Suzanne's Soundbites

Quotes from Writings in Response to September 11, 2001

These are a few of my favorite soundbites, drawn from many great pieces written after 9/11. The box below contains the most recent sound bites added to the page. The remainder follow the sequence of the longer quotes on our QUOTES PAGE, which start on 9/11, with the most recent entries being at the bottom of the page.


Too many of our political leaders are now in a position to choose war with little fear that it will endanger their friends or loved ones...Today we wage war at an anesthetizing distance, with precise munitions that make killing an abstract activity, registered largely in terms of hit and miss rates.

What is the purpose of poking an American finger in the eye of just about every country in the world? What does the administration hope to gain by emphasizing unilateral options, from declaring war without Congress to telling other nations to sign up or get out of the way? Does such bullying ever pay off in politics, domestic or international?

The Johannesburg summit has nothing to do with preserving the environment. It's about how best to allow the multinationals to destroy the environment to their heart's content in the name of 'sustainable development', that is, corporate growth which we are assured is the only means of combating growing world poverty. It is a confidence trick.

Will an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and limb for a limb, leave us all blind, toothless and crippled?

The simple logic of survival says that the chances of survival are best if one goes to the roots of terror.

The profound vulnerabilities of the United States ought to be weighed heavily when options are considered, and responses ought to be designed to minimize the prospects these vulnerabilities will be further exploited.

It made me even more determined to do something to make a difference for the better while I'm on this planet.

I wonder what it is we are supposed to learn here.

This has been the most massive guerrilla attack ever staged, but it will pale into insignificance with future nuclear or biological attacks unless our leaders act with understanding and wisdom as well as determination.

The security and welfare of the United States clearly depends on social justice for all. There must be a change in this US psyche of isolation and pre-eminence or we shall all be brought to the brink of disaster once more.

For every "terror network" that is rooted out, another will emerge - until the injustices and inequalities that produce them are addressed.

Instead of seeking solutions, we are seeking enemies.

Our long sad history of signing up dictators in the war on drugs demonstrates the futility of building a foreign policy on a domestic obsession.

We have the possibility in our time of tragedy to create a genuine global community which is different from a self congratulatory globalism that masks economic inequality.

Unless there is an equally dedicated attack on the causes of terrorism, there will never be victory in the war against terrorism.

Whatever the masses want, need, and decide to do, I feel a responsibility to do what we can to offer alternative perspectives that could, if applied, solve many of the fundamental problems that have plagued humankind since the beginning.

Military action to destroy terror, particularly as it affects significant and already vulnerable civilian populations, will be like hitting a fully mature dandelion with a golf club.

I would prefer to start from where we are: confronted with something that is simply beyond us...let us be honest about our intentions, about our ignorance, and about our vulnerability.

An aroused public within the more free and democratic societies can direct policies towards a much more humane and honorable course.

In the global village, what happened to New York is merely happening uptown. What happens to Afghanistan will be happening downtown, but at the end of the day it's the same damned town.

Even if your government or members of your citizenry react with hatred and seek simple revenge, this does not mean that everyone reacts that way nor does it mean that a deepening of spirit has not taken place.

Singling out an enemy, we short-circuit the introspection necessary to see our own karmic responsibility for the terrible acts that have befallen us...If we begin to understand the intertwined roots of this evil, including our own responsibility, then perhaps something good may yet come out of this catastrophic tragedy.

Your words and imminent acts of revenge only amplify our family's suffering, deny us the dignity of remembering our loved one in a way that would have made him proud, and mock his vision of America as a peacemaker in the world community.

Does the alignment of like-minded souls really have power?

There is no longer such a thing as national security – security must be global to be secure.

It just pisses me off that they insist on calling this a democracy when we never even get a chance to talk about what is actually going on when it is going on. These choices just never were discussed openly or voted on.

Can those American values be expressed by the American government?...Until we clean up our government, we will all be the targets of rising international rage, and our children and grandchildren are not safe.

