Sunday, 15 March 2009

punishing a machine gun

Thursday frontpages had a lot of coverage on the Luton protest to the regiment that just came back from Iraq. if you look carefully at the protest, there is only one thing that essentially differentiate that protest from a lot of the others that had gone on - the fact that these are muslims protesting. forget about the placards and shouting of "butchers, war criminals, murderers" etc, I do not believe that these guys invented the usage of these words to describe the people - whether they be politicians or soldiers - who are involved in this war.
what made this protest to the head line, apparently, is that it generated divide between the british and the muslim comunity, because the way the protest was conducted was "offensive."
what was the war for? why did the soldiers go to iraq? in the past, the public sees the soldiers as brave and glorious after a war because they have defended their country, they sacrifice their life for their country, or sometimes the soldiers had conquered other parts of the world and the public sees it as ligitimate. in the current case, none of these applies. the war on iraq is not a glory, it's a shame on the countries involved, it is illigitimate. above all, the war has been offensive to the muslims everywere.
offensive, firstly because the british (I dare not to say aout the general public but at least the government) is in effect discriminating muslims, my previous housemate was in fact a subject of that discrimination - he was arrested because he downloaded materials from the american government web site on al qaida for research in university, he was detained for over 20 days, interogated about the cartoons he drew, books he read etc and of course nothing came out of it. who has generated the divide between the british and the muslim comunity?
secondly, people fail to understand that (correct me if I'm wrong), muslims really do see their remote people as brothers. if your brothers are killed, will you go call the guys who killed them murderers? I'm sure that the british soldiers tried their best to avoid killing civilians but the fact is that they did. and since the war is illigitimate in the first place, accidental killing of civilians is just unjustifiable.

there is one aspect that the protest should have been done better however, which is that the protest should really be directed more tot eh politicians, not to the soldiers. after all, you do not punnish a machine gun after it has been used to kill someone. you punish the person who used the machine gun. soldiers are like machines n a way, but they are of course also individuals with feelings.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

I watched the film on saturday, it's quite a nice movie but I find the film a bit strange - I mean the setting and the plot.
people watch the show "Who wants to be a millionaire" presumably because they find it exciting even though it is the contenstent not themselves on the show, there's a great deal of suspense, there is a fair amount of twist because one can potentially lose so much after winning so much. it's fun to watch people being too greedy, it's great to sit at home and laugh at other's misery or to utter in a jealous tone "I know all of those answers too but I wouldn't be picked to be on the show because they know that I will get all the money."
In slumdog millionaire however, the very title tells you that he is going to get every single question right! even when Latika cannot tell him the answer right at the end, he will for sure get it right anyway. you know also that the police is going to release him so that he can get on to the last question, you know that he is going to meet up with latika in the train station as well (whenever there's the line "I'll wait for you at a certain time at the train station until you come", you know for sure that the guy and the girl will meet...
all in all there's just no twist in the film...which is just strange for an oscar film.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

capital punishment

On the BBC Today program this morning, it said that last year there were some 65 cases of people after being released from prison reoffended murder or rape. I don't know what the total number of murder and rape convicts there are each year roughly, but I imagine this 65 is a small percentage. some people then talked of having capital punishment back in place because these reoffenders just need to be stopped and the system is not working (as in rehabilitation is not working).
After learning much about the argument for abolishing capital punishment, and some of the injustices carried out in the USA because a dead person can never really get his life back even though he is subsequently proved to be not guilty, I think it is right to give even the convicted a chance just in case the jury, the judges, the experts who provide the evidence, made mistakes (and of course they do because they are just like us).
however, I wonder whether any research has been done on a system in which capital punishment cannot be applied on first conviction, but it can be on re-offenders?