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The War Behind Me: Vietnam Veterans Confront the Truth about U.S. War Crimes (Anglais) Relié – 28 octobre 2008
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
“Alarming stories and important lessons for a country ‘hell-bound to repeat’ the same mistakes.”
Lt. General (USA, Ret.) Robert G. Gard, Jr.
“In her well-written and carefully documented report, Deborah Nelson highlights our shocking failure to deal with, and learn lessons from, our extensive commission of war crimes during the Vietnam War. A must read for all who are concerned with restoring the moral credibility of our country.”
Brig. General (USA, Ret.) John H. Johns
“Deborah Nelson has done a superb job in summarizing the problem of atrocities in counterinsurgency operations and has performed a patriotic service by bringing this problem to the attention of the public. Perhaps the most important lesson here is that we should not allow our leaders to commit our military forces to such wars unless it is essential to our vital national interests.”
Stanley Karnow, author of Vietnam: A History
“Young Americans went to Vietnam imbued with a high moral purpose. But the war dehumanized many, as Deborah Nelson vividly illustrates in a book that evokes a shameful chapter in our history.”
The Washington Post
“Nelson takes readers along with her on an unusually intimate journalistic journey to uncover what the government had hoped to keep secret—war crimes too cold-blooded and routine to fathom. As her riveting book reminds us, war is hell—for everyone involved. A must read for soldiers, scholars, journalists and any one else interested in both courage and cover-up during wartime.”
Seymour Hersh, author of Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib
“The War Behind Me establishes, sadly, the terrible fear that emerged from the horrors of My Lai—that its easy cover up suggested that deliberate killing of civilians was widespread in heavily contested areas of south Vietnam. Yes, this book says, it did happen, and yes, as at My Lai, many of those GIs who did the killing were as much victims as those they fired upon.”
“Remarkable… Nelson is one of the most experienced, talented investigative journalists alive.”
New York Times Book Review
“Nelson, who wrote a series on war crimes with a military historian when she was at The Los Angeles Times, is a diligent, passionate reporter… An important book”
Présentation de l'éditeur
The files contain reports of more than 300 confirmed atrocities, and 500 other cases the Army either couldn't prove or didn't investigate. The archive has letters of complaint to generals and congressmen, as well as reports of Army interviews with hundreds of men who served. Far from being limited to a few bad actors or rogue units, atrocities occurred in every Army division that saw combat in Vietnam. Torture of detainees was routine; so was the random killing of farmers in fields and women and children in villages. Punishment for these acts was either nonexistent or absurdly light. In most cases, no one was prosecuted at all.
In The War Behind Me Deborah Nelson goes beyond the documents and talks with many of those who were involved, both accusers and accused, to uncover their stories and learn how they deal with one of the most awful secrets of the Vietnam War.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
But there are three things one should consider when reading TWBM, by Ms. Nelson. One, she is hardly a decent investigative reporter. I've read high school "what I did last summer" reports that are more interesting and informative. Her questions to the participants were more Barbara Walters than anything else. "How do you feel about atrocities?" "Did you see anyone else commit atrocities?"
Two, she begins her book with the case of a 19year old self-described hippie who was arrested for dodging the draft board, jailed for a time and then sent to Vietnam as a Conscientious Objector/medic. Is there ANY reason to believe this guy would be a credible source of information about the military folks he evidently didn't like or respect?
Three, Ms Nelson seems to think that repeating the sheer volume of incidents should make us believe that our troops were just a step above the Gestapo. Here are a couple of 'charges': "Antiwar activist reported he had seen a photo of a mutilated body of a girl." Wow, let's get some investigators on that one.
Or this one: "POW reported he was forced to shave off mustache." I can just see Brando sitting in the dark rubbing his bare head-The horror. The horror.
Or a more maddening one: "Deliberate bombing of a Cambodian hospital." Pure drivel. Never happened.
Listed in Ms Nelson's book are 56 incidents/charges/investigations having to do with killing civilians. All serious. All should be investigated. (Is that about one every two months? In a country that suffered hundreds of thousands dead including maybe a million ARVN by the North Vietnamese who were just passing through a sovereign nation)But "every day occurance?" Give me a break.
Were there atrocities? Every rape, every beating, every death, diminishes us all. We, the veterans, were ashamed of them and incredibly angry at the perpetrators. But in my three years in theater, I heard of maybe five or six. I've spent years and years writing about the war and studying it. Battle-field atrocities were not a significant issue in the war. Yes, yes, I know. One is too many. What about the innocent civilians who died? Horrible.
Look, if someone of you think you know a way you can send 18 and 19 yearold kids to a foreign land with guns and absolute power over the natives and not have any trouble in ten years, you better get yourself down to boot camp and start the training. AND think about it before you launch the next few hundred thousand into combat!
The book stinks because it is so poorly constructed that there is nothing to refute. She makes no real claims. She raises no new issues. I assume she just wanted to strike her little blow against the Vietnam Vets and those nasty American troops in general.
We need to drill and drill our troops about the angst and frustration of operating with civilians in the middle of combat. Books like this won't help. They just make people (people like vets and people who have a lick of common sense) angry and feed the garbled mind of someone on this page who thought every student should read this book. Lord help us.
The "thiness" of the book and the lack of any interpretation or contextualization of the incidents, comments on combat in general, the Vietnam War in particular, leave this book in the propaganda pile.
A last thought. Take out the phrase "body count" and this book is about fifty pages shorter. That issue as a cause of atrocities, and in fact as a cause of anything, has been written about and discredited a long time ago. Ms. Nelson had ample reason to research the issue if it was to be such a prominent part of her book.
VVAW? Kerry? It is to laugh.I personally know one of that fraudulent group.He is still lying to everyone he meets.Do NOT take any bets that those boys can back up any of their charges.
Okay, can't resist one more. I have never heard of a live Vietnamese being thrown from an aircraft of any kind. And I know a hell of a lot of pilots. Just one more 'catch phrase' that the antiwar crowd fell for
When Nelson and Nick Turse published the basis for this book in the LA Times, I was left to wonder, "Where's the rest of the story?" They had access to the same CID documents I did, yet they totally forgot to mention that 11 of the Army Winter Soldier witnesses repudiated their testimony when questioned by CID and virtually all the rest stonewalled the investigators, some in outrageously arraogant, if not ridiculously comical, terms. And, the Army only investigated about half of the witnesses from the Winter Soldier Investigation in the first place, because half of them made no substantive allegations of criminal wrong doing at all, just badmouthed the military and the country, and several could not be found at all - which does not prove that those several were frauds, but does make you wonder.
Only one of the Winter Soldier stories investiagted by the Army CID in the 1970s proved to be based in fact - that of Jamie Henry. So, when reading this book, keep in mind what you read with your own eyes in these CID documents.
What happened at the Winter Soldier Investigation had nothing to do with whatever happened, or did not happen, in Vietnam. It was a stand alone propaganda exercise, having little to do with facts or the truth.
To extrapolate, from the several hundred crimes committed over a dozen years during a conflict involving three million U.S. soldiers during a viscious unconventional war, to this blanket libel against the United States, is a crime in itself against both history and our country. But propagandists don't have scruples about the truth. Their pre-set agenda determines all.