Friday, January 28, 2005

Some Light Reading

In an earlier bit, I alluded to a couple things that should have had some linked attribution.

One was the assertion that Iyad Allawi had admitted to executing six accused insurgents extra-judicially. According to this article, originally from the Sydney Morning Herald (funny how this stuff never makes it over here to Pravda or Izvestiya), the confirmation is apparently the province of several high-ranking -- yet-unnamed -- Jordanian and American officials. So it's not official recorded confirmation, much less an outright admission. Not yet, anyway, though there are already reports (free subscription required) of Allawi's interim government -- barely six months old -- torturing prisoners. Still, the basic point -- that we have deposed one thug for another -- seems pretty valid.

Second is the characterization of Sistani as the sort of fellow who disdains such seemingly innocuous pastimes as music and kite-flying. This could be seen to implicitly cast him as another Taliban-type Islamic cleric, which was not my specific intent. I have no idea whether Sistani intends to bury uppity women and thieves up to their waists and push brick walls on them (early indications seem to be that he doesn't), but a cursory glance at Sistani's own website demonstrates a rather fleeting acquaintance with any honest idea of "freedom". Devotional music is apparently allowed, while music for "diversion and play" is haram (forbidden). There is no mention of kite-flying. On the other hand, anal is permissible, so there's that. (Oral is allowed as long as she doesn't swallow.)

Thanks to faithful reader von Kreedon for keeping me honest.

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