superman returns

even though you've been raised as a human being you're not one of them. they can be a great people, kal-el, they wish to be. they only lack the light to show the way. for this reason above all, their capacity for good, i have sent them you... my only son.

- jor-el, superman returns.

i could talk about the new events in the middle east, what with the abduction of an israeli soldier or the reaction by the israeli army and the abduction of politicians, but why would i want to talk about that sort of thing when something far more important is amongst us:

superman returns.

**minor spoilers ahead**

as much as it sucks to admit it, the world is fucked and will remain so for years to come. but as jaded as i am, there are things in this world that still manage to bring a smile to my face, and superman is one of them.

i have been waiting for this movie for over ten years, ever since i first heard that warner brothers was thinking of jumpstarting this franchise. for years there was talk of a reboot of superman, or a superman vs batman movie, and for years this movie remained in development hell. but it was worth the wait. superman is an epic of a movie. it has everything: drama! action! romance!

the movie basically deals with superman's return to earth after a five year absence. scientists had discovered what looked like the remains of superman's home world, krypton, and so he decided to go see for himself. the unfortunate part is, he found nothing. it was a graveyard. on top of this, he is facing lex luthor, his nemesis, who has managed to get out of jail and has a new real estate scheme that makes donald trump look like a peon.

so that begins the plot of the movie, resulting in a superman who is filled with loneliness and rejection, especially after learning that lois lane, the love of his life, has moved on seemingly, engaged to another man with a child of her own. what is remarkable is how well the story works. this is definitely an epic, and here we have superman, the man of steel, yet with a heart perhaps just as, or even more succeptable to being broken, as the average man. superman represents everything that little boys wante to be when they grew up: strong, tough men on the outside, while clark kent represents everything that guys are deep down inside; insecure, unsure of themselves.

as a writer, i definitely appreciated what they've done, and I have missed bryan singer, the director's input into the scripts. there was humor and wit, plenty of it too, mixed in with the drama and the action. singer has made a dramatic superhero movie, the way he made the x-men movies. what was so lacking in x3: the last stand was the wit and the character development. x3 was a major disappointment, especially since i had really low expectations to begin with. but superman i had high hopes, and it surpassed even that. if i don't see another good movie for the rest of the year, i'll still be happy.

the direction was amazing, the writing was intelligent, and the special effects were flawless. i especially loved how many of the shots of superman flying were taken right out of the original superman movie.

right from the first credits, you hear the superman theme song and the crazy blue graphics from the original 1978 superman. i can't remember the last time i giggled through the opening credits of a movie. by the end of the film, i was incredibly thirsty because i had watched 2/3rds of the movie with my mouth agape. it was like i was 10 years old again. all of a sudden, i was back in my mother's room running around wearing her red scarf like a cape, pretending i was superman.

i know it's just a movie, but for 2 1/2 hours, i was so incredibly happy and satisfied. when art does that sort of thing (and it is art, despite having a $250 million budget. i can't stand it when people only consider independant movies art), it is a good thing.

overall, this movie is probably the best of the modern superhero movies. i absolutely loved batman begins, because it made batman what he's supposed to be: a scary, psychologically messed up bad-ass. it was the perfect blending of director and writer and actor; it was the perfect batman movie. i say the same thing for superman returns, except that this is possibly a more entertaining movie overall. it is also quite eerie how close brandon routh talks and behaves like christopher reeves. the difference is that brandon still manages to bring something else to it. there is a sadness in his stoic acting, that really makes you feel for superman. of course, christopher reeves will always be the definitive superman, but brandon does a great job.

i actually love how writers, even in the medium of comic books, can bring about a clarity to life. they are right when they say that humanity has an incredible capacity for good. this part is true; we can change the world by changing our own perceptions and wants. there are choices that we make. some are forced upon us, but we still have a choice in the end.

"illegal" guantanamo trials

the cbc posted this earlier today:
U.S. Supreme Court quashes 'illegal' Guantanamo trials

Last Updated Thu, 29 Jun 2006 12:30:20 EDT

Military trials arranged by the Bush administration for detainees at Guantanamo Bay are illegal, the United States Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The court found that the trials — known as military commissions — for people detained on suspicion of terrorist activity abroad do not conform to any act of Congress.

