Vietnam War in the News is an edited review of Vietnam War related news and articles.

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'No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now.'
- Richard M. Nixon

Death & Horror of Vietnam War

Vietnam War "girl in the picture" - Kim Phuc - reunited with journalist who saved her life
Kim Phuc, the Vietnamese girl pictured fleeing from a napalm attack in one of the most iconic Vietnam War images, has been reunited with the British correspondent who saved her life. In a photograph that shocked the world, 9yo Kim was fleeing the attack with her arms outstretched and screaming for help. Now Kim has been reunited with Christopher Wain, the ITN correspondent who took her to the hospital after the photo was taken on June 8, 1972. A Vietnamese photographer, Nick Ut, snapped the photograph as Phuc fled and she was still running when Wain stopped her to pour water on her, while telling his crew to continue filming.

War Without Fronts: The USA in Vietnam by Bernd Greiner [book review]
The rape, torture and murder of Vietnamese civilians went on before and after the My Lai massacre - e.g. Task Force Oregon and Operation Speedy Express. "War Without Fronts" casts a ruthless light on that most controversial of American wars - and on Robert McNamara and his associates. They knew about the excessive violence and that civilians were targeted - and they knew that the policy was doomed to failure. Their crime was to allow it to go on. Bernd Greiner's book is a well-documented attack on the war's criminal reality and the failure of American society to come to terms with that. Inevitably a comparison between American and Nazi war crimes grows in the reader's mind. [Buy from Amazon: US, UK, CA, DE, FR]

US army officer William Calley's first public apology for the My Lai massacre
The US army officer - convicted to a short house arrest for his part in the notorious My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War - has made his first public apology. Platoon commander Lt William Calley, who maintains that he was just following orders from his superior, took part in the 1968 massacre of 500 men, women and children. The US soldiers were on a "search and destroy" mission to destroy communist fighters in Viet Cong territory. Although the enemy was nowhere to be seen, the American soldiers of Charlie Company rounded up unarmed women and children and gunned them down.

The War Behind Me is based on signed statements by soldiers who did or saw war crimes
Deborah Nelson aimed to "set the record straight for history" with "The War Behind Me" - Vietnam War book based on sworn statements signed by soldiers who either committed or witnessed war crimes in the 1960s and 1970s. These official documents kept some of the truths of the Vietnam War a secret for 30 years. And while conducting research for her book, she unveiled shocking confessions of witnesses, victims and suspects that detailed the horrors that took place during the war. The book focuses on a bloody massacre in which a U.S. Army unit massacred a group of civilians in Feb. 1968, but participants were never punished or prosecuted. [Buy from Amazon: US, UK, CA, DE, FR]

Vietnam War crimes suspect William Doyle, "face of Vietnam crimes", dies
Americans seem to have forgotten the mistakes of the Vietnam War: errors that destroyed credibility and the popularity of defeating the Communists in Vietnam. One of the soldiers who solidified the anger toward U.S. military was William Doyle, a "face of Vietnam crimes" who died aged 75. He will be remembered as the tough-talking Vietnam War veteran whose decorated platoon murdered hundreds of unarmed civilians in a case concealed by the Pentagon for decades. Doyle was a team leader with the famous 'Tiger Force' in 1967 that executed women and children in a bloody 7-month rampage. "We killed anything that moved. My only regret is that I didn't kill more."

Kim Phuc Phan Thi, icon of Vietnam War, brings message of forgiveness
You recognize it when you see it, this iconic photo from the Vietnam War. A 9-year-old girl, naked and crying, runs down a road. A wayward napalm assault by South Vietnamese aircrafts had burned much of her body. Photographer Nick Ut won a Pulitzer Prize for the June 1972 picture. He also helped get the girl to a hospital, where she spent the next 14 months and, against odds, survived. The terrible photo helped sour American support for the war. And the girl, Kim Phuc Phan Thi, now a mother of 2 living outside Toronto, has taken her unsought fame and put it to use to help other children victimized by war.

"My Lai" is synonymous with "massacre" - The secret tapes
My Lai is shorthand for slaughter of the defenceless, the benchmark of American wartime atrocity. The murders of 504, mostly women and babies, happened on 16 March 1968. Lieutenant William Calley was tried and declared guilty of murdering 22 "oriental human beings." Media attention was so intense that it hid the more awful truth. Before that trial got under way, the U.S. army had secretly completed a probe of its own. Over 400 witnesses were interviewed, and tape-recorded. Those recordings were boxed-up, stored and forgotten. Until recently, anyone trying to locate them was told they didn't exists.

U.S. soldier returns to My Lai   (Article no longer available from the original source)
On the 40th anniversary of the My Lai massacre former helicopter gunner Lawrence Colburn was reunited with a young man he saved from U.S. soldiers. On March 16, 1968, he found 8-year-old Do Ba hanging to his mother's corpse in a ditch full of blood and bodies. Seymour Hersh, who disclosed the My Lai massacre, said he sees parallels between My Lai and a more recent case that he has he reported on, the 2005 images of torture from the Abu Ghraib. "It's stunning how much impact My Lai had and how little impact Abu Ghraib had. We'll have to leave it to historians to figure out why."

U.S. author`s book about war crimes of American army published
Khong The Chuoc Loi (Failure To Atone) includes true stories about war crimes during the American War in Vietnam as written by a U.S. surgeon Allen Hassan. He describes war crimes of American`s army in Vietnam in his memoirs from two humanitarian tours of Vietnam in 1968-1969. The memoirs not only help readers have a deeper insight into war crimes committed by GIs but also expose the way of thinking of a volunteer doctor as an eyewitness.

