B-52 in Moscow“This is the plane they scared us with for all those decades. This was the plane that could have brought nuclear weapons to Russia, and now it’s quietly sitting here like in a zoo.”—Magomed Tolboyev, former cosmonaut and test pilot, about a B-52 from Minot AFB, N.D., on exhibit at an air show in Moscow, Los Angeles Times, Aug. 21.
Gunning for Clark? “The White House actually back in February apparently tried to get me knocked off CNN, and they wanted to do this because they were afraid that I would raise issues with their conduct of the war. Apparently they called CNN.”—Retired Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark, KTAR-AM radio in Phoenix, NewsMax.com, Aug. 26.
A Maxim From Creech“Think big about what you want to achieve. Think small about how to achieve it.”—Favorite saying of Air Force Gen. W.L. Creech, quoted in his obituary (he died Aug. 26) by Las Vegas Review–Journal, Aug. 28.
Not Short of Troops“The United States can afford whatever military force level is necessary and appropriate for our national security. I’m advised that current analysis by the Joint Chiefs of Staff indicates that at the present time we have sufficient active and reserve forces to conduct and execute successfully the missions that have been assigned. ... And I can assure you of one other thing: The number of troops currently in Iraq is the number of troops that the combatant commander, John Abizaid, has asked for. He has been told directly by the President and by the Secretary of Defense that if he believes that additional troops are needed, he will have additional troops.”—Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, speech to Veterans of Foreign Wars, San Antonio, Aug. 25.
Doggerel“America is dumb. It’s like a dumb puppy that has big teeth that can bite and hurt you, aggressive. My daughter is four, my boy is one. I’d like them to see America as a toy, a broken toy. Investigate it a little, check it out, get this feeling and then get out.”—American-born actor Johnny Depp, who lives in France, to German news magazine Stern, Reuters, Sept. 3.
Burning Question“Now we’ll have a chance to decide whether America was at fault instead of the foreigners.”—Stephen Sugarman, law professor at University of California, Berkeley, on federal judge’s ruling that Sept. 11 victims can sue airlines, the Boeing Co., and the owners of World Trade Center, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 10.
Not Enough, Says CBO“The Army does not have enough active [duty] component forces to simultaneously maintain the occupation at its current size, limit deployments to one year, and sustain all of its other commitments.”—Congressional Budget Office report, Sept. 2.
A Platoon Will Do It“A platoon out of any one of my battalions could defeat the threat, readily. I don’t need any more forces. We need the Iraqi people to help us and give us the intelligence we need.”—Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, commander, combined joint task force in Iraq, Los Angeles Times, Sept. 7.
Accommodate Them Again“We face the strong possibility of another Korean War, with potentially devastating consequences, so the endangered multilateral talks in Beijing are of paramount importance. It is vital that some accommodation be reached between Pyongyang and Washington.”—Former President Jimmy Carter, who in 1994 interposed himself in diplomacy and set up a deal in which North Korea supposedly dropped its nuclear weapons program in return for economic and political assistance, USA Today, Sept. 2.
Sacrificing the Warthog“Supersonic planes providing close air support are only in the minds of the Air Force. They’ve been playing the game for years of trying to replace the A-10 with something that’s a fighter. The A-10 is being sacrificed at the altar of the supersonic multirole fighter.”—Richard Aboulafia, Teal Group vice president of analysis, Air Force Times, Sept. 1.
Higher Stakes Than World War II“In my view, the stakes are much higher in the war on terror than in anything we’ve faced since World War II, and probably World War II as well.”—Gen. Richard B. Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Las Vegas Review–Journal, Aug. 27.
Below 300 Ships“The difference between 299 and 300, or between 300 and 301, is not in itself tremendous, but the 300 number is a number that has taken on certain symbolic or psychological importance as a barrier or a threshold level.”—Ronald O’Rourke, Congressional Research Service, as number of battle force ships in the Navy’s fleet dropped to 299, Inside the Pentagon, Aug. 28.
Lieutenant Fuzz Takes Off His Mask“I came out of OCS believing everything was exactly by the book and that I was going to take over and show everybody how things were done.”—Cartoonist Mort Walker, creator of “Beetle Bailey,” revealing that Lieutenant Fuzz is based on newly commissioned 2nd Lieutenant Walker, American Forces Press Service, Sept. 2.
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