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… 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.

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.

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……

Scars of war are the worse to bear…..

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


Closing Thought–08Mar18

The season of gun violence is upon us….since the beginning of the year there has been at least 2 dozen school shootings……my state has joined the growing list……

A student was fatally shot Wednesday at an Alabama high school, reports. The Birmingham City School system says the shooting happened during dismissal at Huffman High School. Two students and an employee were injured. One student is in critical but stable condition; the other died on the way to the hospital. According to the AP, police identified the dead student as a 17-year-old girl. Police initially described the shooting as “accidental,” though details are scarce, WVTM reports. “I was just hoping my baby was OK, that everybody was OK,” says one mother whose daughter was stuck inside the school when it was locked down. “I was nervous. This is so sad.”

Meanwhile, authorities in Mississippi are investigating a shooting Wednesday on the Jackson State University campus, Mississippi News Now reports. According to the Jackson Clarion Ledger, a student was shot in the leg inside a dorm and is expected to recover. One dorm resident says the student accidentally shot himself, though police haven’t confirmed that and the student hasn’t been forthcoming with details.

And I believe the first law on gun control has been passed in Florida… awaits the signature of the governor…..

Three weeks after a school shooting in Parkland left 17 dead, Florida lawmakers passed the state’s first gun-control legislation in over 20 years, USA Today reports. According to the AP, the bill passed Wednesday raises the legal age to buy rifles from 18 to 21 and institutes a three-day waiting period on all gun sales. It also allows schools to arm some personnel, as long as they’ve completed law-enforcement training and their district is on board. Other portions of the bill ban bump stocks, create mental health programs for schools, and more. The legislation passed the House 67-50 with mixed support from both Republicans and Democrats. It narrowly passed the Senate on Monday, Reuters reports.

The bill includes some of the measures advocated for by survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School but left out one major demand: a ban on assault-style weapons of the kind used in the shooting. However, the dads of two Parkland victims supported the bill, saying it got enough right to be worth passing. The legislation will become law in 15 days unless vetoed by Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who hasn’t revealed whether or not he’ll do so. He has said in the past he doesn’t support arming teachers.

Arming school employees is a lame attempt to appear to be responsible……the age thing is a pretty good idea….the waiting period is another pretty good idea…..

These days there are two things that we bloggers can write about without much thought…..the antics of the Trump White House and gun violence…..shall we move on?

Oh well….time to flip off the MSM and call it a day….TTFN….chuq


I have written several posts about the deaths of 4 special ops troops in the West African country of Niger……read more posts……

Recently I found another report on these deaths….I have held onto this post because of the violent nature and that it was posted by the bastards that killed these men…..

*****WARNING:  The video may be disturbing to some*****

The release of shocking video showing the death of three American soldiers in the deserts of west Africa is raising more questions about just what US forces are doing in the region.

ISIS released the nine-minute, 17-second video online on Sunday taken mainly from the helmetcams of the slain soldiers.

I have been waiting for the final report of the action and the deaths (I promised to keep my readers informed)…..
I have been critical of the operation that cost the lives of the  troopers involved and now there is a bit more information…..
The ongoing military probes into October 4’s disastrous US military operation in Niger, in which four US special forces were killed, has concluded something particularly important: that the operation was never properly authorized by top commanders.

The special forces team in question were nominally sent out to meet local Nigerien leaders, for which they were properly equipped and prepared. The team in question never attempted to meet with them, however, and instead went off on a totally separate mission.

The team instead joined a mission hunting for a militant wanted in the kidnapping of an aid worker, doing so without having informed the commanders that’s what they were going to do, meaning it was never authorized.

The operation went poorly, as the chase around the Niger-Mali border led the team right into an ambush of militants, who attacked and killed four US troops, wounding two other US troops and eight Nigeriens.

Officials say there is no single point of failure in the operation, though clearly the fact that commanders weren’t told what the team’s actual mission was didn’t help, and raises further questions about whether the US troops were adequately prepared for such an operation.


This is a breakdown in the command structure and it cost lives and this is not an isolated incident.  Someone needs to pay for the lives they took because of their lack of leadership.

There is way too many “oh shit” moments in our war on terror.

But the Pentagon will make it right…….

The Pentagon said on Wednesday that American troops in Niger had been authorized to receive imminent-danger pay the day before the commander who oversees military missions in Africa told House lawmakers that the White House had still not approved that request.

A Pentagon spokeswoman said that the decision to include Niger in the list of combat zones where troops receive extra pay was made on Monday — and had not been communicated to Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser before his testimony the day after.

The request was made Monday and the general was to testify on Thursday…..something smells about this situation.  Timing is everything at the Pentagon (sarcasm)…..

