Provocative photograph, isn’t it? I hope so — it was meant to be.
For those of us old enough to remember, the image of Nguyễn Văn Lém, formerly of the Viet-Cong, at the receiving end of a field expedient execution at the hands of Saigon’s Chief of Police General Nguyễn Ngọc Loan was the iconic anti-war instrument of propaganda to end all instruments of propaganda … ever.
What the anti-war mob never told us is that Lém’s execution happened during the Tet Offensive, martial law was declared and the shooting was in the wake of Lém assassinating a Saigon police deputy commander. Oh, I almost forgot, Lém has just slaughtered the wife and children of said police deputy.