Hello ... So There Weren't Atrocities in Vietnam?





Fran Shor is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Wayne State University.

In any case, anyone who spends five minutes reading the Swift Boat Veterans' book ("Unfit for Command") will quickly realize that their attack has nothing to do with Mr. Bush. This is all about Mr. Kerry and what the veterans believe was his blood libel against their service when he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the spring of 1971 that all American soldiers had committed war crimes as a matter of official policy."Crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command" were among his incendiary words. Mr. Kerry has never offered proof of those charges, yet he has never retracted them either. --Editorial, Wall Street Journal (Aug. 24, 2004)

"[T]he whole war was an atrocity. Atrocities were committed on both sides. The communist atrocities were awful. Look at the battle of Hue during the Tet offensive in ‘68. They committed atrocities. We committed atrocities."--Stanley Karnow, on MSNBC (Aug. 23, 2004)

The recent controversy surrounding the Swift Boat Veterans' ad challenging John Kerry’s Vietnam record and his later statements as a leader of Vietnam Veterans against the War (VVAW) have fallen into predictable partisan perspectives. Republicans and their media attack machine still insist that Kerry’s medals are suspect and his VVAW activities were treasonous. Kerry and the Democrats, in turn, have found further documentary evidence and eyewitness accounts to support his version of the Vietnam incidents. As far as Kerry’s 1971 testimony about U.S. atrocities in Vietnam, Kerry has reiterated that he was just recounting reports from the Winter Soldier Investigations. In addition, he tried earlier to deflect criticism of his VVAW positions by claiming that some of his statements were overzealous and part of the heated rhetoric of the times. In effect, the Bush Administration and Republicans have tried to deny that atrocities took place while Kerry and the Democrats have tried to minimize or marginalize them.

For those who have studied the historical record of the U.S. prosecution of the war in Southeast Asia, neither the Republicans nor Democrats have confronted the full measure of those atrocities and what their legacy is, especially in the war on Iraq. While most studies of the war in Southeast Asia acknowledge that four times the tonnage of bombs was dropped on Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos than that used by the U.S. in all theaters of operation during World War II, only a few, such as James William Gibson’s The Perfect War: Technowar in Vietnam, analyze the full extent of such bombing. Not only were thousands of villages in Vietnam destroyed, but massive civilian deaths, numbering close to 3 million, resulted in large part from such indiscriminate bombing. Integral to the bombing strategy was the use of weapons that violated international law, such as napalm and anti-personnel fragmentation bombs. As a result of establishing free-fire zones where anything and everything could be attacked, including hospitals, U.S. military operations led to the deliberate murder of mostly civilians.

While Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon have touted the “clean” weapons used in Iraq, the fact is that aerial cluster bombs and free-fire zones have continued to be part of present-day military operations. Villages throughout Iraq, from Hilla to Fallujah, have borne and are bearing U.S. attacks that take a heavy civilian toll. Occasionally, criticisms of the type of ordnance used in Iraq found its way into the mainstream press, especially when left-over cluster bomblets looking like yellow food packages blow up in children’s hands or depleted uranium weapons are dropped inadvertently on British soldiers. However, questions about the immorality of “shock and awe” bombing strategy have been buried deeper than any of the cluster bomblets.

In Vietnam, a primary ground war tactic was the “search and destroy” mission with its over-inflated body counts. As Christian Appy has forcefully demonstrated in Working Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam, such tactics were guaranteed to produce atrocities. Any revealing personal account of the war in Vietnam, such as Ron Kovic’s Born on the Fourth of July, underscores how those atrocities took their toll on civilians and U.S. soldiers like Kovic. Of course, certain high-profile atrocities, such as My Lai, achieved prominent media coverage (nearly a year after the incident, however). Nonetheless, My Lai was seen either as an aberration and not part of murderous campaigns such as the Phoenix program with its thousands of assassinations or a result of a few bad apples, like a Lt. William Calley, who nonetheless received minor punishment for his command of the massacre of hundreds of women and children. Moreover, as reported in Tom Engelhardt’s The End of Victory Culture, “65% of Americans claimed not to be upset by the massacre.” Is it, therefore, not surprising that Noam Chomsky asserted during this period that the U.S. had to undergo some sort of de-nazification in order to regain some moral sensitivity to what U.S. war policy had produced in Vietnam

