I’m very grateful (and a little shocked) that Parade magazine made Kill Anything that Moves a “Parade Pick.” They call it “explosive… a painful yet compelling look at the horrors of war.” Meanwhile, Vanity Fair has a similar assessment: “explosive, groundbreaking reporting [that] uncovers the horrifying truth.” Even the New York Post, of all places, included it in its “Required Reading” column. I’m amazed.
Cambodian men continued to be frequently trafficked for labour exploitation purposes according to a report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). According to the United Nations’ Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking, “thousands of Cambodians are trafficked annually. Cambodia is the sixth most frequent country of origin for trafficking victims after Ukraine, Haiti, Yemen, Laos and Uzbekistan.”
Second Cambodian land rights activist Bopha sentenced to three years
Phnom penh, Cambodia. 27th December 2012 — Protester Nget Khun, 72, clashes with riot police after finding out Yorn Bopha was sentenced to three years in jail. Land rights activist Yorn Bopha, her husband and brothers were convicted of intentional violence and sentenced to three years in prison in Phnom Penh. Yorn Bopha has been declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.
© Erika Pineros/Demotix/Corbis
Mother of land rights activist Yorn Bopha collapses in front of a police barricade after finding out her daughter was sentenced to three years in jail. — Land rights activist Yorn Bopha, her husband and brothers were convicted of intentional violence and sentenced to three years in prison in Phnom Penh. Yorn Bopha has been declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.
© Erika Pineros/Demotix/Corbis
Integrated Mine/UXO Risk Education does entertain kids who live in UXO-contaminated areas.
Paul Vrieze and Neou Vannarin at Global Post report that as “destruction of Cambodia’s tropical forests intensifies, concerned villagers and activists across this poor, small Southeast Asian nation are rising up to defend their country’s precious resources. But by doing so, they are becoming targets for persecution, violence and even killings, by powerful private interests that profit from the timber trade.”
Several years ago, while reporting from Vietnam, I headed into the equivalent of a live minefield — a future construction site littered with unexploded ordnance left from what the Vietnamese call the “American War.” I went there to cover the work of a demining team from Project Renew: a 16-member Vietnamese unit, overseen by Australian explosive ordnance disposal supervisor.
That day, the team disposed of an M-79 round — a 40 mm high-explosive projectile fired from a breach-loading, single-shot U.S. grenade launcher — making the country a little safer. Having seen kids permanently scarred by old ordnance and having interviewed grieving parents who lost children to old American bombs, it was gratifying to witness the folks from Project Renew in action.
I see that Project Renew, which calls itself a “humanitarian mine action organization dedicated to cleaning up explosive remnants of war,” now has a Tumblr. Please consider following them. They do great work at great risk to shield future generations from the horrors of the past.
In 2010, I sat down with former Los Angeles Times combat correspondent Jacques Leslie during a reunion of “Old Hacks” — reporters who covered the American wars in Southeast Asia during the 1960s and 1970s — in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam.
This year, when I saw Leslie had written about the whole experience in a new “Kindle Single” from Amazon.com, I just had to take a look and from that came my latest review and first ever for Current Intelligence.
I write: “It seems you can’t go home again and that’s precisely what Leslie, who sounds French but is actually American, found out on his first return to Vietnam in almost 40 years.”
To read the rest visit Current Intelligence’s website.
Coming in January 2013…
Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam
Based on classified documents and first-person interviews, a startling and sure to be controversial history of the American war on Vietnamese civilians.
Americans have long been taught that events such as the notorious My Lai massacre were “isolated incidents” in the Vietnam War, carried out by a few “bad apples.” However, as award-winning journalist and historian Nick Turse demonstrates in this pioneering investigation, violence against Vietnamese civilians was not at all exceptional. Rather, it was pervasive and systematic, the predictable consequence of official orders to “kill anything that moves.”
Drawing on a decade of research into secret Pentagon files and extensive interviews with American veterans and Vietnamese survivors, Turse reveals the policies and actions that resulted in millions of innocent civilians killed and wounded. He lays out in shocking detail the workings of a military machine that made crimes in nearly every American unit all but inevitable. Kill Anything That Moves takes us from archives filled with Washington’s long-suppressed war crime investigations to the rural Vietnamese hamlets that bore the brunt of the war; from boot camps where young American soldiers learned to hate all Vietnamese to bloodthirsty campaigns like Operation Speedy Express, in which a general obsessed with body counts led his troops to commit what one participant called “a My Lai a month.”
Devastating and definitive, Kill Anything That Moves finally brings us face-to-face with the truth of a war that haunts America to this day.