Does anybody think that we can send the USS New Jersey to lob Volkswagen-sized shells into Lebanese villages – Reagan, 1983 – or loose 'smart bombs' on civilians seeking shelter in a Baghdad bunker – Bush, 1991 – or fire cruise missiles on a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory – Clinton, 1999 – and not receive, someday, our share in kind?

Massive retaliation by the U.S. in the Mideast will spawn a new generation of terrorists eager to follow in the footsteps of martyred predecessors.

When faced with war, we discover new ways of articulating a call for peace...However imperfectly formed it may be as yet, there is growing within the human family a vision of our interconnectedness and interdependency.

When I think about the real or imagined parties involved in that bizarre holy war that is about to begin, I find it difficult to make a distinction about where fanaticism is stronger.

I suddenly imagined a group of terrorists somewhere here in the Middle East, sipping coffee, also watching CNN and laughing hysterically: "Hey boss, did you hear that? We just blew up Wall Street and the Pentagon and their response is no more curbside check-in?"

"Whose side are you on?" The answers to that are simple: I am on the side of the people – no matter where they live – who will suffer the violence, not the leaders – no matter where they live – who will plan it.

We need political leaders who can see what a disaster past policies have been. We need people with vision, who can imagine what a just world would look like.

Instead of building bunkers and shields that fail to protect us, let us build good will and harmony, human capacity and understanding, and in this way we shall build the world we want to live in.

The day we citizens of the United States can let go of our need to be the 'best' and can think in terms of sharing our knowledge, wisdom, and resources (like a teacher in a classroom does), is the day we will really make a difference.

In the end, weapons alone cannot buy us a lasting peace in a world of extreme inequality, injustice, and deprivation for billions of our fellow human beings.

Great civilizations collapsed when the gap between the haves and the have nots was too great.

Spiritual enlightenment, not political progress, is the only way out of our maelstrom of maddening meatballism.

What's interesting is that the kind of visionary, 'utopian', 'idealistic' stuff you mention is looking more and more like a practical solution.

To give voice to this wellspring, in its most tender and elusive forms, is a task that some of us feel called to...My wish is to lift this question from a private, solipsistic rumination into the field of dialog and exchange.

It is as if there was a conversation in the air in which none of us would participate, and now all of us are...Almost always, the courageous conversation is by definition the one we do not want to have. For each of us, in this season of falling away, at this threshold of history, when the old has gone and we are yet bereft of the new, what is the conversation, that until now, we have refused?

We know that when we understand your suffering, we may be able to help you. That is what we call in Buddhism "loving speech" or "kind language," and it has the purpose of creating communication, restoring communication. And with communication restored, peace will be possible.

The 37,000 rations dropped on Sunday were pure PR, and so are the claims of "surgical" strikes and the denials of civilian casualties.

We can live in a wonderful world if we simply accept our responsibility for the world we have created, and decide to create something better.

American people ought to know that it is not them but their government's policies that are so hated.

The September 11 attacks were a monstrous calling card from a world gone horribly wrong.

What will save us from our lack of humanity? Crop Circles is all I could think of...Their mysterious messages are the answer if we only could read!

The alternative word "struggle" (which, by the way, does not preclude military action) should replace the word "war" in our national rhetoric about terrorism.

[Justice] can be achieved without war, however, by following the norms of international law, which, if need be, may even involve military aspects along with diplomacy and other features - but not war as in one country, or a pair, attacking another.

The only limit to what's possible is our imaginations. It is now time to imagine the City of the Earth.

The Pentagon's air drops of food parcels and President Bush's plea for American children to aid Afghan kids with dollar bills will go down in history as two of the most cynical maneuvers of media manipulation in the early 21st century.

This is a war of who can hate the most...It will only end when we have the guts to say it really doesn't matter who started it, and begin to try and understand, then alter the forces that generate hatred.

