Aladdin’s Genie Run over by Humvee
The US military announced that a marine had been killed in Anbar province on Tuesday.
Wire services report that on Wednesday in Iraq
*In Ramadi, running gun battles broke out between local Sunni nationalists and US Marines. Guerrillas set off a bomb, killing 1 person. Altogether the fighting killed 13 and wounded 17.
*In Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, guerrillas detonated a roadside bomb, killing 4 policemen and one civilian.
*In Samarra, due north of the capital, Sunni nationalists fired a rocket-propelled grenade at US and Iraqi troops who were guarding a city council building. The action imperilled that agreement reached between the US and local clan elders, which had allowed US troops back into the city.
*In Suwayra, to the south of the capital, guerrillas detonated a car bomb at the base of the Iraqi National Guard, killing two persons and wounding 10.
*Near the southern Shiite shrine city of Karbala, an unknown assailant assassinated Labib Mohammadi, an employee of Iran’s pilgrimage commission in Iraq.
Kim Housego of AP argues that the Iraqi nationalist guerrillas fighting the US presence are becoming more sophisticated and interlinked over time.
Stephen Farrell‘s piece, reprinted in an Australian paper, contains a clear-eyed summary of the security situation in Iraq. He notes, ” In the first two weeks of September alone, 291 Iraqi civilians have been killed. The number of foreigners taken hostage last month soared to 31. The average number of attacks on US soldiers reached 87 a day.”
But the saddest thing in his article comes at the end, where he tells us about the Iraqis’ loss of faith even in the 1,001 Nights:
“. . . this week Iraqis sat down to watch a wicked television satire updating the legend of the genie and the lamp. Summoned to a darkened flat to grant his customary wishes, the hapless blue-bearded genie is asked to repair the electricity supply, but can only attach the wires to the neighbours’ generator, which promptly breaks down.
Beseeched to improve the nation’s security, he disappears only to reappear bruised and battered, having been run over by US tanks. The message is clear. In the land of the Arabian Nights, even the genie can’t fix Iraq. ”