My Lai Massacre Essay

1196 Words 5 Pages
The Vietnam War originally did not involve America, and when they entered it in 1965, what began as a civil war became an international battle. The My Lai Massacre, one result of American intervention in the Vietnam War, caused immediate tension between the American soldiers and devastation for the Vietnamese, leading to escalating opposition on the home front, and ultimately the shattering trust in the United States’ government policy. The change of support for the War, particularly in America, affected it in the Vietnamese’s favour.
The Son My area, specifically My Lai 4, was suspect to being a stronghold for Viet Cong members and sympathisers. The American military division of Charlie Company from the 11th Infantry Brigade were sent on
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The American soldiers were unaware they had done anything wrong at the time aside from a few, who objected to participating in the Massacre at all. It was not until after the slaughter of the people in My Lai that some of Charlie Company began to have doubts. At one point during the massacre, Lieutenant Calley had ordered the death of a group of Vietnamese another American soldier, Paul Meadlo, had been comforting. He had been told to “take care of them,” and a fellow soldier in Charlie Company reported Meadlo was “actually playing with the kids…and giving them candy.” When he was later told by Calley to kill them he was horrified, but carried out the order. It is testified by one soldier that Meadlo “started to cry.” (S.M Hersh 2015, para 10). This exchange was the catalyst of his parting words when Meadlo was airlifted out of My Lai after stepping on a land mine. He told Calley, “God will punish you for what you made me do!” (S.M Hersh 2015, para 5). The end of the massacre resulted in the commanders of Charlie Company censoring the amount of blood shed and ensuring the silence of those present. A helicopter pilot, Chief Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for saving Vietnamese lives. This was true, but the context it was presented in was false: instead of documenting the event where he put …show more content…
The My Lai Massacre caused abrupt tension between the American soldiers and devastation for the Vietnamese, causing escalating opposition for the war on the home front, and ultimately the crumbling trust in the judgement of the United States’ government. It was the divide the Vietnam War created in the people and politics of America that ultimately allowed their opponents to defeat

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