Can we feed our ideas to people of influence—Christian leaders, politians, people in the media? Every one of us may be the one who with an idea or action that can have a decisive influence. Let's share ideas—feed each other with our thoughts and actions.

Obviously, we as a people did not create all the ills of the planet, but I think it fair to state that we have not exercised sufficient effort towards their resolution. To whom much has been given, much shall be expected.

Not one weapon in our vast arsenal can shield us from a nuclear weapon delivered in a sailboat or a Piper Cub or a suitcase or a Ryder rental truck. Not a penny of the 273 billion dollars a year we spend on so-called defense can actually defend us against a terrorist bomb.

Like all distant and indiscriminate violence, [aerial bombardment] breeds a violent response. It is the dumbest weapon of war.

The secret is to let your heart break. A wounded heart softens to feel what is real.

The predators of Washington are up to their old tricks in the pursuit of private plunder at public expense...They’re counting on you to be standing at attention with your hand over your heart, pledging allegiance to the flag, while they pick your pocket!

Your adversaries will call you unpatriotic for speaking the truth when conformity reigns. Ideologues will smear you for challenging the official view of reality. Mainstream media will ignore you, and those gasbags on cable TV and the radio talk shows will ridicule and vilify you.

There is an enormous disconnect taking place between the will of the American people and the foreign policy of our government.

Bush went on, as if by an inexorable law of physics, to draw exactly the wrong conclusion: that the problem was the America wasn't making its case well enough, that we needed to do better spin.

When our bombers deliberately destroy, as they did in the war against Iraq, the electrical infrastructure, thus making water purification and sewage treatment plants inoperable and leading to epidemic waterborne diseases, the deaths of children and other civilians cannot be called accidental.

Change will come, as at other times in our history, only when American citizens – becoming better informed, having second thoughts after the first instinctive support for official policy – demand it.

It would take less than 4% of the combined wealth of the 225 richest individuals in the world to achieve and maintain access to adequate food, safe water, basic education and health care, and adequate sanitation for all people.

Greed and petroleum addiction have seriously corrupted American foreign policy to favor the few over the many.

Two leading dailies used their op-ed pages as an echo chamber for the government's official policy of military response, mostly ignoring dissenters and policy...More than any other newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post – with their unmatched influence in the nation's capitol and in U.S. newsrooms – have a duty to provide readers with a wide range of views.

Civil society movements need to face the fact that what they hear in the mainstream media on this is not an accurate reflection of reality, but a part of the propaganda of a war machine.

Most Muslims think that CNN is a vehicle for the U.S. government to propagate and justify its attacks on an innocent people.

It is said clearly in the Bible, "Forgive them for they know not what they do." This means that an act of evil is an act of great ignorance and misunderstanding.

What we have to fear from September 11 is not just Islamist fanaticism, but the US response to it. Indeed, the latter could well prove a far greater threat to the stability of many countries, further stoking the Islamist fanaticism it seeks to extinguish.

In recent weeks, student demonstrators, civil libertarians, global justice workers, and peace and animal rights activists have all been pegged as terrorist sympathizers...If you question official policies, you run the risk of being labeled an apologist for terrorism.

Articulate the "third way" position that is against violence, not against either of the parties to the conflict...more violence creates more killing, not resolution. The only way the conflict can end is by both sides talking to each other.

Protest is not disrespectful. It is the essence of American democracy, of America itself, and it is especially essential when a muddleheaded guy like George W. sits in the President's chair.

The United States has a large and very expensive hammer, and as a result is viewing the world as an endless succession of nails...Those of us who find this whole exercise counterproductive, dangerous, appalling, and insulting to the ideals of our country need to get busy and figure out how ending this permanent war might happen.

It’s time for people of all countries to raise an additional flag. One that celebrates our common humanity, purpose and potential.

