What I Heard About Iraq
by Eliot Weinberger
Verso Books, £7.99
US writer Eliot Weinberger has produced a powerful assemblage of facts, quotes and testimonies about the Iraq war in this book.
In a war that was supposed to be about releasing Iraqis from the clutches of a tyrant, the treatment of prisoners by the US caused a British officer to invoke the Nazis to describe what he saw.
Weinberger also reveals how the US’s allies are fading away. The “coalition of the willing” has proved to be not so willing, with ten countries leaving and four about to.
However this does not seem to have deterred the top brass, who seem prepared to remain in Iraq for several years.
There are also the questions about why they are there in the first place — no weapons of mass destruction have been found.
Coldplay’s lead singer, Chris Martin, has been one of the most active and vocal celebrity supporters of the Make Trade Fair campaign.
Coldplay’s new album, X&Y, reached number one in the US and British charts in its first week of release. EMI, their record company, saw share prices dip when the album was delayed.
There’s nothing on this album to worry EMI. It’s the same old stadium rock with a bit more polish. Its bombastic sound will be popular at the summer festivals, but it’s disappointingly limited musically and lyrically.
Here Come the Tears
Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler, formerly of Suede, have got back together after a ten-year gap to form The Tears. They have produced an album which fans of their old band will enjoy, but that will also attract new fans.
Their debut single, “Refugees”, was accompanied by interviews in which the band challenged the demonisation of asylum seekers. A B-side on their new single called “Song for the Migrant Worker” continues the theme.
It is Bernard Butler’s beautiful and complex guitar playing which makes this album something special.