“Sunnis are just like the puppies of a filthy dog,” he said. “Even the purest among them is dirty.”

The quote above leapt out of the lengthy lead article in today’s NY Times surveying the state of things in Iraq.  Any decrease in killings there looks to be the result of two million refugee escapes to other countries and the ethnic cleansing of another two million Iraqis driven out their particular neighborhoods — once a mix of Sunnis and Shiites.  Manifestly both groups are bracing for battles to protect their respective turfs.  The government governs in name only. American troops move in and out while killings go on where they are not at any given moment.  I am infinitely relieved that none of my family or students to my knowledge are caught in the cross fire over there.  I assume that we are to be barraged with good news this next week from the Bush White House about how things are going.

FYI I hear that a dog is viewed as a low down creature over there, not one’s house pet.

……………………….

ASSESSING THE ‘SURGE’
At Street Level, Unmet Goals of Troop Buildup
By DAMIEN CAVE and STEPHEN FARRELL
The U.S. troop “surge” has slowed, but far from stopped,
Iraq’s civil war, repeated visits to Baghdad neighborhoods
show.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/09/world/middleeast/09surge.html?th&emc=th

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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