[sixties-l] US Death Squads in the Vietnam War

From: radtimes (resist@best.com)
Date: Mon Aug 06 2001 - 16:06:02 EDT

  • Next message: radtimes: "[sixties-l] Has Anybody Seen My Old Friend Carlo?"

    From: Chuck Munson <chuck@tao.ca>
    Subject: The Media Cover-Up of US Death Squads in the Vietnam War Continue
    Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2001

    This is the editorial from the new Summer issue of Alternative Press Review.
    You can subscribe to the magazine at our website: http://www.altpr.org

    The Media Cover-Up of US Death Squads in the Vietnam War Continues

    There have been many questions raised in the mass media concerning the
    details of former Nebraska Governor and Senator Bob Kerrey's US Navy Seal
    unit massacre of civilians at Thanh Phong during the US-Vietnam war.
    Unfortunately, however, the US mainstream media cannot focus on the most
    important and significant questions because they cut too deeply into the
    myths these media perpetuate about the nature of US power--its benign or
    even noble nature, its democratic values, and its concern for the weak and
    powerless peoples of the world. This is not to mention the fact that such
    questions would offend Bob Kerrey's senatorial colleagues, the US military,
    and the vast majority of US war veterans who all (rightfully) fear disgrace.

    In order to tell the truth about the still undeclared U.S.-Vietnam War, the
    mass media would be forced to finally admit that, propaganda aside, all the
    official excuses given for the US invasion of Vietnam were lies, that the
    history of the war was essentially a history of war crimes committed by
    everyone from US presidents and cabinet officials down to the pilots,
    cavalry and infantry in the field. And that high amongst these war crimes
    was the institution and execution of the CIA's Operation Phoenix program,
    which intentionally and successfully targeted tens of thousands of civilians
    throughout southern Vietnam in a dirty campaign of terror and mass
    assassination. (According to the late William Colby, who ran the program for
    the CIA, 20,587 Vietnamese "activists" were killed between 1967-1971. More
    credible estimates put the number at over 40,000 civilians killed.)
    But neither the mass media nor the US government can speak openly or
    truthfully about these war crimes without a quite rational fear of
    undermining the continuing use of the same types of criminal strategies and
    tactics in the current US military interventions in Iraq, Colombia and

    For readers who are unaware of the Phoenix program (largely thanks to mass
    media silence), it was conceived and organized by the US Central
    Intelligence Agency as a means of decimating and thus destroying the
    civilian administration and infrastructure supporting the indigenous Viet
    Cong resistance to the US invasion of southern Vietnam. To accomplish this
    decimation, any civilian populations in areas outside direct US control (or
    direct control of its South Vietnamese puppet army) were unilaterally
    considered to be residing in "Free-Fire Zones," in which any and all war
    crimes were permitted by US policy. Then death squads made up of special
    forces units (like the Navy Seals) were sent into villages and hamlets
    throughout the countryside. Their first goal was to assassinate all civilian
    administrators (such as village mayors) on the assumption that they were
    supporters of the indigenous Vietnamese resistance to the US invasion
    forces. But beyond this their goals included assassination of any military
    age males, the families of administrators--including the elderly, women,
    children and infants, and anyone else thought to support the Viet Cong, all
    in order to sow terror amongst the remaining population.

    The Phoenix program death squads proved to be very effective in achieving
    their goals. The political and social infrastructure of South Vietnamese
    resistance was destroyed wherever US death squads operated. Which is why the
    US military (and allied military intelligence agencies like the CIA)
    continues to encourage, organize, fund and employ death squads in other
    countries around the world whenever conditions allow them to be effective in
    projecting the interests of US power. Countries where US-organized, armed
    and/or funded death squads have operated since the 1960s include Indonesia
    (where at least 500,000 and possibly as many as 2,000,000 were killed
    alone), East Timor, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala,
    Honduras, Colombia, Bolivia, Angola and Mozambique. This is only a partial
    list, and it should be emphasized that while the total number of men, women
    and children killed by these US-backed death squads will never be known, it
    most certainly numbers in the millions over the last forty years.

    Of course, this is not to mention the cowardly mass murders of many more
    millions of civilians over this same time by US Air Force and Navy bombings
    and bombardments. But that is another, equally distasteful story.

    The invasion and genocidal war in Vietnam is only one of the reasons why we
    feel such contempt for the US government and those who support its killing
    machine. The other reasons include every country invaded or bombed, every
    death squad organized and funded, and every society and economy
    "destabilized" or destroyed by the US military in its quest to secure the
    world for corporate plunder and profit. This is why we spit on the American
    flag. As long as it represents a national government which wages dirty and
    unprincipled war on poorer nations throughout the world, it displays neither
    honor nor valor nor humanity. It should be no wonder that so many people
    burn the American flag around the world. It ranks with the Nazi and Soviet
    flags as one of the most powerful symbols of death and destruction in

    Jason McQuinn
    Chuck Munson
    Tom Wheeler

    Alternative Press Review - www.altpr.org
    Your Guide Beyond the Mainstream
    PO Box 4710 - Arlington, VA 22204


    Infoshop.org: http://www.infoshop.org/
    Alternative Press Review: http://www.altpr.org/
    Practical Anarchy Online: http://www.practicalanarchy.org/
    Homepage: http://flag.blackened.net/chuck0/home/

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon Aug 06 2001 - 19:19:48 EDT