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For The Record

By Syed M.Aslam
Jan-07- 13, 2002

*** "... when the 'war of civilization' is burning and maiming the Pakhtoons of Kandahar and destroying their home because 'good' must triumph over 'evil' ... If I was an Afghan refugee, I would have done just what they did ..."

(British journalist Robert Fisk justifying brutal assault, which caused serious physical injuries to him, by tens of angry Afghan refugees near Quetta city, Pakistan)

*** "IT ISN'T PATRIOTISM, but jingoism that the press in the United States has demonstrated since September 11."

(Chilean reporter Ximena Torres Cautivo accusing the US media of lack of in-depth analysis on the war against Afghanistan and the attempts by the public and the advertisers to silence a few voices of dissent)

*** "UNDCP SURVEYS and work have confirmed the almost total disappearance of the opium poppy in areas controlled by the Taliban."

(The UN Drug Control Programme appreciating the former Afghan government for the 'most impressive results in the global fight against drugs' expressing apprehensions that opium cultivation could return the war-ravaged nation to its former status of the largest poppy producer)

*** "THE GOVERNMENT is saying 'trust us', but democracies require more than trust, even in times of war."

(Human Rights Watch, the largest US-based human rights organization, criticizing the US Justice Department for denying it access to information about the people, including Pakistanis, arrested in relation to the September 11 investigation)

*** "THE AMERICANS LIE as easily as they breathe. They had promised a Palestinian state and now they bless Israel's destruction of Palestinian land, so to fabricate a cassette is nothing."

(An Egyptian dismissing release of Osama tape as fake. The tape has failed to convince the Muslim world about the guilt of the alleged mastermind of the terrorist attacks on September 11)

*** "IF WE LOOK at news programmes, they almost always follow a standard official protocol which give precedence to the news of the country's leaders and top officials even if they hold no news."

(Former Sudanese Minister of Information, Professor Ali Mohammed Shummo, criticizing media in the Arab world for acting as a mouthpiece for the government depriving it of all objectivity and credibility)

*** "THE ARMY is cooperating with and assisting the FBI's efforts ... We're following every logical lead."

(An un-named FBI official commenting on the investigation that US army scientists have made anthrax in a weapon-grade powdered form in recent years)

*** "MANY PEOPLE perceive me as a snob... so I want to lessen my being brutally frank and to have greater patience."

(Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo making public her resolution for the Year 2002 promising to her temper in check when dealing with the press)

*** "THE NEW POET LAUREATE will write poetry, especially for use in parliament on occasions of state sponsor poetry readings, (and) give advice to the parliamentary librarian regarding the collection of the library and acquisitions to enrich its cultural holdings."

(Canadian Senator Jerry Graftstein explaining the reason for the creation of the post of official poet laureate by the parliament)

*** "IF THERE IS ONE COUNTRY in the world which I have always liked to visit that was America ... But now this is the only country I would never like to turn to."

(Unnamed Saudi Arabian doctor vowing not to visit the US, where he had worked, ever again. He was taken into custody just because his name resembled one of the suspects of terror attacks)

*** "WE DID EXACTLY what President Bush did when he gave notice to the Taliban saying they should hand over the Al Qaida, close down the terrorist networks or face the consequences."

(Indian ambassador to the US, Lalit Mansingh, comparing Indian war threats to Pakistan akin to the US action in Afghanistan)

*** "WE DON'T tell the Americans what to do in their territory, so they shouldn't come here and dictate on our land."

(A Cuban criticizing the US for housing Taliban prisoners in a controversial US Navy base at the "usurped" Guantanamo Bay on the Caribbean island nation)