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Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War In Vietnam (2013)

by Nick Turse(Favorite Author)
4.17 of 5 Votes: 1
0805086919 (ISBN13: 9780805086911)
Metropolitan Books
review 1: This book proves without any doubt that the atrocities that were committed by American troops in Vietnam were part of a military policy. The systematic killings, torture, and rape were not exceptions, but rather standard procedure. The soldiers that came forward to recount what they saw or who stood up for what was right were far fewer. I could go through the different instances but there are thousands told in detail and tens of thousands still left to be uncovered. It was just out and out genocide. The most thorough study done to figure civilian deaths came to 2 million. Most of these were not stray missiles but the carpet bombing of entire towns because of a single sniper or strafing groups of boys from helicopters because they ran away frightened. This also gives a glim... morepse into why the US LOST the war and had to retreat from Saigon in humiliating defeat. Most of the soldiers varied from untrained, mildly psychotic farm boys or city kids who had never seen a jungle before to pathologically sick men who wanted a chance to kill a person and found many chances. There is no reason to believe that Iraq and Afghanistan were any different. The US is still just as incapable of winning a guerilla war. The resurgence of the Taliban and Islamist militants in Iraq prove that. Shame on us. Everyone should read this book and seek truth.
review 2: This book is not an easy read, but it is worthwhile. The author ended up doing archival research while looking at PTSD for veterans and found a lot of information on the US military investigating war crimes. A review of the data shows that the My Lai massacre was only unique in that there were photographs and otherwise should be considered a typical operation. In fact, the same day it happened another US company also massacred the population of a neighbouring village, but it did not get filmed. The Vietnam war cost around 3 million dead South Vietnamese, and the record shows that this was the logical and entirely predictable result of high level US policy that involved indiscriminate and deliberate bombing, shelling, and airstrikes on the population of South Vietnam. Operations by ground troops were just as bad as the typical mission was "search and destroy" where "Kill anything that moves" was explicity ordered, and troops routinely burned down villages, slaughtered livestock, and murdered, tortured and raped civilians. The dominant mindset of many was the "Mere Gook" rule where the life of Vietnamese person was worth very little, and atrocities were not considered to be a problem. The principal means of measuring success was achieving high "body counts" and the typical ratio of bodies to weapons recovered in most search and destroy missions was around 10:1, which is comparable to a lot of German "anti-partisan" operations in the Second World War. A fair number of US veterans did talk about this, and US military did investigate, but in most cases no actions were taken and the information was suppressed. A lot of accounts were dismissed as anti war propaganda, some major news outlets self censored a lot, and it seems a lot of investigations were more about keeping soldiers quiet then actually finding out what happened. The book is impeccably documented, which is good, as it certainly is at odds with a lot of the more mainstream American accounts of the war, which characterize it as a tragedy of good intentions, with any atrocities being an aberration perpetrated by a few individuals. less
Reviews (see all)
Sad list of war crimes reveals the culture of the US fighting machine.
A deeply disturbing story. Well written and worth the time to read.
Revelatory, Horrifying and Brilliant!
An eye opener
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