthusiastically.

My grandmother’s personal experience agreed with Goldhagen’s scholarly research; the Holocaust was not caused only by Hitler and a few henchmen. Despite the controversy Arendt stirred up in 1962, she was absolutely correct: what was really scary about Eichmann was precisely his banality.

So, too, with My Lai. One leading scholarly account of the massacre describes Charlie Company, which carried out the atrocity, as “very average” for American forces (Four Hours in My Lai, by Michael Bilton and Kevin Sim, pp. 50-51). Of Lt. William Calley, the only American convicted of the crime, Bilton and Sim say that he was “a bland young man burdened with as much ordinariness as any single individual could bear … conventional and commonplace” (Id., p. 49). Another scholarly account of the massacre says: “There was simply nothing unusual about Charley Company” (My Lai: A Brief History with Documents, by James S. Olson and Randy Roberts, p. 10).

That is to say, I believe that Lady is correct. My Lai was not an aberration; it was very, very ordinary. But still I traveled many hours out of my way to visit. Why?

I believe that, while what happened on March 16, 1968 here at My Lai was in no way unusual, exemplars like this help us to remember important matters. In 1975, I visited the memorial that now stands at Dachau with my father. It was a very moving visit, not because this was the only place where the Holocaust was carried out, but because it was — in its typicality — an exemplar. Seeing the barracks, seeing the crematoria, reminded me that this was one of the very, very many places where the Holocaust was carried out.

In 1981, I was one of the first Westerners in Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge were driven from power. The killing field at Rolous Village that I visited, with its acres of skeletal remains and the stench of rotting corpses, was not unique; but it was an important exemplar of a much broader phenomenon. As an exemplar it was worth visiting, because it helped me to understand and remember the wider phenomenon.

So too with My Lai. Lady is correct; My Lai was not unusual. But I am glad I came here, because it helps me understand and remember the wider phenomenon.

Jerry Elmer is the author of Felon for Peace: The Memoir of a Vietnam-Era Draft Resister. The book has been published in Vietnam as Tôi ph?m vì hòa bìng, by Th? Gi?i Publishing House in Hanoi, which is bringing out a third edition of the book in January on the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Agreement.

Ordinary Evil: Vietnam’s History Reveals the Banality of Systemic Violence

My Lai is known to Americans as the site of a massacre of Vietnamese civilians by American troops. On the morning of March 16, 1968, American forces entered the village and gathered up all living things: elderly men and women infants in mothers’ arms, pigs, chickens, and water buffalo. Then, the Americans proceeded to kill them all, slowly, carefully, methodically. It took four hours (this was no sudden outburst of passion), until all 504 people and all the animals were massacred. Fifty-six of the people killed were under seven years old; some of the infants were bayoneted to death. Women were raped before being shot.

After the killing orgy, two of the American soldiers (one a religious Mormon) sat down to lunch nearby. Unfortunately, their meal was interrupted by the moans of a few villagers shot and left for dead, but not yet fully dead. The two soldiers, disturbed by the interruption, finished off the few villagers still alive, and then went placidly back to their meal.

Today, there is a memorial here at the site of the massacre. Part of the memorial is an indoor museum. The highlight of the museum is a somber plaque containing the names and ages of each one of the 504 people killed. There is a large outdoor monument and several smaller sculptures on the grounds. There is also a large outdoor mosaic in a pattern that reminds one of Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica” (which was commissioned as a memorial to the victims of an earlier massacre). Here at My Lai, one can walk around the remains of the village and see the Thun Yen ditch in which 170 of the victims died. And one can see the remaining brick foundations of the few burned village houses that had brick foundations. It was raining today in My Lai. Neither the village nor the museum is very large, and it does not take long to see it all.

My friend, Lady Borton, who lives in Vietnam, tried to discourage me from visiting My Lai. Back in 1968, Lady had been living in Quang Ngai Province, where My Lai is located, working for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the co-recipient of the 1947 Nobel Peace Prize. AFSC had a center in Quang Ngai, providing medical aid for civilian war victims. Lady had taken some of the first American journalists to My Lai after the massacre was first revealed in the West by Seymour Hersh. Lady said to me, “The point I made then, which was ignored then, is that this behavior by American GIs happened all the time. I had friends who survived and were killed in subsequent massacres in the same area. There were many massacres…. I hold a contrarian view about [these] tourist sites because they lift up one incident (or one individual) as if this were an aberration, when, at least to my observation, the truth is quite the opposite.”

Lady (that’s her name, not her title) is quite correct; the My Lai massacre was not an aberration. It was an exemplar of what American troops did in Vietnam. The issue that Lady raises is an important one, and it is part of a wider debate that has been going on for decades.

In 1962, Hannah Arendt covered the trial of Adolph Eichmann for The New Yorker magazine, and her articles were subsequently published as a book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Arendt’s book caused a firestorm of controversy. Her argument, reflected in the subtitle of the book, was that Eichmann was not a monster, not an aberration; he was an ordinary man, a bureaucrat, who did his job efficiently and well. In the 50 years since the Eichmann trial, Arendt’s central argument has become a commonplace — so much so that it is difficult for contemporary observers to appreciate how controversial Arendt’s thesis was at the time. Today, Daniel Goldhagen’s book, Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, makes much the same point. Hitler did not kill six million Jews on his own, and atrocities were not limited to a few monsters in the Schutzstaffel (SS). The Holocaust was carried out with the cooperation and assistance of millions of ordinary people. Evil is banal, not extraordinary.

Lady argues that My Lai was just an ordinary example of a far wider phenomenon. Arendt argues that Eichmann was just an ordinary example of a far wider phenomenon. They are both correct.

This argument resonates for me because, growing up, I heard it from my own family, Viennese Jewish refugees who fled Vienna after the Anschluβ, the Nazi takeover of Austria in March 1938. For example, I keenly remember the controversy that erupted in 1972 over the elevation of the Austrian Kurt Waldheim to be Secretary General of the United Nations. During World War II, Waldheim had been an intelligence officer in the Nazi Wehrmacht. His defense of his actions was that Austria had been Hitler’s first victim. Don’t blame Austrians for Nazi atrocities, Waldheim said; we Austrians were victims of the Nazis. My grandmother was outraged. She told me how, when Hitler marched into Vienna, jubilant throngs of Austrians packed the streets to welcome him. Mothers held infants aloft to be blessed by Hitler. Austrians were not unwilling victims, my grandmother told me; the Austrians embraced Hitler eagerly and enthusiastically.

My grandmother’s personal experience agreed with Goldhagen’s scholarly research; the Holocaust was not caused only by Hitler and a few henchmen. Despite the controversy Arendt stirred up in 1962, she was absolutely correct: what was really scary about Eichmann was precisely his banality.

So, too, with My Lai. One leading scholarly account of the massacre describes Charlie Company, which carried out the atrocity, as “very average” for American forces (Four Hours in My Lai, by Michael Bilton and Kevin Sim, pp. 50-51). Of Lt. William Calley, the only American convicted of the crime, Bilton and Sim say that he was “a bland young man burdened with as much ordinariness as any single individual could bear … conventional and commonplace” (Id., p. 49). Another scholarly account of the massacre says: “There was simply nothing unusual about Charley Company” (My Lai: A Brief History with Documents, by James S. Olson and Randy Roberts, p. 10).

That is to say, I believe that Lady is correct. My Lai was not an aberration; it was very, very ordinary. But still I traveled many hours out of my way to visit. Why?

I believe that, while what happened on March 16, 1968 here at My Lai was in no way unusual, exemplars like this help us to remember important matters. In 1975, I visited the memorial that now stands at Dachau with my father. It was a very moving visit, not because this was the only place where the Holocaust was carried out, but because it was — in its typicality — an exemplar. Seeing the barracks, seeing the crematoria, reminded me that this was one of the very, very many places where the Holocaust was carried out.

In 1981, I was one of the first Westerners in Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge were driven from power. The killing field at Rolous Village that I visited, with its acres of skeletal remains and the stench of rotting corpses, was not unique; but it was an important exemplar of a much broader phenomenon. As an exemplar it was worth visiting, because it helped me to understand and remember the wider phenomenon.

So too with My Lai. Lady is correct; My Lai was not unusual. But I am glad I came here, because it helps me understand and remember the wider phenomenon.

MLK: Why I Am Opposed to The War in Vietnam

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As part of the process of creating imagery in this video, the speech was edited for length. The whole speech is reprinted below. Sections in bold were omitted in the video. Once you've watched the video, we urge you to read the speech in its entirety.

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Martin Luther King Jr.: "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam" 

Sermon at the Ebenezer Baptist Church on April 30, 1967:

 

[The sermon which I am preaching this morning in a sense is not the usual kind of sermon, but it is a sermon and an important subject, nevertheless, because the issue that I will be discussing today is one of the most controversial issues confronting our nation. I'm using as a subject from which to preach, "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam."

 

Now, let me make it clear in the beginning, that I see this war as an unjust, evil, and futile war. I preach to you today on the war in Vietnam because my conscience leaves me with no other choice.]

 

The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war.

 

[In international conflicts, the truth is hard to come by because most nations are deceived about themselves. Rationalizations and the incessant search for scapegoats are the psychological cataracts that blind us to our sins. But the day has passed for superficial patriotism. He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery. Freedom is still the bonus we receive for knowing the truth. "Ye shall know the truth," says Jesus, "and the truth shall set you free."]

 

 Now, I've chosen to preach about the war in Vietnam because I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.

 

The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom [and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing, as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we're always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty. But we must move on. Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony. But we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for in all our history] there has never been such a monumental dissent during a war, by the American people.

 

Polls reveal that almost fifteen million Americans explicitly oppose the war in Vietnam. Additional millions cannot bring themselves around to support it. [And even those millions who do support the war [are] half-hearted, confused, and doubt-ridden]. This reveals that millions have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism, to the high grounds of firm dissent, based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Now, of course, one of the difficulties in speaking out today grows the fact that there are those who are seeking to equate dissent with disloyalty. It's a dark day in our nation when high-level authorities will seek to use every method to silence dissent. But something is happening, and people are not going to be silenced. The truth must be told, and I say that those who are seeking to make it appear that anyone who opposes the war in Vietnam is a fool or a traitor or an enemy of our soldiers is a person that has taken a stand against the best in our tradition.

 

[Yes, we must stand, and we must speak. [tape skip]...have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam.] Many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. [At the heart of their concerns, this query has often loomed large and loud]: "Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent?" Peace and civil rights don't mix, they say. And so this morning, I speak to you on this issue, because I am determined to take the Gospel seriously. [And I come this morning to my pulpit to make a passionate plea to my beloved nation.

 

This sermon is not addressed to Hanoi, or to the National Liberation Front. It is not addressed to China or to Russia. Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam. Nor is it an attempt to make North Vietnam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they must play in a successful resolution of the problem. This morning, however, I wish not to speak with Hanoi and the National Liberation Front, but rather to my fellow Americans, who bear the greatest responsibility, and entered a conflict that has exacted a heavy price on both continents.

 

Now, since I am a preacher by calling, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision.] There is...a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I and others have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed that there was a real promise of hope for the poor, both black and white, through the Poverty Program. [There were experiments, hopes, and new beginnings.] Then came the build-up in Vietnam. And I watched the program broken as if it was some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war. And I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money, like some demonic, destructive suction tube. And you may not know it, my friends, but it is estimated that we spend $500,000 to kill each enemy soldier, while we spend only fifty-three dollars for each person classified as poor, and much of that fifty-three dollars goes for salaries to people that are not poor. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor, and attack it as such.

 

Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons, and their brothers, and their husbands to fight and die in extraordinarily high proportion relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in Southwest Georgia and East Harlem. So we have been repeatedly faced with a cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same school room. So we watch them in brutal solidarity, burning the huts of a poor village. But we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago or Atlanta. [Now, I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.

 

My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettos of the North over the last three years--especially the last three summers.] As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. [I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through non-violent action;] for they ask and write me, "So what about Vietnam?" They ask if our nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems [to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home,] and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without first having spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.

 

[For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence I cannot be silent. Been a lot of applauding over the last few years. They applauded our total movement; they've applauded me.] America and most of its newspapers applauded me in Montgomery. And I stood before thousands of Negroes getting ready to riot when my home was bombed and said, we can't do it this way. They applauded us in the sit-in movement--we non-violently decided to sit in at lunch counters. The applauded us on the Freedom Rides when we accepted blows without retaliation. [They praised us in Albany and Birmingham and Selma, Alabama.] Oh, the press was so noble in its applause, and so noble in its praise when I was saying, Be non-violent toward Bull Connor; [when I was saying, Be non-violent toward [Selma, Alabama segregationist sheriff] Jim Clark.] There's something strangely inconsistent about a nation and a press that will praise you when you say, Be non-violent toward Jim Clark, but will curse and damn you when you say, "Be non-violent toward little brown Vietnamese children. There's something wrong with that press!

 

[As if the weight of such a commitment to the life and health of America were not enough,] another burden of responsibility was placed upon me in 1964. And I cannot forget that the Nobel Peace Prize was not just something taking place, but it was a commission--a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for the brotherhood of Man. This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances. But even if it were not present, I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ. To me, the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I am speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the Good News was meant for all men, for communists and capitalists, for their children and ours, for black and white, for revolutionary and conservative. Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the One who loved His enemies so fully that he died for them? What, then, can I say to the Vietcong, or to Castro, or to Mao, as a faithful minister to Jesus Christ? Can I threaten them with death, or must I not share with them my life? [Finally, I must be true to my conviction that I share with all men the calling to be the son of the Living God. Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of sonship and brotherhood. And because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned, especially for His suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come today to speak for them. And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond in compassion, my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. I speak not now of the soldiers of each side, not of the military government of Saigon, but simply of the people who have been under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now. I think of them, too, because it is clear to me that] there will be no meaningful solution until some attempt is made to know these people and hear their broken cries.

 

[Now, let me tell you the truth about it. They must see Americans as strange liberators. Do you realize that the Vietnamese people proclaimed their own independence in 1945 after a combined French and Japanese occupation. And incidentally, this was before the Communist revolution in China. They were led by Ho Chi Minh. And this is a little-known fact, and these people declared themselves independent in 1945. They quoted our Declaration of Independence in their document of freedom, and yet our government refused to recognize them. President Truman said they were not ready for independence. So we fell victim as a nation at that time of the same deadly arrogance that has poisoned the international situation for all of these years. France then set out to reconquer its former colony. And they fought eight long, hard, brutal years trying to re-conquer Vietnam. You know who helped France? It was the United States of America. It came to the point that we were meeting more than eighty percent of the war costs. And even when France started despairing of its reckless action, we did not. And in 1954, a conference was called at Geneva, and an agreement was reached, because France had been defeated at Dien Bien Phu. But even after that, and after the Geneva Accord, we did not stop. We must face the sad fact that our government sought, in a real sense, to sabotage the Geneva Accord. Well, after the French were defeated, it looked as if independence and land reform would come through the Geneva agreement. But instead the United States came and started supporting a man named Diem who turned out to be one of the most ruthless dictators in the history of the world. He set out to silence all opposition. People were brutally murdered because they raised their voices against the brutal policies of Diem. And the peasants watched and cringed as Diem ruthlessly rooted out all opposition. The peasants watched as all this was presided over by United States influence and by increasing numbers of United States troops who came to help quell the insurgency that Diem's methods had aroused. When Diem was overthrown, they may have been happy, but the long line of military dictatorships seemed to offer no real change, especially in terms of their need for land and peace.] And who are we supporting in Vietnam today? It's a man by the name of general Ky [Air Vice Marshal Nguyen Cao Ky] who fought with the French against his own people, and who said on one occasion that the greatest hero of his life is Hitler. This is who we are supporting in Vietnam today. Oh, our government and the press generally won't tell us these things, but God told me to tell you this morning. The truth must be told.

[The only change came from America as we increased our troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept, and without popular support] and all the while the people read our leaflets and received regular promises of peace and democracy and land reform. Now they languish under our bombs and consider us, not their fellow Vietnamese, the real enemy. [They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps, where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move or be destroyed by our bombs. So they go, primarily women, and children and the aged. They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. They wander into the towns and see thousands of thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals.] They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. [They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers.] We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land and their crops. [We have cooperated in the crushing of the nation's only noncommunist revolutionary political force, the United Buddhist Church.] This is a role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolutions impossible but refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that comes from the immense profits of overseas investments. I'm convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered.

