Discussion of the My Lai Tragedy is now timely. The passage of some thirty years has allowed the passions associated with the Vietnam Era to cool. Movement into history of the My Lai Incident and its surrounding legal, political, and ethical debate has begun. Reflection becomes less meaningless self-flagellation, often to make a political point, and more of an appropriate use of the lessons of history to prevent future misconduct.
To download this essay, click here. The Massacre at My Lai The reprehensible attack on the civilians of My Lai was not a result of a single catalyst, but rather occurred as a result of several compounded variables: At the higher levels of command, the Son My operation seemed strategically reasonable and the orders were less aggressive than what actually took place.
It was believed that the remains of this troublesome battalion were regrouping near My Lai following their losses at the Tet Offensive. Kotouc and other intelligence officers agreed that initiating an early morning attack on My Lai would be best since they assumed neutral villagers would be at the markets and soldiers would be free to fight the Vietcong.
The enemy…was outside of My Lai 4…and civilians remaining in the village would probably be Vietcong or Vietcong sympathizers. When Medina radioed for progress reports and voiced displeasure at the pace of the operation, Calley removed obstacles by ordering and participating in the slaughter of civilians.
Some soldiers participated in the slaughter at My Lai because they believed they were ordered to do so.
Although soldiers like Dennis Conti chose a moral path and refused direct orders to participate in the massacre, others operated completely against their own wills, at the behest of their superior officers.
Perhaps the most significant factor in the occurrences at My Lai was the mental frustration experienced by many of the soldiers in Charlie Company. They were exhausted, frustrated and completely lacking in control or security.
In the month prior to the Song My operation, Charlie Company was undergoing their most taxing commission. Life became one long, hot, dirty, uncomfortable grind, marked by numbing stretches of boredom and brief but intense moments of jagged fear.
As the month dragged on, Charlie Company began to take casualties. Several men stepped on booby traps, others were caught in short brushfires.
They seldom saw any Vietcong, but they knew their enemy was out there — watching, waiting for just the right moment to attack. Saigon and Cholon and Danang held such hostile vibes that you felt you were being dry-sniped every time someone looked at you. It was an atmosphere in which frustration bred anger, and anger hatched hate — hate for the Vietcong, hate for Vietnam, hate for the Vietnamese.
Their commanding officers instructed them that any Vietnamese person, seemingly harmless in the daytime, could actually be one of the enemies at night. The soldiers mentally distanced themselves from the Vietnamese and ceased to sympathize with them.
Rape, they say, is not committed out of lust or desire, but out of disgust and a need for control. At least 22 rapes were documented to have occurred during the encounter at My Lai.
These soldiers had dehumanized the Vietnamese, which allowed them to use the people to satisfy their own need for control in an insecure environment. It was an unfortunate combination of factors that happened to align around the My Lai Massacre: Any one cause might not have led to such a horrific bloodbath; combined, however, the effect was disastrous.
Doubleday, Avon,On the 30th anniversary of the My Lai massacre (March 16, ), a groundbreaking ceremony for the My Lai Peace Park was held a mile ( km) away from the site of the massacre. Many Vietnam era veterans including Hugh Thompson, Jr.
and Larry Colburn from the helicopter rescue crew attended torosgazete.comon: Son My village, Sơn Tịnh District of South Vietnam. Was the My Lai Massacre a failure in the Rules of Engagement or a tragedy of War? The origins of the Vietnam War started with the partition of Vietnam.
The partitioning of Vietnam began when Ho Chi Minh who was a Moscow trained communist created the Indochinese Communist Party in Vietnam. Oct 09, · My Lai Massacre The Milgram Experiment, Philip Zimbardo, and Understanding the My Lai Massacre In the twentieth century the United States military was engaged in numerous wars and the U.S.
government depicted these wars as forces of good, freedom, and morality (Americans) fighting against forces of evil, tyranny, and barbarism (America's enemies).
The story of the inquiry into the My Lai massacre, by the general who headed the enquiry. Report of the Department of the Army Review of the Preliminary Investigations into the My Lai Incident. Report and supporting documents from a U.S. Army inquiry headed by General William R.
The choice of the US Government to get involved into an South-East Asian political crisis has caused the initial stages of the murderous Vietnam War, which had taken many young and innocent lives.
My Lai was a reinterpretation of the Rules of Engagement by US Platoon leaders in an under supervised war.
 See, e.g., Seymour M. Hersh, My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath (); Richard Hammer, One Morning in the War: The Tragedy at Son My ().
Statements by witnesses to journalists and authors were often at great variance with statements given to .