Category Archives: The World Outside America

WTF Is Going On With All This Beheading!?

Brazil: Man confesses to decapitating British girlfriend
Canada: Decapitation suspect appears in court and
Man who beheaded bus seat mate defiled body, police tape says
He fucking ATE him!?? This headline is pretty silly, though. I mean, isn’t beheading someone pretty much a defiling act?
Greece:Greek man held after girlfriend beheaded
He also cut off her dog’s head!
I mean really, what the fuck is going on? Since when did beheading become an “acceptable” way to kill someone. I mean, there’s no truly acceptable way, but you know what I mean, right?

Prison Break In Afghanistan, 1,100+ Prisoners Freed, 400 Taliban

Reuters is reporting that an estimated 1,150 prisoners, including 400 Taliban were set loose from a prison in Kandahar, today. The door was apparently blown open by a truck bomb, presumably as part of a massive Taliban-organized prison break.
Are you kidding me? Oh, goodie. If there was any doubt that we were fighting two wars, they’re gone, now. 400 more Taliban on the loose in Afghanistan?
Something tells me the Stop-Loss fiasco is going to continue for years.

Video: Alex Gibney On “Taxi To The Dark Side”

Friday marked the New York City premiere of Alex Gibney’s Oscar-nominated documentary, Taxi to the Dark Side, the rather grim story of a young Afghani goat herder and taxi driver named Dilawar who is mistakenly suspected of being a terrorist by our military intelligence. Brought into Bagram for interrogation, Dilawar is subsequently tortured and killed by his interrogators. The ThinkFilm release gets to the darker truths, namely that not only is the intelligence questionable in the first place but that the interrogators were, in fact, young soldiers utterly untrained and inexperienced in the ways of proper interrogation techniques.
Matters are made worse when the soldiers are encouraged by their superiors to go to any lengths to get their confessions. In addition to the now prosecuted soldiers, among the interview subjects are New York Times journalists, various academics, politicians, former military brass and, most notably, Gibney’s own father who died during post-production. Frank Gibney, himself a former interrogator during World War II, best expresses the sense of outrage with the Bush Administration and as images of Bush, Cheney, Rumsefeld and Gonzalez flash across the screen it’s hard not to squirm in your seat by your own sense of frustration. There doesn’t seem to be any level of success when it comes to the administration’s war on terrorism, itself an unforgivable reminder of those who perished on 9/11.
Gibney, who also directed the award-winning Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, recently met with journalists and described the challenges and rewards of making Taxi to the Dark Side. Here are a few of clips from that interview.
Clip #1: Gibney discusses his father Frank’s experiences as an interrogator during WW II:

Continue reading Video: Alex Gibney On “Taxi To The Dark Side”

Theatrical Review: Persepolis

5.jpgPersepolis (Reviewed at the 44th New York Film Festival)
Directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
Written by Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi
Based on the Original Graphic Novels by Marjane Satrapi
Released by Sony Pictures Classics
The Film Society of Lincoln Center wisely chose Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s Persepolis to close its 45th Season. The French language animated film, mostly in black & white, opens in theaters in both NYC and LA today. The film feels at once nostalgic and freshly new. Even for those who don’t primarily identify themselves as political, the story, adapted from a series of autobiographical graphic novels of the same name, is a universal one; that of a young woman’s journey from innocence to maturity. It just so happens that the back drop of her story includes the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the country’s turn from a socially progressive society to one of fundamentalism and fear.
Marjane (the voice of Chirara Mastroianni, Marcello’s daughter), our young heroine, is growing up in Tehran during a most tumultuous time. When we are first introduced to her, she is your average precocious nine year old but it’s not long before she experiences the loss of her beloved uncle who is executed as a war criminal. By the time she is 14, her parents, concerned for her safety, send her off to boarding school in Vienna. The scenes that follow, where young Marjane is so homesick for her parents (the voices of Catherine Deneuve and Simon Akbarian) and her grandmother (France’s legendary actress Danielle Darrieux) are among the film’s most gripping, where for all intents and purposes, you forget you are watching a cartoon.

Continue reading Theatrical Review: Persepolis

Pakistan Under Martial Law: Whither The News?

Today Pakistan’s president General Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan, suspending the constitution and declaring martial law, claiming that Pakistan is at a “critical and dangerous juncture,” according to The same report says that the supreme court declared the state of emergency illegal leading Musharraf to expel the chief justice, sending troops into the court building. Pakistan is arguably the most critical nation in the world (apart from the US, of course) with regards to the attempts to control Islamic terrorism, is controls a nuclear arsenal and is constantly in tensions over India, another nuclear power.
There are also news reports that opposition leader Imran Khan has been placed under house arrest after calling for Pakistanis to take to the streets to protest the action by Musharraf. According to Adelaide Now, most private TV news channels in Pakistan were taken off the air as Khan was making his appeal.
This all happened several hours ago and only now is CNN breaking into regular programming. Fox News ran a small segment and as far as I can tell, MSNBC and CNBC are largely silent on the developments.
Am I overreacting or is this a major news story that deserves a little more coverage?