…Patrick Lasswell writes on the community-policing progress being made in Kirkuk — with pictures and video from the ground.
He writes, in part:
This video and Shkar Sherzad Hafiz’s translation tell us a lot of important things about the security situation in Kirkuk, most of them good. It is not good that young secret security agents think they can get away with being idiots with guns for even a second. It is great that they got caught and are getting treated like criminals, regardless of their connections. It is great that Chief Sherzad and General Mam Rostam are deeply committed to making Kirkuk work and tremendously offended by stupid young men who forget that firearms are tools, not toys. It is great that General Rostam let Michael and me out with our video and pictures intact and did not feel threatened by our witnessing this embarrassment. They were more proud of their policemen and the fine work they are doing, as they should be.
A lot of people are stuck on the idea that the Iraqi’s can’t govern themselves or take care of their own security. Based on my personal, first-hand observations I can say that there are some very good people working to make Iraq safer and doing an excellent job. They are receiving the tools and training to do the job and they have tremendous aptitude and a good understanding of the principles involved. I’m proud to know Chief Sherzad and General Mam Rostam and honored to have witnessed them in action. I’m even oddly comforted by the resilience of the young man who had the worst day imaginable and still kept tremendous composure. Assuming he’s not permanently assigned an important position guarding sheep on a mountain someplace, he will probably be a significant asset to Iraq’s future security…once he finds better companions. Not everything is as it first appears in Iraq.