Correct me if I’m wrong. (Oh, please, please.)
I believe that, during the Vietnam War, Peter Arnett was the journalist who quoted a U.S. soldier saying something like, “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.” This quote became famous and was a sort of shorthand for everything wrong with the war. It also cast the military as cynical, delusional and out of touch.
Given Arnett’s recent actions, two thoughts come to mind:
- He made his name by deriding military efforts. It’s been very good to him. So he still plays to that audience.
- The “we had to destroy the village” quote was less than accurate. It’s difficult to believe anyone would say something along the lines of “we had to soak the towel in order to dry it.” I could believe that someone said “We had to destroy the village to save it from falling into enemy hands” or something along those lines. But I just don’t buy that quote in its original form, and I wonder if Arnett didn’t misquote someone or simply invent the quote.
Anyone have additional info?