This morning’s Independent reports:

The head of Saddam Hussein’s half-brother was ripped from his body when he was hanged at 3am yesterday, providing a ghoulish spectacle likely to deepen hatred between Sunni and Shia in Iraq … a video tape of the execution of Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, once Saddam’s merciless intelligence chief, shows his hooded head lying some feet away from his body.

Iraq is now a place where they can’t even run the executions without creating a fresh catastrophe. A place governed by law — Murphy’s Law  (“Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong”). While most examples of Murphy’s Law are innocuous …

  • A slice of buttered bread, when dropped, will always land butter-side down;
  • If you put two electrical cords together, or even if it’s a single cord, a hopeless tangle will result;
  • If you build a system that even a fool can use then only a fool will use it;
  • The wind will always blow in the direction of the non-smoker.

… there is nothing innocuous about almost anything that is happening in the towns, cities, deserts or even execution chambers of Iraq.

The US government says its new “plan” for Iraq is based on military strategy. But unless they can revoke Murphy’s Law – and that’s not one listed in the US legal code – the outcome of the plan, sadly, is already assured.

Peter Fray

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