A couple of days back I posted about the passing of Stanley Karnow, well known journalist, especially on Vietnam and East Asia, and historical novelist that led to a very popular PBS documentary about the Vietnam war.
In it a few of the comments mentioned having read his book on Vietnam. Yesterday on the NPR show 'Fresh Air' they had an interview with Nick Turse who has a new book on the atrocities in Vietnam from materials found in the National Archives that apparently have now been pulled from those shelves, after he started reporting on what he found.
Thought a few might be interested in hearing this interview as well as an earlier one with Karnow.
Visitors take in a re-created scene at the massacre museum at Vietnam's My Lai village. Researcher Nick Turse says atrocities of all kinds were more common in the Vietnam War than most Americans believe.
28 January 2013 - On March 16, 1968, between 347 and 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were gunned down by members of the U.S. Army in what became known as the My Lai Massacre.
The U.S. government has maintained that atrocities like this were isolated incidents in the conflict. Nick Turse says otherwise. In his new book, "Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam", Turse argues that the intentional killing of civilians was quite common in a war that claimed 2 million civilian lives, with 5.3 million civilians wounded and 11 million refugees.
And as Turse tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, "as many as 4 million [were] exposed to toxic defoliants like Agent Orange."
"It's suffering on an almost unimaginable scale, and it was generally due to heavy firepower," Turse says. "It's not these microlevel atrocities in most circumstances."
Turse wrote the book after stumbling on a previously unexplored cache of documents in the basement of the National Archives that detailed allegations of atrocities in Vietnam. The cases, says Turse, "were closed with little or seemingly no investigation done." read, and listen to, more>>>
January 28, 2013 The veteran journalist died on Sunday at age 87. He was famous for his reporting on the Vietnam War, and in 1989 he spoke with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about another war: The Spanish-American War and U.S. involvement in the Philippines. read, and listen to, more>>>
I made a comment in the earlier post about the lessons not learned, Country in one voice stated they would never forget as we came back from that occupation.
Lessons of weren't, the really important ones, as these present two long occupations, one still ongoing after the countries greater majority abandoned the main missions for even sending our military into that region with the growing drum beats, and highly ginned up intelligence, pointed at another country in the region. That one is officially over as to military operations even though we have a huge embassy with mostly highly paid mercenary security guards on our payroll to protect the footprint of the state department personal and more then likely American business interests in that country.
But there were lessons learned from Vietnam, especially by Government propagandists but also the real journalist.
Remember the hyped up reports about some soldiers and what happened to them in capture or even killings, quickly after they started unraveling either by the soldiers or real investigative journalism.
Remember the reports about the torture, even though against not only international law but domestic as well as we helped write the international and condemn others for doing. And the lengths gone to to not only justify but to legalize the human rights atrocities that only handfuls actually believe they work or were convinced they did, mostly for civilians by a TV drama heavy in torture tactics. They didn't in Vietnam and still don't, people just like doing to weld power and fear, reason regimes still do and we even used some to do ours in these recent past years, to maintain that power and control.
Remember the reports of atrocities that couldn't be hidden, like the young girl being raped and her and her family then killed with those involved then trying to make it look like the whole family were insurgents, more will eventually come out in the coming years but some did come to light rather rapidly as some soldiers told their stories and more listened this time then the condemnation given same back during and after Vietnam.
Two of of our Vietnam brothers are going before Congress, one already has though he's also one that has been the target of scorn for decades because of his two tours in Vietnam and his stand on after he came home by the similar financed propagandist mentioned above and even some Vietnam vets who've never come to the reality and won't, for approval to high level positions in the Executive branch but also in our Government as our direct representatives to the World of our Country. The one coming up, tomorrow I believe, is getting some of the same propaganda pointed directly at him only he's also from the same politics having already served in Congress under it's banner. Rachel called out one group and did so again last night:
These are the so called political ideology of 'strong on national defense' which in reality is more like 'Strong on National Defense Contractors' and always have, billions were made off these recent wars and especially with no bid contracts and on the Countries easy credit credit card, not a dime yet to be paid back nor especially for the results of both, DeJa-Vu all over again.
Turse's NPR discussion, and the book sounds like it does, about Vietnam, adding in Karnow's history about and many others over the years, along with the Appointments in this Administrations second term, give insight into why these two brother Vietnam veterans think the way they do, and are condemned for doing so, on this Countries use of our military power on others for the wide range of reasons, mostly chosen, it is that we should be the World leader in Diplomacy and that wars, destruction of people and all about their countries, the absolute last resort. We for some reason still think we are even as the past decade plus showed we weren't with the past few years of that showing some are trying to regain what the World once respected us for.
Note: The country has still yet come to terms with Vietnam and now we have two more long occupations that will probably follow same track, especially for some within this now divided, no longer United States, society!