Wednesday, December 19, 2012

From the words of a French Captain

The eldest Wee Salamander made the mistake of asking me, "Dad, can you help me find some quotes on the impact of the Peace Movement on the Vietnam War?" .... oh, boy; she had no idea what she was getting herself in to.

In a flash I took off to my rather jumbled stacks of books and shelves I call a library. To her slightly humored frustration and her mother's eye rolling, I soon had a rather high stack of books in my hands, and through much protestations I began handing her books, tossing hastily selected books aside, and flipping through indexes.

I was in my zone, and I think I was hearing things like, "I just need a quote or two about the impact of the protesters ... no, no, Dad, that's OK ... I only need one reference ... it's only a small paragraph ... Dad ... " but I was on a roll, and heard nothing.

After much geeky fun, I found what she was looking for in our regular guest on Midrats, Jim Robbins's book, This Time We Win.  I also found a quote she could use in Lewis Sorley's, A Better War.

In one of the books I grabbed, Jim & Sybil Stockdale's 1990 printing of In Love and War, I found a torn off bit of legal paper with the following quote from French historian, soldier, and resistance fighter who was executed by the Nazis, Marc Bloch. I don't know if it came from the Stockdale's book, but you can find it in Bloch's 1940 book, Strange Defeat.

In it, you can if nothing else take some solace that others have been here before - led by those who take power for power's sake, but do it for things other than the good of the democracy that granted them that power.

I am reminded of what we just signed up for four more years of. Though I was not raised in the same political stew that they were, I do come from the class of which Bloch speaks.
A democracy becomes hopelessly weak, and the general good suffers accordingly, if its higher officials, bred up to despise it, and necessarily drawn from those very classes the dominance of which is pledged to destroy, serve it only half-heartedly.
Some time in 1990 I felt the need to write that down and put it in a book. If you told me that as 2012 was coming to an end I was about to write about it in place where well five-figures worth of people will read it before it is archived forever - I would have laughed at you; or maybe not. 

Hey, here is something fun. Want to know what books are thrown in front of you (literally) if you ask Sal a question about the impact of "peace" protestors during the Vietnam War? Well, in about 90-seconds you get the following:


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