November 1, 2007
– FOLLOW HIS EXAMPLE 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.
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 massacre of Vietnamese villagers by US soldiers.
Thompson finally landed in the line of fire between Vietnamese civilians sheltering from menacing US soldiers. He confronted the senior US officer, ordered his men to shoot any US soldiers shooting at civilians 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 ONLY one US soldier – Lieutenant William Calley – for involvement in the massacre of 500 unarmed Vietnamese civilians at My Lai.
NEARLY 40 YEARS ON, 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)
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.
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: ).
Decent humanity should follow the shining example of American hero Hugh Thompson DFC and INFORM EVERYONE about all egregious abuses of humanity.
Dr Gideon Polya, a contributing editor to MWC News Magazine, published some 130 works in a 4 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003), and is currently writing a book on global mortality —
September 25, 2007
Men become lifelong friends under awful conditions
By Michael J. Ross
AMERICUS TIMES-RECORDER (AMERICUS, Ga.)
AMERICUS, Ga. — Retired Air Force Col. Fred Cherry and retired Navy Cmdr. Porter Halyburton both explained at a symposium Wednesday at the Rylander Theatre that their horrendous experience as cell mates in a prison of war (POW) camp in Vietnam forged a lasting and nurturing friendship to this very day.
Cherry and Halyburton ended up in the camp, when each of their fighter planes was shot down by ground artillery over Hanoi, Vietnam just within days of each other.
Cherry estimated that his aircraft was traveling about 700 miles per hour when he had to eject from the plane. He suffered several broken bones in his ankles and wrists and an injured shoulder because of the rough ejection, he explained.
Initially, Cherry and Halyburton weren’t jailed together at the “Hanoi Hilton” and didn’t know each other, even though they were both officers in the U.S. military.
The Vietnamese army interrogated both Cherry and Halyburton for months separately. Halyburton said each time he wouldn’t answer their questions, they would move him to a worse cell and living conditions. He said this particular punishment escalated about three times.
Halyburton said he was almost at his breaking point. He had been in solitary confinement and hadn’t spoken to a friendly face in months, when the Vietnamese decided to move him to the worse cell possible, so they thought.
He said guards threw him in another dark cell and yelled, “Take care of Cherry.” The Vietnamese thought it was the ultimate insult in 1965 for a Southern American white man to have to take care of a Southern American black man.
But Cherry and Halyburton both said that was the best thing the Vietnamese could have did for them at that point. Cherry was in a very dire condition from the wounds he had received from his airplane ejection.
Halyburton described how Cherry couldn’t move and hadn’t been allowed to bathe since his capture. Cherry’s captors had only given him the most basic of medical care, he remembered.
“Haly had to do everything for me. He even had to feed me and he never complained once,” Cherry recalled at the symposium. Finally, the doctors at the prison camp decided they were going to operate on Cherry’s injured shoulder.
But this operation only made his health drastically worse. Halyburton recalled that the doctors put a cast on Cherry from his waist to his neck with no padding or bandage on the incision.
Halyburton remembered that the cast was bound super tight and Cherry could hardly exhale or inhale and eat. He said the doctors finally treated Cherry for the infection, after Halyburton caused a lot of trouble and ruckus to get them to do anything.
Cherry said they removed the cast, dug out the infected flesh without any anesthesia and doused his entire upper body with gasoline to supposedly clean the wounds.
They both said the Vietnamese army tried to force them to make audio or written statements denouncing the war, but they wouldn’t.
Cherry said the Vietnamese figured that many American blacks wouldn’t enlist if the Vietnamese could use him as a propaganda tool. “They knew propaganda was the only possible way they could win they war,” Halyburton said about the Vietnamese.
The Vietnamese eventually separated Cherry and Halyburton, and Bill Robinson then became Cherry’s cell mate. Cherry revealed at the symposium that he was imprisoned in the Hanoi Hilton for 7 1/2 years.
But Cherry and Halyburton eventually reunited after captivity and when they returned to the States. Now, they are lifelong friends.
They both have revisited Hanoi decades after their release. Cherry and Halyburton have moved on with their lives and have no ill will or hatred toward Vietnam or its people, they explained.
Michael J. Ross writes for the Americus (ga.) Times-Recorder.
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 06/23/06
FILM PRESENTED: The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation will host a presentation of the 22-minute film "Twilight's Last Gleaming," about a Gold Star mother's search for her son, who has been missing in action in Vietnam for 30 years. The film will be introduced and discussed by its director, Paul Schneeberger of Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.WHEN and WHERE: At 11 a.m. Sunday, July 9, at the Vietnam Era Educational Center in Holmdel, which is adjacent to the PNC Bank Arts Center off Exit 116 of the Garden State Parkway.
WHO WILL BE THERE: Members of American Gold Star Mothers Inc., which is holding its annual convention in Mount Laurel from July 7 to July 11, will be special guests at the event.
WHAT IS A GOLD STAR MOTHER? Since the early days of World War I, a Blue Star displayed outside a family's home indicates they have a loved one serving with the U.S. military in a combat zone. If that family member is killed, the Blue Star is replaced with a Gold Star, to honor that person and his or her family for their supreme sacrifice.
In 1928, American Gold Star Mothers Inc. was established not only to provide comfort to mothers who had lost sons or daughters in warfare, but also to aid the men and women who served or were severely wounded during hostilities.
SERVICE: Following the film program, the American Gold Star Mothers Association will hold a special service at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial, featuring as guest speaker, Ambassador Feisal Amin Al-Istrabadi, a representative of Iraq to the United Nations.
IF YOU GO: Lecture attendees are asked to RSVP to (732) 335-0033. A donation of $5 per person is suggested.