If the war in Iraq has made it more difficult for the federal government to a natural disaster back home, you'd like to think that at least the war is going well. You'd like to, but you can't. As the Washington Post is reporting, Abu Musab Zarqawi's Iraq-based branch of al Qaida has taken "open control" of an Iraqi town at the Syrian border.
The Post reports: "A sign newly posted at the entrance of Qaim declared, 'Welcome to the Islamic Kingdom of Qaim.' A statement posted in mosques described Qaim as an 'Islamic kingdom liberated from the occupation. Zarqawi's fighters were killing officials and civilians seen as government-allied or anti-Islamic, witnesses, residents and others said. On Sunday, the bullet-riddled body of a woman lay in a street of Qaim. A sign left on her corpse declared, 'A prostitute who was punished.'"
Twelve American soldiers have died in Iraq since Hurricane Katrina hit land in Louisiana last week.