Chris Hedges: a few extracts:

“The cries of the wounded North Vietnamese or Viet Cong soldiers after an ambush had to be swiftly silenced so he and his men could avoid detection. Compassion was a luxury they could not afford.

‘‘I would throw area grenades at the wounded until they were dead,’’ he said. ‘‘I remember in one firefight killing a man who crawled toward me with his legs blown off. It was not pretty.’’

“‘‘I violated the commandment ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill,’ ” he said. ‘‘Nothing will be gained by intellectualizing this. I killed other people. I took lives. It was exactly that. I became in Vietnam a professional killer. I was proud of what I could do.”

“The relationships you develop in a combat zone, the need to support your buddy, are essential for survival. You don’t care about national policy. You only care about the people you are with. The Army takes advantage of this. It trains you to think like this. The Army counts on bravery being reinforced by the urge to take care of your buddy.”



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