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My Lai Massacre
The Milgram Experiment, Philip Zimbardo, and Understanding the My Lai Massacre
In the twentieth century the United States military was engaged in numerous wars and the U.S. government depicted these wars as forces of good, freedom, and morality (Americans) fighting against forces of evil, tyranny, and barbarism (America's enemies). The realities of American military behavior in these wars, however, did not always justify such a simplistic characterization. American troops at times committed war crimes and atrocities such as My Lai massacre in Vietnam and sexualized torture against Iraqi inmates at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. hen these crimes were revealed to the public, American civilian and military leaders tried to minimize their significance by suggesting that what happened at My Lai and Abu Ghraib were isolated incidents committed by a "few bad apples." But the "few bad apples" thesis does not fully explain the My Lai and…
Behrens, Laurence, and Rosen, Leonard, J. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. 11th edition. Boston: Longman-Pearson, 2011. Print.
"My Lai Massacre." History Learning Site, n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2011
Powell, reported that "relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent."
However, photographer Ron Haeberle had witnessed the massacre and the pictures he subsequently showed were of a nature to both shock the public opinion and clearly present the facts. On the other hand, Ron Ridenhour, a soldier engaged in Vietnam, also found out about the details of the massacre and wrote all these in a letter that he sent to several governmental officials. It was enough to build a momentum for an investigation and a reaction at a governmental level.
The first serious investigation was headed by Colonel William Wilson, who interrogated Ron Ridenhour on the contents of his letter. Subsequently, warrant officer Thompson was also interrogated on details of the massacre as he had witnessed it from his helicopter and on the ground. His testimony included evaluations on the number of the killed individuals that he…
1. Linder, Doug. An Introduction to the My Lai Courts-Martial. On the Internet at http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mylai/Myl_intro.html.Last retrieved on January 5, 2008
2. The My Lai Massacre. On the Internet at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam /trenches/my_lai.html' target='_blank' REL='NOFOLLOW'>
Vietnamese Village of My Lai Massacre on March 16, 1968
This essay will discuss the events that took place on March 16, 1968 in the Vietnamese village of My Lai. e will explore the days prior to the massacre and what role obedience played in the actions of the soldiers. e will explain the results and concepts learned in experiments conducted by Stanley Milgram in the Perils of Obedience.
e will investigate why these experiments are crucial to the understanding why these men executed hundreds of unarmed civilians.
The My Lai Massacre
Obedience is as basic an element in the structure of social life as one can point to. Some system of authority is a requirement of all communal living, and it is only the person dwelling in isolation who is not forced to respond, with defiance or submission, to the commands of others. For many people, obedience is a…
Milgram, Stanley. Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View http://www.mind-trek.com/reports/misc/obedienc.htm
Milgram, Stanley. The Perils of Obedience. http://www.gci-net.com/users/j/johnw/PerilsOfObedience.html
My Lai Massacre. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam /trenches/mylai.html' target='_blank' REL='NOFOLLOW'>
This intervention by U.S. In a foreign country, in literal words, changed the course of history for the whole world and still its outcomes are yet, to be decided.
The attack on U.S. By Al-Qaeda, on 11th September, 1998, changed the course of American paradigm of Muslims and gave a strong cause for George Bush's "ar against Terrorism." here thousands of American citizens died in Twin Towers, so did the global efforts of maintaining peace between estern and Muslim countries.
Right after, this attack, U.S. invaded Afghanistan initially through Missile attacks and then landed its troops into this land of rocks, physically. Thousands of American soldiers were deputed there and made to fight the mujahids of Al-Qaeda who were rather well-versed with the seasonal feasibility of their land.
Therefore, initially, U.S. army did faced a lot of difficulties, mainly because of weather and foreignness of the war field. However with…
Bean, Lowell John. "Mukat's People: The Cahuilla Indians of Southern California." Berkeley, California: University of California Press.1972
Bean, Lowell John. "Cahuilla," in California" pp. 575 -- 587. Handbook of North American Indians, William C. Sturtevant, general editor, vol. 8. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 1978
Bean, Lowell John, Sylvia Brakke Vane, and Jackson Young. " the Cahuilla Landscape:
Brown, Glenn . "Chapter XX Sculpture." History of the United States Capitol. Government Printing Office. 2007
Dr. King devoted considerable space in his letter to explaining the difference between just and unjust laws. He wrote that a just law is manmade but follows moral law or the law of God. Unjust laws, he wrote, are any that degrade human personality. He further stated, "An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself." He could not have explained the difference any more simply or beautifully. It is essentially a restatement of the Golden ule, whereby people are expected to treat others as they themselves would want to be treated.
