Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
By Aws Qusay and Aseel Kami
Just the other day, a friend was complaining about the Iraqi army checkpoints all over Baghdad. “These checkpoints kill all the fun when I go out on a picnic with my family,” he moaned.
The next day, his wife found herself sitting among bleeding and dying colleagues at the Iraqi foreign ministry after a massive truckbomb devastated the facade of the building and cut down dozens of people in a cloud of shattered glass.
“It was judgment day,” his wife said about the scene. “Some people had lost their eyes. Everyone was crying or slaughtered by the flying glass,” she said.
After Wednesday’s bombings, which also targeted the finance ministry, the friend is still complaining about the checkpoints, but for different reasons. “So you wait for a long time in some checkpoint and then you see some a soldier or a policeman turn his back to the waiting vehicles and just start waving them through while he is chatting to someone else. What’s the point in that?” he said.
The checkpoints set up around Baghdad have gone overnight from an irritating and unwanted cause of traffic jams to being criticised as inadequate and unprofessional. Wednesday’s explosions, in which almost 100 people died and more than 1,000 were wounded, exposed deep flaws in the ability of the Iraqi security forces to defend the population and obvious targets like government ministries against attack.