Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Economist on Our Boys

Today when I was supposed to be studying in the library, I strutted (with shirt off, of course) over to the periodicals and picked up a couple-months-old issue of The Economist--say what you will about it's mostly boring content. I'd see what the old, priggish Economist writers had to say about, oh, Iraq circa 23 October 2004 (just one I randomly picked up, acutally). I came accross this tasty quote detailing American forces' tactics in reference to British soldiers being moved in to patrol Baghdad to free up enough Marines to lay waste to Falluja's soldiers of god. Here it is:

Lining the southern road to Fallujah, an important supply-route for the insurgents, the towns are patrolled but not controlled by American marines. Among the many violent crimes common in the area, kidnapping is a speciality. The standard view of British soldiers as smiley peacekeepers compared with America's trigger-happy killers is too simplistic--as the expenditure of bullets in Amarah suggests. But it is true that British soldiers are better at building trust with locals, and are slower to shoot at suspected enemies and more careful to kill them when they do.

This is not because they are better disciplined than the Americans, but because their training is different. Where British troops aim to expend no more bullets than is necessary, American troops, confident in their logistical support, aim to vaporise their foe in a storm of fire. Against many determined assailants--if not in a thronging market place--the American way may sometimes be best.

This may have been meant to be a slur against American troops in Iraq, I'm not sure (I'm never quite sure where stands this publication), but it had me cracking a smile, knowing the personality of our boys. These youngsters are in the middle of a GD fucking shitstorm over there, of course they're going to use all at their disposal in the second-to-second situations they face all the time so as to make it home to base one more night. Wouldn't you, stuffy Economist writer?

Btw, as dull as The Economist can be most of the time, it goes nowhere near the level of abject dullness that oozes from the pages of The New Yorker, a publication Tom Wolfe brilliantly puts as "The land of the living dead." Bravo, Mr. White Suit man (this could be a terrific "Real men of genius" spot).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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...and i ain't payin for them neither.

vf