Mark Bowden Quotes

20 of the best book quotes from Mark Bowden
″‘You want to find out if you can really do the job,’ he explained. Like those guys in the books. They’d been tested and proven. It was another generation of Ranger’s turn now. Their turn.”
“A lot of these men had started as afraid of war as anyone, but the fear had been drummed out.”
“He would think about this a lot later, and the best he could explain it was, his own life no longer mattered. All that did matter were his buddies, his brothers, that they not get hurt, that they not get killed.”
“These men around him, some of whom he had only known for months, were more important to him than life itself. ”
“Mogadishu was like the postapocalyptic world of Mel Gibson’s Mad Max movies, a world ruled by roving gangs of armed thugs. They were here to rout the worst of the warlords and restore sanity and civilization.”
“They were an all-star football team that had endured bruising, exhausting, dangerous practice sessions twelve hours a day, seven days a week—for years—without ever getting to play a game.”
“America’s best were going to war, and Sergeant Matt Eversmann was among them.”
“Victory was for those willing to fight and die. Intellectuals could theorize until they sucked their thumbs right off their hands, but in the real world, power still flowed from the barrel of a gun.”
“The idea used to be that terrible countries were terrible because good, decent, innocent people were being oppressed by evil, thuggish leaders. Somalia changed that. Here you have a country where just about everybody is caught up in hatred and fighting.”
“He knew their faces so well they were like brothers.”
“It can’t get much worse than this.”
“Laughter was a balm. It held panic at bay and it seemed to come easily. In those extreme circumstances it became unbearably funny just to act normal. If they could still laugh, they were all right.”
“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for whoever has shed his blood with me shall be my brother.”
“You could send in your bleeding-heart do-gooders, you could hold hands and pray and sing hootenanny songs and invoke the great gods CNN and BBC, but the only way to finally open the roads to the big-eyed babies was to show up with more guns.”
“Soldiering was about fighting. It was about killing people before they killed you.”
“They were America’s elite fighters and the were going to die here, outnumbered by this determined rabble. Their future was setting with this sun on this day and in this place.”
“They were trying to take down a clan, the most ancient and efficient social organization known to man. Didn’t the Americans realize that for every leader they arrested there were dozens of brothers, cousins, sons, and nephews to take his place?”
“The hatred and the killing continues because they want it to. Or because they don’t want peace enough to stop it.”
“Even if the Habr Gidr were somehow crippled or destroyed, wouldn’t that just elevate the next most powerful clan? Or did the Americans expect Somalia to suddenly sprout full-fledged Jeffersonian democracy?”
“Somalia was the experience that taught us that people in these places bear much of the responsibility for things being the way they are.”
View All Quotes