20 September, 2020

Never So Wrong

A Sunni massacre, restive Shi'ites—the US roadmap gets some grim reminders Updates

Never So Wrong
A slaughter in Falluja leaves as many as 15 Iraqi anti-occupation protesters dead, including three boys no older than 10, with nervous US forces and enraged townsfolk pointing fingers at each other. A short drive away, even as the bodies are being buried, an American 3rd Infantry Division platoon happily kicks around a football pitch with delighted Iraqi children. One day later US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld steps onto Iraqi soil, beaming as he tells troops at the former Saddam International Airport that "never have so many been so wrong about so much".

Yet, outside downtown Baghdad's Palestine Hotel, it's now routine to see Shi'ite Muslims flex political muscle as they chant in unison for a new Iraq guided by the hand of "Islam, not America". Looming larger still over the centrifuge of contrasting images is the news from Jerusalem, where the long-awaited "roadmap" to solving a half-century history of intractable violence between the Israelis and Palestinians is released. A wary Arab world watches.

Such was the paradox of post-war Iraq in the week that President...


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