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Iraq uneasy as America departs

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This week marked the start of the transition from the U.S. military control to Iraqi security forces in many cities in Iraq.  The American troops are largely withdrawing to the big bases, leaving many Iraqi’s wondering what will become of their lives now that the American presence is gone.  Watching the media outlets from around the world, one would assume that Iraq is in celebration of the withdrawal, saying that they do not need the U.S. to babysit and that they have control over the insurgency.

Recent headlines don’t quite justify the ‘elation’ most media have reported on.  Violence has claimed more than 200 Iraqi civilians in 10 days, all of them leading up to the June 30 pull out, leaving many Iraqi’s afraid to step outside.  

Since the U.S. has pulled out, there have been reports of corruption within the Iraqi security forces, such as a police chief kidnapping civilians and holding them for ransom.  Others have said that red “X’s” have appeared painted on their doors, marking which are homes to the Sunni.  Without the United States to act as a neutral buffer to religious tension, the indoctrinated hate between religious sects may soon be a focal point of the struggles in Iraq.

Still, Iraq believes it is on its way to becoming self-sufficient, and there have been significant gains made by the security there in recent months.  The main concern the U.S. troops have now is the lack of ground support for intelligence that may be crucial to rooting out insurgents, but they have faith in the Iraqi’s ability to take care of themselves.

And they hope that trust isn’t misplaced.

Rob @ June 30, 2009

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