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Rape in military simply can’t be dismissed

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A few days ago, I read a letter that essentially defended military rape as a historical providence of war. I assume the writer was trying to make a valid point about the brutality of combat and it’s dehumanization of soldiers. The point was tied in with the strategy of the kill ratio mentality imposed by the Vietnam War.

It appeared, probably contrary to the writer’s intention, to imply that infantry soldiers and Marines in that war condoned rape, bestial behavior, and unwarranted murder of civilians. The NVA and VC buried the enemy alive, skinned them alive, castrated them, slit open the bellies of village leaders, etc.

As a former 1st Lt., Infantry, Ranger, and Vietnam, I never saw the “kill them all” (rape them all) perpetrated as a response to the odious kill ratio orientation to keep the politicians sacrosanct in their betrayals of the soldiers and Marines.

I did see Americans equated to numbers, fractions of numbers, while resting in body bags. I did experience, with other combat soldiers and Marines, the disgusting rejection by many of the American populace, for decades, because of their ignorance and shallowness. But, I did not witness soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division committing rape and murder. We were trained killers, doing so, in proxy for the American people, but we were not murderers and rapists of innocents.

Do not defend rape and murder on my watch, killing, by necessity, yes. And, do not absolve the American people of their culpability in the collateral damage in wars.

Dr. Thomas Sims

Sackets Harbor

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