By Syed M. Aslam
July 22 - 28, 2002



*** "IF MEGAWATI is Number One and Vice President Hamzah Haz Number Two, then Taufik is One-and-a-Half."

(Opposition Member of Parliament, Alvin Lie, commenting on the increasingly dominant role played by the husband of Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, Taufik Kiemas, at the most senior levels of government and business)

*** "SOME IRRESPONSIBLE people at the lower level did not perform their duties seriously. Therefore there was mishandling of the voters. But I know ... there was a massive vote of confidence in me."

(President Pervez Musharraf's reply to a question "Was the April referendum on your rule, with all its irregularities, a mandate?")

*** "IT TOOK ME seven or eight tries but to my amazement, she opened her eyes and started breathing."

(US policeman Thomas Richmond who performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to technically dead dog, Cinnamon. The technically dead dog was hit by a car)

*** "WATCH THE TV this Sunday, I will be the star ..."

(Message posted on a British neo-Nazi website Maxime Brunerie, a 25-year-old Paris student, a day prior to unsuccessful attempt to gun down French President Jacques Chirac)

*** "THE GOVERNMENT will not let itself be intimidated by the mafia."

(Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi responding to a protest by 300 jailed Mafia figures against their personal conditions which led the national anti-Mafia prosecutors to voice fears of a new Mafia war)

*** "WHENEVER A (SUICIDE) attack occurs against the enemy, I feel as if carried it out myself and every Arab should look at these acts this way."

(Iraqi President Saddam Hussain praising attacks against Israelis by the Palestinians)

*** "THE TOTAL ESTIMATED LOSSES suffered by the masses due to wrong management policies, corruption and inefficiency of the government amounts to Rs 3,000 billion [around $ 50 billion] per annum."

(Former World Bank consultant, Dr Ali Sajid, speaking at a seminar at Islamabad)

*** "TRAVEL IN ALL AREAS of Afghanistan, including the capital Kabul, is unsafe due to military operations, landmines, banditry, armed rivalry among political and tribal groups ... The ability of Afghan authorities to maintain order and ensure the security of citizens and visitors is very limited."

(Renewed warning issued to US citizens to not to travel to Afghanistan by the US State Department)

*** "WHAT THE HELL is the Government doing amassing all this information on MPs?"

(Spokesman of Britain's Tory party accusing the ministers of keeping secret files on political opponents after a search of Parliament's computers revealed immense information on Conservatives MPs enough to fill two rooms)

*** "THE PALESTINIAN concept of reform is totally different from the concept suggested by Bush or imposed by Sharon."

(Top political leader of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, Ismail Abu Shanab, commenting on reforms agenda pushed by US President George W. Bush)

*** "IT'S GOING TO BE a long struggle. Maybe not as long as the Cold War, but does not hurt to think (in terms of) the Cold War."

(US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz saying that the US campaign in Afghanistan will last for years)

*** "PRESIDENT BUSH and his government did not bring the Iraqi leadership to power therefore they cannot remove the Iraqi leadership from its place because of their own decisions."

(Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz speaking to reporters after his week-long visit to South Africa)

*** "... people like Baroness Thatcher were the cause of capitalism and global problems, which meant the world was in danger of suffering irreparable damage."

(Prosecutor John Gilbert saying that London theatre producer, Paul Kelleher who beheaded the statue of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a protest against global capitalism, intends to use his trial to highlight his concerns about the future of the world and future of his two-year-old son)

*** " 'WHAT IS IMPORTANT is what is done, not what is said.' 'TO US, it is not enough to talk about accountability, you have to act to ensure it."

(Two top US Democrats House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle asking President Bush for action not just words to fight accounting scandals to fight corporate crime such as the ones resulting in the closures of oil giant Enron and telecommunication giant WorldTel)