Dr. King explained in the letter that breaking the law was a last resort. "It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city's white power structure left the Negro community with…
Aeschliman, M.D. (2005). Enduring documents and public doctrines: Martin Luther King's
"letter from a Birmingham Jail" after forty years. Journal of Education 186(1), pp. 29-46.
"Calley apologizes for role in My Lai massacre." (2009). Army Times 08/21/2009.
King, M.L.., Jr. (1963). Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Retrieved May 17, 2011 from http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html
Tim O’Brien is the author of the collection of short stories, The Things They Carried. A renowned American writer, William Timothy O’Brien became famous for writing Vietnam War centered novels. Aside from The Things They Carried, many recognize O’Brien for Going after Cacciato. (Herzog 10) Born in Austin, Minnesota on October 1, 1946, O’Brien spent most of his childhood in Worthington. Being there provided him with a chance at developing both his imagination and artistic sensibility. (Herzog 10) Furthermore, the location became a model for some of the stories in The Things They Carried. One of the main reasons he wrote this collection of short stories was due to the ignorance he considered existed among the general public about the Vietnam War. With most of the characters being semi-autobiographical, O’Brien provides some basis for understanding of what the Vietnam War was really like and thus demonstrating the sense of uncertainty…
However, according to aller, morality is founded on the concept of duty (64). Indeed, critical to deontological ethics is the ability of an individual to do his duty. Duty in this case may be regarded to as the general rule in regard to morality. In war time situations, this includes self-evident rules including protection of unarmed civilians.
Further, it is important to note that the jus in bello concept (morals adhered to at the time of war) which is rather deontological declares that war must be fought with the right intention. Hence in that regard, military tactics which are inherently immoral like the killing of civilians at the time of war are unacceptable.
In one of his lessons (part of the eleven lessons), McNamara states that "proportionality should be a guideline in war." In my opinion, the principle of proportionality which is largely embedded in not only the national but…
Ruggiero, Vincent. Thinking Critically About Ethical Issues. McGraw-Hill, 2007.
Waller, Bruce. Consider Ethics: Theory, Readings, and Contemporary Issues. Pearson Education, 2004.
The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the life of Robert S. McNamara. Dir. Morris Errol. Perf. Robert McNamara. Sony Pictures Classics, 2003. DVD.
Powell was unanimously approved by the Senate and became the first African-American to hold that position. His service as Secretary of State is a clear example of his reticence, yet readiness, for war. hile Powell is known for "the so-called Powell doctrine -- that U.S. military power only be used in overwhelming strength to achieve well-defined strategic national interests," (answers.com 3) he made a famous speech to the United Nations in which he voiced support for the war in Iraq. Although he clashed with the often "hawkish" members of the Bush hite House such as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, "one of Powell's best known moments as secretary of state was his speech last year  to the U.N. Security Council in which he made a case for invading Iraq" (King 3). The initial invasion of Iraq was billed as necessary by the Bush hite House because of the threat…
Academy of Achievement. "Colin Powell Biography." January 11, 2006. http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/pow0bio-1
America's Promise. "General Powell's Message to America." 2006. http://www.americaspromise.org/WhyHere.aspx?id=124
Answers.com. "Colin Powell." 2006. http://www.answers.com/topic/colin-powell
King, John; Koppel, Andrea; Malveaux, Suzanne; Labotte, Elise. "Powell resigns with three other Cabinet secretaries." http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/11/15/powell/
His exorcism begins in the return to Vietnam and his final view of the doomed war. As he was first in, he is among the last out as the North Vietnamese take Saigon.
The postscript was published in 1996 and details some of the anxieties Caputo experienced while writing the memoir and the difficulties he had handling his fame and notoriety after its publication. The author on his experiences that, "My mind shot back a decade, to that day we had marched into Vietnam, swaggering, confident, and full of idealism. e had believed we were there for a high moral purpose. But somehow our idealism was lost, our morals corrupted, and the purpose forgotten (ibid., p. 345)." This is a profound change in his perception of the war when he first came to Vietnam in 1965.
The moral conflict plays through the entire book. The personal choice for him was…
Caputo, Philip. A Rumor of War. New York, NY: Holt Paperbacks, 1996. Print.
American esponse to Vietnamese War
Twenty five years and more have passed since the United States officially withdrew its forces and involvement in Vietnam. Not since the civil war had the country been so divided and separated in the political and social opinions. Almost every family in America was in some way affected, losing husbands, sons, friends and daughters. More than 100,000 American soldiers were killed and those who made it back to the homeland suffered extreme mental and physical trauma and someone them still do. A lot of the war veterans were so traumatized and treated with disrespect in their own country that they ended up taking their own lives, while most of them ended up on streets begging for a loose change.
