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139 Mil. L. Rev. 153 (1993)
The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of My Lai: A Time to Inculcate the Lessons

handle is hein.journals/milrv139 and id is 159 raw text is: THE TWENTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF
MY LAI: A TIME TO INCULCATE
THE LESSONS
MAJOR JEFFREY F. ADDICOTT*
MAJOR WILLIAM A. HUDSON, JR.**
I. Introduction
The way of the superior man is like that of the
archer. When he misses the center of the target he turns
and seeks the cause of his failure in himself'
If history teaches anything about avoiding the mistakes and
disasters of the past, it is that humanity first must understand
historical lessons-lessons often understood only after the expen-
diture of incredible amounts of human blood and treasure-and
then must inculcate those lessons in the members of each of its
succeeding generations.
As America passes the second anniversary of its victory in
the Persian Gulf War,2 correctly having heeded the lessons of
appeasement from World War II,3 another reminder of critical
historical lessons is rapidly approaching. Spring 1993 marks the
twenty-fifth anniversary of the My Lai massacre-an appropriate
time to revisit the event and to reinforce the lessons learned.
Representing the antithesis of the conduct of United States
Armed Forces during the Liberation and Defense of Kuwait, the
My Lai massacre was a nightmarish event that most Americans
would like to forget. Nevertheless, My Lai never must be forgotten.
Its horror and disgrace are precisely why My Lai must never be
erased from the individual memories of American citizens, nor
must it ever be lost from the legacy of the United States. To the
contrary, nothing provides a greater vehicle for inculcating the
*Judge Advocate General's Corps, United States Army. Currently assigned
to the International and Operational Law Division, Office of The Judge Advocate
General, U.S. Army.
**Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Army. Currently assigned as
Instructor, International Law Division, The Judge Advocate General's School, U.S.
Army.
ICoNFucms, THE ANALEcTs op CoNFucrus 59 (Arthur Waley trans., 1939).
2See Michael Cramer, Kuwait: Back to the Past, TIME, Aug. 5, 1991, at 33.
The ground phase of the military campaign in the Persian Gulf War lasted only
100 hours, from 24 to 28 February 1991. For an excellent overview of the entire
operation, see The Gulf War, MnL. REV., Sept. 1991.
'See THE NATIONAL MILITARY STRATEQY OF THE UNITED STATEs 6 (Jan.
1992).

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