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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

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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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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...

Obsessed with Stalin, They See Betrayed Revolutions Everywhere – Consortiumnews

The trouble with some Trotskyists is they’re always “supporting” other peoples’ revolutions, says Diana Johnstone. Their obsession with permanent revolution...

Refugee Writers Ariel Dorfman and Viet Thanh Nguyen on Migration, US Wars and Resistance

As dozens of migrants from Central America remain camped out at the US-Mexico border attempting to seek asylum in the United States, we spend...

May 4, 2004, Apocalypse Again – Consortiumnews

We begin a new feature, looking back at articles published years ago on Consortium News on the current date. This...

Kent State 1970: We Need a Serious Look at What Happened and Why

Mary Ann Vecchio gestures and screams as she kneels by the body of a student, Jeffrey Miller, lying face down on the campus of...

Congress Offers a Bipartisan Blank Check to Donald Trump

UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters fly over armored vehicles that have been loaded onto trucks for transport on February 9, 2018, at the Kuwait Naval...

10 of the Most Sociopathic Washington Post Columns

For casually threatening economic ruin, inciting violence against entire populations, pushing for bombing faceless Muslims, or downplaying racism and child rape, there’s no better...

GALLUP: Job-Satisfaction Is Highest in UAE, Russia, and U.S.

Eric Zuesse The Gallup World Poll, released on May 1st, surveyed over 1,000 people in each of 128 countries, and found that the three nations...

When Bob Parry Went to Jail in the Biggest Mass Arrest in U.S. History...

In 1971, Bob Parry, the late founder and editor of Consortium News, traveled to Washington to take part in an...

the Rebels of the Past Meet the Rebels of Today

“We created a liberated space that stayed with us for our whole lives. That’s the legacy of Columbia.” – Juan Gonzales, April 27, 2018 Youth makes...

McCain in new book: Trump more interested appearing tough than values

In new book, US Senator John McCain says President Trump cares more about "the appearance of toughness" than so-called values. Read more

With Nixon in ‘68 – LewRockwell

The Democratic Party’s War History and the AUMF of 2018 – Consortiumnews

If there’s any surprise that Senate Democrats, almost virtually indistinguishable from pro-war Republicans, are about to coalesce in support of...

The Real Reason Social Media Makes Hollywood So Nervous

The Black Mirror episode “Nosedive” envisions a dystopia where every human interaction is rated on social media. There’s an episode of the Netflix show Black...

The Syria Narrative Comes Apart: With Sen. Richard Black

Strange how the media seems to have moved away from Washington’s claims about a “chemical attack” in Syria just as...

From May 1968 to May 2018: Politics and Student Strikes

Photo by Frog and Onion | CC BY 2.0 Much is and will be written comparing the student uprisings in the late 1960s in the...

Heroes and Villains: The Daily Show in a Homeless Shelter

Now, during our catastrophically idiotic war in Vietnam, the music kept getting better and better and better. We lost that war, by the way....

Trump’s Blank Check for War – Consortiumnews

Tomorrow a Senate committee will consider a new bill that would solidify the unconstitutional shift in power to declare war...

‘Incredible’ News as Banking Giant HSBC Ditches New Coal, Tar Sands, and Offshore Arctic...

In another signal that "the era of fossil fuels is coming to a close," Europe's biggest bank, HSBC, announced Friday that it will no...

Ron Paul on new presidential war powers bill — RT US News

US Senate lawmakers are considering a bill that would somewhat restrict the president’s powers to go...

War Party POW – LewRockwell

The Cult of Violence Always Kills the Left

The Weather Underground, a clandestine revolutionary organization that advocated violence, was seen by my father and other clergy members who were involved in Vietnam...

The Historic 1968 Struggle Against Columbia University

How a Black United Front in Harlem, the Students’ Afro American Society, and Students for a Democratic Society took on the Columbia University Ruling...

Technology Substitutes for Strategy in US Military Operations

Once again, the U.S. military has launched Tomahawk cruise missiles against Syria, as well as a new weapon called the JASSM-ER, described as “a...

Death By a Thousand Tax Cuts

Every year at this time, US taxpayers (who bother to read news) are treated to a parade of stories about taxes and tax policy....

War is Just F**kin’ Wrong

Photo by Meg Chang | CC BY 2.0 There is no such thing as a good war, especially not in 2018. History, both recent and...

U.S. Bombs Won’t Save the Kids of the Middle East. Here’s What We Can...

With so many crazy contradictions illuminated by the rocket’s red glare and the bombs bursting in air over Syria on Friday night — the...

World War III Is Not Imminent

By Michael S. Rozeff April 14, 2018 ...

1968: the Big Five O

Photo by Busy Beaver Button Museum | CC BY 2.0 Jerry Rubin, a “founding father” of the Yippies, is widely credited with having come up...

Trans-Pacific U-turn? Trump proposes rejoining trade agreement he left a year ago — RT...

US President Donald Trump has ordered top administration officials to “negotiate entry” back into the Trans-Pacific...

From Chaos in Saigon, to Chaos in Washington: 4/4/68 – Consortiumnews

ABC News correspondent Don North left the violence of Vietnam on April 3, 1968 to arrive the next day in...

Vet battles HOA over American flag

Meet US military’s dystopian plans — RT US News

DARPA, the US Military’s research arm, has revealed it’s one step closer to achieving its goal...

Trump still wants to meet Putin, White House says, after new round of sanctions...

Preparations for a meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be...

‘Russia will never be our friend, we’ll slap them when needed’ – US envoy...

Nikki Haley has erupted in another fiery Russophobic rant, warning that Russia will “never be America’s...

Is the U.S. at Full Employment? Should They Put the Brakes on Job Growth to...

Photo by Mike Licht | CC BY 2.0 The answers are no and no. Even when the official unemployment rate is 4.1%, we are not...

In OtherWords: April 4, 2018

This week marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. In OtherWords, my colleague Jessicah Pierre explains that the late civil rights leader’s...

The “Crucifixion” of the Black Messiah

Dick Cavett: A lot of people…were astounded at how you got Ray to change the plea . Percy Foreman : I didn’t get him...

Trump and His Tariffs

Photo by Marco Verch | CC BY 2.0 President Donald Trump promised to “make America great again”. The slogan defined his campaign and his presidency....

AK-47 or AR-15? – LewRockwell

Think You Live in a Free Society?

Entangling alliances or scoring at home? Why US went out of its way with...

The decision to expel 60 Russian diplomats suggests that President Donald Trump is either following the...

Trade War Equals Disaster – LewRockwell

With US and European stock markets near historical highs, Rogers is looking for investments in Russia, China, Japan or Vietnam Business Standard March 26, 2018 ...

The Mad Man Theory: Nixon, Trump and Bolton

Photo by Cody McComas | CC BY 2.0 Early in Richard Nixon’s presidency, he told his chief of staff Bob Haldeman that his secret strategy...

Number of children forced into slavery hits record high, Brits comprise largest group —...

The number of children being forced into modern slavery has soared to a record high....

The New CIA Director Nominee and the Massacre at My Lai – Consortiumnews

Protecting those who commit heinous crimes in the name of the U.S. government provides a dangerous precedent and could lead...

Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Photo by Acid Pix | CC BY 2.0 As public support for the Vietnam War waned, and as all LBJ could do about it was...

‘US military a bunch of dumb s**ts’ – teacher fired for rant — RT...

A California teacher filmed describing US military personnel as “dumb s**ts” in an astonishing rant has...

There Was No Place Safe There, or Here

Sgt. Francis D. Sommer in Afghanistan, c. 2007. (Photo: Jon Demlar) September 24, 2003.  "Are you someplace safe?" "I'm in Iraq, Mom. There is no place...

New Orleans Approves Natural Gas Power Plant Despite Environmental Racism and Climate Concerns

Opponents of Entergy's proposed natural gas power plant pack the March 8 New Orleans City Council meeting. (All Photos: © Julie Dermansky) Despite hearing over...

The Moment of Trump

Photo by PunkToad | CC BY 2.0 On 2 November 1963 Ngo Dinh Diem was assassinated in a CIA-backed military coup. U.S. support for the...

The 50th Anniversary of the My Lai Massacre

50 years ago today, on March 16,1968, a company of green, battle-untested US Army combat soldiers from the Americal Division, swept into the un-defended...

In #CallForPeace Address, Sanders Takes on Endless War and Global Oligarchy

In a wide-ranging speech viewed by more than 11,000 people from over 30 countries, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Sunday commemorated the 15th anniversary...

William Astore on Ending America’s Cult of the Warrior-Hero

Every now and again I look over my dad’s letters from World War II. He was attached to an armored headquarters company that didn’t...

Behind Colin Powell’s Legend – My Lai – Consortiumnews

From the Archive: With media focus on the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War’s My Lai massacre, Colin Powell’s role as...

Feinstein asks CIA to declassify Gina Haspel post 9-11 torture documents before confirmation —...

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) has asked the CIA to declassify documents related to Deputy Director Gina...

US ships targeted by Chinese cyber attackers, report alleges — RT US News

According to new research, a Chinese cyber network is increasingly targeting US engineering and maritime entities,...

Four Hours in My Lai (Documentary)

Four Hours in My Lai is a 1989 television documentary made by Yorkshire Television concerning the 1968 My Lai Massacre...

Thousands of Students Protest Gun Violence

Sonoma County, California — Driving through small-town Sebastopol on March 14 toward the Senior Center, this 73-year-old noticed groups of young students with signs...

The day US military slaughtered a village & tried to cover it up (GRAPHIC...

Fifty years ago, a platoon of US soldiers stormed the quiet hamlet of My Lai in...

My Lai Fifty Years On

Photo by Ronald L. Haeberle | CC BY 2.0 Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are...

50 Years After My Lai: Remembering Charlie Company

Photo by -JvL- | CC BY 2.0 It was late January, 1969 when I joined the Company at LZ Thunder, located in southern Quang Ngai...

We Need to Talk About ‘Free Trade’

America, can we talk? We need to talk about “free trade.” We’ve needed to have this conversation for a while, actually. Like, since the...

The Lesson the Trump Administration has Failed to Learn about Yemen

Both the Trump and Obama administrations have advanced two fictions over the last three years to obscure U.S. complicity in Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe. From...

Cambodia Makes Good, Cheap Beer

Are Yemeni Kids, Like Palestinian Kids, Children of a Lesser God?

It seems the UK trains killers and supplies weapons with no regard for the humanitarian consequences. The toxic situation (by which I mean the continuing...

Ode to America | Dissident Voice

My own little worldIs what I deserve‘Cause I am the only child there is.A king of it allThe belle of the ballI promise I’ve...

The Illusion of War Without Casualties – Consortiumnews

America’s wars in the post-9/11 era have been characterized by relatively low U.S. casualties, but that does not mean that...

Fool’s Gold? The Rockies treasure hunt which has killed 4 people (VIDEO) — RT...

An eccentric octogenarian millionaire claims to have buried treasure somewhere in the Rocky mountains. Four people...

When ‘God Wills It!’: An American Reckoning

America may be sinking ever deeper into the moral morass of the Trump era, but if you think the malevolence of this period began...

To Stop War, Do What Katharine Gun Did – Consortiumnews

Legendary whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg’s advice to stop current and future wars is simple: do what Katharine Gun did, writes Norman...

William Joiner Institute Under Siege

Extra! Extra!!  David vs Goliath!!! In 1995, when reading my paperback copy of The Sorrow of War, by the North Vietnamese veteran and novelist Bao Ninh, I...

‘Angel of Death’ AC-130 gunship promo vid ignites backlash against Pentagon — RT US...

When the Pentagon posted some war porn on Twitter it should have been prepared for a...

