Eclectic quotations accumulating in Hell's Kitchen, NY, USA.


"We'll be patient. We'll just continue to draw the noose tighter and tighter."
-- General Richard Myers, head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, as quoted in The Washington Post.


"To me, this is not an act of war. It is terrorism: a man in a civilian vehicle killing himself at a checkpoint."
-- Capt. Andrew J. Valles, on the suicide bombing yesterday that killed four American soldiers, as quoted in The New York Times.


"One measure of the importance of those American PoW pictures and the images of the dead British soldiers is surely the sustained 'shock-and-awe' hacking campaign directed at since the start of the war... As I write, the Al-Jazeera Web site has been down for three days and few here doubt that the provenance of the attack is the Pentagon."
-- Faisal Bodi, a senior editor for, wrote in The Guardian.


"The enemy we're fighting is different from the one we'd war-gamed against."
-- Lieutenant General William Wallace, commander of the Army's 5th Corps, told The Washington Post.


"The closer we get to Baghdad, the crazier it gets."
-- Sgt. Robert Gardner, a marine at a base 110 miles south of Baghdad, as quoted by The New York Times.


"Now that the war is on, New Yorkers are also more scared than anyone else. With random checkpoints at 96th Street and soldiers in the subway, there's a sense that the period of false alerts, of which there have been so may since 9/11, is over..."
-- Carl Swanson, Island Nation, in New York Magazine.


"Hold against them. Hit them hard."
-- Saddam Hussein


"A war is a war... It's a brutal thing."
-- Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, on Meet the Press.


"We are not cowards, but what is the point? I've got a rifle from World War II. What can I do against American airplanes?"
-- Ahmed Ghobashi, an Iraqi colonel, after surrendering to a platoon of marines. As quoted by The New York Times.


"This was not your son or daughter. That chair he sat in at Thanksgving will be empty forever."
-- Michael Waters-Bey, father, on what he would tell President Bush about the current war, after the death of his only son, 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Kendall Damon Waters-Bey. As quoted by WJZ.


"What will follow will not be a repeat of any other conflict. It will be of a force and scope and scale that has been beyond what has been seen before."
-- Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense


''We will prevail.''
-- George W. Bush, President, on the start of the Iraqi war.


"Remember that the most difficult tasks are consummated, not by a single explosive burst of energy or effort, but by the constant daily application of the best you have within you."
-- Og Mandino, The Greatest Miracle In the World


"May your day be touched by a bit of Irish luck, brightened by a song in your heart, and warmed by the smiles of the people you love."
-- Anonymous, Irish prayer


"You just wait, I'll sin till I blow up!"
-- Dylan Thomas


"When you're curious, you find lots of interesting things to do."
-- Walt Disney


"Darling, the legs aren't so beautiful, I just know what to do with them."
-- Marlene Dietrich


"Dear Mr. Secretary:

I am writing you to submit my resignation from the Foreign Service of the United States and from my position as Political Counselor in U.S. Embassy Athens, effective March 7. I do so with a heavy heart. The baggage of my upbringing included a felt obligation to give something back to my country. Service as a U.S. diplomat was a dream job. I was paid to understand foreign languages and cultures, to seek out diplomats, politicians, scholars and journalists, and to persuade them that U.S. interests and theirs fundamentally coincided. My faith in my country and its values was the most powerful weapon in my diplomatic arsenal.

It is inevitable that during twenty years with the State Department I would become more sophisticated and cynical about the narrow and selfish bureaucratic motives that sometimes shaped our policies. Human nature is what it is, and I was rewarded and promoted for understanding human nature. But until this Administration it had been possible to believe that by upholding the policies of my president I was also upholding the interests of the American people and the world. I believe it no longer.

The policies we are now asked to advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American interests. Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America's most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson. We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known. Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security.

The sacrifice of global interests to domestic politics and to bureaucratic self-interest is nothing new, and it is certainly not a uniquely American problem. Still, we have not seen such systematic distortion of intelligence, such systematic manipulation of American opinion, since the war in Vietnam. The September 11 tragedy left us stronger than before, rallying around us a vast international coalition to cooperate for the first time in a systematic way against the threat of terrorism. But rather than take credit for those successes and build on them, this Administration has chosen to make terrorism a domestic political tool, enlisting a scattered and largely defeated Al Qaeda as its bureaucratic ally. We spread disproportionate terror and confusion in the public mind, arbitrarily linking the unrelated problems of terrorism and Iraq. The result, and perhaps the motive, is to justify a vast misallocation of shrinking public wealth to the military and to weaken the safeguards that protect American citizens from the heavy hand of government. September 11 did not do as much damage to the fabric of American society as we seem determined to so to ourselves. Is the Russia of the late Romanovs really our model, a selfish, superstitious empire thrashing toward self-destruction in the name of a doomed status quo?

