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 Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam

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Posts : 112
Join date : 2012-07-30
Age : 66
Location : Pensacola

PostSubject: Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam   Thu May 09, 2013 2:17 pm

This was a good read, written by Nick Turse, who began researching the subject of U.S. atrocities in Vietnam as a mid-20s Ph.D student around 2005 or so. He obtained declassified information from DOD sources and copied reams of data; when the government got wind of what his research was about, the access to information suddenly got tighter.

The author states how the 1969 My Lai Massacre was just a pin-hole glimpse of the mass slaughter that took place in Vietnam from day-one of our major involvement there. The metric reached for was the "body count" and commanders became so obsessed with increasing the body count that they really did not care it they were VC/NVA fighters or civilians caught in between on the battlefield. They followed what Turse calls "The Mere Gook Rule" whereby anyone living in VC/NVA-controlled territory could be considered their supporters and therefore, were legitimate targets. Turse also refers to the so-called "West Point Protective Association" where officers from West Point took care to make sure none of them had any dirt on themselves/each other as they ran their share of the war-zone. When the My Lai story broke, Lt William Calley became the sacrificial-lamb, as his commission originated at OCS, and not West Point. After My Lai, General William Westmoreland became concerned about American conduct in Vietnam, but this was aimed at protecting himself and those at the top of the command structure, more so than it was at changing what was happening on the battlefield, where West Pointers went to build their legacy and make even bigger body-counts.

Turse is meticulous. He read reams of information, and then traveled to interview veterans named in the reports, and he traveled to Vietnam to look-up names and faces also reported. From the data and first-hand interviews, he pieces together a line-by line story. He doesn't withhold names of the leaders either--he names the top level officers who orchestrated the policies and the battlefield commanders who sometimes themselves wantonly killed Vietnamese civilians for sport by dropping grenades on them from helicopters.

After reading this book, I almost wish it were possible to send it back to 1970, when I was a senior in high school. It makes also me wonder who is going to one day write a similar book about the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those stories will one day inevitably be told.
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Posts : 9735
Join date : 2012-07-30
Age : 67
Location : Hoover, AL & Pensacola when I'm lucky

PostSubject: Re: Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam   Thu May 09, 2013 3:12 pm

Sadly, a good bit of that book is probably true.

It is a wonder that this author is still alive.

Ideas are funny little things, they won't work unless you do.
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