16 March 2008

40 Years Later

It has been 40 years since the cruelty of the My Lai massacre. Many will not remember the name until they are reminded by someone whi does. The media will let this go and it will be remembered officially by few with the exception of the Vietnamese people.

March 16, 1968
Charlie Company landed following a short artillery and helicopter gunship preparation. The soldiers found no enemy fighters in the village on the morning of March 16. Many suspected there were NLF troops in the village, hiding underground in the homes of their elderly parents or their wives. The U.S. soldiers, one platoon of which was led by Second Lieutenant William Calley, went in shooting at "suspected enemy position". After the first civilians were killed and wounded by the indiscriminate fire, the soldiers soon began attacking anything that moved, humans and animals alike, with firearms, grenades and bayonets. The scale of the massacre only spiraled as it progressed, the brutality increasing with each killing.

The report concluded that the Task Force commander responsible for the operation, Col. Frank Barker, had failed to "make clear any distinctions between combatants and noncombatants in their orders and instructions." The result, it stated, was that he had "conveyed an understanding that only the enemy remained" in My Lai.

The report asserted, however, that there was no higher command responsibility for what happened in My Lai. It concluded that the policy guidance from Gen. William Westmoreland, the commander of all U.S. forces in Vietnam, was "consistent in adhering to the humane standard of protecting the civilians within the combat zone."

Two things to remember: 1) you were probably not there, so your opinion holds no value. 2) troops follow orders, it is something that they were brainwashed to do.


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