Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

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Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by Garnet » August 22, 2009, 1:47 pm

http://www.wral.com/news/national_world ... y/5842978/

I found this article relating to the My Lai massacre quite interesting. Time obviously changes us all.

I know that back in 1968, I would never have imagined myself having any interest or involvement with an Asian girl. I simply had nothing but a passing interest in any female outside of my own race.

Four decades later, I'm married to a Thai woman who happens to be the mother of two Thai sons, and nothing arouses the attention of my libido as does the sight of cute Asian gal!

My wife (Jack) and her two sons happen to be visiting their Nong Soong village right at this time -- she found out less than three weeks ago that the seller of some property she was planning to buy was insisting on pushing ahead with the sale. We had thought we had until October.

Anyway, she and the boys left on a 1:55 a.m. flight early last Monday morning, and I had an utterly miserable day adjusting to her absence in my life. If the young man I was 41 years ago could have seen who he would become when he was my age now, I daresay he'd have defied any possibility!


Garnet & Jack

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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by Fawn » August 22, 2009, 6:22 pm

Fascinating piece. He's had 41 years coming to terms with what he did.

"It's hard to apologize for murdering so many people," said Eckhardt, now a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. "But at least there's an acknowledgment of responsibility."


If I remember rightly, it was a US Forces photographer who blew the whistle. It's likely the World would never have known if the photographer hadn't of come forward and Calley would have continued his life carrying the guilt. It makes you wonder how many former servicemen from all countries carry such an unspoken burden for the rest of their lives.
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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by laphanphon » August 22, 2009, 8:09 pm

doesn't anyone do the honorable thing anymore, a full confession, documenting the complete cover up attempt, the the truly honorable thing, eating a bullet.

three brave soldiers with morals saved a few lives and exposed the incident, with help from the press, but it took a long time. helicopter pilot threatened to open fire on usa troops if they harmed another civilian.........it simply doesn't get any better than that. sadly, the oliver stone movie was shut down, hmm, guess with all the positive army scandals of the past invasion/occupation/kidnapping and torturing of civilians with no due legal course the past few years, didn't need a reminder of one of our true atrosities toward our fellow man..............women and children.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai
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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by jackspratt » August 22, 2009, 8:43 pm

Fawn wrote:Fascinating piece. He's had 41 years coming to terms with what he did.

If I remember rightly, it was a US Forces photographer who blew the whistle. It's likely the World would never have known if the photographer hadn't of come forward and Calley would have continued his life carrying the guilt. It makes you wonder how many former servicemen from all countries carry such an unspoken burden for the rest of their lives.
In my view it is questionable as to whether or not Calley carried any guilt - certainly around the time that this atrocity occurred.

Someone with a truly guilty mind will seek forgiveness, not try to cover up the massacre of up to 500 people, with the complicity of his superiors.

And of course, he didn't exactly pay much of a penalty for his inhumanity - 3 years or so under house arrest, then a remission from that equally execrable man, Richard Nixon.

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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by Fawn » August 22, 2009, 10:16 pm

I think Garnet is correct, Calley's views on what he did have changed over time...I don't think anyone wants to be thought of as a person who was responsible for the murder of so many and only a true psychopath would feel nothing for what he did. That's probably why at 66, he decided to say something. I'm not defending him Jack, just curious about the way his mind works, why apologise in 2009, because he's beyond persecution?
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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by BKKSTAN » August 23, 2009, 7:59 am

I don't know him personally and I don't condone the actions taken by him during the war ,but I do feel very sorry for what he and the other victims went through in another unjust war.He was probably less guilty than the leadership up through thr ranks and right on up to the Politicians that caused the war from more countries than just the USA!
Situations likie this get out of had, on the spot,because of the relative immaturity of those doing the ''fighting''!90% of the time during the ''fighting'' fear,survival and the unit as a family,combined with military programed psychic make it very difficult to maintain rationality.IMO revenge is a concious thought when people close to you are killed gruesomely or not!

Civilians get the thought over lesser degrees of conflict and they are not carrying weapons and are able to detach physically and emotionally from the ''action''!

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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by jackspratt » August 23, 2009, 8:24 am

Calley a victim - gimme a break Stan.

There have been plenty of other servicemen during the ages who have experienced fear, survival (instinct) etc, without being involved, or playing a leadership role, in the massacre of up to 500 innocent mainly women and children.

