We now know much about the horrors inflicted by the US on Vietnam during that war. It is sometimes suggested that the atrocities committed by the US during that war were an aberration of some kind, a deviation from its usually honorable behavior in wars such as in ‘good’ wars like World War II. But this investigation from Reveal discusses how in that war, US soldiers committed a war crime when they rounded up German prisoners of war in a field and machine-gunned them. General George S. Patton called it a murder but none of the people involved were punished.
Not much is discussed nowadays about but the Korean War. Media attention now is focused almost exclusively on recovering the remains of missing US soldiers from that war. Less emphasized are claims that as many as a million Korean civilians were killed. I was alerted to this page from the book Napalm by Robert Neer that says that the scale of destruction was so bad as to cause even General Douglas MacArthur to be sick. But note the triumphant tone in this Tweet from the Department of Defense.
The destruction was so bad it made MacArthur vomit. Maybe this is why DPRK wants nukes? Why they do missile tests during US-ROK war games? pic.twitter.com/xJhfdL0EGU
— Michael VanElzakker (@MBVanElzakker) April 11, 2017
I was also pointed to the 2010 book The Korean War: A History by Bruce Cumings, a professor of history at the University of Chicago, that is available as a free download that I plan to read at some point.
Wars always produce atrocities, largely inflicted on civilians. To think that they are committed only by the other side and not punish one’s own is the kind of delusion that enables such atrocities to continue.