Another peek at the Mess’opotamia

In the Guardian, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad writes about life in Baghdad, where a Shari’a-style mafia is terrorizing the locals, particularly the Christian among them.

Inside, another man, also in a badly tailored brown suit, but with a thicker beard and a big ring on his finger, stands in front of the counter questioning the son of the owner. “Where is your father?” he asks, in the tone of voice that used to be employed by Saddam’s security police. “Call him, we have to talk to him.”

“He is out, can I take a message?”

The frightened son is taken outside for a further talking-to, before the two men leave in a big white government SUV.

“They are from the security service of the Dawa party [one of the strongest Shiite religious parties],” the young man explains. “They come here every few weeks and we pay them. They are nice to us, they don’t threaten to use force, but we know if we don’t pay this place will be bombed the next day.”

I wonder if Donald Rumsfeld still thinks that “freedom is messy.”

Thanks to David for the link.


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