Of course, the racism that led the U.S. military to see every “gook” as VC in Vietnam has also re-appeared in Iraq. According to one British commander in Iraq American troops often saw Iraqis as “undermenschen – the Nazi expression for sub-humans.” Although embedded U.S. reporters rarely provided an insight into this racist mentality, Mark Franchetti of the London Times quoted one U.S. soldier as asserting that “Iraqis are sick people and we are the chemotherapy.” And with chemotherapy if the sick person dies it was only to help cure the person. This reminds one of the infamous pronouncement by a U.S. officer on the destruction of a Vietnamese village during the war in that ravaged country: “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”

Neither in Vietnam nor Iraq would Washington and the Pentagon admit to carrying-out war crimes. However, in the war on Iraq Rumsfeld clearly did approve violations of the Geneva Conventions in the use of torture on Iraqi prisoners, especially in the Abu Ghraib prison. But, like Vietnam, the focus is on a few “renegade” soldiers and not the actual policy-makers. Also, those who would excuse such war-crimes, like Rush Limbaugh and his ditto-heads, are an American version of holocaust-deniers, excusing the historical record of death and destruction.

Of course, it is not only reactionary elements in U.S. society who try to use the flag as a cover to the brutal impact of imperial policy, whether in Vietnam or Iraq. The deeply embedded belief that the United States is on a providential mission is not new to George W. Bush and his crackpot neo-con policymakers. The liberal Madeline Albright insisted that the U.S. was the “indispensable” nation. This allowed her and the Clinton Administration to rationalize the deaths of hundreds of thousands Iraqis from the sanctions during the 1990s. Until there is a full recounting of the loss of lives from such imperial policies and a commitment by a mobilized and outraged population to end the pursuit of a U.S. empire, there will be an ugly persistence of the denial or minimization of atrocities.


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Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


Shouldn't we balance American and North Vietmanese atrocities ?

Shouldn't we collectively decide that two wrongs make a right, if happens to suit us at the time ?

A sizable minority, at least, of HNN posters still believes in the old values. Sorry, no new morality today thank you.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


Sometimes intervening with violent force can prevent deaths of "thousands". Like Kosovo (which does not excuse the bombing of the Chinese embassy, however).

The Vietnam episode was not a case where American overseas intervention prevented great numbers of deaths. No historian worth his salt today would try to claim that. No one even claimed it with a straight face at the time; the rationale then was one of falling "dominos". As if Vietnam in '68 was like Czechoslovakia in '38. When America had half a million troops in 'Nam in the late '60s, you could have probably counted on the fingers of one hand those in America who had ever heard of Pol Pot, let alone seen his name spelled correctly.

Sometimes intervening makes things much worse. Sometimes historical facts, knowing them, understanding them, and differentiating between them matters.

"Two wrongs don't make a right" stands as a valid moral principle, even if a country goes to war with another country for "justifiable reasons" (vital stakes, last resort, alternatives exhausted, minimize casualties of both sides, etc.). Free speech is a valuable human right even if you are not allowed to cry "fire" in crowded theatre.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


For the umpteenth time here at HNN, yet an otherwise sound analysis ends up hurling itself lemming-like over the cliff of "American Empire". We are supposed to believe that LBJ, Nixon, Reagan, Albright, William Kristol, Archie Bunker, Rush Limbaugh, and a bag of pretzels morfed into a president are all part of one great everlasting and never-changing line of Big Bad Bogeymen from the Right Wing Amerikkka.

George W. Bushit !

Do we have to wait until the last grizzled hippy from the '60s finallly goes to his psychedelic after-life before so-called progressives can finally come to the realization that all wars are not post-structural-hegemonic versions of Vietnam ?

American History 101: Vietnam was a tragic blunder, as has been so far Bush's disastrous gamble at regime-change in Iraq. American short-sightedness, official miscalculation, and fiendish enemies in both instances. Atrocities and incompetence in abundance both times. END of similarities !

