The are increasingly more people who argue that the invasion of Iraq is going to turn into a second Vietnam war. Today, like in the past, American public opinion took too long to condemn and systematically demand the end of the conflict. The divulgence of the slaughter perpetrated by the American army in My Lai, encoupled with the rising public disapproval of the war and military defeats in the field, led to the height of public condemnation of massacre of the Vietnamese people and their allies in Indochina.
America probably will never live a year as horrible as 1968 again: the emprisonment of an American spy ship and its crew by North Korea, in Japan; the Tet Offensive in Vietnam; the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy, the rising discontentment over the Vietnam war, the street uproar in the Democratic National Convention in Chicago; the election of Nixon. And when you'd think nothing else could happen to the American people, they are given a horrifying description of the My Lai massacre.
Perpetrated by the Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Americal Division, the My Lai slaughter, also known as "Song My Massacre" took place on March 16th, 1968, in the middle of the Tet Offensive, in a small village in the South-Vietnamese povince of Quang Ngai, suspect of housing the 48th Battalion of the NLF. During the massacre, 504 Vietnamese civilians were brutally murdered, and some of which were mutilated. For posterity, aside from the victims, remain William Laws Calley Jr., the officer who ordered the attack, the American policy in Vietnam and the army's entire hierarchical chain of command, including the American President.
Someone who would also go down in history, but for the opposite reason, was Hugh C. Thompson, Jr., a helicopter pilot in a reconnaissance capacity, who threatened to open fire over the American forces if they didn't put an end to the slaughter of Vietnamese civilians. And thus, he put an end to one of the gloomiest episodes in the the Vietnam war and American History.
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