 

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our present policies. [On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be changed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway.] True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth with righteous indignation. It will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say, "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

 

[Oh, my friends, if there is any one thing that we must see today is that these are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wounds of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. They are saying, unconsciously, as we say in one of our freedom songs, "Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around!"] It is a sad fact that because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries. [This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has a revolutionary spirit. Therefore, communism is a judgment against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions that we initiated.] Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. [With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo, we shall boldly challenge unjust mores, and thereby speed up the day when "every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the rough places shall be made plain, and the crooked places straight. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."]

 

A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies. This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing, unconditional love for all men. This oft misunderstood and misinterpreted concept, so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force, has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of mankind. [And when I speak of love I'm not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of John: "Let us love one another, for God is love. And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us."]

 

Let me say finally that I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America. I speak out against this war, not in anger, but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart, and, above all, with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as the moral example of the world. I speak out against this war because I am disappointed with America. And there can be no great disappointment where there is not great love. I am disappointed with our failure to deal positively and forthrightly with the triple evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism. [We are presently moving down a dead-end road that can lead to national disaster. America has strayed to the far country of racism and militarism. The home that all too many Americans left was solidly structured idealistically; its pillars were solidly grounded in the insights of our Judeo-Christian heritage.] All men are made in the image of God. All men are bothers. All men are created equal. Every man is an heir to a legacy of dignity and worth. Every man has rights that are neither conferred by, nor derived from the State--they are God-given. Out of one blood, God made all men to dwell upon the face of the earth. What a marvelous foundation for any home! What a glorious and healthy place to inhabit. But America's strayed away, and this unnatural excursion has brought only confusion and bewilderment. It has left hearts aching with guilt and minds distorted with irrationality.

 

It is time for all people of conscience to call upon America to come back home. Come home, America. [Omar Khayyam is right: "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on.]" I call on Washington today. I call on every man and woman of good will all over America today. I call on the young men of America who must make a choice today to take a stand on this issue. Tomorrow may be too late. [The book may close]. And don't let anybody make you think that God chose America as his divine, messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world. God has a way of standing before the nations with judgment, and it seems that I can hear God saying to America, "You're too arrogant! [And if you don't change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power, and I'll place it in the hands of a nation that doesn't even know my name. Be still and know that I'm God."]

 

Now it isn't easy to stand up for truth and for justice. Sometimes it means being frustrated. When you tell the truth and take a stand, [sometimes it means that you will walk the streets with a burdened heart.] Sometimes it means losing a job...means being abused and scorned. It may mean having a seven, eight year old child asking a daddy, "Why do you have to go to jail so much?" And I've long since learned that to be a follower to the Jesus Christ means taking up the cross. And my bible tells me that Good Friday comes before Easter. Before the crown we wear, there is the cross that we must bear. Let us bear it--bear it for truth, bear it for justice, and bear it for peace. Let us go out this morning with that determination. And I have not lost faith. [I'm not in despair, because I know that there is a moral order.] I haven't lost faith, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. [I can still sing "We Shall Overcome" because Carlyle was right: "No lie can live forever." We shall overcome because William Cullen Bryant was right: "Truth pressed to earth will rise again." We shall overcome because James Russell Lowell was right: "Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne." Yet, that scaffold sways the future.] We shall overcome because the bible is right: "You shall reap what you sow." [With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.] With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when the lion and the lamb will lie down together, and every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid because the words of the Lord have spoken it. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when all over the world we will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we're free at last!" With this faith, we'll sing it as we're getting ready to sing it now. Men will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. And nations will not rise up against nations, neither shall they study war anymore. And I don't know about you, I ain't gonna study war [no more].

 



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Gang Rapes and Beatings, Brothels Filled with Teenage Prostitutes — The Depths of American...

A powerful excerpt from Nick Turse's new book, 'Kill Anything That Moves' exposes the horrors committed by the U.S.

January 19, 2013  |  

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The following is an excerpt from Nick Turse's new book, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam (Metropolitan Books, 2013).

In 1971, Major Gordon Livingston, a West Point graduate who served as regimental surgeon with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, testified before members of Congress about the ease with which Americans killed Vietnamese. “Above 90 percent of the Americans with whom I had contact in Vietnam,” said Dr. Livingston, treated the Vietnamese as subhuman and with “nearly universal contempt.” To illustrate his point, Livingston told his listeners about a helicopter pilot who swooped down on two Vietnamese women riding bicycles and killed them with the helicopter skids. The pilot was temporarily grounded as the incident was being investigated, and Livingston spoke to him in his medical capacity. He found that the man felt no remorse about the killings and only regretted not receiving his pay during the investigation. According to Livingston, a board of inquiry eventually cleared the pilot of any wrongdoing and allowed him to resume flying.

Among those whom Livingston counted in the 90 percent who regarded the Vietnamese as subhuman was his commander, General George S. Patton III. Son of the famed World War II general of the same name, the younger Patton was known for his bloodthirsty attitude and the macabre souvenirs that he kept, including a Vietnamese skull that sat on his desk. He even carried it around at his end-of- tour farewell party. Of course, Patton was just one of many Americans who collected and displayed Vietnamese body parts. Given how contemptuously living Vietnamese were often treated by U.S. forces, it is not surprising that Vietnamese corpses were also often handled with little respect.

Some soldiers hacked the heads off Vietnamese to keep, trade, or exchange for prizes offered by commanders. Many more cut off the ears of their victims, in the hopes that disfiguring the dead would frighten the enemy. Some of these trophies were presented to superiors as gifts or as proof to confirm a body count; others were retained by the “grunts” and worn on necklaces or otherwise displayed. While ears were the most common souvenirs of this type, scalps, penises, noses, breasts, teeth, and fingers were also favored.

“There was people in all the platoons with ears on cords,” Jimmie Busby, a member of the 75th Rangers during 1970–71, told an army criminal investigator. Some would wear them, while others would sell the grisly trophies to air force personnel. “It was more or less an everyday occurrence that you might see someone with one.” Another member of the same unit, Tony Foster, told a CID agent: “I noticed numerous military personnel wearing or carrying various parts of the human anatomy. In detail I saw approximately 3–4 forefingers being carried in matchboxes; approximately 15–20 ears on rawhide-type cords being worn around different individuals’ necks; and one penis which had been pickled and was being carried wrapped in gauze.”

Many soldiers mistreated corpses in other ways—dressing them up, clowning around with them, or mutilating them, often taking photos of their handiwork and filling scrapbooks with the results. The correspondent Michael Herr recalled:

There were hundreds of these albums in Vietnam, thousands, and they all seemed to contain the same pictures . . . the severed head shot, the head often resting on the chest of the dead man or being held up by a smiling Marine, or a lot of heads, arranged in a row, with a burning cigarette in each of the mouths, the eyes open . . . the VC suspect being dragged over the dust by a half-track or being hung by his heels in some jungle clearing; the very young dead . . . a picture of a Marine holding an ear or maybe two ears or, in the case of a guy I knew near Pleiku, a whole necklace made of ears . . . the dead Viet Cong girl with her pajamas stripped off and her legs raised stiffly in the air. . . . Half the combat troops in Vietnam had these things in their packs, snapshots were the least of what they took after a fight, at least the pictures didn’t rot.

Norman Ryman, of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, was one of these souvenir-collecting soldiers. After U.S. authorities discovered three human ears—along with an atrocity album—in a package he sent back to the United States, he explained that he was responsible for only two of the body parts. The other, he said, had been purchased from a soldier in the 101st Airborne Division, who “had a large jar of ears that he was selling.”

How Did the Gates of Hell Open in Vietnam?

For half a century we have been arguing about “the Vietnam War.” Is it possible that we didn’t know what we were talking about? After all that has been written (some 30,000 books and counting), it scarcely seems possible, but such, it turns out, has literally been the case.

Now, in Kill Anything that MovesNick Turse has for the first time put together a comprehensive picture, written with mastery and dignity, of what American forces actually were doing in Vietnam. The findings disclose an almost unspeakable truth.  Meticulously piecing together newly released classified information, court-martial records, Pentagon reports, and firsthand interviews in Vietnam and the United States, as well as contemporaneous press accounts and secondary literature, Turse discovers that episodes of devastation, murder, massacre, rape, and torture once considered isolated atrocities were in fact the norm, adding up to a continuous stream of atrocity, unfolding, year after year, throughout that country.

