The Last Child of My Lai

Pressure Drops

Two Vietnamese boys, Truong Bon and Truong Nam, on the road to My Lai 4 moments before they were shot and killed. Photo: Ron Haeberle (Library of Congress).

Around 11:30 on March 16, 1968, Captain Ernest Medina ordered a ceasefire of US troops under his command in the south Vietnamese village of My Lai 4. After nearly four hours of gunfire, there was silence. There was silence, even though the order only applied to American soldiers. There was silence because none of the Viet Cong in the village were firing back. There was silence because the Viet Cong had never fired on US troops that day. There was silence because there were no Viet Cong in the village that day. There was silence because most of the people who were in the village that day were dead.

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Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is An Orgy of Thieves: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents (with Alexander Cockburn). He can be reached at: or on Twitter @JeffreyStClair3

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