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 military mentality 
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i felt like we had a really good discussion going on today before our time was up. "remember mylai" was an eye-opener for me. i knew nothing of that massacre (can't say world history was ever one of my favorite subjects in school), and so possibly my thinking about it all is much more naive or maybe just plain un-educated on the topic. there is no history of military membership in my family--three older brothers and none of them ever considered the airforce, navy, or marines. what i'm trying to say is that it is difficult for me to see the massacre in any other light than as american soldiers ruthlessly attacking unarmed, innocent civilians. and i am that way simply because of my lack of exposure to that way of life, to that mentality. hank, i appreciated hearing your ideas about it all. a bit of an eye-opener for me to hear the other side of the argument after getting a, i think it's safe to say, biased account of what happened at Mylai. seems like all too often we don't get to hear both sides.

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Molly Flynn Peterson


Tue Jan 21, 2003 10:23 pm
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i sympathize with molly about not being previously exposed to what we learned about today. my history classes (placed out in high school, so i haven't had any here) did not touch on any such massacres in the various american war efforts. the only other american violation of the rules of war i can remember would be william tecumseh sherman in the civil war, blazing a 50 mile wide path of destruction across the south. and i'm sure what little i learned about it was taught because it was commited on our homeland.

i would be very interested in hearing reliable accounts of how other wars fought by the US were handled, and if our battles are faught as valiantly as we are led to believe.


Tue Jan 21, 2003 11:42 pm
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I agree with you Molly that we were really on our way to having a really good discussion regarding the video we saw in class today. I can say that I am not completely "clueless" about our military tactics because in my Social Issues and Ethics class last year we spent a lot of time learning about the School of America's (today known as the SOS). We were training mass murders and assasains and I learned a lot of disturbing things about that school. The SOS is just another prime example of the training and instinct to "kill" that becomes planted into soliders mind's (any soldier for that matter not just Americans). As disturbing as it is, are we to blame the soldiers for just doing there job or should there be a line between "doing your duties" and "living out your moral values". Another question can this even be separated when you're in war. Also thank you Hank for sharing your personal accounts with us! :P

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<3 Jennie Ingram


Wed Jan 22, 2003 4:45 pm
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I thought the video: Remember Mai Lai was absolutly horrible. I was really bothered by learning of such terrible killings of innocent people. It honesly made me almost cry. There was no purpose for such behavior. However, over the years, I think I have become a little less naieve. It's almost unfair to see such a narrow perspective of an event in History, and make decisions about the entire event, based on one side of the story! Like I said- there's no excuse for our Military's behavior- NONE. However, where's the other side of this brutal war? My mom's brother died fighting for our country in this war- and his death devistated the kindest, most loving, people in the world. No war is pretty- And it takes two sides to fight. I am against what happened in Mai Lai, but we can't always be so hard on our Military men who daily give up their family and even their life to fight for YOU. Don't take our freedom for granted- it was bought with the price of your fellow americans. We should disagree with this one instance, but never forget there are more things going on than we know about- so be careful when you judge.

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Lindsey Bennett


Fri Jan 24, 2003 9:48 am
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I thought the video: Remember Mai Lai was absolutly horrible. I was really bothered by learning of such terrible killings of innocent people. It honesly made me almost cry. There was no purpose for such behavior. However, over the years, I think I have become a little less naieve. It's almost unfair to see such a narrow perspective of an event in History, and make decisions about the entire event, based on one side of the story! Like I said- there's no excuse for our Military's behavior- NONE. However, where's the other side of this brutal war? My mom's brother died fighting for our country in this war- and his death devistated the kindest, most loving, people in the world. No war is pretty- And it takes two sides to fight. I am against what happened in Mai Lai, but we can't always be so hard on our Military men who daily give up their family and even their life to fight for YOU. Don't take our freedom for granted- it was bought with the price of your fellow americans. We should disagree with this one instance, but never forget there are more things going on than we know about- so be careful when you judge.

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Lindsey Bennett


Fri Jan 24, 2003 9:51 am
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I too, was disterbed by the video of the Mai Lai killings. I, like Lindsey was almost in tears at some parts of the video. I have family in the military and friends who have family members in the military so the topic itself brings up uneasy feelings for me. I think I'm not alone when I feel torn by wanting to be angry at all military tactics and by being proud to be an American and understanding that where we are today would not be so if there had not been military actions in the past. Plus, this pending war with Iraq brings up serious questions in my mind and more torn feelings. I wonder what we will be teaching our students in years down the road in terms of history and war.


Sat Jan 25, 2003 7:00 pm
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This is a touchy subject for me because I, like Christine, have a family members in the military. As much as I feel the need for the military and highly respect anyone who goes into the field, the more I learn about this country, the more I lose respect for it. We are supposed to be the world's superpower, so why can't we be a country that others can look up to? However, I know that if I lived somewhere else, I would probably learn things about those countries that I would be ashamed of as well. We all make mistakes; but what do we do now that we know about them?

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Julie Schmidt


Sun Jan 26, 2003 11:20 am
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Again- thank you Hank for your unique perspective. Although I wasnot not unaware of the massacre, which it was, a massacre, that occured in Mai Lai, I was deeply troubled by the images and heartbreak that the video documented. Although Mai Lai was a unique, inexcuseable, event, this is why our Vietnam Veterans are out on the streets, emotional disturbed or insane, or unable to recount the events that they witnessed in the Vietnam war. Each night they go to bed haunted by similar nightmares. To me this massacre represents to things. One-War is hell and should be avoided at all costs. All diplomatic means must be exhausted. I do not want my little brother, or on the larger scope a brother or sister of an "enemy" nation living with such grief and sorrow. Furthermore, it is easy to blindly follow directions, a type of group neurosis, where you simply do what you are told, or do not question the legitmacy of the command. I understand this is not the army(navy, whatever) creed, however, as civilians and educators we must do ourselves and teach our children to think critically, and object if neccessary. Our democracy and freedom depends on it.


Sun Jan 26, 2003 7:41 pm
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