Contents: The Sir! No Sir! blog is an information clearing house, drawing on a wide variety of sources, to track the unfolding history of the new GI Movement, and the wars that brought the movement to life.
Where applicable, parallels will be drawn between the new movement and the Vietnam era movement which was the focus of the film Sir! No Sir!
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This article, by Saad Shalash and Waleed Ibrahim, was distributred by Reuters, October 25, 2009
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Two suicide bombs tore through Baghdad on Sunday, killing 132 people, wounding more than 500 and leaving mangled bodies and cars on the streets in one of Iraq's deadliest days this year.
The two blasts shredded buildings and smoke billowed from the area near the Tigris River. The first bomb targeted the Justice Ministry and the second, minutes later, was aimed at the nearby provincial government building, police said.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's office said that the bombs were meant to sow chaos in Iraq similar to attacks on August 19 against the finance and foreign ministries, and were aimed at stopping an election in January.
"It is the same black hands who are covered in the blood of the Iraqi people," a statement from Maliki's office said. "They want to cause chaos in the nation, hinder the political process and prevent the parliamentary election."
U.S. President Barack Obama said the bombings were outrageous and the White House said he had called Maliki and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to pledge to "stand with the Iraqis."
"These bombings serve no purpose other than the murder of innocent men, women and children, and they only reveal the hateful and destructive agenda of those who would deny the Iraqi people the future that they deserve," Obama said in a statement.
Violence has fallen since U.S.-backed tribal sheikhs helped wrest control from al Qaeda and Washington sent extra troops.
But attacks are still common in a nation trying to rebuild from years of conflict and prepare for the election at the same time as U.S. forces start to withdraw.
Officials have blamed unnamed neighbours for not stopping the attacks -- a reference to Iraqi complaints that Syria provides a safe haven for former Baathists while citizens of other Sunni Muslim states help fund the insurgency in Iraq. Iran, meanwhile, has been accused of funding and arming Shi'ite militia.
"The neighboring and distant countries should immediately refrain, forever, from harboring, financing and facilitating forces that openly proclaim their hostility to the Iraqi state," Talabani said in a statement.
Attacks could rise in the run-up to the election -- the second national vote since U.S. troops invaded in 2003 -- as forces in and around Iraq jockey for influence over the world's third largest oil reserves.
Some lawmakers criticized the security forces for failing to stop the attack. Government officials blamed the bombings on al Qaeda or remnants of former leader Saddam Hussein's Baath party. "Big Failure"
The area near the provincial building was flooded and fire fighters pulled charred and torn corpses off the streets. Burned cars piled up nearby. Workers on cranes combed the broken facade of the Justice Ministry, pulling out bodies wrapped in blankets.
"I don't know how I'm still alive. The explosion destroyed everything. Nothing is still in its place," shop owner Hamid Saadi told Reuters by telephone from near the Justice Ministry.
U.S. forces provided forensics teams and bomb experts.
Police sources said the bombs were carried in vans driven by suicide bombers while others said a truck and car were used.
The al-Mansour hotel, which houses the Chinese embassy and several foreign media groups, was also damaged.
U.S. officials say the attacks are aimed at reigniting the sectarian conflict that gripped Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion that deposed Saddam, or at undermining confidence in Maliki before the parliamentary poll.
Maliki is widely expected to campaign on improved security. The attacks were launched as his government tries to sign multi-billion dollar crude deals, expected to turn Iraq into the world's third largest oil producer.
The bombings raise doubts about the Iraqi forces' ability to take over overall security from U.S. soldiers who pulled out of Iraqi city centers in June ahead of the complete withdrawal from the country by the end of 2011.
"This breach is a big failure of the security forces who are responsible, along with the security officials, for what happened," said Jalal al-Din al-Sagheer, who heads the parliamentary bloc of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, one of Maliki's main Shi'ite rivals in the coming election.
This article, by Dahr Jasmail, was published by IPS, February 22, 2009
BAGHDAD, Feb 21 (IPS) - Seventy percent of Iraq's doctors are reported to have fled the war-torn country in the face of death threats and kidnappings. Those who remain live in fear, often in conditions close to house arrest.