American esponse to the Vietnamese War
However the effect of the war on the Vietnamese people was even more drastic, by the time Saigon was lost…
Anderson, David L. (2002). Columbia Guide to the Vietnam War.
Cable, Larry. (1991). Unholy Grail: The U.S. And the Wars in Vietnam.
Duiker, William J. (1996). The Communist Road to Power in Vietnam.
Mitchell K. Hall. (2007). The Vietnam War; short survey. Pages168.
Milgram's Obedience Study
Milgram's1 obedience study conducted in 1961 and 1962 examined the response of individuals to outright commands. The experiment conducted at Yale University has become one of the most controversial experiments ever conducted. The experiment revealed the tremendous amount of pain that human beings were capable of placing on other human beings when commanded to do so by an authority figure.
Milgram conducted a total of 20 experiments involving 1000 participants. Participants were told that the study would examine the effect of punishment on learning. They were studied in groups of two, one individual was the "teacher" and the other was the "learner." "The learner was led to an adjoining room and strapped into a chair that is wired to a wall to an electric shock machine."2 The "teacher" was then told to sit in front of the machine which had switches marked with different voltage levels. The…
Myers, David G., Psychology. (New York: Worth Publishers, 1995), 623-625.
Stanley Milgram, "The Stanley Milgram Website." [home page available online]; available at http://www.stanleymilgram.com/milgram.html
Stanley Milgram (1933-1984) was a social psychologist who conducted obedience experiments.
David G. Myers, Psychology. (New York: Worth Publishers, 1995), 623.
Vietnam War: Its History and Harmful Effects
The Vietnam War is considered as one of America's failure to promote its containment policy in Southeast Asia during the latter 1950s until 1970s. The Vietnam War is a military conflict between South and North Vietnam during the period of 1959-1975, wherein the U.S. had actively participated and supported South Vietnam against the North Vietnamese, who are considered supporters of Communism.
Communism plays a big part for the escalation of and participation of U.S. In the Vietnam War. America's Containment Policy in Southeast Asian nations was implemented right after World War II, wherein the spread of Communism was prevented by fighting the elements that support and spread Communist principles and beliefs, as well as actively participating in a military arms struggle for the cause of Communism. The U.S. containment policy is implemented during Dwight Eisenhower's term s president of the U.S., wherein the…
The importance of accountability in the United States' military has come under fire in recent weeks with the appearance of accusations that American soldiers have tortured and abused Iraqi captives at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. hile accusations of military misconduct are not new, the abuses in Abu Ghraib have ignited a great deal of discussion about the accountability of the U.S. military. The U.S. Army has already made recommendations to discipline lower-ranking officers and Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the officer in charge of the Abu Ghraib prison. Taken together, these recommendations show that the U.S. military is holding itself accountable for abuses according to the Geneva conventions. Such accountability is essential in maintaining the moral credibility of the actions of the U.S. military, as well as ensuring that the military acts in accordance with the principles of democracy.
In the past weeks, American soldiers have been accused…
Aceves, William J. Investigating war crimes: The struggle for accountability hits home. The San Diego Union-Tribune, November 4, 1999, Thursday. 31 May 2004. http://www.kimsoft.com/1997/nogun12.htm
CNN.com. Former Iraq prison head suspended. Tuesday, May 25, 2004 Posted: 10:39 PM EDT (0239 GMT). 31 May 2004. http://www.cnn.com/2004/U.S./05/25/karpinski.iraq.ap/index.html
hether it was images of a burning monk, a policeman shooting a person in the head, or a child running naked down a highway, (Loewen 246-48) controversial images seem to be left out of certain texts in the hope that the image of America will not be tarnished by its past actions.
In spite of these efforts, some textbooks have been published recently that take a more objective view at American history, one of which is Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. Instead of glossing over the conflict in Vietnam, Zinn presents his readers with a view of the war that is as complex as the war itself. He does not apologize for America's actions, nor does he attempt to omit embarrassing episodes, but successfully presents the reader with the objective facts; mainly that America was fighting a war it could not win. hile many other textbooks…
Loewen, James W. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History
Textbook Got Wrong. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2007. Print.
Zinn, Howard. A People's History of the United States. New York: Harper, 2010. Print
At the same time, the style is expected to give the reader an idea of what is happening, and that too in a more refined version. In his language there are poetic references for the brutality and masculinity of war as feminine features. He has talked about the "star shaped hole" and this reminds most about the American flag as also the expectation of the country to kill and destroy for the country.
