"The possible attainment of full humanness–the transformation of the species from Homo sapiens to Homo humanus–rests upon our recovery of the lost world of fellow feeling, the source of all human connection." --Ashley Montagu, The Dehumanization of Man
S. Brian Willson
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One hot sunny morning in April 1969 I found myself in a small Vietnamese village that had just been bombed. I was looking at more than a hundred strewn bodies of mostly young women and children, many dead, others dying. What on earth was going on here? These people were 10,000 miles from my farming community in upstate New York. They probably never traveled more than 20 miles from this village.
In one startling, shocking moment I realized I had been shamefully brainwashed. I was overcome by what seemed a simple truth, a truth that soon became irreversible knowledge, that a huge lie had been perpetrated upon me. No, not just upon me, but on my entire nation, at least the vast majority of whom believed in the war and were paying taxes to finance this incredible effort, allegedly protecting our national security by destroying another people’s aspirations for independence. I staggered at how preposterous and racist this war was. I gagged, then vomited, as I witnessed the horrible scene of carnage while understanding that these people had been savagely murdered and maimed for a nearly incomprehensible lie that I had so easily believed in.