- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Some soulless men celebrated the end of Ramadan by beheading a Sunni cleric in the Iraqi town of Muqdadiyah, and then setting the corpse on fire. His offense was that he had medical skills and had treated some of the guys in the Awakening/Sons of Iraq movement.
I remember a few years ago, a colonel in Iraq telling me that Muqdadiyah, in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad, was the nastiest place he’d ever operated. I actually thought the group of towns just southwest of the capital along the Euphrates that U.S. troops called "the iyas" were the worst, but I am beginning to suspect the colonel might have been right. And yeah, I know there are a lot of other candidates — Tarmiyah would be one, and also some of the villages midway between Bayji and Kirkuk.