Friday, September 04, 2009

1 American = 60 foreigners

This is from an interview with Barry Goldwater conducted by either the Army Times or Stars and Stripes, I forget which. It made such a powerful impression on me that I remember it word-for-word. I can't link to the article because it dates to pre-internet days. I am 100% confident that I am not in any way mis-representing what he said: I suspect someone who has a Lexis-Nexis account can find the article. It is from one of the two publications I mentioned, between January 1986 and October 1987.

The interviewer asked him how the Vietnam War might have gone differently, had he been elected in 1964. His answer:

"I would have gotten every B52 I could get my hands on, and flown them all over North Vietnam. They would have dropped leaflets that said, "We'll be back in 3 days." They would also have said the next thing they dropped would not have been leaflets.

If they didn't quit the war, I would have made a damned swamp out of North Vietnam. I mean that: I would rather have killed 2 or 3 million North Vietnamese than the fifty thousand American boys we lost."

[UPDATE] The irony of course, is that he ended up getting a grim two-fer: 50,000 American deaths and 3 million Vietnamese.

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