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Not all Iraqis welcome the culture the Americans brought. Dr. Fawzia A. al-Attia, a sociologist at Baghdad University, said one result is that young Iraqis now reject school uniforms, engage in forbidden love affairs and otherwise rebel against their elders.

“There was no strategy to contain this sudden openness,” she said. “Teenagers, especially in poor areas where parents are of humble origin and humble education, started to adopt the negative aspects of the American society because they think that by imitating the Americans, they obtain a higher status in society.

“These young Iraqi people need to be instructed,” she said. “They need to know about the positive aspects of the American society to imitate.”

Like many Iraqis, high school student Maytham Karim wants to learn English. But the English he hears most often from his peers — and mostly those who listen to American music — is laden with profanity.

“The F- and the ‘mother’ words are used a lot, which is a very negative thing,” Maytham said.

As U.S. forces began closing their bases, Iraqis rummaged through their garbage for discarded uniforms, caps and boots to sell to youngsters who pay top dollar to dress like soldiers.

Baghdad’s tattoo business also is booming. Hassan Hakim’s tattoo parlor in the affluent Karradah neighborhood is covered with glossy pictures of half-naked men and women showing off their ink, regardless of Islam’s strictures on baring the skin.

“Iraqi youth are eager in a very unusual way to get tattoo on their bodies, probably because of the American presence here,” said Mr. Hakim, 32, who is attending graduate school at Baghdad’s Fine Arts Academy. “Four years ago, people were concealing their tattoos when in public, but now they use their designs to show off. It is the vogue now.”