“”
“Some argue that since our actions are not as horrifying as Al Qaeda’s, we should not be concerned. When did Al Qaeda become any type of standard by which we measure the morality of the United States? We are America, and our actions should be held to a higher standard, the ideals expressed in documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.”
Capt. Ian Fishback, 82nd Airborne
“”
“[O]ccasionally good news travels in from outside, like a birdsong though an open window. It’s as if Katrina left in her wake a huge zone of Bad, where no new Good can gain a foothold. All the Good we get has to be imported from exotic far away lands, like Missouri, or New York. Places where people have homes, and electricity, and phones, and running water, and a future.”
“”
“He told me to picture a world without art — to imagine a life with no music in it, no hot colors, no nonsense, no poetry. He told me to picture a world in which no one was ever shaken, nothing was said that ever challenged anyone, nothing was done that ever disturbed or uplifted a human soul. And that, he told me, is what it means to miss New Orleans.”
“”
“A flag has to be worth torching. When a flag gets burned, that’s not a sign of its weakness but of its strength. If you can’t stand the heat of your burning flag, get out of the superpower business.”
“”
“When people like myself say American values must be emulated and America is a bastion of freedom, we get Guantanamo Bay thrown in our faces. When we talk about the America of Jefferson and Hamilton, people back home say to us: ‘That is not the America we are dealing with. We are dealing with the America of imprisonment without trial.’”
“”
“If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.”
Thomas Jefferson
“”
“It is like that nice guy in America — what’s his name again? — who spoke about ‘old Europe’. It has no sense. It’s a lack of culture to imagine that. Imagining that there can be division between the British and French vision of Europe is as absurd as imagining that we are building Europe against the United States.”
“”
“We both represent aspects of the American psyche that need each other, the jock and the intellectual, the Boy Scout and the renegade, the guardian and the wild card. We both love this great and terrible country, even as we fear one another’s excessive influence on it, and part of what we love is the creative fever that arises from our division. As we need each other, however unwillingly, so America needs us both.”
“”
“Bin Laden’s remarks show how poorly he understands America and Americans. His words will have no influence on the election or American policy. After all, if we won’t listen to our friends and allies’ advice we certainly aren’t going to listen to his.”
“”
“Set aside what the mass of people think. Some things are so bad for them that you cannot allow them to have them. One of them is war in the context of terrorism in the United States. Therefore, we have to abridge individual rights, change the societal conditions, and act in ways that heretofore were not in accordance with our values and traditions, like giving a police officer or security official the right to search you without a judicial finding of probable cause.”
“”
“What we would like to see is a greater understanding of power, of the democratic system, the open market economic system, the rights of men and women to achieve their destiny as God has directed them to do if they are willing to work for it. And we really do not wish to go to war with people. But, by God, we will have the strongest military around. And that’s not a bad thing to have. It encourages and champions our friends that are weak and it chills the ambitions of the evil.”
“”
“The time is now to resolve that the basis of a firm and principled foreign policy is one that takes the world as it is and seeks to change it by leadership and example; not by harangue, harassment or wishful thinking. The time is now to say that while we shall seek new friendships and expand and improve others, we shall not do so by breaking our word or casting aside old friends and allies.”
Ronald Reagan, 1980
“”
“People have the right to believe in a racist God, or a God who throws millions of nonevangelicals into hell. I don’t think we should ban books that say that. But we should be embarrassed when our best-selling books gleefully celebrate religious intolerance and violence against infidels. That’s not what America stands for, and I doubt that it’s what God stands for.”
“”
“I’m so glad I quit the human race a long time ago, because it’s a freak show. I always say when you’re born into this world, you get a ticket for the freak show. And if you’re born in America, you get in the front row.”
“”
“It’s gratifying to note that, despite essentially everything you see on TV, hear on the radio, or read in the newspaper or on the internet, there actually is a war going on, and that the American people have not forgotten the lessons of that fateful day, when everything we know changed forever. No, not the day you saw Janet Jackson’s tit. The other one.”
“”
”...we may be soon entering a far scarier world, when America in exasperation -- as it did for most of its history before the European wars -- will simply shrug and say: ‘Good luck to you all.’”
“”
“It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and who’s coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag”
Father Dennis Edward O’Brien
“”
“Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty.”
Samuel Adams
“”
“We’ve done a lot of liberation in Europe after other Europeans had occupied parts of Europe.”
