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Mission 37 - Tactical
Iraqi Police

You want the police, not the military, as the representative of the people in a democracy. With the police, thereís an equal say for all citizens in the rule of law, and thereís altruism. Police have to think in an abstract way because itís all about equality and fairness. And the police are always dealing with things that arenít fair and, particularly in Iraq, things that are sometimes ugly.

A police officer may seem pessimistic, just by virtue of the things they have to deal with and, consequently, the stories they relate. But cops are motivated by the hope for a society that won't be overcome by its issues. It takes a special calling to be a cop, not just because you have a love for rules and order, but because you truly believe in service. It's strictly heroic. It's particularly difficult in Iraq, where the police may be sympathetic to people they have to come down on, and sometimes it's a tough call. Itís a huge responsibility to preserve a state in a nation where everyone has a say, where fairness is always an issue. Remember: this is a whole new concept to the Iraqis.

Not all security forces are created equal. The military keeps anyone from the outside away from the internal affairs of their country. If you're military, it's really easy to get fired up to protect people on the left and the right flank of you. But police have to get excited about protecting a principle, day after day. As a police officer, you put your life on line for a standard, for the goodness of all people. Police are the proxies for the political and social will of all the people of the country and they're the ones that ensure that the social contract of their society is forever protected. That's an enormous responsibility.

With the elections in Iraqóand you cannot shortchange the importance of thatóthe people have entered into a social contract with each other. A lot has changed here: before the elections the police were a provisional force. The citizens of Iraq didn't know what was going to happen and they didn't want to be on the wrong end of the gun if the Insurgents succeeded. Now they can see the police are a permanent fixture. They're living in a democracy, and they recognize that people have a need to serve their country. This is one reason why you see more citizens cooperating more and aiding the police by giving them information. That wasn't the case before the elections.

The police have a great vision for their country. They've been working under impossible conditions for the great love of their people, for their nation. The existence of people like police is the miracle of democracy. If it weren't for them, no one would go beyond looking after themselves. There would be no one to fight for the whole country, for something way bigger than yourself.

There used to be a notion that God tells you what to do, that there is no choice and that personal will has nothing to do with it. Through elections and democracy and the police, Iraqi citizens have learned they can express their will without abandoning the notion of God. And maybe God speaks through their neighbors as well.


Iraqi Police

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