July 1, 2004
Zinni’s Charge

“In the lead-up to the Iraq War and its later conduct, I saw at a minimum, true dereliction, negligence, and irresponsibility, at worse, lying, incompetence, and corruption.”

—Retired Marine Corps Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, former commander, US Central Command, in Battle Ready (by Tom Clancy, Zinni, and Tony Koltz), Putnam, June 1.

The Tactic of Torture

“Look, history shows—and I know a little bit about this—that mistreatment of prisoners and torture is not productive. It’s not productive. You don’t get information that’s usable from people under torture, because they just tell you what you want to hear.”

—Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, New York Times, May 10.

Cut and Shuffle

“Political fashion in Washington holds that the war is unwinnable. It’s still taboo to talk about cutting and running, but the phrase ‘cut and shuffle’—whatever that may mean—is gaining currency.”

—Tom Donnelly, Weekly Standard, May 17.

Not Yet a Program

“Joint warfighting space is first and foremost a concept, not a program. It’s not a collection of acquisition activities.”

— Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Leaf, vice commander, Air Force Space Command, Inside the Pentagon, May 6.

Got That

“We’re trying to explain how things are going, and they are going as they are going. … Some things are going well, and some things obviously are not going well.”

—Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, Pentagon news briefing, April 7.

Contesting Airspace

“The problem with air superiority is that everybody now takes it for granted, as if it’s a given and that you don’t have to work for it. Well, it’s something we’re going to have to continue to work for, as we watch new generations of airplanes being built that are very, very capable. They’re being deployed around the world, they’re for sale around the world to do something—I would assume, to contest airspace. … We have new generations of surface-to-air missiles out there being developed. To do what? To contest airspace.”

—Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper, interview with Inside the Pentagon, April 16.

The Basic Relationship

“We have disagreements. We accept that. We have to live with it. We can live with the idea that our closest friend and ally, the United States of America, does not always agree with us.”

—Jean-Maurice Ripert, French Foreign Ministry, Washington Times, May 6.

A Threat From al-Sadr

“When our city and holy sites are attacked, we will all be time bombs in the face of the enemy.”

— Radical Shi’ite cleric Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr, threatening suicide bomb attacks on US troops, Associated Press, April 24.

Lone Rangers

“Paradoxically, the two nations that have suffered the worst terror attacks—the United States and Russia—are regressing more and more to national strategies. They have been unwilling to make the extra effort to reap the benefits of real international cooperation.”

— William J. Perry, US Secretary of Defense from 1994 to 1997, Moscow Times, May 7.

Two Dubyas for Powell

“He’s still respected in Europe. But the two letters I associate with this name are ‘W’ and ‘W’—the wise but weak man.”

—Dominique Moisi, French Institute for International Relations, about US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Wall Street Journal, April 30.

Count on Australia …

“The Australian government and, I believe, most Australians understand the consequences of a premature and predetermined withdrawal of forces. And that’s why Australian defense force personnel will remain in Iraq until their task is complete. Australians understand that we cannot sit back and expect others, principally the US, to bear the load of making the world a safer place. Such isolationist thinking is dangerous and ill-conceived.”

—Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer, signed column, Wall Street Journal, April 27.

The Bad News News

“I’ve stopped reading the newspapers.”

— Rumsfeld at “Town Hall Meeting” with US troops in Iraq, May 13.

Not Russia’s Problem

“Al Qaeda doesn’t see Russia as an enemy, while those countries that seek WMD do not plan to use them against Russia.”

— Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of Duma International Affairs Committee, Moscow Times, April 23.

Short Count

“It’s approximately 500, of which —I can get the exact numbers—approximately 350 are combat deaths.”

— Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz, on number of US troops killed in Iraq, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, April 29. Actual numbers at that point: 726 dead, of which 524 were combat deaths.

What It Means

“This is a symbol we are leaving other generations that sometime in your life, you may be called upon to make a sacrifice for your country.”

—Former Sen. Robert Dole on the new World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., CBS News, May 27.

Brother Guide

“Libya, which led the liberation movement in the Third World, has decided to lead the peace movement all over the world.”

—Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, who is known in his country as “Brother Guide,” New York Times, April 28.