Essay: On Evil: The Inescapable Fact


THE banality of evil. Hannah Arendt's trenchant comment on Jerusalem's Man in the Glass Booth springs easily to mind in contemplating the appalling horror of Pinkville.

The massacre of March 16, 1968, can be explained away as further proof, if any were needed, that war is indeed hell. Especially the Viet Nam war, with its peculiar frustrations, its bloody agonies, its nervous uncertainties about who and where the enemy really is. But to excuse My Lai on these grounds, or to argue that the enemy has done worse (as he has), is to beg a graver issue. The...

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