"Asked when she intended to leave this squalor and return to the comfortable family home, Kahiriya Musa, 30, is emphatic. “Never,” she declares. “They will kill me if I return.”
While one of her husband’s killers has been arrested, she says, the other two have joined the Baghdad Brigade, a Sunni militia funded by the American forces which now holds sway in her old neighbourhood.
Members of the Baghdad Brigade receive $300 a man each month from the Americans, who also provide vehicles, uniforms and flak jackets. In return the brigade keeps out Al-Qaeda, dismantles roadside bombs and patrols the area, a task performed with considerable swagger by many of its 4,000 recruits.
The US military is delighted with the results achieved by the brigade in Abu Ghraib and by similar groups in other former “hot spots” of sectarian conflict that have seen a sharp decline in violence.
[The] men who used to be Al-Qaeda members but now form part of the awakening. Even the militia commanders confirm that they have the Shi’ites in their long-range sights after a turbulent few months.
First they tired of Al-Qaeda’s beheadings, bombings and strange demands, such as a ban on salads containing (male) cucumbers and (female) tomatoes, and on ice cubes because the Prophet Muhammad never had them. Then the militias threw in their lot with the Americans to get rid of Al-Qaeda, but without losing their animosity for the occupying forces that many of them had been fighting.
Now they are starting to think about what happens when the Americans leave and how they can counter Iranian-backed Shi’ite forces. Abu Omar, an intelligence officer with the Baghdad Brigade in Abu Ghraib, was candid.
“Of course the coming war is with the [Shi’ite] militias,” he said. “God willing, we will defeat them and get rid of them just as we did Al-Qaeda.” "
From comments on the above article:
"A total betrayal of the supposed democratic election by the majority of people for a Shia Led Government, by funding a group of members of whom many are former Al-Qaeda member and likely did the bombings on their mosques. This sounds a lot like when USA used Talibun, to fight Russians, then praised them as Freedom Fighters and later, condemned them as Al-Qaeda. .."
"US arming those who only two months ago were shooting its marines is utter disgrace for a world's superpower. I think that US is defeated in Iraq and is now deperate to try anything that might save it from humiliating retreat...."