Patrolling Baghdad


With Americans still unable to establish order in Baghdad, who will protect Iraqi lives and homes? Well, how about the Iraqis themselves?

"Over the past week, gunmen have arrived here sometimes during the day and sometimes at night, unseen," Todd Richissin of the Baltimore Sun reports from the neighborhood formerly known as Saddam City. "They fire weapons at whatever moves, then try to get away.

"So men and boys have been patrolling the streets with their Kalashnikov rifles fully loaded, have set up their own roadblocks leading into the city, using bricks or stones or bedsprings or pieces of wood with spikes pounded into them.

"They stop visitors at gunpoint to interrogate them about their intentions, where they live, why they are coming into their neighborhood if they do not live here, because there is really no reason to enter if not to return to a crumbling mud-brick house…"

Update: Here's some more on Iraqi self-defense.