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Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 11. Februar 2013

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Harrowing. "The New York Review of Books"

An indispensable new history of the war "Kill Anything That Moves" is a paradigm-shifting, connect-the-dots history of American atrocities that reads like a thriller; it will convince those with the stomach to read it that all these decades later Americans, certainly the military brass and the White House, still haven't drawn the right lesson from Vietnam. "San Francisco Chronicle"

A powerful case With his urgent but highly readable style, Turse delves into the secret history of U.S.-led atrocities. He has brought to his book an impressive trove of new research archives explored and eyewitnesses interviewed in the United States and Vietnam. With superb narrative skill, he spotlights a troubling question: Why, with all the evidence collected by the military at the time of the war, were atrocities not prosecuted? "Washington Post"

There have been many memorable accounts of the terrible things done in Vietnam-memoirs, histories, documentaries and movies. But Nick Turse has given us a fresh holistic work that stands alone for its blending of history and journalism, for the integrity of research brought to life through the diligence of first-person interviews...Here is a powerful message for us today-a reminder of what war really costs "Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company"

In "Kill Anything that Moves," Nick Turse has for the first time put together a comprehensive picture, written with mastery and dignity, of what American forces actually were doing in Vietnam. The findings disclose an almost unspeakable truth Like a tightening net, the web of stories and reports drawn from myriad sources coalesces into a convincing, inescapable portrait of this war a portrait that, as an American, you do not wish to see; that, having seen, you wish you could forget, but that you should not forget. "Jonathan Schell, The Nation"

A masterpiece Kill Anything That Moves is not only one of the most important books ever written about the Vietnam conflict but provides readers with an unflinching account of the nature of modern industrial warfare. Turse, finally, grasps that the trauma that plagues most combat veterans is a result not only of what they witnessed or endured, but what they did. "Chris Hedges, Truthdig"

Nick Turse's explosive, groundbreaking reporting uncovers the horrifying truth. "Vanity Fair"

Explosive A painful yet compelling look at the horrors of war. "Parade"

Astounding Meticulous, extraordinary, and oddly moving. "Bookforum"

Meticulously documented, utterly persuasive, this book is a shattering and dismaying read. "Minneapolis Star Tribune"

If you are faint-hearted, you might want to keep some smelling salts nearby when you read it. It's that bad The truth hurts. This is an important book "Dayton Daily News"

"Kill Anything That Moves" argues, persuasively and chillingly, that the mass rape, torture, mutilation and slaughter of Vietnamese civilians was not an aberration not a one-off atrocity called My Lai but rather the systematized policy of the American war machine. These are devastating charges, and they demand answers because Turse has framed his case with deeply researched, relentless authority... There is no doubt in my mind that Kill Anything That Moves belongs on the very highest shelf of books on the Vietnam War. "The Millions"

In the sobering "Kill Anything That Moves," Nick Turse provides an exhaustive account of how thousands upon thousands of innocent, unarmed South Vietnamese civilians were senselessly killed by a military that equated corpses with results.... "Kill Anything That Moves" is a staggering reminder that war has its gruesome subplots hidden underneath the headlines but they're even sadder when our heroes create them. "Bookpage"

An in-depth take on a horrific war A detailed, well-documented account. "Publishers Weekly"

This book is an overdue and powerfully detailed account of widespread war crimes--homicide and torture and mutilation and rape committed by American soldiers over the course of our military engagement in Vietnam. Nick Turse's research and reportage is based in part on the U.S. military's own records, reports, and transcripts, many of them long hidden from public scrutiny. Kill Anything That Moves is not only a compendium of pervasive and illegal and sickening savagery toward Vietnamese civilians, but it is also a record of repetitive deceit and cover-ups on the part of high ranking officers and officials. In the end, I hope, Turse's book will become a hard-to-avoid, hard-to-dismiss corrective to the very common belief that war crimes and tolerance for war crimes were mere anomalies during our country's military involvement in Vietnam. Tim O Brien, author of The Things They Carried

Nick Turse reminds us again, in this painful and important book, why war should always be a last resort, and especially wars that have little to do with American national security. We failed, as Turse makes clear, to deal after the Vietnam War with the murders that took place, and today four decades later the lessons have yet to be learned. We still prefer kicking down doors to talking. "Seymour Hersh, staff writer, The New Yorker"

