"Don't talk to the relatives," the policeman said. "Both
men were killed by the Americans. One worked in a factory and was caught
in the open when the resistance fired at American soldiers. The Americans
shot everyone they saw. The people are angry because you look like an
American." But they all shook hands and stood in front of us with
their heads bowed and asked why the tragedy of Iraq was growing worse.
The cop wanted the last word. "Saddam brought us to this tragedy
and the Americans used it," he said. "You want to know who is
to blame? I say this: fuck Saddam and fuck the USA."
"The disaster in Iraq is rotting the Blairite establishment. Blair
himself appears ever more removed from reality; his latest tomfoolery
about the 'discovery' of 'a huge system of clandestine weapons laboratories',
which even the American viceroy in Baghdad mocked, would be astonishing,
were it not merely another of his vapid attempts to justify his crime
against humanity. His crime, and George Bush's, is clearly defined as
'supreme' in the Nuremberg judgment."
"The secret is the acceptance, often unconscious, of an imperial
legacy: the unspoken rule of reporting whole societies in terms of their
usefulness to western 'interests' and of minimising and obfuscating the
culpability of 'our' crimes. 'What are "we" to do?' is the unerring
media cry when it is rarely asked who 'we' are and what 'our' true agenda
is, based on a history of conquest and violence. Liberal sensibilities
may be offended, even shocked by modern imperial double standards, embodied
in Blair; but the invisible boundaries of how they are reported are not
in dispute. The trail of blood is seldom followed; the connections are
not made; 'our' criminals, who kill and collude in killing large numbers
of human beings at a safe distance, are not named, apart from an occasional
token, like Kissinger."
'Both are in no doubt that the strategy of basing their season on home-grown productions is at the heart of the fresh identity that they hope to pin on the two Liverpool theatres. "We've programmed largely, though not exclusively, on the basis of each theatre's distinctive character," says Gemma Bodinetz. "The Everyman will retain its reputation for new writing, and the bigger Playhouse will focus more on the classics."
'Danny Kushlick, director of drug policy think-tank Transform said: "The
reclassification of cannabis has been horribly botched. Postcode policing
of cannabis will continue as a result of the confusion caused by a Government
that wants to appear tough by retaining arrestability while relaxing the
penalties for possession at one and the same time."'
'The change in policy comes just as evidence is surging in that cannabis
is not a non-toxic "recreational" substance. Two years ago,
when the pro-liberalisers were on the ascendancy, Professor Susan Greenfield,
an esteemed expert on brain processes, warned that 50 per cent of young
people attending psychiatric services were cannabis users, and that new
scientific evidence was showing severe impairment in attention span and
cognitive performance in regular cannabis users "even after the habit
has been relinquished."'
'So why are children getting fatter? Certainly, they are being encouraged
to eat and drink like never before. Three quarters of all children's television
advertising is for food, and 95% of those adverts are for products which
are high in fat, sugar or salt. The medical journal 'The Lancet' recently
called for legislation banning the use of celebrities such as David Beckham
and Paula Radcliffe in endorsing fatty, sugary food.'
Tolstoy's essay 'Why Do Men Stupefy Themselves' was written from the
Russian point of view. He says "The cause of the worldwide consumption
of hashish, opium, wine and tobacco, lies not in the taste nor in the
pleasure, recreation or fun they afford, bur simply in man's need to hide
from himself the demands of conscience…..for man is a spiritual
as well as animal being. He may be moved by things that influence his
spiritual nature, or by things that influence his animal nature."