Pentagon tells soldiers...

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 10 17:02:23 UTC 2009

And another oft-posted, oft-rejected item:


"Did its best to silence them"?  WTH does *that* mean.

The statement about "purging" them might conceivably refer to German- or
Austrian-born immigrants in 1917-18 who were sometimes more fluent in German
than in English. The word "purge" in this invidious sense was, of course,
not then in use. I doubt that many such soldiers would have been given
discharges after induction. More likely they would have been "watched
closely" for signs of disloyalty.  Anti-German paranoia in America during
those years reached extremes not duplicated in WWII.  A German-born miner
was lynched in the Midwest for "speaking out of turn."  The jury acquitted
the self-acknowledged mob leaders after 45 minutes' deliberation.

Also, if vicarious memory serves, "Never volunteer!" was an Army credo in
both world wars of the 20th century. It was often elaborated to "Keep your
mouth shut, your bowels open, and never  volunteer!"  (First ex. in Sidney
Howard's play _Yellow Jack_, 1934). Nothing new or disturbing there.



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