The unjustness of the war in Vietnam is quite a separate issue (IMO) to Calley's (and the other murderers with him) actions on that day.
Many of the victims were sexually abused, beaten, tortured, and some of the bodies were found mutilated.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_Massacre

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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by trubrit » August 23, 2009, 9:54 am

I think Stan has a very good point about the military programed physic. It is still apparent in many ex service men.One of the reasons I stopped attending the NM meeting was because 5 of our own local ex were arguing amongst themselves, aided by drink of course . The subject? How many Viets did you kill in the war.
So many years after the event its still a matter of pride ? That can only be down to military physic.These guys are normally good people.
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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by Michael C » August 23, 2009, 10:29 am

I think that the word you are looking for is not physic (medicinal drugs/treatment), but psyche.

The results that you see in the scum bag Calley and his type are NOT the result of a military programmed psyche, but rather the result of inadequate training and poor discipline; it is the very antithesis of a military programmed psyche. Calley and those that willingly participated should have been sentenced to death (as the US has in the past organised tribunals doing the same thing for much less). Having participated in war, various military conflicts and operations over 22 years in the US Marines, I cannot say that anyone I served with, except snipers ever talked openly about how many they killed; for them it is a measure of success, but not something they would or should be talking about in public.

Bragging about how many you killed in combat is NOT the mark of a military programmed psyche, it is the mark of mentally weak and sick individual that obviously has accomplished nothing else in their pitiful lives.

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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by Michael C » August 23, 2009, 10:56 am

Sorry, that last sentence in my post was uncharacteristically sloppy of me. It should have been written as:

"Bragging about how many you killed in combat is NOT the mark of a military programmed psyche; it is the mark of a mentally weak and sick individual that obviously has accomplished nothing else in their pitiful life."

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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by trubrit » August 23, 2009, 12:19 pm

Your perfectly correct but I must have been using the same spell checker as Stan and it kept changing it.Psyche not physic.Thank you.
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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by laphanphon » August 23, 2009, 1:21 pm

One of the reasons I stopped attending the NM meeting was because 5 of our own local ex were arguing amongst themselves, aided by drink of course . The subject? How many Viets did you kill in the war.
that's one meeting i'm glad i missed, as i don't think i would of had anything positive to add. from my experiences, non war related, but because of my age and era a grew up in, know many who served, active combat and/or support. those in combat situations, with no exceptions, unless directly asked, and usually will decline to talk about if asked, simply don't want or find a need/desire to talk about it. so when i hear people talking about it, killing another person, i either don't believe them, or sadly, that is the only thing they think worthy of the life so far. i've yet to met a active combat veteran to offer their wartime experiences, and would never ask them to rehash them.

war is/must be hell.....................BUT, there is no justification, if you see a family of woman and children huddled together, crying, pleading for their life, to open fire and end there life. won't even discuss the rape and mutilation of others. these people are not humans, in any sense.

my lai is one of the most embarrassing war history moments in my lifetime, but sadly, it is repeated in every war. more sadly, it is usa gov't sponsored, always part of the agreement for usa troops serving in other countries, immunity to local and even Geneva convention rules of war, a true embarrassment to what is supposed to be a civilized country, with the self imposed job of leading the world.............................bunch of hypocritical corporate bottom line A-HOLES. you can add the WTO and WHO to that self serving big boy club, killing as many through economic policies as wars. a very dark time in world history. part of which i'm happy i'm not part of. i'm winding down here, the rest of the world can go to hell.

well that felt good
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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by laphanphon » August 23, 2009, 3:19 pm

too late to edit/add...............but IMHO, it's starting to get embarrassing, simply being a human being, our species has hit an all time low in almost every aspect of life. whatever happen to compassion for you fellow man, wanting the best for the children of the world. i joke about ME ME ME, but presently, my world has become very small, and reading the news/entertainment has turned into a laughing stock of man's morality. not sure if i prefer 'god help them all' or 'may they all rot in hell'. but my days of caring and stressing myself out are over, i'm no longing joking, ME ME ME, for what little time i have left. my caring days are over. been blessed with many good experiences, but those days seem to be over and with few exceptions, mankind is lost in some kind of giant abyss. mankind doesn't have much to be proud about lately, and it seems to only be getting worst................ :evil: :evil:
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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by Fawn » August 23, 2009, 3:58 pm

trubrit wrote:One of the reasons I stopped attending the NM meeting was because 5 of our own local ex were arguing amongst themselves, aided by drink of course . The subject? How many Viets did you kill in the war.
So many years after the event its still a matter of pride ? That can only be down to military physic.These guys are normally good people.
You're assuming they were telling the truth, Val. Lots of Servicemen never get anywhere near the nasty stuff even though they may be in theatre. They're more likely fixing generators, stacking blankets or marshalling jets but that's not to denigrate their task in the big picture, though. That said, ex-servicemen are the very worst culprits for story-telling (forgive the irony).

