Journalist Nick Turse describes his personal mission to compile a complete and compelling account of the Vietnam War’s horror as experienced by all sides, including innocent civilians who were sucked into its violent vortex.
Turse, who devoted 12 years to tracking down the true story of Vietnam, unlocked secret troves of documents, interviewed officials and veterans — including many accused of war atrocities — and traveled throughout the Vietnamese countryside talking with eyewitnesses to create his book, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam.
“American culture has never fully come to grips with Vietnam,” Turse tells Bill, referring to “hidden and forbidden histories that just haven’t been fully engaged.”
“I know a lot of horrible things happen in the south and nobody but the locals know about it,” said Jamal Karimi, 32, referring to southern Afghanistan, where American forces have maintained a large troop presence.
“Such things happen all the time, and people talk about it but media hardly report them,” said Karimi, a shopkeeper from the southern city of Kandahar.
In an important article at AlterNet today, “1 Million Dead in Iraq? 6 Reasons the Media Hide the True Human Toll of War — And Why We Let Them”, John Tirman, the executive director of MIT’s Center for International Studies, writes:
“It’s very rare to hear anything approximating the likely death toll [of Iraqis who died unnecessarily after the 2003 U.S. invasion] which is well into the hundreds of thousands, possibly more than one million. It‘s a textbook case of how opinion gatekeepers reinforce each other’s caution. Because the number of civilians killed in a U.S. war is so morally fraught, the news media, academics and political leaders tend to gravitate toward the figure (if mentioned at all) that is least disturbing.”
IRIN Africa | COTE D’IVOIRE: Who is responsible for the Duékoué killings?
IRIN reports that supporters of Laurent Gbagbo and presidential rival Alassane Ouattara have traded accusations over the the 800 or more civilians reportedly killed in the Ivoirian town of Duékoué.
Locals told IRIN that March 30th bloodbath was a “settling of scores” by pro-Ouattara forces. Ouattara, the internationally recognized president, denies the charges against his forces.
“[A]s CIA covert action roars back in places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen, a detailed, public examination of such major past operations would provide both citizens and policymakers with needed perspective and caution,” Stephen Weissman trenchantly observes in a new piece in the Christian Science Monitor. So why he asks, are past covert ops being covered up by the State Department?
Worth a look…
The Kill Team | Rolling Stone
“How U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan murdered innocent civilians and mutilated their corpses – and how their officers failed to stop them. Plus: An exclusive look at the war crime photos censored by the Pentagon.”
Not to be missed!
US soldier pleads guilty to Afghan killings - Americas - Al Jazeera English
Al Jazeera reports:
Corporal Jeremy Morlock, who is set to testify against four co-accused, admitted murdering or helping to kill three men, and using illegally obtained Afghan weapons to make it appear that the victims were enemy combatants.
Morlock was court-martialed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Wednesday, where he pleaded guilty to three counts of murder, and one count each of conspiracy, obstructing justice and illegal drug use in exchange for a maximum sentence of 24 years in prison.