In Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, the author Nick Turse examines the Vietnam War from the standpoint of American forces. The title itself foreshadows the atrocities of the Vietnam war and the countless smaller atrocities that were part of the bigger picture of defeating the enemy forces. The reading points to Mylai and other massacres and killings, in which countless numbers of women, children, and innocent civilians were killed for the mere purpose of reaching targets and goals given by higher officials. These systematic killings were not isolated, but rather all become part of the larger operation of war. However, Turse pointed at that theses atrocities were covered up as “American victories” against enemies for many years. Rather, it was the pillaging of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese that have left deep scars within Vietnam.
The operation and system of war creates significant problems abroad and domestically, haunting veterans and the nations pillaged by war. Although, the United States often intervenes on the ground of fighting against communism/the enemy and helping the spread of democracy and freedom, where does the nation draw the line? The United States on numerous occasions sought to do what was best, i.e. Iraq War, Korean War, however their involvement seemed to hinder the nations and cause more political and economic strife. Turse perfectly sets up a conversation and discussion about the atrocities committed and what the violence tells us about American ways of diplomacy and war.
Q: What do the atrocities and violence committed during wars show about American ways of war and diplomacy? Is the United States helping or hindering the cause?
Map of US Military and CIA Interventions since World War 2. William Blum, n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2017.