Although Vietnam was much more costly in American lives than Iraq will likely ever be, and a victory on the "battlefield" was won within weeks (big, big historical differences, incidentally as are the differences between Buddhism and Islam and the oil reserves in Kurdistan versus the Mekong Delta) an even more monumental difference is that America slid into Vietnam, gradually, and out of mostly good intentions (originally at least). The supposedly “preventative” Iraq War of 2003, made a realistic possibility already during Bush's pitiful fixation with Saddam on September 12, 2001, was -by huge contrast- an orchestrated con job, pursued for narrowly selfish personal political reasons, launched with precise attention to the four year election cycle, and with the utmost disdain for America's national security.

To kneejerkingly conflate these two very different episodes is neither credible history-writing nor does it offer any palatable possibility of promoting a meaningful,
successful and SUSTAINABLE "commitment by a mobilized and outraged population"
to learn from these past mistakes, let alone develop lasting ways to avoid making even worse mistakes in the future.

By all means expose the stupid attempts to deny American atrocities in Vietnam, but kindly desist from foolishly trying to link those atrocities to every other diverse and sundry failing within a 220 year history of a big and diverse country.

Here endeth this rant.

PKC


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


I agree with Marianne Briggs re the dangers of propagandistic delusion.

However, this "well-taken point", as preached in the main article above, will at most reach only choir.

The problem runs far deeper than a lazy rhetoric which ritualistically recycles overused words like "empire".

The narrow minded tendency to unceasingly view American foreign policy, and popular protest against it, through the blinding prism of Vietnam, goes a long way to explaining why the opposition to Bush 43 and his inept foreign failures is based more on slogans than on concrete and workable alternatives. It also explains to a large degree why protests in America against the Rove-Wolfowitz-Rumsfeld Iraq invasion (back in the Fall of 2002 before it was too late) were so feeble, unoriginal, nonspontaneous, unfocused and utterly without practical effect.






Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 8/28/2004

The debate here is merely academic. Our country has already made the decision that we are different from all those other brutal regimes. We bring freedom and democracy to the world and we eliminate the forces of sadism and evil. That is our public policy. The problem is that we do not always follow it and the world sees this. The crime of the United States in Iraq and elsewhere is not war crimes (although it may be that as well), but hypocrisy, just as it existed in Vietnam.

There is no question that what happened in Vietnam is not as bad as others, but then again, none claim the moral high ground as we do. None cite humanitarian causes as we do. Case in point, no one pretends that what happened in Abu Graib (sp) was actually worse than Saddam Hussein. But the difference between what we say and what we do was clearly understood by the Arab world and THAT was the crime.

Any attempts to justify or forgive American atrocities on the grounds that we are not as bad as our enemies misses a crucial point that much of the world, minus many Americans, sees all the time and all too well. That point is that America should be held to a higher standard simply because we are strong. We should be held to a higher standard because that is the standard we insist others judge us on!

A few points on the last post,

“It is impossible to have a war without some atrocities being committed.”

I disagree, or perhaps we should define “atrocities.” Civilian casualties are not atrocities to me, so long as their deaths were not the deliberate target of the attack and the strike was related to legitimate military targets. However, the forms of atrocities in question here can be eliminated, as it has been historically by troop discipline, clear instructions, and harsh punishments. Napoleons troops did not rape and torture the Spanish because they were under stress, but because of a total breakdown of discipline. During the Civil War, some Northern battalions treated Southern cities like prizes, looting and killing. Others treated the conquered enemy territory as “civilized” as they could. Atrocities are not inevitable, in my opinion, which is why the blame for them should and must lie higher in the chain of command.


Steven L. Frank - 8/28/2004

By your standards we might as well be Amish or Quakers. It is impossible to have a war without some atrocities being commited. We cab at least try to attempt to not commit atrocities as a state policy such as those done by Stalin, Hitler, Saddamn, Pol Pot, Ho Chi, ect. We can even attempt to reduce those atreocities that are not planed but occur due to "heat of the moment" barbarities by training our troops and officers better.

I believe that your and the authors overconcern with American behavior without putting in context the evils committed in all other wars and by our enemies is designed not to promote a MORE ETHICAL USE OF aMERICAN POWER BUT TO HAMSTRING IT TO THE POINT THAT aMERICAN POWER CANNOT EVEN BE USED TO DEFEND ITSELF.


