[ Go to lecture about role of books today! ] Quotes that have touched me (page 5 of 16)
Disclaimer: Citation of a quote, below, does not necessarily imply that I agree with what it asserts (under whatever interpretation); it does mean I feel the text says something seriously worth thinking about.
"Every sentence that I utter should be regarded by you not as an assertion but as a question." --Niels Bohr
[ Notice what's hiding in plain sight! ]"There is more to the surface than meets the eye." --Aaron Beck
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"Up until now, Japan was a society in which children obeyed adults, but this relationship between children and adults is no longer workable, because the system was built around the idea that by doing well in school you could enter a good company, and having lifetime security," said Naoki Ogi, an education expert. "Over the last 10 years, however, Japan hasn't found a way out of its economic depression, and from the children's viewpoint, the academic record-oriented system has collapsed. Moral values are collapsing, too. [/] "So children feel they have no one they can trust, no adult society they can look up to."
Howard W. French, "Educators Try to Tame Japan's Blackboard Jungles", NYT, 23Sep02, page ref. lost.
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Ed. note: A consensual social contract entails that the gratifications of following the rules at least come close to matching the frustrations. John F. Kennedy's famous quote: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country" can only work for persons to whom their country has already given much. (See quote from Melanie Klein about this: Please click here. See also, for more about Kennedy's dictum: Quote #236.)
"To other scholars, though, Iraq looks less like a pre-emptive strike and more like a preventive war. And there the classic example is one the White House is unlikely to cite with approval: Dec. 7, 1941. Every schoolchild in Japan is taught that the United States-led embargo on Japan was slowly killing the country's economy and undermining its ability to defend itself. That's why Japan has kept a museum celebrating the heroes of Pearl Harbor." David E. Sanger, "Beating Them To the Prewar: The 'Anticipatory Self-Defense' Talk", NYT, 28Sep02, p.B9.
The Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle... let American companies pick whatever technology they wanted.... [A] spokeswoman for Lockheed Martin Space Systems... said the company's teams seized on a Russian engine design after being dazzled by Russian secrets accessible after the end of the cold war. "We were astounded," she said. "The Russians were able to develop systems and metals and capabilities that allowed them to fire engines at higher pressures, temperatures and efficiencies.".... "We're getting the crown jewels,"... an expert on the Russian space program at the Federation of American Scientists... [said:] "It makes up for 30 years of not doing the appropriate amount of engine research ourselves." The trick is that the Russians learned during the cold war how to excel without pushing technological limits -- the opposite of the West's approach. For instance, Moscow often relied on kerosene, an inexpensive fuel that can work at room temperature. In contrast, Washington pushed to perfect the use of liquid hydrogen. This costly, high-energy propellant must be refrigerated down to hundreds of degrees below zero, a temperature that can freeze, shatter or otherwise play havoc with fast-moving parts. William J. Broad, "A Missile That Would Make Lenin Faint", NYT Week in Review, 22Sep02, p.WK5 (emphasis added). Ed. note: How could the Soviets do this without free markets? Conversely, how could The United States of America, with free enterprise, have failed to come up with the best ideas and the best implementations?
I.B.M. stole the scientific flavor of the [1997 chess math in which Kasparov lost to the Deep Blue computer]. Not only from me, but from the whole world. It was considered a scientific experiment, and I.B.M. treated it as win or lose. It was a corporate mockery. Wm. Ferguson, "Check This", interview with world chess champion Gary Kasparov, NYT Sunday Magazine, 22Sep02, p.19.
It's not the final battle -- the human brain's 'last stand'.... I treat it more like a continuation of a very important scientific experiment. Where else can we compete with computers? Either humans will be stronger in creativity, or computers will win with the brute force of calculation. The brute force of calculation on one side, and humans' creativity on the other side.
Q Mr. President, are you going to send Congress your proposed resolution today? And are you asking for a blank check, sir?