Psychological price of war makes for compelling read
Danielle Trussoni's memoir, Falling Through the Earth, recounts her rocky childhood and volatile relationship with her charismatic but violent father. Daniel Trussoni served as a "tunnel rat" in the Vietnam War, searching underground Viet Cong passageways, a deadly occupation that killed his best buddy. He returned from the war "wild and haunted," unable to reassimilate into normal life. Decades later, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, but by then his relationships had been carpet-bombed to dust. His reminiscences of the war are interwoven seamlessly with Danielle's surreal visit to Vietnam, part of her attempt to understand her father's rage.

The helicopter pilot who stopped the My Lai massacre in Vietnam   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Hugh Clowers "Buck" Thompson, who died Jan. 6 at 62, is remembered as the helicopter pilot who stopped the My Lai massacre on March 16, 1968, by training the guns from his chopper on U.S. troops who were mowing down civilians. Thompson and his crewmen were awarded the Soldier's Medal, the Army's highest decoration for bravery when not confronting an enemy, in 1998. Thompson is the subject of a book "The Forgotten Hero of My Lai" by Trent Angers. On that day, he was flying his H-23 scout helicopter over a part of Quang Ngai province, supporting a 3-company search-and-destroy assault on villages, which faulty intelligence indicated were defended by Vietcong troops.

Film documents Vietnam War's appalling legacy   (Article no longer available from the original source)
12yo Thuy Linh was born without arms in south Vietnam, but she's managed to overcome part of the struggle by writing with her feet. For most people, the Vietnam War ended 30 years ago. But for the thousands of Vietnamese like Linh who were exposed in some way to Agent Orange chemicals sprayed over 30% of Vietnam, the nightmares still exist. The stories of Linh and others who were affected by a harmful byproduct from Agent Orange, dioxin, are told in a documentary called "The Last Ghost of War."

Vietnam War still taking a toll on aging veterans
Charles W. speaks clearly but with little emotion as he recounts his military experience. "In May 1966, we retook Danang. In February 1967, I was in War Zone C, Operation Junction City and in April 1968, I was" ... his voice trails off ... "There were thousands of Vietcong casualties. I really don't like to talk about it." But he does; the stories pour out. Images, whether real or a composite of the horror, stalk through the dense jungle of his memories; never knowing where the enemy might be or who they might be.

Declassified Army papers: Torture by 173rd Airborne Brigade
In early 1973, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Creighton Abrams received some bad news: An inquiry had confirmed an officer`s publicized charge that members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade had tortured detainees. Military interrogators in the 173rd Airborne beat prisoners and tortured them with electric shocks. Soldiers in one unit told that their captain approved of such methods and was sometimes present. In one case, a detainee who had been beaten suffered convulsions, lost consciousness and later died. 29 members of the 173rd Airborne were suspects in confirmed cases. 15 admitted the acts. Only 3 were punished.

Once-secret records confirm reports of killings and torture
The men of B Company were in a dangerous state of mind. They had lost five men in a firefight the day before. The morning of Feb. 8, 1968, brought orders to resume their sweep. They met no resistance as they entered a settlement in Quang Nam province. So Jamie Henry set his rifle down in a hut. Just then, a lieutenant`s voice crackled across the radio. He had rounded up 19 civilians and wanted to know what to do with them. Henry recalled the company commander`s response: "Kill anything that moves." Henry stepped outside and saw a crowd of women and children. Then the shooting began. Moments later, the 19 villagers lay dead or dying.

One of the most unforgettable pictures of the Vietnam War
Kim Phuc was nine when her village was mistakenly hit with a napalm bomb dropped by a South Vietnamese pilot. The photo of young Phuc, running naked through the street, her skin ablaze with napalm, has remained seared into the minds of many. The picture was such that the photographer Nick Ut received a Pulitzer Prize. A woman, who as a young girl was the focus of what is now called one of the most unforgettable pictures of the Vietnam War, will be sharing her story in Zurich. "She's going to tell the story of her life from that moment. She basically went through hell."

American troops shot by their own commanders in Battlefield
Documentary "Sir! No Sir!" details how wartime experiences led some U.S. troops to join the peace movement. Green Beret Donald Duncan dreamed of being a war hero, until the brutality he witnessed in Vietnam destroyed the convictions that made him willing to fight and die. The doubts of men like Duncan would evolve into outright rebellion, with active-duty American troops refusing Vietnam duty, inciting stockade riots, joining off-base protests and going AWOL. In Vietnam, the film links this opposition to the hundreds of battlefield shootings by American troops of their own commanders in a notorious practice that became known as "fragging."

Story of survival in wartime - The Story of Kathleen
It began on May 15, 1969, when the First Infantry Division (the "Big Red 1") radioed for a "dust-off" air evacuation. Troops had just entered a small Vietnamese village which had been wiped out by the enemy. Everyone was dead, except for one infant baby locked in her dead mother's arms. Still, Captain Donna Rowe told the dust-off helicopter to "come ahead" with the casualty, even though it was outside of regulations. Mother's arms had to be broken in order to free her - and at that point it was discovered she had fragment wounds. Mother had saved her life by holding her. She survived hours of surgery, and is now married mother in northern California.

Drama relives Vietnam horror   (Article no longer available from the original source)
When Hung Tran was 10 years old, he witnessed an unthinkable epilogue to the Vietnam War: Adrift at sea, a group killed their fellow passengers and forced the rest of the people in the boat to eat them. Tran rarely spoke of the horrific ordeal after he arrived in the U.S. Tran and his fellow refugees were poor and unsafe in Vietnam after aligning themselves with American forces during the war. Three days after they fled, their engine died. Then, the boat's chief ordered five passengers to be sacrificed and eaten.