Lost in the fog of someone else's civil war

Thirty-one people dead. Five bombs exploded. One bank robbed. Just another day in yet another security crackdown in Baghdad.

And as if that wasn't enough, the prime minister of Iraq blasted the US for a Sadr City attack, involving air and ground elements, aimed at capturing "individuals involved in punishment and torture cell activities." A woman and child - no doubt deeply immersed in those punishment and torture cell activities - were killed. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki expressed outrage:

"Reconciliation cannot go hand in hand with operations that violate the rights of citizens this way," al-Maliki said in a statement on government television. "This operation used weapons that are unreasonable to detain someone - like using planes."

He apologized to the Iraqi people for the operation and said "this won't happen again."

Wonder what he's going to do about it?

It should be noted that Sadr City is the stronghold of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, a political ally of al-Maliki who is also a Shiite. To make things even hazier, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani - a Kurd - told US Gen. George W. Casey that "it is in no one's interest" to force a showdown with al-Sadr.

Perhaps this is what people mean when they speak of "the fog of war."


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