Americans Honour And Idolise Those Who Participated In U.S. Crimes Against Humanity
September 5, 2018
Vietnamese victims of the My Lai massacre, March 1968
The death of Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain, now remembered as a war hero, statesman, and maverick, begs the question — irrespective of whether or not all the plaudits being showered upon him are deserved — of whether the millions who were victims of American heroism are also deserving of some remembrance? Apparently not and it would appear to be just a tad hypocritical and racist that those victims of U.S. hegemonic wars are regarded by Trump-like supremacists as being undeserving of “Holocaust” memorials, museums, and annual remembrance days — with wide media coverage and hullabaloo — simply because they were not white European Christians or Jews.
It should not be forgotten that American “war heroes” have been responsible for killing more than 20 million people in 37 “victim nations” since World War Two https://bit.ly/2ymNssN with the first notable interference in the affairs of other nations being in Vietnam.
Following the end of World War Two when the First Indochina War began with tension between the independence-seeking Viet Minh and the returning French in late 1946, the Viet Minh led by General Giap, retreated to remote areas to train, gather support, and instigate a protracted war with the help of the Viet Cong political organisation and army in South Vietnam. The ensuing French military failures led to France attempting to undermine the Viet Minh by establishing an independent republic of Vietnam under the puppet emperor Bao Dai who was allowed to form a Vietnamese National Army (VNA) in support of the French.
In 1952-53 the Viet Minh invaded French-occupied Laos which resulted in the French Far-East Expeditionary Corps being decisively defeated at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in March to May 1954 — subsequently subject of a 1992 French film regarded as one of the more important war movies in French filmmaking history — which culminated in the signing of the 1954 Geneva Accords with the stipulations that Vietnam would be temporarily divided at the 17th. parallel and that an election would be held on July 1956 to decide the government of a reunified Vietnam.
Fearing a communist victory in the election, the U.S. — with its increasing post-war obsession of stemming the spread of communism — decided against having the election held and instead backed (with the CIA buying off or intimidating his opponents) the staunch anti-communist Ngo Dinh Diem in a fraudulent 1955 plebiscite that saw him win 600,000 votes from an electorate of 450,000 and establish a right-wing dictatorship in South Vietnam that ended in a coup and his assassination on 2 November 1963. In the meantime, the Vietnamese Nationalist Movement leader Ho Chi Minh — who had already fought against the Japanese and French colonial powers — took on the US-backed South Vietnamese forces.
It was in Vietnam that the U.S. perfected its method of bringing freedom and democracy to other nations and for the Vietnamese people such U.S. freedom-providing largesse was launched from 30,000 feet overhead in the form of carpet bombing B-52s disgorging both Dumb and Guided Bombs, Fuel Air Explosives, Napalm, and Agent Orange. By the end of the war, seven million tons of bombs had been dropped on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia which was more than twice the amount of bombs dropped on Europe and Asia in World War Two.
The war’s casualties included an estimated two million Vietnamese civilian deaths with massacres such as My Lai by U.S Forces; the U.S. herbicidal warfare programme’s use of Agent Orange which killed or maimed some 400,000 and to this day is still afflicting three million as a result of birth defects — and that is without counting the millions more of their relatives who bear the brunt and hardship of looking after them; between 200,000 and 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers killed; some 1.1 million North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters killed; and some 58,200 members of U.S. armed forces who died or were missing. Ultimately it was for the U.S. a costly, divisive, and increasingly unpopular war which in 1973 led to the U.S. forces withdrawing with their tails between their legs and the unification two years later of Vietnam under Communist control.
It was during that war on October 1967 while flying his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam that John MacCain’s A-4E Skyhawk was shot down by a missile over Hanoi. He managed to eject from his aircraft and parachute into a lake but fractured both arms, a leg, and nearly drowned. He was pulled ashore by Some North Vietnamese, had his shoulder crushed with a rifle butt, and was bayonetted before being transported to Hanoi's main prison, nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton.”
Despite MacCain’s serious injuries, he was refused medical treatment until it was discovered that his father was an admiral. When in n mid-1968, his father was named commander of all U.S. forces in the Vietnam theatre, McCain was offered early release by his captors — no doubt for propaganda purposes — but he refused repatriation unless every man captured before him was also released. This was because being thus released was prohibited by the POWs' interpretation of the military Code of Conduct which in Article III states: “I will accept neither parole nor special favours from the enemy.” What John MacCain endured and the courage he displayed are not in doubt, but . . .
in remembering their war heroes, Americans should not forget how and at whose cost they became heroes.
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