The Mongol Hordes clean up their act.
The last time Mongol troops entered Iraq was in 1258, when the grandson of Genghis Kahn sacked Baghdad in a four-day siege so bloody that legend has it the rivers ran red for days. Eight centuries later, they're back, and they want to help.
"We're on your side," Mongolian President Natsagiyn Bagabandi, a former Soviet cosmonaut, said to President Bush in Washington last April, according to a Western diplomat. "We've had problems with Iraq ourselves."
The country of the fierce Mongol hordes best known for descending from Central Asia's frigid steppes to slay every man, woman and child in any city that refused to submit, has transformed itself into an international peacekeeper. Since 1999, Mongolia has dispatched members of a former Special Forces battalion to global hot spots in the Western Sahara, Congo, Afghanistan and, as of September, Iraq.