Friday, January 13, 2006

Death of an American Hero

by Robert Parry at

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In one of the darkest moments of modern American history – on March 16, 1968, in the Vietnamese village of My Lai – Thompson landed his helicopter between rampaging U.S. soldiers and a group of terrified Vietnamese villagers to save their lives.
Thompson ordered his helicopter door gunner, Lawrence Colburn, to shoot the Americans if they tried to harm the Vietnamese. After a tense confrontation, the soldiers backed off.
For siding with Vietnamese civilians over his American comrades, Thompson was treated like a pariah. He was shunned by fellow soldiers, received death threats for reporting the war crime, and later was denounced by one congressman as the only American who should be punished for My Lai.


The word "hero" gets big play these days. It seems that you can get called a hero for just doing your job, for instance. Probably the worst misuse of the word comes when it's applied to victims of a bad situation or an accident, as if we should venerate being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe it's when we idolize false heroics, like when some fraud gets landed on a carrier deck and struts around with a codpiece.
To me a legitimate hero sizes up a situation and at considerable risk takes action to prevent tragedy. I heard about this incident but didn't know the guy's name. He was a hero.

And then there's this: Revenge Of The Mutt People

"Lots of Americans don't seem to mind having a pack of young American pit bulls savage some flyblown desert nation, or running loose in the White House for that matter, as long as they are our pit bulls protecting Wall Street and the 401-Ks of the upper middle class."


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