The justices also rejected the government's argument that the Geneva Conventions regarding prisoners of war do not apply to those held at Guantanamo Bay.
Writing for the 5-3 majority, Justice Stephen Breyer said the White House had overstepped its powers under the U.S. Constitution. "Congress has not issued the executive a blank cheque," Breyer wrote.

President George W. Bush said he takes the ruling very seriously and would find a way to both respect the court's findings and protect the American people.

"I haven't had a chance to fully consider this but we will work with Congress to find a way forward," Bush said during a news conference in Washington with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

The Supreme Court case was brought by lawyers representing one of 10 detainees scheduled for trial. Salim Ahmed Hamdan has acknowledged having been Osama bin Laden's driver and bodyguard, but denies taking part in attacks against the United States. Hamdan is charged with a single count of conspiring to harm U.S. citizens.

Ruling reverses decision
The ruling reverses a decision by a lower court that said the trials could go ahead. Military commissions were last used by the U.S. to try Japanese suspects after the Second World War.
The Bush administration had argued that neither military courts martial nor U.S. civilian courts were appropriate for trying the Guantanamo detainees because much of the evidence would involve sensitive issues of national security.
The commissions comprised five senior military officers, and most sessions were scheduled to be held in private. A limited amount of media coverage was allowed. Defendants were represented by both military and civilian lawyers.
Hamdan's military lawyer, Lt.-Cmdr. Charles Swift, hailed the ruling as "a return to our fundamental American values and a high-water mark in legal history."

Human-rights groups have said the military commissions were overly secretive and little better than kangaroo courts.

Canadian affected
Among the 10 affected by the ruling is 19-year-old Omar Khadr, a Canadian who is scheduled to face a military commission in the fall.

Speaking in recent weeks, Bush has said he would like to close down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, sending some detainees for trial in their home countries and releasing those found innocent.

Many U.S. allies, including Britain, have called for the prison to be closed. However, speaking before the decision was handed down, the prison's commander said he doubted that would happen.

"The impact [of a court decision against the tribunals] would be negligible," Rear Admiral Harry Harris told Reuters.

There are an estimated 450 foreign detainees being held at the Guantanamo Bay facility.
- - - end article - - -
i only have one thing to add to that: FUCK YOU, BUSH!


godspeed you black emperor

here is an image of george w. bush from the website belonging to the band, godspeed you black emperor. they make this incredibly atmospheric music that, at times, seems quite apocalyptic. it is good stuff.


can the u.s. turn off the internet?

here is a really interesting video from the hour back in may, discussing the control of the internet with suggestions of the united states possibly being able to use the internet, or rather, cut it off to various countries as a means of possible strategic computer warfare.


associate producer extraordinaire

so a while back i wrote about 1 second film, a film that is basically one second long, with 12 images and 24 frames, and an hour long list of credits which includes a making-of documentary. well, i am now listed as an associate producer. you can click here and search for my name under the list of producers. (i think you have to find the associate producer list first, which is at the very bottom of the regular producer list). i am listed above john leguizamo even. of course, this is only because alphabetically i come first, but still, higher than john.

i look forward to accepting the academy award for best short film on behalf of all my esteemed producers in 2007.


death and politics

i have been thinking more and more about my writing as of late, and how i am going to finish writing cooler than the millions. i have been thinking about the topics of death and politics as well, and how they play as the major themes of the book. it seems more evident to me that both death and politics are two things that will just never change. death, obviously, but politics also, because of how the nature of politics, the beast of it, has not changed and probably never will change. it seems more and more that those that want to make a difference usually end up as political patsies, collateral damage, or they become corrupted by it. the political arena seems to be its own entity, built by our own political sensibilities and ironically, trapped by it as well. there seems to be a glass ceiling for all of us when it comes to politics and how much change we can affect through it.

this is what makes up the crux of cooler than the millions. it will ask the question, "what is one life worth?" cttm will be very much an athiest book, which is easy for me, because i am athiest, but it will still examine human life and put it into the context of what we see and feel, the here and now, which personally, is where i believe the only life is.

i usually have a tag line for every book. this one line usually ends up defining the book and what it is about, like a slogan. for desert sessions, an anti-corporate love story, which was a novel primarily about avoiding life, the line was, "everything i want is wrong so i promise myself a life without pain." for this is hardcore, which was about mistakes and regret, the line was, "all the mistakes one life can make." and now for cttm, which is about one person's worth int he world, the line is, "i only have one life to live. i might as well make it authentic."

