Friday, April 30, 2004

Thank God We Rescued the Iraqis...

...from Saddam's torture chambers. I mean, that way we can hook the electrodes to their testicles ourselves. Adnan Al-Pachachi comes to the US's defense, noting that while Saddam tortured and killed his prisoners, the US only tortures the prisoners, but doesn't kill them. Of course, judging by Tuesday's Afghanistan article, it's only a matter of time before we start killing them too.

Alright, so clearly it's disingenuous to suggest that this is in any way US policy. However, I think it's entirely appropriate to suggest that the US government has completely failed in their task of preparing soldiers for the work required of them. Since the close of the Cold War the US army has been mostly used for interventions and peace-keeping operations. And the likelihood that we'll engage in a large-scale conventional war anytime in the next decade or so is exceedingly slim. Yet the military has stubbornly refused to accept that peacekeeping is an important duty that is required of them. Instead of preparing for it, they whine and moan each time that their soldiers are not prepared for this and don't know what to do, and, boy, what difficult and compromising position we're putting them in. Oh, poor me. The Bush administration came in with the same mind-set, and in 2002 they shut down the Army War College's Peacekeeping Institute (which, of course, only had a budget of $200k and a staff of 10 people anyway). So every time that the military screws up in Iraq and we hear the familiar refrain they were trying to perform a job they were never trained for, let's keep in mind that this is only the case because both civilian and military leadership refuse to admit the by-now obvious reality that peacekeeping is a vital part of the military's mission.

No comments: