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Topic: Gruesome Anniversery, My Lai< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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Buggyboo Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 17 2013, 11:49 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Remnants from another trumped up crusade;


http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinion...._1.html


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 17 2013, 4:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Most Americans -- including many here -- don't give a shiit -- not really.  If killing civilians with drones TODAY doesn't bother most Americans, they couldn't care less about what transpired in some stupid village 45 years ago!

Now, if it were the anniversary of the shooting of John Lennon -- they you're talking!  

In any case, most Americans just know  that America is the global force for good.  Period.  Don't bother us with inconvenient facts!   :;):


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 17 2013, 5:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My Lai was so obscene that the offenders were convicted of a war crime.~~

OK, so the only person convicted actually served his time under house arrest.  Old people, infants, and women were murdered.  Some women were raped and mutilated.  Big difference than just killed by drone.

Civilian populations are at risk in any battle, and have been since the Medieval times.  Is it any worse that the ones killing them are at a remote site?  Is it any different from the Generals at the rear, not on the front lines?  

Back to the OP--My Lai was just one part of our misguided involvement in Vietnam.  It was the absolute worst behavior we could foist off on a civilian population.  It is certainly one of the worst things we as a nation have been involved with.  

P.S.--I decided to go with ~~ as my symbol for sarcasm, after I saw it on another site.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 17 2013, 5:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I consider My Lai to have been an important formative event for my political values. As a high school kid, it concerned me and many of my friends. Of course I had older friends that were coming of draft age, so the many issues of the war and the draft were very much part of the social discussion of the times.

Many of those same friends are still part of my social network, even though most of us have spread out across the country. There is still real concern for civilian casualties.

There have been some significant changes since the carpet bombing of WWII or the napalm attacks of Vietnam. The military at least gives lip service to concerns of collateral damage. The weapons are more precise, taking out cars and houses rather than city blocks or entire villages.

On one hand, you have militants that make a practice of using human shields, planning military actions from homes and stockpiling weapons in those same homes where children live. We have some real world threats that cannot be ignored.

On the other hand, we have a population that demands drugs, and cheap fuel for our cars, steeped in a culture that resorts to weapons and force as a means to resolve almost every problem.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 17 2013, 7:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was in the Vietnam area (not actually in Vietnam - just in the "arena") from late 1965 to spring 1967. The closest I came to combat and all that was my less lucky friends - and the long daily "aerovacs" of wounded on buses, which trekked from the landing field to the hospital every day, blocking the main road for long periods of time.

I can't claim what I would have looked like morally, or what I would have, or would not have, done if I'd been subject to the brutalities of warfare as virtually all of those who lived on the ground certainly were.

I was lucky. I was not "in the war" like so many unlucky others. I worked in the comfort of an air-conditioned office. A friend of mine from high school was one of the guys on the ground. I honestly don't know if he survived or not. I haven't heard from him since the 60s. Another person I met at work in the 70s, after I'd returned and had started college, had also returned from duty in the Mekong, and he was still haunted, a decade later, by an incident in which he reflexively shot a small boy who attempted to steal his rations.

Many of the "atrocities" being reported then, during my short stint there, were the result of the presence of ROK troops, who seemed capable of virtually anything - if you believed the news reports. In fact, as I remember, many suspected Vietcong prisoners of war were passed over to ROK for "interrogation". No secret was made of the techniques used: I remember graphic pictures in "Stars and Stripes" of suspected Vietcong, strung together by passing barbed wire through the cheeks of their mouths.

I'm sure that, given the constant propaganda about "the enemy" and the constant atmosphere of "right against wrong" that prevailed everywhere, and to the extent that there were certain subjects that you just didn't dare broach, it's no surprise that there were actually many more such massacres which never reached the level of reporting given to My Lai.

The atrocities have, of course, continued in every action in which the U.S. has been involved. How do you separate the gung ho "we're right and they're wrong", "we're human and they're subhuman" propaganda that attends all of these things as a method of inspiring troops to fight someone they have no real fight with, and also keep them from thinking for long about the real possibility of death - how do you separate that, and the very basic gut reaction that comes from seeing your buddies die in a senselessly brutal war at the hands of people you are told are "subhuman" and with whom you simply cannot, and are not allowed to, identify? People who, in their desperation, with much, much more at stake, take bigger chances and who act even more ferociously brutal in the face of that more substantial risk?

As long as war is conducted, and the men who fight it have nothing more than jingoistic slogans to support their efforts - and little else - it will not stop. I suspect it is just a part of it - a part we seem to have no way of remembering from one time to the next.

What part of our national psyche is most damaged by this? Isn't it about time we started to address the myth of the superiority of the lone frontiersman - with his gun, killing the brutal savages?
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 17 2013, 7:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ol-zeke @ Mar. 17 2013, 2:33 pm)
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Civilian populations are at risk in any battle, and have been since the Medieval times.  Is it any worse that the ones killing them are at a remote site?  Is it any different from the Generals at the rear, not on the front lines?

In my view, those are not the fundamental questions.  Of course in a war situation... civilian casualties will often if not always be part of the 'equation'.

The fundamental question is just why we the United States start so many wars!?!  Not saying all of our wars are unjust (because that would be patently false) -- but saying that we are pretty darn good at cloaking our aggression and our arrogance in "humanitarian" terms -- you know, defending freedom and democracy.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 17 2013, 7:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Mar. 17 2013, 7:22 pm)
QUOTE

(ol-zeke @ Mar. 17 2013, 2:33 pm)
QUOTE
Civilian populations are at risk in any battle, and have been since the Medieval times.  Is it any worse that the ones killing them are at a remote site?  Is it any different from the Generals at the rear, not on the front lines?

In my view, those are not the fundamental questions.  Of course in a war situation... civilian casualties are often if not always part of the result.

The fundamental question is just why we the United States start so many wars!?!

Because we can!

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 17 2013, 7:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Buggyboo @ Mar. 17 2013, 4:24 pm)
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(Ben2World @ Mar. 17 2013, 7:22 pm)
QUOTE

(ol-zeke @ Mar. 17 2013, 2:33 pm)
QUOTE
Civilian populations are at risk in any battle, and have been since the Medieval times.  Is it any worse that the ones killing them are at a remote site?  Is it any different from the Generals at the rear, not on the front lines?

In my view, those are not the fundamental questions.  Of course in a war situation... civilian casualties are often if not always part of the result.

The fundamental question is just why we the United States start so many wars!?!

Because we can!

Exactly.  Now add to that our continuous effort at reducing the cost of war.  Drones are a good current example.  If we have to put boots on the ground every time -- our political leadership would be that much more hesitant.  But the last several decades, we have lessened the risks and costs with aerial bombing.  But sometimes, even our 'invisible' bombers and fighters get shot down.

So now, itls aerial drones -- no chance of losing American pilots. And soon, the army and navy will have their own ground and naval drones.  And to one's surprise -- many more missions will be considered "viable" -- and pursued.

But all we do is create ever more enemies -- determined as never before to find others means of defending themselves -- and perhaps eventually overpowering us.


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The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.  -- St. Augustine
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