By Syed M. Aslam
Jan 26 - Feb 01, 2004 



*** "THE WTO is completely dishonest, deceitful and against human life. It is clear now that what we will eat, produce and live for will be controlled by corporates benefitting from WTO."

(High profile Indian anti-genetically-modified-food activist, Vandana Shiva, addressing a seminar at the World Social Forum, the anti-globalisation movement's annual convention held in Mumbai last week)

*** "$ 1.6 Billion"

(Cost of a refurbished aircraft carrier and 12 fighter jets that India would buy from Russia)

*** "$ 130 million"

(Funds raised by President George W. Bush for his re-election campaign. The Bush campaign has set a goal of raising a total of $ 170 million)

*** "47 million"

(Number of Britons that own a mobile phone sets making Britain one of the highest levels of cell phone in the world. Around 70 per cent of Britons own a set)

*** "IT GIVES the appearance of a tainted process where decisions are not made on merits, where you have judges fraternising with people before the court."

(Director of US government watchdog Centre for Public Integrity, Charles Lewis, expressing concerns about a potential conflict of interest for Justice Antonin Scalia because he had dinner and went on a hunting trip while the Supreme Court was involved in a case about Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force)

*** "SMALL ARMS are really the weapons of mass destruction. I am not minimizing the issue of nuclear proliferation, but most people are killed by these weapons."

(Former Irish president and head of Britain-based charity Oxfam, Mary Robinson, saying that guns and grenades kill one person every minute. There are around 369 million small arms in the world the majority of which are produced in just 5 countries US, UK, Russia, France and China)

*** "THE VEIL IS MY CHOICE... Secular fundamentalism is a danger for the republic... Where is democracy?"

(Placards held at a rally held in Paris participated in mostly by veiled Muslim women protesting the looming ban on the wearing of head scarves in state schools in France)

*** "GLOBALIZATION HOLDS out promises, but with contrasts. It represents prosperity for the fortunate few, and despair for millions. The world is witnessing an unprecedented wave of progress, while millions are mired in extreme poverty. The backlash against globalization draws its force from such inequalities."



(Bangladesh Prime Minister Khalida Zia calling upon developed nations to development objectives of poor countries at the inauguration session of the two-day international business conference in Dhaka)

*** "WITHIN WEEKS after my inauguration, America will rejoin the community of Nations, and we will open a new chapter of our history."

(Senator John Kerry promising attacking incumbent President George W. Bush's foreign policies after surging to a big lead in the Democratic presidential nomination race in New Hampshire State)

*** "IF WE DON'T it, somebody else will. The Chinese, The Europeans and the Japanese all have the goal of going to the moon. We don't want to wake up and see that they have a base there before we do."

(Democrat Bart Gordon advocating the establishment of a permanent US base on the moon to help fly to Mars before anybody else can do it)

*** "THE US is hyping recent developments in some Mideast countries, the cases orchestrated by itself. It is seized with hallucination that the same would happen on the Korean Peninsula and some countries echo this 'hope' and 'expect some 'change.'"

(A spokesman of North Korean Foreign Ministry reiterating his country's stand not to give up its nuclear weapons programmes 'like some countries in the Middle East')

*** "THE ARABS should have said 'no' to the first military coup. They should have said they deserved better than military dictatorships. But, unfortunately we just sat there watching our wealth and capabilities wasted by opportunists who posed as leaders."

(Acclaimed Arab comic playwright Dureid Lahman expressing regrets for wasting talent on "senseless" political plays which failed to bring democracy in the Arab world)