Yemenity2010's Blog

Massacre in My Lai Revisited by Reporter Who Uncovered It

Posted in Blog Entry in English by yemenity2010 on 31/03/2015

Many of us have heard the story of how a platoon (or batallion, or squadron or something – military lingo is not my particular area of expertise) of US soldiers practically wiped out a whole village in Vietnam, a place called My Lai, sometimes also referred to as Son My. Men, women, children – basically all of them unarmed civilians, were slaughtered. It happened in 1968, incidentally the year I was born in a completely different part of the world (where, nevertheless a lot of people at the time got involved in the movement against the war in Vietnam). But the Vietnam War has been the topic of many reports, chapters in history books, films etc, since then. The reporter who originally broke the story of My Lai was Seymour Hersh, then a young freelancer who found out what few other, more experienced colleagues managed to do, and what the American Military would rather have covered up. I came across a recent interview from Democracy Now, published (in audio, video and written transcript) with Hersh, where he retraces his steps and tells his story about the story, and how he came to visit the village almost half a century later. Read, listen or watch – or all of the above.  It might not be a terribly uplifting tale, but it’s an important one. And it’s not just about one village, but concerns the whole Vietnam War and its consequences.

– This history is pretty acute, because it does tell us about the present. We fought a war in a ssociety where we didn’t understand the culture. We didn’t have any respect for the culture. We didn’t know the language, as the now almost legendary investigative journalist Hersh puts it in the interview.

Related: The massacre in My Lai according to Wikipedia

 

 

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