Erinnerung an Robert McNamara

NEW YORK – Zum ersten Mal traf ich Robert McNamara, den US-Verteidigungsminister, der für den amerikanischen Aufmarsch in Vietnam verantwortlich war, im Sommer 1967. Ich kam gerade aus Südvietnam zurück, wo ich als Reporter für The New Yorker gerade Zeuge der Zerstörung zweier Provinzen, Quang Ngai und Quang Tinh, durch die amerikanische Luftwaffe geworden war.

Die amerikanische Politik war klar. Auf Flugblättern, die über den Dörfern abgeworfen wurden, stand „Die Vietkong verstecken sich bei unschuldigen Frauen und Kindern in Euren Dörfern… Wenn der Vietkong Euch oder Eure Dörfer in diesem Gebiet zu diesem Zweck benutzt, müsst Ihr mit dem Tod aus dem Himmel rechnen.“

Der Tod aus dem Himmel kam. Danach wurden wieder Flugblätter abgeworfen, auf denen zu lesen war: „Euer Dorf wurde bombardiert, weil Ihr dem Vietcong Zuflucht gewährt habt…. Euer Dorf wird wieder bombardiert, wenn Ihr den Vietcong in irgendeiner Weise Zuflucht gewährt.“

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