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Was the My Lai Massacre a failure in the Rules of Engagement or a tragedy of War?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Was the My Lai Massacre a failure in the Rules of Engagement or a tragedy of War? The origins of the Vietnam War started with the partition of Vietnam. The partitioning of Vietnam began when Ho Chi Minh who was a Moscow trained communist created the Indochinese Communist Party in Vietnam. At the end of World War II, France took Vietnam from the Japanese who had occupied it during the war. Ho Chi Minh had created his own guerrilla forces during the Japanese occupation to start a revolution at the end of WWII. As Japan surrendered to the Allies in August 1945, the Viet Minh forces rose throughout the country (August Revolution), and declared the establishment of an independent republic with its capital Hanoi. During the French occupation, France established a rival Vietnamese government with Bao-Dai as leader (he was the last emperor of the Nguyen dynasty). In August 1945 Bao Dai abdicated the throne in favor of Ho Chi Minh's republic. Negotiations to come up with a solution for France and the Viet Minh government in 1946 failed. War broke out in December when Viet Minh forces attacked French positions in Hanoi. Peace Talks started in July of 1954, the French agreed to a compromise agreement (Geneva Accords). This agreement caused the withdrawal of French troops and a temporary division of the Vietnam into two parts. The Communists took North Vietnam, and the non-Communists took South Vietnam. The United States, who have always fought against Communism, wanted to stop the communist threat in Asia, and so decided to support the South Vietnamese people with Medication, Weapons, and Ammunition. The United States got involved even more by teaching South Vietnamese troops western warfare. The US started introducing their own ground troops into Vietnam and Cambodia. These were organized into Platoons of about 12-15 Men. On March 16th, 1968, in the Quang Ngai Province, the Charlie Company Platoon in their Search and Destroy Mission butchered a Hamlet called My Lai 4. ...read more.

Middle

Lt. Calley, who saw a little kid running, ran after it and threw it in a ditch shooting it. At about 10:30, Thompson had enough, and landed with his helicopter, stepped in front of some civilians, and told the soldiers, that if they would kill any more civilians he and his Helicopter Crew will open fire on the GI's. Lt. Calley got mad and ordered Private Mitchell and Grzesik to kill all the people who were in the ditches. Thompson rescued the civilians that he had shielded. The GI's didn't only kill people and burned huts but also raped little girls and women.10 Lt. Carter, who had a mental breakdown from the illegal killings, shot himself in the foot so that he could stop. Some of the GI's started having a bad conscience and helped some wounded residents. The GI's joked that "anything that's dead and isn't white is a VC".11 At 12:00 Pm, My Lai was history. In 1998 Thompson, Colburn, and Androetta were awarded the Soldiers Medal for saving some ten civilians. At the ceremony a military official said: "Helicopter Pilot Hugh C. Thompson, door gunner Colburn, and Chopper crew chief Androetta saved ten civilians during the massacre of non-combatants by American forces, placing themselves between the American Soldiers and the fleeing villagers. They are now being awarded and honored because they embodied the best of army values and for setting the standard on a day that was one of the most shameful chapters in the Army's History." 12 The Army Court-Martial doesn't always prove to be as effective as it is supposed to be. Several soldiers and veterans were charged with murder, and a number of officials were accused of dereliction of duty for covering up the incident. Special investigations by the Army and the House of Representatives concluded that a massacre had taken place. An interviewed photographer said he focused his camera on a child, but the kid was blown to pieces before he could take the picture. ...read more.

Conclusion

Due to the views on both parts of the story it can be concluded and proven that the My Lai Massacre was both a failure in the Rules of Engagement and a tragedy of war. 0 Rules of Engagement, INTERNET, http://www.rulesofengagement.com/case/case01.html, 14/3/2001. 1 Jackson, Samuel L. Rules Of Engagement. Movie. Paramount Pictures. 2000. 2 Hersh, Seymour M. "My Lai 4: a report on the massacre and its aftermath," Random Press, New York. 1970 3 Hersh, Seymour M. "My Lai 4: a report on the massacre and its aftermath," Random Press, New York. 1970 4 Hersh, Seymour M. "My Lai 4: a report on the massacre and its aftermath," Random Press, New York. 1970 5 Hersh, Seymour M. "My Lai 4: a report on the massacre and its aftermath," Random Press, New York. 1970 6 Hersh, Seymour M. "My Lai 4: a report on the massacre and its aftermath," Random Press, New York. 1970 7 Hersh, Seymour M. "My Lai 4: a report on the massacre and its aftermath," Random Press, New York. 1970 8 Hersh, Seymour M. "My Lai 4: a report on the massacre and its aftermath," Random Press, New York. 1970 9 Hersh, Seymour M. "My Lai 4: a report on the massacre and its aftermath," Random Press, New York. 1970 10 The My Lai Cases. INTERNET, http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mylai/mylai.htm, 18/3/2001 11 Anderson, David L. "Facing My Lai", University Press of Kansas, 1998. 12 Army Awards veteran who stopped My Lai massacre. INTERNET, http://www.dtic.mil/armylink/news/Mar1998/a19980311mylai.html, 27/3/2001. 13 The My Lai Cases. INTERNET, http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mylai/mylai.htm, 18/3/2001 14 The My Lai Cases. INTERNET, http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mylai/mylai.htm, 18/3/2001 15 The My Lai Cases. INTERNET, http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mylai/SurveyResults.html, 18/3/2001 16 Hersh, Seymour M. "My Lai 4: a report on the massacre and its aftermath," Random Press, New York. 1970 18 Anderson, David L. "Facing My Lai", University Press of Kansas, 1998. 19 Hersh, Seymour M. "My Lai 4: a report on the massacre and its aftermath," Random Press, New York. 1970 20 Army Awards veteran who stopped My Lai massacre. INTERNET, http://www.dtic.mil/armylink/news/Mar1998/a19980311mylai.html, 27/3/2001. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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