In 2003, I was part of the effort to find Saddam Hussein. I then became the first to debrief him after his capture that December. Prior to his incarceration, I heard over and over from counterparts in the military and the Bush administration that if we caught Saddam we would be able to nip the growing Iraqi insurgency in the bud.
When I interrogated Saddam, he told me: “You are going to fail. You are going to find that it is not so easy to govern Iraq.” When I told him I was curious why he felt that way, he replied: “You are going to fail in Iraq because you do not know the language, the history, and you do not understand the Arab mind.”
A suicide bomber attacked a rural market in northeast Nigeria on Tuesday, killing eight people and wounding at least 14, witnesses said. They blamed Boko Haram extremists.
“Most of the bodies are mutilated, heads and other parts removed,” said vendor Lami Aboki.
State legislator Jerry Kundisi said the blast killed nine people, including the bomber, and injured 14.
Cattle trader Abubakar Musa said the explosion happened near the sheep market. He told The Associated Press that he counted nine bodies at the scene.
But some including merchant Abubakar Garba said the bomb appeared to have been planted on the dirt road between the sheep market and vegetable stalls. The attack in Garkida, a rural town 165 kilometers (100 miles) north of the Adamawa state capital, Yola, was among a slew of attacks that have occurred since multinational forces broke up Boko Haram’s so-called Islamic caliphate by driving the insurgents out of all northeastern towns.
International envoy Kofi Annan raised hopes of a revived peace effort in Syria, saying he has reached a framework with President Bashar Assad and would hold talks with rebel leaders. Annan was traveling to Damascus’ key ally Iran later Monday for talks with leaders there.
Annan is the architect of an international plan to end Syria’s 16-month-old crisis, which started with largely peaceful protests calling for reforms but has since transformed into a bloody insurgency to topple Assad. With violence growing increasingly intense and diplomatic efforts faltering, Annan has said Iran must be a part of a solution to a conflict that activists say has killed at least 14,000 people.