"I sure hate going against American planes and missiles.
, "Fight Like A Dove"note
"C'mon, this is America
. We go in there with threats and bribes until we get what we want. If all else fails we beat the crap out of everyone."
"You're in America now." I said. "Our idea of diplomacy is showing up with a gun in one hand and a sandwich in the other and asking which you'd prefer.
"We are the most powerful military force in the history of man. Every fight is our fight, because what happens over here matters over there. We don't get to sit one out. Learning to use the tools of modern warfare is the difference between the prospering of your people, and utter destruction. We can't give you freedom. But we can give you the know-how to acquire it. And that, my friends, is worth more than a whole army base of steel. Sure it matters who's got the biggest stick, but it matters a helluva lot more who's swinging it. This is a time for heroes. A time for legends. History is written by the victors. Let's get to work.
"And, the usual jokes about the Army aside, one of the many fine things one has to admit is the way that the Army has carried the American democratic ideal to its logical conclusion, in the sense that not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, creed, and color, but also on the grounds of ability.
"We like war because we're good at it. And you know why we're good at it? 'Cause we get a lot of practice. This country's already 200 years old and already we've had ten major wars. We average a major war every 20 years in this country, so we're good at it! And it's a good thing we are; we're not good at anything else anymore. Can't build a decent car. Can't build a TV set or a VCR worth a fuck. Got no steel industry left. Can't educate our young people. Can't get health care to our old people. But we can bomb the shit out of your country, all right!
"Any healthy organization can survive individual divergencies, and may even profit from them. Compulsory unification of opinion can only achieve the unanimity of the graveyard.
—Adm. Hyman Rickover, USN (Plaque in the lobby of the eponymous Rickover Hall, United States Naval Academy)
"When the British shoot, the Germans duck. When the Germans shoot, the British duck. When the Americans shoot, everybody
—Old World War II saying
Bidden to make war their work, Americans shoulder the burden with intimidating purpose. There is, I have said, an American mystery, the nature of which I only begin to perceive. If I were obliged to define it, I would say it is the ethos-masculine, pervasive, unrelenting, of work as an end in itself. War is a form of work, and America makes war, howver reluctently, however unwillingly, in a peculiarly workmanlike way. I do not love war; but I love America.
—John Keegan, Fields of Battle
I couldn't talk the captain [of the USS Mobile Bay
] into firing a missile for me, but he showed me a videotape of a test firing ... Even in slow motion there was nothing slow about the missile launching. The flip lid whips open, and for a moment you see a bald top of something emerging in light and smoke, a high burlesque of a jack-in-the-box; then the ship's deck is covered by a tower of blast and dazzle blanketing one bright, rising, white, fiery column — hell's own hard-on. This
is the way to waste government money.
—P.J. O'Rourke, Parliament of Whores
Over there, over there,
Send the word, send the word over there
That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming
The drums rum-tumming everywhere.
So prepare, say a prayer,
Send the word, send the word to beware -
We'll be over, we're coming over,
And we won't come back till it's over, over there.