In this March 19, 1964 photo, one of several shot by Associated Press photographer Horst Faas which earned him the first of two Pulitzer Prizes, a father holds the body of his child as South Vietnamese Army Rangers look down from their armored vehicle. The child was killed as government forces pursued guerrillas into a village near the Cambodian border. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
U.S. Marine wields a flame thrower during Operation New Castle, 03/26/1967.
Photo courtesy of NARA, Records of the U.S. Marine Corps, 1775 - onward.
When I remember the world I grew up in, I see the parts of it that were Paradise — and I also see all the little hells. I was a kid in California when it had the best public education system in the world and universities were nearly free and the economy was not so hard on people and the rich paid a lot of taxes. The weather was predictable and we weren’t thinking about it changing any time before the next ice age.
That was, however, the same California where domestic violence was not something the law took an interest in, where gays and lesbians were openly discriminated against, where almost all elected officials were white men, where people hadn’t even learned to ask questions about exclusion and racism.
Which is to say, paradises are always partial and, when you look backward, it’s worth trying to see the whole picture. The rights gained over the past 35 years were fought for, hard, while so much of what was neglected — including public education, tuition, wages, banking regulation, corporate power, and working hours — slid into hell.
Lashkar Gah Prison Holds Incarcerated Insurgents
11/30/2012 Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan Inmates from the criminal wing of the Lashkar Gah prison—many of them incarcerated for crimes like kidnapping and charges related to the opium trade, waited in line to use NDS-monitored phones to call relatives.
© Bryan Denton/Corbis
“Among the most poignant of the interviews I conducted was with Jamie Henry, a former army medic with whom I eventually forged a friendship… While many others had kept silent, Henry stepped forward and reported the crimes he’d seen, taking significant risks for what he believed was right. He talked to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, he wrote a detailed article, he spoke out in public again and again. But the army left him to twist in the wind, a lone voice repeatedly recounting apparently uncorroborated tales of shocking violence, while most Americans paid little attention. Until I sought him out and showed him the documents I’d found, Henry had no idea that in the early 1970s military investigators had in fact tracked down and interviewed his fellow unit members, proving his allegations beyond any doubt— and that the army had then hidden away this information, never telling him or anyone else. When he looked over my stacks of photocopies, he was astounded.”
Another humbling blurb from a Vietnam War historian whose work I’ve long admired. If you’re at all interested in what the Vietnamese call “the American War” and you’ve never read Appy’s Working-Class War, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. Also check out his mammoth oral history, Patriots. It’s hard to beat.
Troops in the field regularly carved their unit’s initials or numbers into corpses, adorned bodies with their unit’s patch, or left a “death card”— generally either an ace of spades or a custom- printed business card claiming credit for the kill. Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry of the 198th Light Infantry Brigade, for example, left their victims with a customized ace of spades sporting the unit’s formal designation, its nickname (“Gunfighters”), a skull and crossbones, and the phrase “dealers of death.”
In a new 132-page report — Suppressing Protest: Human Rights Violations in the U.S. Response to Occupy Wall Street — members of a national consortium of law school clinics, lawyers, law professors and other legal experts “catalog 130 specific alleged incidents of excessive police force, and hundreds of additional violations, including unjustified arrests, abuse of journalists, unlawful closure of sidewalks and parks to protesters, and pervasive surveillance of peaceful activists” in New York City. The experts note that, to date, only one police officer is known to have been disciplined for misconduct related to Occupy Wall Street protests in NYC. Read the full report here.