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Old 04-02-2003, 05:14 AM
RandySpears RandySpears is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: friendly Sweden
Posts: 665
Well, I do not agree.

There are no journalist ethics that demands or even promotes the journalist to restate a persons opinions in a better way than the person himself is able to.

But I think you guys are missing the point. It seems obvious that Arnett used the quote not as a way of attributing certain opinions to an individual soldier but rather for the purpose of characterization of that event. Indeed no one individual was indicated.

So, was it a fair characterization of the battle for Ben Tre? I am not very familiar with this incident. Zigaretten seem to hint that the Viet Cong should really be held responsible. I wonder how much consensus there is among international observers on this interpretation.

Was it a fair characterization of the Vietnam War? Yes, I would say so. Certainly in regard to incidents like My Lai. And given the historical reality of a country stricken by war for decades and in the end still not "saved" i'd say that "We had to destroy the village in order to save it" is quite appropriate.