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And the Answer Is...

In my entry yesterday, I asked readers to guess the originator of a quote condemning the Vietnam War-era practice of the sons of the powerful wrangling non-combat duty with the National Guard and Reserves. As Mike Backes correctly noted in a comment, the answer is current US Secretary of State Colin Powell, in his 1995 autobiography My American Journey.

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Since we're playing this game, who said about Vietnam:

>>"We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service..."

Next question, who said:

>>"We do not need to divide America over who served and how. I have personally always believed that many served in many different ways. Someone who was deeply against the war in 1969 or 1970 may well have served their country with equal passion and patriotism by opposing the war as by fighting in it. Are we now, 20 years or 30 years later, to forget the difficulties of that time, of families that were literally torn apart, of brothers who ceased to talk to brothers, of fathers who disowned their sons, of people who felt compelled to leave the country and forget their own future and turn against the will of their own aspirations?
Are we now to descend, like latter-day Spiro Agnews, and play, as he did, to the worst instincts of divisiveness and reaction that still haunt America? Are we now going to create a new scarlet letter in the context of Vietnam?
Certainly, those who went to Vietnam suffered greatly. I have argued for years, since I returned myself in 1969, that they do deserve special affection and gratitude for service. And, indeed, I think everything I have tried to do since then has been to fight for their rights and recognition.
But while those who served are owed special recognition, that recognition should not come at the expense of others; nor does it require that others be victimized or criticized or said to have settled for a lesser standard.. "

Don't panic -- same hypocrite both times.

-d

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