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September 18, 2008
Violent attacks escalate in Iraq

In recent weeks violent attacks have escalated in Iraq. Today, a car loaded with explosives blew up at a bus station in the southern city of Nasiriyah, killing two people and wounding another.

Bernard Haykel, Princeton University professor of Near Eastern studies, speculates that al-Qaeda is responsible for the new wave of violence in Iraq. As the U.S. hands back security services to Iraqis, Haykel sees the attacks as an attempt to destabilize the country.

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“Destabilize the country” is a peculiar assertion given that one-third of the country governs with banana republic impunity and another one-third of the country has no credible “democratic” representation. The fireworks will begin when Turkey and Iran jointly determine that their common interests require further interference over and beyond what Iran is already doing in the country. While our fixation with the bogeyman will never go away, our attempts to stop the influx of “mercenaries” starts on the wrong foot – the absence of tangible quid pro quo. Democracy comes in all shapes and sizes. Yet our inability to “educate” the “royals” in KSA sustains the flow because these “commoners” have to unleash their gripes somewhere. The KSA experiments have opted for some brainwashing experiments at the expense of genuine change in democracy. How far can a country progress in the modern world if it still insists that women have no right to drive cars?

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