By Syed M. Aslam
Feb 02 - 15, 2003



*** "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 Lahham expressing regrets for wasting talent on "useless" political plays which failed to bring democracy in the Arab world)

*** "IF WE WERE a true empire, we would currently preside over a much greater piece of the earth's surface than we do. That's not the way we operate."

(US Vice President Dick Cheney refuting growing domestic and international criticism that America is behaving like an empire)

*** "YOU CALL it Bombay or Mumbai. What difference does it make to my life? For me it is the same train journey from home to office, the same view of small kids bathing near gutters on the highways."

(Bombay resident and advertising executive Santoch Mangaonkar explaining why the name change of the India port city change hardly matters)

*** "THE CURRENT situation in Iraq is more than worst."

(Iraq's former envoy to the UN Mohammed Al Douri expressing concerns at the security and human conditions in the country)

*** "COME AND JOIN US. Are you scared... It's the best chicken in the world. This is exactly what we export to Japan. It's very good. It's safe."



(Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra inviting foreign reporters to join his cabinet for a chicken lunch aimed at calming public fears of an outbreak of poultry cholera)

*** "TWO TO THREE days ago we learned that his fighting cocks had died and that he had butchered them before falling ill."

(A hospital spokesman commenting on the death of a man suspected of having bird flu in what is reportedly the first human toll of the disease in the country)

*** "FIRST, THEY TREATED them as heroes of the nation. Then they treated them like criminals."

(Sobia Nazeer, the daughter of one of the nuclear scientists detained for debriefing, demanding the release of her father Dr. Nazeer Ahmad, the Director General of scientific technology and cooperation at Khan Research Laboratories)

*** "3,213"

(Number of suicides committed in Karachi in 2003 including 340 children. More than 1,200 cases of attempted suicides were also reported in the city last year according to rights group Madadgar)

*** "THE INVENTION is in the engine. The invention is in the industrial process. This technology is based on a rotation system exploited by cars which use natural gas."

(French inventor Guy Negre commenting on a car developed by him which runs on nothing but fresh air)

*** "AT THE RATE at which the cow is discharging my diamonds, it should take another 30 days to get them all back."

(A diamond trader in the Indian state of Gujarat, Mohabbatsinh Gohil, on feeding his cow not to get milk but to retrieve 1,722 diamonds the animal had swallowed by mistake. He has sifted the cow's dung daily for 17 days to retrieve 555 gems)

*** "IT IS the duty of the government to restore my land. I am not a beggar to be thrown into some orphanage."

(Yerramsetty Suramma, a 11-year-old Indian woman, announcing her plans to fight back the administration to get back her land allegedly grabbed by her greedy grandson)

*** "IF A SPARROW cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?"

(A quote from Benjamin Franklin appearing on the family Christmas card of US Vice President Dick Cheney. The quote was selected by Vice President's wife Lynne Cheney)

*** "THE JUDICIAL BRANCH of the government, which laid down supinely at the feet of the executive a few months or a few years, now appears to have come to its senses."

(Professor of criminal justice and director of the law school at Britain's University of Leeds, Clive Walker, hailing a series of court rulings in the UK and the US that authorities could not imprison people indefinitely without charge on suspicion on terrorist activities)