In less than two months, the United States government has gone from the moral high ground of being victimized by one of the most heinous crimes in world history, to being within a week or two of quite visibly committing a crime so much larger as to obliterate the world's memory of September 11.

Those of us who find this whole exercise counterproductive, dangerous, appalling, and insulting to the ideals of our country need to get busy and figure out how ending this permanent war might happen. There is a direct connection between the number of innocent Afghan civilians who will die in the coming months and the number of innocent U.S. civilians who will likely die in terrorist attacks later. To declare that one is 'at war' is immediately to create a war psychosis that may be totally counter-productive for the objective that we seek...Any suggestion that the best strategy is not to use military force at all, but more subtle if less heroic means of destroying the adversary, are dismissed as 'appeasement' by ministers whose knowledge of history is about on a par with their skill at political management.

Perhaps many wrong perceptions are behind an act of evil; we have to see that ignorance and misunderstanding is the root of the evil.

Perhaps the government needs to ask itself what exactly made him a terrorist in the first place, and how to prevent such uprisings of terrorists in the future, instead of bombing defenseless people, who don't even know what they are being bombed for. I'm sure that in asking itself this question it may very well find that many of its own policies suspiciously reeked of terrorism.

We have bonded against a common enemy, [terrorism]...It’s time for all of humanity to acknowledge and bond against other common enemies such as ignorance, poverty, disease, injustice, and environmental degradation.

The bloodbath in Mazar-i-Sharif was a massacre, directed and chiefly carried out by the US—a war crime recalling such atrocities as the Nazi slaughters of World War II and the My Lai Massacre...The whitewash of US war crimes by the American media has included the so-called liberal press, such as the New York Times and Washington Post, which have not even published editorial comments on the prison massacre.

...what we have to fear from September 11 is not just Islamist fanaticism, but the US response to it. Indeed, the latter could well prove a far greater threat to the stability of many countries, further stoking the Islamist fanaticism it seeks to extinguish...the manipulation of the CIA in Central America could come to seem like child's play compared with what we are likely to glimpse over the next decade.

The Enron debacle has exposed the dark side of capitalism – and the unseemly link between money and political influence.

Last week, John Ashcroft all but accused critics of his civil liberty-trashing measures of abetting terrorism.

One need only imagine what J. Edgar Hoover would do with today's expansive surveillance system, coupled with the new powers granted by the Patriot Act, to appreciate the Orwellian nightmare that the United States is becoming. least 3,767 civilians were killed by US bombs between October 7 and December 10...The figure does not include those who died later of bomb injuries; nor those killed in the past 10 days; nor those who have died from cold and hunger because of the interruption of aid supplies or because they were forced to become refugees by the bombardment. It does not include military deaths...or those prisoners who were slaughtered in Mazar-i-Sharif, Qala-i-Janghi, Kandahar airport and elsewhere.

...a commencement speaker was booed off the stage for calling for the protection of civil liberties in the government's response to terrorism.

[Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum] is brutal and corrupt...To have fought a war, costing who knows how many Afghan lives and at least several American lives, and a monetary cost of billions only to end up with Dostum in power is beyond bearing.

The United States and other lender countries, and the financial institutions (like the IMF) that they control, need to get serious about debt relief and improving the fate of the world's dispossessed. Otherwise, Americans' security and comfort, and the economic empire that makes it possible, will be threatened by far more than a few zealots in a cave in 2002.

Our collective survival lies in recognizing that religion is not the solution; neither is nationalism. Both are divisive, embedding within us false notions of superiority and arrogant pride that are difficult to erase. We have but one choice: the path of secular humanism, based upon the principles of logic and reason.

The "American way of life" refers not just to unparalleled consumption, but to its inevitable companion, conquest...the War On Terrorism, like all wars, is a war on people. The people underneath the bombs are somehow always the least enthusiastic about wars, and the Saddam Husseins of the world are somehow always among the last to suffer.

