December 28, 2006

December 28, 2006 | Commentary on

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How will we remember the politics of 2006? As the year Iraq troops got the better of John Kerry? Or the year Hugo Chavez invoked the devil at the United Nations? Newspapers pride themselves on being the first draft of history, so below is a little help for future historians. And Happy New Year 2007 to the faithful readers of The Washington Times.

"[I prefer] an excess of caricature to an excess of censorship." French Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking of the Danish cartoons, Feb. 9.

"One very dramatic scene in the Al Gore global warming movie: When a glacier melts and they find more Al Gore ballots from the election." David Letterman, May 26.

"You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent... I'm not joking." Sen. Joe Biden, July 7.

"The basic problem in the Islamic world is the existence of the Zionist regime, and the Islamic world and the region must mobilize to remove this problem," the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, July 8.

"Yo, Blair. How are you doing?" President Bush to British Prime Minister Tony Blair at G-8 summit, July 18.

"The message of the Iranian nation is peace, calm and co-habitation with all nations based on justice . . . We are no threat to any nation, even the Zionist regime," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Aug. 26.

"Had we known that the kidnapping of the soldiers would lead to this, we would definitely not have done it." Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah on the Israeli incursion into southern Lebanon, Aug. 27.

"You may succeed in silencing one man but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life. May God forgive you for what you have done, not only to me but to beloved Russia and its people." Alexander Litvinenko, poisoned with Polonium, Sept. 21.

"And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday, the devil came here. Right here. Right here. And it smells of sulfur still today, this table that I am now standing in front of. Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world." Hugo Chavez at the United Nations, Sept. 20.

"But at least I tried. That's the difference in me and some, including all the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try. They did not try. I tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed, I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke, who got demoted. So you did Fox's bidding on this show. You did your nice little conservative hit job on me." Former President Bill Clinton to Chris Wallace on Fox News, Sept. 26.

"You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't you get stuck in Iraq." Senator John Kerry, Oct. 31.

"Halp us Jon Carry -- We R stuck hear n Irak," Service members from the Minnesota National Guard, New York Post, Nov. 2.

"Of course, now Senator Kerry says he was just making a joke, and he botched it up. I guess we didn't get the nuance. He was for the joke before he was against it." Vice President Dick Cheney, Nov. 2.

"The message is clear. Global climate change must take its place alongside the proliferation of deadly weapons." Kofi Annan, Nov. 15.

"No young, bright individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very, very high unemployment. If a young fellow has an option of having a decent career or joining the Army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq." Rep. Charlie Rangel, Nov. 26.

The Israeli regime is inherently a "threat [and] on the verge of disappearing." Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Dec. 2.

"We enter this new year clear-eyed about the challenges in Iraq and equally clear about our purpose. Our goal remains a free and democratic Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself, and is an ally in this war on terror." President Bush, Dec. 20.

Helle Dale is director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation.

About the Author

Helle C. Dale Senior Fellow for Public Diplomacy
The Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom

First appeared in the Washington Times