It has been Turse’s great achievement to see that, thanks to the special character of the war, its prime reality -- an accurate overall picture of what physically was occurring on the ground -- had never been assembled; that with imagination and years of dogged work this could be done; and that even a half-century after the beginning of the war it still should be done. Turse acknowledges that, even now, not enough is known to present this picture in statistical terms. To be sure, he offers plenty of numbers -- for instance the mind-boggling estimates that during the war there were some two million civilians killed and some five million wounded, that the United States flew 3.4 million aircraft sorties, and that it expended 30 billion pounds of munitions, releasing the equivalent in explosive force of 640 Hiroshima bombs.

Yet it would not have been enough to simply accumulate anecdotal evidence of abuses. Therefore, while providing an abundance of firsthand accounts, he has supplemented this approach. Like a fabric, a social reality -- a town, a university, a revolution, a war -- has a pattern and a texture.  No fact is an island. Each one is rich in implications, which, so to speak, reach out toward the wider area of the surrounding facts. When some of these other facts are confirmed, they begin to reveal the pattern and texture in question.

Turse repeatedly invites us to ask what sort of larger picture each story implies. For example, he writes:

“If one man and his tiny team could claim more KIAs [killed in action] than an entire battalion without raising red flags among superiors; if a brigade commander could up the body count by picking off civilians from his helicopter with impunity; if a top general could institutionalize atrocities through the profligate use of heavy firepower in areas packed with civilians -- then what could be expected down the line, especially among heavily armed young infantrymen operating in the field for weeks, angry, tired, and scared, often unable to locate the enemy and yet relentlessly pressed for kills?”

Like a tightening net, the web of stories and reports drawn from myriad sources coalesces into a convincing, inescapable portrait of this war -- a portrait that, as an American, you do not wish to see; that, having seen, you wish you could forget, but that you should not forget; and that the facts force you to see and remember and take into account when you ask yourself what the United States has done and been in the last half century, and what it still is doing and still is.

Scorched Earth in I Corps

My angle of vision on these matters is a highly particular one. In early August 1967, I arrived in I Corps, the northernmost district of American military operations in what was then South Vietnam.  I was there to report for the New Yorker on the “air war.” The phrase was a misnomer.  The Vietnamese foe, of course, had no assets in the air in the South, and so there was no “war” of that description.

There was only the unilateral bombardment of the land and people by the fantastic array of aircraft assembled by the United States in Vietnam.  These ranged from the B-52, which laid down a pattern of destruction a mile long and several football fields wide; to fighter bombers capable of dropping, along with much else, 500-pound bombs and canisters of napalm; to the reconfigured DC-3 equipped with a cannon capable of firing 100 rounds per second; to the ubiquitous fleets of helicopters, large and small, that crowded the skies. All this was abetted by continuous artillery fire into “free-fire” zones and naval bombardment from ships just off the coast.

By the time I arrived, the destruction of the villages in the region and the removal of their people to squalid refugee camps was approaching completion. (However, they often returned to their blasted villages, now subject to indiscriminate artillery fire.) Only a few pockets of villages survived. I witnessed the destruction of many of these in Quang Ngai and Quang Tinh provinces from the back seat of small Cessnas called Forward Air Control planes.

As we floated overhead day after day, I would watch long lines of houses burst into flames one after another as troops moved through the area of operation.  In the meantime, the Forward Air Controllers were calling in air strikes as requested by radio from troops on the ground. In past operations, the villagers had been herded out of the area into the camps.  But this time, no evacuation had been ordered, and the population was being subjected to the full fury of a ground and air assault. A rural society was being torn to pieces before my eyes.

The broad results of American actions in I Corps were thus visible and measurable from the air. No scorched earth policy had been announced but scorched earth had been the result.  Still, a huge piece was missing from the puzzle.  I was not able to witness most of the significant operations on the ground firsthand. I sought to interview some soldiers but they would not talk, though one did hint at dark deeds.  “You wouldn’t believe it so I’m not going to tell you,” he said to me. “No one’s ever going to find out about some things, and after this war is over, and we’ve all gone home, no one is ever going to know.”

In other words, like so many reporters in Vietnam, I saw mainly one aspect of one corner of the war.  What I had seen was ghastly, but it was not enough to serve as a basis for generalizations about the conduct of the war as a whole. Just a few years later, in 1969, thanks to the determined efforts of a courageous soldier, Ron Ridenhour, and the persistence of a reporter, Seymour Hersh, one piece of the hidden truth about ground operations in I Corp came to light.

It was the My Lai massacre, in which more than 500 civilians were murdered in cold blood by Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, of the Americal Division. In subsequent years, news of other atrocities in the area filtered into the press, often many years after the fact. For example, in 2003 the Toledo Blade disclosed a campaign of torture and murder over a period of months, including the summary execution of two blind men by a “reconnaissance” squad called Tiger Force.  Still, no comprehensive picture of the generality of ground operations in the area emerged.

It has not been until the publication of Turse’s book that the everyday reality of which these atrocities were a part has been brought so fully to light. Almost immediately after the American troops arrived in I Corps, a pattern of savagery was established. My Lai, it turns out, was exceptional only in the numbers killed.

Turse offers a massacre at a village called Trieu Ai in October 1967 as a paradigm.  A marine company suffered the loss of a man to a booby trap near the village, which had in fact had been mostly burned down by other American forces a few days earlier.  Some villagers had, however, returned for their belongings. Now, the Marine company, enraged by its loss but unable to find the enemy, entered the village firing their M-16s, setting fire to any intact houses, and tossing grenades into bomb shelters.

A Marine marched a woman into a field and shot her.  Another reported that there were children in the shelters that were being blown up.  His superior replied, “Tough shit, they grow up to be VC [Vietcong].”  Five or ten people rushed out of a shelter when a grenade was thrown into it.  They were cut down in a hail of fire. Turse comments:

“In the story of Trieu Ai one can see virtually the entire war writ small.  Here was the repeated aerial bombing and artillery fire… Here was the deliberate burning of peasant homes and the relocation of villagers to refugee camps... Angry troops primed to lash out, often following losses within the unit; civilians trapped in their paths; and officers in the field issuing ambiguous or illegal orders to young men conditioned to obey -- that was the basic recipe for many of the mass killings carried out by army soldiers and marines over the years.”

The savagery often extended to the utmost depravity: gratuitous torture, killing for target practice, slaughter of children and babies, gang rape.  Consider the following all-too-typical actions of Company B, 1st Battalion, 35th infantry beginning in October 1967:

“The company stumbled upon an unarmed young boy.  'Someone caught him up on a hill, and they brought him down and the lieutenant asked who wanted to kill him...' medic Jamie Henry later told army investigators. A radioman and another medic volunteered for the job.  The radioman... ’kicked the boy in the stomach and the medic took him around behind a rock and I heard one magazine go off complete on automatic...’

“A few days after this incident, members of that same unit brutalized an elderly man to the point of collapse and then threw him off a cliff without even knowing whether he was dead or alive...

“A couple of days after that, they used an unarmed man for target practice...

“And less than two weeks later, members of Company B reportedly killed five unarmed women...

“Unit members rattled off a litany of other brutal acts committed by the company... [including] a living woman who had an ear cut off while her baby was thrown to the ground and stomped on...”

Pumping Up the Body Count

Turse’s findings completed the picture of the war in I Corps for me.  Whatever the policy might have been in theory, the reality, on the ground as in the air, was the scorched earth I had witnessed from the Forward Air Control planes. Whatever the United States thought it was doing in I Corps, it was actually waging systematic war against the people of the region.

And so it was, as Turse voluminously documents, throughout the country.  Details differed from area to area but the broad picture was the same as the one in I Corps. A case in point is the war in the Mekong Delta, home to some five to six million people in an area of less than 15,000 square miles laced with rivers and canals. In February 1968, General Julian Ewell, soon to be known by Vietnamese and Americans alike as “the Butcher of the Delta,” was placed in charge of the 9th Infantry Division.

In December 1968, he launched Operation Speedy Express. His specialty, amounting to obsession, was increasing “the body count,” ordained by the high command as the key measure of progress in defeating the enemy. Theoretically, only slain soldiers were to be included in that count but -- as anyone, soldier or reporter, who spent a half-hour in the field quickly learned -- virtually all slain Vietnamese, most of them clearly civilians, were included in the total.  The higher an officer’s body count, the more likely his promotion. Privates who turned in high counts were rewarded with mini-vacations. Ewell set out to increase the ratio of supposed enemy soldiers killed to American soldiers killed.  Pressure to do so was ratcheted up at all levels in the 9th Division. One of his chiefs of staff “went berserk,” in the words of a later chief of staff.

The means were simple: immensely increase the already staggering firepower being used and loosen the already highly permissive “rules of engagement” by, for example, ordering more night raids.  In a typical night episode, Cobra gunships strafed a herd of water buffalo and seven children tending them. All died, and the children were reported as enemy soldiers killed in action.

The kill ratios duly rose from an already suspiciously high 24 “Vietcong” for every dead American to a completely surreal 134 Vietcong per American.  The unreality, however, did not simply lie in the inflated kill numbers but in the identities of the corpses.  Overwhelmingly, they were not enemy soldiers but civilians.  A “Concerned Sergeant” who protested the operation in an anonymous letter to the high command at the time described the results as he witnessed them:

“A battalion would kill maybe 15 to 20 a day.  With 4 battalions in the Brigade that would be maybe 40 to 50 a day or 1200 a month 1500, easy. (One battalion claimed almost 1000 body counts one month!)  If I am only 10% right, and believe me its lots more, then I am trying to tell you about 120-150 murders, or a My Lay [My Lai] each month for over a year.”

This range of estimates was confirmed in later analyses. Operations in I Corp perhaps depended more on infantry attacks supported by air strikes, while Speedy Express depended more on helicopter raids and demands for high body counts, but the results were the same: indiscriminate warfare, unrestrained by calculation or humanity, on the population of South Vietnam.

Turse reminds us that off the battlefield, too, casual violence -- such as the use of military trucks to run over Vietnamese on the roads, seemingly for entertainment -- was widespread.  The commonest terms for Vietnamese were the racist epithets “gooks,” “dinks,” and “slopes.”  And the U.S. military machine was supplemented by an equally brutal American-South Vietnamese prison system in which torture was standard procedure and extrajudicial executions common.

How did it happen? How did a country that believes itself to be guided by principles of decency permit such savagery to break out and then allow it to continue for more than a decade?

Why, when the first Marines arrived in I Corps in early 1965, did so many of them almost immediately cast aside the rules of war as well as all ordinary scruples and sink to the lowest levels of barbarism?  What chains of cause and effect linked “the best and the brightest” of America’s top universities and corporations who were running the war with the murder of those buffalo boys in the Mekong Delta?

How did the gates of hell open? This is a different question from the often-asked one of how the United States got into the war. I cannot pretend to begin to do it justice here. The moral and cognitive seasickness that has attended the Vietnam War from the beginning afflicts us still. Yet Kill Anything that Moves permits us, finally, to at least formulate the question in light of the actual facts of the case.

Reflections would certainly seem in order for a country that, since Vietnam, has done its best to unlearn even such lessons as were learned from that debacle in preparation for other misbegotten wars like those in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here, however, are a few thoughts, offered in a spirit of thinking aloud.

The Fictitious War and the Real One

Roughly since the massacre at My Lai was revealed, people have debated whether the atrocities of the war were the product of decisions by troops on the ground or of high policy, of orders issued from above -- whether they were “aberrations” or “operations.” The first school obviously lends itself to bad-apple-in-a-healthy-barrel thinking, blaming individual units for unacceptable behavior while exonerating the higher ups; the second tends to exonerate the troops while pinning the blame on their superiors.

Turse’s book shows that the barrel was rotten through and through.  It discredits the “aberration” school once and for all. Yet it does not exactly offer support for the orders-from-the-top school either. Perhaps the problem always was that these alternatives framed the situation inaccurately.  The relationship between policy and practice in Vietnam was, it turns out, far more peculiar than the two choices suggest.

It’s often said that truth is the first casualty of war. In Vietnam, however, it was not just that the United States was doing one thing while saying another (for example, destroying villages while claiming to protect them), true as that was.  Rather, from its inception the war’s structure was shaped by an attempt to superimpose a false official narrative on a reality of a wholly different character.

In the official war, the people of South Vietnam were resisting the attempts of the North Vietnamese to conquer them in the name of world communism.  The United States was simply assisting them in their patriotic resistance.  In reality, most people in South Vietnam, insofar as they were politically minded, were nationalists who sought to push out foreign conquerors: first, the French, then the Japanese, and next the Americans, along with their client state, the South Vietnamese government which was never able to develop any independent strength in a land supposedly its own.  This fictitious official narrative was not added on later to disguise unpalatable facts; it was baked into the enterprise from the outset.

Accordingly, the collision of policy and reality first took place on the ground in Trieu Ai village and its like. The American forces, including their local commanders, were confronted with a reality that the policymakers had not faced and would not face for many long years. Expecting to be welcomed as saviors, the troops found themselves in a sea of nearly universal hostility.

No manual was handed out in Washington to deal with the unexpected situation. It was left to the soldiers to decide what to do. Throughout the country, they started to improvise. To this extent, policy was indeed being made in the field. Yet it was not within the troops’ power to reverse basic policy; they could not, for instance, have withdrawn themselves from the whole misconceived exercise.  They could only respond to the unexpected circumstances in which they found themselves.

The result would combine an incomprehensible and impossible mission dictated from above (to win the “hearts and minds” of a population already overwhelmingly hostile, while pulverizing their society) and locally conceived illegal but sometimes vague orders that left plenty of room for spontaneous, rage-driven improvisation on the ground. In this gap between the fiction of high policy and the actuality of the real war was born the futile, abhorrent assault on the people of Vietnam.

The improvisatory character of all this, as Turse emphasizes, can be seen in the fact that while the abuses of civilians were pervasive they were not consistent. As he summarizes what a villager in one brutalized area told him decades later, “Sometimes U.S. troops handed out candies.  Sometimes they shot at people.  Sometimes they passed through a village hardly touching a thing.  Sometimes they burned all the homes. ‘We didn’t understand the reasons why the acted in the way they did.’”

Alongside the imaginary official war, then, there grew up the real war on the ground, the one that Turse has, for the first time, adequately described.  It is no defense of what happened to point out that, for the troops, it was not so much their orders from on high as their circumstances -- what Robert J. Lifton has called “atrocity-producing situations” -- that generated their degraded behavior. Neither does such an account provide escape from accountability for the war’s architects without whose blind and misguided policies these infernal situations never would have arisen.

In one further bitter irony, this real war came at a certain point to be partially codified at ever higher levels of command into policies that did translate into orders from the top. In effect, the generals gradually -- if absurdly, in light of the supposed goals of the war -- sanctioned and promoted the de facto war on the population.  Enter General Ewell and his body counts.

In other words, the improvising moved up the chain of command until the soldiers were following orders when they killed civilians, though, as in the case of Ewell, those orders rarely took exactly that form.  Nonetheless, the generals sometimes went quite far in formulating these new rules, even when they flagrantly contradicted official policies.

To give one example supplied by Turse, in 1965, General William Westmoreland, who was made commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam in 1964, implicitly declared war on the peasantry of South Vietnam. He said:

“Until now the war has been characterized by a substantial majority of the population remaining neutral.  In the past year we have seen an escalation to a higher intensity in the war.  This will bring about a moment of decision for the peasant farmer.  He will have to choose if he stays alive.”

Like his underlings, Westmoreland, was improvising. This new policy of, in effect, terrorizing the peasantry into submission was utterly inconsistent with the Washington narrative of winning hearts and minds, but it was fully consistent with everything his forces were actually doing and about to do in I Corps and throughout the country.

A Skyscraper of Lies

One more level of the conflict needs to be mentioned in this context.  Documents show that, as early as the mid-1960s, the key mistaken assumptions of the war -- that the Vietnamese foe was a tentacle of world communism, that the war was a front in the Cold War rather than an episode in the long decolonization movement of the twentieth century, that the South Vietnamese were eager for rescue by the United States -- were widely suspected to be mistaken in official Washington.  But one other assumption was not found to be mistaken: that whichever administration “lost” Vietnam would likely lose the next election.

Rightly or wrongly, presidents lived in terror of losing the war and so being politically destroyed by a movement of the kind Senator Joe McCarthy launched after the American “loss” of China in 1949.  Later, McGeorge Bundy, Lyndon Johnson’s national security advisor, would describe his understanding of the president’s frame of mind at the time this way:

"LBJ isn't deeply concerned about who governs Laos, or who governs South Vietnam -- he's deeply concerned with what the average American voter is going to think about how he did in the ball game of the Cold War. The great Cold War championship gets played in the largest stadium in the United States and he, Lyndon Johnson, is the quarterback, and if he loses, how does he do in the next election? So don't lose. Now that's too simple, but it's where he is. He's living with his own political survival every time he looks at these questions.”

