The police chief in the dangerous "Sunni Triangle" town of Khaldiya was killed in a roadside ambush as he was returning to his home in Fallujah, scene of rising criminal violence and guerrilla resistance to the American occupation of Iraq. . .The right answer would have been to say that proper policing of the community serves everyone. But why are thieves getting more sympathy in Iraq then US supported policemen?
Policemen from Khaldiya said they have frequently come under attack because of their perceived association with the American occupation force, despite the American withdrawal from inside the cities in July. Many in the town, they said, shunned policemen.
Monday's killing of Ali underlines the risks facing Iraqis in the area, and to a lesser extent elsewhere in Iraq, when they join U.S.-backed security forces that the Americans have set up with the aim of allowing them to gradually take over security.
In many cases, they are seen as collaborators who sold out in exchange for an income at a time when unemployment in Iraq is as high as 60 percent.
"We are not in the police to serve the Americans, but to protect our community," said Abdel-Salam Elaiwah, a policeman from Khaldiya. "Those who attack us are just thieves."
The primary US focus in Iraq must be on creating institutions able to restore law and order, yet I hear a lot more about Iraqi rebuilding infrastructure then I do about rebuilding law and order.