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A Short Guide to Iraq
October 27, 2005 6:51 PM   Subscribe

How things do change! A short Guide to Iraq published in 1942 by the US government. The handbook was written for American soldiers who were stationed in Iraq to prevent Nazis from seizing the country’s oil. .... 63 years later.
posted by threehundredandsixty (30 comments total)

 
and godwin has been invoked before the comments even start.
posted by punch_the_mayor at 6:57 PM on October 27, 2005


Of coures now our goal has changed (depending on the month and year of the statement issued by this current administration).
And since we are the good guys, the end always justifies the means....
posted by threehundredandsixty at 6:57 PM on October 27, 2005


"The best way to get along with any people is to understand them. . .If you are willing to go just a little out of your way to understand him, everything will be o.k."

"Respect his religion as he will respect yours. . .If anything, we should respect the Moslems the more for the intensity of their devotion."

"And remember that every American soldier is an unofficial ambassador of goodwill."

Is it really possible that we were this much more tolerant sixty years ago?

(Well, mostly tolerant. Still no room for "queers," but still.)
posted by EarBucket at 7:02 PM on October 27, 2005


Great link to the guide, not-so-great editorializing after that though. The first link could have stood on its own, no doubt the predictable refrain would have followed.
posted by loquax at 7:21 PM on October 27, 2005


The mosques in Iraq must not be entered. If you try to enter one, you will be thrown out, probably with a severe beating.

!?! Is that just a stern warning for the soldiers, or does Islam actually sanction a beating for intruders?
posted by rolypolyman at 7:24 PM on October 27, 2005


It does point out that not entering the mosques is especially unique to Iraq.
posted by rxrfrx at 7:28 PM on October 27, 2005


The mosques in Iraq must not be entered


posted by Heywood Mogroot at 7:40 PM on October 27, 2005


What is this Iraq, anyhow?
posted by blue_beetle at 7:46 PM on October 27, 2005


I love how folksy it is:

"Most Americans and Europeans who have gone into Iraq didn't like it at first. Might as well be frank about it."

What do you think most Americans and Europeans think about it after subsequent visits?
posted by splatta at 7:51 PM on October 27, 2005


Seems to me like a pretty good guide to Iraq for a soldier in 1942.
posted by caddis at 8:07 PM on October 27, 2005


"You will smell and feel a lot of things the movies didn't warn you about."
posted by trinarian at 8:28 PM on October 27, 2005


It makes me wish it was still like that so I could go visit.
posted by letitrain at 8:30 PM on October 27, 2005


"That tall man in the flowing robe you are going to see soon, with the whiskers and the long har, is a first-class fighting man, highly skilled in guerilla warfare. Few fighters in any country, in fact, excell him in that kind of situation. If he is your friend, he can be a staunch and valuable ally. If he should happen to be your enemy--look out! Remember Vietnam?"
posted by wah at 9:41 PM on October 27, 2005


[img]
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 7:40 PM PST on October 27 [!]



Yeah, they treat their own mosques, and occupants, with much more respect.

A suicide bomber attacked a mosque packed with Shiite Muslim worshipers marking the first day of Ramadan on Wednesday evening, killing at least 36 people and wounding 95, Iraqi hospital officials and police said.

The Ibn Nama Hilli Mosque in Hillah, south of Baghdad, was full of mourners who had gathered to remember a restaurant owner slain Monday by insurgents. There were conflicting reports about whether the bomber was in a car or on foot, but several witnesses said a man walked into the mosque carrying explosives around his chest and in a bag.



Pakistan mosque toll 19; suicide attack blamed
Pakistani police on Tuesday blamed a suicide bomber for a blast at a Shi'ite Muslim mosque in the port city of Karachi as the death toll from the attack rose to 19 in apparent tit-for-tat sectarian violence.


A policeman stands before a bus set on fire by angry poeple to register their protest against a blast in Shiite Muslims mosque, Monday, May 31, 2004 in Karachi, Pakistan. [AP]

Three others died in clashes with police sparked by the explosion during evening prayers on Monday. The blast wounded at least 50 people, some seriously.



'Suicide bomb' at Afghan mosque
At least 20 people have been killed in a suspected suicide bomb attack on a packed mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.

Kabul police chief Mohammed Akram was among those killed, officials say.

He was among many who were at the mosque to mourn a senior anti-Taleban cleric, who was shot dead on Sunday.



46 die as suicide bomber targets mosque funeral
A SUICIDE bomber blew himself up yesterday at a funeral in a Shia mosque in Mosul, the predominantly Sunni Iraqi city. At least 46 people were killed and dozens injured in the latest of a series of attacks on the newly empowered majority.


4 bombers kill 22 in Iraq, mosque toll rises above 90

New suicide bombings killed at least 22 people in the Baghdad area on Sunday, while relatives struggled to identify charred bodies from a fiery suicide attack near a Shiite mosque in Musayyib that killed more than 90 people.


Suicide attackers kill 48 Muslims at prayer
Suspected Islamic militants, including two suicide bombers, attacked a mosque, killing 48 Shiite Muslims and wounding 69 others as they gathered for prayers in the southern Pakistani city of Quetta.

The mass killing, the first sectarian strike in Pakistan to use suicide bombers, appeared to be an effort to ignite a cycle of violence between Sunnis and Shiites and destabilise the country, Pakistani officials said.




That's the short list.
posted by dhoyt at 9:42 PM on October 27, 2005


"They treat their own"

I love how every arab muslim is exactly the same.
posted by Citizen Premier at 9:59 PM on October 27, 2005


Right dhoyt. Because we all know that the best way to make a convincing and credible argument is to take examples of fundamentalism and extremism and to pass those examples off as though they're indicative of the behaviors and mentalities of an entire population. Right on.
posted by Jon-o at 10:12 PM on October 27, 2005


Because we all know that the best way to make a convincing and credible argument is to take examples of fundamentalism and extremism and to pass those examples off as though they're indicative of the behaviors and mentalities of an entire population.

C'mon Jon-o, dhoyt was doing exactly what Heywood Mogroot tried to do with the image he posted.

That being said, what Iraqis do to their own is none of America's damn business. On the other hand, what Americans do to Iraqis SHOULD be the concern of every American. Pity that people like dhoyt use examples like the ones posted above to diminish the criminal acts carried out in Iraq under the orders of the American president.

Support the troops; bring them home and leave Iraq to the Iraqis.
posted by three blind mice at 10:27 PM on October 27, 2005


C'mon Jon-o, dhoyt was doing exactly what Heywood Mogroot tried to do with the image he posted.

That pic is only about 3/4ths of an inch wide on my screen. I can't tell what it's an image of.

posted by Jon-o at 10:34 PM on October 27, 2005


"Seems to me like a pretty good guide to Iraq for a soldier in 1942." ( caddis ) - I thought so too.

Page 12, header : "No Preaching" - fine advice.

Dhoyt - What's your point ? That lots of things have happened since 1942 ? Ummmm......OK.
posted by troutfishing at 10:42 PM on October 27, 2005


they
they
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they
they
they
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they
they
they
they
they
they
they
they

I don't give a shit about their actions, and neither do they. I care about our actions, and they they they do too.

If you don't think Marines fucking up the pictured mosque in Fallujah didn't have repercussions, you are living with your head up your ass.

People, especially under occupation by a quasi-imperialist power are irrational, and it's something we've got to deal with. Idiot.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:46 PM on October 27, 2005


I"m curious whether the US military put together anything similar for either the 1991 war or the 2003 war and occupation.

IIRC, Ruth Benedict's The Chrysanthemum and the Sword was written to help US soldiers in occupied Japan understand Japanese culture.
posted by russilwvong at 11:19 PM on October 27, 2005


"because on our side a man can be both a soldier and an individual." .. ?
posted by thanatogenous at 12:19 AM on October 28, 2005


thanatogenous, "that is our strength -- if we are smart enough to use it. It can be our weakness if we aren't."
posted by alumshubby at 4:56 AM on October 28, 2005


I was going to make your standard MeFi snarky comment about the difference between then and now, but I found myself too moved by the respect for both the US soldier (the guide is folksy but not at all dumbed-down in language) and the Iraqis shown in this little book, and too busy wondering what the hell has happened to us in the last 60 years.

One of your big jobs is to prevent Hitler's agents from getting in their dirty work. The best way you can do this is by getting along with the Iraqis and making them your friends. And the best way to get along with any people is to understand them.

...And, secondly, so that you as a human being will get the most out of an experience few Americans have been lucky enough to have. Years from now you'll be telling your children and grandchildren "Now when I was in Baghdad---."

You aren't going to Iraq to change the Iraqis. Just the opposite.

Don't stare at anyone who is praying, and above all do not make fun of him. Respect his religion as he will respect yours.

Above all never strike an Iraqi.

Be polite.

posted by languagehat at 5:21 AM on October 28, 2005


BTW, that's my library and this project is overseen by a colleague of mine (he is on the committee that I head for the digitization of these and other materials; hence the url)...you folks really should check out the rest of the collection of materials surrounding the original link.

languagehat caught the idea beautifully...if you read the advice in the other pamphlets for other "theaters", you ought to be asking your selves the same damned question: "What the hell has happened to us in the past 60 years?"

As seen on yet another bumper sticker: "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."

Enjoy your week's ends!
posted by aldus_manutius at 6:04 AM on October 28, 2005


This is a very interesting link; thank you for posting it.
posted by AllesKlar at 8:47 AM on October 28, 2005


* the first link
posted by AllesKlar at 8:48 AM on October 28, 2005


>and too busy wondering what the hell has happened to us in the last 60 years.

Being and maintaining "superpower" status changes a country ya know. Hopefully, this is the worst of it as Europe and Asia continue to rise.
posted by skallas at 8:50 AM on October 28, 2005


Metafilter: You will smell and feel a lot of things the movies didn't warn you about.

Having been around for most of the sixty years in question, I've been asking the "What the Hell Happened to US?" question more and more every year. I guess the answer is, back then, we WERE the good guys.

Now, not so much.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 9:01 AM on October 28, 2005


What the hell has happened to us in the past 60 years?

One word: Vietnam. Vietnam drastically lowered the moral expectations placed on the United States, both in the eyes of the world and in the eyes of Americans themselves. Kennedy and Johnson have a lot to answer for.

Hans Morgenthau, writing in the New York Review of Books, 1965:

This war is a guerrilla war, and such a war, supported or at least not opposed by the indigenous population, can only be won by the indiscriminate killing of everybody in sight, that is, by genocide. The Germans proved that during the Second World War in occupied Europe, and they were prevented from accomplishing their task only because they were defeated in the field. The logic of the issue we are facing in Vietnam has already driven us onto the same path. We have tortured and killed prisoners; we have embarked upon a scorched-earth policy by destroying villages and forests; we have killed combatants and non-combatants without discrimination because discrimination is impossible. And this is only the beginning. For the logic of guerrilla war leaves us no choice. We must go on torturing, killing, and burning, and the more deeply we get involved in this war, the more there will be of it.

This brutalization of the Armed Forces would be a serious matter for any nation, as the example of France has shown. It is intolerable for the United States. For this nation, alone among the nations of the world, was created for a particular purpose: to achieve equality in freedom at home, and thereby set an example for the world to emulate. This was the intention of the Founding Fathers, and to this very day the world has taken them at their word. It is exactly for this reason that our prestige has suffered so disastrously among friend and foe alike; for the world did not expect of us what it had come to expect of others.

posted by russilwvong at 10:02 AM on October 28, 2005


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