If US Soldiers No Better Than Russians: Does This Mean Hippies Were Right to Spit on Them?
OK, I grew up in a military family, so maybe this hits a couple of hot buttons for me.
Members of my extended family fought communism in jungles in Viet Nam. Or in the frozen hell of North Korea. Or prepared endlessly for it in Germany, Italy, or deep under the oceans.
So it comes as something of a surprise to learn that the new Commander in Chief believes that they were morally equivalent to the Russian troops who deliberately and with malice aforethought, committed war crimes in countless nations around the world.
Yes, yes, American troops in combat did horrible things. War is ugly & evil & brings out the worst in some people.
But cases such as My Lai, or Haditha are exceptions. And when they happen, the soldiers responsible are punished, and the US military and government are justifiably ashamed, and seek to prevent atrocities from happening again.
Apparently, Trump & Bannon don’t quite understand the difference, in their headlong rush to appear “tough and strong and in control.” Their instincts are of the bully, the savage, the sadist.
The war criminal.
They are trying to remake the U.S. into their image. Key to that is the US military becoming their willing partner in obeying no rule other than victory (or at least, TV-friendly images of victory with which to satisfy the grunting, knuckle-dragging “base”).
So here’s a quick rundown of some of the things that apparently, the US military is “no better than”:
…women and children were executed en masse, with one child even burned alive.
“Civilians were reportedly earlier lined up and shot in mass executions while at least one child appears to have been burned alive,” said the news site. There were reports of old men dying in the cold, unaccompanied children, bodies littering the streets, and women choosing suicide over rape
Russian troops indiscriminately attacked towns and villages, killing and raping civilians, pillaging and burning homes.
Fun quote: “Stalin explicitly condoned it as a method of rewarding the soldiers and terrorising German civilians.
Stalin said people should ’ understand it if a soldier who has crossed thousands of kilometres through blood and fire and death has fun with a woman or takes some trifle’.
On another occasion, when told that Red Army soldiers sexually maltreated German refugees, he said: ‘We lecture our soldiers too much; let them have their initiative.’
While Stalin condoned rape as an instrument of state military policy, his police chief Lavrenti Beria was a serial rapist. “
This is sickening.
For decades, we held ourselves to higher standards. We had to engage in dirty wars during the Cold War, but we did it in ways that were not “squeamish,” but that were about trying to keep our souls.
To keep sight of the things that we were fighting FOR rather than focusing only on what we were fighting AGAINST.
But if we are just sick killers, just like the Russians … if we shrug at indiscriminately bombing civilians … burning children alive … torturing people we don’t like or just because we’re bored … raping women as a reward for the troops …
… well, all those years ago, when the hippies supposedly lined up at the airports to spit in the faces of US soldiers returning from Viet Nam, to call them “baby killer,” and to accuse them of being sadistic, murderous criminals …
Were the hippies right? Is Donald Trump right? Is this who we have always been?
Or is this who we are about to turn into?