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The field of battle

“Roof of the Rex, ground zero, men who looked like they’d been suckled by wolves, they could die right there and their jaws would work for another half-hour. This is where they asked you, ‘Are you a Dove or a Hawk?’ and ‘Would you rather fight them here or in Pasadena?’ Maybe we could beat them in Pasadena, I’d think, but I wouldn’t say it, especially not here where they knew that I knew that they weren’t really fighting anybody anywhere anyway, it made them pretty touchy. That night I listened while a colonel explained the war in terms of protein. We were a nation of high-protein, meat-eating hunters, while the other guy just ate rice and a few grungy fish-heads. We were going to club them to death with our meat; what could you say except, ‘Colonel, you’re insane’? It was like turning up in the middle of some black looney-tune where the Duck had all the lines.” – Michael Herr, Dispatches (emphasis in original)

Published inMichael HerrThe Vietnam War

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