“Don’t Thank Me for My Service”: My Viet Nam Awakening to the Long History of US Lies

New Book by S. Brian Willson

The US-waged war in Viet Nam was not an aberration, but one of hundreds of examples in a long pattern of brutal exploitation. A quick review of the empirical record reveals close to 600 overt military interventions by the US into dozens of countries since 1798, almost 400 since the end of World War II alone, and thousands of covert interventions since 1947. This history overwhelms any rhetoric about the United States as a beacon of freedom and democracy, committed to promoting domestic and global equal justice under law. These interventions have assured de facto subsidies for US American interests, regulated global markets on our terms, and provided us with access to cheap or free labor and to raw materials. Millions of people around the globe have been murdered with virtual impunity as a result of our interventions in a pattern that illustrates what Noam Chomsky calls the “Fifth Freedom”-the freedom to rob and exploit. This freedom is ultimately protected with use of force when a country or movement seeks to protect or advance the domestic needs and desires of its members or citizens for political freedom or economic wellbeing.

This book provides an invaluable tool for today’s activists, however they may be similarly shocked into wakefulness- whether by war, economic dispossession, or loss of the freedom to dissent.


This gripping and carefully documented record of the US wars in Indochina, interlaced with vivid and tragic personal experiences,  provides a unique and invaluable perspective on some of the most awful crimes of the postwar years. NOAM CHOMSKY – Professor Emeritus MIT, Linguist, Public Intellectual – Author of Dozens of Books on U.S. Foreign Policy.

S. Brian Willson has a way of synthesizing information that gets right to the heart of the matter, deepening our understanding of the culturally embedded myths that perpetuate our nation’s violent behavior. By providing the historical context for our involvement in Viet Nam, Willson pulls back a curtain on U.S. imperialism that cannot easily be closed again. MARTIN SHEEN – Actor & Activist

Our country badly needs more truth telling. Brian Willson tells the truth about the Vietnam War and about the sordid US history of lies, war and empire: and he writes as one who courageously put his body on the line for these truths. A MUST READ for all of us. The alternative is ever more dangerous perpetual wars. DANIEL ELLSBERG – Revealed: The Pentagon Papers – Author of: The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of A Nuclear War Planner and Many Other Books

Few people really understood the terror imposed upon innocent people by the US policies and Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Central America.  Brian Willson, a lawyer and a scholar did and does. Not only has he given his body for his beliefs but he has penned an extremely important book complete with insights and history that make it imperative reading for every American citizen. I highly recommend it. HELEN CALDICOTT – Pediatrician, Long-time Anti-Nuclear Activist and Author of Many Anti-Nuclear Books

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Articles by: S. Brian Willson

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