"I was threatened I would be killed because I was working for the Iraqi government at the Medical City," Dr. Thana Hekmaytar told IPS. Baghdad Medical City is the largest medical complex in the country.
Dr. Hekmaytar, a head and neck surgeon, has now been practising at the Saint Raphael Hospital in Baghdad for the last five years.
It is difficult now both as woman and as doctor, she says. Most women are now living in repressive conditions because the government is less secular. And that is besides the chaotic conditions around Iraq.
"It is particularly difficult for female doctors," Dr. Hekmaytar says. "Large groups in Iraq only want us to stay at home, and certainly not be professionals."
"We've had doctors kidnapped, and so many others have fled," said Khaleb, a senior manager at the hospital who requested that his last name not be used. He named several doctors who had been kidnapped. This IPS correspondent, he said, was the first media person allowed into the hospital since the U.S. invasion of March 2003.
Doctors and other professionals become targets for kidnapping since they earn more money than most, and so fetch higher ransom.
"I've had to ask for security to protect the hospital," Khaleb said. "After this, I went to Amman and convinced many of our doctors there to return. They did, but now they live in the hospital and never go outside. This has been the case since 2005. Every two months they leave to go visit their families in Jordan."
Saint Raphael is a 35-bed hospital, but sees more than a thousand patients daily, says Khaleb. "Of our specialist doctors, ten live here full time. In addition, we have three younger doctors living here full time."
Large concrete blocks restrict entry to the street leading up to the hospital. Iraqi army personnel guard the front door. Everyone entering the hospital is searched.
The hospital is located in the Karrada area of Baghdad, just across the Tigris river from the Green Zone. The neighbourhood is relatively safe by Baghdad standards, although attacks and car bombings still take place.
The hospital is on a side street close to several apartment buildings and private homes. Unlike most government hospitals it is clean and well stocked.
Dr. Hekmaytar is one of the doctors Khaleb persuaded to return to Baghdad. "Of course nobody likes to leave her home country, I was so sad," she said. "I am grateful to be back, but wish it wasn't under these difficult circumstances."
Sitting with several doctors outside an operating room, she told IPS that death threats have never gone away.
"This is common here even now, but was especially so during 2004," she said, as other doctors nodded in agreement. "Now I live and work in the hospital, and never leave."
Dr. Hekmaytar, a Christian, received death threats twice. One came by way of a note in an envelope telling her to convert to Islam, or else. The second time she received a note in an envelope instructing her to where hijab. The note was enclosed with a bullet.
Dr. Shakir Mahmood Al-Robaie, an anaesthetist, too lives on the premises of the hospital where he works. "I both live and work here because I was threatened," he told IPS. "My family is in Jordan."
The doctor said his family received an envelope containing just a single bullet. After this, he moved his family to Jordan, and then returned to Iraq to get an income for himself and his family.
"Common? These threats are not just common," said Dr. Jafir Hasily, a surgeon sitting across from Dr. Hekhaytar. "They are routine. This happens all the time."
The Iraqi government estimates there were 36,000 doctors and medical personnel in Iraq when the U.S. invasion was launched in March 2003. Most escaped to neighbouring Arab countries, especially Jordan and Syria.
In early 2008, the Iraqi Health Ministry said that 628 medical personnel have been killed since 2003. Many believe the real figure is far higher, and that there is additionally a very large number of doctors who have been kidnapped and tortured.
In the absence of the doctors who left, particularly of senior doctors, the medical system is on the brink of collapse. It is short not just of doctors but also of other qualified staff, equipment and drugs. Patients are often forced to buy their own medicines on the black market.
The security situation that led to the exodus of doctors is now somewhat better, but remains unstable.
This article, by David Cronin, was published by IPS, February 10, 2009
BRUSSELS, Feb 10 (IPS) - The intimate involvement of the private sector in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq received international attention in September 2007, when staff with the security firm Blackwater shot dead 17 civilians in the vicinity of Baghdad's Nisoor Square.
Though the U.S. has made the most extensive use of such companies in the history of modern warfare, it is in Europe where they originated. Back in 1967, senior political and military figures in Britain formed Watchguard International as a response to a left-wing coup in Yemen five years earlier. Now recognised as the world's first private security firm, its original intention was to shore up governments that could otherwise be overthrown.
