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Friday, August 21, 2009


A few weeks ago, as my mind often rambles, I was thinking back to the 60's and 70's and "where are they now" images started coming to mind. One of these images was about Lt. William Calley, who was sent to prison - for life - for the My Lai Massacre.

Bouncing around the interwebulary strands tonight, I run across this article - and now I have my answers.

As my curiosity neurons started snapping - I headed to Wikipedia to get a quickie update. After reading, I was confused. It appears he was in and out of prisons, while venturing through the appeals process, and spent a relatively short time incarcerated.

Which, in my opinion then and still is - he should NEVER have even spent one day in prison. That was not a war that I supported and then using Lt. Calley as a scapegoat for the offenses ordered by his superiors - was WRONG. Do not get me wrong, I was deeply saddened by the loss of those lives at My Lai, but totally unfair that this man was singled out to take the fall.

The article is an excellent read - and it appears that after all these years he can begin to speak about this horrid experience.

Now I will have to conjure up some more of those old images from the past and bring them current.



Mauigirl said...

Agree he was definitely the fall guy - much like the one who got convicted for torturing prisoners at Abu Ghraib. But it's always those following orders who actually do the crimes...the question is, what would happen if they all stopped following orders? "The Universal Soldier" by Buffy St. Marie (sung by Donovan) raises that issue -

"But without him how would Hitler have
condemned him at Dachau
Without him Caesar would have stood alone
He's the one who gives his body
as a weapon to a war
and without him all this killing can't go on

He's the universal soldier and he
really is to blame
His orders come from far away no more
They come from him, and you, and me
and brothers can't you see
this is not the way we put an end to war."

I can't help but feel sympathy for all those who followed orders because they didn't know what else to do - and I'm not pretending I would have done differently if I were in the situation. But it's something to think about.

Mauigirl said...

Just want to add, the Vietnam War was a horribly complex, morally difficult war, and I do honor anyone who served in it despite all the bad things that happened there. Don't mean to take anything away from those brave enough to go fight over there, including Lt. Calley. I know his intentions were good; just wonder whether he could have done something differently.

It is those who gave the orders who are the most to blame and should certainly have been punished. Ditto on Abu Ghraib (still waiting for Cheney to be brought to justice)...


like he and his crew were the only ones to do something horrific in war...they're still doing it today in iraq and afghanastan..and all over the world..was...what is is good for..absolutely nothing.