Who is responsible for My Lai - Essay Example

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Even today, America still debates this unfortunate blemish, not sure of where the country should place the blame (Belknap, 43). Do they blame it on…
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Who is responsible for My Lai
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Mr. Lai Massacre The massacre in My Lai took place when 75 troops, on March 16, 1968, went into My Lai village and murdered more than 500 civilians. Even today, America still debates this unfortunate blemish, not sure of where the country should place the blame (Belknap, 43). Do they blame it on Lt. William Calley for giving the command to his troops, to his commanding officers who gave him the orders, to the two platoons who actually did the killing, or to the American people for their continued protest of the war?
1. Task 1.
According to the New York Times editorial, Mr. Calley endures as a classic scapegoat as he was sentenced to serve a life imprisonment. Nonetheless, the nation was polarized and soon after he was celebrated in a patriotic pop song. President Richard Nixon, sometime later, ordered that he be transferred to a better and comfortable apartment under house arrest. Eventually, his sentence was reduced, and he served three years only. The fact that there were so many other people to hold responsible yet he was the only one convicted, however, elicits so many questions.
2. Task 2.
Looking at the whole episode, even if they really should, it is unlikely that the American people stand in the larger dock of human conscience and guilt. Calley, on the other hand, had the responsibility to look after the civilians in Mr. Lai from the Vietcong not the one murdering them meaning that he was to blame. Upon realizing that the Vietcong had already retreated back into the mountains, it was prudent to have left the villagers alone to go about their daily lives. Secondly, there is evidence that Calley was responsible for the massacre. Pearson’s Keene et al textbook on page 800 In Competing Vision Given to Army investigators states that Calley said to Dennis Conti and to Private Paul Meadlo to “Take care of them….I mean kill them” (Pearson 800)
3. Task 3
Wars are very expensive, not only economically, but they undermine the value of humanity. The massacre in Mr. Lai and that that World War II brought are examples that depict how inhuman people can sometimes be. The innumerable atrocities that were committed in Mr. Lai are in the slightest of sense related to the killing in world war. Killing innocent people, mothers, children, and infants in Mr. Lai was unwarranted. The causalities that result from World War II were expected.
Works Cited
Belknap, Michal. The Vietnam War on Trial: The MyLai Massacre and the Court-Martial of Lt. Calley. 2002.
Pearson. "Visions of America." Visions of America. n.d. 800. Read More
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