My Lai–50 Years On

Closing Thought–16Mar18

Your Daily History Lesson…….

When I was teaching class at university I asked my class to find Vietnam on a map….15 students…..14 wrong answers….the only correct was a vet of that war…..in their defense they did not know the name Arafat or Begin…..I would bet that it is not much better these days of the information revolution.

How many people remember a Lt. named Calley?  How many remember a town named My Lai?

When I ask a class of college students how many have heard of My Lai, only a few if any raise their hands, tentatively. Even they are unsure what it was, or where, or when, or who was involved. Why have we forgotten the nadir of the Vietnam War? Is our collective amnesia accidental or willful?

March 16 marks the 50th anniversary of the date that does not live in infamy. Does it for any Americans? In 1968, American soldiers slaughtered animals, raped villagers, and murdered 109 “Oriental human beings” in My Lai. That was the number cited in a court-martial 18 months later.

https://original.antiwar.com/Russell_Vandenbroucke/2018/03/15/my-lai-amnesia-fifty-years-on/

Today is the 50th year anniversary of the massacre……

Americans, including GIs, were losing their once reflexive faith that the U.S. military, with all its skill and firepower, would prevail in Vietnam as it had so often throughout history. Also shattered was the faith that America’s fighting forces were inherently more virtuous than their enemies. The unraveling of that conviction began in earnest in 1969 with the revelation that American soldiers had murdered hundreds of unarmed and unresisting women, children, babies, and old men in the village of My Lai.

For many people, the shocking news came first in the form of several horrifying photographs. One shows almost two dozen dead Vietnamese bodies on a dirt road. Many have fallen in a twisted pile; some are partially naked. Another photograph shows a woman lying in a field with her legs drawn up under her body. Her conical straw hat has flipped off her head. If you look closely you can notice that a large portion of her brain lies exposed beneath the hat.

https://original.antiwar.com/Christian_Appy/2018/03/15/our-boys-50-years-after-the-my-lai-massacre/

To be fair……we must hear from the people that were there….the survivors…..

It was the sweet potato harvest season, so Ha Thi Quy woke up early to find a good spot in the village to dry slices of the delicately flavored tuber to sell.

She noticed some American soldiers in the village, but that didn’t alarm her.

“There are no Vietnamese troops here, so why should they start shooting?” Quy recalled her self-assurance in a bitter question that she still has not found the answer to……

https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/vietnamese-survivors-remember-my-lai-massacre-with-horror-and-confusion-3723079.html

Scars of war are the worse to bear…..

I begin my weekend…..lost in memories to times long ago…..chuq

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It’s The Second, As Always!

The mass shootings lately, 18 of them so far in 2018, has  Americans yelling and thinking about the 2nd amendment…..this amendment to the Constitution has its uses…..

What about the days of the Founding Fathers, this is where the amendment came from……

In the days since the tragic murder of 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, the number of people clamoring for tighter restrictions on the right to purchase or otherwise obtain a firearm crescendos daily, sometimes hourly.

Of course, those familiar with the Second Amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America (that is the official name) would never support such tyrannical proposals, particularly those well-versed in the nearly 1,000-year history of the Anglo-American protection of the right of self-defense.

There is an urgent need for Americans to refamiliarize themselves with the wisdom of the Founding Fathers on this topic, as well as the wisdom of those writers whose words inspired and informed our Founders.

https://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/history/item/28367-cesare-beccaria-unknown-to-us-influential-on-our-founders

So many claim that the 2nd is what keeps our politicians honest….(pause here for laughter)….our reps are just as corrupt with or without the 2nd in place…..with that in mind…….

As the subject of the Second Amendment reenters the public discourse, the question of whether or not the right to keep and bears arms is an effective deterrent against tyranny must be examined. In the days of drones, fighters, and tanks, what good is a semi-automatic rifle? This question is typically posed by those who envision pitched battles between US Army forces and rebels. That isn’t how wars are fought anymore. Any uprising in the United States would be in the form of an insurgency. During an insurgency all of those high tech toys aren’t government assets, they’re insurgent assets. This doesn’t imply US soldiers would defect en masse to the rebels.

http://theantimedia.org/second-amendment-overthrow-government/

I guess goes along with that quote that has been attributed to Jefferson about the tree of Liberty and the watering with blood….or something like that……

(I expect the readership to go up because my more right wing brethren will have lots to say when it comes to the gun thing)

Are The Generals Failing Our Troops?

I will not lie to my readers….I am an anti-war proponent and have been so since the 1970’s….I see our military personnel being pushed to their limits by the multiple deployments and the multiple wars been fought and to what aim?

