Monday, May 21, 2007

Remember When?

By Cernig

Compare and contrast:

Dan Senor, CPA spokesman, April 2004.
When CPA spokesman Dan Senor was asked if having forces from Kurdish and Shia militias operating in Sunni areas would run the risk of inflaming factional tensions--as some Sunni clerics had warned--he ducked the question, replying, "Iraqis want to serve in their country's security services as Iraqis--not as members of a former political party, not as a member of a former militia, not as representatives of a specific region, but as Iraqis. And those are the individuals that we will be recruiting and working with and who we believe are the future leaders of Iraq."
Iraqi police commander and US Military Police Brigade commander, May 2007.
Colonel Haider, the commander of Khadimiya Police Station... returns to the persistent problem. "Fifty percent of the recruits belong to the militias," he says. "They come here to collect information on the other sects." He goes further. "The MOI knows everything about who they are."

..."Corruption is everywhere in the police. They don't have much experience to do their jobs. We don't know where they come from, but they're assigned here," Haider says. "We go station to station searching for officers, but most of [the men] we get don't know the area. Most just belong to the militias..."

..."My own personal view is that it's not realistic to expect in this country for militia groups to be eliminated altogether," says Col. Mike Galloucis, commander of the 89th Military Police Brigade, the parent unit of the 57th. "Militia groups are interwoven throughout the fabric of the country, including the government. But you can always go after bad behavior. You can establish the basic principle of what's acceptable and unacceptable: the notion that everyone accepts the law, no one is above the law, and if you violate it--and I don't care what your sect or your name is--you will be punished."
Establishing the notion that no-one is above the law requires that the people at the top of the power pyramid be competent, honest and faithful to the law - and that isn't going to be the case anytime soon in either the US or Iraq.

(With thanks to Spencer Ackerman for both quotes. He had already figured out this was going to happen back in 2004, as had many of the rest of us. Unfortunately, the Bush administration and the CPA, in an effort to be happy-happy-joy-joy, were willfully looking the other way.)

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