[Ads-l] circular firing squad

Wed Jul 12 14:49:59 UTC 2017

_Las Vegas [NM] Daily Optic_ Mar 23 1973 p 2 col 1 [Newspapers.com, Newspaperarchive.com]
"It is imperative that if we do not integrate we must -- at the least -- synchronize our lives; otherwise we will form a circular firing squad in which members of the squad will kill all that is worthwhile within the circle  as well as themselves  in the crossfire."

Newspapers.com has "firing squad in a circle" from 1975
Newspaperarchive.com has "Polish firing squad in a circle" from 11/17/1973.

> Not yet in OED.
> GB claims a 1983 ex., but I can't verify it.
> [1983 Allan Fotheringham _Look Ma - No Hands: An Affectionate Look at Our Wonderful Tories__ [Toronto: Key Porter] 89: There is no
> discipline, no cohesion, merely a collection of individuals who march (out-of-step) to drummers hidden in the hills, beckoning the faithful to
> form a firing squad in a circle.]
> 1984 David G. Broder, in _Plain Dealer_ [Cleveland] (Jan. 19) 38: Democrats form circular firing squad....Up here, it looked like the
> Democrats were going back to their old habit of lining up the firing squad in a circle.
> The first time I encountered the concept was ca1977-78, during the fad for "Polish jokes." It was something like, "Where does a Polish firing
> squad put the condemned man? In the middle of the circle."
> GB has a similar joke (with "Polish firing squad") from 1979.
> JL

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