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THE PRESIDENT: I am sending suggested language for a resolution. I want -- I've asked for Congress' support to enable the administration to keep the peace. And we look forward to a good, constructive debate in Congress.... I appreciate the strong support we're getting from both Republicans and Democrats, and look forward to working with them.
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Q Mr. President, how important is it that that resolution give you an authorization of the use of force?
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THE PRESIDENT: That will be part of the resolution, the authorization to use force. If you want to keep the peace, you've got to have the authorization to use force. But it's -- this will be -- this is a chance for Congress to indicate support. It's a chance for Congress to say, we support the administration's ability to keep the peace. That's what this is all about.
"President Bush to Send Iraq Resolution to Congress Today: Remarks by the President in Photo Opportunity with Secretary of State Colin Powell, The Oval Office, 9:50 A.M. EDT", 19Sep02, White House Press Release (www.whitehouse.gov), emphasis added. This discussion ends with: "Q 'Will regime change be part of [the proposed resolution]?' THE PRESIDENT: 'Yes. That's the policy of the government. [/] Campbell, congratulations, you got two questions in one day. And it wasn't even a follow-up -- that's a brilliant performance.'"
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See: Quote #120, below[ Read more about George W Bush's idea of consultation! ]; Also: Bush's comment (20Nov02): "the United States will lead a coalition of the willing".
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Notice that Mr. Bush never answers the question. Is he asking for a blank check or isn't he? If the question is inappropriate, why doesn't he explain why it is inappropriate? If the question is appropriate, why doesn't he simply answer: "Yes, I am" or "No, I'm not"? If the question wasn't worth asking, why did the reporter ask it? If the question was worth asking, why didn't the reporter press Mr. Bush for an answer? Such evasiveness as we see building here seems likely to lead to misunderstanding, disappointed expectations, and, because the question is about a war to overthrow the government of a sovereign nation in an "unstable" region [Iraq], much worse.
"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq wants business, not war, with the United States, its foreign minister said...." ("Minister: Iraq Wants U.S. Business", AP, 10Sep02, filed at 09:50a.m. ET)
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"...[W]hen Mr. [now: Bush's Vice President...] Cheney was running Halliburton, the oil services firm, it sold more equipment to Iraq than any other company did. As first reported by The Financial Times on Nov. 3, 2000, Halliburton subsidiaries submitted $23.8 million worth of contracts with Iraq to the United Nations in 1998 and 1999 for approval by its sanctions committee." (Nicholas D. Kristof, "Revolving Door Monsters", NYT OpEd, 11Oct02, p.A33 -- title refers to how "the vogue threat" to America changes frequently with "the latest fashion in monsters... Libya, North Korea and Iran....")
[ George W Bush does not want Congress to tie his hands (01Oct02)! ] [ ] "'We'll continue to work with the members of Congress, but I don't want to get a resolution that ties my hands,' Bush said.... '[Saddam Husein] has had four years to lie, deceive, to arm up. He has had four years to thumb his nose at the world. He is stockpiling more weapons. So I am not sure why members would like to weaken the resolution,' Bush said." ("Bush to Congress: Don't tie my hands", CNN, 01Oct02, Posted: 3:00 PM EDT)
President Bush and Senate Democrats disagreed sharply... about managing the proposed Homeland Security Department, with Bush saying he needs the greatest leeway to combat terrorist threats. [/] The new Cabinet-level agency "must be able to move people and resources quickly, without being forced to comply with a thick book of bureaucratic rules," Bush said.... Bush has demanded that the department's leaders have broad powers to hire, fire, reassign, reward and demote the agency's estimated 170,000 workers, and to easily transfer money between its programs.
"Bush Demands Homeland Flexibility" , AP, 08Aug02, Filed at 5:59 a.m. ET. Ed. note: Doesn't this read as using the war against terrorism as an excuse/pretext for taking away workers' rights, including but not limited to disempowering unions? It would also free the executive branch from Congressional budget oversight, i.e., if Congress appropriates funds, Bush can use them for anything he wants? Does this not seem like movement toward a permanent state of emergency, aka fascist dictatorship?
