November 24, 2009

“Hearts and minds” – from the Bible, to the Revolution, to Vietnam, to Afghanistan…


“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.”
       The Epistle of St. Paul to the Philippians, c. 62 A.D. 
        This Biblical verse from Philippians 4:7 helped popularize two famous phrases: “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” and “hearts and minds.”


“The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations...This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.”
       John Adams
       Founding Father and U.S. President
       Letter to to Hezekiah Niles, February 13, 1818


“We must be ready to fight in Vietnam, but the ultimate victory will depend upon the hearts and the minds of the people who actually live out there.”
       U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson
       His famous “Hearts and Minds” speech, May 4, 1965


“If you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.”
       U.S. Green Berets slogan during the Vietnam War



“[General] Petraeus’s counterinsurgency manual, with all its talk of winning hearts and minds, is pure Vietnam. To most Americans, Vietnam taught one big lesson: ‘Don’t do it again!’ To today’s military, Vietnam has taught a host of little lessons, adding up to ‘Do it better!’”
       Columnist and author Jonathan Schell
       In the November 30, 2009 edition of The Nation
       Commenting on the war in Afghanistan 


“The Karzai regime [in Afghanistan] is corrupt and ineffective. Americans would like to think we are fighting against the Islamic extremism embraced by the Taliban, but the Taliban is winning hearts and minds because they are standing up to what increasingly looks like an occupying force.” 
       Editor Rick Holmes
       The MetroWest Daily News 
       Editorial, November 15, 2009

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