Eye-Wrack

From Holden:

Dept. of the Shrinking Coalition

Moldova pulls its twelve minsweepers out of Iraq in advance of national elections. Popular sentiment against involvement in the Iraqi quagmire is high in the tiny coalition country. Sounds like very other participant in this exercise in pointless destruction, doesn’t it?

Dept. of Damned-If-You-Do-Damned-If-You-Don’t

Iraq closes its borders to miilions of Shi’ite pilgrims in advance of the climax of Ashura, a major Shi’ite religious ceremony. Last year 170 pilgrims were killed in Iraq, and since the security level in the unfortunate country has not improved one whit the pilgrims will be banned altogether. I’m sure that will please them no end.