2001 ended with 11.6 million children living in poverty, 40 million Americans without health insurance, and 8.3 million Americans out of work, an increase of over 800,000 since Sept. 11. And just how did our Congressional leaders respond? Not by voting to increase unemployment benefits but by giving themselves a holiday stocking stuffer: a $4,900 pay raise.

Imagine what this country's security would be like at the moment if it had spent the last half-century writing blank checks not for the development of ever-more-sophisticated weapons of conquest, but ever-more-sophisticated (and clean) domestic energy sources.

Enron isn't considered a political scandal because it hasn't impugned Bush's character. But far more damning, it has impugned his ideology.

Bush and his people may well have to answer for actions that make the Enron catastrophe look like a jaywalking offense, actions that led directly to the incredible carnage in New York and Washington, D.C.

Enron makes visible a more profound scandal – the failure of market orthodoxy itself... The rot in America's financial system is structural and systemic...The other obvious deformity exposed by Enron is the insidious corruption of democracy by political money...The market ideology has produced the best government that money can buy. The looting is unlikely to end so long as democracy is for sale.

...surely there must be a special Circle of Hell reserved for the perpetrators of the kind of deliberate deception we now know that Ken Lay and his cronies foisted on those who had given them their trust – and their futures in the form of their life savings.

Wall Street is telling you that "a recovery is around the corner" - that it's once again time to spend with passion...or buy with lust. They're lying through their teeth...The real bottom is yet to come, and it's going to be FAR deeper.

...the United States invaded an entire country, displaced its government, and captured troops employed by that government to defend its country against foreign invaders. The Geneva Convention explicitly states that if there is any ambiguity over whether someone is a prisoner of war, they are...some of the United States' new "anti-terrorism" measures could literally be photocopied by any dictator seeking to suppress his people.

[Bush] has launched the most deeply anti-democratic presidency in modern American history... A man who technically should not even be president, but, as it turns out, also shouldn't have the job because its primary requirement is loyalty to the United States constitution, and he has none.

Could the violence characterising human societies in the new millenium be linked with violent structures and institutions we have created to reduce society to markets and humans to consumers?

Rather than paint illegal drug use as unpatriotic, the U.S. government should recognize that the freedom to control one’s own consciousness is a fundamental right.'s not drugs that fuel political violence throughout the world – it's their prohibition, and the forcing of drug transactions into the black market.

Enron may be as much a cultural scandal as it is a business and political scandal. It is, as one friend puts it, as if a window had opened and revealed the way it all really works. What we see is a world in which insiders get to play by one set of rules — entree to Enron side partnerships that could turn minimal investments into millions overnight — while the unconnected and uninitiated pick up the bill.

It shouldn't require political pressure to improve the health and well-being of the country's citizens, and to help out the less fortunate. Policy-makers should be asking for budget money for these programs simply because it's good public policy, aka The Right Thing To Do. But that's not, at present, how our political system works.

To the terrible trio of Iran, Iraq and North Korea, we've now got to add millions of American kids. At least that's the cock and bull story the commander in chief is peddling with a slick new $10 million ad campaign that is one of the most offensive displays of drug war propaganda ever...the twisted reasoning that, since drug profits have found their way into the pockets of terrorists, any young Americans who use drugs are therefore guilty of aiding and abetting the enemy.

The talk in Bogotá these days is of a 50-year cycle of tragedy, and how the United States is not only walking right into it, but encouraging it. Soon, perhaps, inflicting it.

The humane response of people all over the world to the terrorism of September 11 has long been hijacked by those running a rapacious great power with a history of terrorism second to none. Global supremacy, not the defeat of terrorism, is the goal; only the politically blind believe otherwise.

President Bush has proposed the most preposterous military buildup in human history – annual spending of $451 billion by 2007...There is not an item in the Bush budget that will make us more secure from the next terrorist attack...

