Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Coming attractions(!?)

You remember those fill-in-the-blanks mini-reading paragraphs on the SAT, where they left words out of certain sections? Well, I've got one for you from RCE, Really Current Events, and if you get it right once, you can fill in the rest of the blanks with the same word.

The _______ issue is as notoriously divisive in Iraq as sovereignty over certain parts of Ireland used to be in British politics. Winston Churchill famously complained that, after all the political and military cataclysms of the First World War, the question of who should have "the dreary spires of Fermanagh and Tyrone", remained as ferociously contested as before the war.

The control of ________ divided Kurds from Arabs in Iraq under Saddam Hussein and continues to do so. The city is commonly called "a powder keg" though it has yet to explode. But that does not mean it will not happen and the referendum might just be the detonator for that explosion.

The Kurds believe they were a majority in the city until ethnically cleansed by Saddam and replaced by Arab settlers. As the regime crumbled in April 2003, the Kurds captured ______ and its oilfields. They have no plans to give them up.

It's worth it to puzzle out this one--no cheating allowed-- because then you will remember it when it becomes a perilous flashpoint in the war.


SS97 said...

Kirkuk ?

moville said...

That's right--tell him what he's won! Seriously, this is a tough issue, an ethnically and artificially divided burg full of black gold. In some ways, the most dangerous place in Iraq, at least potentially.

SS97 said...

extra credit? =p