A new book by Nick Turse
Nick Turse, who devoted 12 years to tracking down the true story of Vietnam, unlocked secret troves of documents, interviewed officials and veterans — including many accused of war atrocities — and traveled throughout the Vietnamese countryside talking with eyewitnesses to create his new book.
This is required reading to understand the true horror of the 'Vietnam War', beyond the popular myths. And it is relevant to understanding the ongoing horrors of war today.
. . . Even in advance of seeing it I anticipate that, as a comprehensive study, Nick Turse’s book is an extraordinary contribution to the efforts of those of us who for decades have been fighting the battle over how our history will portray the Vietnam War.
The campaign to challenge the forces aimed at re-writing or sanitizing the history of the Vietnam War has recently been injected with new urgency in the wake of President Obama’s launching last Memorial Day of the Pentagon’s Vietnam War Commemoration Project (See In The Mind Field essays by myself and John Grant.)
This $5 million-a-year Pentagon project seeks to honor Vietnam veteran “warriors” in national and community-based ceremonies from now until 2025 while stripping away the “atrocity producing” context in which the war was executed. . .
. . . Americans were hearing and reading on a regular basis in the mainstream media the widely published message from elements of the antiwar movement and from war veterans themselves that atrocities in Vietnam were in fact the norm.
And that they were the direct outcome of U.S. government policies and “orders from above," however explicitly or implicitly delivered.
Michael Uhl's articles and criticism have appeared in national magazines from Forbes to House Beautiful, and from GEO to The Nation. He served in Vietnam as a combat intelligence officer with the 11th Infantry. His book Vietnam Awakening is a memoir of his experiences at war and, subsequently, within the movement against the war. He is currently involved in the Vietnam War Commemoration CORRECTION Project, because, while the war is long past, the battle over its history goes on. This essay first appeared at In The Mind Field.