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One example of Bush's "trifecta" joke, which he has repeated on several occasions: "The recession -- no question, I remember when I was campaigning, I said, would you ever deficit spend? And I said, yes, only if there were a time of war, or recession, or a national emergency. Never thought we'd get -- (laughter and applause.) And so we have a temporary deficit in our budget, because we are at war, we're recovering, our economy is recovering, and we've had a national emergency. Never did I dream we'd have the trifecta. (Laughter.)" (Office of the Press Secretary, 16Apr02: "President Calls on Congress to Show Fiscal Responsibility: Remarks by the President at Meeting of the Leaders of the Fiscal Responsibility Coalition, Room 450, Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building, 3:15 P.M. EDT, posted at www.whitehouse.gov) Or: "I didn't think I was going to draw the trifecta. (Laughter.)" (loc. cit., 29Apr02, "Remarks by the President at Heather Wilson for Congress Luncheon")
HANOVER, Germany, Sept. 1 -- Gerhard Schröder, the German chancellor, believes that the Bush administration is making a terrible mistake in planning a war against Iraq.... Consultation is important, he said, "but consultation cannot mean that I get a phone call two hours in advance only to be told, 'We're going in.'" [/] "Consultation among grown-up nations has to mean not just consultation about the how and the when, but also about the whether," he said.
Steven Erlanger, "German Leader's Warning: War Plan Is a Huge Mistake" , NYT, 05Sep02, p.A1. Read an example of George W Bush's ideas of "consultation" and "compromise": Click here. [See also: Quote #122, above[ Read more about George W Bush's idea of consultation! ]. And: Quote #143.]
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After Mr. Schröder won a close election, "in part by opposing an American war in Iraq... President Bush broke with protocol and refrained from making the customary congratulatory telephone call to the German leader. [/] In Warsaw for a meeting of NATO defense ministers, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld announced that he would not meet his German counterpart, Peter Struck. Mr. Rumsfeld was blunt about the Schröder campaign. 'The way it was conducted was notably unhelpful and, as the White House has indicated, had the effect of poisoning a relationship,' [Rumsfeld said].... A senior administration official told reporters... that Mr. Schröder and his government 'have a lot of work to do to repair the damage that he did by his excesses during the campaign.'" (Steven Erlanger, "Moves by Germany to Mend Relations Rebuffed by Bush", NYT on the Web, 24Sep02)
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[Read more about how Mr. Bush deals with disagreement, below[ Read more about how Bush deals with disagreement! ]. Read more about how Bush was continuing to punish the Germans, more than a year later (10Dec03): Quote #191.]
"BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- European Union nations have no right under international law to exempt U.S. citizens from prosecutions at the International Criminal Court, according to a paper drafted by the legal service of the EU head office. [/] The document... says countries that agree to specifically keep Americans out of the hands of the international court effectively make themselves safe havens for suspects in cases of war crimes, genocide or other crimes against humanity. [/] That, it adds, 'defeats the very object and purpose' of the court, which was set up to bring war crimes suspects to justice when national governments refuse to.... The United States is the only vocal opponent of the court, but other haven't signed the treaty, including India, Pakistan, Iraq and Indonesia. The Clinton administration signed the treaty in December 2000. [/] Bush... wary of U.S. military personnel becoming scapegoats in politically motivated court cases... renounced the U.S. signature on the treaty.... European officials have expressed concern Washington may use differences about the International Criminal Court to reduce its commitment to NATO -- something U.S. officials deny. [/] However, the Bush administration has warned some nations that aren't in NATO they may lose U.S. military aid unless they agree not to extradite Americans to the international court. Israel and Romania have already signed such accords.
"Legal Experts Draft War Crimes Paper", 28Aug02, by The Associated Press, filed at 2:52 p.m. ET.
