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US winning the hearts and minds with the haji-be-good stick

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Mandate My Ass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-05 11:09 AM
Original message
US winning the hearts and minds with the haji-be-good stick
Edited on Sat Feb-19-05 11:11 AM by Mandate My Ass

Soldiers sometimes rough despite risk of antagonizing friendly Iraqis



By Ken Dilanian
Knight Ridder Newspapers


BAGHDAD, Iraq - American soldiers barged into the house at midnight. A bomb had exploded on the highway out front earlier that day, killing an Iraqi national guardsman.

"I want some answers," Sgt. 1st Class Glenn Aldrich demanded through an interpreter as he shoved the homeowner out his front door. The man's wife and children watched, sobbing, from a side room.

Hadn't this guy seen something? The Iraqi swore to God he hadn't.

As two soldiers with rifles stood by, Aldrich yelled into the man's face and whacked the ground with a metal baton that the Americans called a "haji-be-good stick."


<snip>

"I've got 200,000 Iraqis I've got to control with 18 people," Aldrich said, referring to his platoon's patrol sector. "So I've got to command respect. And unfortunately, all that hearts and minds stuff, I can't even think about that."

At another point he added: "There are things I have to do out here that I can't explain to my chain of command, and that the American people would never understand."


<snip>

"The one thing you learn over here is that there are no innocent civilians, except the kids. And even them - the ones that are all, `Hey mister, mister, chocolate?' - I'll be killing them someday."

Yup, freedom is on the march.

http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/10937079.htm
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JitterbugPerfume Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-05 11:13 AM
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1. recommended
for greatest page

do i hear a second?
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livinginphotographs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-05 11:14 AM
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2. Unfortunately, he's probably right.

"The one thing you learn over here is that there are no innocent civilians, except the kids. And even them - the ones that are all, `Hey mister, mister, chocolate?' - I'll be killing them someday."



I bet our recruiters wish they were as lucky as the so-called insurgents when it comes to enlisting people to fight.
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punpirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-05 11:19 AM
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3. Doing what is, in essence, police work...
... without any of the skills, culturally or politically or linguistically.

I feel as sorry for these people as the troops in Vietnam who knew no more Vietnamese than, phonetically, "dede mau."

In the end, everyone, military and civilian alike, ends up being screwed over.
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Mandate My Ass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-05 11:29 AM
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4. My thoughts exactly
This can only end in tragedy for everyone involved, with the exception of the war profiteers of course. These soldiers at least realize and admit they're occupiers and not liberators, and that there's nothing pretty about what they do.

My contempt for those who trumped up this immoral disastrous invasion grows by leaps and bounds.
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