- The killing of two US soldiers in Baghdad within 24 hours
last week shows how far the US and Britain still have to go to end the
chaos gripping the Iraqi capital a month after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
- Anger is growing among Iraqis at the Allies' failure
to restore order in a cityawash with weapons and gangs. Heroin - banned
under Saddam Hussein's dictatorship upon pain of hanging - is now being
traded in back streets.
- Residents of Baghdad - a conservative city with a large
Shia Muslim population - are complaining that the breakdown in order has
accompanied the emergence of some western practices they view as offensive,
and which were prohibited, or tightly restricted, under Saddam.
- In al-Bataween ö the worst of Baghdad's badlands
which is blighted by carjackings and crime ö residents say heroin
is being traded in the alleys. "In Iraq there were no drugs until
March 2003," said Salah Sha'amikh, a pharmacist. "You would be
hanged for trafficking. But now you can get heroin, cocaine, anything."
He pulled out a Russian-made 8.5mm pistol which he says he keeps to protect
- "We are an Islamic society and we don't like drugs.
You tell Tony Blair to stop these criminals." Gambling, also banned
by Saddam, has begun to spring up too, to the concern of conservative Iraqis.