cttm has been the toughest book for me to write. it is just now that a lot of my ideas and plot themes are slowly coming together. i have developed three principle characters and two side characters. once again, the female presence is sorely lacking in this book. i don't know why, but i can't seem to write a book with more than one female character. maybe it's because the female character tends to be dramatically differrent than the others. and maybe it's because a woman's presence, even in a book, is so strong, it can change the balance of any group dynamic. for example, take a bunch of guys, then throw in one woman. all it takes is one to change the whole dynamic. the men talk differently, they act differently... it's just the way things tend to happen. and maybe it's because i write men better than i write women, and because i have so much trouble writing women, i tend to just focus on one and make her as real and as vibrant as possible. men are easy. or maybe it's because i have modelled the female character so meticulously after someone i know in real life, that it makes it hard for me to flesh out other female characters.

at any rate, i have been writing mostly dialogue, and i haven't done any heavy writing yet because i cannot seem to fit together the first act of the book. i have the middle and the end, but it's just this pesky beginning that i can't nail down. the problem lies with the pitfalls of the opening to the book. when writing a political book these days, it is incredibly hard to avoid the topic of terrorism. it's hard to do it without looking like a chump or doing it so you put a new twist on it. so i'm trying something a bit different with the book. first of all, the terrorism will not be the main part of the book, but more of a side story for the real plotline, which is the relationship between the three principle characters and all that comes with issues of human rights and what one person's life is worth in the grander, and smaller, scheme of things.

secondly, the terrorism won't be your traditional "let's make muslims look like monsters" trend that has been a big thing since, well, ever. i personally can't stand this because it typically stereotypes all muslims as murderers, and it is just boring and overdone. instead, it will have nothing to do with religious extremism, and will actually have no discernable targets. the terrorists will be of all ethnic origins with one no basic goal, but all encompassed into one melting pot of an organization. the terrorism in the book will be more about domestic violence, taking inspiration from various vietnam-era organizations like the weathermen, that sought the overthrow of the u.s. government through domestic militant acts. i guess i am ignoring the political manifestos that terrorists usually draw up, and the reasons for why they do the things they do, because much like character back-stories, i just don't care. what i am focusing on are the actions and the fact that these people are committing these crimes. i'll leave it to the readers to make up their own reasons for why they do the things they do.

in other works, i am starting to develop ideas for a very short, short story collection called three wars. it will be three very short and completely different stories collected into one novella, all with the same exact ending. and despite the implied political title, it will be far from it. it should be interesting. i hope to write this between rewrites of cttm, which i have yet to start writing in earnest. one step at a time, right?

joseph arthur

discovered by peter gabriel, joseph arthur is one of the best, well known unknowns in the music business. a singer/song writer, joseph arthur writes with incredible honesty, not afraid to show off his eclectic brooding. his latest album is called our shadows will remain. i admit to being a quite late bloomer when it comes to joseph's music, considering our shadows will remain came out two years ago. still, better late than never, right?

there's not much more to say except to let his writing and his songs speak for themselves. below are the lyrics to one of his best songs, called "in the sun," which michael stipe of r.e.m. covered for
in the sun foundation, to support those suffering on the gulf coast as a result of hurricanes katrina and rita. i have also included the video for the song, which is actually a really, really bad low budget video, but don't let the video influence your opinion of the song. close your eyes and just listen if you have to.

in the sun:
i picture you in the sun wondering what went wrong
and falling down on your knees asking for sympathy
and being caught in between all you wish for and all you seen
and trying to find anything you can feel that you can believe in
may god's love be with you
may god's love be with you
i know i would apologize if i could see your eyes
cause when you showed me myself you know i became someone else
but i was caught in between all you wish for and all you need
i picture you fast asleep
a nightmare comes
you cant keep awake
may god's love be with you
may god's love be with you
cause if i find
if i find my way
how much will i find?
if i find
if i find my way
how much will i find?
you... i'll find you...
oh i dont know anymore
what its for
im not even sure
if there is anyone who is in the sun
will you help me to understand
cause i been caught in between all i wish for and all i need
maybe you're not even sure what its for
any more than me
may god's love be with you
may god's love be with you


news bits

guantanamo bay suicides:

three "detainees" have committed suicide. they hung themselves in their cells. u.s. military officials tried to revive them but without success. they have called the suicides

here is what one of the u.s. commanders said about the suicides:

