Posted on October 19th, 2022


In the 1950s, USA decided to be the protector of the Free World versus the Communist world. In this self appointed capacity, US invaded and fought wars in countries that have done nothing to USA or against USA. By doing so, US caused much misery to the populations in those countries. USA has never shown any concern about this.

US started by sending troops to South Korea during the Korean war, 1950-1953.US supported anti-communist South Korea. China and Russia supported   communist North Korea.   US thereafter sent troops to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, to stop them also from turning Communist.  In 1970 US launched an invasion of Cambodia, which was kept from the public. 

The best known of these ‘domino wars’ is the Vietnam War (1955-1975).  In   1968, there were more than 500,000 American troops in South Vietnam, and the US Air Force was dropping bombs at a rate unequalled in history, said historian Howard Zinn. The amount of ammunition fired per soldier was 26 times greater in Vietnam than during World War II. By the end of the Vietnam war America had unleashed the equivalent of 640 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs on Vietnam, said Nick Turse.

It is estimated that US killed two million Vietnamese civilians, another 5.3 million were injured and about 11 million became refugees in their own country, because of the Vietnam War. Whole villages were burnt to the ground, millions were killed or wounded, rest were driven into slums and refugee camps. CIA secretly executed at least 20,000 civilians in South Vietnam who were suspected of being members of the Viet Cong  through Operation Phoenix, 1967-1972.

In the Vietnam War, wide swathes of the Mekong Delta  were declared “free fire zones,” where bombs could be freely dropped by the US army. Vast areas in South Vietnam , dotted with villages were blasted with artillery, bombed from the air and strafed by helicopter gunships, after which ground troops went in on search-and-destroy missions , said Turse. Not a single soldier on the ground tried to stop the killing.

People were   lined up and killed. They were also picked up and killed. US army frightened people into running and then used this as a pretext to kill them. Civilians, including women and children, were   killed for running from soldiers or from helicopter gunships that had fired warning shots, or because they were in a village suspected of sheltering Viet Cong.

The village of Ben Suc, was surrounded and attacked, houses destroyed, women, children, old people killed. At Cam Ne the US army moved into the village and systematically began torching every house. The houses and personal belongings were burned. Pleas from the villagers to delay while their possessions were removed were ignored. All rice stores were burned. The day’s operation netted four prisoners, all of whom were old men.In most operations US soldiers destroyed all the villages they went past.

The Mai Lai massacre got world attention. On March 16, 1968, about 200 American soldiers from Bravo and Charlie companies, part of the 11th Infantry Brigade, entered two South Vietnamese villages   and killed 504 in Mai Lai and 347 in Mai Khe. More than forty soldiers took part in the killing.

Most of the victims at My Lai were shot. Some were bayoneted. Women and girls were raped, and then killed. At least one soldier later confessed to cutting out villagers’ tongues, and scalping others, said photographer Ronald Haeberle who was there in Mai Lai.

at Mai Lai,  US soldiers killed hundreds ofunarmed villagers, including elderly men, women, children, and babies. American soldiers raped, mutilated, and tortured the villagers before killing them; families were dragged from their homes, thrown into ditches and executed said  analysts. An old man with two small children walked toward the soldiers. The old man was shouting, to the soldiers that he was not Viet Cong. A soldier shot all three.

 Mai Lai massacre remained hidden from the public until November 1969 when it was  reported by journalist Seymour Hersh and distributed by, Dispatch News Service, a wire agency in the second week of November 1969. It appeared in several newspapers the next day, Novemebr 12th.

Hersh had tracked down Lt William Calley the platoon commander at My Lai also other soldiers who were at My Lai  and obtained information on what they had done. He told BBC Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur that some of the things done to the villagers were so horrific that he did not include them in his report.

A week after Hersh’s article appeared came further proof. Military photographer Ronald Haeberle had been with the Mai Lai unit and had taken photos during the massacre. He had used his own camera not the army one, so had control over the photos. They were published  on the front page of the Cleveland’s  Plain Dealer on Nov. 20, 1969. These became the defining photos of the massacre and were later  seen worldwide.They appeared in LIFE magazine  in December, 1969.

There had been concern within the army unit too. Major Hugh Thompson, Army helicopter crew chief Glenn Andreotta, and gunner Larry Colburn who were participating in the attack were horrified by what they saw and protested to the authorities.  

Ronald Ridenhour was   also in Vietnam at the time  as helicopter gunner.  His friends from Charlie Company told him about the mass killing at Mai Lai.. He gathered evidence, interviewed people and   waited until he finished his service. Then in 1969 he wrote a letter detailing the evidence, which he sent to  the US  President, five senior officials at the State Department and the Pentagon, and 24 members of Congress.

A full-scale Department of Defense investigation took place and a report was issued, titled Investigation of the My Lai incident. Report of the Armed Services Investigating Subcommittee of the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives, Ninety-first Congress, second session, under authority of H. Res. 105.

However, crticis declared that Mai Lai was not the only massacre which had taken place in Vietnam. There was a My Lai each month, they said.  Nor was Mai Lai the biggest massacre.  Massacres like Speedy Express were far worse they said.  These  other massacres were hidden from the public.

Speedy Express was an operation in the Mekong Delta carried out in 1968, by the 9th Infantry Division, under the command of Gen Julian Ewell. Speedy Express engaged in civilian slaughter on a scale that far exceeded Mai Lai, said reporters. Speedy Express unleashed heavy firepower on a countryside packed with civilians. Soldiers went into villages, and killed women and children. Helicopter gunships frightened farmers into running and then cut them down. The killings were deliberate. Ewell encouraged the killings and sacked soldiers who did not kill enough.

A whistle-blower in the division wrote to the US Army Chief of Staff William Westmoreland, pleading for an investigation into Speedy.Just look at the ratio of those killed and weapons captured’ he told Westmoreland. Ewell’s division said it had killed 11,000 but could only show 750 captured weapons. Westmoreland did nothing at the time, but a secret investigation into Speedy Express was done later on. It remained classified for decades till researcher Nick Turse discovered the massacre and gave it publicity. ( continued)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2023 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress