Musings of a Canadian Slacker

Saturday, October 09, 2004
Through a military history list-serv (H-War), I came across this interesting story of how the American Army does the occupation 'thing'. This has to be the nicest army of Occupation in history...Despite the insurgency and everything that goes with it, the US forces try their best to do what needs to be done, without bruising Iraqi feelings unnecessarily:
The clearing team goes in and comes out with seven men, including two who are neither related nor extremely close friends of the family. They are cuffed, blindfolded, and kept silent, kneeling against the wall. But they are handled gently by the GIs, more gently than they practiced on each other. Only a few hours ago, four Marines were killed—murdered, to be honest. And yet these troops submit themselves willingly to a rigorous discipline, maintained not by fear of punishment but by self-respect, self-interest, and not a little empathy for those who have lived through the unimaginable.

Another interesting point was how the US Army uses traditionally non-combat arms troops such as engineers and gunners for patrolling..a job usually done by grunts: Artillerists and engineers alike, this is pure infantry work.