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General News

Many U.S. My Lai-Type Massacres in Vietnam Covered Up by Pentagon, Reporter Charges

By       Message Sherwood Ross     Permalink
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Dien Nien: On Oct. 19, 1966, U.S. and Korean troops massacred 112 civilians, some of the wounded drowned in nearby rice paddies by the boots of pursuing soldiers pressing their faces into the water.

Nhon Hoa: U.S. troops and their Korean allies on March 22, 1967, herded together, and killed, 86 villagers, plus 18 more at a nearby site.

My Khe: At a hamlet near My Lai and about the same time, 155 civilians were killed by men from Bravo company, 4th Battalion, 3rd infantry, which one soldier described "was like being in a shooting gallery."

Accounts of the torture of Vietnamese civilians and military captured by the U.S. are too numerous to cite in this essay, except to note that in 1971 an Army investigation concluded that violations of the Geneva Convention were "widespread" and that torture by U.S. troops was "standard practice," Turse reports. A Pentagon task force, however, called war crimes allegations against General William Wesmoreland "unfounded," explaining that while isolated criminal acts may have occurred "they were neither widespread nor extensive enough to render him criminally responsible for their commission."

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Terming this a brazen rewriting of history, Turse says Westmoreland was never judged by the policies associated with his tenure, namely: "search-and-destroy operations, free-fire zones, and the "application of massive firepower.'"

In "Kill Anything That Moves," Turse has given the public a factual, if distressing, picture of the real Vietnam war, with all the barbarian brutality inflicted by U.S. forces so reminiscent of Nazi atrocities during World War II. It should be made compulsory reading in every high school classroom, particularly in those regions or places where the arrogant philosophy exists that the U.S. has some divine right to refer to this as "the American Century" on grounds that Americans have somehow earned the right to lead the world. It should be remembered that two million Vietnamese civilians didn't die by accident. #

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Sherwood Ross worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and contributed a regular "Workplace" column for Reuters. He has contributed to national magazines and hosted a talk show on WOL, Washington, D.C. In the Sixties he was active as public (more...)

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