Comment je me souviens de Robert McNamara

NEW YORK – J’ai rencontré Robert McNamara, le secrétaire d’État américain à la Défense responsable de l’escalade militaire au Viêt Nam, pour la première fois dans le courant de l’été 1967. Je revenais juste d’un voyage au Viêt Nam du Sud, où en qualité de journaliste pour le magazine The New Yorker , j’avais assisté à l’annihilation de deux provinces, Quang Ngai et Quang Tinh, par l’aviation américaine.

La ligne politique américaine était claire. Les tracts largués au-dessus des villages disaient : « Les Vietcongs se cachent parmi les femmes et les enfants innocents dans vos villages… Si les Vietcongs dans cette région vous utilisent, vous ou votre village, pour se cacher, vous devez vous attendre à la mort venue du ciel ».

Et en effet, la mort est venue du ciel. Après quoi, de nouveaux tracts étaient largués, informant les villageois que « votre village a été bombardé parce que vous hébergiez des Vietcongs… votre village sera à nouveau bombardé si vous aidez les Vietcongs de quelque manière que ce soit ».

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