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Vietnamrape    There are no just wars.  The death, the depravity, and destruction should never have pretense of being a noble endeavour.  War is like being dragged face first through fifteen kilometres of shit, nobility and honour be damned.

We’re going to look at a “bad” war, that is a war that we did all the things we usually do, but couldn’t manage to spin a victory or even a “Mission Accomplished” out of the briny wash.  Vietnam seems to cause soul-searching in the US. The Vietnam War should do that at the barest of minimums.  I wonder how much “soul-searching” the Vietnamese do considering it was their country that was systematically raped, poisoned and bombed into a moonscape.

War kills people, like you and like me.  Not the Enemy, not the “evildoers” but women, men and children.  Families, friends, acquaintances are all maliciously erased by the callous hand of war.   The article from Alter.net that excerpts a book by Nick Turse is about the humiliations, gang rapes and murders visited upon the women of Vietnam by the invading American troops.  Make no mistake, this happens in every war and is committed by almost every military.

“In 1971, Major Gordon Livingston, a West Point graduate who served as regimental surgeon with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, testified before members of Congress about the ease with which Americans killed Vietnamese. “Above 90 percent of the Americans with whom I had contact in Vietnam,” said Dr. Livingston, treated the Vietnamese as subhuman and with “nearly universal contempt.” To illustrate his point, Livingston told his listeners about a helicopter pilot who swooped down on two Vietnamese women riding bicycles and killed them with the helicopter skids. The pilot was temporarily grounded as the incident was being investigated, and Livingston spoke to him in his medical capacity. He found that the man felt no remorse about the killings and only regretted not receiving his pay during the investigation.”

War makes us forget who we are and what we value.  Once we strip the humanity from our enemies, anything becomes possible.

“General George S. Patton III. Son of the famed World War II general of the same name, the younger Patton was known for his bloodthirsty attitude and the macabre souvenirs that he kept, including a Vietnamese skull that sat on his desk. He even carried it around at his end-of- tour farewell party. Of course, Patton was just one of many Americans who collected and displayed Vietnamese body parts.”  [..]

Some soldiers hacked the heads off Vietnamese to keep, trade, or exchange for prizes offered by commanders. Many more cut off the ears of their victims, in the hopes that disfiguring the dead would frighten the enemy. Some of these trophies were presented to superiors as gifts or as proof to confirm a body count; others were retained by the “grunts” and worn on necklaces or otherwise displayed. While ears were the most common souvenirs of this type, scalps, penises, noses, breasts, teeth, and fingers were also favored.”

Ah yes, even this very day,  we boldly proclaim our civilization and our humanity to all of those who would listen.  Can you imagine the rage and indignation of those who have suffered at our hands?

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