An unhappy first

The kind of feminism we can all do without: "A woman disguised in a man's robes and headdress slipped into a line of army recruits Wednesday and detonated explosives strapped to her body, killing at least six recruits and wounding 35 - the first known suicide attack by a woman in Iraq's insurgency." [LINK]

Of course the idea of a female suicide bomber is hardly new -- the most famous one in recent history being the Tamil terrorist who assassinated Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. Still it's bad news for Iraqi women whose right to free movement is already under pressure from extremists.

What does this new development signify? Rand expert Nora Bensahel is charmingly ambiguous: "This could be a sign that the insurgency is getting greater support among a larger segment of the population, that women are getting more militant and willing to take on a greater role .. It could also be a sign that the insurgents are having trouble finding male recruits.''

Or it could be a sign that winter will come early this year.

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