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Nick Turse


  • Originally published 07/08/2013

    Writing About the Military Will Screw with Your Life

     “Why the officer stopped you is beyond me, but what the officer discovered is something of interest, especially for national security... It’s not every day you see someone traveling with information like this.” 

  • Originally published 05/27/2013

    The Brutal War on Vietnamese Civilians: Interview with Nick Turse

    U.S. commanders wasted ammunition like millionaires and hoarded American lives like misers, and often treated Vietnamese lives as if they were worth nothing at all.--Nick Turse, Kill Anything That MovesIn March 1968 U.S. infantry troops of the Army’s Americal Division massacred five hundredVietnamese civilians, mostly women and children, in the village of My Lai. The military described the massacre as an anomaly, an aberration, the result of a few bad apples in the ranks, and the mainstream media embraced that explanation.In 1971, decorated Navy veteran (now Secretary of State) John Kerry testified before the Senate that such atrocities in Vietnam were not “isolated incidents, but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.” Kerry told of U.S. veterans who “relived the absolute horror” of what their country made them do.

  • Originally published 05/13/2013

    Nuclear Terror in the Middle East

    Credit: Wiki Commons.In those first minutes, they’ll be stunned. Eyes fixed in a thousand-yard stare, nerve endings numbed. They’ll just stand there. Soon, you’ll notice that they are holding their arms out at a 45-degree angle. Your eyes will be drawn to their hands and you’ll think you mind is playing tricks. But it won’t be. Their fingers will start to resemble stalactites, seeming to melt toward the ground. And it won’t be long until the screaming begins. Shrieking. Moaning. Tens of thousands of victims at once. They’ll be standing amid a sea of shattered concrete and glass, a wasteland punctuated by the shells of buildings, orphaned walls, stairways leading nowhere.This could be Tehran, or what’s left of it, just after an Israeli nuclear strike.

  • Originally published 04/18/2013

    Gary Kulik: Double Standards about Vietnam

    Gary Kulik, who served in Vietnam as a medic, is the author of War Stories: False Atrocity Tales, Swift Boaters, and Winter Soldiers.Nick Turse wants us to know that the killing of civilians during the war in Vietnam was “widespread, routine, and directly attributable to U.S. command policies,” that “gang rapes were a .  .  . common occurrence,” that the running-over of civilians by American vehicle drivers was “commonplace,” and that the American military visited upon South Vietnam an “endless slaughter .  .  . day after day, month after month .  .  . [that] was neither accidental nor unforeseeable.” It was “A Litany of Atrocities,” as one of his chapter headings has it—a litany recited by Turse with the fevered prosecutorial zeal of an ideologue....

  • Originally published 03/19/2013

    The Story of a Rape in Wartime

    Originally posted on TomDispatch.com On August 31, 1969, a rape was committed in Vietnam. Maybe numerous rapes were committed there that day, but this was a rare one involving American GIs that actually made its way into the military justice system. And that wasn’t the only thing that set it apart.War is obscene. I mean that in every sense of the word. Some veterans will tell you that you can’t know war if you haven’t served in one, if you haven’t seen combat. These are often the same guys who won’t tell you the truths that they know about war and who never think to blame themselves in any way for our collective ignorance. 

  • Originally published 02/08/2013

    Confronting the Ugly Truth about America's Dirty War in Vietnam

    Victims of the My Lai massacre. Photo credit: Ronald L. Haeberle/U.S. Army.When I was on active duty in the Air Force, I visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.  I was moved to tears as I encountered the names of more than 58,000 of my fellow Americans etched in stone. "What a waste," I thought, "but at least they died for their country, and at least we didn’t forget their sacrifice."To be honest, I don’t recall thinking about the Vietnamese dead. The memorial, famously designed by Maya Lin, captures an American tragedy, not a Vietnamese one. But imagine, for a moment, if we could bridge the empathy gap that separates us from the Vietnamese and our war with them and against them. How might their suffering compare to ours?

  • Originally published 01/31/2013

    The Hagel Hearings

    Via Flickr/Secretary of Defense.Originally posted on TomDispatch.com

  • Originally published 01/17/2013

    How Did the Gates of Hell Open in Vietnam?

    American soldier burning a dwelling during the My Lai massacre on March 16, 1968. Credit: U.S. Army.For half a century we have been arguing about “the Vietnam War.” Is it possible that we didn’t know what we were talking about? After all that has been written (some 30,000 books and counting), it scarcely seems possible, but such, it turns out, has literally been the case.

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