Friday, February 22, 2008


At a recent press conference on Valentine’s Day, Russian President Vladimir Putin was asked to react to a remark by Hillary Clinton who said that as a former K.G.B. officer, Putin “has no soul.”

His reponse?

“As a minimum, a state official must at least have a head.”

Mr. Putin was also asked about complaints from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) which says that elections are routinely rigged in post-Soviet autocracies. They complained that Russia was making it impossible to assess the current campaign and election fully because of it’s various restrictions.

Putin seemed to have dipped his tongue in vinegar before the presser. His response again was that the OSCE needs to be overhauled and suggested that the monitors intended to teach Russia how to become democratic.

“Let them teach their wives to make shchi,” he said. Shchi is a popular Russian cabbage soup.

(Quotes from Putin’s press conference as reported by the New York Times.)

Friday, February 15, 2008


This is a reproduction of Benazir Bhutto’s hand-written will. As she left Dubai last year, she certainly seemed to know that her end was near. In this statement written two days before the first bomb attack on her convoy, she passes on the baton of the PPP and seems to be saying goodbye and good-luck. Full text below:

Pakistan Peoples Party

To the officials and members of Pakistan Peoples Party I say that I was honoured to lead you. No leader could be as proud of their party, their dedication, devotion and discipline to the mission of Quaid E Azam Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for a Federal, Democratic and Egalitarian Pakistan as I have been proud of you. I salute your courage and your sense of honour. I salute you for standing by your sister through two military dictatorships.

I fear for the future of Pakistan. Please continue the fight against extremism, dictatorship, poverty and ignorance.

I would like my husband Asif Ali Zardari to lead you in this interim period until you and he decide what is best. I say this because he is a man of courage and honour. He spent eleven-and-a-half years in prison without bending despite torture. He has the political stature to keep our party united.

I wish all of you success in fulfilling the manifesto of our party and in serving the downtrodden, discriminated and oppressed people of Pakistan. Dedicate yourself to freeing them from poverty and backwardness as you have done in the past.

Benazir Bhutto
October 16, 2007.