How Many Tons of Bombs Were Dropped On Vietnam?
“Where have all the flowers gone?”
The numbers are incomprehensible. How is it that the U.S. could drop more than twice as many bombs on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia as were dropped on Europe and Asia in all of World War II? (Source: Libcom.org) Or more to the point, how were the Generals who were running the war so oblivious to the uselessness of dropping bombs to win this war? Why did it take so long for them to see that dropping bombs was futile?
More depressing still is the notion that U.S. manufacturers like Dow Chemical had R&D departments devoted to inventing increasingly appalling weapons, using human creativity for the purpose of causing suffering. I’m thinking here of napalm.
From 1963 to 1973, 388,000 tons of napalm were dropped on Vietnam, more than ten times what we used in Korea. I simply don’t understand what the purpose of causing a maximum amount of suffering to civilians was all about.
One of the books I’ve been recently reading included this line: When we killed a Viet Cong soldier, another would soon replace him. When we killed a South Vietnamese civilian, we created 10 new Viet Cong.
How is it that we have been so slow to learn the mathematics of violence?
What’s needed is for more of us to put into practice the secret power of love, with its twin sisters of compassion and mercy. When we see more of that, it will give birth to hope, the truly essential need for our time.