This deeply disturbing book provides the fullest documentation yet of the brutality and ugliness that marked America's war in Vietnam. No doubt some will charge Nick Turse with exaggeration or overstatement. Yet the evidence he has assembled is irrefutable. With the publication of "Kill Anything That Moves," the claim that My Lai was a one-off event becomes utterly unsustainable. Andrew J. Bacevich, Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.), and author of Washington Rules: America s Path To Permanent War

American patriots will appreciate Nick Turse's meticulously documented book, which for the first time reveals the real war in Vietnam and explains why it has taken so long to learn the whole truth. James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers

Meticulously researched, "Kill Anything That Moves" is the most comprehensive account to date of the war crimes committed by U.S. forces in Vietnam and the efforts made at the highest levels of the military to cover them up. It's an important piece of history. Frances FitzGerald, author of Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam

In this deeply researched and provocative book Nick Turse returns us to Vietnam to raise anew the classic dilemmas of warfare and civil society. My Lai was not the full story of atrocities in Vietnam, and honestly facing the moral questions inherent in a way of war' is absolutely necessary to an effective military strategy. Turse documents a shortfall in accountability during the Vietnam War that should be disturbing to every reader. John Prados, author of Vietnam: The History of an Unwinnable War, 1945 1975

Nick Turse's "Kill Anything That Moves" is essential reading, a powerful and moving account of the dark heart of the Vietnam War: the systematic killing of civilians, not as aberration but as standard operating procedure. Until this history is acknowledged it will be repeated, one way or another, in the wars the U.S. continues to fight. Marilyn Young, author of The Vietnam Wars, 1945 1990

Nick Turse has done more than anyone to demonstrate and document what should finally be incontrovertible: American atrocities in Vietnam were not infrequent and inadvertent, but the commonplace and inevitable result of official U.S. military policy. And he does it with a narrative that is gripping and deeply humane. Christian Appy, author of Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered From All Sides

No book I have read in decades has so shaken me, as an American. Turse lays open the ground-level reality of a war that was far more atrocious than Americans at home have ever been allowed to know. He exposes official policies that encouraged ordinary American soldiers and airmen to inflict almost unimaginable horror and suffering on ordinary Vietnamese, followed by official cover-up as tenacious as Turse's own decade of investigative effort against it. "Kill Anything That Moves" is obligatory reading for Americans, because its implications for the likely scale of atrocities and civilian casualties inflicted and covered up in our latest wars are inescapable and staggering. Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers"

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Nick Turse is the author of "The Complex," the managing editor for TomDispatch.com, and a fellow at the Nation Institute. His work has appeared in the "Los Angeles Times," the "San Francisco Chronicle," and "The Nation," among other publications. Turse's investigations of American war crimes in Vietnam have gained him a Ridenhour Prize for Reportorial Distinction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. He lives near New York City.

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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Ich hatte das Interview von Nick Turse gesehen und wollte nun sein Buch lesen. Es gefiel mir gut, bis ich in der Mitte des Buches ankam, eine sich immer wiederholende Geschichte. Ich bereue den Kauf nicht, ein zweites Mal werde ich das Buch sicherlich nicht lesen.
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Nick Turse gives a truly harrowing insight in the mindset of military leaders and those under their direct influence during the Vietnam war and lets the reader understand quickly why he selected the title for summarizing his research under this common denominator.
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Great book! I am about halfway through the book. The book divulges evidence of the widespread and deliberate torture of the Vietnamese (civilians, as well as VC supporters) by U.S. troops throughout the war. It's really a disturbing read.
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Everyone runs and hides from anything to do with the Vietnam war. Nick Turse is a man of Character and courage. Telling the truth is not easy. To bad John McCain, Chuck Hagel, and Colin Powell haven't been asked to comment about the truth of the Vietnam war.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 von 5 Sternen 382 Rezensionen
235 von 270 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Haunting 25. Dezember 2013
Von MAA - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Enough has been said, here and elsewhere, about the content of KATM and the meticulous archival and field research on which it is based. It is a brilliant (a word I use sparingly) work about one of the most tragic periods of Vietnamese and American history. It is also without a doubt the most painful book I have ever read. This might have to do with the fact that the subject matter is intensely personal for me. I still have vivid recollections of many of the scenes Nick Turse describes in excruciating detail. I am haunted by them.

Many of the comments in the 1 and 2 star category are eminently predictable and also reflect the views of some veteran Vietnam observers and scholars who should know better. The categories into which they fall are presented here in A-Z order.

Atrocities Committed By The "Other Side"

They did it, too! Whenever I hear this sophomoric comment, the first thought that comes to mind is that the Americans and their allies, including the Australians, South Koreans and others, had no right to be there in the first place. This is not an issue of moral equivalence. The "other side" was fighting against yet another foreign invader and its collaborators in the name of national liberation. It's that simple.

Fallacy of Generalizing from Personal Experience

If I had a nickel for every time I've read "I didn't witness any atrocities during my tour"... So because you didn't witness it first-hand means it didn't happen, right? Turse does not claim that every US combat soldier was a war criminal who was out raping, torturing and killing civilians. I know many veterans who, if they didn't know before they went, quickly realized after they arrived that the war was a colossal mistake. From that point on their goal was to stay alive and not go home in a body bag. There were many others, however, who were involved in the wholesale abuse and murder of civilians. You know who you are. Some of you are tormented by what you did or did not stop, others - the minority? - have no conscience. Perhaps justice will be meted out to you in the next life.

KATM/Turse Bashes Veterans!

It's fairly easy to dispense with this old canard. Since I have many friends and acquaintances, both in Vietnam and the U.S., who are veterans, I know that many have welcomed KATM. While the truth sometimes hurts, it can also be liberating. Those who were there, whether they participated in the acts Turse describes, observed them or heard stories about them, know the score, as do the survivors. KATM is not an indictment of all veterans who served in Vietnam only of those who were involved in the abuse, torture and murder of civilians and the "kill anything that moves" policy of the U.S. military and their superiors who oversaw the implementation of this brutal policy. Why do you think so many veterans are so troubled, dysfunctional and worse? What do you think many of them see and hear at night when the demons come?

Nothing New Here

According to whom? What Turse tells his fellow Americans and the rest of the world is breaking news to most of them. Most are not Vietnam scholars who have read hundreds of books and thousands of primary source documents. I am more familiar than most with the information Turse presents yet KATM fills in many gaps and connects a lot of dots that - collectively - form a damning indictment of the U.S. policy du jour.

Shooting from the Hip

I'm not gonna read da book `cause I read da summary and already know what he's gonna say. He's un-American, anti-American, and anti-military. (And besides, I'm blinded by the ideology of U.S. nationalism - as distinct from patriotism). Even tho I didn't read da book I'm gonna put my two cents on Amazon anyhoo. The lament of the close-minded and the refuge of the intellectually lazy. Next...

Sin of Omission?

Groundless criticism about what he supposedly left out: It's about war crimes committed by US soldiers in Vietnam as a frequent occurrence and the policies/conditions that led to those war crimes being committed. Turse proves it using U.S. government documents and stories from U.S. veterans and Vietnamese survivors. It was widespread and officially sanctioned. Therefore, there is really no basis on which to criticize him for not including everything you wanted him to include. If someone were to write a book that included everything Turse left out, it wouldn't be the first.

The True Place the American War Holds in the Memory of South Vietnamese vs. North Vietnamese? It Ain't that Simple...

This is a claim that some make. To which South Vietnamese are they referring? The ones who hitched their cart to the American (war) horse? The ones who benefited financially and in other ways from the U.S. occupation and the influx of billions of dollars? The ones who left in the nick of time with the assistance of their American benefactors? Or the ones Turse writes about - the targets of bombs, bullets, torture and other forms of abuse, the ghosts and the survivors?

Turse Wasn't There!

He was born in 1975; what does he know about the war in Vietnam? Most historians weren't around in the eras that they've studied and on which they are experts. Does that make them any less knowledgeable? (That's a rhetorical question, folks.) Turse's age is irrelevant. He was able to use U.S. government documents, travel to Vietnam to interview Vietnamese survivors of U.S. military attacks and interview U.S. veterans. Therefore, even though he never smelled the smoke or heard the artillery fire, he knows more than most people who were there. So much for this lame and illogical critique.

War is Hell

All wars are the same. Civilians suffer, are caught in the cross-fire, become "collateral damage." As the bumper sticker says "S*** happens." Read about "kill anything that moves" as a policy that was conceived of and implemented at the highest levels of the U.S. military and political establishment. That, combined with hatred for the Vietnamese and the fear and frustration of not knowing when or where the next attack would occur, the essence of guerrilla warfare, created the conditions for the perfect (war) storm in which millions of civilians suffered grievously. Then there's the argument that the Americans had no right to be in Vietnam in the first place, which would have prevented the deaths of 3.8 million Vietnamese, including 2 million civilians, and a long list of war legacies.
117 von 138 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen I was there, he is right on some things. 8. September 2013
Von George James Kalergis - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
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A comment about the review by MAA. I agree with most of his comments. I think however he
Fails to give due and measured credibility to observations of veterans like myself and those like myself who did not see the kind of horrific abuse Turse reported is not valid and a disservice to soldiers like myself. No doubt the body count was BS, but I still maintain the rape, baby and women killings etc. is quite overstated. See my comments below.