On Mass Killings

There has been a rash of mass killings so far this year…..and they are only going to get worse.  With each shooting the American public gets outraged and demands more and more action to keep it from happening again and with each passing shooting nothing gets done for the spineless Congress is a worthless as a limp dick.

But the one thing that amazes me is that all the talk about the mass killings in the school yard there is none when the government does it… the name of fighting for freedom……

As Americans continue to rage over the Valentine’s Day school shooting in Florida, expressing indignation at both the atrocity and efforts to impose (or reject) gun control, the U.S. government has acknowledged its own perpetual addiction to violence.

According to two letters released by the federal government last week in response to an inquiry from Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, the U.S. plans to maintain its military presence in Syria and Iraq indefinitely, citing vague threats of terrorism.

In one letter, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Policy) David Trachtenberg responded to Kaine by justifying continued operations in Syria with the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), passed by Congress in the wake of 9/11 to justify invading Afghanistan.

It amazes me that we can be an unfeeling bunch of people…..a bit pathetic when considered…..

Niger Update

Back  in October of 2017 4 US Special Ops troopers died in the West African country of Niger….

There has been much confusion on what happened to the operation that cost 4 Americans their lives…..I have been asking for an explanation for my readers to no avail…..however a news story has been released….

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday that the Pentagon investigation of the Niger ambush in which four U.S. troops were killed is close to being wrapped up, but that was before The New York Times published a detailed and damning report based partly on a video of the firefight.

On his plane back to the U.S. following a week-long trip to Europe, Mattis told reporters traveling with him that Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the AfriCom commander, has an unspecified timeline for completing his review of the draft of the Article 15-6 fact-finding investigation.

Now there is still the death of an American Green Beret in Mali that needs to be explained because 2 Navy SEALs have been accused of killing the Green Beret.

I realize that it is not a pretty picture of the heroes of “Zero Dark Thirty” but the American people have a right to know that our special ops in Africa is in disarray….and that disarray could get more Americans killed.

Closing Thought–22Jan18

I try to write about it when troops are killed in the line of duty for they do not always make the news….depends on the events and situations of the day.

Sometimes the deaths are not always troops on the mission… this story that did not make the news…..

Gunmen ambushed two Americans and two Canadians traveling through Nigeria’s northern Kaduna state, kidnapping them and killing two policemen, a state police spokesman says. The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan in Kaduna state to the capital, Abuja, on Tuesday night when they were ambushed around Kagarko, Kaduna state police spokesman Mukhtar Aliyu says. “The two police escorts attached to them engaged the kidnappers in a fierce gun battle, which resulted in the unfortunate death of the two police officers,” he said. The kidnapped visitors are investors who were setting up solar stations in villages around Kafanchan, according to Aliyu.

Security officers, including an anti-kidnapping unit, have been sent to the area to try to rescue the North Americans and to apprehend their abductors, Aliyu says. Global Affairs Canada spokesman John Babcock says Canadian officials are aware that two citizens were reportedly abducted, the AP reports. The government would not provide details due to privacy issues, he says. Kidnappings for ransom are common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna-to-Abuja highway. Two German archaeologists were seized at gunpoint last year less than 60 miles northeast of Abuja and later freed unharmed. Sierra Leone’s deputy high commissioner was taken at gunpoint on the highway in 2016 and held for five days.

The families of the slain have IST prayers and may their loved ones rest in peace.

That be it for today……wishing all my readers a good evening and hopefully we will meet again tomorrow here on IST……chuq

Death In Mali

I have been watching this situation and of course writing about it……

On June 4, Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar — a 34-year-old Army Green Beret — was found dead in US Embassy housing in Mali while he was on a secret assignment. Investigators currently believe he was strangled to death — and that two members of SEAL Team 6 may have killed him.

Murder among US service members is relatively rare, but it’s especially shocking to see that the two suspects — Petty Officer Anthony DeDolph, a former professional mixed martial arts fighter, and a still-unnamed sailor, both Melgar’s roommates — form part of one of the most revered military units in the United States. SEAL Team 6 became internationally famous for successfully killing Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on May 2, 2011.

A probe, first reported by the New York Times, is ongoing — and no one has yet been charged with a crime. But it appears the suspected SEALs changed their story and lied about about what happened. The Daily Beast reports that Melgar found out the two SEALs were taking some money designated for an informant fund. The SEALs asked Melgar if he wanted to get involved, but he declined.

This situation is being dragged out because of the “team spirit” thingy… the wagons and protect our own….BS!  If murder was committed then someone needs to pay… is truly sad…..American soldier killing another American soldier……

Not much more is known now as it was when this first came to my attention…..

Americans killing Americans……