More than 600 people have been killed in a stampede of Shia pilgrims in northern Baghdad, Iraqi officials say. The incident happened on a bridge over the Tigris River as about one million Shias marched to a shrine for an annual religious festival. Witnesses said panic spread because of rumours that suicide bombers were in the crowd. Many victims were crushed to death or fell in the river and drowned.
Terrorism, after all, has at its heart the desire to disrupt the everyday lives of its targets -- going to a restaurant, to the grocery store, on the bus: none of it remains safe. The situation in Iraq must be one of unspeakable uncertainty and dread.
Meanwhile, back in the U.S., Hurricane Katrina may be subsiding, but New Orleans remains buried. Unsettling as the floodwaters in Louisiana and Mississippi are, what appears once the waters have receded will most likely prove more wrenching.
Catciao found a report suggesting that even the police have joined in the looting in New Orleans.
Civil society rests on a very precarious base. These ruptures show that under stress, things we take for granted are uncertain at best.