There is some evidence for his proposition. He greatly overstates the incidence of rape and deliberate murder of civilians however. He makes it sound as if this was a routine/daily occurrence. In my year there in combat, I did not see one incident such as this.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my experience in Vietnam as a result of reading this book. It has some elements of truth to it, especially concerning the inflated body counts and influence from the chain of command for bodies. However, from my experience he has looked for (and found) many individual instances of abuse of civilians in that war and made it seem that was much more of a regular occurrence than it was.

He doesn't point out the danger we were in from women and children who would set booby traps or shoot at us. It was a nightmare scenario and I'm sure many soldiers lost their lives because they were not cautious enough with women and children.

To some degree, I think he takes the worst instances of a 12 year war and expounds on them making it sound like all units did this every day. In my experience that was not the case. I was a forward observer with a maneuver company in Vietnam in 1967. I patrolled the length of the An Lao Valley many times. His descriptions of what happened there have some merit. Now that I have reread the entire book many of his general descriptions are often overstated and the overall impression he gives of the deliberate violence to civilians is probably overstated to reach the conclusion he is looking for.

I am particularly skeptical of the rape and abuse of women and children. I saw no incidents of that kind my entire year in country and my contemporaries in other units across the division did not see that either. I think this is a major flaw in his reporting. He may have had a few soldiers report incidents of that, but I guarantee you that was not anywhere near as prevalent as he describes.

I have personal first hand knowledge of some incidents similar to what he describes. I can only speak with authority on what happened in the An Lao Valley and Bong song plain for the entire year of 1967. What I experienced there is pretty much as he described it as far as destruction of property, H & I fires, inflated body counts and emphasis on body counts was concerned.

I saw very little of the deliberate cruelty to women and children and sexual assault he describes. I suspect that occurred, but not in my unit or my contemporaries units, and not to the degree he alleges.

Since he is relying on written reports for his information, he may only be looking for information that confirms his conclusions. The report on the an Lao Valley and Bong song Plain has the ring of truth to it, but not when it comes to rape and abuse of women and children.

Still it was pretty terrible and what I did see could be considered an atrocity? It does not have to be a My Lai, there were few of those. However, designating the entire An Lao valley a free fire zone and then forcing people from there homes and destroying there huts, livestock and food supplies is an atrocity in my view and that is what I viewed there in person.

Too soon old, too late smart.

George Kalergis
LTC FA (Retired) 4 Bronze Stars, Vietnam

Highly recommended.
59 von 69 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen This book is polarizing and graphic; read at your own risk 30. November 2013
Von C. Peterson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book seems to bring out the worst in a lot of reviewers. Either they give it 5 stars because it finally "reveals the truth" about the evil U.S. involvement in Vietnam, or they give it 1-star because it ignores the evil North Vietnamese involvement in Vietnam and slams U.S. soldiers. At the risk of sounding wishy-washy, I give it 3 stars.

Mr. Turse documents the abuses of SOME units and the emphasis on body counts that encouraged such abuses. It appears to me that his documentation is MOSTLY limited to areas near the DMZ and parts of the Delta, where a lot of the population did in fact support the North. (Please note the limitations mostly and some; I don't want a lot of comment posts telling me I said something more or less than I actually said). Other units in other places and times faced different challenges, and when soldiers say Mr. Turse doesn't reflect their experience, I accept their statements.

Of course civilians died, and of course some soldiers went off the rails. None of that is news. The author is trying to prove that U.S. policy in Vietnam practically guaranteed massive civilian casualties. He claims that by emphasizing body count as the metric for successful engagements, the U.S. government encouraged units to inflate their kills. One way to do this was by killing indiscriminately and then claiming that the victims were Viet Cong or sympathizers. Other policies also devastated the civilian population, such as free-fire zones, resettlement, and institutionalized racism.

