View Full Version : Oh! What a quotable war

04-22-03, 07:46 AM
April 22, 2003

Oh! What a quotable war
By Jack Malvern, Arts Reporter

A CHARACTER from the The Simpsons who described the French as “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” is responsible for the most memorable quotation about Iraq, according to the compilers of a new dictionary.
The quote from Groundskeeper Willie, first used when the French were objecting to military action in Iraq last November, is top of a list of new expressions that are likely to be included in the forthcoming edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.

The line, which has been repeated 63 times in the British press, is ranked alongside quotations by Tony Blair and Donald Rumsfeld in the dictionary’s database. The Tony Blair speech in which he vowed to “do the right thing, not the easy thing” is another favourite. He will also be remembered for the line: “Let the day-to-day judgments come and go. Be prepared to be judged by history.”

Mr Rumsfeld’s biting response to Germany and France’s opposition to a second UN resolution is also listed, “That’s old Europe.”

Other recorded quotations include one from Lieutenant-General William Wallace, Commander of the US Army Fifth Corps: “The enemy we are fighting is different from the one we’d war-gamed.”

Saddam Hussein is listed for his statement, “Baghdad, its people and leadership, is determined to force the Mongols of our age to commit suicide at its gates”.

Susan Radcliffe, a spokeswoman for the Oxford University Press, said that Muhammad Said al-Sahaf, the Iraqi Information Minister, might be included in the next volume of quotations. “Some of the lines he came out with about beating the Americans when there were shells exploding behind him may well go on to our database,” she said.

The minister’s statements have been posted already on a dedicated fans’ website, www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com. Examples include: “Yes, the American troops have advanced further. This will only make it easier for us to defeat them.”

Ms Radcliffe added: “It has been an amazingly quotable war, but not all the quotations will go in. We will see which of them continue to be repeated over the coming months.”