While the media is all abuzz about the so-called fiscal cliff, our troops overseas in harms way find themselves on the precipice of a military cliff where they continue to be constrained by Obama’s absurd political correctness.
In a column in Pruden & Politics on December 14, Wes Pruden notes that the United States Army will soon issue a 75-page handbook to military personnel instructing them to follow the president’s example when dealing with Muslims while in the field.
Pruden writes, “The manual, issued in the name of the U.S. Government, obviously at the command of the commander in chief, suggests that Western ignorance and arrogance and not the Taliban are responsible for the surge in deadly attacks by Afghan soldiers against the soldiers of the allied coalition.”
While it is true that the West has a long way to go before we even come close to “getting it” when it comes to Islamic terrorism and beliefs, it is also true that our men and women in uniform are putting their lives on the line daily in regions where women are abused, beheadings are common and the holy book demands killing non-believers. And for this soldiers are supposed to be polite and respectful?
Bowing to Saudi royalty may seem like a show of respect for Obama, but it demeans the
According the Wall Street Journal, the manual’s primary focus is that “troops may experience social-cultural shock and/or discomfort when interacting with Afghans. Better situational awareness/understanding of Afghan culture will help better prepare [coalition] forces to effectively partner and to avoid cultural conflict that can lead towards … violence.”
Cultural awareness and understanding are clearly advantageous when undertaking assignments on foreign soil. That is true in any situation regardless of whether the mission is peaceful or otherwise. Local knowledge is always beneficial, when dealing with cultures that are completely alien to our own values and beliefs. But isn’t that just common sense?
More to the point, would it not be more useful, and practical, to train the troops in cultural awareness before they deploy rather than present them with a handbook of how to conduct themselves when they are already adjusting to the environment of a war zone?
A soldier spends most of his or her time training for combat. They are not taught to bow or shake hands or explain their religious philosophies when the enemy attacks them with a knife or bayonet. Their primary purpose is to fight, not to be diplomats or good will ambassadors for American values.
That is not to say the armed forces should have the freedom to run amok just because they are thousands of miles away from home in a foreign land. What it does say however, is that they were sent on a mission for the purpose of defending freedom and that must be the ultimate goal. A behavioral handbook should be understood prior to deployment with the caveat that real world situations in the theater of battle should dictate appropriate conduct.
There is precedent for issuing manuals to GIs with advice regarding cultural nuances. The intent of such publications is invaluable for anyone venturing into an unknown part of the world that is drastically different from our own.
What is distasteful is the manner in which the handbook is being presented. Our military is being treated as if they are the offenders rather than those who follow the tenets of the Koran which states, “The infidels should not think that they can get away from us. Prepare against them whatever arms and weaponry you can muster so that you can terrorize them.”
As Pruden points out, “The Army of yesteryear would never feel it necessary to beg for an enemy’s mercy or cultural indulgence. Ike did not caution Americans not to speak ill of the Nazis on the eve of D-Day lest they abuse his soldiers. FDR did not describe the beheading of American pilots by the Japanese in 1942 as “workplace violence” lest he offend the men of
Is Mr. Obama President of the
Barack Obama has more things to concern himself than writing handbooks for military personnel.
Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in Charlotte, NC. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club, which creates, and escorts customized tours to
Inquiries for groups can be made at Peabod@aol.com Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others.
As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 71 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte
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