"They are smart. They are creative, they are committed," rear adm. harry harris, commander of the joint task force guantanamo, told reuters. "They have no regard for life, either ours or their own." harris added that the suicides were "clearly a planned event, not a spontaneous event ... I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of ... warfare waged against us."

interesting. so this is an act of warfare. i don't know if this is true or not, but i don't see how he can not call it an act of desperation. i've always thought of suicide, to harm oneself, (even if done as a "pact" of sorts) as an act of desperation. usually people don't see any other alternative or any other way out of their situation. in this case, it is the unlawful detention of 460 people who are considered unlawful combattants, when in reality they are prisoners of war and subject to international laws and regulations. i always found it funny how the u.s. government could call the war on terror a "war" and not consider these 460 people prisoners of war. it's like just because you don't have an official army uniform, you are not eligible for the international norms for prisoner rights. i've called b.s. on this for years and i still call b.s. god help any american soldier caught during battle in the near future.


palestinian president mahmoud abbas declared saturday he would hold a referendum july 26 on the establishment of a palestinian state alongside israel. some observers are saying that abbas should win a clear majority on the issue. the referendum will ask the palestinians whether they accept the so-called prisoners' document, which was put together by leaders of the different palestinian factions held in israeli jails. the document says the palestinians should establish a state on lands israel captured in the 1967 mideast war. the voters will be asked to answer yes or no.

abbas' fatah organization and members from the governing hamas party have been clashing in the streets in recent weeks, in a larger attempt at wrestling power from each other. this announcement of a referendum follows through on abbas' ultimatum from last month, where he told the palestinian factions, including hamas, that they have ten days to agree to the document that basically recognizes israel's right to exist. abbas had made it clear that if the sides could agree, he would call off the referendum, but to this date, no real progress has been made.

i like this referendum idea. forget the polls, forget the politicians who talk out of their asses, and forget the extremists that like to make the nightly news: go to the people. a referendum is one of the best tools a democracy has in finding out what the people really want. even hamas would be loathe to ignore a referendum, which is perhaps why they're so scared of having one in the first place.

i must say that i do like abbas. say what you want about him, and say what you want about the prisoners' document, but i think he's trying to walk the middle line. however, in recent months, basically since hamas' election win, he's had to take an increasingly authoritative and militant stance. unfortunately, this stance has been necessary against his own people. i guess the reason i like abbas is because i'm just following the bland, middle-of-the-road route that most canadians like to take. or perhaps it's because i think he's the only rational one in a den of lions, sort of speak. i really do think he's looking out for the best interests of the palestinian people, putting long held political beliefs that was holding progress back behind him in order to achieve peace. you may not agree with him, but you have to admit at least he's willing to go the distance.

i'm wondering what would happen if there was a close referendum result. i mean, is 50% + 1 enough? most likely not. i just remember all the issues surrounding the quebec referendum, and how it was deemed 50% + 1 was not sufficient to warrent quebec separation, and in essence, breaking up the country. i figure the same is true in recognizing another country. in order for the result to hold water, it would probably have to be closer to 2/3rds in favour.


abu musab al-zarqawi:

abu musab al-zarqawi, leader of al-qaeda in iraq, is dead. what's interesting is the responses. while everybody in the bush administration was giving each other high-fives, a very different response was given by the father of nick berg, who was beheaded in iraq in 2004, sopposedly by al-zarqawi himself. michael berg doesn't blame al-zarqawi for the death of his son, but george w. bush himself.

"I will not take joy in the death of a fellow human, even the human being who killed my son," said berg, who says that revenge killed his son. he blamed bush, defense secretary donald rumsfeld and attorney general alberto gonzales for the death of his son because of their role in making possible the torture of iraqis at abu ghraib prison.

"My son died in a perpetual cycle of revenge that goes on and on, forever. It's got to stop somewhere. As far as I'm concerned, it will stop with me," said berg.

smart last words. i just wish more people would wise up. i mean, you have to ask yourself, is what you're doing really worth it? is your life better for it? i mean, can't we all just get along?

(source 2)

homegrown terrorists:

here's a little thing from the hour on cbc. it's a nice little discussion about journalism and fact finding with regards to the recent arrest of 17 people under suspicioun of organizing terrorist attacks...


homegrown terrorists

so you've probably heard by now the huge bust the RCMP and CSIS did with regards to an alleged bomb plot. according to the globe and mail, the targets included political and economic symbols including the parliament buildings and peace tower in ottawa, along with the cn tower and toronto stock exchange in toronto. on top of that, there are allegations that the suspects intended on killing the prime minister, with one of them claiming he wanted to behead stephen harper.

