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Iraq Might Welcome a Strongman

BAGHDAD — On the eve of sovereignty, Iraq (news – web sites) is a nation in disarray, riven by bombings, assassinations and sabotage. Yet many people here appear cautiously optimistic that a tough-talking new government run by Iraqis can confront the withering cycle of violence better than their U.S.-led occupiers.

Talk of imposing martial law or restoring the death penalty has been welcomed by many among a war-weary populace.