The Financial Times is reporting that Iraq’s interim government "is considering imposing martial law to help stabilise the country after another two car bomb attacks on Thursday killed at least 41 Iraqis." While the article fails to say what martial law would entail in a country which already lacks many of the legal protections that we in the US considered waived by the imposition of martial law, Muwaffaq Rubaie, Iraq’s National Security Adviser was quoted as saying "It [the new law] should not have sweeping powers. It should be limited in time and space. . . . [But] the terrorists are shooting people on sight. You need to be a little bit more proactive, a little bit more robust." It is at this point that the FT writers seem to forget whether they are writing for the news page or the op-ed page: "Such laws carry uncomfortable echoes of the legal fabrications used by the former regime of Saddam Hussein and many current Arab governments to justify repressive and totalitarian rule." While it is sensible to question whether the cure of martial law is worse than the disease it seeks to remedy, this statement struck me as a bit over the top--and a bit demeaning to the Arab world. Would the authors use the same tone if London were the subject of daily terror attacks, and the government established martial law to restore order and protect its citizens? Admittedly Iraq does not have the history of respecting human rights that London does, but the authors’ open disdain seems to be a bit too dismissive of Iraq’s new government, and its interest in protecting its people.