US HQ, Large Hotels in Baghdad Barricaded; the Rise of the Luxury Hotel Militias.
Journalist Hazim al-Amin has returned to Baghdad for al-Hayat, and reports that there is a big difference between the ordinary Iraq “street” and the political “street” there now. He says that the markets are bustling now in a way they were not just 3 months ago, when he says it was hard to tell looters from money changers. On the other hand, he is struck by how all the large buildings frequented by foreigners are barricaded with giant cement blocks and guarded by what are essentially private hotel militias. (al-Hayat).