Ross Mackenzie

Selected bon mots from a brilliant summer flower garden of quotations. . .

Influenza expert Richard Webby, on the consequences of East Asian farmers widely injecting chickens with amantadine - one of two types of medication for treating human influenza - in a misguided effort to suppress outbreaks of avian flu: "(The resistance-building practice) is definitely an issue if there's a pandemic. Amantadine is off the table."

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Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Monday in Saudi Arabia: "For 60 years, my country . . . pursued stability at the expense of democracy in . . . the Middle East, and we achieved neither. Now we are taking a different course. We are supporting the democratic aspirations of all people. . . . Throughout the Middle East, the fear of free choices can no longer justify the denial of liberty. It is time to abandon the excuses that are made to avoid the hard work of democracy."

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Egyptian Ayman Zawahiri, al-Qaida's No. 2 man to Osama bin Laden, in a video aired last week on the pan-Arab news network Aljazeera: "The removal of the crusader (i.e., Christian, or Western) and Jewish invaders won't occur by peaceful demonstrations. Reform and expelling the invaders from countries of Islam won't happen except through fighting for God's sake. . . . (Palestinian jihadists fighting Israel should be encouraged not to allow themselves) to forsake their jihad, not to lay down their arms . . . and not to be dragged into the game of secular elections under a secular constitution."

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Former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, on the news that Army Ranger Pat Tillman, a former professional football player, was killed a year ago in Afghanistan by friendly fire: "Combat creates confusion and much of the training is designed to deal with the chaos inherent in all battles. That chaos is compounded by fading light and terrain . . . steep crags, sharp rocky ledges, narrow valleys. But none of that changes the heroism exhibited every day by those who carry this burden for all the rest of us. Corporal Tillman will always be a hero. His shield needs no burnishing. And we all need to know how and why our warriors died."

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Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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