"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Saturday, January 22, 2005

"Let us win your hearts and minds or we'll burn your fucking huts down"

As General William Westmoreland famously said "When you've got them by the balls their hearts and minds will follow." Clearly this stroke of strategic genius worked so well in Vietnam, the U.S. has decided to revive such methods in Iraq.
Clearly freedom is on the march...straight into the toilet.

"Yet armies can be good at war-fighting or good at peacekeeping but rarely good at both. And when America's well-drilled and well-fed fighters attempt subtler tasks than killing people, problems arise. At peacekeeping, peace-enforcing or policing, call it what you will, they are often inept. Even the best of them seem ignorant of the people whose land they are occupying —unsurprisingly, perhaps, when practically no American fighters speak Arabic. And, typically, the marine battalion in Ramadi has only four translators. Often American troops despair of their Iraqi interlocutors, observing that they “are not like Americans”.

American marines and GIs frequently display contempt for Iraqis, civilian or official. Thus the 18-year-old Texan soldier in Mosul who, confronted by jeering schoolchildren, shot canisters of buckshot at them from his grenade-launcher. “It's not good, dude, it could be fatal, but you gotta do it,” he explained. Or the marines in Ramadi who, on a search for insurgents, kicked in the doors of houses at random, in order to scream, in English, at trembling middle-aged women within: “Where's your black mask?” and “Bitch, where's the guns?” In one of these houses was a small plastic Christmas tree, decorated with silver tinsel. “That tells us the people here are OK,” said Corporal Robert Joyce. "

see the whole story from the Economist (which incidently, supported the war and still does)

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