‘They Put Lethal Weapons Into the Hands of 13-Year-Olds’

Janine Jackson interviewed Pat Elder about school militarization for the February 23, 2018, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. ...

Katharine Gun’s Risky Truth-telling – Consortiumnews

From the Archive: On March 2, 2003, British intelligence official Katharine Gun blew the whistle on a pre-Iraq War ploy....

Idiocy 101: Arming Teachers To Stop Mass Shootings In Schools

by Linn Washington, Jr. / March 1st, 2018 So President Donald Trump now pontificates that he would run into a school building to save students...

Time to Admit the Afghan War is ‘Nonsense’ – Consortiumnews

Officially, the U.S. military objective in Afghanistan is to force the Taliban to the negotiating table, but just last month...

Evangelical preacher Billy Graham, who brought God to TV and US politics, dies at...

The most influential American preacher of the 20th century has died at the age of 99....

An Old Soldier Fades Away

“We are selling the greatest product on earth. Why shouldn’t we promote it as effectively as we promote a bar of soap?”-- Billy Graham,...

How the Washington Post Missed the Biggest Watergate Story of All – Consortiumnews

The Watergate scandal may have been rooted in Richard Nixon’s alleged efforts to sabotage the 1968 Paris peace talks, but...

The Three Global Super-Powers

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org There are currently three global super-powers, three nations that lead the world: China, Russia, and U.S. After World War II,...

Russian ‘meddling’ as bad as Pearl Harbor attack, some US pundits claim — RT...

Following the underwhelming indictment of ‘Russian trolls’ for alleged meddling in the 2016 US elections, some...

American Carnage

Americans have a remarkable tolerance for child slaughter, especially the mass murders of the children of others. This emotional indifference manifested itself vividly after...

The Ghosts of 1968 – LewRockwell

William J. Astore on A Curious Aspect of Air Power – Antiwar.com Blog

Over the past several days, Russia and Israel have lost fighter jets over Syria. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to those countries. When...

A Mother’s Lesson on Peace

As a writer on human rights issues I don’t lack reasons for concern. In many countries nowadays human rights continue in some form are...

the Making of a Soldier

NLF soldiers, 1964-65. Photo Wilfred Burchett. To mark the 50th Anniversary of the 1968 Têt Offensive, CounterPunch is serializing Wilfred Burchett’s Vietnam Will Win (Guardian...
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Video: The Great American Pilgrimage: ‘New England Patriot’ – Westminster, MA

Stephen heads to a quaint New England town to sit down and talk with Bruce, a local Vietnam veteran who battled cancer he got...

Ike’s Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex Is Alive and Very Well – Antiwar.com Blog

Look, Ma: More Money! Don’t Worry: We’ll Spend It WiselyThe new Congressional budget boosts military spending in a big...

Living With Truth Decay

“Once a policy has been adopted and implemented, all subsequent activity becomes an effort to justify it” — Barbara Tuchman, The March of Folly: From...

Because This Is 2018, An Actual Nazi Is the GOP Candidate For An Illinois...

  Leaving Roy Moore and his paltry pedophile tendencies in the dust, Arthur Jones - in-your-face Nazi, vehement Holocaust denier, devoted white supremacist and oh...

‘You Have to Have Journalists Who Are Committed to Getting at the Truth’

The February 2, 2018, episode of CounterSpin re-aired a classic interview with the late Robert Parry, first broadcast on November 16, 2007; Steve Rendall...

Last-Minute Modifications Improved Trump’s Nuclear-Weapons Strategy

(This is the most important article I have ever written.) Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org The U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), a key nuclear-strategy document...

Recipe Concocted for Perpetual War Is a Bitter One – Consortiumnews

Perpetual war is leading to a host of societal ills, yet debates on war and peace are almost entirely absent...

‘Duck and Cover’ Drills Exacerbate Fears of N. Korea War – Consortiumnews

A recent false alarm in Hawaii had citizens in a state of panic over an impending nuclear attack, which, as...

Meet the Man Who Secretly Helped Daniel Ellsberg Leak Pentagon Papers to the Press

Historian Gar Alperovitz has revealed for the first time the key role he and a handful of other activists played in helping whistleblower Daniel...

How Much America’s Gov’t. Has Paid for Its Invasions of Iraq & Afghanistan

Eric Zuesse At least six times — in 2006, twice in 2007, in 2008, in 2010, and most recently at the end of 2014 —...

Public Intellectuals and Activists Weigh In on the Tet Offensive 50 Years Later

File picture of a female Viet Cong soldier in action with an anti-tank gun during fighting in the Mekong River Delta during the Tet...

The Tet Offensive Fifty Years Later – Consortiumnews

On January 31, 1968, Viet Cong forces attacked the U.S. Embassy in Saigon as part of the Tet Offensive, a...

The My Lai Massacre: Fifty Years Later

Photo by -JvL- | CC BY 2.0 Nineteen sixty-eight was an earth-shattering year! Revolution was in the air all across the globe from nations in...

How We Got Donald Trump: American Paths Chosen and Not (1989-2018) | By Andrew...

The present arrives out of a past that we are too quick to forget, misremember, or enshroud in myth.  Yet like it or not,...

A Tribute to Robert Parry: Independent Journalism at Its Best

Investigative journalist Robert Parry (1949-2018) Journalism lost one of its most valuable investigators when Robert Parry died from pancreatic cancer on January 27, at the...

The War That Never Ends (for the U.S. Military High Command) – Consortiumnews

A preoccupation with the “win-ability” of the Vietnam War has persisted among U.S. military commanders who doggedly pursue the War...

The Legacy of Investigative Journalist Robert Parry (1949-2018) | By Nat Parry

It is with a heavy heart that we inform Consortiumnews readers that Editor Robert Parry has passed away. As regular readers know, Robert (or...

The War in America’s ‘Democratic’ Party

Over Whether to Go to War Against Russia Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org On January 23rd, Joe Biden virtually threw his hat into the 2020...

Truth or Treason? Dirty Secrets of the Korean War

Photo by Stefan Krasowski | CC BY 2.0 The Korean War ended in a stalemate at the 38th parallel, which to this day divides North...

The Trials of Africa and the Real Dr. King They Want Us to Forget

On January 15, millions of Americans commemorated Martin Luther King’s Day. His famous speech, ‘I Have a Dream’ was repeated numerous times in media...

Mainstream Media and Imperial Power – Consortiumnews

Noted journalist and filmmaker John Pilger’s collection of work has been archived by the British Library, but deep-rooted problems of...

Commandos decapitate snakes, drink their blood in front of Mattis on Asia tour (PHOTOS,...

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was treated to a bizarre and brutal display of military and...

A year of Trumpisms — RT US News

The ‘fire and fury’ of US President Donald Trump has translated into many memorable phrases that...

Peace Should Be Integral to the Women’s March

There is one thing missing from the upcoming Women’s March publicity and philosophy: the urgent need for Peace not War! The March will speak out...

To Liberate Cambodia | Dissident Voice

by Robert J. Burrowes / January 16th, 2018 A long-standing French protectorate briefly occupied by Japan during World War II, Cambodia became independent in 1953...

No US Foreign Bases – A Call for Peace From a New Coalition –...

Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. day, and on a day where people often discuss his dreams, they rarely discuss his nightmares. It was...

Newly Discovered 1964 MLK Speech on Civil Rights, Segregation, and Apartheid South Africa

In a Democracy Now! and Pacifica Radio Archives exclusive, we air a newly discovered recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On December 7,...

‘This Is Not a Time for False Equivalence’

This is a lightly edited transcript of the December 29, 2017, year-end Best of CounterSpin episode. ***** ...

Why the ‘Progressive’ Historian Stephen Cohen Refuses to Call a U.S. Coup a “Coup”

Eric Zuesse The most important historical event of recent times was a coup that occurred in 2014 and caused what’s now called ‘the new Cold...

Giving War Too Many Chances – Consortiumnews

As the new year begins, it is important for the U.S. to acknowledge its troubling history of global war-making, especially...

Cost of War

Penny for you thought Nickel for your soul The band is tuning the instruments Bass drum banging, boom boom boom Our saxophonist refuses to repent For touching the violinist When...

Wisconsin-Born Marcus Raskin Shaped Progressive Politics Of Two Centuries | By John Nichols

Barely a year after the death of Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy in 1957, the voters of his home state sent Robert Kastenmeier to the...

Who Really Defeated ISIS? – Antiwar.com Blog

Who defeated the Islamic State In Syria? Before answering that question. What is the ISIS? Can the public overcome its chronic amnesia and think back...

‘Same big pharma that hooked people on opioids now profits again from addicts’ switch...

Published time: 1 Jan, 2018 16:18 The same pharma companies that profited from the opioid epidemic...

An Apology and Explanation – Consortiumnews

From Editor Robert Parry: For readers who have come to see Consortiumnews as a daily news source, I would like...

China tests hypersonic glide weapon as US footprint in Asia Pacific grows — RT...

The Chinese military has successfully flight-tested a new ballistic missile-launched hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV), a menacing...

‘Drug companies lobbying contributed to demand among doctors’ — RT US News

Culture is contributing to the opioid crisis in the US; drug companies ease supply, and lobbying...

Revolutionary and State Violence: The Chickens Always Come Home to Roost

The political system is corrupt to the extreme. Its disdain for democracy is profound. A caretaker’s observation at a cemetery on the Greek island...

Veterans slam US polluting Okinawa — RT US News

The Japanese island of Okinawa has been dubbed the Pacific junk heap thanks to the Pentagon’s...

The Voice of America as Trojan Horse

...or Democracy as American franchise. The Voice of America has always been a ploy to coerce the people into believing that state corporatism is the...

‘It’s Because of Their Independence That They Can Get These Stories’

Janine Jackson interviewed Jeff Cohen about the documentary All Governments Lie  for the December 15, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited...

“The Post” and the Pentagon Papers

Scene from “The Post.” Among the stack of DVD’s received from studio publicists last month was Stephen Spielberg’s “The Post” that is both an homage...

MSM covering ‘Russia meddling’ with no evidence, says New York Uni professor — RT...

US media and government members baselessly accuse Russia of influencing the 2016 presidential election, presenting any...

As American Statecraft Crumbles into Dangerous Incoherence, Where is the Senate? | By Andrew...

Where is J. William Fulbright when we need him? Or if not Fulbright, perhaps Robert M. La Follette or George W. Norris. Personally, I’d...

A Report to Our Readers – Consortiumnews

From Editor Robert Parry: Since we started Consortiumnews in 1995 at the dawn of the modern Internet, the threat to...

What’s at Stake in Honduran Election – Consortiumnews

Protests continue over the disputed Honduran presidential election after a solid lead by a progressive was wiped out amid gross...

The USA Is Number One – In Weapons Sales

Once again, the USA leads the world in weapons sales, notes SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The 100 biggest arms producers accounted...

James Bovard’s latest book is free on Amazon on December 14 and 15 –...

Freedom Frauds: Hard Lessons in American Liberty https://www.amazon.com/Freedom-Frauds-Lessons-American-Liberty-ebook/dp/B0765D3GJR James Bovard’s latest book is free on Amazon on December 14 and 15. Freedom Frauds is the...

Why the Honduras Crisis Matters to Me

For seven months in 1969 I hitch-hiked around the US, Mexico and Central America with my best friend from high school. Some class-mates from...

The Secret US Death Plan

A brilliant and alarming book, beautifully written by America’s greatest whistle blower. Before the Pentagon Papers, before Watergate, before his involvement as an advisor in...

Silencing of Courageous Documentaries – Consortiumnews

Historically, documentaries have told important truth in powerful ways and often challenging powerful groupthinks, but such brave films are becoming...

Why the Documentary Must Not Be Allowed to Die

Photo by MattysFlicks | CC BY 2.0 I first understood the power of the documentary during the editing of my first film, The Quiet Mutiny. In the...

Still Waiting… A Harvey Weinstein Moment for America’s Wars? | By Andrew Bacevich

What makes a Harvey Weinstein moment? The now-disgraced Hollywood mogul is hardly the first powerful man to stand accused of having abused women. The...

Alt-history? Trump claims US won two World Wars & defeated communism — RT US...

Donald Trump has delivered his own reading of history that is likely to raise eyebrows in...

US Military Planned First Strike On Every City In Russia and China

Daniel Ellsberg – America’s most famous whistleblower, the former military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers which helped end the Vietnam war – has...

Sucking Liberals into a New Cold War – Consortiumnews

Out of fury against President Trump, many liberals have enlisted in the ranks of the New Cold War against Russia,...

Still in Its Youth, But Just as Stupid

Photo by Nathaniel St. Clair “He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.” –...

The Cold War Now and Then

He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did. – President Trump re Vladimir...

Civilian Casualties From “Precision” Air Strikes in Iraq and Syria

The final elimination of Isis in Iraq and Syria is close, but welcome though the defeat of these monstrous movements may be, it has only been achieved at...

‘Thank You for Saving My Son From All the Grief and Pain!’ – Antiwar.com...

I recently spoke at a conference sponsored by the National Association of Social Workers discussing the moral injury suffered by veterans returning from war....

China, Burma and the CIA

Photo by ResoluteSupportMedia | CC BY 2.0 You won’t find a star of remembrance for him on the wall of fallen “heroes” at CIA HQ...

Former NSA worker pleads guilty to snatching classified docs — RT US News

A former employee for the NSA who worked to infiltrate foreign computer networks has admitted to...

The Key Reason Why the USA Keeps Losing Wars – Antiwar.com Blog

In a word, dishonesty. That’s the key reason why America keeps losing its wars of choice, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, or elsewhere. Dishonesty...

America’s Military-Industrial Addiction – Consortiumnews

Polls show that Americans are tired of endless wars in faraway lands, but many cheer President Trump’s showering money on...

Scarlet fever cases at unexplained 50-year high — RT UK News

Published time: 30 Nov, 2017 04:13 Scarlet fever, the highly infectious, once-deadly disease last feared...

There’s No Peace on Earth

‘Pentagon may mask real troop number in Syria, Iraq to avoid outcry from war-weary...

The American public is exhausted by wars. However, the US has a lot of generals who...

White House military aides probed over contact with foreign women — RT US News

Published time: 22 Nov, 2017 17:09 Edited time: 23 Nov, 2017 15:14 Three military personnel have...

Why James Mattis Should Be Fired and Court-Martialed

Eric Zuesse The U.S. Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis, made a secret decision to place the safety and welfare of some foreigners higher than...

Young Patriots, Black Panthers and the Rainbow Coalition

Photo by joey zanotti | CC BY 2.0 Young Patriots* In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, the social movements crossed over into revolutionary territory. The...

In Case You Missed… – Consortiumnews

Some of our special stories in October dealt with the impact of climate change, the Saudi role in Mideast bloodshed,...

The Ongoing Agony of the Obama-Trump War on the People of Yemen!

We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation. — Martin Luther King, “Beyond Vietnam” Yemen, the poorest...

Denying the Imperium of Death – Consortiumnews

The tens of thousands of American deaths from drug overdoses are a measure of the hopeless desperation left behind by...

A Partisanship Of The Heart: Interior Measures Towards A Re-Visioning Of Capitalism’s Imperium Of...

According to a nationwide study conducted by the Center For Disease And Prevention (CDC) a greater number of US Americans died (approximately 65,000) from...

Elder Statesmen or Serial Fabricators?

On Sunday, Former CIA Director John Brennan and Former National Intelligence Director (NID) James Clapper appeared on CNN’s morning talk show, State of the...

Cult survivor recalls brainwashing, blackmail & mass suicide (AUDIO) — RT US News

Sprung from a church in 1950s Indiana, the People’s Temple was hailed by its charismatic founder...

To Counter Gun Violence, Build a Real Alternative to the Right Wing

Each mass shooting in the US is a sign of societal sickness, and their increased pace and deadliness shows the disease is becoming more...

Soldier Boy, for Veteran’s Day – Antiwar.com Blog

Perhaps only ancient Sparta claimed to support its military more than the United States. From the “soldiers in uniform board first” rituals that happen...

Senator Al Franken Kissed and Groped Me Without My Consent, and There’s Nothing Funny...

By Leeann Tweeden In December of 2006, I embarked on my ninth USO Tour to entertain our troops, my eighth to the...

Thank You, Ed Herman

Edward S. Herman died on November 11, 2017, at the age of 92.  Fortunately, it was a peaceful death for a supremely peaceful man. ...

Edward S. Herman: Master of Dissent (1925–2017) | By Jeff Cohen

One of the greatest and sweetest media critics ever, Edward S. Herman, has passed away. Ed was the main author of Manufacturing Consent: The...

America’s Righteous Russia-gate Censorship – Consortiumnews

Exclusive: Arriving behind the anti-Trump “resistance” and the Russia-gate “scandal” is a troubling readiness to silence dissent in the U.S.,...

Edward S. Herman: Master of Dissent (1925–2017)

Edward S. Herman (image: Real News) One of the greatest and sweetest media critics ever, Edward S. Herman, has passed away. Ed was the main...

Thank You, Ed Herman – Antiwar.com Blog

Edward S. Herman died on November 11, 2017, at the age of 92. Fortunately, it was a peaceful death for a supremely peaceful...

‘Slap at the First Amendment’

Suppressing RT and comments the US government doesn’t like is a direct violation of the First...
video

Video: ‘Clinton, Obama tried to get along with Russia, but there was no chemistry’...

Trump spoke about Russia & North Korea during a joint news conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to ... Via...

55 Years After: Political Legacies of the Cuban Missile Crisis

The last two weeks of October 1962, 55 years ago, was the closest the world has come so far to a widespread nuclear exchange...

US leader confused by ASEAN group handshake aimed at showing unity — RT US...

Published time: 13 Nov, 2017 10:37 Edited time: 13 Nov, 2017 10:40 Donald Trump’s latest handshake...

Into the Afghan Abyss (Again) | By Alfred W. McCoy

After nine months of confusion, chaos, and cascading tweets, Donald Trump’s White House has finally made one thing crystal clear: the U.S. is staying...

Nothing ‘substantive’ to talk about? Tillerson questions grounds for Putin-Trump meeting — RT US...

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has questioned whether the Russian and US leaders have anything “sufficiently...

Trump Widely Rebuked for Remarks About Alleged Election Interference by Russians

U.S. President Donald Trump was widely rebuked on Saturday after telling reporters he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin's claims that the Russian government did...

‘Trying hard to be friend!’ Offended Trump says would never call Kim Jong-un ‘short...

Published time: 12 Nov, 2017 02:10 Edited time: 12 Nov, 2017 02:24 Donald Trump seems disappointed...

The Danger of the Sacred Soldier | By William Rivers Pitt

On a day devoted to acknowledging the people who have served in the U.S. armed forces, it is equally important to take sharp note of the...

Trump lashes out at ‘haters & fools’ rejecting good relations with Russia as a...

Published time: 12 Nov, 2017 00:43 Edited time: 12 Nov, 2017 00:56 President Donald Trump has...
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Video: What do you think they talked about? Putin, Trump greet each other on...

US President Donald Trump on Saturday shook hands briefly with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin ahead of a meeting of world leaders at the...

Obama & Clinton tried and failed to make friends with Putin, Trump says —...

Donald Trump has branded the ‘Russian election meddling’ rhetoric a “Democratic hit job,” saying, that both...
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Video: ‘Trump and I agreed on UN-led political process needed for Syria’ – Putin...

President Putin has given a media conference on the last day of the APEC summit in Vietnam. And he answered some questions regarding Syria,...

Green Party VP hits out at RT ‘foreign agent’ tag — RT US News

Published time: 11 Nov, 2017 16:29 Ajamu Baraka, the vice presidential candidate for the Green Party...

#BanTrump: On Both Sides of Pacific, Protests Over Trump’s Visit to Philippines

Accusing President Donald Trump of representing "the worst aspects of U.S. imperialism," hundreds of Filipinos protested in Manila on Friday ahead of his visit. Protesters...

That Bloodbath in the Old Dominion

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Video: On Asia Trip, Trump Met by Protests Calling on U.S. to Open Diplomatic...

https://democracynow.org - President Donald Trump continued his five-nation tour of Asia, landing in Vietnam today for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ... Via Youtube
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Video: Chinese President Xi gives statement at APEC Summit (STREAMED LIVE)

Chinese President Xi Jinping is delivering a keynote speech at the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) International summit in Da Nang, Vietnam. Via Youtube

Pentagon confirms joint drill of 3 aircraft carriers in Pacific — RT US News

Published time: 9 Nov, 2017 01:31 Edited time: 9 Nov, 2017 02:09 Three US aircraft carrier...

No Proportion Kept: Within the Belly of the US’s Star-spangled Leviathan

Ha, ha! keep time: how sour sweet music is,When time is broke and no proportion kept!So is it in the music of men’s lives. —...

President Bush’s or Bowe Bergdahl’s?

White House photo by Paul Morse | Public Domain I’m admitting I made a horrible mistake. —  Bowe Bergdahl’s testimony in his court martial Charging a man...

A Nation of Relentless Savagery

You’ve been avoiding this for a long time. You prefer to remember the times he took you to the park, that amazing camping vacation a...

Twitter erupts after Trump says he ‘never knew we had so many countries’ —...

Published time: 7 Nov, 2017 15:31 US President Donald Trump said he “never knew we had...

Congress’s Romance With Cowardice: War Without War Powers

US Army soldiers test a weapon on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, on August 22, 2014. (Photo: The US Army)   On September 1, 1970, soon after President...

‘Washington seeks to contain China, while avoiding confrontation’ — RT US News

The real priority of US President Donald Trump’s Asian tour could be forming a coalition to...

Japan to deploy elite, all-female police force to protect Melania & Ivanka during visit...

Published time: 2 Nov, 2017 23:07 Edited time: 3 Nov, 2017 09:01 The Tokyo Metropolitan Police...

‘North Koreans are great people’ – Trump — RT US News

US President Donald Trump praised the “industrious” North Korean people before landing in Japan, where he...

Bush presidents, Snr & Jr, lash out at ‘blowhard’ Trump — RT US News

Published time: 5 Nov, 2017 01:44 Established etiquette dictates that former US presidents keep their counsel...

Disrupting “The Marketplace of Ideas”: Then and Now  

Photo by erick hrz aguirre | CC by 2.0 The “better angels of our nature” that Abraham Lincoln talked about have always been in short...

White House on lockdown ‘due to suspicious activity,’ suspect is in custody – US...

Published time: 3 Nov, 2017 14:03 Edited time: 3 Nov, 2017 14:36 A person has been...

Letters from the Leader of Al Qaeda

Eric Zuesse   Since there's no decent presentation on the Web of Ayman al-Zawahiri's lengthy 9 July 2005 letter to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, I'm here posting...

How America Spreads Global Chaos – Consortiumnews

The U.S. government may pretend to respect a “rules-based” global order, but the only rule Washington seems to follow is...

Levitating the Pentagon

Photo by gregwest98 | CC by 2.0 The summer of 1967 the Israeli military seized the West Bank and Gaza from the Palestinians in what...

US judiciary has no say over Trump’s wars, DoJ argues in court — RT...

The US Justice Department believes that courts should not have a say over how the administration...

