December 2, 2009

Afghanistan “Heart and Minds” — The Déjà Vu Edition


“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 oft-cited “Hearts and Minds” speech, May 4, 1965


“Make no mistake: Insurgents are constantly targeting these areas of success. They bomb new roads and throw acid on girls who go to school. But if we stick by the Afghan people, we will win over their hearts and minds.”
       Army Gen. David Petraeus
       Quoted in the San Diego Union Tribune, November 29, 2009


“The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to 1st Battalion Welsh Guards who fought in Afghanistan, calling them ‘an immense credit to this nation’... ‘This work is absolutely vital in terms of winning over hearts and minds as far as the local population is concerned and I’m absolutely convinced you've done so much of that.’”
       Remark by Great Britain’s Prince Charles 
       BBC, December 1, 2009


“General McChrystal is too enamored with ‘hearts and minds’; hearts and minds is not a strategy. To be clear: I don’t say this solely because my son was killed implementing this idea... If we're not bringing our entire force to bear against the enemy, then what sort of protection are we providing?”
       John Bernard 
       Father of slain soldier Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard
       Op-ed in Newsweek magazine, November 30, 2009  


“The notion seems to be that we must win the ‘hearts and minds’ of the population, but the very presence of an occupation army whose history, culture and traditions are literally and figuratively on the other side of the world puts that goal out of reach.”
       Nick Mills 
       Associate Professor of Journalism, Boston University 
       Commentary on The, December 2, 2009

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