“”
“It is not the American war machine that should be of the utmost concern to Muslims. What threatens the future of Islam, in fact its very survival, is American democracy.”
“”
“To be perfectly frank, we were less concerned with the suffering of the Iraqi people than we were in maintaining our moral challenge to U.S. foreign policy. We did not agitate for an end to sanctions for purely humanitarian reasons; it was more important to us to maintain our moral challenge to ‘violent’ U.S. foreign policy, regardless of what happened in Iraq.”
“”
“America is the symbol of freedom.”
“”
“We want to invest in the New York Stock Exchange. We want to have Pepsi Cola, Coca-Cola. We don’t want confrontation and aggression and, you know, to fight anymore. It’s over. It’s behind us now.”
Saif al-eslam Gadhafi,
Moammar’s son
“”
“There is a myth that though we love freedom, others don’t; that our attachment to freedom is a product of our culture; that freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law are American values or Western values; that Afghan women were content under the lash of the Taliban; that Saddam was somehow beloved by his people; that Milosevic was Serbia’s savior. Members of Congress, ours are not Western values. They are the universal values of the human spirit, and anywhere, any time ordinary people are given the chance to choose, the choice is the same: freedom, not tyranny; democracy, not dictatorship; the rule of law, not the rule of the secret police. The spread of freedom is the best security for the free. It is our last line of defense and our first line of attack.”
“”
“American consumers, whose spending generates two-thirds of the nation’s growth, didn’t curl into a cocoon as they were glued to their televisions, mesmerized by scenes of the bombing of Bagdad. They filled up their gas-guzzling SUVs’ gas tanks and went shopping, driving March retail sales up a whopping 2.1 percent -- the biggest increase since October 2001.”
“”
“It reminded me again of an interview I heard a few weeks ago with the CEO of some big Middle-eastern Internet company; he said that Arabs hate the US because of the oppressive governments we support. The host asked if people were pleased when the Taliban was deposed, and he said of course not - the US was attacking a Muslim nation!”
“”
“Stay home. You are safe. I am here, the U.S. forces are here.”
Khuder Al-Emeri, to his son Ali, whom he’d not seen in 12 years
“”
“He’s going to wake up every day for the rest of his life, and he’s going to tell us how he hates everything about this country except his right to hate it. And then we say that we love it and he’s going to tell us what naive sheep we are and that he’s the true patriot because he hates it and he sees all the problems in it. Yeah, right, Mike. You know something, if my yawn got any bigger they’d have to assign it a hurricane name, okay? Michael Moore simultaneously represents everything I detest in a human being and everything I feel obligated to defend in an American. Quite simply, it is that stupid moron’s right to be that utterly, completely wrong.”
Dennis Miller
“”
“We want you nervous. We want you to realize now, for the fourth time in a hundred years, this country and its allies are on the march and that we are on the side of those whom you -- the Mubaraks, the Saudi Royal family -- most fear: We’re on the side of your own people.”
“”
“For many in the world, friend or foe, the McDonald’s corporation is the ultimate symbol of America and its power. It would seem that, from the media coverage of the past week, the Big Mac effect also extends to warfare. If a conflict is not over in the time it takes to acquire and dispose of a cheeseburger, fries and strawberry shake, then something seriously disturbing must be happening. It is the fast-food approach to international relations.”
“”
“Hell, 15 dead: that’s a quiet day in the Arab world. Even imagining the United States was targeting civilians, its efforts are laughable compared with Saddam -- 5,000 dead in the chemical attack on Halabja in one day -- or Assad -- 30,000 shelled to death in Hama -- or pretty much any other Arab ruler. Arab governments -- and their press and public -- should first practice moral judgment on themselves and each other, before turning their outrage on the United States.”
“”
“And my question for the French and British is this: If the Security Council fails to constrain Saddam Hussein, what makes you think that it will constrain America? And how long can you demonize America as an imperialist power that doesn’t give a damn what other people think before it comes true? And do you want to live in that world?”
“”
“The yellow-ribbon era died with September 11: even if their television networks haven’t quite adjusted, Americans are tougher about these things; this is a country at war and one that understands how to absorb losses and setbacks.”
“”
“To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.”
