Don't Thank Me for My Service: My Viet Nam Awakening to the Long History of US Lies

Don't Thank Me for My Service: My Viet Nam Awakening to the Long History of US Lies

by S. Brian Willson


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My tour of duty in Viet Nam provided a toxic shock that awakened me to the extent to which I and generations of American citizens had thoughtlessly succumbed to the relentless barrage of lies and propaganda that infest our culture—from the military and political parties to religious institutions, academic and educational institutions, sports, fraternal and professional associations, the scientific community, the economic system, and all our entertainment—that seek to rationalize our country’s otherwise inexplicable and morally repulsive behavior around the world and at home.

US American history reveals a unifying theme: prosperity for a few through expansion at any cost, to preserve the “exceptional” American Way of Life (AWOL). This has been structurally guided and facilitated by our nation’s founding documents, including the US Constitution. From the beginning, the US was envisaged as a White male supremacist state serving to protect and advance the interests of private and commercial property, and this course has never been reversed, though the 1960s witnessed multiple aligned social movements.

The US-waged war in Viet Nam was not an aberration, but one of hundreds of examples in a long pattern of brutal exploitation. A quick review of the empirical record reveals close to 600 overt military interventions by the US into dozens of countries since 1798, almost 400 since the end of World War II alone, and thousands of covert interventions since 1947. This history overwhelms any rhetoric about the United States as a beacon of freedom and democracy, committed to promoting domestic and global equal justice under law.

These interventions have assured de facto subsidies for US American interests, regulated global markets on our terms, and provided us with access to cheap or free labor and to raw materials. Millions of people around the globe have been murdered with virtual impunity as a result of our interventions in a pattern that illustrates what Noam Chomsky calls the “Fifth Freedom”—the freedom to rob and exploit. This freedom is ultimately protected with use of force when a country or movement seeks to protect or advance the domestic needs and desires of its members or citizens for political freedom or economic wellbeing.

This book provides an invaluable tool for today’s activists, however they may be similarly shocked into wakefulness—whether by war, economic dispossession, or loss of the freedom to dissent.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780999874738
Publisher: Clarity Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/15/2018
Pages: 412
Sales rank: 248,973
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

S. BRIAN WILLSON commanded an AF combat security unit in Viet Nam. He has helped create a host of veterans' organizations, and as a lawyer critiques the US criminal justice system and its foreign policies. Willson received the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award at the Kennedy Library and Museum in 1992, and in addition to his JD, holds two honorary degrees (LL.D. and Ph.D.). Author of On Third World Legs and Blood on the Tracks, he is the subject of a 2016 documentary, "Paying the Price For Peace: The Story of S. Brian Willson". While peacefully blocking US weapons to Central America, he lost both legs, and now walks via prostheses.

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