The U.S. jumped the gun and transferred sovereignty to Iraqis two days ahead of schedule. The speeded-up transfer was apparently prompted by security concerns. The ceremony was attended by only a handful of people. I don’t suppose it makes any difference, but the hurried-up transfer certainly doesn’t inspire much confidence.
Meanwhile, Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun has apparently been abducted and is now threatened with murder. The story of Hassoun’s abduction sounds odd; the terrorists say that they sneaked onto a Marine base and lured the Marine off it. Hassoun is a Muslim from Utah, which is being treated as a coincidence. Or maybe the terrorists deliberately singled out a soldier they could see was of Arab descent. The whole scenario seems strange, but maybe it will make more sense when and if more facts become available.
In the meantime, the hostage-taking strategy has succeeded, as it usually does, in creating hysteria in the western media. The terrorists won’t win in Iraq, but they may very well win here.
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