April 1, 2007
Dawn Patrol

“Aircraft designers have mimicked many of nature’s flight ‘inventions,’ usually inadvertently. Now it seems likely that Microraptor invented the biplane 125 million years before the Wright 1903 Flyer.”—Sankar Chatterjee of Texas Tech University, on fossil evidence that a flying dinosaur may have had upper and lower sets of wings, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January.

Busy, Busy Reporters

“There should have been a story. National Editor Scott Vance said the national staff was scrambling to do follow-up stories on Bush’s Iraq policy speech the night before.”—Ombudsman Deborah Howell’s explanation of why the newspaper had not reported on the posthumous award of the Medal of Honor to Army Cpl. Jason Dunham, Washington Post, Jan. 21.

Look Who’s Back

“Your ongoing commitment to ending this war allows people in other parts of the world to remain hopeful that America has the stuff to become again a country that they can love and respect.”—Jane Fonda, speaking at anti-war rally in Washington, Washington Times, Jan. 28.

The War We Have

“This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we’re in.”—President Bush, State of the Union Address, Jan 23.

Two Words

“Mr. President, I have two words for you. Be bold.”—Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) at a White House meeting on the war in Iraq, Washington Post, Jan. 21.

A Larger Concern

“Five years into the ‘Global War on Terror,’ the evidence suggests that Islamic radicals are real good at blowing each other up, but not so good at projecting power abroad. As long as Western nations maintain halfway decent domestic security arrangements, the fundamentalists seem to be hobbled in repeating their one major success of Sept. 11, 2001. Given that fact—five years and counting without a second big terrorist attack in America—maybe we ought to be paying more attention to the kinds of state-based challenges that roiled the world so much in the past.”—Loren B. Thompson, Lexington Institute, UPI “Outside View,” Jan. 16.

The Previous Surges

“?‘I regret that I was not more outspoken’ during the Vietnam War. ‘The Army generals would come in, “Just send another five thousand or 10 thousand.” You know, month after month. Another 10 or 15 thousand. They thought they could win it. We kept surging in those years. It didn’t work. … Well, you don’t forget something like that.’?”—Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Washington Post, Jan. 28.

Kroesen Sees a Lesson

“The United States won only three of the wars in which we engaged in the second half of the 20th century—Grenada, Panama, and the Persian Gulf. In each, we employed overwhelming power and won in a matter of hours. … The lesson is there for all to see and understand: It is time to restore our land forces to the war-dominating power they have exhibited in the past at a manpower strength that assures sustainment during a long-term crisis.”—Ret. Army Gen. Frederick J. Kroesen, Army Magazine, journal of the Association of the US Army, February.

More Where That Came From

“If the Iranian leadership has a desire to purchase more defensive weapons, we would do that.”—Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, after delivery of Tor-M1 air defense missiles to Iran, USA Today, Jan. 17.

Get Your Bargains Right Here

“Right Item, Right Time, Right Place, Right Price, Every Time. Best Value Solutions for America’s Warfighters.”—Motto on the Web site of the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service, a Department of Defense agency that turned out to be the source of F-14 fighter parts, missile and helicopter parts, and other military gear delivered to Iran, Associated Press, Jan. 17.

War on Warming

“Terror only kills hundreds or thousands of people. Global warming could kill millions. We should have a war on global warming rather than the war on terror.”—Stephen W. Hawking, internationally acclaimed physicist, Associated Press, Jan. 17.

Airplane Costs, Simplified

“We don’t know if people are going to raid us for money. They’re going to tell us, ‘You’re behind on technical risk, therefore we’re going to take your money.’ When they take the money, we stretch the program out. When we stretch the program out, the cost goes up. When the cost goes up, they come back to you and say, ‘This program’s out of control, your costs have gone up.’ You want to shoot them. It’s going up because you’re screwing with my program!”—Gen. Ronald E. Keys, head of Air Combat Command, on a likely future for the F-35 fighter.

Well, Yes and No

“The Intelligence Community judges that the term ‘civil war’ does not adequately capture the complexity of the conflict in Iraq. … Nonetheless, the term ‘civil war’ accurately describes key elements of the Iraqi conflict.”—National Intelligence Estimate, January.

One Bomb, No Problem

“I would say that what is dangerous about this situation is not the fact of having a nuclear bomb. Having one, maybe a second one a little later, well, that’s not very dangerous.”—French President Jacques Chirac declaring—a position from which he later retreated—that Iran’s having a few nuclear weapons would be acceptable, interview with New York Times and two other newspapers, Jan. 29.