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"GABORONE, Botswana (AP) -- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged the United States to resist attacking Iraq, joining calls from leaders in Germany, China, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on Wednesday for restraint in considering military action to topple Saddam Hussein. [/] The stepped-up opposition to a military strike against Iraq came after Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday warned that the United States could face devastating consequences from any delay in acting to remove Iraq's government, which Washington accuses of trying to rebuild its banned weapons programs.... In Germany, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer on Wednesday renewed their criticism of plans to use military force against Saddam. Schroeder insisted that Germany wouldn't take part in an attack -- 'at least not under my leadership.'... Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally in the region, on Wednesday repeated its opposition to a military attack on Iraq, saying Washington should insist on a return of weapons inspectors...." (World Leaders Urge U.S. Restraint in Iraq", 28Aug02, by The Associated Press, filed at 2:29 p.m. ET)
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"Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld made it clear today that broad international support is not a prerequisite for U.S. action. 'It is less important to have unanimity than it is to be making the right decisions and doing the right thing,' he said...." (Dana Milbank and Glenn Kessler, "Bush Moves to Ease Tensions With Saudis', The Washington Post, 28Aug02, p.A01)
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Ed. notes: Might the Bush administration here be acting out the same lack of concern for due process in dealing with other nations, as it has shown in dealing with U.S. citizens? (See: Quote #109.)
"What we should be advocating (and what democrats in these countries seek) is a soft landing.... That means... encouraging these regimes to gradually introduce authentic political parties, competitive and fair elections, even if they are initially only at the municipal level, more freedom of the press and greater judicial independence - as a way of laying the groundwork for democracy." Larry Diamond of the Hoover Institution, quoted by Thomas Friedman, in "Bush's Mideast Sand Trap", NYT, 21Aug02, p.A17. Ed. note: Wouldn't this have been a better way, e.g., for the Soviet Union, instead of "Tear down that wall!" shock therapy followed by abandoning them to their own [lack of coping] resources?
Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said he wants to ban military air shows... after a fighter jet crashed into a crowd at an airfield [killing... s]eventy-eight people... in what has become the world's worst airshow disaster.... Kuchma, who cut short his holiday on hearing the news and rushed to the scene, sacked air force chief Volodymyr Strelnykov.... [A] shocked Kuchma said the ex-Soviet state's air force should concentrate on their military duties rather than performing for crowds. "In my opinion we need to stop these kind of air performances... People should do their military business and should train, not take part in these air shows," Kuchma told local television stations.
First quote: Reuters, "Fighter Crash Kills 78 at Air Show in Ukraine", 27Jul02, Filed at 4:21 p.m. ET, and CNN, "Scores die in worst airshow crash", July 27, 2002 Posted 2:43 PM EDT. Second quote: Reuters, "Ukraine Blames Negligence for Air Show Disaster", 29Jul02, Filed at 10:38 a.m. ET.
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Ed. Notes: Kuchma apparently learned from Vladimir Putin's mistake in continuing his [Putin's] vacation after the submarine Kursk disaster. Did Kuchma make the opposite of the usual error of not punishing anyone, esp. anyone "important", by so quickly firing his air force chief? To see pictures of the crash, Click here. I think this tragedy/fiasco should be studied along with Stanley Kubrick's film "Paths of Glory", in every MBA program and elsewhere. Not just public, but also "VIP" shows and spectacles -- like the United States submarine Greenville incident --, need to be ended.
As Ukrainians prayed for the dead on a national day of mourning, Prosecutor-General Svyatoslav Pyskun said the pilots had been given a "wrong task" by their bosses, who had not taken into consideration necessary safety precautions.
"Can it be true that financial markets want the government to regulate them more? Paradoxically, the answer is yes. The markets have long had an ambivalent attitude toward government intervention. When things go well, they want to be left alone. But when things start to fall apart, they want Washington's help." Alan S. Blinder (former vice chair man of the Federal Reserve), "Stocks Are Only Part of the Story" (Op-Ed piece), NYT, 21Jul02, p.WK13.
