Thursday, May 23, 2013

Quynh Dinh-Research Proposal

 “It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.”
                                                                                                             -Albert Einstein
My research will be circled around the U.S. War Crimes. During Vietnam War, many “slaughtering” style missions had been authorized for body count purpose. To achieve the number, they would kill anyone. By “anyone” I meant not only the VC but also unharmed civilians (young to old men, women, children, and even infants). One of the vivid examples is the My Lai massacre, 1968. The order was “Kill anything that moves” and “Search and Destroy”. And with that permission, bullets were blindly fired.
Besides massive murder, other committed crimes are rapes and body mutilation. Even though in the 1970s, interviews and investigations had been opened but nothing leased until 2005. The higher-up covered them all: “A massive 9 thousand pages of evidence implicating U.S. troops in a wide range of atrocities…the Pentagon kept the entire collection under wraps” (Nelson pg. 2).
The U.S. goal of going to VN war is to assist Democracy and prevent the spread of Communism in VN. They came to help Vietnamese people, to liberate the country from the North communists. But what was that with all the gruesome slaughter on unharmed civilians? I see a huge contradiction between the U.S.’s intention and their act. Therefore in my paper, I want to criticize the U.S. perceptions about VN. The fact that they came to VN without knowing VN culture and history lead to false assumptions, misunderstandings and misinterpretations.
-books/ journals/DVD’s/ oral interview clips.  

Here is the link for the interview of U.S. vets who involved in My Lai massacre.

There are more collective video interview about VN war in website Library of Congress:


  1. This Is Colette.

    Will you be looking into the structure of the military in the US and the cultural attributes that go into the Armed forces? I think the execution and carrying out of such orders was characterized by the Army's ultra dehumanizing nature and jargon for the Viet Con.
    In assessing the cover-up by the Government, what will you hope to achieve? What questions do you have that will be answered through the examination of the documents and research that you are doing.
    In being critical of the body count operations and the war crimes committed by the US, can you specify which commanders carried out the orders and the names of the battalions that they led and/or the number of troops under them?

  2. Hi Quynh,

    I find that topic to be very interesting, but I have trouble understanding how you would be able to add an original contribution to research on this topic. It would be very difficult for you to find the right individuals to conduct this research and it might takes years to see this project developed into a strong theoretical contribution to the field. I suggest that you take one aspect of U.S. exceptionalism and critique it with another theoretical framework. I would suggest a theoretical framework that brings out an interesting and new analysis of U.S. exceptionalism that we did not know before. I suggest that you consider the Vietnamese experiences through participation with the U.S. military. Are Vietnamese soldiers attempting to replicate the U.S. military through imperialism?

    Hope this helps,
    Eddie Truong