Steven L. Frank - 8/28/2004

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/007624.p

August 28, 2004
Douglas Brinkley reports for duty

We have been intrigued by the infrequent sightings of John Kerry's authorized hagiographer Douglas Brinkley since Kerry's Kurtz chronicles emerged into view. Today the Weekly Standard briefly updates Brinkley's recent sightings in "Douglas Brinkley reports for duty."

Brief though it is, the Standard piece elucidates the role Brinkley is playing for Kerry. As Kerry plays his faux JFK shtick, Brinkley plays his faux Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., shtick -- Schlesinger himself being a bastardized version of a real historian. (As for Schlesinger, see the evidence laid out in appalling detail by the late Thomas Silver in his brilliant Coolidge and the Historians.)

The Washington Post runs a longer piece on Brinkley by Ann Gerhart: "The political guns of August are firing." Gerhart reports that the paperback edition of Tour of Duty is to be published next month with a new introduction and minor corrections -- just in time for the election!

It is apparent from the story that Brinkley has become a hack in the service of a candidate for the highest office in the land. The story is largely a wasted opportunity to elicit clarifications of ambiguities and contradicitions.

However, the story is revealing despite itself in ways not fully intended. A few items in the story leap out and shed their own kind of light on recent controversies. Gerhart writes:

The Kerry campaign has refused to release Kerry's personal Vietnam archive, including his journals and letters, saying that the senator is contractually bound to grant Brinkley exclusive access to the material. But Brinkley said this week the papers are the property of the senator and in his full control.

"I don't mind if John Kerry shows anybody anything," he said. "If he wants to let anybody in, that's his business. Go bug John Kerry, and leave me alone." The exclusivity agreement, he said, simply requires "that anybody quoting any of the material needs to cite my book."

Will the Post now follow up and demand Kerry's a full view of Kerry's military records? Just asking.

Gerhart then notes that Brinkley claims "he was unable to locate and interview Stephen Gardner, the lone member of Kerry's Swift boat crew who claims that the senator lied about his combat experience." Gerhart leaves it at that without noting that our mentor Hugh Hewitt has recently interviewed Gardner live on-air. Perhaps Brinkley needs to sign up Hugh's producer, Generalissimo Duane, as a part time research assistant. Hugh caught up with Gardner this past Wednesday. Click here for a partial transcript and here for James Taranto's take on the interview.

Most of interest to us, of course, is Brinkley's take on Kerry's Kurtz chronicles. Here it is:

Kerry repeatedly said in the past that he was ordered illegally into Cambodia during Christmas 1968. His detractors claim he never entered that country at all. In "Tour of Duty," Brinkley does not place Kerry in Cambodia but, quoting from Kerry's journal, notes that Kerry's Swift boat was "patrolling near the Cambodian line." Later in the book, Brinkley writes that Kerry and his fellow Swift boat operators "went on dropping Navy SEALS off along the Cambodian border."

"I'm under the impression that they were near the Cambodian border," said Brinkley, in the interview. So Kerry's statement about being in Cambodia at Christmas "is obviously wrong," he said. "It's a mongrel phrase he should never have uttered. I stick to my story."

Wow, wow, wow. Thanks, Doug, that's quite an "impression," and quite a "phrase." By the way, what, exactly, is "a mongrel phrase"? And what, precisely, is your story? And where did you tell it?

Gerhart leaves it at that, coincidentally noting in the following paragraph that "Brinkley considers himself a serioius historian..." I'm sure he does, in roughly the same way that Gerhart considers herself to be a serious journalist and the Post considers itself to be a serious newspaper.

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Shawn McHale - 8/28/2004

Should one balance Vietnamese and American atrocities? Why?

There is a giant difference between trying to understand why something happened and trying to excuse what happened. I have sympathy for individuals who, out of frustration or whatever, killed civilians needlessly. But there are laws of war, and if there are violated, well, such understanding can only *mitigate* the crime.

Was the NLF brutal? At times, yes: it used terror and assassination after all. In Hue, it assassinated perhaps thousands in 1968. Were soldiers put in difficult situations? Once again, yes. Of course, one of the real tragedies is that many civilian deaths were both needless and unprovoked: deaths from mortaring in free fire zones, for example.