"The lights are going out all over Europe. We at least shall try to relight them." "Daniel Corbett, Christian Filips 7D", apparently from a German/Belgian student's 2000 online yearbook webpage. If this quote appeals to you, please read Edmund Husserl's Vienna Lecture: Philosophy and the crisis of European humanity (1935). Quote is a response to the well known statement by the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, just before the beginning of World War I: "The lights are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."
"[A]lien species have caused increasing habitat chaos as globalization has increased their portability." Eric C. Schwaab, Maryland state fisheries director. Quoted in "Battling an Alien Predator in a Suburban Pond", by Francis X. Clines, NYT, 13Jul02, p.A7. Clines' article further describes (ibid.): "[The] northern snakehead... lives in the water, it walks on the land and it is at the top of a food chain.... The police said a man confessed to setting an adult couple of snakeheads loose in the pond... [which is] a mere 75 yard flop away [from]... the Little Patuxent River... which offers easy access to the larger world beyond[,]... two years ago after they had grown too big... and too hungry... for his aquarium.... The miscreant, left unidentified [Ed note: Why?], was pronounced remorseful but beyond the statute of limitations for the misdemeanor of disturbing the environment with an intrusive species."
"The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain." John Adams, 1780 (Click here for source). Ed. notes: (1) This is obviously an old quote, but it took me a long time to find it, and I think it says something about what we can hope for in life. It prefigures Abraham Maslow's "hierarchy of needs" concept by over a century and a half. (2) Pursuant to how I read the quote, I am not interested in freedom of enterprise (freedom to conduct business), but in freedom from enterprise to pursue higher cultures values such as Adams names in the quote, which are sometimes called: "the life of the mind". Consider also a quote from Pythagoras, Plato and Erasmus, which addresses the role of property relations in our life: "Friends have all things in common."
More than a month after he backed out of two long-scheduled performances that many fans had figured would be his farewell to the Metropolitan Opera... [which] operagoers had paid up to $1,800 a seat to hear... LUCIANO PAVAROTTI... said he could not have gone to the Met to apologize to the audience, as the Met's general manager, JOSEPH VOLPE, had wanted -- Mr. Pavarotti said he had no voice that night.... [Pavarotti] said, "I think it's -- it's stupid, absolutely stupid to make such a big fuss." James Barron, "Pavarotti Says He's Busy", The New York Times on the Web, 26Jun02. Ed. comments: Many "stars" have the audacity (aka "balls"), to expect both adulation and riches, and also "privacy". Luciano Pavarotti goes far beyond this: He doesn't think he owes even a silent bow the people to whom he owes everything. (To see a photograph of Luciano Pavarotti, apparently with voice, Click here.)
Well, if Luciano Pavarotti did not exactly conquer on Saturday night [06Mar04] at the Metropolitan Opera in Puccini's "Tosca," at least he came and he sang. That was more than enough for a houseful of excited fans, who turned up to urge him on, to pay tribute and simply to be there as Mr. Pavarotti, 68, made the first of three appearances... billed as his farewell performances to the Met. The bar of expectations was very low following the debacle of two years ago, when Mr. Pavarotti was scheduled to sing two performances... in what was to have been his all-but-official Met farewell. Though that event was hugely hyped, he failed to sing either performance, saying he had a bad cold. At the time Joseph Volpe, the general manager... came to his senses and announced that this beloved tenor would definitely come back to the Met for some type of farewell concert.... The brouhaha must have been humiliating for Mr. Pavarotti. (Anthony Tommasini, "Pavarotti Showed Up! (He Sang Some, Too)" NYT on the Web, 08Mar04)
President Bush... called a federal appeals court ruling that... the use of the words "under God" in... the Pledge of Allegiance... violates the Constitution's clause barring establishment of religion... "out of step with the traditions and history of America" and promised to appoint judges who affirm God's role in the public square.... The president said the country needs "commonsense judges who understand that our rights were derived from God." "Bush Criticizes Ruling on Pledge", The New York Times on the Web, 27Jun02 (By The Associated Press, Filed at 11:34 a.m. ET). President Bush further explained (ibid.): "America is a nation ... that values our relationship with an Almighty", and: "There is a universal God in my opinion and the first conversation I ever had with [Russian President] Vladimir Putin was about God.... It was a way -- we'd never met each other -- and the first discussion we had was about our personal beliefs."
