From Pinkville to Newtown

by ROBERT O. PILLSBURY

When I came back from Vietnam in early 1970, after spending a year in the jungle as an infantryman, the culture shock, the transition from carrying an automatic weapon for twelve months that became in essence an extension of yourself, in a foreign country that regarded us as invaders(The American War), to being placed on the defensive back home with constant media bombardment of   vapid half truths and misinformation about the realities of violence in manufactured war, I knew that I was indeed a stranger in a strange land.

With the explosion of information last week of the one man assault on an elementary school and the overkilling of twenty young children and six teacher-defenders and after several days of internalizing the specter, I was haunted by the memory of a massacre that happened ten months before I had my orders to be assigned to Co. C 1/20 11th Inf. Bde.  Those in my platoon that would talk about it referred to it as “Pinkville” (pink on a grid map is a population concentration).  The orders were to sweep through the village, a VC suspected stronghold, and “clear” it.  Supposedly, the villagers were warned in advance.  The discretion of Charlie Company’s leaders has been the subject of several books and articles over the years since.  When Life Magazine came out with the story of MyLai in October 1969, I saw the horror of that day that my platoon members could not talk about.  All the guys that I had known that knew about that horror had rotated home.  I felt  that I was guilty by association and knew that I would be regarded as a women and baby killer.

Today the media goes non-stop and rapid fire about assault weapons in the hands of deranged people killing with them.  The half truths are also killing.  I am reminded about something Jesus said to his disciples concerning the actions and words of hypocrites (hypocritical media) and public displays of praying, “But when you pray, go in to your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen”.  In other words,  stop machine-gunning non-stop shallow, half-felt public displays of sentiment that will effect nothing when it comes to dealing with what Michael Minch said in “American Thantos”, “The Variables of Violence” when he talked about “a culture of anomie”that doesn’t rouse us from our “comfortably numb”(Pink Floyd) state of “social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values, personal unrest, alienation, uncertainty, that comes form a lack of purpose or ideals”-Websters.  To borrow that “comfortably numb” again, speaking for myself, I think uncomfortably numb is more on the mark.

We all need to “go into our rooms” and pray that we gain the wisdom to see our culture for what it has become and stop the brain assault of the corrupt public media, see those childrens’ bullet torn bodies—and at the same time see what this culture exports in its “wars against terror”, with all the manufactured assault weapons falling into everybodies hands.

I’ve seen mangled bodies in combat—THIS SHIT HAS GOT TO STOP!

Robert O. Pillsbury is Vietnam combat veteran who was in Lt. Calley’s company. He can be reached at:  bpillsbury@routebeyond.com

 

 

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
August 03, 2015
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Atomic Era Turns 70, as Nuclear Hazards Endure
Nelson Valdes
An Internet Legend: the Pope, Fidel and the Black President
Robert Hunziker
The Perfectly Nasty Ocean Storm
Jack Dresser
The Case of Alison Weir: Two Palestinian Solidarity Organizations Borrow from Joe McCarthy’s Playbook
Ahmad Moussa
Incinerating Palestinian Children
Greg Felton
Greece Succumbs to Imperialist Banksterism
Binoy Kampmark
Stalling the Trans-Pacific Partnership: the Failure of the Hawai’i Talks
Ted Rall
My Letter to Nick Goldberg of the LA Times
Mark Weisbrot
New Greek Bailout Increases the Possibility of Grexit
Jose Martinez
Black/Hispanic/Women: a Leadership Crisis
Victor Grossman
German Know-Nothings Today
Patrick Walker
We’re Not Sandernistas: Reinventing the Wheels of Bernie’s Bandwagon
Norman Pollack
Moral Consequences of War: America’s Hegemonic Thirst
Ralph Nader
Republicans Support Massive Tax Evasion by Starving IRS Budget
Alexander Reid Ross
Colonial Pride and the Killing of Cecil the Lion
Suhayb Ahmed
What’s Happening in Britain: Jeremy Corbyn and the Future of the Labour Party
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas: Into the Void
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington
Mary Lou Singleton
Gender, Patriarchy, and All That Jazz
Robert Fantina
Israeli Missteps Take a Toll
Pete Dolack
Speculators Circling Puerto Rico Latest Mode of Colonialism
Ron Jacobs
Spying on Black Writers: the FB Eye Blues
Paul Buhle
The Leftwing Seventies?
Binoy Kampmark
The TPP Trade Deal: of Sovereignty and Secrecy
David Swanson
Vietnam, Fifty Years After Defeating the US
Robert Hunziker
Human-Made Evolution
Shamus Cooke
Why Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria Will Inflame the War Zone
David Rosen
Hillary Clinton: Learn From Your Sisters
Sam Husseini
How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life
Shepherd Bliss
Why I Support Bernie Sanders for President
Louis Proyect
Manufacturing Denial
Howard Lisnoff
The Wrong Argument
Tracey Harris
Living Tiny: a Richer and More Sustainable Future