Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:50 PM
KoKo (78,289 posts)
"Chuck Hagel on Murder in Vietnam" (what was he "Asked and Answered" in the Hearing?)
The Hagel Hearings
The Last Best Chance for the Truth About a Lost War and America’s War-Making Future
By Nick Turse
Chuck Hagel on Murder in Vietnam
"In Chuck Hagel our troops see a decorated combat veteran of character and strength -- they see him as one of their own," President Obama said as he nominated the former Republican senator from Nebraska to become the first former enlisted service member and first Vietnam veteran to serve as secretary of defense. He went on to call him “the leader that our troops deserve.”
Chuck Hagel and his younger brother, Tom, fought together in Vietnam in 1968. The two are believed to be the only brothers to have served in the same infantry squad in that war and even more remarkably, each ended up saving the other's life. “With Chuck, our troops will always know, just as Sergeant Hagel was there for his own brother, Secretary Hagel will be there for you,” the president said.
Largely unnoted was the falling out the brothers had over the conflict. After returning home, Tom began protesting the war, while Chuck defended it. Eventually, the Hagel brothers reconciled and even returned to Vietnam together in 1999. Years before, however, the two sat down with journalist and historian Myra MacPherson and talked about the war. Although their interpretations of what they had been through differed, it’s hard not to come away with the sense that both witnessed U.S. atrocities, and that Chuck Hagel’s vision of the war is far more brutal than most Americans imagine. That his experience of Vietnam would include such incidents should hardly be surprising, especially given the fact that Hagel served in the 9th Infantry Division under one of the most notorious U.S. commanders, Julian Ewell, known more colorfully as “the Butcher of the Delta.”
The Hagel brothers, MacPherson recounts in her moving and important history Long Time Passing: Vietnam and the Haunted Generation, argued over whether American troops were “murdering” people. Chuck disagreed at first, pointing instead to the depredations of Vietnamese revolutionary forces. Tom reminded his brother of the CIA’s Phoenix Program which, with an estimated body count of more than 20,000 Vietnamese, too often turned murderous and was no less regularly used by corrupt Vietnamese government officials to settle personal grudges. “There was some of that,” Chuck finally granted.
Tom then raised an example that hit closer to home -- the time, after an enemy attack, when a sergeant from their unit took out his frustrations on a nearby orphanage. “Remember the orphanage, Chuck… That sergeant was so drunk and so pissed off that he crawled up on that track and opened up on that orphanage with a fifty-caliber machine gun,” Tom said.
MUCH MORE AT.........
3 replies, 1058 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
"Chuck Hagel on Murder in Vietnam" (what was he "Asked and Answered" in the Hearing?) (Original post)
Response to KoKo (Original post)
Sat Feb 2, 2013, 08:16 AM
Bluenorthwest (32,971 posts)
2. How does what the Hagel brothers exchange tell us about the two top subjects of discussion on
DU- Hagel and Sandy Hook?
“Remember the orphanage, Chuck… That sergeant was so drunk and so pissed off that he crawled up on that track and opened up on that orphanage with a fifty-caliber machine gun,” Tom said.
When Chuck started to object, MacPherson writes, his brother was insistent. “Chuck, you were there! Down at the bottom of the sandhill.” Skeptically, Chuck asked his brother if he was saying the sergeant had “slaughtered children in the orphanage.” Tom granted that he didn’t know for sure, “because none of us went in to check.” Chuck responded, “In any war you can take any isolated incident…”
Wow. And upon return, he supported the war and later voted to invade Iraq and people are telling me he is somehow opposed to war and slow to fight wars?
“Remember the orphanage, Chuck… Chuck, you were there!"
“In any war you can take any isolated incident…”
Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #2)
Sat Feb 2, 2013, 06:50 PM
KoKo (78,289 posts)
3. Look...I thought Hagel was the best that Obama would do. So, I sort of
favored him. My hope is that he's learned to listen to his BROTHER and will not be boxed into the PNAC view of things.