[snip] And the winner is . . . Iran! So says University of Michigan historian Juan Cole in Salon: “The Shiites of Iraq increasingly realize they need Iranian backing to defeat the Sunni guerrillas and put the Iraqi economy right, a task the Americans have proved unable to accomplish. And Iran will still be Iraq’s neighbor long after the fickle American political class has switched its focus to some other global hot spot.”

[snip] “All chefs should have gardens,” Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo tells Organic Gardening magazine. “My garden gives me a sense of how fragile our relationship to nature is. . . . When we plant a crop and lose it, it shows us we are not completely in charge.”

[snip] Doctors in Baghdad “are now authorised to carry firearms after some were killed by angry relatives of dead patients and after threats by police officers demanding immediate treatment for injured colleagues,” reports the Australian newspaper the Age. “Dr. Tariq Bahjat, who became a hospital director after his predecessor was killed and . . . a radiologist was recently shot dead, said: ‘No one can provide doctors with protection. I am afraid the same will happen to me; that is why I will go abroad.'”