Sunday, December 04, 2005

Middle Eastern kids

In "From Beirut to Jerusalem" by Thomas L. Friedman dishes up a story about the US Marines that police a neighbourhood Beirut in 1983. They run into a problem they have not studied at the Annapolis Police Academy. The USMC' base is in the dunes just outside Beirut. The Marines start their patrols from there. But Lebanese boys aged 12-14 hunt for pigeons in the dunes. With hunting rifles. Whenever one of the boys try to shoot a pigeon for the pot, the Marine patrols duck for cover and start shooting at everything that looks interesting. The officers realise that before long Marines will get shot, which is bad. Or they will shoot a boy which is worse, because it is just not on to shoot 12 year old boys (12 year old girls is worse) which is bad for the image of the USMC and community relations. So they talk with the boys, who do not listen and they talk with the parents of the boys who also refuse to forbid hunting to the boys. Eventually they figure it out. There is only one way to deal with these people. You got to shoot them.

Of course the question is: "can one do such a thing and then still live with oneself?"

Well, in Iraq the US Army now has to deal with the same problem. Look at the film of a US Army truck convoy. Iraqi kids throwing rocks at the supply convoy guarded by "gun trucks" with heavy machine guns. The Americans do not have permission to fire back. Eventually some Americans will break down and fire back regardless.

They go into the Middle East like virgins and
they come out like whores
including tattoo, drug habit and the clap
and just no selfrespect left.

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