The Best Defense

Muqdadiya: nastiest town in Iraq?

Some soulless men celebrated the end of Ramadan by beheading a Sunni cleric in the Iraqi town of Muqdadiyah, and then setting the corpse on fire. His offense was that he had medical skills and had treated some of the guys in the Awakening/Sons of Iraq movement.

I remember a few years ago, a colonel in Iraq telling me that Muqdadiyah, in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad, was the nastiest place he'd ever operated. I actually thought the group of towns just southwest of the capital along the Euphrates that U.S. troops called "the iyas" were the worst, but I am beginning to suspect the colonel might have been right. And yeah, I know there are a lot of other candidates -- Tarmiyah would be one, and also some of the villages midway between Bayji and Kirkuk.   

ALI YUSSEF/AFP/Getty Images

The Best Defense

But where is the Pentagon’s Trotsky?

Newsweek has a good profile of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, done by a couple of kids who would have a future in journalism, if journalism had a future.

Most interesting quote:

"As an old Soviet analyst, I read the speeches of their leaders very, very carefully," he said. "And people should read my speeches very carefully."

This suggests all sorts of possibilities, like airbrushing ousted generals (McChrystal?) out of photographs. What is the Pentagon equivalent of Soviet leaders standing atop Lenin's tomb for a Mayday parade?  

(HT to DJR)

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