Nuclear Midnight in Korea

Photo by Surian Soosay | CC by 2.0 The hands of the Doomsday Clock are moving closer to midnight.  On Sunday, October 22, the website...

US imposes ‘human rights’ sanctions against North Korea — RT US News

Published time: 26 Oct, 2017 18:00 The US Treasury has issued new sanctions targeting seven North...

To Deduce or Not to… Existential Observation and the Deep State

On the one hand, people will deduce that their best interests are served by investing in productive activities that ameliorate deprivation of one kind...

Arizona senator bows out of 2018 race in anti-Trump speech — RT US News

Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) has announced he will run for reelection in 2018, citing the Trump-era...

CIA in Afghanistan: Operation Phoenix Redux?

Photo by ResoluteSupportMedia | CC by 2.0 These CIA teams in Afghanistan are not just reminiscent of the Operation Phoenix program in Vietnam, the death...

‘The Bureau Is Once Again Profiling Black Activists Because of Their Beliefs and Their...

Janine Jackson interviewed Nusrat Choudhury about the FBI’s “black extremist identity” designation for the October 20, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly...

Operation Phoenix Redux? – Antiwar.com Blog

These CIA teams in Afghanistan are not just reminiscent of the Operation Phoenix program in Vietnam, the death squads of Central America and the...

The American War

Anita Hoffman and Nancy Kurshan burning judges robes after the Chicago 8 verdict, 1968. I was 23-years-old the first time I was arrested. It was...

Will the Military Throw the Book at Bowe Bergdahl?

Photo by United States Army | CC by 2.0 Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is likely to get a concentrated taste of military “justice” when he is...

In Case You Missed… – Consortiumnews

Some of our special stories in September examined the risk of nuclear war over North Korea, the shifting power balance...

Trump & McCain at each other’s throats again — RT America

Donald Trump said he will fight back and that it “won’t be pretty” after Senator John...

Why the Vengeance Toward Sgt. Bergdahl – Consortiumnews

The angry politics around Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s “desertion” in Afghanistan revolve around right-wing hatred for President Obama who engineered Bergdahl’s...

Young Labour appears to brand NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg ‘a fascist’ — RT UK

Young Labour, the youth wing of Britain’s main opposition party, has passed a motion describing...

Trump and Pence’s War on Black Athletes Has Nothing to Do With Sports

Like his boss Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence is a lazy racist. Trump's public demands nothing more because they are easily satisfied by the...

Thugs spray acid into shopkeeper’s mouth in London robbery (VIDEO) — RT UK

Published time: 13 Oct, 2017 14:47 Two men caught on CCTV throwing acid in the...

I went to School with the Vegas Shooter

Mobile home on tracks, Sun Valley CA, birthplace of the Vegas shooter. From the film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. Los Angeles — When we...

Daniel Ellsberg calls on whistleblowers to leak info on Afghanistan, Iraq & North Korea

US whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who helped end the Vietnam War by releasing the so-called Pentagon Papers,...

Citadels of Paranoia: An Occupation by Phantoms

The frantic fear-mongering of American culture – Russians, North Koreans, Iranians, the Others are out to get us – has...

US destroyer challenges Beijing’s ‘excessive maritime claims’ in South China Sea – report

Published time: 10 Oct, 2017 22:10 The USS Chafee navy destroyer has sailed near the disputed...

The Meaning of Che: a Revolutionary Power to Heal

Photo by Thomassin Mickaël | CC BY 2.0 On October 9, 1967, in southern Bolivia, near the barren and desolate village of La Higuera, the...

America’s Long History of Warfare

Americans like to view their country as a force for peace in the world when the historical reality is almost...

Anatomy of a Mass Murder: a Crib Sheet for the Press

Let me start with a completely unfair statement.  Coverage of mass shooting events could and should be much more insightful, factual and analytical.  It...

President Zigzag

Exclusive: President Trump boasts about his “zigzag” foreign policy as if inconsistency is an attribute in dealing with a fragile...

The Violence Comes Home Again

In the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, as in the wake of all the high-profile mass shootings that preceded it, the big question...

Challenging the Saudi Air War on Yemen

Placating Saudi Arabia over the Iran nuclear deal, President Obama authorized U.S. military support for the Saudi air assault on...

Lessons From Stop the Draft Week 50 Years Ago

In 1967, protesters filled the streets of Oakland to stop the draft. Seven faced serious charges – and their message still resonates today October marks...

Sharpening the Contradictions from the Fifty Yard Line

Photo by The U.S. Army | CC BY 2.0 Back in 1967-1970, when I actually used to follow the National Football League I never thought...

I Am Puerto Rico, So Are You

by Manuel Garcia Jr. / September 27th, 2017 The island of Puerto Rico has been destroyed by Hurricane Maria and remains in ruins with little...

The Killing of History

   The lone survivor of an all-women anti-aircraft battery near Hanoi. Most were teenagers. (Photo: John Pilger 1975) One of the most hyped “events” of...

Twitter cites ‘newsworthiness’ as reason for not removing threatening Trump tweet

Published time: 27 Sep, 2017 00:19 Edited time: 27 Sep, 2017 00:20 Twitter has said that...

Good Blacks, Bad Blacks: From Washington and DuBois to Morgan Freeman and Colin Kaepernick

Photo by 7beachbum | CC BY 2.0 White America, for the most part, makes a critical distinction between “good” and “bad” Black Americans – and...

Seymour Hersh Receives Adams Award for Integrity

Seymour Hersh receiving the annual Integrity Award from the The Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence on Sept. 22, 2017, in WashingtonJournalist Seymour...

Hersh Receives Adams Award for Integrity

Journalist Seymour Hersh, whose career includes exposing U.S. intelligence abuses, received an award for integrity from an organization of former...

Charity rents out Trump’s childhood home to refugees in publicity stunt

The international charity Oxfam rented out President Trump’s childhood home in Queens, New York, letting four...

