Iraqi police force "infiltrated by insurgents" http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4266304.stm There is already another thread on this, but it has become infiltrated by insurgents. Four pages on name-calling makes a thread hard to follow, so I thought a clean slate would be appropriate. The latest info on this reinforces the rumour that the Iraqi police force is infiltrated by "insurgents", and that this is not a localised problem. One of the questions on the other thread (by Art, I think) was about why the officers were arrested. On Channel 4 news last night (but not in the above link), it was claimed that they were arrested on the grounds that the medical kits they were carrying "could have concealed bombs". Recall the SAS officers were disguised as locals. Also recall they were carrying some pretty heavy artillary anyway. What interests and worries me is the fact that it seems every party in Iraq has its own militia, independant of the police force and the armed forces. Since these parties are so at odds with each other, you have to wonder how they've managed to NOT descend into all-out civil war. Yet. Another concern goes back again to the idea of forced democracy, nicely understated by the coalition as "freeing the Iraqi people". I'm trying not to be too biased, but this does seem another reminder that Iraq is a square peg that won't be squeezed into the round hole of western ideologies. Iraqi police officers are 'trained' to be neutral. Does anyone think this is possible on the scale required to build an effective force? Can you make a Shia stop being a Shia between 9 and 5? Talking of which, it's become more clear that coalition newspeak lumping anyone who takes up a weapon into the all-encompassing terms of 'insurgent' or 'terrorist' is drastically obfuscating the underlying issues. It's not unusual for western democracies to not really bother trying to understand the specific dynamics in forrun countries, but when it is possible that usually decent Iraqis may well sometimes be urged, by conscience or coercion, more by their loyalty to a specific party than to the country as a whole, I don't see the generic, one-size-fits-all terminology employed by both our governments and our media as being anything other than ignorant. We have a different view of Iraq (a country of insurgents and civilians) than the Iraqis do (a country of contending religious/racial/political factions). And obviously the most immediate question coming out of this story is: did the British military handle this in the best way? I think we will have to wait until we see the big picture to answer this one. The urgency and manner with which they acted suggests, to me, that the scope and scale of the danger in the officers being held was large. If so, what made them think this? On the other hand, maybe the New Iraq we're supposedly trying to help build really matters less than the embarrassment of having British troops arrested by Iraqi police. Build a police station, knock it down, who cares...?