ASA 150 E
Almost every part of the reading Kill Anything That Moves made my stomach churn. Although I had heard the phrase and seen a tiny (almost hidden) paragraph mentioning the My Lai Massacre in my high school history textbook, I had no idea of their atrocious relation to each other. It was a very unsettling (but entirely necessary) experience to read about the psychological manipulation of soldiers and the utter destruction of human spirit, morality, and life. I still cannot shake off the image of the murdered mother clutching her dead baby. But the section struck me the most was the epilogue. I was heartbroken because those who lived through both sides of the ordeal had delayed emotional reactions when they talked about their experiences during the Vietnam War. Jamie Henry who calmly discussed his accounts and struggles during the war with the author remained shaking uncontrollably in his chair for an hour after the conversation ended. Ho Thi A managed to evenly recount the massacre in her village but later could not stop sobbing for 20 minutes.
I was also especially interested in how the author linked his extensive investigation about the truths from the Vietnam war with the wars and armed conflicts that were concurrent with his publication. I appreciate how he relates our refusal to acknowledge the truth about Vietnam as a haunting specter and how “never coming to grips with what our country actually did during the war, we see its ghost arise anew with every successive military intervention.” (262) It has my wonder what atrocities and crimes against humanity have we committed in Iran that are buried so deep we might not unearth them for another 60 years.
In trying to figure out how documenting or trying to uncover the My Lai Massacre related to liberal academic perspectives, I found myself asking the same two questions over and over again:
Why does truth continue to fall onto a spectrum? Why is it when we expose the deepest and truest horrors of American “intervention” that it is labeled as a “liberal” or hippie propaganda?
Turse, Nick. Kill Anything that Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam. 2013. New York: Metropolitan Books.
Image source: https://www.latimes.com/news/la-na-vietnam6aug06-story.html