The battleground may change but the war never ends. It cannot. The government's very existence depends upon it. talks. And right now, what it's saying is that the same companies and industries that help bankroll most of America's high-level political careers (in both parties) are either making big piles of money by making things in China, or dreaming of making big piles of money by selling things to China. Or both...The sad truth is that on almost every one of those counts – the prisons, the executions, the prison labor and exploited workers, the rights guaranteed in theory but betrayed in practice – it is America's standards, not China's, that are changing.

The Pentagon is developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of a new effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers..."It goes from the blackest of black programs to the whitest of white," a senior Pentagon official said.

As a new and glaring rift emerges between the White House and America's allies over how to pursue the next phase of the war on terrorism, something odd has happened: President Bush and his top aides now seem to welcome, even to egg on, the sharp differences prompted by Mr. Bush's determination to expand his battle against what he calls "evil" regimes.

If we intended to make the world safer by bombing that nation, we have failed miserably. Afghanistan is as disorganized and dangerous as it ever was. Exacerbating this disorder are the bodies of thousands of Afghan non-combatant civilians, killed by our bombs on the roads and homes of that nation.

Cheney is fighting tooth and nail to hide something incriminating. But it's not his information to withhold. He doesn't own it. We do. the United States hurtles toward a vision of the world as being America's to control by force, is the anti-war crowd today?...needing to do a better job of defending our own territory does not automatically translate into the need to control everyone else's.

So long as Washington, D.C. sees targeting non-combatants as legitimate, killing people as the shortest route to peace, and international cooperation as a game for patsies, others will play by the same rules. The American hubris, that our unique virtue and technological advantage can suppress everyone indefinitely, has been the same mistake that has toppled every great empire in world history.

"The key," [Kucinich] says, "is to recognize that there is a great deal of unity in America around some basic values: peace and security, protection of the planet, a good quality of life for themselves and for others. When people express their patriotism, they are not saying – as some would suggest – that they no longer believe in these things. There's nothing unpatriotic about asserting human values and defending democratic principles. A lot of Americans are telling me this is the highest form of patriotism."

War without end is likely to have — indeed is already having — profound consequences for the American constitutional system. It tends to produce the very thing that the framers of the Constitution most feared: concentrated, unaccountable political power.

...George W. Bush is planning to destroy the world...that's the net effect of the plans, outlined in a report obtained by the L.A. Times, given to Congress on January 8. The report directs the Pentagon to draw up plans to wage nuclear war against China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Syria, Iran, and/or Libya... a dramatic and terrifying change in recent U.S. military policy.

When Washington’s top military men are so dishonest, is it any surprise that Israeli tanks can open fire on refugee camps without any serious response from the US or blast cars carrying children because they want to kill their father?...I’m beginning to suspect that Sept. 11 is turning into a curse far greater than the original bloodbath of that day, that America’s absorption with that terrible event is in danger of distorting our morality. Is the anarchy of Afghanistan and the continuing slaughter in the Middle East really to be the memorial for the thousands who died on Sept. 11?

Bush is not only refusing to answer critics, but is refusing to give out enough details to allow informed criticism.

...the world is also associating the United States with Sharon's abuses – an association that, in a time of Islamic jihads and the "War On Terrorism," carries obvious risks for every U.S. citizen.

The cycle of violence will only be broken if the Washington Axis of Evil is defeated, removed from office, and replaced by a regime that aims to serve a broader constituency than oil, the MIC, the other transnationals, and the Christian Right.

Future historians might gaze back at mid-March 2002 and determine this was when the Bush administration decided to write off Afghanistan...the Bush administration is sending an ugly signal: the United States cares more for making war than maintaining peace.

A war, on the other hand, requires an enemy that can roll over, declare it is ready to surrender and sign a peace treaty. Victory over "terrorism" is not possible in the absence of such an enemy, and the alternative – the extermination of always-changing, always-new groups using violence to attain their ends – can never be achieved.

