Well, as if bombing and occupying their country wasn't enough.
Who here heard the report from Mosul on Morning Edition this a.m.? The reporter (a pretty good one, for NPR, since he was just reporting the facts, and not -- like Juan Williams or Cokie Roberts -- brownnosing Cheney, Rice or Bush) went on patrol with a platoon.
Incident below the fold.
platoon runs across a couple of young Iraqi men who've torn up a U.S. Military-produced newspaper. The platoon leader goes ape-shit on the guys, threatesn to "take them in" (or something like that) and says half a dozen times how he won't tolerate being "disrespected" (for the love of God, please
give that b.s. term a rest!) and how these guys are "disrespecting everything we're [the U.S.] is trying to do in Iraq.
That this soldier doesn't seem to GET that that Iraqi was doing a Jeffersonian, Tom Paine-esque, Sam Adams-like act is a true -- and hugely ironic -- mind-blower. Had this soldier been properly trained, he'd have strutted up to these Iraqis and, brusquely, but not arrogantly, said something like: "Son, litterin' pisses me off, but I'll let it slide this time, mostly cuz I like your backbone [Note: Understanding that things might get lost or a little wiggy in translation, I think soldiers should not say things like, "Cuz that was a ballsy thing to do and I respect that," lest some Iraqi man take that as one of our soldiers asking him for a date or something]. As fer yer tearin' up that paper to show you disagree with us, well, ain't you lucky you now live in a country where showin' your opinion about politics don't mean death sentence? Now run along and think about that."
Of course, expressing one's opinion in Iraq is still extremely risky -- hell, going to the market is. But we should set an EXAMPLE, not further alienate and antagonize this deep-rooted, prideful populace in their own country.