September 11th, 2003


Video Night

Tomorrow night's video is Equilibrium. Which I saw twice at the cinema and highly recommend for those of you who aren't too worried about the sense your action movies make so long as they look good and ooze coolness.

Osama Bin Theory

Here's a theory for you:

1) If a massive terrorist strike occurs on terrorist soil, the US will take action against the source of that strike.

2) The US will, at a minimum, remove the government of the country that gave refuge to the terrorists.

3) It will almost certainly also continue to (at a minimum) take out Iraq, if not Iran and Syria too.

4) Due to modern liberal pressure from both US and other first-world citizens it will be forced to install democracies in those countries it takes over.

5) This will force surrounding countries to allow more freedoms or risk loss of their citizens to the countries that allow them.

6) This will cause the fall of the dictatorships across the Middle East.

7) The House of Saad, rulers of Saudi-Arabia will lose control of their country.

8) This is what Osama Bin-Laden's original stated aim was.

Now, admittedly, there are a fair number of risks involved here. But it looks like a possible plan to me. Look what Osama was doing today - taunting the US, telling them that he could continue to hide, that terrorists were being hidden amongst all of the remaining countries of the Middle East. He wants further instability in the region, further political pressure. He ends up with both a weakened United States (politically isolated from it's former allies who disapprove of its imperial ways and financially destroyed by the cost of peacekeeping in Iraq) and a homeland (Saudi Arabia) that's no longer under the yoke of the royal family he despises.

Like I said, just a theory.

Stolen quote of the day

From beingjdc

"Once again you have got not only the wrong end of the stick, gone beyond getting completely the wrong stick, and contrived to get something which is not, in fact, a stick at all, or even in any discernable way stick-like."


I booked myself into a company massage. £5 for 20 minutes. It's a seated, fully clothed massage, but I hear they're still well worthwhile. Erin is going to be beyond jealous, she's been moaning about not being able to afford massages for ages and when she finally managed to get one recently it was £35 for an hour.

Now, I wonder what other perks I'm not making use of...

More Good news from Iraq

OpinionJournal article here.

Asked to name one country they would most like Iraq to model its new government on from five possibilities--neighboring, Baathist Syria; neighbor and Islamic monarchy Saudi Arabia; neighbor and Islamist republic Iran; Arab lodestar Egypt; or the U.S.--the most popular model by far was the U.S. The U.S. was preferred as a model by 37% of Iraqis selecting from those five--more than Syria, Iran and Egypt put together. Saudi Arabia was in second place at 28%. Again, there were important demographic splits. Younger adults are especially favorable toward the U.S., and Shiites are more admiring than Sunnis. Interestingly, Iraqi Shiites, coreligionists with Iranians, do not admire Iran's Islamist government; the U.S. is six times as popular with them as a model for governance. Our interviewers inquired whether Iraq should have an Islamic government, or instead let all people practice their own religion. Only 33% want an Islamic government; a solid 60% say no. A vital detail: Shiites (whom Western reporters frequently portray as self-flagellating maniacs) are least receptive to the idea of an Islamic government, saying no by 66% to 27%. It is only among the minority Sunnis that there is interest in a religious state, and they are split evenly on the question. Perhaps the strongest indication that an Islamic government won't be part of Iraq's future: The nation is thoroughly secularized. We asked how often our respondents had attended the Friday prayer over the previous month. Fully 43% said "never." It's time to scratch "Khomeini II" from the list of morbid fears.