war words glossed

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Wed Apr 2 20:07:11 UTC 2003

Mona Charen has a column on America On-Line News today in which she states,
in a discussion of Peter Arnett:

<begin quote>
Remember the phrase, "We had to destroy the village in order to save it"? It
has become totemic. Arnett was the originator of the phrase. The trouble is,
as first B.G. Burkett and then I discovered after a little investigation, the
report was wrong. It wasn't the United States that destroyed Ben Tre (a town,
not a village), but the Vietcong. And the soldier Arnett was most likely
quoting remembers saying, "It was a shame the town was destroyed," not the
fatuity Arnett made famous.
<end quote>

Does anyone know if Charen is correct?

              - Jim Landau

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