Sunday, January 30, 2005

From blog member Samer al-Batal
From Chronicles:

How Americans were seduced by war
By Paul Craig Roberts
The world is a vast place. The United States has demonstrated that it cannot impose its will on a tiny part known as Iraq. American realism may yet reassert itself, dispel the fog of delusion, cleanse the body politic of the Jacobin spirit and lead the world by good example. But this happy outcome will require regime change in the United States.
Douglas Feith resigns under pressure of investigations
S al-B: Juan Cole comments on the record of an American Likudnik who contributed to lying his country into war to serve Israeli interests. The man is a traitor to his country.

An inaugural formula for endless war
By Patrick Buchanan
In declaring it to be America's mission in the world to end tyranny on earth, President Bush is launching a crusade even more ambitious and utopian than was Wilson's. His crusade, too, will end, as Wilson's did, in disillusionment for him and tragedy for his country.
Not even Saddam could achieve the divisions this election will bring
By Robert Fisk
S al-B: A relevant article, though a little dated, that provides some comments and focus on tomorrow's elections.

The real trouble with this election, however, is not so much the violence that will take place before, during and, rest assured, after 30 January. The greatest threat to "democracy" is that with four provinces containing around half the population of Iraq in a state of insurgency and many of its towns under rebel control, this election is going to widen the differences between Sunnis, Shias and Kurds in a way that not even Saddam Hussein was able to achieve. If the Sunnis don't vote - save for those living in America, Syria and other exotic locations - then the Shia community, perhaps 60 per cent of the population, will take an overwhelming number of seats in the "Transitional National Assembly".
This year’s Oscars lack Passion
S al-B: The Academy has decided to grant the film nominations in three categories: cinematography, makeup, and original score. Sadly, it has been given no place in the competition for best film. The foregoing sounds like consolation nominations, if anything.

I don't consider myself particularly religious, but Passion was by far one of the most powerful films of the last decade -- and certainly one of the five best of the last year. The fearless portrayal of Roman brutality mixed with the film's captivating presentation of Christian spirituality take viewers to a place that few movies dare to travel. The country's premier film society ought to reward this type of artistic risk-taking, not shun it.
Once again, repeating several postings here when the movie was released, it’s a good effort and quite orthodox, with the violence necessary to re-create what happened, but not as good as the hype promised. The absence of the Greek language both as the majority of the dialogue and on the sign over the cross (which is in scripture) is a glaring error. (It was the common second language in that part of the world at that time, which is why the New Testament was written in it: Jews and Romans would have communicated with each other using it.) My version would have had Gibson’s use of languages other than English using subtitles and his depiction of the violence, but Zefferelli’s staging of the carrying of the cross and the acting at and after the crucifixion, and Scorsese’s AFAIK historically correct staging of the crucifixion itself.

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