Death of My Lai savior, US hero & moral example

Occasionally we are just simply stopped in our tracks by examples of extraordinary human courage in the name of humanity. Thus Sven Lindqvist in “Exterminate All the Brutes”, his seminal exposé of First World racism, describes how in 1898 the French Assembly became aware that the military psychopaths Paul Voulet and Charles Chanoine were leaving a ghastly trail of appalling massacres and burnt towns across the Sahel. Lieutenant-Colonel Klobb was sent out to remove Voulet from his command, tracked Voulet’s genocidal army by following a trail of dreadful devastation and finally caught up with Voulet’s army on Bastille Day. Lieutenant-Colonel Klobb left his forces and strode across to confront Voulet –” and was immediately shot in cold blood by the genocidal French commander.

The New Year has seen the death of another such extraordinary hero of humanity. Hugh Thompson, the American helicopter pilot who courageously intervened to save Vietnamese civilians from massacre by US troops at My Lai, Vietnam in 1968, has died of cancer, aged 62 (see: US News & World Report: [1])

Hugh Thompson (Vietnam veteran, US Army helicopter pilot, Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, Soldier’s Medal) (4/15/1943-1/6/2006) was an American hero and a profoundly decent human being of the kind whose decency and courage surely give hope for all humanity.

On March 16, 1968, Hugh Thompson (24) and his 3 man crew flew over My Lai, Vietnam, and were shocked to see the bodies of men, women and children scattered over the landscape. They landed and determined that there was an ongoing horrendous massacre of Vietnamese villagers by US soldiers. Indeed they were horrified to witness US troops killing unarmed civilians.

Thompson finally landed in the line of fire between Vietnamese civilians sheltering from menacing US soldiers. He ordered his men to shoot any US soldiers shooting at civilians, confronted the senior US officer present and persuaded about 10 terrified civilians to leave their shelter.

Thompson radioed for a further helicopter to evacuate the survivors and then rescued a further civilian, a boy, from a ditch. Thompson was angrily vocal on his return to base: "I threatened never to fly again. I didn’t want to be part of that. It wasn’t war."

18 months later the My Lai Massacre eventually surfaced in the media. Thompson testified to Congress, a military inquiry and at the court martial that eventually convicted Lieutenant William Calley – for involvement in the massacre of 500 unarmed Vietnamese civilians at My Lai. Calley was the only US soldier thus convicted for this horrendous mass murder.

The doyen of US journalists, Seymour Hersh (winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for his exposure of the My Lai Massacre) has described Hugh Thompson thus: “One of the good guys … You can’t imagine what courage it took to do what he did”.

4 decades later, who will defend the innocent from war criminals?

Nearly 40 years later, who will defend the utterly innocent –” the defenceless infants and their mothers –” from mass murder, mass infanticide and passive genocide by UK-US state terrorism (democratic imperialism, democratic tyranny, democratic Nazism) in criminal wars in Occupied Iraq and Afghanistan?

According to the latest UNICEF report (2005), in 2004 the under-5 infant mortality was 122,000 in Occupied Iraq, 359,000 in Occupied Afghanistan and 1,000 in the occupying country Australia (noting that in 2004 the populations of these countries were 28.1 million, 28.6 million and 19.9 million, respectively). [2]

About 1,300 under-5 year old infants will have died in Occupied Iraq and Afghanistan on Christmas Day alone and 0.5 million will die in the coming year due to non-provision by the US-led Coalition of life-preserving requisites demanded by the Geneva Conventions. [3]

Of course it is not only infants who die as a result of war, occupation and PC racist passive genocide. The post-invasion avoidable mortality (excess mortality) in the Occupied Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan Territories now totals about 0.3, 0.5 and 1.6 million, respectively, while the corresponding post-invasion under-5 infant mortality now totals 0.2, 0.3 and 1.4 million, respectively (see Senate Inquiry submission #112: [4]). Most of these deaths were non-violent –” thus Iraq Body Count (see: [5]) currently estimates that 27,000-31,000 Iraqis have been killed violently post-invasion (out of an estimated total of 0.5 million post-invasion avoidable deaths). However, as set out explicitly in the Geneva Conventions, the Ruler is responsible for the Ruled –” and whether an infant is killed violently by bombs or bullets or dies non-violently through deprivation, the end result is the same and the culpability the same.

Racist, lying mainstream media will simply NOT report this horrendous, ongoing mass murder, mass infanticide and passive genocide in the name of UK-US “democratic imperialism” (actually democratic Nazism, democratic tyranny and UK-US state terrorism). The “politically correct racism” (PC racism) of Australian and Anglo-American mainstream media and politicians supports UK-US state terrorism through DENIAL of racism and IGNORING of horrendous UK-US Coalition war crimes.

Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. We are obliged to inform everyone about abuses of humanity. A detailed, formal complaint has been sent to the International Criminal Court charging the Coalition with war crimes in Occupied Iraq and Afghanistan (for the full text see Countercurrents, 21 December 2005: [6]).

Decent humanity should follow the shining example of American hero Hugh Thompson and resolutely inform humanity about all egregious abuses of humanity. Please inform everyone.