Nov. 1, 2002

Reason to Remember 9/11

“The temptation on any anniversary is to just look back. But on Dec. 7, 1942, the country did not just look back on the sunken Arizona. It looked forward to the destruction of Japan.”-Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Sept. 6.

Missions and Coalitions

“Wars are best fought by coalitions of the willing–but they should not be fought by committee. The mission must determine the coalition. The coalition must not determine the mission.”– Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Annual Report to the President and the Congress, Aug. 15.

US-Terrorists Equivalence

“We too watched with shock the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001. We too mourned the thousands of innocent dead and shook our heads at the terrible scenes of carnage–even as we recalled similar scenes in Baghdad, Panama City, and a generation ago, Vietnam.”-Oliver Stone, Jane Fonda, Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon, and other glitterati in a full page New York Times ad, Sept. 19.

Not There Yet

“I believe that effects-based operations will be the doctrinal concept-the future joint warfighting concept–that our nation will employ. But it ain’t ready yet.”-Army Gen. William F. Kernan, US Joint Forces Command commander, DOD briefing, Sept. 17.

Here’s to You, Mrs. Robinson

“Suddenly the T-word [referring to terrorism] is used all the time. … Everything is justified by that T-word. I hope that countries will put human rights back on the agenda because it tended to slip after Sept. 11.”-Departing UN human rights chief Mary Robinson, quoted by Associated Press Europe, Sept. 8.

They Know Nothing

“The people that are talking to the media about war plans are so far out of line and so disgracefully misbehaving. … Anyone who knows anything isn’t talking, and anyone with any sense isn’t talking. Therefore, the people that are talking to the media [are], by definition, people who don’t know anything.”-Rumsfeld, remarks to reporters, Sept. 22.

Air and Space

“Notably, the Space Commission report does not use the term ‘aerospace’ because it fails to give the proper respect to the culture and to the physical differences that abide between the environment of air and the environment of space. … We will respect the fact that space has its own culture and that space has its own principles. And when we talk about operating in different ways in air and space, we have to also pay great attention to combining the effects of air and space.”-Gen. John P. Jumper, Air Force Chief of Staff, in foreword to Air University’s fall 2002 Air & Space Power Journal, previously Aerospace Power Journal (and before that, Airpower Journal).

What Requirements

“We have a funny thing that we call requirements in the military. And of course, they aren’t really requirements. Generally, they tend to be appetites or desires. And the word has a kind of bias contained right in it: Just the very word sounds like it must be met. And there are those that must be [met] and those that need not be.”-Rumsfeld, Pentagon briefing, Aug. 13.

No Digging in California

“That’s not the place where Marines should be digging their first fighting hole.”-USMC Lt. Gen. Edward Hanlon, Combat Development Command commander, on Marines first learning a basic task on deployment to Afghanistan because environmental concerns bar their digging fighting holes in California, in Marine Corps Times, Sept. 9.

War Is the Priority

“We have to be careful that we’re not placing the global war on terrorism on top of our business-as-usual duties. We have to make the global war on terrorism our daily business, and everything has to be looked at through that lens.”-Gen. Gregory S. Martin, commander, US Air Forces in Europe, in European Stars and Stripes, Sept. 11.

Gift to Iraq

“It was a very innocent request, which we were obligated to fulfill.”-Thomas Monath, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab which supplied Iraqi scientists with two dozen viral and bacterial samples in the 1980s, as quoted in Business Week, Sept. 30.


“There is no current danger to the United States from Baghdad.”-Former President Jimmy Carter, Washington Post, Sept. 5.

From Dunkirk to Diana

“How Princess Diana’s death gets rated the most significant event in British history in the past 100 years defeats me.”-Nick Barrett, historian and consultant to the UK History Channel, in whose poll World War II was judged second in importance to the death of Princess Diana, in the Washington Times, Aug. 31.

Personnel Crisis

“Anytime you have an organization where half your employees are eligible for retirement within the next three to four years, that’s a very serious situation. You would never want to be a shareholder in any company that found itself in that situation.”-Samuel Heyman, head of Partnership for Public Service, on potential crisis in federal workforce, in Wall Street Journal, Sept. 19.

Vampire Defense Bill

“It’s the vampire conference because we only seem to be able to work on it at night and on weekends.”-Congressional aide on compromise version of defense authorization bill, moving slowly because of concentration of armed services committees on possible war with Iraq, in, Sept 10.