19 January 2013

What it Means to be an Occupying Power

Full disclosure, I have not read the book in question, but this review of Kill Anything that Moves, by Nick Turse gives a remarkable picture of our experience in Vietnam:
Now, in Kill Anything that Moves, Nick Turse has for the first time put together a comprehensive picture, written with mastery and dignity, of what American forces actually were doing in Vietnam. The findings disclose an almost unspeakable truth.

Meticulously piecing together newly released classified information, court-martial records, Pentagon reports, and first-hand interviews in Vietnam and the United States, as well as contemporaneous press accounts and secondary literature, Turse discovers that episodes of devastation, murder, massacre, rape, and torture once considered isolated atrocities were in fact the norm, adding up to a continuous stream of atrocity, unfolding, year after year, throughout that country.
This is the reality of war, and this is the reality of occupation and counter-insurgency.

For all those people who wonder about what will happen when when our military leaves Afghanistan, and our mercenaries leave Iraq, the first question is whether our presence helps them in the first place, and the burden of proof must be on those who support occupation.


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