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Dispatches Quotables

"It's construction, not reconstruction."

A U.S. Army officer in Afghanistan's Jalrez Valley, quoted without being named by The New York Times, on the difference between the American effort in Afghanistan and the American effort in Iraq.

"I haven't read a single one of them, and if I'm fortunate before we end this, I won't have to read one of them."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on the opinions from the bench of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Reid supports Judge Sotomayor's nomination.

"It's like a slasher movie where every morning we come in and see who's still alive."

Stephen Pound, a British member of Parliament, on the rapid disintegration of Prime Minster Gordon Brown's cabinet in the wake of a scandal involving expense records.

"We sent them food, fertilizer, factories, more than we give our own poor people. And all they pay us back with is this nuclear test."

Lee Soon-Hwan, a 30-year-old South Koran office worker, reflecting reports of a changing mood in South Korea after North Korea's recent nuclear tests. "There has been a paradigm shift in how South Koreans view North Korea," Jeung Young-tai of the Korea Institute for National Unification told The New York Times. "The nuclear test has made people feel that North Korea has gone too far, and it's high time for us to be tough on North Korea."

"How about the reality scenario?"

Gen. George Casey, the U.S. Army chief of staff, when asked during a press briefing about future troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan. Casey said 10 combat brigades, plus support units, would be in Iraq and Afghanistan for a decade.

"I loaded up on Tylenol."

Brittani McCalister, who recently graduated from West Vigo High School in Terre Haute, Ind., on how she made it to school even when she was sick as she compiled a perfect attendance record over 13 years, kindergarten through grade 12.