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  1. #1
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    Feb 13
    Stockholm, Sweden

    "Ben Tre" reference/The Undertaking

    I don't know if anyone else picked up on Malcolm's reference to "Ben Tre" in Vietnam during his speech to the members of the Undertaking. I looked it up on the Internet and found the following famous quote:

    The battle for Ben Tre was not much different from numerous other struggles during the Vietnam War, except for the famous quote of an American major when asked by journalist Peter Arnett to justify the indiscriminate use of explosives. His comment, "It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it," was widely quoted in the world press and became a symbol to antiwar activists of the bankruptcy of U.S. policy in Southeast Asia. unquote

    Concerning the Undertaking, I probably have to go back and rewatch, but from the flashbacks it appeared that it started out as a charitable organization and that the members used the List to force corrupt businessmen to donate money for various projects in the Glades-if I have misunderstood, please correct me! It was implied by Malcolm that none of these projects had any real impact and that he somehow blamed the very people of the Glades for not wanting to be saved-which presumably justified levelling the whole place to the ground! We didn't really get any details, but Malcolm says that "crime is rising", so I presume that drug addiction, killings and crime were still high in the area.

    Now, I find the whole concept of wealthy private citizens trying to "save" the poor and "cleaning up" the slums a very 19th century idea-and one that Diggle (who grew up in the Glades, I think) satirizes in one of the early eps when he, Oliver and Tommy goes to the Queen foundry and Oliver starts talking about starting a night club. Diggle says something about Oliver being a "white knight", who imagines he can help "the poor and disenfranchised" in the area by running a night club for his upper-class friends. Anyway, charity seems to have been the original purpose of the Undertaking, before Malcolm convinced/forced the others to accept his diabolical scheme.

    There are also references to a similar scheme in the comics, which might have inspired the Arrow writers:
    Last edited by evaba; 05-04-2013 at 08:10 AM.


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