In this context, domestic political considerations trumped the substantive reasoning that, once the futility and horror of the enterprise had been revealed, might have led to an end to the war. More and more it was understood to be a murderous farce, but politics dictated that it must continue. As long as this remained the case, no news from Vietnam could lead to a reversal of the war policies.

This was the top floor of the skyscraper of lies that was the Vietnam War. Domestic politics was the largest and most fact-proof of the atrocity-producing situations.  Do we imagine that this has changed?

This is a joint TomDispatch/Nation article and appears in print in the Nation magazine.

Russia stuck between Guinea-Bissau and Vietnam in the ranking of economic freedom

(RIA Novosti / Vladimir Fedorenko)

(RIA Novosti / Vladimir Fedorenko)

Russia has moved up 5 points in the rating for economic freedom but remained pretty low in the overall list. It sits in 139th place out of 185 countries, and is classified as “mostly unfree”.

Russia got 51.1 points out of 100 in a scale that measures the level of economic freedom in selected countries, sandwiched between Guinea-Bissau and Vietnam. Asian countries topped the ranking, with Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia taking the top 3 positions in the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom compiled by The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation think tank.

The grade is assigned according to the state of such economic and social indicators as a rule of law, the amount of the government in the economy, regulatory efficiency and the level of market openness. Burkina Faso, Dominican Republic and Azerbaijan open the section for “mostly unfree” countries, leaving Russia behind with their rankings between 59.7 – 59.9 points.

Another ranking by the World Bank indicating the ease of doing business across 185 countries put Russia 6 places higher in 2012 than the year before – at the number 112 economy. Earlier in the year President Vladimir Putin voiced the ambitious goal to move the country up to 20th place by 2020.However, poor law enforcement, corruption and red tape remain the key stumbling blocks on Russia’s way to a more economically efficient country.

Political realities in Russia also make its economic profile look more dubious, Ms. Bogenrief, from ACM Partners, told Business RT. “It’s no secret the world is, if not outwardly than certainly on the periphery, concerned about Vladimir Putin’s recent re-ascension to the Russian presidency.To many, in 2012, it appeared that the “old Russia” was back, an assumption that demands attention on investment pricing curves.”

On a more positive note,“the World Bank report shows that there has been some improvement in cutting red tape and the recent Transparency International Corruption Perception report also shows a small improvement in Russia’s position,” added Chris Weafer, chief strategist at Sberbank CIB. “Entry into the WTO in August is also a very positive step in this direction. So, a hopeful trend but a lot more needs to be done to attract the greater volume of investors required,” the expert concluded.

According to the Heritage Foundation rating, economic freedom in advanced countries is fading away, which is now a key issue, according to one of the ranking authors Terry Miller, a director of the Center for International Trade and Economics at the Heritage Foundation.

“Particularly concerning are the rise of populist "democratic" movements that use the coercive power of government to redistribute income and control economic activity,” Miller wrote in his comment in the Wall Street Journal.

Among 5 countries classified as “free,” where New Zealand and Switzerland follow the leaders only Singapore managed to improve its performance since the previous ranking. All the rest lost between 0.1 and 0.7 points.

No matter how surprising it may seem, but countries in struggling Europe made the best progress in the ranking, with post – Soviet republics leading the way. Georgia produced the best results, with Estonia and Poland breathing down its neck.

The world economic powerhouse – the US – was just 10th on the list, with Ireland partnering the country as the only advanced economies to have lost economic freedom 5 years in a row. The lack of the US leadership was one of the key reasons for a slowdown in economic liberalization across the globe, as stagnation in the number 1 economy ate into the trade flows.

The study covered the period between the second half of 2011 and the first half of 2012.

Will America Ever Grapple with the Atrocities It Committed in Vietnam?

There has been one connecting thread in Washington’s foreign wars of the last half century -- misery for local nationals.

January 8, 2013  |  

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/Hudyma Natallia

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Pham To looked great for 78 years old.  (At least, that’s about how old he thought he was.)  His hair was thin, gray, and receding at the temples, but his eyes were lively and his physique robust -- all the more remarkable given what he had lived through.  I listened intently, as I had so many times before to so many similar stories, but it was still beyond my ability to comprehend.  It’s probably beyond yours, too.

Pham To told me that the planes began their bombing runs in 1965 and that periodic artillery shelling started about the same time.  Nobody will ever know just how many civilians were killed in the years after that.  “The number is uncountable,” he said one spring day a few years ago in a village in the mountains of rural central Vietnam.  “So many people died.”

And it only got worse.  Chemical defoliants came next, ravaging the land.  Helicopter machine gunners began firing on locals.  By 1969, bombing and shelling were day-and-night occurrences.  Many villagers fled.  Some headed further into the mountains, trading the terror of imminent death for a daily struggle of hardscrabble privation; others were forced into squalid refugee resettlement areas.  Those who remained in the village suffered more when the troops came through.  Homes were burned as a matter of course.  People were kicked and beaten.  Men were shot when they ran in fear.  Women were raped.  One morning, a massacre by American soldiers wiped out 21 fellow villagers.  This was the Vietnam War for Pham To, as for so many rural Vietnamese. 

One, Two… Many Vietnams?

At the beginning of the Iraq War, and for years after, reporters, pundits, veterans, politicians, and ordinary Americans asked whether the American debacle in Southeast Asia was being repeated.  Would it be “ another Vietnam”?  Would it become a “ quagmire”? 

The same held true for Afghanistan.  Years after 9/11, as that war, too, foundered, questions about whether it was “ Obama’s Vietnam” appeared ever more frequently.  In fact, by October 2009, a majority of Americans had come to believe it was “ turning into another Vietnam.”

In those years, “Vietnam” even proved a surprisingly two-sided analogy -- after, at least, generals began reading and citing revisionist texts about that war.  These claimed, despite all appearances, that the U.S. military had actually won in Vietnam (before the politicians, media, and antiwar movement gave the gains away).  The same winning formula, they insisted, could be used to triumph again.  And so, a failed solution from that failed war, counterinsurgency, or COIN, was trotted out as the military panacea for impending disaster. 

Debated comparisons between the two ongoing wars and the one that somehow never went away, came to litter newspapers, journals, magazines, and the Internet -- until David Petraeus, a top COINdinista general who had written his doctoral dissertation on the “lessons” of the Vietnam War, was called in to settle the matter by putting those lessons to work winning the other two.  In the end, of course, U.S. troops were booted out of Iraq, while the war in Afghanistan continues to this day as a dismally devolving stalemate, now wracked by “ green-on-blue” or “insider” attacks on U.S. forces, while the general himself returned to Washington as CIA director to run covert wars in Pakistan and Yemen before retiring in disgrace following a sex scandal. 

Still, for all the ink about the “ Vietnam analogy,” virtually none of the reporters, pundits, historians, generals, politicians, or other members of the chattering classes ever so much as mentioned the Vietnam War as Pham To knew it.  In that way, they managed to miss the one unfailing parallel between America’s wars in all three places: civilian suffering. 

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Hold the Front Page, the Reporters are Missing

Photo Source Lisa Abitbol/Nieman Foundation for Journalism | CC BY 2.0 The death of Robert Parry earlier this year felt like a farewell to the...

Guest Media Alert by John Pilger: “Hold the Front Page. The Reporters are Missing”

Note From Media Lens This is a slightly amended version of the foreword to the new Media Lens book, Propaganda Blitz – How The Corporate...

Guest Media Alert by John Pilger: “Hold the Front Page. The Reporters are Missing”

Note From Media Lens This is a slightly amended version of the foreword to the new Media Lens book, Propaganda Blitz – How The Corporate...

The Reporters are Missing – Consortiumnews

So much of mainstream journalism has descended to the level of a cult-like formula of bias, hearsay and omission. Subjectivism...

22% of people in the US & half living in its largest cities don’t...

More than 66 million people in the US speak a ‘foreign’ language at home, the Center...

Monsanto asks judge to overturn $289m cancer verdict, claims dying man presented lack of...

Agrochemical giant Monsanto has appealed to a California judge to throw out a $289 million jury...

Senate passes anti-opioid bill as overdoses ravage America — RT US News

The Senate has passed a bill aimed at combating the influx of synthetic opioids into the...

Consortium News Unveils New Logo – Consortiumnews

Consortium News on Thursday unveils a new logo, the first redesign of the publication’s nameplate in several years. The new design...

‘Maverick’ Media Use McCain Funeral to Shore Up US Imperialism

The Washington Post (9/1/18) reported on the McCain funeral as a “united defense of the Washington institutions that have been a cornerstone of American...

Indonesia “Proudly” Joins US-Led Exercises to Antagonize China

Indonesia (RI), the 4th most populous nation on Earth and the country with the largest Muslim population is, and since the 1965 US-orchestrated anti-Communist...

Nike’s Bad Air

Photo Source KylaBorg | CC BY 2.0 Nike changes its brand more often than Madonna and more profitably. In the company’s latest transformation, Nike has...

Ellsberg Says Assange, as a Journalist, Can’t Be Tried Under Espionage Act – Consortiumnews

In an interview with Consortium News Editor-in-Chief Joe Lauria, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg says the Espionage Act, under which...

WTF? Why Adulate This Warmonger?

For days we have been informed—indeed, relentlessly reminded, instructed, lectured, preached to, told matter-of-factly (as though the whole universe knows it), bestowed with the...

Pundits lose minds over ‘bipartisan’ candy-sharing moment between George W. Bush & Michelle Obama...

Who knew Democrats and Republicans spoke to each other outside of work hours? Apparently not everyone,...

Beyond The DNC – Funding Hacks and Sedition

Any DNC server leak in 2016 could have been a patriotic act to counter Ukrainian Intel operators access inside the DNC and US Government...

McCain, Confederate

The day after John McCain died, I happened to visit a memorial to Confederate prisoners of war at Point Lookout, Maryland. Flying a Confederate flag...

From Venezuela to McCain, Media and Human Rights Industry on Same Page

The Economist‘s claim (8/20/18) that migration from Venezuela “might surpass the Syrian crisis” is off by a factor of seven. On August 20, the Economist...

War Criminal, Not War Hero

Photo Source AFGE | CC BY 2.0 “I hate the gooks,”Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) doubled down when asked on the 2000 presidential campaign trail about...

WaPo Uses Photo of John McCain Next to Nazi to Praise His ‘Human Rights’...

A Washington Post column (8/27/18) celebrating John McCain as a human rights “champion” was illustrated with a photo of him making common cause with...

In 1968, Antiwar Protesters Were Brutalized by Police at the DNC

It was 50 years ago this week that the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago became a national spectacle, as a major political event...

WaPo column praises McCain as human rights champion with photo of him next to...

Mainstream US media have been singing eulogies to the late Senator John McCain after he succumbed...

Child of the State, Man of War

There Is No Limit – LewRockwell

What the Media Leaves Out of John McCain’s Record of Misogyny and Militarism

We host a roundtable discussion on the life and legacy of John McCain, the Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war, six-term senator and...

Ted Cruz Stands (For Douchebaggery)

O'Rourke with a crowd. Photo by Melissa Hennings Amidst all the pious noise about "patriotism" engendered by McCain's death and the daft spectacle of our...

Ted Cruz Stands (For Douchebaggery)

O'Rourke with a crowd. Photo by Melissa Hennings Amidst all the pious noise about "patriotism" engendered by McCain's death and the daft spectacle of our...

Trump orders flags re-lowered to honor McCain after massive pressure on behalf of ‘national...

US President Donald Trump appears to have caved in to bipartisan demands to pay respects to...

War Hero or War Criminal?

Photo Source AFGE | CC BY 2.0 John McCain has left the planet, amid contrails of encomia exalting him as an “American” hero, even from...
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Video: Obit Omit: What the Media Leaves Out of John McCain’s Record of Misogyny...

https://democracynow.org - We host a roundtable discussion on the life and legacy of John McCain, the Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war, six-term...

Modern Memories: The Invasion of Czechoslovakia 1968

It was a year of manic tumult.  Students revolted in Paris and other global capitals; the Tet Offensive permanently impaired the US war effort...

‘Where do you think we live?’ Geraldo Rivera slammed for suggesting McCain widow take...

Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera is making waves after suggesting that John McCain’s widow be handed...

The Other Side of John McCain – Consortiumnews

If the paeans to McCain by diverse political climbers seems detached from reality, it’s because they reflect the elite view...

Trump under fire for ‘disrespect’ & for shelving prepped WH remarks praising ‘national hero’...

The US president is facing massive fury over his failure to issue an official White House...

See Ya, John (McCain) by Peter Van Buren

It’ll always be too soon, won’t it? Glorifying McCain as a war hero allows us to imagine away the sins of Vietnam by making ourselves...

Senator John McCain dies of brain cancer aged 81 — RT US News

Republican Senator John McCain has died aged 81 after battling a rare form of brain cancer....

‘Patriot or warmonger?’ McCain’s track record comes under public scrutiny — RT US News

The death of John McCain caused mixed feelings and triggered a heated debate over the American...

US politicians mourn McCain’s passing — RT US News

Despite being pre-emptively ‘disinvited’ by McCain from his funeral, Donald Trump has expressed his condolences, joining...

Can Donald Trump Unite the World (Against Himself)?

One thing already seems clear in the Trump era: the world will not turn out to be the American president’s playground.  His ultra-unilateralist, rejectionist...

The Rise of an Anti-Trump Movement at Home and Abroad

One thing already seems clear in the Trump era: the world will not turn out to be the American president’s playground. His ultra-unilateralist, rejectionist...

Back in Saigon – LewRockwell

Back in Saigon – LewRockwell

Attention, War Criminals: Prizes Still Available

In the long, confounding history of inappropriate or unwarranted awards and prizes, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger being named the joint winner of...
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Video: Child slaves exploited at hundreds of cannabis farms across London

Children are being trafficked from Vietnam and other countries to perform slave labour on hundreds of cannabis farms across London, experts have warned. Via Youtube

Serotonin in the Service of American Aggression and My Formative Years

From the age of nine (1942) I was allowed to attend the Saturday afternoon matinee at the Killester cinema in Dublin where we children...

‘Potentially thousands’ of child slaves forced to work on illegal London cannabis farms —...

Children are being trafficked from Vietnam and other countries to perform slave labour on hundreds...

The CIA Owns the US and European Media

William Blum shares with us his correspondence with Washington Post presstitute Michael Birnbaum. As you can tell from Birnbaum’s replies, he comes across as...

I Don’t Remember Voting For U.S. Bombs to Murder Little Kids in Yemen, Do...

It must have been a moment of unspeakable shock, terror and pain. But it’s hard to know exactly what it was like at the...

Efforts to Undermine Iran Nuclear Deal Warrant Greater Public Outcry

President Donald Trump announces his decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Room at the White...

India and the State of Independence: British Colonialism Replaced by a New Hegemony

India celebrates its independence from Britain on 15 August. However, the system of British colonial dominance has been replaced by a new hegemony based...

Trump Digs Himself Into Deeper Trouble — and His Voters Are Finally Noticing

This past weekend, President Donald Trump tweeted a confession to the world that his top campaign operatives, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and...

‘There Needs to be a Much Stronger Public Outcry Against the Effort of Undermining...

Janine Jackson interviewed Trita Parsi about the Iran Nuclear Deal for the August 3, 2018 episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. ...

Shaping printable guns debate as anti-Trump issue a ‘hysteria not based in fact or...

A move to ban blueprints for 3D-printable firearms is framed by sponsors as protecting the public...

Remembering Ron Dellums Who Fought Against War, Apartheid and Poverty

Legendary anti-war activist, former Oakland mayor and longtime Democratic congressmember Ron Dellums of Oakland, California, died on Monday at the age of 82. A...

Under a Blood Moon | Dissident Voice

U.S. imperial actions in Vietnam and elsewhere are often described as reflecting “national interests,” “national security,” or “national defense.” Endless U.S. wars and regime...

‘Skripal spoke to UK spies about the Russian mafia’ – Seymour Hersh doubles down...

Legendary journalist Seymour Hersh has thrown doubt on the theory that the Kremlin was behind...

Releasing my North Korean Documentary Film to my Readers

Here it is – my short film about North Korea. No need to drag it, to prolong it – let’s just watch it all...

