jesus loves you more than i do

jesus loves you more than i do
jesus loves you more than i do,
originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

Went to see war of the worlds last night and it was far better than i expected. I should have had more faith, really, because this was spielberg after all. The Terminal was a bit poor, but most of his other output has been solid. He even got the scientology dwarf to do stuff that looked a lot like real acting.

A recent post on world changing pointed out that the original novel was an attack on imperialism. No matter how watered down the message gets that makes this, rather than RoTS the big anti iraq war/bush movie of the year. The message is still there if you look- one character opines that occupations never work and cruise’s character tries at first to keep his son from joining the resistance and finally, when all hope seems lost, makes the desperate decision to become a suicide bomber. (he lives, of course, because he’s the hero)

there are failings, such as the feel good resurrection at the end, but overall very good.

Only one thought on what’s happened in london- when tony tells up it could have been prevented by identity cards it’ll just be final proof that he’s lying manipulative scum.

Update Title lifted from Donation, by The Wonderstuff, off the Never Loved Elvis album.

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The Attorney General, he say No

This leaked document is all over the news today. It’s in horribly painful legalese, but the gist of it seems to be that invading Iraq was of dubious legality/ outright illegal without a second UN resolution (and stop blaming the French for all your troubles you wanker, they’re more in touch with world opinion than you are [I paraphrase]).

Honourable Fiend does a better job of summing it up

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Baghdad in Bloom

Despite everything, Baghdad is beginning to brighten up. It might help that the city has a history of desolation and rebirth.

Said by some historians to be the site of the Garden of Eden, it was founded in AD762 by Caliph Abu Ja’far al-Mansour and became the heart of medieval Muslim civilisation, a political capital as well as an architectural wonder immortalised in stories such as the 1001 Nights.

The Mongols, among others, razed it several times, but Baghdad recovered and 19th century visitors proclaimed it the most beautiful city in the east.

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Koranic duels ease terror

By James Brandon | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor

SANAA, YEMEN � When Judge Hamoud al-Hitar announced that he and four other Islamic scholars would challenge Yemen’s Al Qaeda prisoners to a theological contest, Western antiterrorism experts warned that this high-stakes gamble would end in disaster.

Nervous as he faced five captured, yet defiant, Al Qaeda members in a Sanaa prison, Judge Hitar was inclined to agree. But banishing his doubts, the youthful cleric threw down the gauntlet, in the hope of bringing peace to his troubled homeland.

“If you can convince us that your ideas are justified by the Koran, then we will join you in your struggle,” Hitar told the militants. “But if we succeed in convincing you of our ideas, then you must agree to renounce violence.”

The prisoners eagerly agreed.

Now, two years later, not only have those prisoners been released, but a relative peace reigns in Yemen. And the same Western experts who doubted this experiment are courting Hitar, eager to hear how his “theological dialogues” with captured Islamic militants have helped pacify this wild and mountainous country, previously seen by the US as a failed state, like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rest of the article here. Link supplied by the lovely Hadiya.

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What goes around….

The hypocrisy of the pro war camp is fairly obvious. Back when people like Mark Thomas were telling us that the Iraqi sanctions were only harming Iraqi civilians politicians and pundits were quick to defend them. Now that the UN is deemed too willful and independent of the US the Right of the blogosphere can’t shut up about corruption within the Oil for Food programme.

Will the news that 40% of the revenue to be used in rebuilding Iraq since the invasion has been lost, stolen or squandered register with them?

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History Repeating

A potted history of Iraq, all the way back to 3100BC. Of particular interest-

1914: As a part of World War 1, British forces invade southern Iraq.

1917: British occupation of Baghdad begins.

1920: Arabs of southern Iraq starts military actions towards the British, who did not fulfill their promises to leave the area to the locals after the Turks were defeated. The British responded military in the beginning, but soon realized that it would be impossible to control the area.

1921: Prince Faisal of Hijaz (now: southwestern Saudi Arabia) wins a popular election, with 96% of the ballots, and is declared king of Iraq August 23

and for all on the right claiming that Sunday is the country’s first taste of democracy-

1953: Direct parliamentary elections. King Faisal 2 assumes throne, as he was only 3 when his father died.

1954: Political instability, as USA tries to enhance its influence in Iraq.

Certainly those elections would have been far from the representative ideal, but no more so than the ones being held this week.

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9/11 in Baghdad

I doubt you’re going to read any more powerful review of Fahrenheit 9/11 than this one from Baghdad Burning.

I constantly wonder, three years after 9/11, do Americans feel safer? When it first happened, there was a sort of collective shock in Iraq. In 2002, there was a sort of pity and understanding- we�ve been through the same. Americans could hardly believe what had happened, but the American government brings this sort of grief upon nations annually� suddenly the war wasn�t thousands of kilometers away, it was home.

How do we feel about it this year? A little bit tired.

We have 9/11�s on a monthly basis. Each and every Iraqi person who dies with a bullet, a missile, a grenade, under torture, accidentally- they all have families and friends and people who care. The number of Iraqis dead since March 2003 is by now at least eight times the number of people who died in the World Trade Center. They had their last words, and their last thoughts as their worlds came down around them, too. I�ve attended more wakes and funerals this last year, than I�ve attended my whole life. The process of mourning and the hollow words of comfort have become much too familiar and automatic.

(Official Fahrenheit 9/11 Reader)