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  • George Orwell

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    Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

    If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.

    But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

    Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.

    Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.

    In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

    All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

    At fifty everyone has the face he deserves.

    Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.

    John Stuart Mill

    Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.

    The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.

    The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.

    Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.

    A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

    Mark Twain

    Don't let schooling interfere with your education.

    All generalizations are false, including this one.

    A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.

    Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

    The Public is merely a multiplied "me."

    Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we."

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

    Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.

    Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

    Winston Churchill

    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

    I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

    Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.

    Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.

    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

    However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

    In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.

    Otto Von Bismarck

    When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.

    I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.

    Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.

    Be polite; write diplomatically ;even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.


    A witty saying proves nothing.

    If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.

    When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics.

    I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.

    To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

    It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

    The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.

    Karl Marx

    Philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love.

    All I know is I'm not a Marxist.

    The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it.

    Monday, June 28, 2004

    The World's Reaction to De Jure National Sovereignty in Iraq

    By Nick

    The handover of sovereignty has been met with understandable skepticism from the world. The Boston globe reports that the American public sees through the Bush administration's rhetoric:

    By a 2-1 margin, Americans say the turnover of political control to Iraqis now is not a sign of success, but a sign of failure because the nation's stability remains in question, according to a CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll. Still, three-fourths in the poll approved of the U.S. handover of authority to Iraqis.

    The Kuwaiti newspaper the Arab Times warned of the Middle-Eastern public's distrust:

    Arab governments close to the United States welcomed the transfer of limited authority to the Iraqi government on Monday but Arab analysts and ordinary citizens said they doubted Iraqis would really run the country. ---
    The 22-member Arab League was more cautious, saying it hoped the transfer was a step towards the restoration of full sovereignty.

    "All we want is ... that the Iraqi government is able to exercise its sovereignty and authority in a way that acquires credibility," Secretary-General Amr Moussa told reporters.
    The analysts said they expected most Arab governments would maintain their "wait and see" attitude towards the Iraqi government, withholding full diplomatic recognition for now.

    Maher, asked if it was time for full diplomatic ties, said "this is a subject which is not under discussion now".

    Hassan Nafaa, chairman of the political science department at Cairo University, said the conflict was unlikely to end as long as foreign forces were present. "The Iraqi people are not easily duped," he said.
    But Arabs outside Iraq, who mostly opposed the invasion, suspect Washington wants to retain its influence over Baghdad while giving the impression that Iraqis are fully in control.

    "The United States wants Iraqis to fight Iraqis and reduce the rising cost of its military presence in the country. The world opinion will not swallow this sham transfer of authority," added Mustapha Ramid, a Moroccan member of parliament from the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party.
    "They (the United States) chose the government now in Iraq so it's going to do what they want," said Samir Eid, 52, owner of an antique shop in central Cairo.

    Some Lebanese felt the same way.

    "I don't think this will be a major change. (The new government) is like a toy they can play with... At the end of the day the decisions will be taken by the American government," said businessman Wissam Issa.

    Parviz Esmaeili of Iranian The Tehran Times cited reasons for concern:

    Control over the national wealth and economy is the second most significant factor required for the demonstration of national sovereignty.

    However, Iraq’s interim government will certainly not have complete access to the country’s wealth.
    National unity in Iraq is currently as varied as the ethnic and sectarian diversity of the country. Any attempt to sideline one of the groups would destroy Iraqi national sovereignty.
    Iraq’s interim government and all the effective forces on the political scene in Iraq should realize that the Iraqi nation can only attain national sovereignty by maintaining national and ethnic unity; otherwise, if the country accepts foreign influence that is meant to create dissension and insecurity, the U.S. will find the opportunity to establish its new dictatorship in Iraq.

    The Russian Newspaper Pravda wrote:
    One can argue that this will be sham sovereignty, as the members of the interim Iraqi government have been appointed in co-ordination with the USA and the ministers' powers are limited. They may not adopt new laws or make amendments to the ones that had been drafted by the occupation authorities. But sovereignty is a value that either exists or not, Lakhdar Brahimi, special representative of the UN Secretary General, told Vremya Novostei. Any sovereignty is either recognised or not.

    The sovereignty of Iraq is recognised by the international community, and this is the main thing. UN Security Council Resolution 1546 grants the Iraqi a possibility to command their troops and dispose of their national wealth. But the implementation of this resolution is quite another matter.

    Much will depend on the new Iraqi government. Acting Ambassador of Russia at the UN Alexander Kanuzin said at the latest UN Security Council session on Iraq that the cabinet "will have to prove yet its ability to govern the country and to organise a truly representative political process. Much will depend on the Iraqis' acceptance of the transition from military occupation to the restoration of sovereignty and on the ability of the government to win public trust.

    Fortuantly, the Iraqi council has already recieved full recognition of their sovereignty. Australian Prime Minister John Howard . Mr Howard maintained that he would remove Australian troops if that was the wish of the Iraqi council.

    "If the Iraqi government were to say to all of the foreign troops `We want you to go home' then they would go home,"
    "They are not there as an occupier, they are there with the consent of the new Iraqi government and that has been sanctioned by a resolution of the Security Council of the United Nations."

    Mr. Howard also made a sobering statement that put the stakes in persepctive:
    "If Iraq can become the first democratic Arab state that will be a very historic event and it will, over time, alter the dynamics of the Middle East for the better," Mr Howard said.

    "On the other hand, if this experiment fails, if the terrorists win, the cost of that in the Middle East will be very severe indeed.

    "And the cost around the world, the boost it will give to terrorism around the world, will be quite incalculable."

    But perhaps this report sums it up best:

    Interim Iraqi President Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawer said: "This is a historic and happy day for us in Iraq.

    "It is a day that all Iraqis have been looking forward to. This is the day that we take our country back into the international community.

    "We want a free and democratic Iraq, and we want a country that is a source of peace and stability for the whole world."
    Jubilant Iraqi officials said Saddam, who has been in US custody since being captured last December, would be hauled before the courts "within days", although Mr Powell stressed the former dictator would continue to be held by the US.

    Iraq will need to overcome numerous obstacles, including two nationwide elections and a constitutional referendum, before regaining full sovereignty and a democratic government at the end of next year or in 2006.

    And coalition spokesman Brigadier-General Mark Kimmitt said the change did not alter the existing "status of forces agreement" between the US military and the new Government. "We have been operating under UN Security Council resolution 1511 and now we're operating under UN Security Council resolution 1546," he said. UN resolution 1546 gives coalition forces all "necessary" authority to carry out operations in Iraq, including launching offensive operations without any formal Iraqi veto and the right to detain Iraqis without formally charging them.

    In Baghdad, few public celebrations were unfolding yesterday, even though tomorrow is set down as a national holiday.

    No crowds were on the streets and there were no visible signs that a transformation of Iraqi society has reached its great climax.

    posted by Nick at 6/28/2004 04:57:00 PM |

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    "Netpolitik is a new style of diplomacy that seeks to exploit the powerful capabilities of the Internet to shape politics, culture, values, and personal identity. But unlike Realpolitik — which seeks to advance a nation’s political interests through amoral coercion — Netpolitik traffics in “softer” issues such as moral legitimacy, culturalidentity, societal values, and public perception." - The Rise of Netpolitik

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