Four decades later, the European Union is being urged to introduce regulations so that better oversight of private security firms can be guaranteed.
According to Chris Kinsey, an academic with King's College in London who has studied private security firms for the past 10 years, such companies are easy to set up.
"You only need yourself, probably a fax machine, and to know how to bid for government contracts," he said at a debate in the European Parliament Monday.
While most of the firms in question work in parts of the world where they can be tried for any misdemeanours by local courts, they have been operating in something of a legal vacuum in Iraq, Afghanistan, Congo and Somalia during recent years. In Iraq, the Coalition Provisional Authority that took charge after the country's president Saddam Hussein was toppled, went so far as to issue an order providing immunity from prosecution by Iraqi courts for international contractors.
The British government, meanwhile, has procrastinated in subjecting private security firms to tougher rules. This is despite the recommendation in a government policy paper in 2002 that "sound legislation" be developed in this area. That recommendation followed the so-called Sandline affair during the late 1990s, in which a private firm was implicated in breaking a United Nations embargo on providing weapons to Sierra Leone.
About 85 percent of private security firms are based in either Britain or the U.S., though the industry has also spread to France, Israel, South Africa, China and the former Soviet Union. Amnesty International has complained that Britain's private security firms can evade responsibility for human rights violations they are accused of as they cannot be tried in British courts.
Kinsey believes that the 27-country EU is better placed than national administrations to ensure that regulation occurs. Clearer rules are needed, he suggested, as private security firms are eager to widen the scope of their activities to include humanitarian and development aid tasks, increasing the potential for human rights violations.
"Regulation at national level allows companies to move around," he said. "If regulation is very restrictive, they will simply move to another country."
The International Committee of the Red Cross, perhaps the world's best- known humanitarian group, has joined with the government of Switzerland to study how private security firms can be monitored. Some 17 countries have taken part in their discussions so far.
Stéphane Kolanowski, a legal adviser to the Red Cross, described the granting of immunity from prosecution to certain private security firms as an "unjustified idea."
Among the most egregious breaches of human rights attributed to private security companies has been the involvement of their personnel in the administration of Abu Ghraib, the infamous prison in Iraq which has become synonymous with photographs of detainees being tortured.
Kolanowski raised questions about the delegation of tasks normally performed by public sector employees to private firms. "States cannot escape their obligations by the hiring of a private company," he said. "Some activities cannot be subcontracted - such as the power of an officer in charge of a prisoner of war camp or a place where civilians are interned."
J.J. Messner from the International Peace Operations Association, a Washington-based umbrella group for the private security industry, indicated that he would welcome being subject to more stringent laws. "The private sector desires clear rules and guidelines," he said. "Grey areas create unnecessary complications. The European Union is in a pivotal position to impress upon its member states the importance of regulation."
Hélène Flautre, a French Green member of the European Parliament (MEP), suggested in the course of the debate that all EU military operations should have officers who liaise between soldiers and private firms that have been hired to provide particular services.
"Where subcontractors are allowed, this shouldn't represent an evasion of international humanitarian law," she said.
Michael Gahler, a German Christian Democrat MEP, said: "It is very important that we shouldn't give private security companies a law-free area. Employing them should not be a way of avoiding international law. That has to be the yardstick."
This article, by Ernesto Londoño and Qais Mizher, was published in the Washington Post, January 29, 2009
The Iraqi government has informed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that it will not issue a new operating license to Blackwater Worldwide, the embassy's primary security company, which has come under scrutiny for allegedly using excessive force while protecting American diplomats, Iraqi and U.S. officials said Wednesday.
Iraq's Interior Ministry conveyed its decision to U.S. officials in Baghdad on Friday, in one of the boldest moves the government has made since the Jan. 1 implementation of a security agreement with the United States that sharply curbed American power in Iraq.
Blackwater employees who have not been accused of improper conduct will be allowed to continue working as private security contractors in Iraq if they switch employers, Iraqi officials said Wednesday.
The officials said Blackwater must leave the country as soon as a joint Iraqi-U.S. committee finishes drawing up guidelines for private contractors under the security agreement. It is unclear how long that will take. Blackwater employees and other U.S. contractors had been immune from prosecution under Iraqi law.
