Reporter: A Memoir Reporter discussion

Is Hersh too sympathetic with his description of US soldiers in Vietnam who committed atrocities as still being "good boys"?

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message 1: by Bookish (last edited Dec 16, 2018 02:42PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bookish Hersh's affordance of humanity to these soldiers - in effect war criminals - is disturbing to me. He describes them as victims of a system that dehumanizes the Vietnamese which is true to a certain extent but where do you then draw the line with regards to individual morality. Is a soldier who bayonets an infant a victim? Or a soldier that rapes and kills?

Daniel Yes. This is a common theme among even American leftists who still have the ingrained biased to try not to blame individual soldiers and rather the political leaders in charge, despite knowing the heinous actions involved. This is something even I struggle with a little bit, albeit less and less every day.

Bookish It was hard for me to read especially since its a point he maintains pretty much consistently. And its equally hard to listen to when I watch him give interviews. I can’t remember if he makes such allowances for American soldiers who comitted war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan ... even his bits about McChrystal is a blur ...

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