The major question concerning where the loyalty of Iraqis lie and from whence their sense of identity stems, has been glossed over by the Bush administration from the beginning. Nationhood in the western sense was wrongly assumed to be the main cohesive factor for Iraqi society. From AP:
BAGHDAD, Iraq — U.S. troops aren’t just training Iraqi forces, they’re also keeping an eye on them, watching for signs they could be moonlighting in the Shiite death squads that target Sunnis.
Bound and tortured bodies – both Sunni and Shiite – turn up every day in the capital, dumped in the streets. Sunni Arabs say their people are the victims of Shiite militiamen who have infiltrated government forces, especially paramilitary commando units of the Shiite-led Interior Ministry.
In Dora, one of the Baghdad’s most violent neighborhoods with a mix of Sunnis and Shiites, U.S. troops working with Interior Ministry units say they can feel the Sunni mistrust.
“There’s a fear that when (the Interior Ministry) comes in, it may not be on a legitimate mission, unless they’re with us,” said Lt. Col. Greg Butts, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Regimental Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division that oversees Dora…
Sunni leaders in Dora have even warned U.S. commanders that they will fire on commandos that try to approach their homes, Butts said.
It’s not an idle threat. Earlier this month, residents in the Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah battled for two days against Iraqi forces, believing they were Shiite death squads. Up to 13 people were killed…