No Gun Ri

The killing of Korean women and children by Piccaso
A letter has come to light, written by the American ambassador to Korea in 1950, which details the American intention to shoot Korean refugees should they approach American troops. This letter not only led to the next day’s massacre of hundreds of civilian at No Gun Ri, but documents what can now be understood as a systemic policy of shooting civilians. The US Army shrugged off such accusations at the time. This letter was declassified thirty years later, and was overlooked in the department review fifty years later.

Shall we extrapolate about the US military’s actions these days?

Most recently we’re learning about the US massacre of 24 civilians in Haditha: family members being executed at point-blank range by a handful of enraged marines. First there was a coverup, then a denial. Now the atrocity is being described as isolated. The press is even playing along -backhandedly- by asking if Haditha will become Iraq’s My Lai.

Such a comparison would be correct if we remember that My Lai was actually one among many US atrocities in South East Asia. Such massacres of civilians were policy in Vietnam. The Wintersoldiers tried to tell us about it then, we now know about Tiger Troop and their death squad missions.

American Iraq War veterans are already telling us about the common military response to IEDs: shoot at everyone and everything in the vicinity. Unembedded reporters have been recording since the invasion began about American soldiers breaking into houses and shooting the men, women and children inside. As was done in Haditha.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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