Forum Thread

The Atlantic: The Unlearned Lesson of My Lai

Reply to ThreadDisplaying 1 - 15 of 19 1 2 Next
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        

    Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, March 16, 2019: The Unlearned Lesson of My Lai

    Friedersdorf's article caught my eye because I was 21 years old when it happened, and was worried that upon graduation I would be drafted into this fucking mess. The date is March 16, 1968, one day before St Patrick's Day. It is a day of infamy for the United States. I share it lest we forget how brutal Americans can be against fellow human beings. I recall reading a similar account of a massacre in Colorado that occurred November 1864 -- The Sand Creek Massacre. It must be in our genes.

    A clip for the Atlantic article:

    "When U.S. Army soldiers ended their massacre of elderly men, women, and children in a South Vietnamese hamlet 50 years ago—on March 16, 1968—perhaps 500 civilians lay dead.

    "The green troops expected to meet Vietcong forces, but instead found unarmed families. “During the next few hours, the civilians were murdered,” Seymour Hersh later wrote. “Many were rounded up in small groups and shot, others were flung into a drainage ditch at one edge of the hamlet and shot, and many more were shot at random in or near their homes. Some of the younger women and girls were raped and then murdered. After the shootings, the G.I.s systematically burned each home, destroyed the livestock and food, and fouled the area’s drinking supplies.”

    You should read the entire article at the above link...

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Schmidt Wrote:

    Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, March 16, 2019: The Unlearned Lesson of My Lai

    Friedersdorf's article caught my eye because I was 21 years old when it happened, and was worried that upon graduation I would be drafted into this fucking mess. The date is March 16, 1968, one day before St Patrick's Day. It is a day of infamy for the United States. I share it lest we forget how brutal Americans can be against fellow human beings. I recall reading a similar account of a massacre in Colorado that occurred November 1864 -- The Sand Creek Massacre. It must be in our genes.

    A clip for the Atlantic article:

    "When U.S. Army soldiers ended their massacre of elderly men, women, and children in a South Vietnamese hamlet 50 years ago—on March 16, 1968—perhaps 500 civilians lay dead.

    "The green troops expected to meet Vietcong forces, but instead found unarmed families. “During the next few hours, the civilians were murdered,” Seymour Hersh later wrote. “Many were rounded up in small groups and shot, others were flung into a drainage ditch at one edge of the hamlet and shot, and many more were shot at random in or near their homes. Some of the younger women and girls were raped and then murdered. After the shootings, the G.I.s systematically burned each home, destroyed the livestock and food, and fouled the area’s drinking supplies.”

    You should read the entire article at the above link...

    I had duty in Assault Craft Unit 2 from 1969 to 1971. Responsibility was transport for amphibious operations and river patrol boats. I never went anyplace other than the Mediterranean. But I did get to know guys that had duty on the river boats in Viet Nam. According to what I heard what happened in My Lai happened to a lesser extent on some of the river patrol boats for entertainment. The patrol boats usually had an E5 in charge.

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        

    Great story Schmidt. Thanks for sharing that. An ugly page in our past. War is ugly and we capitalize on it because it generates profit and employs many who no longer have a local factory to apply to.

    Reminded me of Apocalypse now. The Horror.

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        

    I remember that movie. It gave me the creeps. It was one of my least favorite movies.

    All of these episodes of murder and genocide that go back to the beginning of human habitation point towards our genes.

    BBC: Two genes linked with violent crime

    "The two genes associated with violent repeat offenders were the MAOA gene and a variant of cadherin 13 (CDH13)."

    Quoting Prof Tiihonen, "There are many things which can contribute to a person's mental capacity. The only thing that matters is the mental capacity of the individual to understand the consequences of what he or she is doing and whether or not the individual can control his or her own behaviour."

    "Christopher Ferguson of Stetson University in the US state of Florida agreed. He said it must be remembered that there was not "one or even two genes that by themselves code for violence or crime". "To some extent we're all products of genetics and the environment but I don't think that robs us of free will or understanding right and wrong."

    I suppose what they are saying as some people have more control over their natural inclinations than others. We have a free will to understand right and wrong, but sometimes, like drug offenders, the mental strength is not enough. There is also the herd mentality when some of these genetic impulses are only really triggered with unruly crowd behavior.

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Stanley McChrystal is an example of genes over learned behavior. There are multiple powerful people genetically driven beyond common sense. Trump.
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        

    Yes, we claim we are an "sweetheart" country in this world, but never learned from our "terrible past". Look at what we are doing at the southern border; ripping kids from their parents etc. If Trump and Miller, Nielsen had their way they would love to continue that practice. Yes we elected these people to do their dirty work ; the same as with Vietnam.

    So the lesson should be: properly "vet" our leaders. Amen

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        

    Trump describes people fleeing persecution, starvation and murder as invaders. Intimating no recourse is too harsh to deal with the invaders. The real invaders were Spain and England. That was a true invasion of superiority .

