This piece I wrote provides a critical historical analysis of the 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam, specifically looking at culpability at all levels within the military leadership.
On the morning of March 16, 1968, members of the US Army Charlie Company entered the hamlet of My Lai 4 in the South Vietnamese village of Song My. They were expecting to locate and engage the Vietcong’s 48th Local Force Battalion.1 What they found instead were unarmed residents eating breakfast and preparing for the day.
Two stories of revolts by US troops, including the shooting of a top sergeant and the mutiny of Bravo Company at Firebase Pace near Cambodia, written by Richard Boyle, a war correspondent who spent three tours in Vietnam.
The Vietnam War was one of the least popular in American history. It was also the least “popular” with the GI’s who were sent to fight it. By the late 1960’s, news of GI unrest was being carried on TV and in newspapers around the country and Vietnam vets were speaking at anti-war demonstrations.
A detailed history of the US left-wing urban guerrilla group the Weather Underground, or Weathermen.
Bombing its way into the headlines of the early 1970s, the Weather Underground was one of the most dramatic symbols of the anger felt by young Americans opposed to the US presence in Vietnam. Mauled in street battles with the Chicago police during the Days of Rage demonstrations, Weather concluded that traditional political protest was insufficient to end the war.
in 1968, Mark Rudd led the legendary occupation of five buildings at Columbia University, a dramatic act of protest against the university’s support for the Vietnam War and its institutional racism. Rudd was the charismatic chairman of the Columbia chapter of SDS, Students for a Democratic Society, the largest radical student organization in the U.S. After a violent police bust, the Columbia occupation turned into a student strike that closed down the entire campus, turning Rudd into a national symbol of student revolt.
Rudd went on to become the cofounder of the Weatherman faction of SDS which took control of the student organization and helped organize the notorious Days of Rage in Chicago in 1969.
But Mark Rudd wanted revolution.
Letter and article that the ZeroWork editorial collective circulated on the American left in the 1970s
The following letter was circulated [by the ZeroWork editorial collective] shortly after issue #2 [of ZeroWork] was published:
John Pilger’s controversial first documentary film created a sensation when it broke the story of a rebellion emerging within the American army fighting the War in Vietnam. Changing public and media perception of the war, The Quiet Mutiny contributed to the withdrawal of US troops from the region.
In this, the first of his 58 documentary films, John Pilger combines candid interviews and amazing frontline footage of Vietnam to portray a growing rift between the US military bureaucrats - "lifers" - and the soldiers who physically and mentally fight the war on the ground, the "grunts".
Article written by John Sullivan, expert on Spanish politics and famous for his satirical pieces on the British left in 1966. This article is significant because it demonstrates the plurality of views within Solidarity and was also written during the group's move away from 'the peace milieu'.
As the war in Vietnam increasingly becomes a central issue, the uneasy alliance between socialist and pacifists which has been a feature of political life during the past few years must inevitably disintegrate.
Article by Root and Branch on the cease-fire called in the Vietnam war.
On Tuesday evening, January 23, it was announced simultaneously in Washington, Hanoi, and Saigon that a cease-fire agreement had been reached and that peace was at hand in Indochina. Of course, there would be a week of fierce fighting throughout South Vietnam before the settlement would go into effect, each side struggling as in a football game to gain more ground before the whistle blew.
A US military officer reports on the increasing incidence of insubordination, desertion and rebellion in the US army over the course of the Vietnam War. While we obviously don't agree with the officer's political perspective, the article contains lots of useful information on the GI resistance movement during the Vietnam War.
The morale, discipline and battleworthiness of the U.S. Armed Forces are, with a few salient exceptions, lower and worse than at anytime in this century and possibly in the history of the United States.
Red and Black Notes article looking at the situation in Iraq as the US becomes bogged down in a long term conflict, and comparing it to previous wars.
In the 1980's, activists produced a button that read "El Salvador is Spanish for Vietnam." Although it provided a punchy reminder of a bloody conflict, the comparison was inappropriate. While the US was supporting a repressive regime against a leftist insurgency, it committed little in the way of troops; moreover, unlike Vietnam, the US was successful in containing the insurgency.