Sometimes news stories come across my computer screen and I really don't have any way to process them other than looking blankly at my screen and then taking a nice strong drink of bourbon. This is one of those stories.
The BBC is reporting that as mass murderer is sorry for his actions
The US army officer convicted for his part in the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War has offered his first public apology, a US report says.It's nice to see that after his terrible ordeal watching TV at home for a few years followed by a completely normal life for several decades, he's a reformed man and has found the courage to apologize, not only to the families of the victims but also to his fellow perpetrators....
"There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened," Lt William Calley was quoted as saying by the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
He was addressing a small group at a community club in Columbus, Georgia.
Calley, 66, was convicted on 22 counts of murder for the 1968 massacre of 500 men, women and children in Vietnam.
"I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry," the former US platoon commander said on Wednesday.
He was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the killings in 1971. Then-US President Richard Nixon commuted his sentence to three years' house arrest.
But Calley insisted that he was only following orders, the paper reported.
He broke his silence after accepting a friend's invitation to speak at the weekly meeting of the Kiwanis Club, a US-based global voluntary organisation.
At the time of the killings, the US soldiers had been on a "search and destroy" mission to root out communist fighters in what was fertile Viet Cong territory.
Although the enemy was nowhere to be seen, the US soldiers of Charlie Company rounded up unarmed civilians and gunned them down.
When the story of My Lai was exposed, more than a year later, it tarnished the name of the US army and proved to be a turning point for public opinion about the Vietnam War.
Just imagine I built a big brick wall around myself so I could scream loud enough for this sort of news story. You see, after reading something like this, I can't believe old Television shows like The A-Team.
"Plot: A group of Iraq War veterans looks to clear their name with the U.S. military, who suspect the four men of committing a crime for which they were framed"After reading a story like this it only makes one wonder how much shit do you have to stir up before you're ever faced with a situation of being out of their good grace?
I sure hope Calley's sudden change of heart and attempt to rewrite history doesn't mean he has cancer or something and is about to die. I'd perfere he had a few good years of suffering for the terrible shit he committed. It would be even more perfect if his motivation to come forward involved finding Jesus and forgiving himself for all that he did with the blood of his savior. But that's wishful thinking. I mean, he's still making excuses as to why he did it:
But Calley insisted that HE VAS ONLY FOLLOWING ORDERS MEIN FUHRER!!!, the paper reported.I wonder at what point C company received the order to carve their initials into the corpses of the women they raped? You'd think that would cause their OC to pause for a second, right? I'm sure that if you weren't claiming scalps it would be hard for the government to give out medals, right? It's sort of like the way Belgium accounted for military actions in the Congo.
The truly horrible thing about all this is that there was pro-Calley bumper stickers and songs back when he was convicted of this shit. Many in America were outraged by Calley's sentence; Georgia's governor Jimmy Carter instituted "American Fighting Man's Day" and asked Georgians to drive for a week with their lights on. Then US president Richard Nixon commuted his sentence to three years' house arrest. Nixon did this in response to the public outrage, if you can believe that shit. And of course Nixon was pardoned, surely making Nixon one of the worst human beings who ever lived.
On the flip side, some black guy gets life for a third strike of stealing a candy bar and is still in jail. How about that case where one stole a few slices of pizza and got life cause it was his third strike? Or a golf club? Or a couple of videotapes? Yes, these all happened.
Anyone recall that story about that black kid who got lief in prison for smoking a joint while on probation for attempted robbery (Attempted because he got remorseful while mugging the guy and didn't take his money) and then the same judge who convicted the black kid let a white guy who was the son of an influential preacher walk after being caught with a shitload of cocaine while on probation for murdering his gay lover by shooting him in the ass.
I seriously want to just shoot myself to the moon and far away from this society sometimes. I guess it's all about the likelihood of re-offending. The gay cokehead isn't very likely to murder someone again where as the black kid may smoke another joint and society has to be protected from that...
His whole apology just comes off as something terrible. I couldn't have pictured it any less sincere than if he said it like this:
You know what? My bad, dudes. My bad.
This fucker isn't sorry. Hell, I love how the article puts quotes on "Sorry". Way to take away any and all meaning the words had in them by doing that shit. I can't decide if this whole action is better or worse than him not giving an apology. I suppose I'd say that this is roughly equivalent to no apology at all. They're always sorry for "What happened", never for what they did .
"I am sorry that some people felt offended when they heard the word 'nigger' coming out of my mouth"
"I deeply regret that Mr King's actions caused his head to repeatedly come into contact with my baton"
"lives were lost"
"mistakes were made"
"lessons were learned"
The passive voice is, morally speaking, the most despicable abuse of the English language in modern times. Well, at least right up there with the constant use of LOL and all the other internet catch phrases I wish to punch people through the monitor screen for.
Or perhaps there's some slim chance that this could be of some good. Maybe it will make American soldiers think twice about genociding some peeps after reading this piece. Ha.. yeah, sorry, that was me wishful thinking again. I'll try not to do that anymore. If anything I can already hear the armed forces mentality:
"Hey sarge, let's murder those sand niggers!"
"I dunno, lieutenant, there could be consequences..."
"Yeah, you're right...three years of chilling at home posting on stormfront and playing X-box, just like that mai tai dude!"
"Fuck yeah, Let's Roll! (tm)"
I suppose I shouldn't be expecting that apology from the Iraqi vets anytime soon. Maybe at least another 40 years before we see any sort of apology for Iraq. I'm sure our kids and our grandkids will love us for the choices we're making today. They can look back at history and see how the US gave medals to the people like the crew of the ship that shot down an Irani airliner and killed everyone on board. Yup, that's protecting ARE freedom, alright..