“”
“Americans have different ways of saying things. They say ‘elevator’, we say ‘lift’ ... they say ‘President’, we say ‘stupid psychopathic git.’ ”
Alexi Sayle
“”
“Am I embarrassed to speak for a less-than-perfect democracy? Not one bit. Find me a better one. Do I suppose there are societies which are free of sin? No, I don’t. Do I think ours is, on balance, incomparably the most hopeful set of human relations the world has? Yes, I do.”
Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan
“”
“The United States is the greatest force – and, occasionally, I do sadly mean ‘force’ – for good this world has ever seen. Why should we be constrained from trying to do good, when no one else is constrained from doing evil?”
“”
“The people who did this to us are monsters; the people who cheered them have hate-sickened minds. One reason they can cheer is that they know we would never do to them what their heroes did to us, even though we could, a thousand times worse. They know that when we hunt down the monsters, we will try hard not to harm the innocent. Those are the handcuffs we willingly wear, because for all our flaws, we are a decent people.”
Dave Barry
“”
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
Theodore Roosevelt
“”
“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the Atmosphere.”
Thomas Jefferson
“”
“You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing -- when they have exhausted every possible alternative.”
Winston Churchill
“”
“For Americans war is almost all of the time a nuisance, and military skill is a luxury like Mah-Jongg. But when the issue is brought home to them, war becomes as important, for the necessary period, as business or sport. And it is hard to decide which is likely to be the more ominous for the Axis - an American decision that this is sport, or that it is business.”
D. W. Brogan, on WWII
“”
“I don’t remember Americans being less bothered by outside criticism at any time since the Reagan Administration, which is not hard to understand, given how daft much of it has been. And getting bombed has a way of clarifying beliefs and relationships.”
“”
“Today the United States is the last religious country in the western world, the last in which a majority of the population are practising believers. By contrast, in all the jurisdictions where one church was formally or informally tied to the state -- England, Ireland, France, Spain, Quebec, you name it -- religious observance has withered away to statistically insignificant numbers.”
“”
“The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine.”
George Washington
“”
“That’s why I’m convinced Lee Harvey Oswald was indeed John F Kennedy’s murderer - if there had been a conspiracy, it would have emerged. Americans just can’t keep their mouth shut. I like that. It’s an important element of democracy for me.”
“”
“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”
Samuel Adams
“”
“If America stands aloof from global problems, it is accused of isolationism. If it intervenes, it is accused of imperialism. Either way, it becomes a target of resentment and violence.”
“”
“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”
John F. Kennedy
“”
“The United States of America has just succeeded in bombing a country back out of the Stone Age.”
“”
“I would rather ... have a nod from an American, than a snuff-box from an emperor.”
Lord Byron
“”
“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility - I welcome it.”
John F. Kennedy
“”
“It is the common failing of totalitarian regimes that they cannot really understand the nature of our democracy. They mistake dissent for disloyalty. They mistake restlessness for a rejection of policy. They mistake a few committees for a country. They misjudge individual speeches for public policy.”
Lyndon Johnson
“”
“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
John F. Kennedy
“”
“We are all running from that turmoil. That is why we seek refuge in the U.S. And now we see the same thing happening here. If this thing does not have an end to it, this can destroy us all.”
“”
“You don’t have to be in New York to be a New Yorker this week. You don’t have to be in the Lower 48 to feel your heart buried in the rubble of Manhattan. You do not have to be an American to be part of the struggle to come.”
“”
“They were able to do it in part because our airport security is pathetic. But mainly they were able to do it because we are an open and trusting society that simply is not set up to cope with evil men, right here among us, who want to kill as many Americans as they can.”
“”
“Our heart is with the US. Our hearts are with their families. America has paid a very high price, but America remains the only country that can save the world from this ... Everybody who is engaged in terror is endangering humanity.”
Shimon Peres
“”
“Remember, remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionaries.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
“”
“In an atmosphere of liberty, artists and patrons are free to think the unthinkable and create the audacious; they are free to make both horrendous mistakes and glorious celebrations.”
Ronald Reagan
“”
“I always figured the American public wanted a solemn ass for president, so I went along with them.”
Calvin Coolidge
“”
“Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams.”
Mary Ellen Kelly
“”
“Once I traveled about in an old bakery wagon, a double-doored rattler with a mattress on the floor, I stopped where people stopped or gathered, I listened and looked and felt, and in the process had a picture of my country the accuracy of which was impaired only by my own shortcomings.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley


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