Notable Quotables - 03/04/1991


Saddam Hussein: Capable Military Mind?

Reporter Arthur Kent: "Saddam Hussein is a cunning man and nowhere does he show that more clearly than on a battlefield when he's under attack."
Anchor Faith Daniels: "And that, Arthur, really seems to be this Administration's greatest miscalculation."
Arthur Kent: "That's right, Faith. He is ruthless, but more than ruthless. In the past 11 days, he's surprised us. He's shown us a capable military mind and he still seems to know exactly what he's doing."
- Exchange from NBC special America: The Realities of War, January 27.

"As far as Saddam Hussein being a great military strategist, he is neither a strategist, nor is he schooled in the operational art, nor is he a tactician, nor is he a general, nor is he a soldier. Other than that, he's a great military man."
- Allied commander Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf in a February 27 news conference.

Looking At The Bright Side

"War Highlights Shortcomings of U.S. Forces"
- Washington Post headline, February 10.


The Big Winner? Gorbachev

"The outcome of the Persian Gulf War still hangs in the balance, but in Europe one clear victor is already apparent: the Soviet Union. In the past week, analysts said, the Soviet Union, under the leadership of President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, reestablished itself as a force in the Middle East and rebuilt some of the diplomatic credibility shattered by the collapse of communism across Eastern Europe."
- Beginning of February 24 news story by Boston Globe reporter Jonathan Kaufman.


Ignoring Cheney's Request

"Allied military units are on the move. Their positions, movements, and plans must be carefully safeguarded. We must assume that the enemy is confused about what is happening on the battlefield and it is absolutely essential that we not do anything inadvertently ourselves to clarify the picture for him."
- Defense Secretary Dick Cheney in a press conference at the start of the ground war, February 23.

"As part of our CBS News live coverage of the beginning of the ground war offensive, we're talking to Bob McKeown, a CBS News reporter who's one mile from the Kuwaiti border. Bob, any indication of how far up you the think the Allies are now?"
- Dan Rather, 21 minutes later.


Peter's "Peace" Agenda?

"I later grew to understand that if we had presented the Viet Cong in a proper light from the beginning, maybe we would have had a better assessment of how the war was going. And that's really why I'm here now, because I feel that an assessment is really important. I'm not here to end the war by any means; I'm here to try and figure out what is happening."
- End of Peter Arnett interview in Newsweek, February 11.

"And hopefully, by being here, CNN being here, I know it's Ted Turner's vision to get CNN around the world and we can prevent events like this from occurring in the future. I know that is my wish after thirty years of covering wars all over and conflicts all over the world. I mean, I am sick of wars, and I am here because maybe my contribution will somehow lessen the hostilities, if not this time, maybe next time."
- Peter Arnett on CNN, January 29.


True or Not, Just As Long As We Can Report It

"There are lots of things that you can't report. If you do, you are asked to leave the country, and I don't think we want to do that. I think you do a very valuable service reporting no matter what you are allowed to report."
- Baghdad-based CBS reporter Betsy Aaron on CBS This Morning, February 20.


More War on the Pentagon

"With an arrogance foreign to the democratic system, the U.S. military in Saudi Arabia is trampling on the American people's right to know. It is doing a disservice not only to the home front but also to history and its own best interests."
- Walter Cronkite in a February 25 Newsweek column.

"The Administration has clamped a tight lid on news coverage of the Gulf War, using the armed forces to severely limit what journalists can see, hear, say, or write. In effect, the authorities are making sure Americans get only their official version of the war and they're quick to label all other versions as propaganda."
- Today co-host Bryant Gumbel, February 13.


Buying Iraqi Propaganda I

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.

"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 Undersecretary]. She also showed up on French TV wailing in French."
- Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, February 25.

Buying Iraqi Propaganda II

"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 in to all the main rooms."
- BBC reporter Jeremy Bowen on the "shelter" bombed by the U.S., February 14 NBC Nightly News.

"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.


Forgetful Americans

"By staying glued to the latest smart-bomb video on CNN, Americans can conveniently forget the country's yawning federal deficit, escalating crime, dropping SAT scores and deteriorating economy. Only when the images turn to dead GIs will reality set in. For the President's PR machine, the 'daily message' could easily get lost in the stark images of combat. The spinmeisters may face a hard choice between showing the true face of war - or opening a credibility gap that could come back to haunt them."
- Newsweek Washington reporters Ann McDaniel and Howard Fineman, February 11.


Don't Dare Thank Reagan

"Americans have been dazzled by TV reports of a wide range of computer-and laser-guided weaponry being used successfully against Saddam Hussein. For that weaponry, a lot of folks have been simplistically crediting Ronald Reagan, whose expensive procurements dominated government spending in the '80s. But as Capitol Hill correspondent Henry Champ reports, not everyone feels Reagan deserves the credit, or wants to return to Reagan-like levels of spending."
- Today co-host Bryant Gumbel, January 28.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Brant Clifton, Nicholas Damask, Steve Kaminski, Marian Kelley, Tim Lamer; Media Analysts
- Jennifer Hardebeck; Circulation Manager