As the United States debates the virtues of surges or escalations, Iraqis are already dealing with the impact of increased US forces on the streets.
Late last year the Coalition began placing more troops on the streets of Baghdad, in an effort to quell “sectarian violence.” Sunnis have so far felt the brunt of this, as the Iraq government continues to hinder American efforts at dealing an equal blow to Shi’a-backed violence.
This week we speak with two families whose homes were ransacked by US troops late last fall. They were searching for Sunnis involved in violence around Baghdad. They take us on a tour and discuss the treatment they experienced. They also describe the liberal use of a device we believe to be a “stun grenade” similar to the M84.
For other stories of Iraqis who have experienced violence in their homes, see this video, of a family whose home was hit by a rocket in Adhamiya, and a woman whose cars were destroyed in Mansur.
These men protect their neighborhood, in much the same way as Ghassan, a man who is reported to have been detained by the Americans in this video. For another story of an American raid on an Iraqi home, see this woman talking about her son who was killed in Samarra, allegedly by American forces.
The debate regarding the surge has focused on whether there are enough troops being sent to do the job, or whether the focus should be on diplomacy. The stories of these families suggest another question, whether the American forces have been trained properly to do the job of securing Baghdad. It is clear that sectarian violence is shaking Iraq, it seems unclear if military violence can now stabilize it.