BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Good News, Bad News

Good news, bad news.

First, the bad:

Nearly 1,000 Released From Abu Ghraib

D'oh!
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S. military announced Saturday that it released nearly 1,000 prisoners from Abu Ghraib prison over the past few days in response to a request by Iraqi authorities.

The move, the largest prisoner release to date, followed appeals by Sunni representatives to start releasing thousands of prisoners who have been languishing in the jail for months without being charged.

After a meeting with President Jalal Talabani on Thursday, Sunni negotiator Saleh al-Mutlaq said the president agreed to release many detainees before the Oct. 15 referendum on the constitution. Al-Mutlaq said hundreds of detainees, most of them Sunni Arabs, were to be set free.

The U.S. command said the prisoner release "marks a significant event in
Iraq's progress toward democratic governance and the rule of law."
It also marks the single biggest recruiting day (in recent months) for the insurgency.

"It's awesome," said Mujur al-Salaq, an Iraqi businessman and insurgent donor. "1,000 really pissed off guys? Trust me, it's gonna help a lot."
"Those chosen for release are not guilty of serious, violent crimes — such as bombing, torture, kidnapping, or murder — and all have admitted their crimes, renounced violence, and pledged to be good citizens of a democratic Iraq," the U.S. statement said.
Rrriiiggghhhttt.

"Do you swear on the Koran to be a good citizen of a democratic Iraq?"

"Uh. Yes."

"You sure you won't take that...bed-sheet stuff...the dog stuff...or the leash stuff personally."

"Water under the bridge, man."

"You are aware that your captors were members of private security companies - hired by your own government - and not members of the US military?"

"I didn't know that until now, but...I'll take your word for it. They all look the same to me."

"What?"

"I mean, yes, I'm aware of that."

"So...you won't join the insurgency?"

"No way, man. I'm gonna open up a Quizno's."

"Okay then."
Later Saturday, Iraqi police said they released an unspecified number of people arrested this week in the region of Madain, 12 miles, southeast of the capital.

Sunni politicians had complained to Talabani that the Shiite-controlled police picked up 132 Sunnis in the region TO PREVENT THEM from registering for the constitutional referendum. The deadline for voter registration is Sept. 1.
Yes, freedom is on the march!

*

Now...the good news:

Iron Maiden rock Leeds to triumphant close

Yes!
Betraying their earlier nerves, IRON MAIDEN delivered a headline performance that was nothing short of SPECTACULAR - a deafening, colourful feast for the eyes and ears. It marked the end of a satisfying first day of rock at the Leeds Festival.

The show was a tribute to the band's early history, and was mostly drawn entirely from their first four albums. Defying their age, all of the band members were impressively energetic. A high spirited Bruce Dickinson was running up and down ramps for the entirety of the 90 minute set and seldom stopped to catch his breath.

A touchingly diverse range of ages stood open-mouthed at guitarist Steve Harris dazzling virtuoso fretwork - compromised only by the high jinks of bandmate Dickinson who, in a moment of extreme metalness, attempted to strum the guitarists strings with his microphone, breaking one in the process!

Later on, the singer-cum-clearly-frustrated-comedian couldnt resist quipping: "He's lost his plectrum - its in there somewhere", as Harris' fingers disappeared into another breakneck speed solo.

At the end of the set, the bands giant 20ft undead mascot, Eddie, hobbled onstage with flashing red eyes.

Tonight's show was the band's first since their unfortunate experience at Ozzfest in the States on August 20, which saw them pelted with eggs and their set sabotaged - allegedly - by event boss Sharon Osbourne. Maiden continued their dignified silence on the episode at Leeds, to the surprise of many.
Maiden headlines the Reading part of the Carling weekend on Sunday.

Up the Irons!

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