SBS381 Turse Ch3, 4, &5 annotation miguel

Miguel Gonzalez
Dr. Tran/Shenk
Turse, N. (2013).Overkill. In Kill Anything That Moves; The Real American War in Vietnam (pp.
76-107). New York: Henry Holt and Company. (pp. 31).
This chapter in Turse book is a chapter that explains “overkill”. It explains what it was and what
it did, as well as the outcomes it had when it ended.
Overkill was an operation that was lethal and was meant to destroy. The United States army
had very lethal technology in their hands, which was described as just short of nuclear
weapons. The U.S basically used the villages in Vietnam, simply to test their weapons. This left
many innocent people dead, and the aftermath of this was as devastating. Many years later,
kids were still suffering the effects, because they would have cancer and other diseases. I think
that this was exactly the main point of this chapter, which was to explain that what the United
States did in Vietnam has had an effect many years after the war ended. Not only did it affect
the Vietnamese, but in some way it also affected the American soldiers in Vietnam, because
some suffer from regret and guilt from what they did during the war.
I personally believe that overkill was a big event during this war. Because of this many innocent
people died, and continued to die many years later. Also I think that the U.S knew what their
weapons were capable of, and knew that Vietnam in the future would be affected by it. For
example, Vietnam became a rice importer, and stopped being the exporter, all this due to the
bombings of the fields in Vietnam.
Turse, N. (2013).A Litany of Atrocities. In Kill Anything That Moves; The Real American War in
Vietnam (pp. 108-143). New York: Henry Holt and Company. (pp. 35).
Chapter 4 of Turse’s book is, just like the previous chapters, all about killings and murders from
the American soldiers towards the Vietnamese people. This chapter specifically focuses on the
attacks on villages and the destruction of it all.
In this chapter race and ethnicity are brought up in every aspect. Again in these killings,
explained by Turse, dehumanization of the Vietnamese people plays a big role. The American
soldiers saw the Vietnamese people as animals, all this because their superiors brainwashed
them into believing it. American soldiers would go into villages and destroyed them by burning
down the houses, and by killing women and children. Many times these soldiers would take
killing as a game and would have “fun” doing it. The fact that they took it as a game shows, the
similarity of when men hunt animals as a game. This shows how race and ethnicity played a big
role during the Vietnamese war.
I personally think that the biggest factor for American soldiers to murder and kill innocent
people, was the fact that in their training for the war, they were taught that Vietnamese people
were animals rather than humans. The only ones to blame for the extreme violence in this war,
was the United States of America.
Turse, N. (2013).Unbounded Misery. In Kill Anything That Moves; The Real American War in
Vietnam (pp. 144-191). New York: Henry Holt and Company. (pp. 47).
Chapter 5 focuses mostly on the lives and deaths of children and women. It explains what
children had to do to survive as well as what women had to do.
It starts off by graphically explaining how Americans would go to villages and destroy them.
Then it talks about what children went through with American Soldiers, and how the
Vietnamese women were forced to become prostitutes. This again shows the dehumanization
of these people. The American’s would do whatever they wanted to these people because they
were defenseless. The “race superiority” that the American’s believed they had, was what led
them to treat these people really bad. Turse explains how after the killings of many people, the
US would compensate the people who lost someone with money or food. This again shows
how racism and discrimination towards the Vietnamese people was extreme. It shows that the
American’s believed that the dead people had a prize, which was often $30 for women and
men, and half of that for children.
I am personally disgusted by these atrocities, and although I wasn’t part of this, I can’t help
feeling embarrassed by this country. They always have sold the image of America being the
best country in the world, the place where everyone is free, but my question is, at what cost do
we have freedom? At the cost of many innocent lives lost through time in war.
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