Final point: so many "statistics" on the Vietnam War, like war deaths, are estimates, and some of them bear little relation to reality. Any attempt to "balance" atrocities has to face the fact that we don't have accurate statistics to "balance" atrocities!


Steven L. Frank - 8/28/2004

So lets rephrase. Is it moral to let hundreds of thousands and in some cases millions of people to die needlessly when you had it within your power to stop the madmen or allow the mad men to be even complicit in allowing them advance their murder by turning your back on your friends. (Hilter, Stalin, Poll Pot, Ho Chi, Saddam?) Is it so immoral that we should never lift a finger to help stop such megaviolence if it means we would inadvertently hurt one innocent party? If killing one innocent is OK to protect a 1,000,000, how about killing 10 innocents or 100, or 1000, or 10,000, or 100,000, or even a 1,000,000? Isn't proportionality to be considered?


Steven L. Frank - 8/27/2004

Shouldn't we balance American atrocities committed in order to save South Vietnam from communist depravity with the atrocities committed by North Vietnam on our POW's and on the population of South Vietnam as a whole after our capitulation?

America's ethical protection of human rights in war time far excedes the care either North Vietnam or Saddam displayed.


Shawn McHale - 8/27/2004

I just don't agree with some of this analysis. But there are some good points.

Were there atrocities in Vietnam? Well, that is incontrovertible. Why sane people even argue this point is beyond me. While it is true that many allegations of atrocities have been "unsubstantiated," as some claim, it is hard to leap from that point to an indictment of all claims of atrocities.

I may add that according to a story in the Toledo Blade (which won a Pulitzer for its account of the Tiger Force atrocities), many of these claims can't be substantiated because the military appears to have destroyed many pre-1973 files on atrocity allegations.

The figure of three million civilian deaths is a gross exaggeration. The most rigorous demographic estimates suggest that one million inhabitants of VIetnam *total* died in the war. In any event, even if "only" several hundred thousand civilians died, it is a horrible number.

But the nub of the matter, I think, is *responsibilty* for atrocities. Were these premditated acts by individuals? The result of random bombing ordered by superiors? Accidents? In any event, a clear case can be made that tactics such as the creation of free fire zones led to unacceptably high civilian casualties -- far beyond who might even be acceptable to some as "collateral damage" (what a euphemism!).

Finally, the comparison of Vietnam and Iraq obfuscates more than it enlightens. Despite the fact that the US hides from us today the number of civilian casualties in Iraq, it is certainly far far less than Vietnam. I think the greatest areas of commonality between Iraq and Vietnam are not going to be on the ground, but in the realm of policy and intelligence failures.

Shawn McHale
Associate Professor of History and International Affairs
George Washington Univerity


Shawn McHale - 8/27/2004

I just don't agree with some of this analysis. But there are some good points.

Were there atrocities in Vietnam? Well, that is incontrovertible. Why sane people even argue this point is beyond me. While it is true that many allegations of atrocities have been "unsubstantiated," as some claim, it is hard to leap from that point to an indictment of all claims of atrocities.

I may add that according to a story in the Toledo Blade (which won a Pulitzer for its account of the Tiger Force atrocities), many of these claims can't be substantiated because the military appears to have destroyed many pre-1973 files on atrocity allegations.

The figure of three million civilian deaths is a gross exaggeration. The most rigorous demographic estimates suggest that one million inhabitants of VIetnam *total* died in the war. In any event, even if "only" several hundred thousand civilians died, it is a horrible number.

But the nub of the matter, I think, is *responsibilty* for atrocities. Were these premditated acts by individuals? The result of random bombing ordered by superiors? Accidents? In any event, a clear case can be made that tactics such as the creation of free fire zones led to unacceptably high civilian casualties -- far beyond who might even be acceptable to some as "collateral damage" (what a euphemism!).

Finally, the comparison of Vietnam and Iraq obfuscates more than it enlightens. Despite the fact that the US hides from us today the number of civilian casualties in Iraq, it is certainly far far less than Vietnam. I think the greatest areas of commonality between Iraq and Vietnam are not going to be on the ground, but in the realm of policy and intelligence failures.

Shawn McHale
Associate Professor of History and International Affairs
George Washington Univerity


Shawn McHale - 8/27/2004

I just don't agree with some of this analysis. But there are some good points.