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        

    And the unlearned lesson??? Don't instill a growing up generation with hate and fear about an evil force going to enslave and murder the world and then send those kids to battle the evil force of the world. Remember "Better dead than red". That is how I grew up and I volunteered for the assault craft duty because all I wanted to do was go to Viet Nam and kill communist on the rivers. My Unit never went to the Pacific Ocean. Probably a good thing because if I had gone and killed and then learned of the lies that got me there that would have been bad. I served 68-71.

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Chet Ruminski Wrote:

    And the unlearned lesson??? Don't instill a growing up generation with hate and fear about an evil force going to enslave and murder the world and then send those kids to battle the evil force of the world. Remember "Better dead than red". That is how I grew up and I volunteered for the assault craft duty because all I wanted to do was go to Viet Nam and kill communist on the rivers. My Unit never went to the Pacific Ocean. Probably a good thing because if I had gone and killed and then learned of the lies that got me there that would have been bad. I served 68-71.

    Chet, you are lucky. But yeah, have the people here learned from Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Cuba, etc.etc. I guess not; Trump is very eager to start a war in Venezuela, The history tells that most wars started by this country were done by the Republicans under an Republican leader. Often there is no good reason for it except, that the war industry loves it. We buy now our sports equipment from Vietnam while it is still Communistic; talking about hypocrites.
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        

    Dutch:

    During the Vietnam war, we dropped 388,000 tons of napalm on Vietnam from 1963 to 1973, and dropped even more after that.

    Vietnam is now the world's 2nd largest producer of coffee, which means that it is very likely that some of the coffee that you drank this week came from a country that was saturated with napalm over 30 years ago. If you are Robert Duval, though, you probably loved the smell of napalm in the morning.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_coffee_production

    Here's Duval in "Apocalypse Now":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRp7tYWnJJs

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        

    That guy in AZ, Why do you think Fukushima is being ignored by all the candidates? I haven't seen anything mitigating the most serious environmental danger facing the world.

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    that guy in AZ Wrote:

    Dutch:

    During the Vietnam war, we dropped 388,000 tons of napalm on Vietnam from 1963 to 1973, and dropped even more after that.

    Vietnam is now the world's 2nd largest producer of coffee, which means that it is very likely that some of the coffee that you drank this week came from a country that was saturated with napalm over 30 years ago. If you are Robert Duval, though, you probably loved the smell of napalm in the morning.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_coffee_production

    Here's Duval in "Apocalypse Now":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRp7tYWnJJs

    Smells like..... Victory.

    I personally loved that movie. When it was released in '79, I had just graduated from highschool. I saw it more than once. Amazing cast.

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        

    Imagine this mental catch-22. You're 18, just graduated from HS, enter them military, and 9 months later you're killing people in Vietnam. Some orders come down that orders your platoon to slaughter an entire village. You come upon some very young kids huddled somewhere in the village, and your commanding officer orders you to "kill them" and you follow orders and murder several little kids.

    Man, that has to haunt guys for the rest of their lives.

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    wwjd Wrote:

    Imagine this mental catch-22. You're 18, just graduated from HS, enter them military, and 9 months later you're killing people in Vietnam. Some orders come down that orders your platoon to slaughter an entire village. You come upon some very young kids huddled somewhere in the village, and your commanding officer orders you to "kill them" and you follow orders and murder several little kids.

    Man, that has to haunt guys for the rest of their lives.

    I talked to a lot of people at the time this was going on who had been in dire battle conditions. One medic told me there were sympathetic Drs that gave them drug cocktails to make it easier to deal with the death, dead and mangled bodies. No telling what the mental state of guys like in the massacre. The armed services didn't preach forgiveness . They taught death and destruction. I talked to Navy Seals in special training that were parachuted in parts of a camp at Coronado. They were hunted down, captured and dehumanized of respect for life. They were told terrible lies about their families etc. Trained to despise life and then turned loose to fight and kill. Mai Lai was a massacre created by DC.
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Chet Ruminski Wrote:
    wwjd Wrote:

    Imagine this mental catch-22. You're 18, just graduated from HS, enter them military, and 9 months later you're killing people in Vietnam. Some orders come down that orders your platoon to slaughter an entire village. You come upon some very young kids huddled somewhere in the village, and your commanding officer orders you to "kill them" and you follow orders and murder several little kids.

    Man, that has to haunt guys for the rest of their lives.

    I talked to a lot of people at the time this was going on who had been in dire battle conditions. One medic told me there were sympathetic Drs that gave them drug cocktails to make it easier to deal with the death, dead and mangled bodies. No telling what the mental state of guys like in the massacre. The armed services didn't preach forgiveness . They taught death and destruction. I talked to Navy Seals in special training that were parachuted in parts of a camp at Coronado. They were hunted down, captured and dehumanized of respect for life. They were told terrible lies about their families etc. Trained to despise life and then turned loose to fight and kill. Mai Lai was a massacre created by DC.
    Yes Chet, the bad thing a lot of that mentality is still stuck here; destroy everything what lives, is still in their brains; also they love the NRA, as well if they had the money, they would join the Trump family in shooting baby elephants. This mentality is very hard to eradicate; it is part of the "culture" here. But don't worry it won't last, ask Hitler.