Miguel Gonzalez Dr. Tran/Shenk



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Miguel Gonzalez

Dr. Tran/Shenk

SBS381

Turse, N. (2013). An Operation, Not An Aberration. In Kill Anything That Moves; The Real American War in Vietnam (pp. 1-23). New York: Henry Holt and Company. (23pp).



This chapter was the introduction to this book. It spoke about the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War. It explained the real events that happened in the massacre, and also explained what the US told the Americans was the real story.

Turse’s introduction mentions the My Lai massacre, and how he was trying to unveil the reality of this massacre. Americans had supposedly had gone into battle against a dangerous force, but as Turse explains, the reality is that American soldiers were told to go into the village and “kill anything that moved”. Defenseless old men, women, and children were murdered violently, and women were also raped and then executed. The main point of this introduction chapter is to tell us what the book will be explaining.

As I read this chapter, I couldn’t help feel anger towards this country, a country who is suppose to be fair and protect the people who are defenseless. I think that this massacre, and many others, could have been avoided, and things could have possibly been different in the Vietnam War.

Turse, N. (2013).The Massacre at Trieu AI. In Kill Anything That Moves; The Real American War in Vietnam (pp. 24-40). New York: Henry Holt and Company. (16pp).

This chapter is about the massacre at Trieu AI and the aftermath of this massacre. Turse went into a lot of detail of what happened and how the American army would take action when they were given orders.

Just like in most of this class readings, racism, culture and ethnicity are presented over and over again. In chapter one of Turse’s book, he explains how American soldiers were trained to go to war. They would teach them that the Vietnamese people were less than them, in other words they would dehumanize them. They were brain washed into believing that they were killing animals and not people. The main point I got out of this chapter was that America has always felt superior to everyone else. This is why we still live in a world full of racism, especially in America. You can even say that America during the Vietnam war thought that their cultural capital was greater than the Vietnamese people. Soldiers would go to villages and just massacre people without having a logical reason to. This shows that American soldiers were taught that they were superior to the Vietnamese people, which lead to the soldiers being able to kill and have no mercy.

I personally, just like every other reading, found this reading very intense and it made me very sad and angry. I always knew that American was a bully, but I had no idea that they were murders and inhumane. The Vietnamese people did not deserve to be treated the way they were treated, in fact no one in this world deserves that. The bad thing is that we live in a world that racism and discrimination are present throughout people and countries.

Turse, N. (2013).A System of Suffering. In Kill Anything That Moves; The Real American War in Vietnam (pp. 41-75). New York: Henry Holt and Company. (34pp).

Chapter 2 of Turse’s book also speaks about what the American soldiers would do to the Vietnamese people, especially the unarmed and defenseless people. It explains how most of the soldiers saw killing the people as a game! This again shows the dehumanization and the racism that was present during the Vietnam War.

Body counts, and Box scores, were two words that meant nothing but racism murder and dehumanization. Soldiers would keep count of how many bodies they killed, and were rewarded for this. The was a list called “Box Score”, which came to display all over Vietnam, that would tell the body count for the week. They also had to meet a certain number, and when the soldiers were short of “bodies” they would simply murder. The main point of this chapter, to me was simply to show that race and “superior” cultural capital had a big and negative effect in the war. The fact that these soldiers were brain washed, and truly believed that the American race was superior, made them capable of murdering innocent people like women and children.



In my opinion being able to do what these soldiers did, was them being crazy. I believe that if you’re mentally stable then no one can have the conscious and heart to kill and take it as a game. Again, reading about this really makes me angry, and I have no words to say, but god bless all those people who were killed in the Vietnam War.


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