As Keanu Reeves would say,

As Keanu Reeves would say, “Whoah.” Check out this editorial from Pravda, enticingly called Will American Administration Declare War on Russia?

Colonel-General Valery Manilov, a member of the Federation Council from the Primorye region, said in his interview to Echo of Moscow radio station: “The decision to start the war on Iraq is a big mistake that the United States made. America gave an incentive for the rest of the world to unite in the anti-American coalition. It is obvious from the diplomatic point of view that no country in the whole world will wish to live and watch Americans using the military force whenever they want and like it to use. The world community will have to consolidate its military, political, economic, technical resources in order not to allow that to happen. The process is under way already. This is a unique moment, for it never happened before, not even during the USA’s bombing of Yugoslavia. The world will have to unite and find a format to restrain America, the country, which opposed itself to the whole world.”

Of all the reportage I’ve

Of all the reportage I’ve read based in Iraq, the daily reports by the Mirror’s Anton Antonowicz has been the best so far.

Mar 26 2003
By Anton Antonowicz
IT IS mid-afternoon and I can barely see more than 300 yards from my ninth-floor balcony window. The desert wind from the south has been blowing since the middle of the night. It brings a sandstorm and the noise of the guns closer.
A strange blood-orange glow hangs across the city. From the American and British point of view, this is the wrong kind of weather.
The Iraqis have torched oil dumps to obscure and confuse the enemy attacks upon the capital, but nature, so much more powerful, is doing a far, far better job.
“In March we expect all kinds of weather – one day storms, one day rain, one day bright blue skies,” my Baghdad friend tells me. “But this sandstorm is something that comes along once in a generation.

I’ve been on the go

I’ve been on the go since I got back from L.A. Monday morning. I had to catch up with films to review, attend a class on DVD authoring, and interview Gail Marshall for this week’s issue. So everything’s on hold, blog-wise, except for maybe one or two things.
Below encapsulates a lot of what I’ve been saying and thinking this weekend.

George Monbiot: One rule for them
[Rumsfeld] is, of course, quite right. Article 13 of the third convention, concerning the treatment of prisoners, insists that they “must at all times be protected… against insults and public curiosity”. This may number among the less heinous of the possible infringements of the laws of war, but the conventions, ratified by Iraq in 1956, are non-negotiable. If you break them, you should expect to be prosecuted for war crimes.
This being so, Rumsfeld had better watch his back. For this enthusiastic convert to the cause of legal warfare is, as head of the defence department, responsible for a series of crimes sufficient, were he ever to be tried, to put him away for the rest of his natural life.
His prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba, where 641 men (nine of whom are British citizens) are held, breaches no fewer than 15 articles of the third convention. The US government broke the first of these (article 13) as soon as the prisoners arrived, by displaying them, just as the Iraqis have done, on television. In this case, however, they were not encouraged to address the cameras. They were kneeling on the ground, hands tied behind their backs, wearing blacked-out goggles and earphones. In breach of article 18, they had been stripped of their own clothes and deprived of their possessions. They were then interned in a penitentiary (against article 22), where they were denied proper mess facilities (26), canteens (28), religious premises (34), opportunities for physical exercise (38), access to the text of the convention (41), freedom to write to their families (70 and 71) and parcels of food and books (72).
They were not “released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities” (118), because, the US authorities say, their interrogation might, one day, reveal interesting information about al-Qaida. Article 17 rules that captives are obliged to give only their name, rank, number and date of birth. No “coercion may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever”. In the hope of breaking them, however, the authorities have confined them to solitary cells and subjected them to what is now known as “torture lite”: sleep deprivation and constant exposure to bright light. Unsurprisingly, several of the prisoners have sought to kill themselves, by smashing their heads against the walls or trying to slash their wrists with plastic cutlery.

This weekend I’m in Los Angeles

This weekend I’m in Los Angeles, hanging out with me friend Scott. I’m currently typing this on the big fancy computer he uses at his very very very big videogame company that will remain nameless.
On the way down here last night I listened to KPFK broadcasting various bits from the protest that was happening at that moment on Sepulveda in Westwood. That was interspersed with people calling in to vent on the war, most of it making sense (being KPFK) but with one guy mentioning the Illuminati (also being KPFK). Unbeknownst to me, there were protests in Santa Barbara on Thursday and Friday, the former being completely chaotic with people crossing the freeway, trying to stop it. I guess all seemed quiet where I was.
Anyroad, today’s a sunny day, and we are off to Hurry Curry to get some Japanese curry for lunch. Then maybe a pop nextdoor to Giant Robot.