17 suspects (12 men, 5 youths) were charged after a giant sting operation had them purchase three tonnes of ammonium nitrate from undercover officers. ammonium nitrate, a common fertilizer. just a third of that amount was used in the oklahoma city bombing. there are also more arrests forthcoming according to the authorities. the suspects are reported to be a part of a group of muslim extremists inspired by al-qaeda.

as expected, there's a bit of anxiety over these arrests, and the fact that these suspects were all canadian residents, with the majority having been born in canada. it also doesn't help that the hard-line muslims in canada tend to be a pretty tight-knit group with various individuals that have been involved in some major international altercations.

a toronto mosque was also vandalized over last weekend. whether the vandalizer(s) did it out of outrage over this attempted home-grown terrorist plot, or if they were simply doing it to take advantage of the situation, i don't know. all i know is that actions like this are idiotic and barbaric. really, how can we convince our fellow muslim citizens that we are a tolerant society, and that it is safe to take part in our society if idiots like this pull these kinds of stupid stunts?

it is fear that convinces a lot of people to not want to reach out and to not want to open up to others, chosing the relative safety of their own inner circles. it may also be fear that is causing others to lash out, to vandalize mosques, etc. how can we pride ourselves on being an open and involving society if we don't reach out to these communities and instead pull violent stunts against them? the surest way to make enemies is to ostricise and demonize them.

sure, these suspects, if found guilty, should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, as should those that have helped them with this plot. however, can we all at least remember to be calm and to get a sense of perspective? isn't everyone innocent until proven guilty? (even if three tonnes of fertilizer is suspicious). the last thing we want to become is victims of media fear mongering. just look at what happened to our neighbors to the south.

(source 1)

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the issue: gay marriage

the issue, gay marriage, is being revisited again. the harper government will allow for a free vote in the fall, asking mp's if they think the issue of gay marriage should be revisited, rather than asking them if they approve of gay marriage. parliament passed bill c-38 in june 2005, making canada the fourth country in the world to recognize gay marriage. marriage for gays and lesbians was already legal in most provinces before that, with courts across the country ruling that the conventional definition of marriage violates the charter of rights and freedoms.

however, the conservatives, have long had a hard-on to have this changed. the good thing is that a growing number of cabinet ministers and mp's are questioning whether the debate should be revisited, with some saying that the issue has already been debated thoroughly, which it has, both in the media, and the public. the u.s. government is already moving to ban gay marriage, and harper seems to want to go back on that route. - sorry, he's not wanting to ban gay marriage, he's just wanting to call them civil unions. basically, he just won't let the issue die.

for me, this is a complete non issue and it's irritating having to deal once again with whether or not you're allowed to marry someone of the same gender. you have the religious arguements against same sex marriage, such as how it is immoral, or against God's wishes, that marriage is a bond between a man and a woman, and you have the social arguements, such as what it would do to children if you not only allow gay people to marry, but to raise kids, and how it could lead to people wanting to legalize beastiality, incest, polygamy, etc.

for me, i see marriage as an institution created by mankind for mankind, not some sort of religious thing. and because it is created by people, it is subject to change and evolution as people's perceptions and desires change and evolve. you can't help being gay any more than you can help being born short or stupid. people are born gay. i myself have wondered if i could be gay several years ago in my teens, but then i realized that i am just unsuccessful with women. you also can't chose to be gay (i'm not talking about college girls that like to think they're bisexual because guys like that sort of thing) and you can't chose who you fall in love with. if there is a god, and i highly doubt it, but if there is, i severely doubt he would punish you for just falling in love. if there is a god that does that, then i don't want to know him. her. it. (that's another issue).

gay marriage hurts nobody. it will not lead to beastiality (animals cannot give consent), it will not lead to people being allowed to marry their relatives (birth complications) and it will not lead to polygamy (which usually involves an unhealthy lifestyle of implied slavery on the part of the wives). personally, if you want to have five wives, go for it. i don't care. i have trouble handling one woman, let alone five. gay marriage won't lead to the breakdown of civilization either. you don't see belgium or the netherlands up in flames, do you? they legalized gay marriage before we did.

