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Cannot be new… 27 May 2006

Posted by marisacat in Iraq War.
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 Sadr City, 5/22/06

this piece in the SF Chronicle on streets barricaded off in Baghdad, done by the residents to try to keep themselves safe… and of small localised militias.

 Did we expect people would not try to protect themselves, organise to protect themselves, from all the warriors, on all sides?

Baghdad — On a moonless, hazy night, a willowy shadow of a man holding an AK-47 lurked in an empty east Baghdad alley behind a row of rusted, empty market stalls. As an American convoy approached, the man disappeared into the dark. The U.S. armored humvees rattled past the alley.

Who was he, and what was he doing out in the street after the midnight curfew?

The soldiers of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division who saw him said he was probably a member of one of the many vigilante teams that have sprung up in this heavily Shiite region of Baghdad and all across Iraq's capital. Not trusting U.S. or Iraqi forces to defend them, neighborhoods are setting up their own militias and checkpoints.  [...]

Sunset in Baghdad, the Martyr's Memorial or Al-Shaheed Monument in Baghdad

Not every Baghdad street has vigilante teams. A high school English teacher, whose two-story house sits kitty-corner across a square from the Sunni al-Hasanien Mosque in Amariya, said no one patrols his neighborhood at night. "We have a machine gun," he said, referring to his Kalashnikov. "And we have God. That's it."

Down the alley from the teacher's house, a sign spray-painted in black on a concrete barricade read, in English:

"Give us a chance to protect our selfs."

We have completely forgotten, if indeed we ever consciously agreed that it was true, the Iraqi people are inside their own country – and we are the invader.

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