One aspect that I don't think the author covers adequately concerns the soldiers themselves. This was not a professional army of volunteers. It was an army of very young, often unwilling, draftees. Units were not rotated in and out together as happened in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead an individual draftee was rotated into an existing unit as the new kid without a group for social support. The new kid quickly absorbed the ethos of the unit veterans, for good or ill. A professional army would likely have acted differently, and in fact it has acted differently (that is why Abu Graib (spelling?) is an aberration).

In short, the book offers an indictment and presents evidence. It is a very hard book to read, and even harder if you believe what he says. The evidence is voluminous and often gruesome. The charges are difficult for Americans to accept. It is up to you, the reader, to be the jury and decide the probity of the evidence and the logic of his argument. I think the author's evidence is good, but I think it proves somewhat less than he hoped. (edited for legibility and some spelling)
133 von 167 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Well sourced and documented. Excellent book. 27. Januar 2013
Von S. Wilde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Nick Turse exposes, and expands upon already known, atrocities committed by US troops throughout Vietnam, throughout the war, sometimes in very graphic detail. From the documentary record through firsthand accounts from victims as well as perpetrators, the details are here. My Lai was one of the few mass murders of civilians that reached the mainstream press, but there were many many more atrocities. Mr. Turse's book attempts to reveal some of them and succeeds in doing so.

That a culture of contempt for the Vietnamese people existed at all military ranks is clearly revealed here through thorough investigation. However, readers may not be aware of the military's obsession with body counts, which essentially propped up this culture.

For "reviewers" who rip Turse for "cherry picking" and not being a veteran of the war himself, let me say this: first, as is well known, more than 30,000 books have been written about the Vietnam war - Turse acknowledges this much himself. The book is concise, but could easily be twice three times as long with factual interviews and records. Turse chose the most reliable, documented examples available. Second, good journalists and historians are able to view, investigate, and present findings on an issue, objectively, from reliable source material from all sides of the issue.

I read the book on my Kindle. When I finished a chapter about 3/4 of the way through, I noticed the last "chapter" seemed enormous, but I was ready to grind through it. It turns out that last "chapter" was probably 75-80 pages of footnotes and source material. That was impressive and amazing. The proof is in the pudding. And the accolades from people like Daniel Ellsberg and Andrew Bacevich are to be taken seriously. Turse's other books, as well as his amazing contributions to TomDispatch.com well worth investigating for readers who found thus book interesting, educational, and enlightening.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The product of intellectual honesty and unrelenting moral and ethical efforts extending of ten years or so 3. April 2016
Von Siegfried Sutterlin - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This is one of the most shocking books which, as a historian, one has ever read.

In the sixties many people and most students were against the war. Everybody knew some of the nasty things that were reported about the Vietnam war but no one knew that the weekly body count was surprisingly generated by the intentional and almost universal killings of civilians, kids and the elderly year after year to boost the body count which, in turn, was used to maximize military promotion and rest and relaxation time and awards and recognition, etc.
This book is so shocking that one thinks Turse may be some sort of extremist and obsessed with defaming the military. But his sources, listed in 85 pages, are solid and easily verified and involve hundreds of personal interviews of vets and victims and massive research here and there and in Vietnam extending over ten years. He was a Harvard Fellow and is associated with the Nation Institute. The passion, energy, drive and absolute honesty and moral crusading he exhibits is really puzzling.

The reviews are listed at the beginning of the book and they are quite favorable, coming from both the left and right, from The American Conservatives, from West Point grad, soldier, scholar, patriot Andrew Bacevich, Seymour Hersh, etc. The San Francisco Chronicle terms the book a "paradigm changer" and with that I agree insofar as it will cause future historians to re-assess all of our foreign wars and connect it with the nasty things our soldiers did in France while liberating as presented in Marie Louise Robert's book "What Soldiers Do" and what European TV recently started to touch in its program "The Crimes of the Liberators" and what European historians have written when they exposed the fact that the Allies killed four to five times more Dutch people "liberating" them than were killed by the Germans. In fact, what Turse recounts may just be far, far worse than the absolutely brutal action of ISIS, unless of course ISIS is killing females after sexually abusing them with guns and stomping on babies heads to increase body counts for rewards. Sorry to be so shockingly summarizing Turse. To recommend it to others could cause potentially some severe reactions.