That [Israeli] military is now carrying out calculated actions thought by many to be unimaginable in the 21st century. For much of the world, the United States – which, to the extent it has said anything at all, still seems to blame Yassar Arafat for this spectacle – is equally culpable.

...we all need a perspective, a peace plan in which we can believe. We need models for this peace. Places where peace can be researched, seen and felt. Places where peace and trust can grow between humans, between humans and animals, plants and all of creation.

"Businessmen," said Ayn Rand in 1961, "are the symbol of a free society – the symbol of America. If and when they perish, civilization will perish." But then, the high priestess of free enterprise never met the men of Enron.

Many people feel the void of exactly such human-scale concerns in their lives and in our society. Many people can remember quite vividly when their lives were better, and/or can imagine quite vividly their lives might improve. In every one of these small towns you see on a road trip, there are Wal-Marts, but there are also good people doing inspiring things.

...under the cloak of a 'war against terrorism,' Sharon, ever the pragmatist, took the opportunity to also destroy any vestige of a viable Palestinian society, one that could someday flourish as an independent nation. By rhetorically subsuming all Palestinian citizenry into the archetype of bloodthirsty terrorists, he has gotten away with sabotaging any future alternatives to Yassir Arafat, be they lawyers, doctors or educators, and he has forever embittered the whole of Palestinian society.

Social-justice-oriented American Jews today feel betrayed by Israeli policies that seem transparently immoral and self-destructive.

Naming a man who had made a career out of butting heads with the SEC as its new chairman was a little like naming Osama bin Laden to run the Office of Homeland Security.

"I am not pro-this people or that. I am pro-justice, pro-freedom. I am anti-injustice, anti-oppression."...People are scared in [the US], to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful - very powerful. Well, so what? For goodness sake, this is God's world! We live in a moral universe.

Wal-Mart is now the world’s biggest corporation...The corporate ethos emanating from the Bentonville headquarters dictates two guiding principles for all managers: extract the very last penny possible from human toil, and squeeze the last dime from every supplier.

The President's lecture tour of Europe and Russia reminds us how little experience he has of foreign affairs and how recent is his discovery of the history and complexities of issues which have been unquestionably better covered and probably better understood in Europe than in the US.

The fascination, and frustration, of America has always been the way one society can produce so much optimistic vigour and risk-taking intellectual energy alongside a ruling culture of such boorish ignorance and cruelty.

It's no coincidence that so many of these large, Enron-style debacles involving shady accounting practices, market manipulation, and victimization of both investors and consumers, are coming in recently deregulated industries.

Bush has been insisting, much to the slack-jawed disbelief of the rest of the world, that the ABM Treaty should be discarded entirely as an outmoded relic that no longer serves either the security needs or the technological developments of the 21st Century. It would be far more accurate to say that the ABM Treaty does not serve the financial interests of U.S. military contractors or the global conquest fantasies of penthouse warriors like Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney. can almost see the wheels turning as White House officials weigh the costs versus benefits of a nuclear war on the Indian subcontinent.

...there was a remarkably deranged moment on May 28 when Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke voiced concern about the increasing chances of war between the two nuclear-armed states. Why? Because, in order to confront India with additional ground forces, Pakistan was about to pull troops away from its border with Afghanistan and thus weaken efforts against Al Qaeda and Taliban soldiers.

For now, just for now, for just a while, pointlessness is my biggest enemy. That's what nuclear bombs do, whether they're used or not. They violate everything that is humane, they alter the meaning of life.

...indications are that Bush is going to use September 11th as the occasion to launch a new, aggressive American foreign policy that would represent a broad change in direction rather than a specific war on terrorism.

There is no Enron-inspired reform because the big donors are determined there will be no Enron-inspired reform. And they are willing to pay through the nose to guarantee it.

[Kozlowski] funded some of his art purchases with no-interest loans drawn from a Tyco program designed to help employees buy company was maneuvers like these that, until his sudden fall from grace, had earned Kozlowski the admiration of Wall Street and a glowing reputation as America's "Most Aggressive CEO" – the title of a 2001 cover story in Business Week.

