In Baghdad, Sad Songs And a Discouraging Sign

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Aug. 11 front-page article "Devotees of the Sad, Beautiful Voice of Umm Kulthum" caught my interest for two reasons.

First, Umm Kulthum was the nickname given to me by the Moroccan men under my command 30 years ago during my three-year tour of duty at a small naval communications base north of Rabat.

More striking, however, was the information in the article that members of the "Sons of Iraq," former insurgents "now allied with" the U.S. military, had entered a Baghdad restaurant to "collect the monthly 'protection' fee of 15,000 Iraqi dinars."

Are we associating with a new mafia in Baghdad?

PATRICIA McARDLE

Arlington


© 2008 The Washington Post Company