Some ‘My Lai’ every day in Vietnam–So went the War Game according to Nick Turse in “Kill Anything That Moves, The Real American War in Vietnam”

 Recently I shared with some friendlies that I was reading Nick Turse’s Kill Anything That Moves, The Real American War in Vietnam. So far only one friendly has responded to my friendly email and that was basically to share the information that they had already read some of the many books on the Vietnam War–hence, implying that they weren’t interested in reading another tome.  So I thought, yes, why indeed would anyone whose has attempted to make some sense out of a seemingly senseless waste of lives want to read Turse’s latest book?  Why? I believe the answer involves the Vietnamese Civilians all too often callously dismissed as Casualties of War.  Damn this sounds familiar. Care to insert Afghanistan Casualties of War? Iraqi Casualties of War? Pick any war and couple it with casualties.  Civilians as totally expendable human resources is not a new concept. It’s been around a very long time. By the way, if you think this doesn’t pertain to you in any way, shape or form, please do think again. Why? Because unless you are part of the military forces you are indeed a civilian to be treated with absolute contempt by those with no regard for the tenets of the Geneva Convention–that nice little old-fashioned little agreement about how to treat people during any modern war.  Somehow I doubt the Geneva Convention agreement is part of either a  drone’s programming or of the human charting its course. It certainly has no value to those who send soldiers to wars. Hmm.  Might it be helpful to consider the military forces at work in Vietnam as precursors to current drones? Perhaps. But there are serious limitations to drones conducting military strikes as drones are incapable of rape and torture. At least I think they are –so far.  Have no doubt that some computer programmer somewhere is hard at work solving these drone limitations. Too bad that creative brainpower isn’t invested in something like combating pollution.

Now back to Turse’s tome which is all about the standard operating procedure of murder, rape and torture  of Vietnamese civilians whose “hearts and minds” were supposedly being saved from the communist menace.   Why read this book?

   In Vietnam, where the “lives” of the deceased are believed to be inextricably intertwined with those of the living, it is thought that those who die a “bad death” may be forced to suffer as “wandering ghosts,” trapped in a limbo between our world  and the land of the dead. In this shadow land, they forever reexperience the violence that ended their lives, unable to attain peace until the living truly acknowledge them and the fate they suffered.3 The idea of such wandering ghosts is an unfamiliar one for most Americans, but we should not be too quick to dismiss it. The crimes committed in American’s name in Vietnam were our “bad death,” and they have never been adequately faced. As a result, they continue to haunt our society in profound and complex ways. (p. 261)

Turse makes the case that it’s high time Americans quit turning a blind eye to the dark side of our history in war, politics and business.  It’s time we all took a long hard straight on look at the military industrial complex that strives to rule the world with an iron fist. With knowledge, however nasty and unpleasant it may be, comes power.  There’s a very important war emerging in the world involving everyone on the Earth. It helps to know one’s enemy.  The enemy has left quite a few revealing footprints. Some of them lay in the history of the war waged on the children, women and men of Vietnam.  There are older footprints, newer ones and ones currently underway.  What will it take for “us” to change how we view casualties of war–and war itself? What will it take for “us” to refuse to play the game of murder, rape, torture of our fellow human beings just because some power-hungry egomaniacs demand we play? Don’t forget “we” are all totally expendable–our sons, husbands, wives, daughters, mothers, fathers, all our relations are absolutely of no account in the war games.

So yes, read Nick Turse’s book — and learn why the Winter Soldiers threw their medals at Congress.   It’s not a fun read. It’s not enjoyable. It’s not a “feel good” book.  It is an important book.

http://www.nickturse.com/books.html

Democracy Now!  www.democracynow.org

Written transcript of interview http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/15/kill_anything_that_moves_new_book

Geneva Convention http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Conventions

 

Dec. 15, 1890, Sitting Bull’s death

On December 15, 1890, the Standing Rock Indian Agent, James McLaughlin set into motion events that resulted in the deaths of Sitting Bull, his son Crowfoot, Brave Thunder, Black Bird, Catch the Bear, Little Assinaboine, Spotted Horn Bull, Chase Wounded, and the massacre of Big Foot’s Band at Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890.

Photograph by D.F. Barry

 For the names of the Indian Police fatalities:  https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2009/12/18/men-who-died-with-sitting-bull/

Photograph from Wikipedia.

Names of the dead source NARA, Record Group 75, Standing Rock Agency Ledger for December 1890.

In my opinion, a case can be made for premeditated murder based upon Standing Rock Indian Agent James McLaughlin’s quest for complete control over the daily lives of Lakota people on the reservation and his desire to eliminate all traditional Lakota culural practices for the assertion of the dominant white culture at any cost. Though this did not stop him from collecting and selling Lakota articles of traditional beadwork, clothing, pipes, drums etc.

Peace

Self Esteem, Cherry Creek, 1922

Self Esteem

 

Self Esteem p.2

These documents from the National Archives in Kansas City, Missouri are in the public domain. They can be found in Record Group 75.  Content reflects the mindset of the currently unidentified 1922 Social Survey taker in 1922. Information is posted in order to make it available to those to whom it would otherwise be inaccessible. Documents are also posted in an effort to inform and educate people about the living conditions on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, South Dakota, 1922.

