113: Hersh//Marjane Satrapi//Leila

Well it's been a little while since I've done a political rant here, but this was important to me. By now many of you may have seen or heard about the recent article in the New Yorker by Seymour Hersh. Hersh is the author of Chain of Command and helped to uncover the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. He's also written similar things about the conditions at Guantanamo Bay. The new article concerns Iran and the possibility of a US invasion. According to Hersh, operatives are already in Iran planning for an invasion. The White House has responded to this by saying the article was "riddled with inaccuracies," without specifically saying it was untrue (if for example, Hersh is incorrect about what division is being sent into Iran, but correct about the Bush administration planning an attack, they can still say that his article is "riddled with inaccuracies" but personally I don't any more secure about it). Now when Bush was (*sigh*) reelected, I didn't actually think that his administration could possibly be myopic enough to invade another country, so I hope and pray that this isn't true. But if it does happen, I personally can't see any option that they'd have other than a draft and despite what Bush may have said during the debates, the possibility of there being another, stricter reenactment of the Selective Service Program has not been entirely dismissed yet. Also, a war with Iran will be a very different war than Afghanistan or Iraq and it will almost certainly intensify the violence and terrorism that we've become so paralyzed by.

As today is Martin Luther King Day (currently the only federal holiday for a single American by the way), it seems appropriate to quote his words here:

"We hate others because we fear them.
We fear them because we don't know them.
We don't know them because we don't communicate.
We don't communicate because we can't hear them.
We can't hear them becuase we don't listen."

So instead of just posting more anti-Bush links, I thought I should use this post to help people get to know my two favorite Persian women. First if Marjane Satrapi who has written a series of graphic novels about growing up in Iran, including Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood and Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return (you can also buy these books and view samples here). There is a third book in this series, but it's yet to be released in the US, although I believe it's available in Europe. These books are a great insight into the progressive and traditional movements in Iran, the depth and scope of their culture and a little recent history of the country. They're also two of the best books I've read recently and I would highly recommend them even if it wasn't getting to be an issue at the forefront of American politics.

Then there's the Iranian born electronic musician Leila. From a young age she's been living in London where she started recording for Rephlex Records her own style of heavily IDM-influenced soul/ambient music. An early Rephlex release called Like Weather was rumored to be lost Prince record, no doubt partly because of her collaborations with vocalists Luca Santucci and Donna Paul. While in London, she met Bjork and became a part of her live band, going live remixing and playing keyboards (unfortunately, she was absent from Bjork's last US tour because she was unable to get a visa into the country). Leila (born Leila Arab) has also recorded under the alias Grammatix (where she is credited as Aliel Bara) to record even more experimental and rare music. The following tracks come from her internet b-sides album. The whole thing is incredible and can be downloaded here. These are some of my favorites.

Leila - Five

Leila - Misunderstood (After Eight Mix)

Leila - Have I Had You

Leila - Outro-Vert (LWT Remix)

Leila - Heaven on Their Minds



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