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Calley apologizes for Vietnam massacre

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Great on this guy for trying to come to terms with the extreme wrong he did back then. It seems that in terms of stress and day to day living he's doing some penance, mentality, but he should still have been locked up for life, along with everyone else there who lacked the strength and conviction to stand up against those who were clearly carrying out crimes against humanity.

It must have been hard indeed to admit this, and my guess is that, to an extent, a great weight has begun to be lifted from his shoulders. Of course, my guess is there are a lot of people who simply don't want to hear this, and deny the truth of the matter, so for them the man talking is a great inconvenience.

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He should have gotten the firing squad!

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The Mai Lai massacre was a watershed event. It showed that the US Army were beginning to scrap the bottom of the barrel in terms of those people who were being commissioned as infantry officers. Calley was not officer material to start with, but he was put in a situation which required him to try and exercise command over a bunch of cowboys who were nominally considered US soldiers. Of course, history shows us that he failed.

The other big issue of the massacre was the attempted cover up by the US military at the time. Moreover, the real heroes of the event (the US chopper pilot) who landed his aircraft between the US troops and the Vietnamese villagers and threatened to open fire on the US troops was never given the recognition that he deserved.

Skip has it right, Calley and his NCOs should have been put up against a wall and shot for their lack of leadership.

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That all said about what should have happened to them, I do challenge you to think of yourselves in that situation and what you would have done in the heat of the moment.

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I will have to say that I was a second lieutenant...

The Army took 2nd Lts and put them in charge where they had no place to be in. They gave him orders that no person should ever receive and he foolishly obeyed.

He was the only officer that took a fall for My Lai. Another example of loyality from the top down. < :-)

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aday: were you close to the place that it happened? this is why I am against a draft, too many people who shouldn't be there are/were.

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That all said about what should have happened to them, I do challenge you to think of yourselves in that situation and what you would have done in the heat of the moment.

Well based on past experience, I have had the urge to machine gun when the bullets were flying. When all is said and done, Calley was a goose who should not have been put in command of an infantry unit. Maybe he might have made a go of it as some sort of REMF, but he should have not been at the pointy end.

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Whoops that should read "have not had the urge to machine gun"

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It's good that he apologized, and it's good that it's been brought up in public again through his own words.

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Have his superiors, the ones who gave him the orders apologised?

He was justly convicted. What was unjust is that only he was prosecuted.

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I do challenge you to think of yourselves in that situation and what you would have done in the heat of the moment.

Believe me I am confident in my moral fiber to know I wouldn't gun down 500+ innocents.

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bushlover: "That all said about what should have happened to them, I do challenge you to think of yourselves in that situation and what you would have done in the heat of the moment."

I actually agree in part with the point you are trying to make. We can all say without a doubt what we THINK we would do in said situation, but it's impossible to tell unless (or heaven forbid UNTIL) you are. I'm quite sure that, were I in Vietnam (probably would never have been where I am American anyway, unless I was drafted), I would not have had it in me to do what these men did and slaughter so many innocents. I don't know that I would stand up well to the others, and would probably worry about getting fragged, but I would try to stop the madness.

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bushlover: "That all said about what should have happened to them, I do challenge you to think of yourselves in that situation and what you would have done in the heat of the moment."

pawatan: "Believe me I am confident in my moral fiber to know I wouldn't gun down 500+ innocents."

People should know about some of the heroes of this mass killing: the soldiers who took an active role, when coming upon the scene, to stop it and prevent more killing. There is helicopter pilot, Hugh Thompson Jr., who threated to fire on his fellow U.S. troops that he witnessed killing innocent people.

The real question may be if people have the moral fiber of a Hugh Thompson to take the actions he did.

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Well stated Gaijintraveller.

Taka

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At least he admitted he was wrong. MacNamara did too. Rumsfeld and Cheney never admitted they were wrong in Vietnam and were rewarded by being given the opportunity to commit more war crimes against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When I went to Vietnam, I was amazed the lack of hatred the Vietnames had for Americans.

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I have a dream, of a ICJ hearing on live TV, with all of America's actual and proxy war criminals in the dock. But, would they admit? Even when we show them the videos? Probably not.

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skipthesong, I wasn't close. But this has nothing to do with the draft. It has to do with leaders in Washington/Pentagon ordering young inexperienced officers to do something so callous.

General Abrahms, that's right General Abrahms was given a letter of reprimand because he had a confirmed NV radar stationed bombed. It happened to be close to Standard Oil refineries in NV. He resigned his commission as a result. But the leaders in the Pentagon were making stupid stupid decisions, then not owning up to it themselves.

Young lieutenants out of OCS are no smarter than young privates. They just knew that they had a eager lieutenant who would follow orders, any order. < :-)

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My comparison with General Abrahms is only to show that the people in Washington were making decisions that effected soldiers and damn the consequences.

There were many young officers murdered in Nam because they were getting troops killed. Their decisions to continue in the face of unknown numbers and unknown conditions, pushing young privates to go where they were being killed. Vietnam was an example of poor leadership, like the first 5 years in Iraq. < :-)

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My Lai massacre was terrible crime...and that was part of very difficult war in Vietnam. My Lai civilians were under South VN control during daytime ; but nightime VC came back and the villagers became their fathers, mothers, wives, children...if they don't their throats will be slashed, their stomach will be cut open. VC used the area to store weapons,ammunition and attacked US during nighttime then withdrew. The war was fought by soldiers but was judged by TV viewers in their comfortable lounges far away from any danger!

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WAR IS WAR! I was there and I supported Calley as he was following orders. My Lai was a nest of Viet Cong and the vietnam conflict wasn't the best example of of the skill of our military. However, we killed millions of civilians in WWII and thse episodes were ordered by those with four stars.

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If you read the history of the Vietnam War, you would know that this was not the only atrocity that US soldiers made. The rape of the village women were un ordinary activity of the US troops in Vietmam. This My Lai case is one of the worst massacre, but there was My Khe massacre of 90 people as well. What thay don't say, is that the most of the soldiers didn't participate the killings, although they didn't try to stop them neither. They were just watching the raping and killings of their fellow soldiers. As someone stated, the biggest problem is the army's cover up attempt. And even now, the real criminal who ordered the massacre is not convicted. Un fortunately the same kind of thing happended in Iraq, too. The history repeats...

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Like the Lockerbie bomber al-Megrahi, Calley may also be a fall guy.

From some Vietnam vets, an officer school graduate, who didn't rise up the ranks within the battlefield and never garnered the confidence of his troops for keeping them alive, would've been as much in danger of getting hit from friendly fire as from the enemy.

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Believe me I am confident in my moral fiber to know I wouldn't gun down 500+ innocents.

What's your cutoff?

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