NPR's John Henren reports from Baghdad on the wonderful new country that's emerged on our watch (audio link):
This is how staggeringly pointless the killing in Iraq is getting: Shepherds in the rural western Baghdad neighborhood of Ghazaliyah have recently been murdered, according to locals, for failing to diaper their goats.
Apparently the sexual tension is so high in regions where sheikhs take a draconian view of sharia law that they feel the sight of naked goats poses an unacceptable temptation. They blame the goats.
I've spent nearly a year here, on more than a dozen visits, since the early days of the war, and that seemed about as preposterous as Iraq could get -- until I heard about the grocery store in east Baghdad. The grocer and three others were shot to death and the store was firebombed because he suggestively arranged his vegetables.
I didn't believe it at first. Firebombings of liquor stores are common, and I figured there must have been one next door. But an Iraqi colleague explained matter-of-factly that Shiite clerics had recently distributed a flier directing grocers how to display their food. Standing up a celery stalk near a couple tomatoes in a way that might -- to the profoundly repressed -- suggest an aroused male is now a capital offense....
This Week, ABC, August 6, 2006:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You said in the debate that Iraq is better now than a year ago. Do you still believe that?
JOE LIEBERMAN: It is better now…it, it, it’s better and worse if you’ll allow me to put it that way....
Well, it's certainly worse if you own an undiapered goat.