By S. Brian Willson (March 16, 2018)
March 16, 1968, My Lai Massacre, Viet Nam
Today, March 16, 2018, is the 50th painful anniversary of the US Army massacre that, in effect, represented the essence of US American policy of scorched earth from the air and on the ground in the US war. 504 completely unarmed Vietnamese were murdered in cold blood: 60 very elderly men, 182 women (of whom 17 were pregnant), and 173 children (with 56 being under one year of age). Not a single bullet was fired by the Vietnamese (they had no arms). Attrition – Murder more of them, as many as possible, call them enemy “VC”, even though the vast majority were mothers, children, and the elderly. A dead Vietnamese was a “dirty VC” ! Body counts. Body counts: The US measure of determining US success in a grotesque, barbaric, criminal invasion and occupation of an innocent people.
As you can see, we are a very enlightened people.
This model in the “Americas” was established by Eurocentric settlers acting as paramilitary as early as the 1600, conquering lands of North America from the Indigenous with virtual impunity. By 1776, Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence described the native residents as “merciless Indian Savages.” It is clear, however, from examining US history, who the most ruthless savages have been. In Viet Nam I discovered I was one of them.
The reason My Lai was not able to be ignored and hidden under the rug forever, is that US Army photographer Ron Haeberle documented the massacre, including the “ditch” scene in Viet Nam (see cover photo)