In the Arena

Today in Iraq

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There’s a lovely V.S. Naipaul story–brain fog, the title escapes me now–in which a white couple is driving through an African country during a time of troubles. They stop at a gas station and a smiling African attendant pulls out a squeegee to clean their windshield. But the rubber has been worn off the squeegee, leaving only metal, which shreiks and scrapes the windshield as the African attendant continues to smile benignly.

That image came to mind reading this in the New York Times today. And then, there’s this, in which Muqtada Sadr’s Mahdi Army forces a reduction in the price of ice to benefit the poor.

And this, in which the Bush administration does the only thing it has proven capable of in the middle east–making things worse, by further arming the region.

Look, it’s Saturday morning and I’m too depressed by all this to gin up the expected anti-Bush rant. Sometimes the level of bloodshed, corruption and tragedy inflicted by this administration is just overwhelming.