Dispatches > Quotables


Memorable things they said

Issue: "Return of the Lion," May 17, 2008

"There's no neutrality when people are being beaten."

Jendayi Frazer, U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs, on the need for the international community to take a stronger stance against president Robert Mugabe's use of violence to intimidate those who support his political opponents in Zimbabwe.

"How good that the head of this snake has been cut off."

Carlos Holguin, Colombia's interior minister, on the May 1 arrest of Miguel Angel Mejia, one of the country's most powerful cocaine traffickers. Mejia's twin brother, Victor Manuel Mejia, was killed during a police raid two days earlier. "Roughly half of Colombia's criminal underworld was controlled by them," Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos told reporters.

"It's a Shell game-literally."

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Presidential candidate Barack Obama's description of the gas tax holiday proposed by fellow candidates Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

"This is a national shame."

Manmohan Singh, prime minister of India, on reports that up to 500,000 female babies are aborted each year in India because of a cultural preference for male children.

"Too much, too little sleep tied to ill health in CDC study."

Headline in the Charlotte Examiner to a story about the effects of sleep on health.

"You come out of that, you only come out bad."

Mahdi army commander Abu Baqr, describing the aftermath of having a fellow Iraqi soldier shot by a sniper. Baqr waited all night next to his friend's dead corpse, fearful he too would be shot, and later became a militant himself in Muqtada Sadr's army. Now he says he will use any means to defeat the United States in Iraq. "I think that the Iranians are more dangerous than the Americans. I hate them and I don't trust them," he said, though he is getting weapons from Iran. "If it came from Israel, we would use it," he told the Los Angeles Times.


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