Nick Turse’s new book Kill Anything That Moves is a disturbing window into the enormous numbers of Vietnamese civilians that died at the hands of the Americans. He cites the huge payload of ordinance dropped on that country, 60 billion pounds of ordinance, or roughly 640 of Hiroshima’s “Little Boy” Bombs. He gathers estimates that upwards of two million Vietnamese were killed and five million wounded.
In particular are pieces about Vietnam and an elite unit called Tiger Force that went in and murdered and tortured civilians just to exact fear in the population. Turse’ explorations revealed documentation that US policies made criminal activity down the platoon level almost inevitable.
Former members of the elite Tiger Unit have begun to come forward and calumniate a few bad apples that commit war crimes and practiced brutality inside the unit, Tiger Force medic Rion Causey told the Toledo Blade.
Turse’s research and citations are impressive. The implications are depressing. Once again, the truth is worse than we can bear and it comes out too late, And few are punished for the crimes. In Vietnam, killing innocents was not an aberration but SOP.
Source: Kill Anything That Moves, Nick Turse, Kindle Edition. 2013.