In keeping with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's
new era of editorial accountability, I've decided not to write
my own column this week. Instead, this space will be devoted to material culled from internet by our ace research
team at Unsolicited Opinions, Inc. I hit upon this plan after reading that New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd,
aka "Kool Mo D," the Alpha female of Washington wits, had been banished from the editorial page.
Dowd's sin was cleverly editing a pronouncement
by President Junior to turn mere boasting into vainglorious nonsense.
Such monkey-business may have been tolerable when Bill Clinton was its target, but it has no place under the
benevolent reign of George W. Bush.
Editors somewhat confusingly chose to underscore
their newfound commitment to intellectual honesty by subsequently
featuring a column by Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe. Connoisseurs of high profile pratfalls rank Jacoby's purloined
Independence Day column right up there with Sammy Sosa's corked bat. On July 3, 2000, the pundit published under
his own byline a patriotic screed he was subsequently forced to admit copying almost verbatim from a widely-circulated
e-mail. Originally composed by Rush Limbaugh's father, the column was also chock full of historical blunders. After the
Globe suspended Jacoby for four months, conservatives complained that liberal media bosses were picking on him.
To honor the Democrat-Gazette's stringent
new ethical guidelines
then, a few openly borrowed quotes from various sources:
**"God told me to strike at al Qaida and
I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did,
and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you can help me I will act, and if not, the elections
will come and I will have to focus on them."--President Bush to Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas,
as reported by Abbas to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz.
**"There are some who feel that the conditions
are such that they can attack us there. My answer is: Bring 'em on.
We've got the force necessary to deal with the security situation." --President Bush, as reported in the Washington Post.
**"Bush's comment was unwise, unworthy of
the office and his role as commander in chief, and unhelpful to American
soldiers under fire. The deteriorating situation in Iraq requires less swagger and more thoughtfulness and statesmanship.
--press release by Sen. John Kerry,D-Mass., three purple hearts, Vietnam
**"I am shaking my head in disbelief. When
I served in the army in Europe during World War II, I never heard any
military commander--let alone the commander in chief--invite enemies to attack U.S. troops."—press release by
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey.
**""As a mother of one of our brave troops
in Iraq, may I just say, Mr. President, Perhaps you truly do believe in
invincibility of our military; however, the next time you invite attacks on my son, and others, kindly stand in front of
our soldiers, rather than hiding behindâ€?—soldier's mother quoted in an online forum in the Nashville Tennesean.
**"The world expects something more of an
American president than to prance around on a flight deck dressed up
like [a] pilot. He's expected to be a leader. That's my fundamental issue with it. It doesn't reflect the gravitas of the
office. Furthermore, it's a little phony."--Gen. Wesley Clark in Newsweek speaking of Bush's aircraft carrier landing.
**"To put it plainly, Rumsfeld treats people
like crap. Working for him is like working for Leona Helmsley, except
that Leona is less self-centered. Unless you are one of his sycophants, equipped with a good set of knee-pads and
plenty of lip balm, you can expect to be booted down the stairs on a regular basis...[S]ome senior officers deserve
to be treated that way, because that is how they always treated their subordinates. But Rummy does not discriminate
between perfumed princes and the real thinkers and leaders."--Military.com columnist William S. Lind on the
Secretary of Defense's leadership style.
**"U.S. officials need to get our [expletive]
out of here...I say that seriously. We have no business being here.
We will not change the culture they have in Iraq, in Baghdad. Baghdad is so corrupted. All we are here is potential
people to be killed and sitting ducks."--Staff Sgt. Charles Pollard, 307th Military Police, as reported by Anthony
Shadid in the Washington Post.
**"I don't really know what to think now.
We have lost Saddam Hussein, but I have lost my daughter. They came
to kill him, but killed her and the other children instead. What am I supposed to make of that?"--Juma Septi, of
Fallujah,Iraq, speaking of his 10 year old daughter Rahad, mistakenly targeted by an American A-10 bomber
while playing hide and seek. Reported by Ed Vuillamy in the Observer of London.
**"When my husband first deployed, the people
at work were so sweet, giving me days off, saying take whatever
time I need. But it's not like that today. Now they look at me kind of funny and say: 'Why do you need a day off now?
Isn't the war over?'" --Kim Franklin of Ft. Hood, Texas, quoted in the New York Times.
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