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Notable Quotables - 03/17/2003

ABC's "Straightforward" Question


"In the past several weeks, your policy on Iraq has generated opposition from the governments of France, Russia, China, Germany, Turkey, the Arab League, and many other countries; opened a rift at NATO and at the UN; and drawn millions of ordinary citizens around the world into the streets in anti-war protests. May I ask what went wrong that so many governments and peoples around the world now not only disagree with you very strongly, but see the U.S. under your leadership as an arrogant power?"
-ABC White House correspondent Terry Moran to President Bush at a prime-time press conference, March 6.

"Terry, you asked the President a fairly straightforward question."
-Peter Jennings to Moran during ABC's live coverage after the press conference concluded.

 

Iraq More Cooperative than U.S.


"In Iraq today, while the Iraqis continue to comply with the UN weapons inspectors, the Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein, was attacking the United States in a public letter to Iraqis."
-ABC's Peter Jennings on World News Tonight, March 4.

"Ari, the destruction of these Al-Samoud missiles now represents about ten percent, a little more, of their entire medium-range missile capability. That's a piece of real, substantive disarmament under international supervision. But it's not total disarmament. But you aren't denying that that's real disarmament?"
"But it is substantive, it is not just process, this is substance, this is real destruction of weapons."
"So, it's the administrations view that making war in Iraq now is preferable to any further piecemeal, substantive disarmament?"
-ABC's Terry Moran to White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer at the March 3 briefing.

"While were on the disarmament process, Iraq is clearly starting to destroy some of its weapons, perhaps not as quickly as the administration would like. Clearly, it can't all be done in one instant, in some Big Bang theory. So doesn't this speak to the President's well-known impatience, that his patience is running out, he's not willing to give this process more time?"
-Los Angeles Times White House reporter Ed Chen to Fleischer later at the same briefing.

 

Peter's Plea: Don't Nix Blix


"So many people don't understand why you shouldn't let the inspections continue if they are accomplishing anything....Most people think they're doing a reasonably effective job at the moment."
-ABC's Peter Jennings questioning Secretary of State Colin Powell on the March 7 World News Tonight.

 

No Doubting Iraqi Propaganda


"Iraq's leaders are calling the inspectors report objective proof this country is disarming. And America's ultimatum is no surprise here because many Iraqis believe whatever they do, the United States will find a reason for war...."
"Tonight, word of America's new deadline and threat of war fazed no one at this Baghdad cafe. 'America is a terrorist country, he [one Iraqi man] says.'"
-NBC's Ron Allen reporting from Baghdad for the March 7 Nightly News.

Diane Sawyer: "I read this morning that he's also said the love that the Iraqis have for him is so much greater than anything Americans feel for their President because he's been loved for 35 years, he says, the whole 35 years."
Dan Harris in Baghdad: "He is one to point out quite frequently that he is part of a historical trend in this country of restoring Iraq to its greatness, its historical greatness. He points out frequently that he was elected with a hundred percent margin recently."
-Exchange on ABC's Good Morning America, March 7.

"In Baghdad, more preparations for war: A parade of police officers, pledging to repel any invaders. They marched with guns, they rode on motorcycles, in cruisers, on horses, and on the backs of pickup trucks. There were firefighters, too, and men wearing masks, a sign that they're willing to die for President Saddam Hussein."
-ABC's Dan Harris on Good Morning America, March 5.

Dan Harris: "While on the surface life here goes on with some semblance of normalcy, there is, nonetheless, no shortage of anxiety. The government has given people six months worth of food rations, people are digging wells in their backyards and hospitals, including this maternity hospital, are bracing for war."
Iraqi nurse, speaking in English: "For sure there'll be premature labors and for sure there'll be high percentage of miscarriages, for sure it will be like that."
-ABC's World News Tonight, February 28.

 

Moyers: Retake "Hijacked" Flag


"I decided to put on my flag pin tonight first time. Until now I haven't thought it necessary to display a little metallic icon of patriotism for everyone to see....I put it on to take it back. The flag's been hijacked and turned into a logo the trademark of a monopoly on patriotism....
When I see flags sprouting on official lapels, I think of the time in China when I saw Mao's Little Red Book on every officials desk, omnipresent and unread."
"But more galling than anything are all those moralistic ideologues in Washington sporting the flag in their lapels while writing books and running Web sites and publishing magazines attacking dissenters as un-American....I put this on as a modest riposte to men with flags in their lapels who shoot missiles from the safety of Washington think tanks, or argue that sacrifice is good as long as they dont have to make it....I put it on to remind myself that not every patriot thinks we should do to the people of Baghdad what bin Laden did to us."
-Bill Moyers on PBS's Now, February 28.

 

Validating a Make-Believe March


"Old-time activists were able to really judge their success by the number of bodies that they saw standing right out here in front of the Capitol. Now, in this new era, people are realizing that there are many ways to judge success....So many calls for a first-ever virtual anti-war march in Washington that the Capitols phone system jammed....Organizers are saying that over a million calls and e-mails and faxes have come in, but the downside of a virtual march is that theres no real hard and fast way to prove that."
-CNN's Maria Hinojosa on Inside Politics, February 26.

 

Today Touts Think Tank's Tilt


"The President is trying to win support for military action now with a change in strategy, pledging renewed commitment to Mideast peace. Before a friendly audience, a conservative Washington think tank...."
-Campbell Brown on NBC's Today, February 27.

"Last night the President spoke to a conservative think tank in Washington and he talked about Iraq after Saddam."
-NBC's Matt Lauer a few minutes later.

"Meantime, President Bush told a conservative audience in Washington last night that getting rid of Saddam would not only help the Iraqi people, it would also set the stage for peace in the Middle East."
-NBC's Ann Curry on the same show during the 9 a.m. news update.


Iraq, a Vietnam in the Sand?


"If War Happens, Another Quagmire?"
-On-screen graphic during CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports on February 26.


Bad Time for "Massive" Tax Cuts


"That cost [of a war in Iraq] is adding to the potential deficit, some $50-100 billion. Doesn't that have something to do with the President's ability to get his tax cut passed? A lot of people say, 'Why are you cutting taxes now when you're increasing the deficit.' Shouldn't this be a time when youre increasing taxes?"
-NBC's Matt Lauer to CNBC's Ron Insana on Today, March 7.

"As you know, these are massive tax cuts being talked about at a time that there's also a cost of a war, the President is talking about prescription drug aid, and indeed this morning, the news is out that the deficit is rising even faster than predicted, that it could be up now in $400 billion of deficit. Aren't Americans going to pay a price for that?"
-ABC's Diane Sawyer to Treasury Secretary John Snow on the March 5 Good Morning America.

 

Simultaneously United & Divided


"Democrats Pulling Together United Front Against G.O.P."
-New York Times headline, March 3.

"Congressional Democrats Divided on Agenda; Divisions Weaken Attacks on Bush."
-Washington Post headline and subheadline, March 4.

 

Bush's Scheme: Kill the Press?


"They [Pentagon officials] say they're gonna let the correspondents be in with the troops, but I think maybe they're trying to stick it to the correspondents, they hope some of them will get killed. I don't know what their point is."
-CBS's Andy Rooney on FNC's On the Record with Greta van Susteren, March 4.

 

Liberal Complaints Are a Joke


"According to the New York Times, a group of liberal venture capitalists are in the process of developing their own liberal radio network to counter conservative shows like Rush Limbaugh. They feel the liberal viewpoint is not being heard - except on TV, in the movies, in music, by comedians, magazines and newspapers other than that, its not getting out."
-Jay Leno on NBC's Tonight Show, February 24.