US Preparing For War Against Iran

Same Strategy, Different War, Same Failed Results

In brief, you will find that the illogical direction the Pentagon and Department of State have directed this nation’s foreign affairs and military has...

America’s Reporter: the Hersh Method

Photo by Institute for Policy Studies | CC BY 2.0 If Seymour Hersh had only broken the story of the massacre of unarmed civilians at My...

Going Home Again to Trump’s America

This is the first of four essays that describe the writer’s Northeast travels between New York, Washington, and New England during spring 2018. For the...

Trump’s Space Force: Military Profiteering’s Final Frontier

The Commander-in-Chief, President Donald Trump, has announced a new mission into the realm of martial excess. It is one is that will surely enrich...

Mass Hysteria?

The mass hysteria following Trump’s meeting with Putin is likely to last for days. Most are outraged. Few see the light. My article Congratulations to President...

‘US media nearly lied us into WW3 thinking nuclear winter is good for ratings’...

With mainstream media spitting out unconfirmed accusations of chemical weapons use, be it in Syria or...

Monsanto accused of ‘fraud & bullying’ during court hearing on ‘probably carcinogenic’ weed killer...

Agrochemical giant Monsanto has engaged in “scientific fraud” and bullying, in attempts to conceal that its...

At Home and Abroad, Trump Abandons Human Rights

In January 1941, with the prospect looming of US involvement in another European war, President Franklin Roosevelt spoke of America’s purpose in the world:...

A Year After Adoption of Historic UN Treaty, Support for Nuclear Disarmament Stronger Than...

As nuclear disarmament advocates marked the one-year anniversary of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), polling found grave concerns...

‘We’ll do just fine:’ Trump says he might end up in ‘good relationship’ with...

President Trump has lashed out at critics of his decision to meet with Russian President Vladimir...

‘To prevent veterans’ suicide, US should stop waging wars across the globe’ — RT...

Moral injury is the real reason why US veterans are committing suicide, as they realize all...

Entreaty to Dismantle a Genocidal Empire

Celebrate July 4! Raise the colorful red, white and blue flag, the sight of which turns the stomachs of tens of millions of innocent...

Putin assured me Russia didn’t meddle in elections, but Trump still wants to talk...

Donald Trump will probably want to have a "conversation" about election-meddling during his meeting with Vladimir...

Seymour Hersch questions media narrative on Salisbury poisoning — RT UK News

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersch has questioned the UK government’s official line on the motives...

World Cup Soccer Host Targeted by US Nuclear Missiles

Imagine if before each match of the World Cup that the FIFA World Soccer Federation made an appeal over the loudspeaker asking all the...

‘Erratic’ woman removed from Spirit Airlines flight in apparent PTSD-triggered episode (VIDEO) — RT...

A distressed veteran suffering from PTSD was removed from a Spirit Airlines flight after it was...

Pro-War Media Deserve Slamming, Not Sainthood

Still from “The Post.” The media nowadays are busy congratulating themselves for their vigorous criticism of Donald Trump. To exploit that surge of sanctimony, Hollywood...

Media Today Must Cover Yemen and Trump Policy, Not Get Distracted by Tweets

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: “Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News.” Those were the words of President Trump last week. It was just his latest attack on...

The Greatest Gift the Status Quo Ever Got

By Paul Rosenberg Freeman's Perspective June 18, 2018 ...

What’s So Bad About Peace, Man?

Photo by Ragnar Jensen | Public Domain US capitalism needs markets. US capitalism needs cheap labor. US capitalism needs resources. Donald Trump’s vision of Trump...

The Foundation For International Justice Is Anti-Imperialism

An Anti-Imperialist Mural in Caracas, Venezuela (from Telesur) The United States has had a policy of imperialism beginning after the Civil War. The US way...

This week in history: June 11-17

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UK Defense Sec sends warships to South China Sea in veiled challenge to Beijing...

In a blast from Britain’s imperialist past, UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson has warned nations...

William J. Astore on Paving Roads to Nowhere

I have a simple proposition: Let’s rebuild America instead of paving roads to nowhere in Afghanistan. The U.S. has spent nearly a trillion dollars on...

Amnesty’s damning report on UK, US, France destruction in Raqqa — RT UK News

UK, US, and French bombs inflicted mass loss of civilian life in ISIS-held Raqqa, according...

Philly mayor attacks Trump over disinviting Eagles — RT US News

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has caused a Twitter storm for directing a blistering attack at US...

RFK and the End of an Era – Consortiumnews

A just published book on the RFK murder re-examines the evidences and asks what the world might be like if...

My War, and Its Lone ‘Casualty’

One of my most-memorable experiences of the Vietnam War(time) occurred while I was a member of the drill team of an ROTC unit on...

The Empire Strikes Back: Leaving Indian Farmers in the Dirt

By 2050, if current policies continue, India could have numerous mega-cities with up to 30-40 million inhabitants and just two to three hundred million people (perhaps...

A Nation That Doesn’t Know War

From Bernays to Trump, Hooked on Misery

The father of modern public relations and spin, Edward Bernays was a cold, cynical manipulator of mass perception. He knew that by shaping people’s...

America’s Big-Brother ‘News’ Media

America’s aristocratically controlled ’news’ media hide the basic reality — that America’s trillion-dollar annual federal military expense is a taxpayer-subsidization of U.S.-headquartered international corporations,...

Memories of an Illusory Revolution – Consortiumnews

At the time it seemed that Paris had yet again become the center of a world revolution, but in time...

Disrespecting Allies: A Presidential Tradition

Both North and South Korean government officials were reportedly shocked by Trump’s sudden cancellation of the Singapore summit. The South Korean president was taken...

What Dead GIs Would Say To the World on Memorial Day About Being Praised...

A lot of people in Third World nations previously invaded, currently being invaded, or suffering sanctions and the threat of invasion by Americans, will...

How to Honor Memorial Day – Consortiumnews

From the Archive: Memorial Day should be a time of sober reflection on war’s horrible costs, not a moment to...

Ray McGovern on How To Honor Memorial Day

How best to show respect for the U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and for their families on Memorial Day? Simple: Avoid euphemisms...

US ‘disinvites’ China from Pacific Rim 2018 naval exercises over ‘militarization’ — RT US...

The US has revoked the Chinese navy’s invitation to participate in the RIMPAC 2018 naval drills,...

How the Events of 1968 Transformed French Society

This piece was originally published at Al Jazeera English. This week, 50 years ago, France was going through the biggest labor strike in its history....

War and Moral Injury

“As a sniper I was not usually the victim of a traumatic event, but the perpetrator of violence and death,” recalled Garrett Rapenhagen of Iraq...

Questioning War is a Civic Duty. Why Do So Few Do It?

“How do you motivate men and women to fight and die for a cause many of them don’t believe in, and whose purpose they...

Why Not Let Six-Year-Olds Vote?

At the Brink of Nuclear War, Who Will Lead?

Ignoring international partners, world public opinion and action, the U.S. took additional steps these past weeks to renounce another international leadership role, this time...
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Video: Daniel Ellsberg: Whistleblowing is Needed to Avert Catastrophic U.S. War with Iran &...

https://democracynow.org - Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg is best known for leaking information about U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War in 1971, but he also ... Via...

The Donald, Vlad, and Bibi

Photo source U.S. Embassy Jerusalem | CC BY 2.0 As a general rule, it is pointless to rank world leaders or lesser political figures by...

The Donald, Vlad, and the Bibi

Photo source U.S. Embassy Jerusalem | CC BY 2.0 As a general rule, it is pointless to rank world leaders or lesser political figures by...

The Catonsville Nine, 50 Years Later

On May 17, 1968, along the main road that runs through the Baltimore suburb of Catonsville, Maryland, a group of Catholic activists stood around...

Rejecting the Mindset of the Forever War

Members of the U.S. Army Drill Team perform in Times Square in New York City in honor of the Army's 240th birthday on June...

‘A Result of McCarthyism Is a Much Narrower Range of Political Ideas’

For the May 4, 2018, episode of CounterSpin, Janine Jackson reaired an interview with Ellen Schrecker on the New McCarthyism, originally broadcast January 6,...

British victims of modern-day slavery up 362%

Modern-day enslavement of Britons in the UK is on the rise. A new report has...

Twitter erupts after Senator McCain ‘disinvites’ Trump to his funeral — RT US News

Social media has been flooded with comments after Republican Senator John McCain demanded that US President...