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Hearts and minds, baby. March 13, 2006

Posted by ultor in GWOT, politics.
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Are we winning the hearts and minds of Iraqis? Are we even winning the hearts and minds of our allies?

Here is a quote from a British security contractor in Iraq about his American counterparts: “I hate those bastards more than the scumbag insurgents.” A British colonel recently returned from a tour in the country said that, in our next war, he would sooner fight alongside the Russians than the US.

This is another quote from a British security contractor: “The American way is not my way. I don’t mind a scrap but I draw the line at mooning the enemy and inviting him to shoot at my backside, and that’s virtually what the Yanks are doing. I’m also convinced that many Americans hate the Iraqis, not just the insurgents but all Iraqis… What a mess.”

Those last lines are taken from a rather good new book about the experience of Iraq today, Highway To Hell, written by an ex-SAS man who signs himself John Geddes. My point in all the above, is to show that Ben Griffin, the former SAS soldier who vents his dismay about what is happening to Iraq in today’s Sunday Telegraph, is not a lone voice.

There is a widespread belief in both British special forces and line regiments that American tactics are heavy-handed and counter-productive; that firepower continues to be used as a substitute for a “hearts and minds” policy; that local people will never be persuaded to support Coalition forces unless Americans, in uniform and out, treat ordinary Iraqis vastly better than they do today.

And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. — Friedrich Nietzsche

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? –Mark 8:36 (KJV)

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Comments»

1. Qwerty Maniac - April 8, 2006

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