The My Lai Massacre is just one recorded example of the many U.S. war atrocities during the Vietnam War. A war supposedly about grand ideologies such as communism and nationalism, did not leave those with no opinion unscathed. The Vietnam War’s casualties are gargantuan and hellish. the U.S. has worked very hard to construct a vision of U.S. in the Vietnam War. If their narrative was true, the U.S. won a moral war in the Vietnamese jungle where they played fair and left civilians their lives. Only one aspect of this sentence is true. During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara, the Secretary of Defense proposed policies that would mold war operations similar to a business, in efforts to create scientific efficiency in the war room. The end goal was to produce as much “enemy kills” as possible. As a result, the mindset of the U.S. military focused on getting a body count, or else. In this bloodthirsty haze, all Vietnamese people (even children) had turned into “the enemy”. Their beliefs, humanity, and potential did not matter. Relentless fire was also useful to drive villagers into zones controlled by the Saigon government. The Vietnamese that were not killed were sentenced to refugee camps. Refugee camps did not have sufficient supplies for its residents.
It is understandable why the U.S. wanted to hide their actions in Vietnam from the public. It begs the question, how much did U.S. citizens know about the carnage in Vietnam at the time? Were they blocked from the truth, or did they have full knowledge (as full as it could've been given the technology and resources) and it was not until after the War (for example, during the 10 year anniversary of the War) that they started to actively alter history in textbooks and other forms of media from the government?