April 1, 2004
Who Needs Modern Airpower

“The biggest cuts should come in the three advanced tactical and Joint Strike Fighter aircraft: the Air Force’s F-22, the Navy’s F-18, and the shared F-35. The Pentagon plans to spend hundreds of billions of dollars over the next two decades on these planes, which are designed to replace older models that are already superior to anything any other country can put in the air.”—New York Times editorial, Feb. 5.

Cruise Missile Threat

“I have argued for years that it is only a matter of time before our deployed forces, or our homeland, will be attacked by cruise missiles. They are spreading, and they are for sale.”—Secretary of the Air Force James G. Roche, speech at Center for Strategic and International Studies, Jan. 21.

Je Ne Regrette Rien

“I’m too old to have regrets. No, I don’t regret it.”—Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, asked about his earlier comments on “Old Europe” and “New Europe,” Reuters, Feb. 6.

But Amends Are in Sight

“The American Administration cannot stay too long in the eyes of its own public opinion on such bad terms with one of its oldest allies.”—French Defense Minister Michele Alliot–Marie, telling the National Assembly she perceives a US desire “to turn the page,” Agence France–Presse, quoted by Washington Times, Jan. 22.

Closing In

“We have a variety of intelligence and we’re sure we’re going to catch Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar this year.”—Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, US Army spokesman in Afghanistan, New York Daily News, Jan. 30.

Hustler Not Embedded

“We find that there is no constitutional right for the media to embed with US military forces in combat.”—US appeals court on lawsuit by publisher Larry Flynt, seeking access for Hustler magazine correspondents to US troops in Afghanistan, UPI, Feb. 4.

Fast Forgiveness …

“I, as president of Pakistan, have decided to pardon Dr. A.Q. Khan who is our national hero but he has made mistakes, which is unfortunate.”—President Pervez Musharraf, one day after Khan acknowledged leaking nuclear arms secrets to Iran, Libya, and North Korea, Reuters, Feb. 5.

… And Broader Involvement

“Nobody in Pakistan believes Qadeer Khan just woke up one day and decided to sell the nuclear secrets on his own. [He] is being made a scapegoat to cover up the involvement of military leaders.”—Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Washington Times, Feb. 15.

Army Too Small

“I have been in the Army 39 years, and I’ve never seen the Army as stretched in that 39 years as I have today.”—Lt. Gen. John M. Riggs, director of the Army’s Objective Force Task Force, Baltimore Sun, Jan. 21.

Accusation of AWOL

“I look forward to that debate, when John Kerry, a war hero with a chest full of medals, is standing next to George Bush, a man who was AWOL [during Air National Guard service]. George Bush never served in our military in our country. He didn’t show up when he should have showed up.”—Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, quoted in New York Times, Feb. 2.

Jane Fonda Outraged

“Any attempts to link Kerry to me and to make him look bad with that connection is completely false. We were at a rally for veterans at the same time. I spoke. Donald Sutherland spoke. John Kerry spoke at the end. … How can you impugn, how can you even suggest that a Vietnam veteran like John Kerry, or any of them, are not patriotic?”—Jane Fonda, responding to publication of a photo of Presidential candidate Kerry and Fonda at a 1970 rally of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, CNN, Feb. 11.

Separate Defenses

“We don’t know if the United States will have forever the resources, or the interest, to defend Europe.”—Gen. Gustav Hagglund of Finland, chairman of the European Union military committee, on why Europeans need their own defense programs, Reuters, Jan. 20.

The Undead Walk

“It actually said I’d died.”—Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker on official notice of his death, sent to his home after his name dropped from the retired payroll when he was recalled to active duty, Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 11.

Backlash for Bin Laden

“The biggest price we have paid is that we have lost the high ground. While Bush has led the war on terror, it has become a chief recruiter for al Qaeda.”—Kenneth Roth, director of Human Rights Watch, London Times, Jan. 22.

Union Busting

“What on Earth does any of this have to do with national security? In fact, in times as perilous as these, sticking it to defense workers will only serve to disenfranchise a workforce that has served the nation honorably throughout its history and continues to do so during the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is, without a doubt, nothing but flat-out union busting by Rumsfeld and his cronies who know, in many cases, that it is union members who are the watchdogs over private contract abuses.”—John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, on Defense Department proposals for Civil Service reform, Feb. 9