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Religious Conflicts

Hard choices in Iraq [Editorial]

Hard choices in Iraq [Editorial]

The lightening takeover of large parts of Syria and western Iraq last week by Sunni Muslim extremists has totally scrambled U.S. efforts to deal with a burgeoning conflict that threatens to engulf the entire region — and the situation got worse over the weekend when the insurgents announced they had murdered some 1,700 Shiite soldiers captured in the areas they control. The challenge for the Obama administration is that there are no good options to protect our immediate interest in halting the insurgents' advance that don't also work at cross-purposes to our long-term policy goals there.

The apparent motive for the atrocity, if confirmed, was to spark reprisal killings of...