The chief of the Sholeh Baghdad police station believes the Shiite militias should kill all Sunnis in Iraq. (and I strongly urge you to read this article in full if you want to get a sense of how absolutely terrible the Iraqi government has become)
And then one rainy night this month, the Sholeh police set up an ambush and killed Army Cpl. Kenny F. Stanton Jr., a 20-year-old budding journalist, his unit said. At the time, Stanton and other members of the unit had been trailing a group of Sholeh police escorting known Mahdi Army members.
The militas look set to have influence over the police for a long time to come.
"How can we expect ordinary Iraqis to trust the police when we don't even trust them not to kill our own men?" asked Capt. Alexander Shaw, head of the police transition team of the 372nd Military Police Battalion, a Washington-based unit charged with overseeing training of all Iraqi police in western Baghdad. "To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure we're ever going to have police here that are free of the militia influence."
Well, at the risk of stating the obvious if you are a Shia Iraqi dealing with Shia police then your ability to trust them is a lot higher than if you are a Sunni Iraq. The term "ordinary Iraqis" lumps them all together. But of course they are very untogether at this point and becoming less together all the time.
The US military's top mouthpieces make absurd claims while lower level officers and enlisted men are a lot more realistic.
The top U.S. military commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., predicted last week that Iraqi security forces would be able to take control of the country in 12 to 18 months. But several days spent with American units training the Iraqi police illustrated why those soldiers on the ground believe it may take decades longer than Casey's assessment.
Seventy percent of the Iraqi police force has been infiltrated by militias, primarily the Mahdi Army, according to Shaw and other military police trainers. Police officers are too terrified to patrol enormous swaths of the capital. And while there are some good cops, many have been assassinated or are considering quitting the force.
"None of the Iraqi police are working to make their country better," said Brig. Gen. Salah al-Ani, chief of police for the western half of Baghdad. "They're working for the militias or to put money in their pocket."
Senator Harry Reid and Representative Nancy Pelosi along with other Congressional Democrats now shoulder part of the responsibility on what to do about Iraq. What solutions are they going to come up with?
What forces are arrayed against militias in the Iraqi police? None at all.
American soldiers said that although they gather evidence of police ties to the militias and present it to Iraqi officials, no one has ever been criminally charged or even lost their jobs.
The biggest threat faced by the Shia militiamen in the Iraqi police is from Sunni insurgents who try to kill them. Next time you read a story about a bomb blowing up a bunch of Iraqi police remember that such storties could just as easily read "bomb blows up Shia militiamen who get paid to masquerade as policemen".
US support for the Iraqi government increasingly amounts to support for the vicious killer Shia thugs against the vicious killer Sunni thugs. We do this in the name of democracy. Go figure.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2006 November 10 11:16 PM MidEast Iraq New Regime Failures|