Friday, May 26, 2006

Our Man "G" Back in Baghdad

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, whom many of you remember from 2003 as the Iraqi blogger "G," has returned to Iraq and has a new article called Inside Iraq's hidden war in which he depicts the events on the ground today in Baghdad. Here he talks about a Sunni insurgent named Adel who has turned from targeting Coalition forces to Shia Iraqis.
For months Adel fought the Americans almost every day, firing RPGs and laying IEDs (improvised explosive devices). His friends mocked his enthusiasm and his talk about the need to defend his country and started calling him "The Patriot".

But it has been a few months since he has taken part in any attacks against the hated occupiers. Adel The Patriot has a new mission. He commands a Sunni vigilante group, a dozen or so men armed with Kalashnikovs and a heavy calibre machine gun, attempting, they say, to defend their area against raids and "arrests" made by Shia interior ministry commandos.

It was early afternoon when we met and he had just woken up. He doesn't get much sleep these days. At midnight, just as the streets fall silent, Shia death squads roam the streets looking for prey. Adel and his group sit outside and wait. Most of the streets in Yarmouk are barricaded by bits of metal, palm tree trunks, boxes, bricks and cinder blocks. Streets are cut off to make a maze that only local people know how to negotiate.

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