Yesterday’s Car-Bombing; Five Women Marines Killed

The women [marines] had an important role in Falluja, because in Iraq the American practice has been to assign only women to pat down women and girls passing in and out of the city. The girls going through the checkpoints often appear afraid, so the American women requested donations of teddy bears to give them. They recently arrived from the United States.
– New York Times

Thanks, Neo-Cons

WASHINGTON, June 21 – A new classified assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency says Iraq may prove to be an even more effective training ground for Islamic extremists than Afghanistan was in Al Qaeda’s early days, because it is serving as a real-world laboratory for urban combat.

The assessment, completed last month and circulated among government agencies, was described in recent days by several Congressional and intelligence officials. The officials said it made clear that the war was likely to produce a dangerous legacy by dispersing to other countries Iraqi and foreign combatants more adept and better organized than they were before the conflict.
– New York Times

The Past Crosses the Street, With Baby Carriage

Saw an ex pushing a pram down Bedford on Saturday. I wondered if it was hers. Hadn’t seen her byline in months so I figured that this was the explanation. She was still slim and lovely, however.
When she saw me coming she quickly crossed the street with her fellow baby-carriagista. In memory, the bad often outweighs the good.
We haven’t spoken to each other in a few years. Not since she pretended to be friendly long enough to get me to do her a favor. At the time, she told me that under the terms of her marriage, she wasn’t allowed to speak with me.
Having been in the same neighborhood for eleven years means that fragments of my past lives are always popping up on the streets. I’m willing to accept the occasional shock.