August 2, 2006
In the midst of this whole mess, the last place I expected to find people who liked America was west Baghdad.
West Baghdad, roughly speaking, is the Sunni part of a very mixed city, and has the distinction of being the home to a pretty nasty insurgency for the last few years – you wanna get kidnapped, go to west Baghdad, where they also shoot men for wearing shorts and women for not wearing veils.
US troops turned the place over to the Iraqi army back in December, all part of that process of Bush calls our stepping down as the Iraqis step up... Except it all went to hell so badly that in April the US army had to move back in – I don't think that was mentioned in the state of the union address.
Now, the whole capital's going to hell in a handbasket and the same process is being repeated across the city as more US troops are being rushed in. Six weeks into the new prime minister's security plan, it's worse than ever here and the Iraqi forces have shown themselves unable to control their own capital.