People of America, I Feel Your Pain. Where Is The Rest Room?

I came across this article by Amir Taheri. Amir Taheri does stuff for Benador Associates, which is a sort of PR company for the happy side-effects of high altitude bombing and military occupation. The article is the usual propaganda, a meet-the-new-boss puff piece railing against the defeat-mongers and pointing toward bright new days ahead.

There was one bit in particular which caught my attention though. Of the new General appointed to command US forces in Iraq, it says:

Petraeus begins his mission with three advantages over his predecessors.

The first is his reassuringly deep understanding of the Iraqis, their sensibilities and their complexities. Having picked up a smattering of Arabic over his long tenures in Iraq, Petraeus seems to have also developed a genuine sympathy for Iraqis.

This is a remarkable observation. Imagine, if you will, that the American-led alliance had been defeated by Iraq (it was the 45-minute weapons of mass destruction wot won it). Then, in a calamitous series of events, Iraq ended up invading the United States.

Met with severe resistance, the Iraqi forces chop and change personnel  in an effort to  restore stability.  A new man comes in, and this time, the Iraqi press reports, he’s different.  Why? Because -unlike his predecessors- he’s picked up a smattering of English after spending long periods in the US. He knows how to say “Have a nice day”, and ”Totally awesome” and “Are you comfortable?”.

This demonstrates his reassuringly deep understanding of the Americans, their sensibilities and complexities. Although he may not be able to string two sentences together (apart from “Are you comfortable? Totally awesome”), there can be no denying his genuine sympathy for the Americans, unlike his predecessors, who made no effort to speak English at all.

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February 2007

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