Turse presents serialized, intentional and constant killings of innocent civilians which just leaves the reader absolutely shocked. He never stops naming the victims, the time and place and keeps going year after year. One at first believes he is making it all up but the documentations proves otherwise. Literally, one's imagination could not make up such gruesome events. Hundreds of good Americans wrote desperately to their parents, to their pols, to the media year after year but nothing changed. The military judicial system here and there pretended to take actions but allowed nearly all of the gruesome murdering to go mostly unpunished. MacArthur advised Westmoreland to enact "a scorched earth policy" and that the Asian mind fears artillery shelling. On top of brutal ground work, more brutality was added upon a weak non-threatening society with relentless bombing, napalm, artillery and naval gun firing so that Turse provides unbelievable stats such a one valley being hit by 311,000 artillery shells plus B52 bombing and napalm strikes and Phantom strafings, etc. He selects three senior military officials for more detailed description of their atrocities: Sergeant Roy Bumgarner, General John Donaldson and General Julian Ewell. What they did is beyond belief. He calls Ewell "The Butcher of the Delta."

My Lai was investigated by the Pentagon and it resulted in a policy to prevent similar info from getting out and Turse discovered docs related to this and this seems to have gotten him going. My Lai pales in comparison to the ongoing and constant massacres of 10 to 130 civilians seemingly unbelievable week after week, month after month, year after year. In fact, on the same day of My Lai another massacre of more than 90 civilians took place not far from My Lai at My Khe. Besides this, 3 million Vietnamese were exposed to herbicide and dioxin---we knew that already. The very bizarre habit on part of many GIs was the collecting of body parts as souvenirs, hanging cut off ears around the neck (we knew that, too, but not the scope) and on rare occasion even, sorry to say so, a male genital. General Patton himself, son of WW II General Patton partook in this atavistic and brutal custom when decapitated heads were boiled to remove the flesh and thus he kept a skull on his desk and even carried it during his farewell party.

Turse has been faulted for not focusing on the horrible bombing of North Vietnam. Well, that was not his subject. He does mention briefly now and then the atrocities committed by the VC but indicates that they were mild compared to the size, scope and varieties of tortures, mutilations, murder and killings carried by the U.S. which pretended to help the Vietnamese. The juxtaposition of the gruesome deeds and the image sold at home and abroad is THE most perfect and giant example of schizophrenic marketing and successful image making. If a society has THE highest violent crime rate of all adv. societies than one can potentially expects its soldiers to misbehave brutally in wars. John Wayne's movie the Green Berets and Reagan's statement that the war was for a noble cause can only prompt cynical derision. They are in the realm of severe psychopathology and grandiose self-delusion very similar to our presumed high living standard, which BTW few believe any more, given slumerica created by those who were uncritically operating in our dangerous myths.

Vietnam was used as a giant experimental societal guinea pig on which to test various new military hardwares, methods of torture and all sorts of new fangled and innovative ways to carry on warfare. The conclusion and the proper policy is to prevent ANY foreign military adventures on part of the U.S. The military has become a caste system of sorts already and we do not need more of that on top of trillions spent on the wholesale destruction of tiny non threatening and backward societies. Is totally immoral to advocate unnecessary military intervention which cause only blowbacks. The U.S. is extremely lucky that the immense suffering of the Vietnamese did not cause massive blowbacks as has been and is happening all across the Middle East.
Finally, as a historian one must say that the Cold War of which Vietnam was part, was based upon the totally wrong misconceptualization that communism would be static, would not reform and moderate itself. That demonization was necessary to sustain the military. Yet, since we disengage from holding a gun on Communism it proved itself to be quite capable of reforming and even adopting substantially capitalism and emulationg Wall Street. Thus, had we not held a gun on it, it would have reformed earlier and we could have saved trillions for sorely needed domestic improvements.

What is also amazing is the fact that the book was a NY Times bestseller and no one refuted Turse's facts or references and all agree, even critical reviews, that the facts are true. If so, then future scholars will compare statistically the shocking behavior at the personal level of ordinary soldiers and at the bureaucratic level and higher ups and the military judicial with what the Russians did in Afghanistan and what happened in WW II, etc. Psychiatrists and psycho-historians will have a field day at some future time to expose and analyze the deformed and decayed mentality and lack of minimum human impulses on part of the thousands Turse exposes.
Unfortunately, Turse does not focus on the ongoing casualties and deaths resulting from unexploded ordinance and dioxin induced genetic defects and the left over general ecological degradatioon which altogether will take many generation to recover, if it is even possible. In a modified fashion it is being repeated in Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria, etc
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