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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 29, No. 10. 1966.

Salami war

Salami war

The Salami Trick is an idea said to have been invented by a German diplomat.

Basically, your opponent continually asks for small bits of sausage—which you don't mind giving him or which you can't be bothered to protest at.

Then one bright morning you find that where you used to have a salami sausage, you now have only the skin—and your opponent has the sausage.

The view gained great acceptance amongst the Americans. It's just like making concessions to the Communists," the story went. "We must not make the first small concession."

Right now, we are having the trick worked against the free world in Vietnam.

If anyone had suggested in 1963 that in 1966 there would be 300,000 foreign troops in Vietnam, or that we would be bombing Hanoi, he would have been denounced as an extremist, Goldwaterite. Remember?

They got there by the salami trick. Each new escalation of the war seemed small by itself.

But this time we could be lucky to have our own skin left.—H.B.R.