Say of the Day: Bobby Kennedy, March 1968

From Thurston Clark’s Forthcoming The Last Campaign, excerpted in the June 2008 issue of Vanity Fair http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/06/rfk_excerpt200806

Kennedy’s first speech of the campaign, at Kansas State University, speaking of the Vietnam War:

“Let me begin this discussion with a note both personal and public. I was involved in many of the early decisions on Vietnam, decisions which helped set us on our present path.”

“If it is the case (that the South Vietnamese government was unworthy of U.S. support from the outset), as it may well be, then I am willing to bear my share of the responsibility, before history and before my fellow citizens. But pas error is no excuse for its own perpetration. Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom…Now, as ever, we do ourselves the best justice when we measure ourselves against ancient texts, as in Sophocles: ‘All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and he repairs the evil.’ The only sin, he said, is pride.”

Oh, my. What a difference 40 years make.

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