Just exactly how messed up are things in Iraq?

River just wrote that television stations in Baghdad broadcast the following warning:

“The Ministry of Defense requests that civilians do not comply with the orders of the army or police on nightly patrols unless they are accompanied by coalition forces working in that area.”
It confirmed what has been obvious to Iraqis since the beginning- the Iraqi security forces are actually militias allied to religious and political parties.
But it also brings to light other worrisome issues. The situation is so bad on the security front that the top two ministries in charge of protecting Iraqi civilians cannot trust each other. The Ministry of Defense can’t even trust its own personnel, unless they are “accompanied by American coalition forces”.

So what are Iraqi civilians supposed to do?

“It means if they come at night and want to raid the house, we don’t have to let them in.” I answered.
“They’re not exactly asking your permission,” E. pointed out. “They break the door down and take people away- or have you forgotten? […] Besides that, when they first attack, how can you be sure they DON’T have Americans with them?”

A little bit Catch-22, a dollop of Lewis Carroll, and a splash of George Orwell….