Washington (or Ed) Little Shield, Cherry Creek, 1922

Washington (or Ed) Little Shield

 

Washington (or Ed) Little Shield p.2

 

These documents are  from Record Group 75, National Archives, Kansas City, Missouri. All materials are in the public domain. These are posted in order to provide access to the information that would otherwise be unavailable to some people. It is also posted in order to educate and inform others about the living conditions on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, South Dakota, in 1922. The attitudes conveyed in the writings are the sole responsiblity of the authors–who are currently unknown. 

I’ve posted this for Rudy Little Shield who recently ventured into my blogcasa and ‘waved’ with his words.  Sorry but there is no photo to accompany the text.  Considering that this is from the Cherry Creek District the lack will probably be no surprise to Little Shield.  If I discover a photograph in the future, I will post it.

Peace

“Comes Home Crawling”

Comes Home Crawling

Steals a horse, May 2, 1891

Alone returns to Wounded Knee Creek

May 8, 1891, U. S. Indian Agent Perain P. Plamer writes:

“One of Big Foot’s Band”

“Escaped the fight at Wounded Knee”

“Came back alone”

“Police will know her”

Comes Home Crawling is AWOL from the Cheyenne River Indian Agency

A lone woman steals a horse

Rides through occupied territory

Returns to Wounded Knee Creek–seeking?

Comes Home Crawling counts coup on you and you and you~

A lone Sioux woman is MIA

“Will,” Pine Ridge Indian Agent, “kindly assist the bearer, a Policeman…”

May 20, 1891

Captain Charles Penny, Sixth Infantry, Acting U. S. Indian Agent is

Unable to comply

Captain Bailey’s May 19, 1891 endorsement explains why:

Comes Home Crawling is a Prisoner of War

A woman like other women with girls, boys, infants~

All massive threats to domestic security

Just ask the Seventh Cavalry on December 29, 1890

U.S. Indian Agent Perain P. Palmer requests assistance

“…in returning to this agency an Indian Woman…Please give Police rations to return if you can do so & oblige.

Very respectfully yours”

Comes Home Crawling cannot come home~

Common gold diggers

Whiskey traders

Railroads

Homesteaders

Cattlemen

Congress

The White House

Have made her a Prisoner of War in her own country.

Yet

Major Perain P. Palmer requests her return to the Cheyenne River Indian Agency.

“Her name is Comes Home Crawling”

“Will you kindly assist …”

 

 

Note: Comes Home Crawling was a real Lakota woman who survived the massacre at Wounded Knee.  Poem is based on the contents of a document found in the National Archives, RG 75.  

@wojcik  

Black Bull, Eagle Butte, 1922

Black Bull

 

Black Bull

 

Black Bull p. 2

   As with all other such documents posted here, this is from the National Archives in Kansas City, Missouri. All materials are in the public domain. This information is from Record Group 75.  Material is posted in order to make it available to those who would not otherwise have access. It is also posted, with respect for the people portrayed, in order to educate and inform others about the living conditions on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, South Dakota, in 1922.  The attitudes and perspectives presented in such documents are solely those of the ‘writers’ of the documents–who are so far unknown to me. I am willing to attempt to answer any questions about the materials to  the best of my ability.

Albert Useful Heart, Eagle Butte, 1922

Albert Useful Heart

I’m posting this photograph of the Albert Useful Heart family from the Eagle Butte District of the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, South Dakota because it is one of the rare instances of children present at home with their parents.  This photograph is from the same collection as the other 1922 surveys. All materials are in the public domain. All are available for public viewing at the National Archives in Kansas City, Missouri.  This photograph is from Record Group 75. Materials are posted in order to make them available to people who would not otherwise have access. They  are also posted in order to educate and inform others about living conditions on  the Cheyenne River Reservation in 1922.

Abraham Bull Head, Eagle Butte, 1922

Abraham Bull Head

 

Abraham Bull Head photo

 

Abraham Bull Head p. 2

 

These documents and photograph are all from Record Group 75, National Archives, Kansas City, Missouri. All materials are in the public domain. They are posted here to make them available to people who would not otherwise have access. They are also posted in order to educate and inform regarding the living conditions on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in 1922, South Dakota. Take note that this post is for Abraham Bull Head of the Eagle Butte District.  There are more Cherry Creek District surveys. I thought it might be good to offer documents from other districts as well.

Acts the Bear, Cherry Creek, 1922

Acts the Bear

 

Acts the Bear p.2

 

These and all other documents like them posted here are in the public domain. They are from the National Archives branch in Kansas City, Missouri. All are from Record Group 75. They are posted in order to make them available to those who would not otherwise have access to the materials. They are also posted in order to educate and inform others about the living conditions on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, South Dakota  in 1922.

I feel as if I’m been remiss in posting these social surveys of late. Will try to get them back on a regular schedule asap. As usual, if anyone wants a survey name listed on the index (can be found via the “search box”, please leave a comment indicating  your interest and I will post the survey as soon as possible.

Charles Crow, Cherry Creek, 1922

Charles Crow

Charles Crow p.2

These documents and others like it are in the public domain. They reside in the National Archives branch in Kansas City, Missouri. They are from Record Group 75. They are posted in order to make them available to people who would otherwise have no access to the information. They are also posted in order to educate and inform others about living conditions on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, South Dakota, in 1922.

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