Note To My Successor

Iraq's interim Prime Minister quickly learned the limits of his office. What awaits the next guy?

Most of the chairs at the Prime Minister's table are empty now, and the long cloth is littered with the remains of a large early-evening repast: half-eaten bowls of lamb and okra, traces of hummus, a dented mound of rice. As he stirs three small, white tablets of artificial sweetener into a tear-shaped glass of tea, Ibrahim al-Jaafari describes the scolding he gave the Minister of the Interior that morning. A U.S. raid the day before had found evidence that Iraqi police were torturing detainees at a secret prison in Baghdad. Soon after he was told about it, al-Jaafari announced he was...

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