"When the work of this committee ends," Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said, private security companies "will be under the authority of the Iraqi government, and those companies that don't have licenses, such as Blackwater, should leave Iraq immediately."
The State Department said Wednesday that its contractors will obey Iraqi law.
"We will work with the government of Iraq and our contractors to address the implications of this decision in a way that minimizes any impact on safety and security of embassy Baghdad personnel," spokesman Noel Clay said.
Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell said she was not aware of the Iraqi government's decision.
"It would be irresponsible for me to comment on a decision that may or may not have been reached," she said in an e-mail Wednesday.
The United States was unable to persuade the Iraqi government to extend the immunity of its contractors past the expiration of the U.N. Security Council resolution on Dec. 31. No American diplomat has been killed during missions secured by Blackwater.
The North Carolina company became widely despised by Iraqis after a string of incidents during which its heavily armed guards were accused of using excessive force. The deadliest was the Sept. 16, 2007, shooting in Nisoor Square, in central Baghdad, when Blackwater guards opened fire on Iraqis in a crowded street, killing 17 civilians, after the guards' convoy reportedly came under fire.
The U.S. attorney's office in Washington last month charged five of the men with voluntary manslaughter and using a machine gun to commit a violent act. The men entered not guilty pleas and are awaiting trial. A sixth guard reached a plea deal with prosecutors.
Private security companies working for the U.S. government in Iraq have been required to obtain licenses from the Iraqi Interior Ministry since 2004, but some have operated without licenses, and until this year, there was little the Iraqi government could do to enforce the rule.
The ministry revoked Blackwater's license in September 2007 and threatened to expel the company's employees, but U.S. officials ignored the order and renewed the company's contract the following April.
Iraqi officials said Wednesday they decided not to issue the company a new license largely because of the Nisoor Square shooting.
"We informed the U.S. Embassy in Iraq about this decision, and they will have to find another company to replace them," said Gen. Hussain Kamal, a senior Interior Ministry official.
Blackwater employees were also accused of shooting Iraqi guards working for a television station in the spring of 2007. And on Dec. 24, 2006, a drunk Blackwater guard fatally shot a guard employed by Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi.
According to a congressional report issued in October 2007, Blackwater guards have been involved in nearly 200 shootings in Iraq since 2005.
The company has received more than $1 billion from the federal government since 2000. In recent months, however, Blackwater has expanded its business model to rely less heavily on private security work overseas. Though tremendously profitable, the field has generated an avalanche of bad publicity for the company and exposed it to numerous lawsuits.
The two other large security companies that protect American diplomats in Iraq are DynCorp International and Triple Canopy, both based in Northern Virginia.
Blackwater employees work under the supervision of the embassy's regional security officer. The company's drivers and bodyguards take U.S. diplomats to meetings outside the Green Zone, and its pilots often fly in small helicopters over convoys as an added security measure. The Blackwater employees live in a compound in the Green Zone that is informally referred to as "man camp." According to the October 2007 congressional report, Blackwater guards made more than $1,200 per day.
Private security contractors in Iraq last year became deeply concerned about losing their immunity with the implementation of the security agreement, which U.S. officials feared would trigger a mass exodus. But few have left. Instead, in recent months, Western private security companies have sought to build strong relationships with the Iraqi government and have hired more Iraqi guards.
Sami Hawa Hamud al-Sabahin, who was among those wounded in the Nisoor Square shooting, said he was overjoyed to hear the news about Blackwater.
"It makes me happy and lets me feel that the government didn't forget us," he said.
Umm Tahsin , the widow of Ali Khalil Abdul Hussein, one of the men killed in the shooting, also applauded the government's decision. But she lamented that neither the Iraqi nor the U.S. government has compensated her family for their loss.
"Those people are a group of criminals," she said of Blackwater. "What they did was a massacre. Pushing them out is the best solution. They destroyed our family."
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's top military officials said Thursday they will make sure he knows the potential downside of any timetable for pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq, including the 16-month deadline Obama set during his presidential campaign.
"Our obligation is to give the president a range of options and the risks associated with each of those options, and he will make the decision," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said. He said the 16-month option is one of several. He did not provide a range, nor say which option he himself prefers.
Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are both holdovers from the Bush administration and one-time critics of a swift or deadline-driven withdrawal. Speaking publicly for the first time since Obama took office, both men suggested that the 16-month timeline is not as firm as Obama's campaign rhetoric implied.
"We've certainly heard 16 months for a long time," Mullen told reporters. "We've looked at options, looked at that option, and the risks that are associated with that."
When Obama is ready, Mullen said, "I will advise him accordingly, and then he'll make the decision."
Meanwhile, the U.S. diplomat who has seen Iraq transformed from chaos to relative calm over the past two years said that a hasty departure of U.S. troops would carry severe risks. Al-Qaida might be emboldened and Iraq's security and political gains threatened, Ambassador Ryan Crocker said.
Speaking to reporters a day after he and the top U.S. commander in Iraq briefed Obama by video connection, Crocker declined to say what he and Gen. Ray Odierno told the president.
But he noted that the president was committed to a responsible pullout of the more than 140,000-strong U.S. force.
"A precipitous withdrawal runs some very severe risks," Crocker said in Baghdad.
He said that al-Qaida had been "much weakened" due to setbacks on the battlefield and a loss of support within the Sunni Arab community.
"But as long as they can cling to some handhold here, they are going to keep trying to literally fight their way back," Crocker said.
"And perhaps most important it would have a chilling effect on Iraqis," he said of a quick U.S. departure. "I think the spirit of compromise, of accommodation, of focus on institutional development — all of that would run the risk of getting set aside."
Iraqi officials have said they hope the new administration will stick by the generally longer timeline established in the U.S.-Iraq security agreement which went into effect this month. The deal provides for U.S. combat troops to leave the cities by the end of June, with all U.S. troops gone from the country by 2012.
Military officials said there was no decision made at Wednesday's session in the Situation Room. The meeting on Obama's first full day in office was meant to frame his pledge to quickly end a war he has called misguided and wasteful. He has pledged to turn the nation's focus to what he calls a more pressing conflict in Afghanistan.
Gates called the meeting with Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and others just the start of a process to evaluate numerous options for Iraq.
"There was a good give-and-take," Gates said.
"We discussed a deliberate and yet rapid process," Mullen said.
In a statement after the meeting, Obama said he had told the generals and advisers to come up with a plan for a responsible drawdown, but he did not mention the 16-month timeline.
Military commanders say Iraq is much more stable and safe than it was a year ago, and certainly far calmer than in the darkest days of sectarian bloodshed in 2005 and 2006.
American soldiers are still dying in Iraq, but in fewer numbers even as they take greater risks and fewer precautions.
At the gates of the Green Zone every day, Marwa Yasin is greeted by a volley of suggestive remarks from the Iraqi guards who this month took over from their American counterparts on checkpoint duty.
"Why is the moon so cross?" the men say, calling Yasin by the colloquial term for an aloof, beautiful woman. "What are you doing after work today? Why didn't you call me yesterday?"
The 19-year-old student is one of a growing group of women who says they run a gauntlet of insults and innuendo when they go to the Green Zone, a fortified complex of government offices, palm orchards and palaces built by Saddam Hussein. For the past six years, it has symbolized the United States presence in Iraq.
Iman al-Khalidi, a 23-year-old journalist, says she returned from a trip to the Green Zone to find a note containing a phone number inside her bag, supposedly left by a "lover who could who could not sleep" since he saw her at a checkpoint.
Khalidi believes the paper had been placed inside her bag during a search.
The responsibility for securing this vast area of central Baghdad passed from American to Iraqi forces on January 1, 2009.
Iraqi officials insist they will investigate all allegations of harassment against the guards now in charge of security.
Marwa Yasin, who attends an exclusive school inside the zone, says women had less to fear when the Iraqi security forces had American overseers.
"The American soldiers would punish any Iraqis who verbally harassed us and take away their badges," she said. "Now we miss their protection."
Most Iraqis and foreigners were barred from the Green Zone unless they lived or worked there. The U.S. military controlled access, protecting government officials and diplomats from the insurgency raging beyond its walls.
Amid a recent improvement in security, Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki was able to hail the handover of the Green Zone as a sign that his country was regaining its sovereignty.
