Book of The Century


Vietnam Veterans Against the War (1972). The Winter Soldier Investigation: An Inquiry into American War Crimes. Beacon Press. Unitarian Universalist Association. Boston



"Most "war crimes" are committed by people who feel they have some kind of permission for what they do-even to the point of feeling righteous-and who commonly regard their victims as less than human. Dehumanization provides the means of tolerating mass destruction or genocide. The psychic restrictions against the taking of human life that become a part of civilized man, cannot be called into play when those who are to be destroyed have been divested of their humanness." Crimes are committed by people. "Reflect, see what WE'VE become, Amerika; From Preface. Al Hubbard, Executive Secretary, VVAW'


Additional commentary:


"The historical and Biblical acceptance of rape down through the ages has brutalized the psyche of males brought up in this tradition. This is well illustrated in the account of Michael McCusker, a Marine sergeant who witnessed a gang rape in Vietnam. McCusker [7] tells of a rifle squad of nine men who entered a small village."

    "They were supposed to go after what they called a Viet Cong whore. They went into her village and instead of capturing her, they raped her-every man raped her. As a matter of fact, one man said to me later that it was the first time he had ever made love to a woman with his boots on. The man who led the platoon, or the squad, was actually a private. The squad leader was a sergeant but he was a useless person and he let the private take over his squad. Later he said he took no part in the raid. It was against his morals. So instead of telling his squad not to do it, because they wouldn't listen to him anyway, the sergeant went into another side of the village and just sat and stared bleakly at the ground, feeling sorry for himself. But at any rate, they raped the girl, and then, the last man to make love to her, shot her in the head."

"What is it in the American psyche that permits the use of the word 'love' to describe rape? And where the act of love is completed with a bullet in the head!?.  From: Body Pleasure and The Origins of Violence. The Futurist. April 1975