Pull up a sandbag and swing that tilly lamp, old chum.
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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by trubrit » August 23, 2009, 4:28 pm

Fawn wrote:
You're assuming they were telling the truth, Val. Lots of Servicemen never get anywhere near the nasty stuff even though they may be in theatre. They're more likely fixing generators, stacking blankets or marshalling jets but that's not to denigrate their task in the big picture, though. That said, ex-servicemen are the very worst culprits for story-telling (forgive the irony).

Pull up a sandbag and swing that tilly lamp, old chum.
I agree but whether the body count was fictional or imaginary is not important. Its the mentality displayed in the topic of conversation for a Saturday night out. :roll:
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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by Fawn » August 23, 2009, 4:30 pm

trubrit wrote:I agree but whether the body count was fictional or imaginary is not important. Its the mentality displayed in the topic of conversation for a Saturday night out. :roll:
Yes, I'm with you there. Which is where Michael C comes in when he speaks of weak characters.
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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by Irish Alan » August 23, 2009, 7:51 pm

He has changed his tune since the Daily Mail caught up with him a couple of years back. I wonder if his remorse has anything to do with Oliver Stone's upcoming (2011) movie on Mai Lai. Pinkville
Mrs Quy was shot in the back, but recovered in a U.S. military clinic after being rescued by the helicopter hero, Hugh Thompson.

Understandably, she still feels angry - yet, like all the survivors we interviewed, she showed an uplifting spirit of forgiveness. The director of the My Lai Museum, Mr Pham Thanh Cong - who lost his mother and three siblings but escaped with bullet wounds - even extended an olive branch to Calley.

"If the government will allow it, I invite him here, not to scold him or reprimand him, but to try and understand why he ordered the killing," Mr Cong said. "If he comes here, he and I could become friends. We could confide and talk to each other. We really want him to come back and see the truth."

From a man who has suffered so much, it was a remarkable gesture. Sadly, however, William Calley - who has never demonstrated the slightest desire to make his peace with the Vietnamese people - was not even willing to discuss it this week. Unless, of course, he received a fat fee.

"Meet me in the lobby of the nearest bank at opening time tomorrow, and give me a certified cheque for $25,000, then I'll talk to you for precisely one hour," he drawled nauseatingly.

When we showed up at the appointed hour, armed not with a cheque but a list of pertinent questions, Calley scuttled away from the line of fire. It was an option the man who led the My Lai Massacre never afforded to his innocent victims.



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... sacre.html

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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by laphanphon » August 23, 2009, 8:33 pm

i hope Pinkville gets made, probably 2 generations of americans haven't got a clue. sad, sure it isn't taught in school. the dumbing down of our youth/future. :shock:
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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by Fawn » August 23, 2009, 8:50 pm

Sadly, however, William Calley - who has never demonstrated the slightest desire to make his peace with the Vietnamese people - was not even willing to discuss it this week. Unless, of course, he received a fat fee.

"Meet me in the lobby of the nearest bank at opening time tomorrow, and give me a certified cheque for $25,000, then I'll talk to you for precisely one hour," he drawled nauseatingly.

When we showed up at the appointed hour, armed not with a cheque but a list of pertinent questions, Calley scuttled away from the line of fire. It was an option the man who led the My Lai Massacre never afforded to his innocent victims.
I think you've just provided us with a measure of Calley's real character, Alan. So what's his real motive for apologising?
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Re: Ex-Vietnam Lieutenant Apologizes for His Role in Massacre

Post by jimboLV » August 23, 2009, 9:38 pm

laphanphon wrote:i hope Pinkville gets made, probably 2 generations of americans haven't got a clue. sad, sure it isn't taught in school. the dumbing down of our youth/future. :shock:
Yes LA, it's sad that many people don't' have a clue about the horrible massacres inflicted by the Viet Cong both before and AFTER the war, which for some strange reason was not shown by the biased liberal media at the time. The incident with Calley is played up with films and TV specials, but what about the controlled, government approved atrocities inflicted by the communists? Certainly, Calley and his men deserved punishment, I would have opted for the death penalty or at least life imprisonment. But I would also like to have seen the same results for the enablers of the Viet Cong murderers, like Jane Fonda and her cohort war protesters.

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