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Jan 01, 2006

The Merged Blue Line



No, this is not a promo for the Iraqi version of COPS.

Contradicting the Administration's contention that Ira'si security efforts are becoming more effective, the NYT reports that the U.S. military will soon assume supervision of the Iraqi police.

In what can best described as propaganda, the shots above show British forces working alongside Iraqi police in Basra.  (Although these images are distributed by AP, the captions at YahooNews indicate that they were "made available" by the British Ministry of Defence.)

The question is, what kind of substantive coordination could these photos represent, however, given that the police in Basra are known to be thoroughly controlled by Shiite militia groups?

(Edited: 1/4/06)

(images: AP/British MInistry of Defence. January 1, 2006.  Basra, Iraq.  Via YahooNews.)


On the one hand, yes these are propoganda pics. The British government obviously wants to present a positive image.

On the other hand the guys in the photos propably do feel like they're helping the Iraqi people. They're not faking for the camera.

As far as how they work with the local police, I imagine that it's really difficult.

There was a story about an Afgani who once worked with the US military. The military was looking for a man, Abdul Wali, because he was a suspect in a mortor attack and this Afgani persuaded Wali to turn himself in to the Americans. "You're innocent, so don't worry." While Wali was in custody he was beaten to death with a flashlight.

What I'm saying is that sometimes you try to work with people and it turns out that they kill your friend. Still you try to do what you have to do.

Where is the translator? Maybe he's the third guy in the top photo (but caption doesn't mention it?).

How comfortable would you be if your sidekick doesn't speak your language, you don't speak his language, and people are shooting at you?

From the cat walk of Iraq a Fashion Statement;
For UK soldiers; "soft caps"="conciliatory approach", headgear "seen as a barometer of threat facing the military" = a changing (finally acknowledged !) reality. Note the heavy duty adjacent 'weapons platform' and backup soldier. The helmet and bullet proof jacket. Is leather effective for our ? Iraq colleague or intended as presenting a fearless ( starving ? ) dedicated Rambo type.
Why are the purple fingered people in such well lite streets not out celebrating democracy ? Checking the identity of this vehicle a dangerous task, locating IED's more so and finally having to be suspicion of virtually all Iraqi citizens must be causing a "bit of bother" for the lads even in "the relatively safe southern part of the country"
Welcome to the beginning of the end and a changing of garments and remnants (a piece of fabric remaining) a Rummy fashion favorite..these remnants are "going to war with the army they've got" and their recruit numbers are up...

police with a racist agenda??

we've trained them well.

Somehow the idea of a new U.S. military initiative of "US forces taking over supervision of Iraqi police" is mind boggling. Of course NYT is serious that US forces, who after all defeated the Iraq, have somehow not been in charge! If they mean, that they have "tried" to give Iraqi police a "free hand" it certainly was not free without supervision! So what exactly is new in the news from the NYT and its journalist informant on the Iraq?!
The occupation lords can call it what they want, but it is still an occupation, the rule is still by the US and not by the "elected officials" who still are not free to act democratically and evict the squatters on oil!
The photos look like they come from a movie about nazi occupation, these soldiers with guns walk along, just as nazi did, with Quislings!

Maybe there's not a translator because some Iraqis do speak English. And some (albeit much fewer) British soldiers speak some Arabic.

jt mentioned the "soft cap" approach, and that's something the British troops have prided themselves on, always claiming that their approach is why there has been less insurgency in the south. (There may be something to this, but it ignores the fact that the insurgency is mostly among the Sunnis, while the south is mostly Shia.) But it is significant to see the UK soldiers dressed like this - especially compared to how the Iraqi is dressed.

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