Rocky start for new Iraqi police force
BAGHDAD – Hundreds of former Iraqi police officers milled around the police college grounds here Monday, looking for the $20 they were promised and awaiting their marching orders. But those orders never came.
In fact, no one was clear who - whether former Iraqi police officials or the US military - would be giving the orders that would get them back patrolling the streets.
...Last week, Radio Iraq, the new station run by the US-led coalition, called on all former policemen to report to the college for work this week. "Put on your uniforms," they were instructed, "but leave your ranks and insignia at home. This is a new era." The promise of $20 - double or triple their usual monthly salary - added incentive.
But neither the instructions nor the money materialized, and a crucial step in returning law to Baghdad's streets and authority to the Iraqis themselves has gotten off to a rocky start.
...a few thieves were arrested in Baghdad on Sunday, too - but these were soon released. "We were not sure what to do with them," admits General Abdullah. "The Americans did not have interest, so we lost ours."...
--Christian Science Monitor