For America, Life Was Cheap in VietnamRoundup: Talking About History
tags: atrocities, Vietnam War
Nick Turse is a historian and journalist and the author of “Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam.”
OBITUARIES of Vo Nguyen Giap, the Vietnamese general who helped drive the American military from his country, noted, as The New York Times put it, that “his critics said that his victories had been rooted in a profligate disregard for the lives of his soldiers.”
The implication is that the United States lost the war in Vietnam because General Giap thought nothing of sending unconscionable numbers of Vietnamese to their deaths.
Yet America’s defeat was probably ordained, just as much, by the Vietnamese casualties we caused, not just in military cross-fire, but as a direct result of our policy and tactics. While nearly 60,000 American troops died, some two million Vietnamese civilians were killed, and millions more were wounded and displaced, during America’s involvement in Vietnam, researchers and government sources have estimated....
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