Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

First, it was the "Whiskey"...well...beer that was in danger. Now it is the "Sexy".

Just 11 people came to watch the matinee at Basra's dingy al-Rashid cinema when it reopened this week after a 16-day closure. The reason? Not enough sex.

"We don't dare show any romance movies, only action," said 40-year-old cinema manager Mohammed Hazim, puffing a cigarette in his office surrounded by fading posters of women in their underwear advertising long-forgotten soft porn films.

"Nobody wants to see action. They all want romance. Usually 300 people would be here. It's a disaster."

Basra's three cinemas closed their doors earlier this month after several visits by serious young men on motorbikes who told them that if they showed "sinful" movies they would be burned to the ground. This week they tentatively reopened, showing old Arabic films and American action movies.

"Romance" -- the Basra euphemism for films showing as much naked female flesh as possible -- was strictly off the agenda.

"We can't even show people kissing," Hazim said.

Seriously, this is indicative of something deeper. Until now the US and UK have tread to lightly in Iraq. A strong hand is necessary backed by strong leadership. American, if necessary. Bush has to stop trying to play to the peanut gallery (France and the UN and the rest). He went to war without them, it is time to pacify Iraq and deliver on promises of security and representative government without them. Bremer has been taking some good steps but we need to see something more coordinated and sweeping.

< email | 5/28/2003 02:16:00 PM | link

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