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“They live in a noble manner, wear lordly garments, have falcons and sparrow hawks, fine palfreys and fine chargers. When the vassals must go to join the host, the bourgeois rest in their beds; when the vassals go to be massacred in battle, the bourgeois picnic by the river.” 

 

-Excerpt from Renart le Contrefait- 14th Century French satire

The Insatiable Hunger of Empire

"I held them responsible. By God, yes, I did. All of them -- I held them personally and individually responsible -- the polyestered Kiwanis boys, the merchants and farmers, the pious churchgoers, the chatty housewives, the PTA and the Lions club and the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the fine upstanding gentry out at the country club. They didn’t know Bao Dai from the man in the moon. They didn’t know history. They didn’t know the first thing about Diem’s tyranny, or the nature of Vietnamese nationalism, or the long colonialism of the French -- this was all too damned complicated, it required some reading -- but no matter, it was a war to stop the Communists, plain and simple, which was how they liked things, and you were a treasonous pussy if you had second thoughts about killing or dying for plain and simple reasons.”

-Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried