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The Best of Notable Quotables; December 23, 1991

Vol. Four; No. 26


Which Way Is It? Gulf War



Peter Arnett: “While we were there [at a bombing site], a distraught woman shouted insults at the press and vented anger at the West.”
Woman: “Mea culpa! Mea culpa! All of you are responsible, all of you! Bombing the people for the sake of oil! Hunted as if we are Iranian! We are human beings! Who made this area like this? The flames in the area, it’s the West! Mea culpa, the blood, she is on your head!”

– CNN live from Baghdad, February 1.


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“Iraq has been polishing up its propaganda game for years. A woman wailing in TV-perfect English about civilian casualties turned out, as CNN later reported, to be an Iraqi official [aide to the Foreign Affairs Under- secretary]. She also showed up on French TV wailing in French.”

Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, Feb. 25.


Runners-up:


“I saw various plans that the manufacturers had left behind talking about its use as a shelter and I can tell you that I saw no sign of military equipment on that lower level and I looked into all the main rooms.”

– BBC reporter Jeremy Bowen on the “shelter” bombed by the U.S., February 14 NBC Nightly News.


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“Intelligence sources told Newsweek that only the top two levels sheltered senior military commanders and Baath officials, along with their families. Beneath them was a secret basement filled with equipment for communicating with Army leaders at the front. Last week the Iraqis flooded the secret basement to prevent reporters from seeing it after the bombing.”

Newsweek defense reporter John Barry, February 25.

“The message that came from them very strongly in Baghdad was that they’re pretty sick of Saddam Hussein. They don’t like the man, they don’t like what he’s done to their country, and they’d like to be rid of him.”

– BBC Baghdad reporter Jeremy Bowen on NBC News at Sunrise after reporters were kicked out of Baghdad, March 8.


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“But the air war itself, as it goes on, has shown no sign of diminishing Saddam’s support here ....all the people that we talk to with the television cameras say that the continuing air attacks have in fact strengthened their desire, their will to resist the Allied coalition.”

– Bowen on the NBC Nightly News, Feb. 16.