The Killing of History

Photo by FDR Presidential Library & Museum | CC BY 2.0 One of the most hyped “events” of American television, The Vietnam War, has started on...

The Killing of History

Photo by FDR Presidential Library & Museum | CC BY 2.0 One of the most hyped “events” of American television, The Vietnam War, has started on...

The Killing of History

PBS’ “The Vietnam War” may show some of the conflict’s horrors but still soft-pedals the horrific war crimes that America...

We Cannot Go on Like This. It Is Time to Talk to North Korea

The ignorance and hubris of the President of the United States knows no boundaries. At his debut speech on Tuesday at the United Nations...

Distorted Views of the Enemy and Bush’s “Axis of Evil”

Many years ago, while the war in Vietnam still raged, the psychologist Ralph K. White wrote a book entitled Nobody Wanted War that has...

Oxfam Has Made Refugees Welcome… at Trump's Childhood Home

When can an Airbnb rental make a commentary about the U.S. president's anti-refugee rhetoric and actions and implore world leaders to do more to...

The Dark Side of William F. Buckley, Jr.

Photo by White House photo office | CC BY 2.0 Beneath the St. Christopher Medal and the Brooks Brothers Suit Lurked the Soul of a...

A World Without Nation-States

US limits visas for African, Asian nations over deportations

The US State Department said it will stop issuing certain kinds of visas to citizens of...

CNN Celebrates ‘Joy’ of McCain a Day After His Genocidal Threat

Professional truth-teller and self-appointed Russian counter-propagandist Jake Tapper had Arizona Sen. John McCain on his State of Union show (CNN, 9/10/17) for a chummy...

Stormy Weather

In Capitalism: A Ghost Story, 2015, Arundhati Roy writes, “the middle class in India live side-by-side with spirits of the nether world, the poltergeist of...

Watch Monday: Special American Conservative Live Webcast on 9/11 Anniversary

From The American Conservative: Don’t miss a very special live webcast on You Tube at 12 p.m. EST on Monday as we explore “Who Watches...

Is the US Empire's Reign Nearing an End?

With a detailed account of how the US rose out of World War II to become the reigning empire, Alfred W. McCoy reveals how...

Ten Points on Korean History of Potential Current Relevance

(1) Historical factors have combined to produce a fiercely nationalistic population on both sides of the DMZ. Multiple kingdoms existed on the Korean Peninsula from...

Enforcing Empire Through a Global Surveillance State

(Photo: Ep_jhu) Historian Alfred W. McCoy's new book peels back layers of secrecy to tell how the United States used covert intervention, surveillance, torture, trade...

This Labor Day the Struggle Continues

Labor Day was established in 1894 by President Grover Cleveland, a Democrat, as a concession to the labor movement days after he used federal...

Seymour Hersh Honored for Integrity

An organization led by former U.S. intelligence officials has selected legendary journalist Seymour Hersh to be the recipient of an...

Seymour Hersh Honored for Integrity

Journalist Seymour Hersh is to be honored with this year’s Sam Adams Award for Integrity to be presented to him at the Sam Adams...

Trump Continues Invasions that Can’t Succeed

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Do you remember the Vietnam War, which produced somewhere between 1,450,000 and 3,595,000 deaths? What good did America’s invasion...

Finally, MLK Jr’s Revolution? Challenging Confederate Generals and US Generals Today

Photo by Ron Cogswell | CC BY 2.0 King’s revolutionary call to “get on the right side of world revolution” insists that we cannot separate...

Afghanistan and the Collapse of American Governance

For years Donald Trump called for an end to America’s war in Afghanistan. Yet as president he has quickly decided to expand the war....

#Nuclearban: How Will China Play Its Hand?

From the moment the global nuclear ban treaty initiative first got under way, it was clear that China’s role would be pivotal.I wrote yesterday...

The Nations that Accept Nazism Today

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org The U.S. Government leads a global operation to make racist fascism ‘respectable’ again. On 21 November 2014, in a vote...

Trump and the Geopolitics of Crazy

The United States has beaten its head against the wall of North Korea for more than 70 years, and that wall has changed little...

Trump’s Fascism versus Obama’s Fascism

Eric Zuesse, as originally posted at The Saker Barack Obama was the only U.S. President who at the United Nations defended nazism — racist fascism...

Truth and Lives vs. Career and Fame

Exclusive: As President Trump considers sending more troops to Afghanistan, it’s worth recalling the modern U.S. dynamic of politicians and...

BREAKING: Charlottesville to Keep Only Non-Racist War Monuments

Under the new policy just announced in Charlottesville, Virginia, the city will be taking down all but the non-racist war monuments and memorials in...

Discovering Racism and Then Discovering It Anew

Photo by Pug50 | CC BY 2.0 I grew up in Storrs, Connecticut, a faculty brat in a university town where minority people were few...

The Fetishization of Violence: Reflections on Charlottesville, WWII and Activism

Photo by stavros karabinas | CC BY 2.0 “The experience that we have of our lives from within, the story we tell ourselves about ourselves...

La guerre sale

We fear the night We praise the day Watch the beach Evade the wave It’s the somewhat rich that we somewhat adore It’s the harmless non-white, the poor, we deplore. We issue medals (oh,...

Vassal Aristocracies Increasingly Resist Control by U.S. Aristocracy

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at The Saker The tumultuous events that dominate international news today cannot be accurately understood outside of their underlying context, which...

Veterans group sues Pentagon after personal military records exposed

The Pentagon is being sued by a veterans group after the agency exposed private information of...

Louisiana annuls law restricting immigrants’ right to marry

A federal judge in Louisiana has struck down a state law that prohibited a Vietnamese refugee’s...

U.S. Government and Press Lie Constantly, with Total Impunity

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org The U.S. press don’t report this fact, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. The following will document its...

‘Russiagate’ — The Most Trustworthy Current Information

Eric Zuesse This summary is up-to-date as of August 6th, but it will start with a leak from a phone-conversation on August 1st, in which...
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