Nixon's Massacre In My Lai Massacre Analysis

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In November of 1969, Butterfield watched as Nixon erupted over a series of press reports by journalist Seymour M. Hersh. The president was informed about the massacre of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians by American soldiers in My Lai. The attack was led by Army Lieutenant William L. Calley and it was the best documented Vietnam war crime. Butterfield needed to be informed about anything that was of interest to the president. Therefore, he gathered numerous documents about the case into his documents. The atrocities committed against Vietnamese civilians was a political threat to Nixon’s strategy of Vietnamization. Nixon’s goal was to turn the war over to the South Vietnamese so that he is able to withdraw most of the U.S. troops. The massacre in My Lai would further justify the resistance of the enemy and it was the complete opposite of what Nixon wanted to accomplish.…show more content…
However, Nixon ordered Calley to be confined in his quarters and he only served three years. Butterfield felt as if Nixon had responded defensively to the various reports and media attention because it served as a way to politically attack against the Vietnam War. It was not that Nixon necessarily agreed with what Calley did in My Lai but he wanted to maintain public support for the armed services. On Christmas Eve in 1969, Nixon spent 18 minutes walking around the White House wishing all the employees a Merry Christmas. However, Nixon stopped in the offices of the General Service employees because he noticed that a number of offices displayed pictures of the late president John F. Kennedy. Nixon immediately ordered Butterfield to get them down from the walls to ensure loyalty or else he could just get rid of the whole support

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