The times they ain't a-changin'. The passionate activists from the Age of Aquarius have grown up to be the new Silent Majority.

...until global capitalism makes room for a different kind of accounting altogether – one that incorporates moral values and social costs and benefits into business decisions big and small – scandals big and small will keep right on happening.

Whether it is television, radio, newspapers, magazines, books or the Internet, a few giant conglomerates are determining what we see, hear and read. And the situation is likely to become much worse as a result of radical deregulation efforts by the Bush administration and some horrendous court decisions.

Auditors weren't interested in giving a hard time to companies that gave them lots of consulting income; bank executives weren't interested in giving a hard time to companies that, as we've learned in the Enron case, let them in on some of those lucrative side deals. And elected officials, kept compliant by campaign contributions and other inducements, kept the regulators from doing their job — starving their agencies for funds, creating regulatory "black holes" in which shady practices could flourish.

What makes the ongoing corporate crime wave not just a business scandal but a political one, is precisely the fact that there is simply no consistent institutional opposition to the corporate take-over of our politics – certainly not from the Democratic Party.

I America attacks and if Iraq truly possesses weapons of mass destruction, the feared risks are likely to materialize as Iraq and Saddam confront defeat and humiliation, and have little left to lose...We must ask why the open American system is so closed in this instance. How can we explain this unsavory rush to judgment, when so many lives are at stake? What is now wrong with our system, with the vigilance of our citizenry, that such a course of action can be embarked upon without even evoking criticism in high places, much less mass opposition in the streets?

The only safe and sensible response to American power is a policy of non-cooperation. Britain and the rest of Europe should impede, at the diplomatic level, all US attempts to act unilaterally. We should launch independent efforts to resolve the Iraq crisis and the conflict between Israel and Palestine. And we should cross our fingers and hope that a combination of economic mismanagement, gangster capitalism and excessive military spending will reduce America's power to the extent that it ceases to use the rest of the world as its doormat.

...after a while, as happened in the 1960s and in the 1970s, people have too much common sense, and they see through the lies...I think people are now beginning to understand that it is not just a matter of opposing a policy, it is a matter of resisting the enemy of the most fundamental human rights...and the distance that resistance has to travel between understanding this and being effective in making change is not all that far.

It is emblematic of the kind of corporate culture we live in that a practice that the man on the street would consider blatantly illegal is not only legal but touted as a breakthrough and a coup. And it is a breakthrough, of a sort. After all, it's not easy to take something so unequivocally wrong and make it legal.

Market mania has emerged as the both the pivotal crippler of U.S. democracy and the driving force behind the upward redistribution of U.S. wealth. It has made the egalitarian principles and patterns of the 1950's and 1960's vanish in a cloud of dust

The current crisis in American capitalism isn't just about the specific details – about tricky accounting, stock options, loans to executives, and so on. It's about the way the game has been rigged on behalf of insiders. And the Bush administration is full of such insiders...

The "genius of capitalism" crowd has adopted a new strategy: publicly embrace reform while working diligently behind the scenes to undermine it...Call it How To Succeed in Killing Reform While Looking Like a Reformer.

Why do we kill people to show people that killing people is wrong?

Gaza is completely fenced in. It's like the world's largest many military experts acknowledge, these security measures do very little to prevent bombings. What we do know about these security measures, however, is that they prevent people from creating art, from going to school, from living their lives.

If all politically viable politicians are on the corporate take, this helps explain why the Enron phenomenon could happen...The needed reforms enumerated by 'Business Week,' suggested by the New York Stock Exchange, Business Roundtable, and various business reformers, are exceedingly modest, and the reformers are perfectly frank that the important thing is "renewing confidence" rather than doing much of substance.

Visit our QUOTES – for longer excerpts
or check out our ARCHIVE OF QUOTES