In the past generals have gone to the president and told him what needed to be done and what wars we needed to fight….those days are gone with the promise of cushy jobs awaiting the generals upon retirement….

We need generals with a backbone that cares more about the troops than his retirement……

September 2006. Iraq was falling apart. Nearly 100 American troops were being killed a month. The war seemed hopeless, unwinnable (because it ultimately was). So the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Peter Pace, convened a “council of colonels’ – purportedly some of the brightest minds in the military – to recommend new policies. Only three, reportedly, had any combat experience in Iraq, but still, these guys were sharp. The group debated endlessly and eventually reached an impasse. They had three separate proposals and the group generally divided along service lines. Some Air Force and Navy guys wanted a phased withdrawal – the “Go Home” option – but their ideas were promptly dismissed. Other (mostly army and marine officers) wanted to “engage in prolonged conflict – the “Go Long” option. Finally, the most prominent army officers – including America’s current National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster – wanted to “Go Big” and heavily reinforce the troops in Iraq with a “surge.” You can guess which side won out.

George W. Bush liked the can-do optimism of the “surge” team and doubled down. Violence briefly dropped, a couple thousand more American troops died, and the military promptly declared victory. We’re still dealing with the fallout.

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2018/03/05/generals-failing-soldiers-america/

We need generals that will do what is needed to keep the country from fighting unnecessary wars ….wars of profit……

Yes we now have entered into a time of perpetual wars…….the costs of these wars have made the country less safe and a falling apart infrastructure……

I’m in my mid-thirties, which means that, after the 9/11 attacks, when this country went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq in what President George W. Bush called the “Global War on Terror,” I was still in college. I remember taking part in a couple of campus antiwar demonstrations and, while working as a waitress in 2003, being upset by customers who ordered “freedom fries,” not “French fries,” to protest France’s opposition to our war in Iraq. (As it happens, my mother is French, so it felt like a double insult.) For years, like many Americans, that was about all the thought I put into the war on terror. But one career choice led to another and today I’m co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.

https://www.juancole.com/2018/02/hidden-americas-perpetual.html

Our generals should remember the old slogan from the 70’s…..”War  is good business….Invest your children”……

…..But He Plays One On TV

Pres., Trump recently lost his economic adviser over his, TrumP, deal with tariffs….the prez has picked his new adviser…….who is not an economist but he plays one on TV……Kudlow.

“I’m looking at Larry Kudlow very strongly,” President Trump said the other day, and as a result of all that strong, powerful, muscular looking, Trump finally selected Kudlow to be the new chief of his National Economic Council. It was a decision perfectly in line with Trump’s general philosophy of personnel, which is that he turns on Fox News, decides who sounds good, and then hires that person. In fact, when Trump called to offer the job, he told Kudlow he was looking at his picture on television. “You’re looking handsome, Larry,” he said.

We’ve gotten so used to cable television being the primary means through which Trump gets information, decides what’s important, and determines who should advise him that it’s become almost cliche, a source of easy jokes. But it’s yet more evidence that the most powerful person in the world views everything through the lens of a forum where our worst impulses are cultivated and the shallowest people are given the most exposure and influence.

http://theweek.com/articles/760937/youre-looking-handsome-larry-how-reality-tv-president-found-perfect-idiot-chief-economic-adviser

The perfect choice….not an ounce of expertise like most others on his, Trump’s, cabinet….amateurs playing governance…..classic Trump!

Iran In The Cross Hairs

We have a new SecState…..Tillerson is out and warmonger Pompeo is in….when he was in Congress he was a “Attack Iran Hawk” and now that he is at State I expect that his advice will be well received by a president that has no idea what an attack on Iran will mean.

For all the reasons to be concerned about President Trump’s nomination of current CIA director Mike Pompeo to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, experts on Tuesday warn that an increase risk of a U.S.-initiated war with Iran should be at the top of the list.

In a reaction on Tuesday, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), worried openly that Trump’s nomination of Pompeo “could have profound implications for the fate of the Iran nuclear deal and the prospect of a new war in the Middle East.”

Jon Rainwater, executive director of Peace Action, also expressed grave concerns. “By tapping Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State,” said Rainwater, “Trump is handing over the reigns of U.S. diplomacy to one of the most hawkish members of his administration. For all of Tillerson’s flaws, he served as a check on Trump’s more hawkish positions. With Pompeo, Trump’s worst instincts on Iran and North Korea will be reinforced.”

http://theantimedia.org/experts-warn-mike-pompeo-attacking-iran/

Every expert says that the deal with Iran is not perfect but a good deal…the people that do not like the deal would not like any deal and most have NO idea what is in the existing deal anyway.