A Little Background Music
Shakar Odai, the head of the Internal Affairs Department of the Baghdad police was recently interviewed by David Enders of Mother Jones magazine who wrote: "‘More than 98' percent of the police officers (a force known alike for its use of torture and its widespread corruption) returned to work after the war, [Odai] said, and added that the police force has been greatly expanded as well. Some of the officers definitely sympathize with the resistance, he says. As he speaks, a bomb goes off outside, rattling the windows. Odai doesn't even turn around to look. ‘That happens sometimes fifteen times a day,' he sighs before continuing. ‘Before the war, we had six months to do background checks on any police officer we hired,' he said. ‘After the war, the Americans just began appointing officers.'
"Before he refers me to the seventh floor, where the MOI [Ministry of the Interior]'s human rights department is located, he offers me a piece of wardrobe advice, specifically in regard to the powder-blue Oxford I'm wearing, the same color the police wear. ‘You should change your shirt. Someone might try to assassinate you.'"
Caryle Murphy and John Ward Anderson of the Washington Post offered the following on the opening of the Iraqi National Assembly inside "little America," also known as "the Green Zone" in a completely shut down Baghdad: "Amid tight security and the sound of explosions, Iraq's new parliament met for the first time Wednesday as Iraqi politicians and citizens alike urged lawmakers to stop bickering, form a new government and tackle the country's numerous problems, particularly the violent insurgency. The source of the blasts, which apparently came from mortars, was under investigation by the U.S. military. The explosions rattled windows in the auditorium inside Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, where lawmakers gathered… for the first meeting of a freely elected parliament in Iraq in almost 50 years. U.S. helicopters hovered overheard, and several bridges approaching the Green Zone were closed because of the threat of suicide bombings, car bomb attacks and other potential insurgent strikes."