“The Ministry of Defense requests that civilians do not comply with the orders of the army or police on nightly patrols unless they are accompanied by coalition forces working in that area.”
That’s how messed up the country is at this point.
We switched to another channel, the “Baghdad” channel (allied with Muhsin Abdul Hameed and his group) and they had the same news item, but instead of the general “coalition forces” they had “American coalition forces”. We checked two other channels. Iraqiya (pro-Da’awa) didn’t mention it and Forat (pro-SCIRI) also didn’t have it on their news ticker.
We discussed it today as it was repeated on another channel.
“So what does it mean?” My cousin’s wife asked as we sat gathered at lunch.
“It means if they come at night and want to raid the house, we don’t have to let them in.” I answered.
“They’re not exactly asking your permission,” E. pointed out. “They break the door down and take people away- or have you forgotten?”
“Well according to the Ministry of Defense, we can shoot at them, right? It’s trespassing-they can be considered burglars or abductors…” I replied.
The cousin shook his head, “If your family is inside the house- you’re not going to shoot at them. They come in groups, remember? They come armed and in large groups- shooting at them or resisting them would endanger people inside of the house.”
“Besides that, when they first attack, how can you be sure they DON’T have Americans with them?” E. asked.
We sat drinking tea, mulling over the possibilities. It confirmed what has been obvious to Iraqis since the beginning- the Iraqi security forces are actually militias allied to religious and political parties.
But it also brings to light other worrisome issues. The situation is so bad on the security front that the top two ministries in charge of protecting Iraqi civilians cannot trust each other. The Ministry of Defense can’t even trust its own personnel, unless they are “accompanied by American coalition forces”.
It really is difficult to understand what is happening lately. We hear about talks between Americans and Iran over security in Iraq, and then American ambassador in Iraq accuses Iran of funding militias inside of the country. Today there are claims that Americans killed between 20 to 30 men from Sadr’s militia in an attack on a husseiniya yesterday. The Americans are claiming that responsibility for the attack should be placed on Iraqi security forces (the same security forces they are constantly commending).
All of this directly contradicts claims by Bush and other American politicians that Iraqi troops and security forces are in control of the situation. Or maybe they are in control- just not in a good way.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Riverbend and family try to figure out what to do in Baghdad when "security" comes knocking on your door.