My Lai was not the only atrocity of the Vietnam War. Any of us old enough to have served there or to be close to anyone who did not need Turse’s book to tell us this.
It discusses the almost Orwellian use of language which created the rules of Free Fire Zones and paints a non-too-flattering picture of General Westmoreland and Robert McNamera.
James Bradley, coauthor of Flags of Our Fathers has this to say about the book: “American patriots will appreciate Nick Turse’s meticulously documented book, which for the first time reveals the real war in Vietnam and explains why it has taken so long to learn the whole truth.”
No. No true patriot will like reading this book. I suppose Bradley is saying that bringing this to light will help it not to happen again. If the thing not to happen again is war, then I agree, but I doubt it will have this effect. Nor do I believe it will stop atrocities committed in war.
The takeaway from this book is that war is harsher than we who have not been there can possibly imagine. It always has been and will always be so. The only hop is if we can find a way to stop killing each other in the name of God or Country, and this hope seems rather wispy.
I am glad I read the book and I never want to read anything like it again.