*** "NO ACCESS TO THE COURTS, lawyers or
relatives, the prospect of indefinite detention in small cells for up to
24 hours a day, the possibility of trials by executive military
commissions with the power to hand down death sentences and no right of
(Human rights watchdog Amnesty International urging
the US either to release hundreds of detainees at the infamous
Guantanamo Bay in Cuba or to try them under the law as their detention
without trial is a violation of universal basic human rights)
*** "THE UNITED STATES reserves the right, in
the absence of international action to disarm Iraq, to act with
likeminded nations to disarm Iraq."
(US Secretary of State Colin Powell reiterating US'
right to disarm Iraq after a report from the UN said that its inspectors
had found 'no smoking guns' in the country)
*** "... BUT THE PEOPLE won't be allowed to
demonstrate. They live under weak regimes who are frightened. They are
afraid three or four million people will come on the street and they
will lose power. They are afraid of losing America's dollars."
(Firebrand Algerian independence hero Ahmed Ben Bella
explaining why despite an overwhelming anti-war and anti-US feelings the
masses in the Arab world would not be allowed to vent their anger
*** "IF THE UNITED STATES evades its
responsibility and challenges us, we'll turn the citadel of imperialists
into a sea of fire."
(North Korea's official 'Rodong Sinmun' newspaper
blaming the US for the current crisis and warning it of dire
*** "WE HAVE EVERYTHING — the cars, the
villas, the diamonds, the bodyguards... It's pretty boring. So why not
be a beggar or a pimp with a few mates just for a laugh?"
(Unidentified Russian planning to use pranks
elaborately organized by a company allowing the bored nouveau riche to
be poor and filthy for thousands of roubles. The costly pranks have
become a new pastime of the new rich in Moscow)
*** "IN A DEMOCRACY one needs public backing for
any war and the reality is that the public is still unconvinced."
(Chairman of House of Commons' foreign affairs
committee, Donald Anderson, warning the British Prime Minister Tony
Blair that the MPs would rebel unless there was a second UN resolution
explicitly authorizing the use of force against Iraq)
*** "I CAN SACK the Prime Minister by issuing
just one letter... I will not sack him for personal gains. But I will do
it in the national interest."
(Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga warning
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of dismissal over what she said was
the mishandling of Norwegian-backed peace talks with Tamil rebels. The
warning was in response to Wickremsinghe's public warning to the
President not to undermine the talks aimed at ending three decades of
*** "IT'S A VERY cynical game. The reporters
know these stories are nonsense and they know they are being used. But
it's an exclusive. It's an exclusive built on air..."
(American news analyst Eric Umansky commenting on the
absence of independent voice in the US newspaper no more interested to
unearth the truth resulting in lack of journalistic credibility and
*** "WE ARE NOT only ready to be beaten up in
order to defend our ideas, we are also ready to die."
(Head of Italian Union of Muslims, Adel Smith,
refusing to be bullied after being assaulted by a group of far-right
extremists during a television show in the city of Verona)
*** "I THINK the Iraqi experience under UN
auspices is so incredibly bad, in my view genocidal, that the UN has
done irreparable damage to itself... [The Security Council is] a body
out of control and corrupted by the US."
(Former UN Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday
accusing the United Nations of embezzling $ 40 billion worth of funds
meant for Iraq's oil-for-food programme)