Weeks earlier, his government had finalized a deal on the eventual withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.
The government says it will eventually open up the Green Zone to the public, though it has not set a date for this.
Mahdi Kathem, the 33-year-old owner of a food store in Baghdad's Harethya neighbourhood, said, "Entering the Green Zone has been like a dream for us."
He says the transfer of the zone to Iraqi control is a big step in the "restoration of our sovereignty".
Like Kathem, most Baghdadis are pleased at the promise of regaining access to a once-forbidden part of their city.
However, many who have been working inside the Green Zone are pessimistic about its prospects under Iraqi control.
They fear the gradual withdrawal of American forces will worsen security and take a chunk out of their earnings.
Adil Mahmoud, a 20-year-old taxi driver, says the takeover of the zone by Iraqi security forces has been bad for business.
"My profits have fallen because of traffic jams inside the zone," he said. "The Iraqi forces are closing off streets and setting up checkpoints, creating congestion just like they've done in the rest of Baghdad."
Ali Jasim, a 22-year-old working in the zone's Iraqi-owned Freedom restaurant, says the new security arrangements have prompted foreign companies to relocate to Baghdad airport, which remains largely under the control of foreign guards.
"The number of customers who used to come to the restaurant has fallen by half because of the danger," Jasim said.
A government official insists Iraqi forces are capable of keeping the zone secure for all its occupants.
"I am not aware of any organizations leaving the Green Zone," said Firyad Rawanduzi, a member of the Iraqi council of representatives' security and defense committee.
"Security for all areas inside the zone is handled by Iraqi forces and they have done their job successfully."
Rawanduzi also said his committee had not received any reports from women of misconduct or harassment by the guards. "We will punish anyone guilty of such behavior if we receive complaints in the future," he said.
Over the past year, general improvements in security across Iraq have helped lessen the Green Zone's isolation.
Mohammed, a 17-year-old working with a private security firm inside the zone, says he is now able to visit his family outside more frequently.
At the height of the violence, he was confined to the zone because of the threat from militants to anyone who worked there. The teenager spent long periods without seeing the family he had given up his schooling to support.
Mohammed's mementoes from his last two-and-a-half years inside the zone include a photo of himself with some American soldiers.
"The handover is a good step," said Mohammed, who did not give his real name because of security concerns. "We have to protect our areas by ourselves."
Despite the ceremonial handover on January 1, the U.S. military currently still has a presence in the Green Zone, mentoring and supporting the Iraqi force.
Iraqi officials say the handover will be completed on March 31, at the end of a three-month transition period. The minister for national security, Shirwan al-Waeli, says U.S. forces are training and monitoring the Iraqis' handling of "technical equipment and other such issues."
Waeli says protection of the Green Zone has been assigned to a brigade of 3,000 men from the ministry of defense, who are under the command of the prime minister.
He says the government plans to support the brigade's work with an intelligence unit, supplied by the ministry of national security.
The agreement on the U.S. forces' withdrawal from Iraq, signed late last year, says the Green Zone must be fully handed over to the Iraqi government.
Iraqi forces already guard all five entrances to the zone. They also control vehicle checkpoints inside the zone.
Pedestrian checkpoints inside are jointly manned by Iraqi and American forces. The Iraqis there have the same duties as the Americans, asking for badges and checking them.
On the ground, the Iraqis are getting to grips with the new order.
"Now I, as an Iraqi officer, can give orders to the American soldier, whereas this was not possible in the past," said Mohammed Ameen Abbas, a 24-year-old officer in charge of a checkpoint in the Green Zone.
Ali Hameed, a 19-year-old soldier at another checkpoint, said Iraqi guards are more understanding than the Americans.
"We can still assist our citizens, even if they do not have identification cards with them," he said. "The Americans were strict in their treatment of Iraqis. It is different now that we have taken responsibility."
However, Marwa, who goes to school inside the zone, fears the Iraqi guards will be less reliable.
"The American soldier would never single anyone out for favorable treatment, even if it was his father," she said.
"But the Iraqi soldiers can show courtesy to their friends and let them enter the Green Zone, even though they do not have identification cards. What guarantee is there that a suicide bomber might not enter the zone and head to my school?"