In “Kill Anything That Moves”by Nick Turse, the reading illustrates the horrifying and shocking atrocities committed by the U.S. in the My Lai massacre. Turse writes about how members of the American Division called Charlie Company planned an operation in an area called “Pinkville”, and were ordered to kill everything that breathed. They only found women, children, and elderly in the area; these were innocent civilians who had no involvement in the war, and yet they killed them all and labeled it as a “victory”. They raped and killed women and burned people’s homes, and I am left wondering how these actions could possibly be seen as a noble cause for the U.S. The fact that all of this was hidden and not one media outlet covered the murder, torture, rape, and abuse is incredibly disappointing and even disgusting. How could they paint America’s involvement as necessary? As Turse says, this was not a small case of “a few bad apples”; the casualties were a result of purposeful and indiscriminate killing.
The data illustrates that the war and South Vietnamese people would have been better off without U.S. involvement. Though it is unofficial how many civilian lives were killed, the Vietnamese government estimated that there were more than 3 million deaths total. There were 2 million civilian deaths for the years Americans were involved in the conflict, which clearly shows that their interference did more harm than good. A third of the wounded were women, and about a quarter were children under the age of 13. It is difficult to understand the American justification of these killings because they basically murdered innocent people and mutilated them just because they could.
Question: If the American public knew about My Lai during the time, how would their attitude towards the war and government have changed? Even though Americans were growing increasingly against the war, I don’t they people realized what kind of atrocities were being committed by Americans. It also begs a moral question. Even if the government ordered soldiers to kill people, how could they mercilessly do so to innocent civilians? Who should be held accountable?