Candor, Culture, and the Military Experience – By David French – The Corner – National Review Online

First, it’s hard to overstate the level of cynicism toward Iraqi or Afghan culture on the part of the majority of American soldiers who’ve spent considerable time “outside the wire.” With their own eyes they’ve seen levels of brutality, ignorance, abuse (particularly toward women), and even pedophilia beyond anything even remotely comparable to their American experiences. Anti-Semitism is loud and vicious, making some Jewish soldiers reluctant to reveal or discuss their religious identities. Simply put, for Americans schooled in the mindless cultural relativism of our high schools and colleges, the profound negative differences between our culture and contemporary Arab Middle Eastern culture are shocking.

via Candor, Culture, and the Military Experience – By David French – The Corner – National Review Online.

My brief interlude in the Middle East during Desert Storm resulted in virtually no interaction with the local population or our Arab allies.  I’d like to hear what some of our readers with experience there have to say.

At any event, read the whole article, and indeed, the comments.

7 thoughts on “Candor, Culture, and the Military Experience – By David French – The Corner – National Review Online”

  1. Thought provoking. Anyone thinking they have a solution can step right up.
    We need to get this essay out to more people.

    In a rational world Israeli high tech and Arab work force would be synergistic. In reality, no way. I’ve been saying for years that peace between Israel and the Palestinians will occur when the last Palestinian male is dead. Sad, really.

  2. The atmosphere in the comments over there is that FedGov has a lot of domestic responsibility. Constitutionally, it has few. It’s primary responsibility *IS* foreign relations (diplomacy, war, etc.). About the only domestic responsibilities FedGov has is regulation of interstate commerce, protection of the states against invasion, and the guarantee of republican government to the states. It has over reached in the first and utterly ignored the the other two.

    The bad thing in US elections is the electorate is more concerned what goodies the next POTUS is going to hand out, which means the electorate wants the constitution ignored as long as it is to their own advantage. That is why we are in the economic state we are in, and why there is little chance that things will get any better.

  3. Article was a bit cursory, but on target. I would extrapolate from the middle east into the larger world as, not only did I see it in Iraq, but also in Kosovo where the guys who went out the gate a lot (as a battle-captain, I almost never did) soon began to despise the Kosovar Albanians who we were there to protect, in favor of the Serbians who in turn hated us because we prevented them from slaughtering the Kosovar Albanians. Odd that you find them attacking Americans now, after we protected them….. You can draw your own conclusions about the denomination of the two opposing sides.

  4. Afghan culture is horrible and backwards. In Eastern Afghanistan things are very tribal and very Pashtun. Burqas are the norm, despite them not being required by law since the fall of the Taliban government. Most of the men diddle each other or little boys every Thursday. Islam forbids homosexuality, but it happens ALL THE TIME and in the open. They’re not bad people as such individually, but the cultural system is shit.

    They also don’t do a whole lot of planning for the future. A man killed his neighbor over a walnut tree on a disputed piece of property. Walnut trees make more walnut trees, given time and care, but why wait when you can slaughter the man next to you for his tree. If I remember correctly, a tribal court decided in the murderer’s favor, the other family swore revenge. If we spend thirty years there, building roads, teaching them real concepts of law, order, and justice, they could maybe work their way up to being a third world shithole.

  5. My wife served in the first Gulf War as a combat medic. She recounts how the Arab mothers would bring their children in for treatment and when the female medics were done the mothers would spit on them for dressing like whores – they had their uniform blouses off and were just wearing their t-shirts.

    To this day she believes the best solution is to glass the entire lot, save Israel.

  6. I saw my nephew for the first time since he came home from Afghanistan. He told one terrible tale of treating a five- or six-year-old girl for severe burns. She had not gathered enough firewood the day before to keep the fire burning all night, so after she had gathered enough for that day and got the fire going again, her mother threw her into it. ((shudder))

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