February 25, 2005 // by admin

Keeping the mullahs blind

Imagine what the recent fighting in Fallujah might have been like if Iraqi insurgents had the same caliber night-vision goggles as our own troops.

— Dean Boyd, spokesman for Homeland Security Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division, on the need for stricter control of weapons and technology sales to Iran.

(Robert Block, Wall Street Journal)


Dressing down the colonel

Bullshit!  It is your fault.  Just like everything here is your fault because you don’t hold anyone accountable.  You don’t discipline your troops.  You don’t maintain basic standards.

— Marine Captain Jamie Farrelly , responding to an excuse by an Iraqi officer named Colonel Yassir that the poor showing of Iraqi soldiers wasn’t his fault.

(Greg Jaffe, Wall Street Journal)


Dead men tell no tales

I think they’ve got a problem.

— Edward B. MacMahoh, Jr., speaking about federal prosecutors who have charged his client, Omar Abu Ali with aiding Al Qaeda.

MacMahon is refering to the fact that one of the two “unnamed co-conspirators” who claim that Ali had entered into discussions with Al Qaeda to kill President Bush died in a shoot-out with Saudi authorities in 2003.  The case against Abu Ali appears at this point very weak.  Worse, according to a federal judge, “There has been at least some circumstantial evidence that Abu Ali has been tortured during interrogations with the knowledge of the United States.”

(Eric Lichtblau and Neela Banerjee, New York Times)


And he’s kind to children, too

In prison I discovered the human aspects of [Al Qaeda mastermind Ayman] Al-Zawahri’s character. I realized that his thoughts depended on an Islamist military coup d’etat of the ruling regime. In the meantime, he was a delicate poet who wrote Islamic poetry.

— Egyptian lawyer and author Montasser Al-Zayat, on his new book Islamist Groups:  A View from Within

(Noha El-Hennay, Egypt Today)


The principled Left

I thought it was right to oppose the war. But history moves on and the Iraqi people now have a golden opportunity to take back their country and build a decent non-sectarian democracy based on social justice. There are huge obstacles but I hope that parts of the left don’t make themselves part of the problem by ignoring the urgent need to back the new Iraqi labour movement. Labour Against the War is standing in the way of solidarity and I have resigned to help alert the wider movement to the need to support Grassroots Iraq.

— left-wing MP Harry Barnes, after resigning from the English group Labour Against the War.

(Labour Friends of Iraq)


The Ptolemaic universe of the Saracens

The emotional reaction to the disaster is what was lacking. The Arabs’ ability to empathize with humanity at large is less than their ability to sympathize with each other. Our concept of humanity is still weak compared to our ethnic feelings as Arabs and Muslims, despite the fact that most of the victims were Indonesian Muslims. The truth is, Southeast Asians are not perceived as Muslims in the Arab world.

— Gamal Abdel Gawad, analyst at the Cairo-based Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, speaking of the Arab world’s weak response to tsunami victims

(Rania al-Malky, Egypt Today)

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