Jan. 1, 2004
Looks Like a Slog …

“It is pretty clear that the coalition can win in Afghanistan and Iraq in one way or another, but it will be a long, hard slog.”—Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, Oct. 16 internal memo.

… Depends on What Slog Is

“The Oxford Dictionary… has a definition of ‘slog,’ the preferred one, I believe, which is: ‘slog—to hit or strike hard, to drive with blows, to assail violently.’ And that’s precisely what the US has been doing and intends to continue to do.”—Rumsfeld, Pentagon press conference, Oct. 23.

Don’t Get Too Chummy

“Just as well, the Americans don’t know exactly who the Russians are. It has been stated that they aren’t an enemy, but they aren’t allies either, that’s for sure.”—Russian Defense Minister Sergei B. Ivanov, interview with Moskovsky Komsomolets, cited by Associated Press, Oct. 28.

Sign of Progress

“The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react. … The more progress we make on the ground, the more free the Iraqis become, the more electricity is available, the more jobs are available, the more kids that are going to school, the more desperate these killers become, because they can’t stand the thought of a free society.”—President Bush, about suicide bombings in Iraq, remarks at Oval Office photo opportunity, Oct. 27.

Protocols of the Scholars of Baghdad …

“I am sure that the people who did this are enemies of Iraq, not the enemies of the Americans. Whether it was the Israelis or the Americans themselves, they are aiming at us.”—Dunya Khalil Ismail, college lecturer in Baghdad on the suicide bombings, Los Angeles Times, Oct. 30.

… And Echoes in Europe

“Europeans view Israel as the No. 1 threat to world peace, ahead of Iran and North Korea, according to a European Commission survey yesterday.”—London Daily Telegraph, Nov. 4. The commission is an arm of the European Union.

Whirlwind Not Selective

“Should the balance within the Islamic world shift toward radicals and fundamentalists, moderate secular governments would be in jeopardy, and the world from Southeast Asia to India and Western Europe would risk growing turmoil. Nor would countries such as France, Germany, and Russia be able to avoid reaping the whirlwind by dissociation from the United States.”—Henry A. Kissinger, Tribune Media Services International column, Nov. 2.

Long War on Terrorism

“The important thing for the American public to understand, I think, is that this global war on terrorism is going to be years, not months or days. It’s going to be 10, 15, 20 years of protecting ourselves against the terrorists who are out there.”—Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Boston Herald, Nov. 11.

Déjà Vu

“We heard the garbage and the lies. We saw the sacrifice, and we swore never again would we allow it to happen. And I ask you, is it happening again?”—Retired Marine Corps Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, former commander of US Central Command, referring to the government’s handling of news from Vietnam War, USA Today, Nov. 7.

Public Enemy No. 1

“There is no enemy of Iraq but Saddam the destroyer and his cronies, whom we denounce until judgment day and they are in immortal hell.”—Iraqi Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, softening his anti-American tone, Associated Press, Nov. 10.

The Real Troop Problem

“The issue isn’t having enough troops in Iraq. The question is how long you keep them there. We need a [bigger] rotational base. We’ve become dependent on the reserves, and they are resisting strongly [against continued long-term deployments]. We need to add active duty forces, not cut them, before there’s an exodus from the National Guard and Reserves.”—Retired Air Force Gen. John Michael Loh, former commander of Air Combat Command, Aviation Week & Space Technology, Oct. 20.

Sounds Like LBJ

“I wake up every morning and think I’m back in 1967 listening to Lyndon Johnson say, ‘Stay the course.’ ”—Max Cleland, former Senator and former head of Veterans Administration, who lost both legs and his right arm in Vietnam, Washington Post, Nov. 14.

Gallic Bastion

“France, which fully subscribed to the objective of disarming Iraq, never ruled out the use of force as a last resort if Iraq refused to cooperate with UN inspectors. France’s determination to see Iraq comply with its international obligations cannot be called into question.”—Jean–David Levitte, French ambassador to the US, letter to the editor, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 13.

Nukes in Iran

“In what can only be an attempt to build a capacity to develop nuclear materials for nuclear weapons, Iran has enriched uranium with both centrifuges and lasers and produced and reprocessed uranium.”—US Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton, American Spectator dinner, Nov. 12, in Los Angeles Times.

Intensifying the Response

“Although the coalition can be benevolent, this is still the same lethal formation that removed the former oppressive regime. And we will not hesitate to employ the appropriate levels of combat power in order to safeguard the interests and safety of the Iraqi people, as well as our coalition service members.”—Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, Combined Joint Task Force 7 commander, news briefing in Baghdad, Nov. 11.