Friday, June 17, 2005

What the troops know about Iraq

Some of you may know about this already, since it isn't new, but have you all seen the "Iraq Culture Smart Card" for American troops? Check it out here. (A PDF version is available at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) site here.)

Fascinating stuff. I encourage you to look it over. Indeed, we could all learning something from it.

All I can say is that, despite all the allegations of abuse -- and they're obviously extremely troubling (see here, here, here, and here for my takes) -- there's absolutely no justification for the moral equivalency argument (i.e., that America/Americans are no better than [fill in the blank]). Some Iraqis may not exactly have welcomed the U.S., and the U.S. may not have done things exactly right, but at least there has been considerable effort -- and this Smart Card is proof of that -- to be sensitive and understanding of the local culture and to try, in terrible conditions, to do the right thing.

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