Christians in Iraq (a post I saw online)

26 March, 2003

Just a curiosity, really. Emailed to me by a Christian friend, who got it from his pastor.

Still not sure how you feel about the idea of the U.S. attacking Iraq? Some ministers are warning against military action because it could have ‘disastrous results’ for Iraqi Christians. UK minister Graham Cooke told delegates at a conference that while Saddam Hussein had no faith and was a secular politician, “Hussein allowed Christian churches to exist as a way of keeping Islam in check. You know that once he gets killed there will be a bloodbath in that nation, and every Christian in that nation will likely be killed because they are on somebody’s list right now.” Cooke added: “We need to pray for Saddam Hussein right now. No matter what you think about it, this guy is the only one standing between the church in Iran and Iraq and a bloodbath. We need that guy alive because thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people are getting saved in the country. [Bible Society]

May I add to that that Tariq Aziz, probably the most recognisable face other than Saddam’s outside of Iraq, and who has served as both Foreign Minister and Deputy President, is a Christian, as is the family he comes from. Apart from the palestinian administration, it’s one of the few places in the middle east where freedom of religion for non-muslims actually exists (it wouldn’t exist in Yemen, Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, all major US allies). An interesting thought.



20 March, 2003

They’ve started bombing Baghdad. Apparently the first bombs have hit the southern suburbs.

I can’t believe my government is doing this. What made us elect such evil and immoral leaders as the ones we have in the US, Britain and Australia? Democracy seems to have been the main thing that was hijacked on September 11, and not by the hijackers – but by the conservative faction of politics, who are now starting to show their neo-fascist “ethnic cleansing” leanings.

I guess I’d hoped right to the end that democracy and, ultimately, justice and fairness would win out. This is the start of a period in world history where “diplomacy” means “war preparations” and it is a free-for-all for any nation that has a beef with any other nation.

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing! Nothing! Nothing… at all.

10 March, 2003

I went and saw “I am trying to break your heart”, the movie about the band Wilco and more to the point the making of, and subsequent politics and being messed around surrounding the album “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”. It was really good. I’d recommend it to anyone with an interest in music at the cutting edge – Wilco are basically a fairly ordinary bunch of guys who make music which means something. I had the chance to see them at Big Day Out 03, and they were definitely a highlight. Those who were also there (or have seen Wilco live anywhere) will understand the subject line. It has an added meaning after the movie.

Previous day I was at the CARAD dinner to support post-detention refugees. While I think I was one of the few people under 30 present, it was worth it for the excellent food prepared in traditional style by the refugees, and also for the opportunity to meet Ali, aged 20, a very well-spoken and intelligent Afghan refugee (who apparently couldn’t speak a word of English 3 years ago!) who represents both the pain of the refugees and their experiences in Australia, and the hope which many of these people can be provided with by those of us in Australia who support their cause.

Next week – Eclectic Festival featuring Badly Drawn Boy and a heap of Perth bands at Kings Park Botanic Garden.
Week after – Soweto Gospel Choir in the afternoon, and Massive Attack at Belvoir Amphitheatre that night. Despite rumours you may have heard to the contrary, the tour IS going ahead as planned, just without the NZ leg of it.
April 4 – Samsara rave party at Metro City. It sounds like it will be a very different sort of experience. Endorphin will be there, Indian dancers, the works…
April 6 – Ben Harper at Belvoir. I’m going in blind, on the recommendations of friends. Should I or shouldn’t I make an effort to get his stuff beforehand?
April 28 – Henry Rollins spoken word at Perth Concert Hall. Should be a riot, he always is there with a mixture of humour, insight, solid reality, and equally solid bullshit.

By George!

4 March, 2003

Went to the concert on Saturday night with Steven, and both of us were so impressed that not only did we go on the Sunday night (including queueing for over an hour to get tickets), but dragged my parents along as well 🙂

Both the support acts were shockers though. The first was Hip Mo’ Toast, with lead singer Libby Hammer. Despite their claims otherwise (‘this is a dance number’, ‘this one’s different’, ‘we don’t just do jazz’, ‘here’s some cha cha for you’), it was 80 minutes of rather boring lounge jazz. Kind of like the stuff you enjoy while eating at the Sheraton, but not at an open air concert. The second (on Sunday) was the Honeyriders, who sounded like Leonardo’s Bride meets 4 Non Blondes – basically acoustic rock with some girl singing fairly tunelessly over the top in a husky voice. They were better than the jazz though.

Then George and WASO came on and it was all good 🙂

The setlist was as follows:

Intro by Dean Clairs of MIX 94.5 (lame badly-scripted puns, repeated in same order on Sunday night)

WASO conducted by Paul Mann – “Unchained Melody” by Graeme Koehne (not same tune as the one of ‘Ghost’ fame)

George onstage –
Bastard Son (w/intro)
Rain (with gratuitous references to George Bush and Tony Blair inserted for humorous effect by Tyrone)
Breaking It Slowly (“this is our first political song” – written about CEOs and the dollar-first mentality, but can also be directed to “what’s going on in the world right now”)
Special Ones (Katie’s first appearance on vocals)
Breathe In Now (brilliant)

– interval –

Jon Lord introduced on stage
“Concerto for Group and Orchestra”
George – Spawn (with orchestra and Lord)
George – Run (same)

All in all it was absolutely awesome. Tyrone’s voice came across live quite like Jeff Buckley, and Katie’s was awesome – particularly on Release, Breathe In Now and Spawn (which has become my fave song for 2003 thus far – even though it’s a 2000 song 😛 )

If you haven’t heard this band, you should. You probably will anyway – this band are too good to be limited to just one country.

More general post coming later.