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Jalal Talabani’s Tricky Knee



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Iraqi president Jalal Talabani last week quietly checked into Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic, reportedly to have surgery on his knee. It is at least his fourth visit. Readers may recall that last time Talabani visited the Mayo Clinic for his bum knee, he left with a heart valve repaired. He is now reportedly in Washington, and will leave for Iraq in a day or two.

I hope Talabani gets well soon and I hope his health problems aren’t so serious as to require the Mayo Clinic’s signature cancer unit, but it is strange that with so much riding on Iraq’s stability and given Talabani’s conciliatory role in Baghdad politics, neither the White House nor President Talabani’s office are willing to be transparent about Talabani’s health, nor is the press corps willing to even inquire.



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