Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Perspective: New guns for hire

It wasn't a subtle warning. Two weeks ago a convoy of 12 cars bristling with AK-47s rolled through Elam, one of the last mixed neighborhoods in Baghdad, in broad daylight. The young men cranked a dirgelike song on their stereo praising Moqtada al-Sadr and shouted at residents to get off the streets. To reinforce the point, they unloaded their AKs into the air. And they left behind a very clear message in black graffiti: DEATH TO NAWASIB, a derogatory term for Sunnis.

Three days later Ibrahim, a Sunni man in his early 20s, was walking home from a neighborhood soccer match. A black Hyundai sedan pulled up and the passenger pumped three bullets into Ibrahim's chest with a handgun. By the time a crowd gathered around, blood had seeped through Ibrahim's beige and yellow tracksuit and formed a pool on the ground.

Read the rest at Newsweek