By Syed M. Aslam
Mar 29 - Apr 04, 2003





*** "THE UNITED STATES is in this for the long haul. They (the Afghans) don't have to hope we will be here. We will be here."

(US Secretary of State Colin Powell assuring Afghan President Hamid Karzai that "the US has come to stay" in Afghanistan during a meeting in Kabul)

*** "WHO IS SHINING? Only the brokers, agents and contractors who have benefited from the government and hope to benefit again."

(One of the chief ideologues of ruling BJP Party of India, Govindacharya, criticising the "Shining India" election campaign of the party)

*** "WE DO NOT endorse the reported speech of the prime minister... that BJP treated Hindus and Muslims as equals."

(Acharya Giriraj Kishore, leader of influential Vishwa Hindu Parishad radical Hindu group close to India's ruling BJP, warning Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee not to woo the Muslim vote in upcoming polls)

*** "WE ARE SIMPLY assuring that anyone who develops new software has a fair opportunity to compete in the market place."

(EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti defending the $ 606 million recordsx fine levied on US computer software giant Microsoft Corporation for violating EU anti-trust law and asking it to change its business model fundamentally to stop crushing rivals)

*** "WE AREN'T GOING to accept it. The price of oil will go up to $50 a barrel."

(Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warning of higher oil prices for the US if were removed by force)

*** "SHARON IS ISRAEL'S king of lies. He is convinced that he can fool the whole world."

(Israeli peace activist Dr. Reuven Moskovitz asked about Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's sincerity to peace process in the Middle East)



*** "THE HIJAB (veil) is a protection against upper respiratory tract infection. It is interesting how a very simple social custom can have a profound ehhect on a human's life."

(Research conducted by Canadian doctor Kamal Malaker, the head of oncology department at a hospital in Jeddah, that shows that veiled women are less prone to nose and throat cancers because veil screens out viruses)

*** "90,000"

(Number of jobs to be cut in Britain's civil service by 2008)

*** "THERE WAS NO REASON for us to become involved in Iraq recently... That war was based on lies and misinterpretations from London and from Washington..."

(Former US president Jimmy Carter criticising the invasion and occupation of Iraq)

*** "MOST OF THE TIMES there are good words said but with bad intentions, such as calls for reform and modernisation in the Arab world, as if all these years we have done nothing and were awaiting direction from the outside."

(Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal rejecting attempts to impose democratisation from outside)

*** "WE ARE very much aware that a lot of the responsibility for corruption in the developing world has been with northern companies and northern institutions."

(Global corruption watchdog Transparency International blaming the western companies for fueling corruption in the developing world by flaunting their governments' anti-bribery laws. Companies from Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria and Canada top the 2003 bribe-payers index compiled by the TI)

*** "IF NATO CONTINUES to keep its offensive military doctrine, then Russia's military planning and the principles of Russia's military procurement- including in the nuclear sphere- will be adequately reevaluated. Russia is closely observing the process of Nato's transformation."

(Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov repeating an earlier warning to Nato that he might order a buildup of the country's nuclear defences should the US-led alliance continue to expand and take an unfriendly view of Moscow)

*** "KERRY IS SOMETIMES described as 'Bush-lite', which not inaccurate. But despite the limited differences there are differences. In a system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes."

(Distinguished US political theorist and intellectual Noam Chomsky's reluctant endoresement of Democratic party's presidential hopeful John Kerry who he calls 'fraction better' than incumbent President Bush)