Jihad, Hillary, Saddam, Canada, Plumbing, Bears, Loving Life, etc.

Posted: Aug 15, 2003 12:00 AM

A jumble of quotations - mostly about topics and people currently in the news, and mostly commendable...

Hussain Haqqani, former adviser to two Pakistani prime ministers, and now a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: "Many Islamic revivalists, or Islamists, have turned to terrorism in an effort to destroy the West's military, economic, cultural, and technological domination. Above all, they resent and resist the free flow of ideas within the Muslim community and with the West. ... Muslims have suffered a great deal from their tendency to shun discussion of ideas, especially those relating to history and religion and their impact on politics. Hard-liners won't tolerate questioning of their views that Islam has nothing to learn from 'unbelievers' or that Muslims have a right to subdue other faiths, by force if necessary."

'Washington Post' TV writer Tom Shales, on Barbara Walters' interview with Hillary Clinton: "On bare-knuckle political issues, (Mrs.]) Clinton was effective. What broke her heart, she said, was not her husband's infidelity or even his virtuoso lying, or any personal tragedy. What's 'broken my heart' is the mess George Bush has made of the very same economy that the Clinton administration 'turned around' and got back on track. (Nor did she) really back down from her notorious allegation about a 'vast right-wing conspiracy' out to get her husband's administration, either; she conceded that 'conspiracy' might have been too strong a word but stuck to her guns about wealthy conservatives financing a fanatical get-Bill vendetta."

Michel Montaigne, 16th-century French moralist and essayist: "Of our maladies, the most wild and barbarous is to despise our being. ... For my part, I love life and cultivate it."

The late TV anchor and commentator David Brinkley, in his forthcoming posthumous book, "Brinkley's Beat: People, Places, and Events That Shaped My Time": "Individual journalists, from the anchors to the local news beat reporters, are all constrained in their power by the skepticism of a public that from the beginning saw in television something closer to the tradition of entertainment (movies, theater, and the like) than to the tradition of the press."

Sally Pipes, president and CEO of the California-based Pacific Research Institute: "As a former Canadian now living in the U.S., I have witnessed first-hand the failure of national health care. Implemented in 1971, the Canadian system provides excellent evidence of what happens to the quality of care when government is the sole provider - long waiting lines for critical procedures, lack of access to current technology, increasing costs to taxpayers and patients, and a brain drain of doctors, who head south for better working conditions and more money."

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: "Just as remarkable as what (Coalition forces accomplished in Iraq) are all the things that did not happen. Because of the speed of the execution of the war plan, the regime did not attack its neighbors with SCUD missiles; the vast majority of Iraq's oil fields were not destroyed and an environmental disaster was averted; key bridges, roads, and rail lines were secured; dams were not broken; villages were not flooded; the infrastructure of the country is largely intact; there were no large masses of refugees fleeing across borders into neighboring countries; and the Coalition took great care to protect the lives of innocent civilians as well as the important holy sites."

Jordan's King Abdullah II, on the whereabouts of Iraq's deposed Saddam Hussein: "It's like Elvis. There are a lot of sightings of him all over the place."

Sen. Teddy Kennedy, on the political views of Arnold Schwarzenegger, rumored to be contemplating a race for governor of California - Schwarzenegger being the husband of Kennedy's niece Maria Shriver: "People often say that for Kennedys, it's in the water. Arnold seems to be a staunch Republican, so I've asked Maria to check their plumbing."

Benjamin Netanyahu, former prime minister and current finance minister of Israel: "In our quest for peace with the Palestinians, three imperatives unite Israelis: Terror must end, our borders must be secure, and the Palestinians must abandon the goal of destroying Israel. That is why we insist that the terror organizations be dismantled, that we not return to the indefensible 1967 lines, and that the Palestinians give up their claim to a 'right of return' - a euphemism for destroying the Jewish state by flooding it with millions of Palestinians."

Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, in a statement regarding a truce to halt attacks on Israelis: "(We will agree to a three-month truce partly) in order to protect our internal front from the danger of schism and confrontation, and in order to block the enemy from having any excuse to wreck it, and in an assertion of the legitimate right to resist the occupation as a strategic choice until the end of the Zionist occupation of our land...."

'New York Times' reporter Robert Hanley, on bear-bothered, 26,000-population, West Milford, N.J., 35 miles northwest of Midtown Manhattan - now weighing Jersey's first bear hunt in 33 years: "The elementary schools have started bear-alert and bear-safety programs and have asked neighbors to call if they see a bear headed toward a school. ... Over the last decade, bears have become almost as much of a fixture here as squirrels are in more developed parts of suburbia. They roam routinely through back yards and sometimes along the edges of ball fields and school playgrounds, occasionally attacking dogs and pet rabbits and frightening people. In fact, two of the most notorious recent encounters in the state occurred here: On May 23, a bear bit a resident on the wrist and biceps and dislocated his shoulder after he tackled it as it was mauling his dog. On June 5, another resident shot a growling bear that had climbed onto the deck outside his log cabin home."