The story that was heard in the U.S., however, was that of Douglas Pike, an employee of the U.S. Information Agency, who blamed the civilian deaths entirely on the insurgents and warned that more massacres could be expected should South Vietnam fall to the communists. His story was spread by U.S. agencies and the American Friends of Vietnam, which issued a pamphlet in June 1969 warning that the “massacres at Hue … were only the most outrageous in a long history of such Communist atrocities.” Excerpts of Pike’s story also appeared in Reader’s Digest (September 1970) in part to counter revelations of American atrocities at My Lai. Writing forty years later, the American military historian James Willbanks concludes:
There is evidence of several hundred political executions carried out by the Communists toward the end of the occupation in Hue…. But that the more than 2,800 bodies found in and around Hue after Tet were victims of Communist executions is supported only by official assertions. In the bloody fighting to recapture Hue, in which half the homes were destroyed, thousands – civilians and Vietcong troops – were killed and buried in mass graves.
Dropped into war zones, without knowledge of the Vietnamese language and with little, if any, understanding of local culture, U.S. soldiers had problems distinguishing enemy from neutral from friend. They often became frustrated when making no contact with enemy soldiers for long periods, then seemingly out of the blue were interrupted by violent surprise attacks. Daily treks through insect-filled jungles in the heat and humidity also took a toll on GI nerves. In numerous documented cases, their frustrations were taken out on civilians. The approved routine of burning of huts, destruction of villages, and terrorizing of residents could and did lead to unauthorized sexual assaults, random shootings, and even massacres such as that in My Lai. Heonik Kwon lists thirteen large-scale massacres, including some by South Korean troops; Nick Turse, in Kill Anything That Moves, documents more. Even in villages with decent relations with local U.S. forces, other mobile U.S. forces were known to violently intervene.
Among the factors contributing to the killing of civilians were the bureaucratic labeling of whole districts as NLF territory and thus free-fire zones; a “body count” reward system that identified civilians killed as communist guerrillas; lack of official accountability such that the generals did not want to know about, report, or investigate civilian casualties; psychological factors including revenge, sadism, racism, and boredom, any of which might impel a soldier to slay or rape civilians; a military culture that encouraged racist views of Asians and Vietnamese, commonly referred to as “gooks”; and the massive firepower readily available to U.S. soldiers that killed indiscriminately.
Such practices violated important tenets of international law, including the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. The moral and legal issues hardly concerned American military leadership, but they ate away at the conscience of many “grunts” and raised questions for an American public increasingly disenchanted with the war.
These actions marked the beginning of the War on Terror, and laid the groundwork for the problems experienced by the Obama administration almost ten years later....
Since the attack on the Twin Towers in September of 2001, by the terrorist group al-Qaeda, the United States has again become more aware and alert to this possibility.
The war on terror declared by the Bush Administration, had become one of the most important issues in the United States during that time and still is today....
With the swift implementation of the USA PATRIOT Act shortly after the attacks (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act), and intervention in Afghanistan, the United States had begun its War on Terror.
In order to do so, President Bush declared a war on terrorism just a few days after the attacks, but little did he know that this very decision would also bring devastating consequences to many countries.
When Tony Blair made his statement to the nation on the 9th September 2001 few could have envisaged how an attack of 9/11’s magnitude against the world’s superpower could be possible; and how this ‘new’ war on terrorism would dominate Britain’s security policy for the following decade....
Trump’s executive order would undermine a dynamic interfaith initiative—Jews and Christians joining forces to rescue Muslim victims of war. In Washington, Lutheran Social Services has worked with Temple Sinai and other synagogues to foster Syrian refugees. Temple Sinai has, in turn, also worked with a Catholic charity that helps minors coming across the Mexican border.
We won the war because we would rather die than live in slavery. Our history proves this. Our deepest aspiration has always been self-determination…. History is not made with “ifs,” but if American leaders had been wiser I think we could have been spared the war. In my opinion, the Vietnam War was not in the American interest. It was a big mistake. U.S. expenditures were vast, and for the Vietnamese people, casualties were enormous. The Americans inflicted insane atrocities. The My Lai massacre was just an example…. Perhaps the American people know this already, but they need to be told again and understand more.
This essay intends to address the social issue of new terrorism through the application of Ulrich Beck’s World Risk Society Thesis which premises upon the idea that we have entered a “world of uncontrollable risk and we don’t even have a language to describe what we are facing....
In four short months, our nation has comforted the victims, began to rebuild New York and the Pentagon, rallied a great coalition, captured, arrest, and rid the world of thousands of terrorists, destroyed Afghanistan’s terrorists training camps, saved a people from starvation, and freed a country from brutal oppression (applause).