We should ask ourselves why we have failed to persuade more of the world that a war with Iraq is necessary. We have over the past two years done too much to assert to our world partners that narrow and mercenary U.S. interests override the cherished values of our partners. Even where our aims were not in question, our consistency is at issue.

The model of Afghanistan is little comfort to allies wondering on what basis we plan to rebuild the Middle East, and in whose image and interests. Have we indeed become blind, as Russia is blind in Chechnya, as Israel is blind in the Occupied Territories, to our own advice, that overwhelming military power is not the answer to terrorism? After the shambles of post-war Iraq joins the shambles in Grozny and Ramallah, it will be a brave foreigner who forms ranks with Micronesia to follow where we lead.

We have a coalition still, a good one. The loyalty of many of our friends is impressive, a tribute to American moral capital built up over a century. But our closest allies are persuaded less that war is justified than that it would be perilous to allow the U.S. to drift into complete solipsism. Loyalty should be reciprocal. Why does our President condone the swaggering and contemptuous approach to our friends and allies this Administration is fostering, including among its most senior officials. Has oderint dum metuant really become our motto?

I urge you to listen to America's friends around the world. Even here in Greece, purported hotbed of European anti-Americanism, we have more and closer friends than the American newspaper reader can possibly imagine. Even when they complain about American arrogance, Greeks know that the world is a difficult and dangerous place, and they want a strong international system, with the U.S. and EU in close partnership. When our friends are afraid of us rather than for us, it is time to worry. And now they are afraid. Who will tell them convincingly that the United States is as it was, a beacon of liberty, security, and justice for the planet?

Mr. Secretary, I have enormous respect for your character and ability. You have preserved more international credibility for us than our policy deserves, and salvaged something positive from the excesses of an ideological and self-serving Administration. But your loyalty to the President goes too far. We are straining beyond its limits an international system we built with such toil and treasure, a web of laws, treaties, organizations, and shared values that sets limits on our foes far more effectively than it ever constrained America's ability to defend its interests.

I am resigning because I have tried and failed to reconcile my conscience with my ability to represent the current U.S. Administration. I have confidence that our democratic process is ultimately self-correcting, and hope that in a small way I can contribute from outside to shaping policies that better serve the security and prosperity of the American people and the world we share."

-- John Brady Kiesling, in a letter to the United States' Secretary of State, February 24, 2003.


"If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn't. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism."
-- Oscar Wilde


"Walk in peace. Be undisturbed and unperturbed: all is in God's plan. Never doubt this. Bring God into your life, and you will see miracles."
-- White Eagle, The Quiet Mind


"If you spend a lot of time thinking about your problems, they'll grow bigger and stronger. Is that what you want? Of course not! Instead, focus on your goals. Start your day with them at the front of your mind, and use notes to recall them strategically throughout your day."
-- Les Brown, Up Thoughts for Down Times


"I feel the greatest gift we can give to anybody is the gift of our honest self."
-- Fred Rogers


"Our members made it clear that they do not wish to perform to virtual orchestras...Our members also believe that live music is essential on Broadway and that minimums are appropriate and necessary."
-- Patrick Quinn, president of Actor's Equity union


"I've always liked men better than women."
-- Bette Davis


"There are those who are trying to set fire to the world
We are in danger.
There is time only to work slowly.
There is no time not to love."
-- Deena Metzger, Song


"Life's like a movie, write your own ending."
-- Kermit the Frog


"We're all busy little bees, full of stings, making honey day and night, aren't we honey?"
-- Bette Davis


"All things are difficult before they are easy."
-- Thomas Fuller


"It's important to live life with the experience, and therefore the knowledge, of its mystery and of your own mystery. This gives life a new radiance, a new harmony, a new splendor. Thinking in mythological terms helps to put you in accord with the inevitables of this vale of tears. You learn to recognize the positive values in what appear to be the negative moments and aspects of your life. The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure."
-- Joseph Campbell, The Power Of Myth