Oct. 1, 2003

“ Almost one in three Germans below the age of 30 believes the US government may have sponsored the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.”—Reuters, citing poll by German language weekly Die Zeit, July 23.

Trashing Saddam

“ Saddam Hussein is no longer bad news. He’s a piece of trash waiting to be collected.”—Secretary of State Colin Powell, Reuters, July 30.

On, Brave Old Army Team

“ I’ve always liked the Army. Things that get printed about that tend to be false.”—Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, Army Times, Aug. 4.

Strategic Masochism

“ South Koreans regularly demonstrate against the US presence in their country. Since the reason for that presence is for Americans to die in defense of Seoul, one has to ask oneself at what point strategic altruism becomes strategic masochism.”—Charles Krauthammer, Time, Aug. 4.

Letter From Two Soldiers

“ The majority of us are professionals who will do what it takes to complete the mission, whether it is a wartime or a peacekeeping operation. For every soldier you read about who writes a letter to his Congressional representative imploring the government to bring us home, there are many more who are proud to be performing their duties.”—Army SSgt. Clay Grimes and Cpl. Jesse Allen, 101st Airborne Division, Mosul, Iraq, letter in New York Times, July 20.

Unsafe and Insecure

“ George Bush has left us less safe and less secure than we were four years ago.”—Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), speech to San Francisco Bar Association, July 22.

Keeping His Perspective

“ By its actions, the Bush Administration threatens to give a bad name to a just war. … What made this war just was the clear evidence of 12 years of Saddam Hussein’s brutality and evasion of responsibility. And that is not diminished by those 16 misleading words in George W. Bush’s speech.”—Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), Washington Post, July 29.

Space Is a Means, Not an End

“ First of all, space people—just like fighter people and bomber people and ground people and naval people—need to worry first about winning the war. And what we all need to do is worry less about being protective of our platforms and environment and more expressive of the need to aggressively make them contribute to the problems that we face. We need to be able to put a cursor over the target. … If you get the systems integrated properly to get that cursor over the location, there shouldn’t be an argument about which technology put the cursor there. The argument should be about what you do with it next.”—Gen. John P. Jumper, Air Force Chief of Staff, Space News, July 15.

The Fastest With the Mostest

“ The case for [flying] fast has been strengthened [by Operation Iraqi Freedom]. If we have to make a choice to retire some aircraft early, the A-10 is a good candidate.”—Retired Gen. Merrill A. McPeak, former Air Force Chief of Staff, Inside the Pentagon, July 17.

Too Few Black Airmen

“ We haven’t done enough or paid enough attention to demographics in looking at what we need to do to help minorities in the aviation field.”—Gen. Lester L. Lyles, then commander of Air Force Materiel Command, noting that only 2.5 percent of active duty USAF pilots and navigators are black, Denver Post, Aug. 10.

Not Going There Alone

“ In the last 180 years of American military strategy, … there is not a single example of an Army expeditionary force succeeding without control of the intervening sea by the US Navy. Since 1941, no American soldier has set foot on foreign soil or entered an enemy capital without the US Air Force in control of the skies overhead. Thus, any new force design for the US Army must be based on the strategic assumption that Army combat units will be organized for expeditionary warfare to conduct both operational, as well as tactical, maneuver and strike as part of a larger joint force.”—Army Col. Douglas A. Macgregor, author of Breaking the Phalanx (1997), in forthcoming book, Transformation Under Fire, quoted from prepublication copy, Washington Post, July 28.

From the Ayatollah’s Grandson

“ Iranians insist on freedom, but they are not sure where it will come from. If it comes from inside, they will welcome it, but if it was necessary for it to come from abroad, especially from the United States, people will accept it. I as an Iranian would accept it.”—Sayyid Hussein Khomeini, grandson of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, New York Times, Aug. 6.

Earful From Okinawa

“ I feel bad that I have to bring up nothing but harsh and unpleasant issues to you for your first visit. The ultimate desire of Okinawan people is to reduce the presence of the military, not only the base land but also the number of troops stationed on the island. We also hope that training conducted on the island will be minimized and, if possible, held outside Okinawa—or outside Japan.”—Keiichi Inamine, governor of Okinawa, to Lt. Gen. Robert R. Blackman, new commander of 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, Pacific Stars and Stripes, Aug. 13.

MiGs in the Sand

“ If it’s possible to hide 30-plus aircraft for several months with 150,000 troops on the lookout, secreting vials of poison gas or anthrax has got to be a cinch.”—Wall Street Journal editorial, Aug. 4, about dozens of Iraqi Air Force jets found buried in the sand at an airfield west of Baghdad.