Frustrated Iraqis ready to take law into own hands

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by -Cp, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. -Cp
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    -Cp Senior Member

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    Here's to cheering them on - Glad to see that unlike Mexicans in Mexico, these folks are taking things into their own hands:

    BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqis have begun barricading themselves in their homes and forming neighborhood militias in an effort to fend off relentless suicide attacks, residents in the capital said on Monday.

    The measures come amid waning confidence in the Iraqi police and other security forces as they struggle to get on top of the two-year-old insurgency. In the latest attack, 98 people were killed by a suicide truck bomb south of Baghdad on Saturday.

    A senior member of Iraq's parliament on Sunday called for popular militias to be created as an extra line of defense against the militants, and criticized the government for failing to stop the bombs.

    "The plans of the interior and defense ministries to impose security in Iraq have failed," Khudair al-Khuzai told parliament during a heated session following the latest blast. "We need to bring back popular militias," he said, without expanding.

    While there was some backing for his proposal, there are concerns militias formed along sectarian lines could lead the country ever closer to civil war, with Shi'ite and Sunni Arabs already involved in tit-for-tat killings.

    Despite that fear, local militias have already been formed in several Baghdad areas, and at least two Shi'ite political movements have their own powerful private armies.

    In the Sadiya district in the south of the capital, residents have introduced a neighborhood watch program which involves men armed with pistols and AK-47s walking the streets from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on alert for attackers.

    They carry a piece of paper signed by the Iraqi army granting them permission to carry out the patrols.

    In several other districts residents have blocked off streets with the trunks of chopped-down palm trees, or with large concrete flower pots, to try to stop suicide car bombers.

    BOMB BARRICADES
    "It's better to have our own militias because we can recognize every stranger who comes into our neighborhood and the police can't," said Sattar Hashim in New Baghdad, a district where a bomb blast last week killed nearly two dozen children.

    Hashim said local men guarding the area at the funerals of those killed in the blast detained a Libyan man strapped with explosives who was aiming to attack the ceremonies.

    Neighbors supported the informal security.

    "When they blocked this road, less people came to my shop and sales went down, but I don't mind as long as we're all safer," said Sheikh Mohammed, the owner of a herbal pharmacy on a street blocked off by water pipes, gates and palm tree trunks.

    In Aadhamiya and Karrada, two other Baghdad districts, shopkeepers and homeowners have boarded up or put thick tape on the insides of windows to prevent blasts splintering the glass. Others have fortified their doorways to foil kidnappers.

    "We are scared even inside our homes -- we expect attacks at any moment," said Hamid Hashim, a teacher in Aadhamiya who has padlocks on his doors. "Our children are never allowed out of the house, even if that may hurt them psychologically."

    Shi'ite lawmakers are growing increasingly frustrated and fear militants will succeed in their aim of provoking sectarian conflict if greater efforts are not made to quell the insurgency.

    "The multinational forces have to take responsibility for the bloodshed," said Sheikh Jalal-el-din al-Sagheer, a member of the main Shi'ite bloc in parliament.

    (Additional reporting by Seif Fouad and Mussab al-Khairalla)


    http://cnn.netscape.cnn.com/ns/news...9030002945365&dt=20050718090300&w=RTR&coview=
     
  2. Gabriella84
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    About time they did something. Now that the Iraqis have proven that they can defend their country, let's leave and allow them to do it.
     
  3. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    with that logic should we close all US bases in all countries?
     
  4. theim
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    theim Senior Member

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    What is it with you people? First Vietnam, then Somalia, now this. Do you take some perverted form of joy in seeing innocent people slaughtered while we stand aside?
     

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