Nation Building

NATION BUILDING….Women who don’t dress modestly enough are being gunned down in Basra:

Religious vigilantes have killed at least 40 women this year in the southern Iraqi city of Basra because of how they dressed, their mutilated bodies found with notes warning against “violating Islamic teachings,” the police chief said Sunday.

Maj. Gen. Jalil Khalaf blamed sectarian groups that he said were trying to impose a strict interpretation of Islam. They dispatch patrols of motorbikes or unlicensed cars with tinted windows to accost women not wearing traditional dress and head scarves, he added.

Maybe the Interior Ministry should do something about this? Or maybe not:

The Iraqi government has ordered all policewomen to hand in their guns for redistribution to men or face having their pay withheld, thwarting a U.S. initiative to bring women into the nation’s police force.

….Critics say the move is the latest sign of the religious and cultural conservatism that has taken hold in Iraq since Saddam Hussein’s ouster ushered in a government dominated by Shiite Muslims. Now, that tendency is hampering efforts to bring stability to Iraq by driving women from the force, said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. David Phillips, who has led the effort to recruit female officers.

Elsewhere, the Washington Post reports that the national police force, which the Jones Commission said was so thoroughly corrupted by sectarian rancor that it should be scrapped, will instead have its mission “adjusted” by “gradually withdrawing its forces from neighborhoods and moving them to regional garrisons across the country, where they will serve as an emergency response force.” Which sounds to me suspiciously like scrapping them as an actual police force while still keeping them around as a none-too-subtle reminder to the Sunni minority about who’s in charge these days.

Good stuff. Certainly well worth a trillion dollars of U.S. taxpayer money, no?