A nation-state version of a psychopath, the US refuses to give up its addiction to bombing innocent people. In just over a month, it’s bombed Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan – and shows no signs of developing a conscience.
Kill anything that moves
March 15, 1968 was a normal day in America. The sun was shining. The birds were chirping. Race riots in Mississippi were entering their fifth day or so. And at the other end of the globe, in Vietnam, soldiers of the Americal Division’s Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, were being briefed by their commanding officer, Captain Ernest Medina, about the exploits of the next day, which would later be dubbed the “My Lai massacre” – where 500 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were systematically butchered in over four hours, not counting a lunch break the soldiers took in the middle of the carnage. The orders were clear and explicit: the soldiers were to kill every single human being, burn all houses, kill all animals, destroy all food supplies and poison all wells.
As the briefing progressed, one incident stuck in the mind of artillery forward observer James Flynn, which he would recall years later. A soldier, whose name has been lost to history, expressed some apprehension about the wide-ranging nature of the orders. “Are we supposed to kill women and children?” he asked naively.
“Kill everything that moves,” came the reply.
Kill everything that moves. This same phrase would be repeated almost verbatim two years later by none other than Henry Kissinger himself while relaying US leader Richard Nixon’s orders: “A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves.”