Ross Mackenzie

Quotes addressing topics currently in the news . . .

Private David Webster of the 101st Airborne Division, reflecting on the Feb 15, 1945, death of a comrade in Germany — as quoted by Stephen Ambrose in his book “Citizen Soldier”: “He wasn’t 20 years old. He hadn’t begun to live. Shrieking and moaning, he gave up his life on a stretcher. Back in America the standard of living continued to rise. Back in America, the racetracks were booming, the night clubs were having record profits, Miami Beach was so crowded you couldn’t get a room anywhere. Few people seemed to care. Hell, this was a boom. This was prosperity. This was the way to fight a war. We wondered if the people would ever know what it cost the soldiers in terror, bloodshed, and hideous, agonizing deaths — to win a war.”

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Washington Post reporter Josh White, writing from Iraq: “With . . . the war in Iraq a major issue at the polls, many soldiers said the United States should not abandon its efforts here. Such a move, enlisted soldiers and officers said, would set Iraq on a path to civil war, give new life to the insurgency, and create the possibility of a failed state after nearly four years of fighting to implant democracy.”

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Vice President Dick Cheney, Nov. 3: “(The war) may not be popular with the public. It doesn’t matter, in the sense that we have to continue what we think is right. That’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re not running for office. We’re doing what we think is right. . . The president has made clear what his objective is. It’s victory in Iraq. And it’s full speed ahead on that basis. And that’s what we’re going to do.”

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Nobel economist Milton Friedman, who died last month: (1) “If government is to exercise power, better in the county than in the state, better in the state than in Washington.” (2) “Inflation is taxation without legislation.” (3) “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.” (4) “A society that puts equality ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom.” And (5) “If a tax cut increases government revenues, you haven’t cut taxes enough.”

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Clinton White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, anticipating the Democratic takeover of Congress: “My fear is that the Democrats after 12 years of trench warfare and a pretty rough time . . . basically (will) come out and seek vengeance for everything that’s taken place. If they do that, I think they (will) make a pretty big mistake because the public will say, ‘These guys are no different than Tom DeLay and his crowd.’”

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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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