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Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam (American Empire Project) Hardcover – January 15, 2013
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The shocking images of the mounds of corpses, including women, children, and even babies, murdered by American troops in the Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai symbolized for many the horror of that war. At the time, military officials insisted that the massacre was an aberration and stressed that American troops in the field behaved with discipline and restraint, and strived to avoid civilian casualties. Not so, according to Turse, an investigative journalist who has been researching and writing about American “war crimes” in Vietnam for a decade. If his goal was to illustrate that atrocities committed against civilians were more widespread than previously acknowledged, Turse succeeds. He has mined Pentagon archives and conducted interviews with American veterans to credibly support his assertion. Unfortunately, Turse has a broader agenda, which is to show that the murder of civilians was systematic and encouraged by U.S. policy. He implies that our soldiers were on an out-of-control rampage on a regular basis.The nation could use a balanced view of the conduct of our combat troops in Vietnam, but this misses the mark. --Jay Freeman
After reading Turse's meticulous, extraordinary, and oddly moving account, it's hard to avoid concluding that the US record in Vietnam has more in common with the Wehrmacht and the Imperial Japanese Army than "the greatest generation" that fought those enemies in World War II. —Jeff Stein
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I think its important to read this to get a feel for what went on "off camera" in Vietnam.
To quote Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore in a decent summary of that war; "...one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body."
It examines the most famous of American slaughters - My Lai. It also takes a look at many more slaughters that never made the front pages of US newspapers, A shocking disclosure of numerous killings by US troops, and no one was held responsible.
hidden or never revealed unless by accident is clearly contradiction of reality as described in Nick's book.
p.s. hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil.
In Vietnam My Lai was only the tip of the iceberg of failure, brought on by measuring "success" by body count.
Innocent civilians were killed in the fields where the worked. Helicopters became engines of death and napalm maimed and killed thousands. Commanders in the field brought pressure to count bodies. Young eighteen year olds were given license to kill and the metric of their success was death.
This book is not easy to read, but it should be read by anyone who thinks it is a good idea to put drafted eighteen to twenty year olds into a country they do not understand with an assault rifle and a license to "shoot anything that moves".
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