in terms of morality, i believe heterosexual couples have screwed up marriage enough on their own, what with their cheating and divorce rates, so i don't see why heterosexuals seem to think they have the higher moral ground. as for children, i'd rather have them live with a loving gay couple than a heterosexual couple who are fight all the time or hate each other and use their kids as favorites against each other. i'm not saying gay people won't divorce or fight or cheat, far from it, but what i am saying is that simply, marriage is an artificial institution and this can be changed. i mean, why else would you need a ring and a ridiculously expensive party to commit to someone? legally, these days, common-law is pretty much the same as being married as far as rights go (i think kids have more rights in common-law, not sure).

gay people have been around longer than we probably had words to label it. i bet there was some cave man somewhere who, while out on a hunting party, longed to just screw his hunting buddy's brains out. just think of it as brokeback, b.c.

honestly, i am so suprised at the lengths people will go to nose their way into other people's business. the courts had said the current definition of marriage violated the charter of rights and freedoms, so this had to be changed. gay people have the right to marry now. history shows that once you give rights to people, it is very hard to take them back without a massive fight on your hands (unless you're the american government and you do it secretly under the guise of national security and you stoke people's fears through the media, keeping them deaf, dumb and blind to what you're really doing).
there are so many more other pressing issues, so why are we focusing on this? why can't the conservatives let it go? forget all the international problems (nuclear proliferation, civil wars, ethnic cleansing, rape campaigns, world hunger), we've got tonnes of problems in our own backyard that need to be addressed, such as the declining health care system, urban poverty, drug use, gun control... trying to control who people are allowed to marry seems so... trite.
bottom line, will you get cancer because somebody somewhere marries someone of the same sex? if your answer is yes, then there is no hope for you.


haditha massacre

fresh allegations of soldier misconduct, which in this specific case means murder, have emerged in the wake of the november haditha massacre where two dozen unarmed civilians were brutally killed. the british media has uncovered new video footage showing the aftermath of the alleged killings of 11 iraqis, many women and children in an u.s. attack back in march in ishaqi.

the military confirmed the raid on march 15 2006 as one in search of high profile al-qaeda members. they said a firefight ensuded and only four people died. ishaqi residents say otherwise, and any explanation by the american military is now seen as suspicious especially after what looks like am attempt at a cover up with the haditha massacre.

in that incident, initial reports said 15 civilians and one marine died due to a roadside bomb. then eight insurgents were killed when marines returned fire. however, new evidence appeared thanks to an iraqi journalism student that showed a different story, prompting an investigation and allegations of a cover-up. the u.s. military has now admitted to the massacre, months after time magazine first reported it.

rumsfeld, in his traditional cut throat way, has said simply that 99.9 percent of u.s. soldiers behave themselves, but that in conflicts "things that shouldn't happen, do happen."

now rumsfelt is a prick. let's be clear about that, but what he says does have truth to it. i don't know if 99.9 percent of the u.s. soldiers are exeplary as he says, but i am sure the majority of u.s. soldiers handle themselves as well as humanly possible in such a high pressure, tense situation. to paint all u.s. soldiers with the same tarnished brush isn't fair.

now i have never been to war, nor do i intend to. i am a conscientious objector, which is true, and i am a coward, which is also true. however, i do believe that at some point a decision is made in the human mind to kill someone. yes, the military trains you to turn that off your conscience, but you still have to turn it off. simply saying you were following orders is no longer a valid excuse thanks to the nuremburg trials.

i can understand that people make mistakes, and i can understand that in such stressful, dangerous situations, it's better to be safe than sorry, which sometimes means you need to shoot first and ask questions later, but the haditha massacre is a completely different story.

time magazine reports that the evidence "indicates that the civilians were killed during a sustained sweep by a small group of marines that lasted three to five hours and included shootings of five men standing near a taxi at a checkpoint, and killings inside at least two homes that included women and children." this means it was methodical, this means there was plan, this means it is murder.

what remains to be seen is how the u.s. government reacts and deals with this... misconduct, but i am not very optimistic. it is probably next to impossible now for the u.s. government to win the hearts and minds of the iraqi people. it's sort of like being offered candy by a big guy with a stick. i don't believe the u.s. should withdraw just yet, because they still have responsibilities, but at the same time, i don't think the administration is doing anything substantial to deal with these... misconducts.

(source 1)

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