Friday, September 04, 2009

Colin Powell and Lessons of My Lai

By Robert Parry
September 4, 2009

In an Aug. 28 editorial, The New York Times applauded a belated “note of personal regret” from former Lt. William Calley for his role in the massacre of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai in 1968. But neither the Times nor any other leading U.S. news outlet has ever suggested that remorse might also be due from Colin Powell, who as a young Army major helped cover up the crime.

Read on.


rightly said...

My Lay for Major Powell became My Lie for Secretary Powell, a lesson not learned.

Anonymous said...

I have also studied the storied history of Colin Powell, and agree with most of what Robert Parry relates in his article Colin Powell and the Lessons of My Lai. However, I have one correction, not about the perfidy of Powell, but about his assertion that John Paul Vann gave up his promising Army career because of his criticisms of the way the war was being conducted. Vann indeed criticized the war plans very effectively, but his career was ended when he was found to be a skirt chaser with a school-girl bent. Vann also returned to Vietnam as a USAID employee, working as an unofficial military assistant to the South Vietnamese Army. He was killed in a helicopter crash in 1972 while helping fend off the North Vietnamese offensive by calling in B-52 strikes on South Vietnamese cities that were being occupied by the North Vietnamese; so treating Vann as some kind of hero in comparison to Powell is overreaching.

Secondly, and this does have to do with the perfidy of Powell, we should not forget that during the first phase of the Persian Gulf War, Powell was head of the DoD's Joint Chiefs of Staff. He and Schwartzkoff made many statements about how taking care of the troops was the most important thing in their minds after the mission. Yet, neither has uttered one public word in support of the approximately 50% of the veterans of that war who are now having myriad health problems due to the massive environmental insults inflicted on them in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq. Known as the Persian Gulf syndrome this suite of diseases is likely due to a cocktail of chemicals that may work synergistically including depleted uranium, pesticides, toxic clouds from burning chemical dumps, insect-borne diseases, and strange experimental inoculations.

Thirdly, we should not forget that in the run-up to the current Persian Gulf War, Powell was Bush's Secretary of State. Powell had expressed mild concern behind closed doors about the wisdom (apparently not concerning himself with the morality) of the coming war on Iraq. However, he did his "duty" and carried Bush's lies about weapons of mass destruction and the Al Qaeda/Iraq links, and yellow-cake uranium to the UN. This is a man with no pride.

Powell, far from being an American hero, is exactly the kind of social climber that we are fools to allow to succeed in this society. During his career, he has not taken one morally courageous stand—not one.

Thomas Doubter said...

Thank you for the informative article

I have known for a long time that Powell "Cut his chops" on My Lai..

That he was involved in the cover-up of that dishonorable day

And Anonymous....."Powell, far from being an American hero, is exactly the kind of social climber that we are fools to allow to succeed in this society. During his career, he has not taken one morally courageous stand—not one."

Well said & well thought out.a GEM!

It seems to me during this time of getting to know Obama..that it is tragic the two African-American officials we will hold him up to
will be the LIAR & STOOGE extraordinaire Condoliza Rice...
and Uncle Tom Colim Powell the step&fetchit house negro with no backbone, only supine ambition...

The very idea of going in front of the WORLD and uttering his foriago of LIES to pony up a war to kill about a million 99% innocent people

Isn't that a war crime...???

Oh, No.. It's when a twelve year old tosses a grenade at an invading army....