Crimes of War: A Legal, Political-Documentary, and Psychological Inquiry into the Responsibility of Leaders, Citizens, and Soldiers for Criminal Acts in Wars

By Richard A. Falk; Gabriel Kolko et al. | Go to book overview

stroy"--all this and far more is endemic to a war that can never be "legal" or moral so long as it is fought. For what is truly exceptional and unintended in Vietnam, from the Government's viewpoint, are the B-52 missions, defoliants, and artillery attacks that do not ravage villages and fields. Specific weapons and incidents are deplorable, but we must see them as effects and not causes. The major undesired, accidental aspect of the entire Vietnam experience, as three administrations planned it, was that the Vietnamese resistance, with its unshakable roots everywhere in that tortured nation, would survive and ultimately prevail rather than be destroyed by the most intense rain of fire ever inflicted on men and women. For the history of America's role in Vietnam is not one of accident but rather of the failure of policy.

Given what is so purposeful and necessary to the United States' war in Vietnam, and the impossibility and the undesirability of America relating to that nation by other than military means, there is only one way to terminate the endless war crimes systematically and daily committed there--to end the intrinsically criminal war now, to withdraw all American forces immediately. And while the Vietnamese succor and heal their wounds, Americans must attempt to cure their own moribund social illness so that this nation will never again commit such folly and profound evil.


CONTRIBUTORS

Eric Norden is a free-lance writer who lives in New York.

Seymour Hersh is a journalist who has covered the Pentagon for UPI. In 1970 he won the Pulitzer Prize for his account of the My Lai massacre.

David Welsh is a free-lance writer and former editor of Ramparts.

Dr. Erich Wulff worked in South Vietnam for six years as a member of a West German Medical Mission.

Jean Bertolino is a French journalist who reported from Vietnam.

Jonathan Schell is a specialist in Far Eastern history and a journalist.

-415-

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Crimes of War: A Legal, Political-Documentary, and Psychological Inquiry into the Responsibility of Leaders, Citizens, and Soldiers for Criminal Acts in Wars
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page vii
  • Editors' Statement xi
  • Contents xiii
  • The Question of War Crimes: A Statement of Perspective 3
  • On the Avoidance of Reality 11
  • Beyond Atrocity 17
  • A Legal Framework 29
  • 1 - Standards and Norms 31
  • 2 - The Experience of World War II 73
  • 3 - Focus on Vietnam 177
  • The Political Setting: Documents 263
  • American Atrocities in Vietnam 265
  • Chemical Warfare in Vietnam 285
  • Pacification in Vietnam 291
  • A Doctor Reports from South Vietnam 309
  • Testimony of Don Luce 338
  • Testimony of Roger Hilsman, Former U.S. Official 344
  • Over Vietnam: An Eyewitness Report 345
  • Terror for Helicopters 357
  • Son My Mothers Call for Vengeance 360
  • The Tombs of Ben Suc 363
  • Repression in South Vietnam 371
  • Anti-Vietcong Cordon Disrupts Life of a Village 386
  • The Balang an Massacre 389
  • The Face of War, December, 1969 393
  • Letters to His Parents - Captain William H. Miller 395
  • Precision Bombing Not Very Precise 397
  • Saigon "Falsifying" Casualty Figures 401
  • War Crimes and the Nature of the Vietnam War 403
  • Contributors 415
  • The Psychological and Ethical Context 417
  • Victims and Executioners 419
  • Healing in Vietnam 430
  • It Didn't Happen and Besides, They Deserved It 441
  • Cover Your Ass 445
  • The Changing Climate of Atrocity 459
  • From Boot Camp to My Lai 462
  • The Gift 469
  • The Age of Abdication 473
  • German Guilt 476
  • On Responsibility for Evil 486
  • Gandhi versus the Policing Mind 502
  • On Killing 513
  • On Dying 528
  • On Genocede 534
  • A Victory 550
  • Deadly Paradoxes 555
  • Absurd Technological Death 559
  • Contributors 576
  • Recommendations for Further Reading 577
  • Index 579
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