At the same time, the language is graphic enough to indicate the bloodshed that is going on all around. All combined these bring out the emotion draining nature of war. These probably reflect that O'Brien probably could not come to terms with war, which was expected of him, but was not possible due to the voice of his conscience. The sum total is that he was able to match the image of being a part of the…
Dreilinger, Danielle. Tim O'Brien: coming in from the cold. Sing Out! The Folk song Magazine. Winter, 2004. Retrieved at http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1197/is_4_47/ai_111695567Accessed on 30 May, 2005
Piwinski, David. J. My Lai, Flies, and Beelzebub in Tim O'Brien's in the Lake of the Woods. Retrieved at http://www.wlajournal.com/12_2/Piwinski.pdf . Accessed on 30 May, 2005
Timmerman, John. H. Tim O'Brien and the Art of the True War Story: 'Night March' and 'Speaking of Courage' - Critical Essay. Twentieth Century Literature. Spring, 2000.
Retrieved at http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0403/is_1_46/ai_63591266Accessed on 30 May, 2005
How was the war similar or different to previous U.S. attempts at "containment"?
What were the key mistakes the U.S. made, in your view?
What where the key turning points of U.S. involvement?
Why did the U.S. lose the war?
How was the war similar or different to previous U.S. attempts at "containment"?
The policy or strategy if the U.S. of 'containment' originated during the formative years of te cold war and it aimed to defeat the Soviet Union by means of stopping it expanding its influence and the territories under its communist control. This was the primary reason for the conflict and the strain in relations between the two superpowers. This policy of containment by the U.S. found some success during the Korean War and the Cuban Missile Crisis. However, critics claim that the Vietnam War was a failure and not a true reflection of the policy…
Ferguson, Niall. Colossus. New York: Penguin Books, 2005. Print.
Hunt, Michael H. Lyndon Johnson's War. New York: Hill and Wang, 1996. Print.
LaFeber, Walter. America, Russia, And The Cold War, 1945-2006. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2008. Print.
Overholt, William H. Asia, America, And The Transformation Of Geopolitics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Print.
interventionism from the perspective of realism vs. idealism. Realism is defined in relationship to states national interests whereas idealism is defined in relation to the UNs Responsibility to Protect doctrine -- a doctrine heavily influenced by Western rhetoric over the past decade. By addressing the question of interventionism from this standpoint, by way of a case study of Libya and Syria, a picture of the realistic implications of "humanitarian intervention" becomes clear. Idealistically, humanitarian interventionism is a process that stops atrocities and establishes peace and prosperity. Realistically, interventionism allows Western businesses to reap the spoils of destabilization -- as has been seen in Libya with the Libyan oil fields being claimed by Western oil companies -- and as is being seen in Syria, with the threat of invasion bound to have detrimental effects on the construction of a new pipeline that bypasses the Turkey-Israel pipeline. Syria also presents itself as…
'Violent chaos': Libya in deep crisis 2 years since rebels took over', 2013, RT, 26 Aug.
Available from . [24 Aug 2013].
Weiner, T 2008, Legacy of Ashes, Anchor Books, NY.
More often than not, the plan of containment has been used to describe U.S. foreign policy. It is equally frequently traced back to the achievements of President Truman with regard to the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
In 1950, there was a shift in foreign U.S. policy after President Truman moved from passive to active containment by signing the top-secret policy plan NSC-68. It took a much more drastic approach towards the spread of Communism, which according to the new twist, claimed that Russia was en route for the domination of the world. It should be noted however that the doctrine had some major weaknesses and was repeatedly subject to contradictory interpretations. This may have led several other presidents and policy makers to toy with it at will. It could also very well explain some of the many long involvements of the U.S. In diverse wars and…
7 Michael O'Malley, "The Vietnam War and the Tragedy of Containment."
ole of Media in Vietnam
There can be various reasons for a nation to get involved in war and conflict of cultures is considered to be the major reason. Silence can be men's greatest enemy and history is evident that many wars are fought to break vicious circle of silence, pain and agony. It is not easy for humans to get out of their comfort zone and raise their voice against the injustice, unethical practices and even government policies. When a situation comes where individuals realize that human spirit no longer existed and their self-esteem is being engulfed by the so called principals of justice in the hands of law; this point is the verge of tolerance, forbearance and moderation and ultimately gives rise to uncertainty and turbulence.
Nations are in continuous thirst of power, territorial usufruct and control over resources to gain economic control. In this battle of power…
Donohue, G, Tichenor, P, & Olien, C. (1995). A Guard Dog Perspective on the Role of Media. Journal of Communication, 45(2), 115 -- 132.
Halberstam, D, Sheehan, N, & Arnett, P. (1996). Once upon a distant war. Vintage Books: NY.
Hallin, D. (1984). The media, the war in Vietnam, and political support: a critique of the thesis an oppositional media. The Journal of Politics, 46, 1-24.
King, L. (1992). A Time to Break Silence. Retrieved June 16, 2011 from http://www.deanza.edu/faculty/swensson/king.html