Without mentioning Mr. Arafat by name, Mr. Bush told reporters today, "I've got confidence in the Palestinians, when they understand fully what we're saying, that they'll make the right decisions.".... Within hours, a senior administration official... took the warning a step further, saying that while the Palestinian people were free to re-elect Mr. Arafat, they should know that it would cost them significant aid. "We respect democratic processes," the official said, "but there are consequences."
David E. Sanger, "Bush Says Palestinians Will Lose Aid if They Keep Arafat", The New York Times on the Web, 27Jun02. Ed. note: I have cited this quote as an example of the Bush administration's massive arrogance in dictating to the world what they "should" do -- like a self-righteous parent intimidating a child what to do, and, if the child does not do it, complaining that the child "does not listen". (In this quote, Bush sounds more like a mafia don "making someone an offer they cannot refuse".)
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[Read more about how Mr. Bush deals with disagreement, above[ Read more about how Bush deals with disagreement! ]. See example how Mr. Bush punishes nations that do not support his policies: Quote #191.]
"Mr. Bush has made no secret of ranking his allies by their fidelity to his missions. Britain remains at the center of his universe.... After that comes Poland... whose president, Aleksander Kwasniewski, said in an interview last week, 'if it is President Bush's vision, it is mine.'... France fell off... the list... this week, with its vow to organize a common European position against military action [against Iraq].... at least for several months. Both [France and Germany] 'failed the Bush loyalty test,'... a White House official... noted." (David E. Sanger, "To Some in Europe, the Major Problem Is Bush the Cowboy", NYT, 24Jan02, p.A1,10)
JERUSALEM, Feb. 13 [2006] -- The United States and Israel are discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government so that newly elected Hamas officials will fail and elections will be called again, according to Israeli officials and Western diplomats. The intention is to starve the Palestinian Authority of money and international connections to the point where, some months from now, its president, Mahmoud Abbas, is compelled to call a new election. The hope is that Palestinians will be so unhappy with life under Hamas that they will return to office a reformed and chastened Fatah movement.... They say Hamas will be given a choice: recognize Israel's right to exist, forswear violence and accept previous Palestinian-Israeli agreements -- as called for by the United Nations and the West -- or face isolation and collapse. Opinion polls show that Hamas's promise to better the lives of the Palestinian people was the main reason it won. But the United States and Israel say Palestinian life will only get harder if Hamas does not meet those three demands. They say Hamas plans to build up its militias and increase violence and must be starved out of power. The officials drafting the plan know that Hamas leaders have repeatedly rejected demands to change and do not expect Hamas to meet them. "The point is to put this choice on Hamas's shoulders," a senior Western diplomat said. "If they make the wrong choice, all the options lead in a bad direction." (Steven Erlanger, "U.S. and Israelis Are Said to Talk of Hamas Ouster", NYT on the Web, 14Feb06)
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American and Israeli officials warned again Tuesday [14Feb06] that they would cut off aid and transfers of tax receipts to a Hamas-led Palestinian government if it did not renounce violence and recognize Israel. They said, however, that they had no plans to oust such a government. The bottom line is that there is no U.S.-Israeli plan, project, plot, conspiracy to destabilize or undermine a future Palestinian government," said Sean McCormack, a State Department spokesman... in response to an article in The New York Times [immediately above] in which American and Israeli officials and diplomats said they were discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government, with the intention of forcing new elections. (Steven R. Weisman, "U.S. and Israel Deny Plans to Drive Hamas From Power", NYT on the Web, 15Feb06)
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07 April 2006 (2006-04-07 ISO 8601)
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