Kill Anything That Moves: Part 3/3

Jennings’s review was posted the day after Turse’s book, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, was released on January 16. I seriously question Jenning’s claim that he read this book and wrote his long criticism in such a short period of time. I suspect that he may have skimmed the book and then wrote what is obviously a biased review. In fact, he did buy the book, but the odds say he posted the review before the book reached him through the mail.

Of the fifteen, five-star reviews, five were verified Amazon purchases and four of those were posted seven to twelve days after the release, and a sixth was from a Vine Reviewer that was posted the day the book was released, which may mean he or she got the book free through the Amazon Vine program—advanced review copies are available through Amazon Vine. I know this because I am an Amazon Vine reviewer.

One of the five-star reviews—not a verified Amazon purchase—posted on January 17 copied and pasted an interview with Turse at Democracy Now. I doubt if HCI read the book.

Five of the one-star reviews appeared on the same day, January 21. Three appeared on January 22. I think this was an organized posting by a group—that did not read the book—with a goal to discredit and hurt the book’s sales. None of these reviews came from verified Amazon purchases.

My reading list is rather long so it may take several weeks/months to read and review Kill Anything that Moves.

In conclusion, I suspect that most of the civilian deaths in Vietnam were caused by bombs dropped by American aircraft and atrocities by American ground troop did take place but were not common as Turse claims—the anti war crowd has a loud voice and always will.

Return to Kill Anything That Moves: Part 2 or start with Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

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Kill Anything That Moves: Part 2/3

“Kill Anything That Moves” included the story of Jamie Henry who was a 20-year-old medic who served in Vietnam and witnessed the mass shooting of a small crowd of women a children.

The Los Angeles Times reported, “The files (that Turse copied and used for his book) are part of a once-secret archive, assembled by a Pentagon task force in the early 1970s, that shows that confirmed atrocities by U.S. forces in Vietnam were more extensive than was previously known.

“The documents detail 320 alleged incidents that were substantiated by Army investigators—not including the most notorious U.S. atrocity, the 1968 My Lai massacre.

“Though not a complete accounting of Vietnam war crimes, the archive is the largest such collection to surface to date. About 9,000 pages, it includes investigative files, sworn statements by witnesses and status reports for top military brass.”

The Vietnam War lasted for more than 7,000 days. Even if the 320 alleged atrocities did happen, that means one took place once every 22 days and the odds of being involved in one incident—if you served in Vietnam—was about 8,500 to one.

During the Vietnam War and afterwards, atrocities were committed by both sides, and this is a hot button issue to some. To measure the validity of the reactions to Turse’s book, I compared the five-star and one-star Amazon reader reviews. When I checked, there were thirty-five reader reviews. Fifteen were five-star reviews and fourteen were one-star.

Keep in mind that Turse’s book was released on January 15, 2013—sixteen days before I wrote this post.

Of the fourteen, one-star reviews only one was a verified Amazon purchase and it was written by Phillip Jennings, who served in the U.S. Marines as a pilot and flew for Air America in Laos. Air America was an airline owned and operated by the CIA. Maybe he dropped some of the bombs that killed civilians.

In addition to legal operations, Air America allegedly transported opium and heroin on behalf of Hmong leader Vang Pao. This allegation has been supported by former Laos CIA paramilitary Anthony Poshepny (aka Tony Poe), former Air America pilots, and other people involved in the war.

University of Georgia historian William M. Leary, writing on behalf of Air America itself, claims however that this was done without the airline employees’ direct knowledge (except for those employees that said they did know about it) and that the airline itself did not trade in drugs. Curtis Peebles denies the allegation, citing Leary’s study as evidence.” Source with citations: Wiki

To say Jennings may be biased would be an understatement.

Continued on February 3, 2013 in Kill Anything That Moves: Part 3 or return to Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

Kill Anything That Moves: Part 1/3

While out driving around and doing some shopping, my wife listened to an interview on NPR with Nick Turse and told me about it. I then did some research on Nick Turse’s book Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam.

I haven’t bought or read the book yet, but I plan to, because the topic is worth reading to see what Turse wrote after his extensive research.

NPR.org reported, “The U.S. government has maintained that atrocities like this were isolated incidents in the conflict. Nick Turse says otherwise. In his book, Turse argues that the intentional killing of civilians was quite common in a war that claimed 2 million civilian lives, with 5.3 million civilians wounded and 11 million refugees.”

Turse takes the high end of the estimate of civilians killed during the Vietnam War. In truth, the estimates range from 245,000 to two million. In Cambodia, there were another 200,000 to 300,000 dead and in Laos 20,000 to 200,000—from bombs dropped by American aircraft, because American troops did not fight in large numbers in Cambodia or Laos.


15:32 minutes

For a comparison, in World War II, it is estimated that 37.5 to 54.5 million civilians were killed, and World War II spanned only six years 1939 – 1945. The Vietnam War lasted nineteen years, five months, four weeks and one day—about three times longer than World War II. In that time, the US dropped more bombs on Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam than it dropped in all of World War II.

I suspect that most of the civilian deaths in Vietnam were caused by bombs dropped by American aircraft.

While I served in Vietnam, I heard of incidents like those Turse writes about, but I suspect that it wasn’t as common as Turse clams. After all, the US fought in Vietnam for almost twenty years and the last decade saw huge increases in troop numbers and the bombs dropped.

In 1959, America had 760 troops in Vietnam. The Gulf of Tonkin incident in August 1964 would change those numbers drastically. By 1963, the US had 16,300 troops in Vietnam and in 1964 there were 23,300. Then in 1965 those numbers reached 184,300. In 1968, the high point of the war, the US had 536,100 troops in Vietnam.

In total, 2.7 million Americans served in uniform in Vietnam. In 1966, I was one of them.

This is what I remember from my tour. We had rules that said we had to see who was shooting at us before we returned fire but we seldom saw who was shooting at us. I had unseen snipers shoot at me a number of times and come very close—one round touched my ear. Our base camp was hit usually at night by mortars and rockets, and it is true that body counts were important to General Westmoreland. At the time, the belief among America’s leaders was that we could kill our way to victory.

Continued on February 2, 2013 in Kill Anything That Moves: Part 2

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”