RAMADI, Iraq — There was once a swagger to the scotch-swilling, insurgent-fighting Raed Sabah. He was known as Sheik Raed to his sycophants. Tribesmen who relied on his largess called him the same. So did his fighters, who joined the Americans and helped crush the insurgency in Anbar province.
Sabah still likes his scotch — Johnnie Walker Black, with Red Bull on the rocks — but these days, as the Americans withdraw from western Iraq, he has lost his swagger. His neighbors now deride him as an American stooge; they have nicknamed his alley “The Street of the Lackeys.”
“The Americans left without even saying goodbye. Not one of them,” Sabah said in his villa in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar, once the cradle of Iraq’s insurgency. “Even when we called them, we got a message that the line had been disconnected.”
October 3, 2009. Read the full article >From The 2010 Pulitzer Prize Winners for International Reporting