IRAQ: The Shattered Mask

Through his first frenzied months in office, Iraq's lean and ascetic Premier Karim Kassem snatched a few hours sleep nightly on a couch near his office desk. Visitors to his Baghdad Defense Ministry headquarters were impressed by his tightly reined self-control and the masklike grin he wore. But the assassin's bullets that crumpled his left shoulder last October seem to have shattered the mask, and perhaps shattered Kassem's tight self-control as well.

Kassem's public utterances, at first so mild, impersonal and idealistic through the bitter slanging match that raged between Iraq and Nasser's United Arab Republic, have suddenly taken on...

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