Were there atrocities in Vietnam? Well, that is incontrovertible. Why sane people even argue this point is beyond me. While it is true that many allegations of atrocities have been "unsubstantiated," as some claim, it is hard to leap from that point to an indictment of all claims of atrocities.

I may add that according to a story in the Toledo Blade (which won a Pulitzer for its account of the Tiger Force atrocities), many of these claims can't be substantiated because the military appears to have destroyed many pre-1973 files on atrocity allegations.

The figure of three million civilian deaths is a gross exaggeration. The most rigorous demographic estimates suggest that one million inhabitants of VIetnam *total* died in the war. In any event, even if "only" several hundred thousand civilians died, it is a horrible number.

But the nub of the matter, I think, is *responsibilty* for atrocities. Were these premditated acts by individuals? The result of random bombing ordered by superiors? Accidents? In any event, a clear case can be made that tactics such as the creation of free fire zones led to unacceptably high civilian casualties -- far beyond who might even be acceptable to some as "collateral damage" (what a euphemism!).

Finally, the comparison of Vietnam and Iraq obfuscates more than it enlightens. Despite the fact that the US hides from us today the number of civilian casualties in Iraq, it is certainly far far less than Vietnam. I think the greatest areas of commonality between Iraq and Vietnam are not going to be on the ground, but in the realm of policy and intelligence failures.

Shawn McHale
Associate Professor of History and International Affairs
George Washington Univerity


Steven L. Frank - 8/27/2004

Bush Surrogates Smear Kerry with Senate Record
(
2004-08-19) -- Democrat presidential candidate John Forbes Kerry today charged President George Bush with using surrogates to "do his dirty work" by distributing excerpts from the Congressional Record which chronicle Sen. Kerry's accomplishments in the Senate.

The one-page document details all the significant legislation Mr. Kerry has written during the past two decades, including his major healthcare reform initiatives and measures that strengthened
America's intelligence capabilities against terrorists.

"I know that I accomplished much more than this," said Mr. Kerry as he waved the single sheet of paper. "In fact, my achievements as a champion of significant legislation are seared...seared in my memory. George Bush is using surrogates to do his dirty work because
he doesn't have the courage to stand up in public and say 'John Kerry didn't do much as a senator.'"

At a news conference this morning, President Bush was asked what he thought of Mr. Kerry's record of accomplishment in the Senate.

Mr. Bush responded, "I'll get back to you on that. I started reading it last week and I'm only halfway down the page."


SF: And now for something completely different:



Bush Campaign Shift: Now, It's a One-Man Race

(2004-08-26) -- President George Bush today announced a major
strategy shift in his re-election campaign brought on by what he described as "the failure of my nominal opponent to present a single reason voters should support him."

The Bush-Cheney campaign will now simply ignore John Forbes Kerry, the Democrat candidate and Vietnam veteran who is also a U.S. Senator.

"It's hard to mount an entire campaign against an opponent who has no record, no bedrock values, no consistent positions, no new ideas
and only wants to talk about something he didn't do 35 years ago," said Mr. Bush. "So far, the fight has been between me and anti-
me...Bush against hate-Bush. From now on, we're looking at a one-man race for the presidency."

Campaign insiders said TV and radio ads will no longer mention the Democrat candidate, but will simply focus on the president's record and his vision for the future.

"I can't change people whose hearts overflow with hatred," said the president. "So I'll just focus on rallying those whose minds are still open. We're going to target what you call your sentient beings."


SF: Yes it's satire; and it contains more truth than your one sided history. Perhaps you left out the million or so Vietnamese who died from atrocities committed by the North Vietnamese victors? Where does the cost of our cutting and running figure into this history?:

Check out this twisted site: http://www.scrappleface.com/


Marianne Briggs - 8/25/2004

Take out the two words "empire' and "imperial" and the writer's point can be seen as less the left-wing screed that provokes your contempt and more like what it is, in fact: a point well taken.

When we opt to use military force to intervene (or invade) around the world, the American public is presented with deceptively distorted data and images that generally support the action.

Whether under Democrat or Republican commanders in chief, every effort is made to delude the public and rationalize the way we routinely kill civilians in pursuit of our foreign policy,

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