Well, my sources inside Iraq's Green Zone just sent me an interesting little tidbit. I've lately been doubting if those monthly shipments of Cuban cigars were ever going to get me anything worthwhile, but, folks, the one-armed bandit of fate has paid me off in silver dollars.
With the security situation in Iraq apparently on the brink of diving back into murderous chaos, American military authorities are eager not to repeat past mistakes. They realise that poor troop cultural orientation and the infliction of heavy collateral casualties cost them the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. Now, with Sunni tribesmen becoming less susceptible to bribery and Muqtada Al-Sadr threatening to end his ceasefire, top U.S. brass are anxious to ensure that, when American troops resume large-scale anti-insurgent operations, they conduct themselves with irreproachable discipline and a punctilious avoidance of civilian casualties.
To that end, the Pentagon commissioned a training video to help their front-line troops relate to and communicate with the Iraqi people more effectively. Due to the severe budget constraints currently being placed on the Pentagon's Education and Training Unit, they were forced to contract the task out to the French, who just happened to have a video in their archives which suited the purpose superbly. The French generously let the Yanks have it for a song, reportedly in gratitude for having underwritten their occupation of Viet Nam for so long.
The video instructs the soldiers in the proper way to respond to a variety of scenarios faced daily by coalition occupation forces, but my sources indicate that some of the video's suggested responses were deemed questionable at best by some of the officers present at the video's première. For instance, the clip below is from the section entitled "What To Do When A Bunch of Islams Run Towards You". My sources inform me that it shocked many of the attendees, though the Blackwater guys, apparently, were loving it. Enjoy