“The title of Nick Turse’s brilliant history, Kill Anything That Moves, was a commanding officer’s response to a soldier’s question, “Are we supposed to kill women and children?”

The perspective that Turse brings to this history is truly a gift to public discourse. “Never having come to grips with what our country did during the Vietnam war,” he says, “we see its ghost arise anew with every successive intervention.” In the conclusion, he asks questions that offer a means to our understanding its full implications, and other wars that followed: “Was Iraq the new Vietnam? Or was that Afghanistan? Do we see ‘light at the end of the tunnel?’ Are we winning ‘hearts and minds’? Is ‘counterinsurgency’ working? Are we applying ‘the lessons of Vietnam’? What are those lessons anyway?”

An obvious answer to these questions might be that those responsible for US foreign policy never met a war they didn’t like. In spite of that fact, as Andrew Bacevich said, the Pentagon hasn’t won a war since 1945.
One wishes that every American citizen might read “Kill Everything That Moves,” and take to heart its account of a brutal, unnecessary war and the evil that we were responsible for…