The Hadithah Massacre! Now to try to understand!
By Daniel Siler@ BlueNC!
Basically, In order to try and gain a understanding of the events which led up to the slaying of 24 unarmed civilians
We must turn back time to 38 years ago. I know I said I burred the Ghosts of the past several days ago but in order to tell the story correctly we must exhume a couple of those ghost in order that we may better understand what took place in Iraq! Now ,to those of you who are history majors you will probably know about this and then again, 38 years was a long time ago so you may not be old enough to remember.
As we travel back to May 13,1968 we are about to enter a totally different world indeed . Our destination is the small village of My Lai, South Vietnam,Republic of. Some things you need to remember here. I cant offer up any explanation
But just as the incident in Hadithah, Iraq happened in November 2005 and is just now coming to light the events of My Lai occurred on 16 March 1968 and finally exploded before the American Public some 20 months later. Why did the 1st Marine Division in Iraq hold notification to the rest of the military and public just as the Army did in Vietnam? Now, as students of history we need to first realize that American Forces had just gotten over NVA General Giapp in what was called the Tet Offensive of 1968. At that point in time the NVA & Viet Cong struck with such force & determination that they had never displayed before. And Giapp had it all planned out to reach maximum effectiveness just as he did fighting the French years earlier. I heard Ollie North once say ,Vietnam is one place we won every major battle yet lost the war.
Unlike the accused Marines of the 1st Marine Division in Iraq who are under investigation for the slayings of 24 innocent unarmed civilians the reports out of My Lai basically concerned 16 troops ,led by 1st Lt. William Calley of the 193rd Light Infantry Brigade of the Americal Division. Those reports,biased or not were severely harsh of the men. For here you had American Troops raping,mutilating and murdering hundreds of Vietnmeese and turning their small village into a wartime hell. In turn, three things happened , The Anti-War Movement precipated a fight between powerful politicians on one side, the Army on the other and prompted the Pentagon to strengthen it’s commitment to Military Professionalism.
While 1st. Lt. Calley was the only man among five to go to trial he was convicted of the slaughter of 350 men,women & children. The slaughter was finally stopped when Pilot ,Major Hugh Thompson set his oh-23 Huey helicopter down between his fellow soldiers and Calley’s men and ordered his door gunners to fire upon his fellow soldiers if they did not stop their actions. If you ask me ,and I am sure Anglico and our other vets here will agree, the cause that promoted the effect of the Armys action at My Lai and Hadithah Iraq was most probably one in the same. Bad Battlefield Discipline and a lack of professional conduct. I truly think that will be the findings upon the outcome of the Hadithah investigation. Does the Army & Marines do a better job of training it’s combat soldiers in the laws of war since 1968? Yes it does! But as we all know Vietnam was a war ran by politicians who only wanted to get their packets fatter with blood money from awarding contracts to their lobbing corporations. The very exact same issues are at hand in Iraq now. When are we leaving there? Well for one thing when Halliburton finishes lining the pockets of Dick Cheney,ex employee who be the way got 5 separate college deferments to stay out of Vietnam, And this man wants to lead our country?? And of course we have to put up with Awol-George or rather as we know him in these parts, Asshole Without Leave George. Charles Taylor isn’t a vet so he is no help.
Now just what do politicians do in a My Lai or Hadithah situation? Well , after a huddle at a local bar on “K” Street,they usually come up with a plan. In 1st Lt. Ca,– No,the man don’t deserve to be shown prividgle of rank any more. Well Lawmakers seeking to “veto “ the prosecution and paint Calley as a hero and Major. Thompson a villain . Calley was convicted in 1971 of the murders of 22 villagers. He was sentenced to Life but his stay at Levenworth was short lived. Then President, “Snake in the Grass” ,”Tricky Dick” Nixon said he would personally review the case. Calley remained under house arrest at Ft. Benning,Ga only to have his senentence contunely rolled back and he was paroled in 1974. The way of the Republican at work again. Well, at least the Marines are addressing the incident in Iraq and not covering
It up. Shortly, back at the start of the year Major Thompson and his chopper crew were awarded the Soldiers Medal for their actions at My
Lai. Sadly enough, shortly afterward Major Thompson passed away. There is a difference in getting your enemy and out right Murder of the innocent & Unarmed. Looking at the war in Iraq, They are still using the “Win their Hearts & Minds “ routine and for those of us who can remember, We can still hear the echoes of the same crazy rhetoric used in Vietnam. So my friends, what will the outcome in Iraq be? At this point your educated guess is just as good as mine! In the absolute end Article 92 of the Uniform code of Military Justice shall prevail. There are also reports of another isolated slaying in Iraq. Personally, in my opinion ,I don’t really see things getting much better over there and it isn’t because our troops don’t want it to be better. It appears that it is the Iraqi people who don’t want it to get better. These grandchildren of Abraham shall never be at peace. So Lets bring our troops home!