Monday, June 16, 2008

Concerning statues in Europe as mentioned in my previous blog, a guide told us that if the hero is depicted astride a horse, he died in battle. If he is depicted standing, he died in bed of old age.
Is the greater hero the one who died in battle?

This puts me in mind of General George S. Patton's harangue to his troops immediately before the D-day embarkation to Normandy. It went something like this:

No poor S. O. B. ever won a war by dying for his country. Wars are won by making some poor unlucky S. O. B. on the other side die for his country.

I don't know if that was original with him but I have always felt it was profound.

In this same vein was the statement by my ROTC professor at the University that any time the military fires a shot at an enemy in anger it was a result of a string of failures by civilians to take adequate diplomatic action and of the military to flex its muscles and maneuver in such a way as to intimidate the prospective foe.

In 1950 was he ahead of his time?


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