Friday, April 09, 2004
The ragtag group of unshaven, AK-47-toting Iraqi commandos have been knocking down doors in Baghdad looking for insurgents since January, according to a U.S. Special Forces adviser who called himself "Greg."
"They're getting there," he said after some loud confusion over whether they were going to ask neighbors for a key to a door or break it down.
There was much yelling and arguing in Arabic as about 30 of the Iraqi troops made their way through the four-story building, where resident Ahmad and a dozen other women and children huddled in a lower apartment to avoid being hit with mortars that had been fired nearby.
No one seemed to be in charge, but in the end, the Iraqi troops seemed to make friends of the residents.
"People like us," said Abbas Khudhair, who added that while most of his comrades were from the Kurdish north, the force included members from all regions of the country, included Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and included most of the political parties represented in Iraq's new government.
Khudhair, 22, of the town of Hillah in the Babylon province, said his group was the future of Iraq.
"We work together for all Iraq," he said.
Just what Iraq needs: tough men of good will, who believe in something greater than the tribe.