Cause And Effect Essay: John Wade's Downfall: My Lai Massacre - Essay

936 words - 4 pages

John Wade's Downfall: My Lai Massacre

If it was not for John Wades' obsessed attention-seeking behavior, he would not have signed up for the Vietnam War. If it was not for Dwight D. Eisenhower's administration, the United States military would not have intervened. If it was not for the My Lai Massacre, John would have won the Senate race. If it was not for the massacre in My Lai, John would have had a seat in the Senate. If he had a seat in the Senate, Kathy would not be missing. Many causes and effects but the only one that truly interests me is the My Lai Massacre. The massacre in My Lai was the reason John Wade lost the election.

On March 16th, 1968, three platoons from the United States Charlie Company, 11th Brigade, invaded My Lai. My Lai was a village of about seven hundred natives some hundred miles to the southeast of the United States base of Danang. The platoon that was sent on the search and destroy mission was led by Lieutenant William Calley. "At 7:22 on the morning of March 16, 1968, the lead elements of Charlie Company boarded a flight of helicopters that climbed into the thin, rosy sunlight" (104). Lieutenant William Calley ordered his troops to obliterate anything that was living, including the children. "The morning air was flaming up toward purple." (106). By 7:50 a. m. the remainder of Charlie Company had landed, and Calley led 1st Platoon east through My Lai. Although they encountered no resistance, the soldiers nonetheless killed indiscriminately. Over the next hour, groups of women, children, and elderly men were rounded up and shot at close range. United States soldiers also committed numerous rapes. Charlie Company's 2nd Platoon moved north from the landing zone, killing dozens, while the 3rd Platoon followed behind, destroying the hamlet's remaining buildings and shooting survivors at 9:00 a. m. Calley ordered the execution of as many as 150 Vietnamese civilians who had been herded into an irrigation ditch. Gruesome images were taken by the same soldiers during breaks.

The massacre was kept secret for a long time, but it was leaked during the elections for John's campaign. He even kept it secret from his wife, Kathy Wade, and his campaign manager. Kathy shallowed the information and still loved John despite knowing that he kept it a secret from her and not telling her whether or not he killed the civilians in the village. It was clear to John that he could possibly lose the race now that the secrets were out. The campaign manager, Tony Carbo, was disappointed with him because he could have used the massacre for leverage instead of destroying his campaign. "All you had to do is ...

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