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Showing posts with label Vietnam veterans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vietnam veterans. Show all posts

Friday, February 1, 2013

Inside the Vietnam Killing Machine

You thought nothing could surprise you about the Vietnam War? A shocking, extraordinary new investigation by journalist Nick Turse will have you thinking again.

As I write in the new edition of BookForum, Turse makes an air tight -- and profoundly upsetting -- case that "My Lai was not a mistake or an aberration or even an exaggerated case of aggravated assault.

"It was born of a deliberate body-count strategy that came down from on high and was pursued energetically by colonels down to sergeants.

"It was a strategy that logically led to an approved practice on the ground that’s summed up in the book’s title: Kill anything that moves.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Must-see: “Least Among Saints”

Name one happy movie about war veterans.

Time’s up.

From “The Best Years of Our Lives” in 1946 to the Vietnam War’s “Coming Home” and “Born on the 4th of July,”  veterans have been portrayed as troubled, bitter, dangerous and unconscionably scorned.

And often, of course, they are. Politicians love sending young men into battle, but they largely forget about them when they come home broken.

That’s much the case in "Least Among Saints," Martin Papazian’s engrossing portrayal of Anthony, a sensitive Afghanistan war vet haunted by memories of accidentally killing an Afghan family in their car at a Marine roadblock.

With a difference.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What Makes Spies Tick?

On a rainy day in the spring of 1967, I shuffled into a classroom at the U.S. Army Intelligence School at Fort Holabird, Md., in a grimy industrial area of East Baltimore. There were about 30 of us, mostly college graduates, including newly minted lawyers and a few erstwhile hippies who had received draft notices.

It was the first day of a seven-month course blandly titled “Area Studies.”

In fact, we were going to learn to be spies.

Click here for a sneak peek at my piece in this Sunday's Washington Post Magazine.

Monday, May 30, 2011

For the fallen: Day is Done

Originally known as "Butterfield's Lullaby," for the Union general who composed the mournful lyrics and melody of "Taps," the bleak and lovely tune is instantly and universally recognized for its austere, moving beauty.

I offer it, first, to the memory of my fallen brothers in Vietnam, but also to the men and women of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, State Department and Central Intelligence Agency who are shouldering the burden for the rest of us everywhere, today.