Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Contrasts

You know, I just couldn’t resist one more set of pictures from Operation Crayon. I just love the little kids faces and their cute little outfits. But I had to share these two fotos. First, look at the girls faces as they look at the police chief. Second, look at their faces as they look at the American soldier. And both are giving out candy. I found it a fun contrast.

Another interesting contrast is the politics. One of the things these soldiers do on their constant patrols, besides present themselves as targets, is display a presence of power. This is because the political parties are prone to call together armed loyalists and take out the police chief or mayor or what have you. Just rule by force, it has been the way forever.

So another job of the American and coalition forces is to, again, making a showing of being there to enforce law and order under the new system. They also will go into the buildings of the political parties and verify weapons counts and serial numbers. The weapons must be there in the building and no where else. This allows the parties to defend themselves, I believe, but not go out and take over things. The number of weapons is therefore not too many and not too few. But isn’t that a wild concept if in America a towns political parties decided what the law was and if the mayor should be eliminated? What a difference, but that, in part, is why the American forces remain. This fledgling Democracy needs guardians until it takes root.

The American soldier is very revered, perhaps feared by some locals, although US kindness is in obvious contrast to even their own police force, not to mention the old Baathist party goons. But the American convoys go ripping through town or wherever they go and they stop for no-one and nothing! Traffic jams suddenly part to let them through. Traffic lights, obstacles, nothing stops them. They react quickly and with deadly force to threats, but can be found immediately caring for wounded, even if not their own. It is for safety reasons, but it sends a message of benevolent machismo, if you will, of pre-eminence, eminence, and power.

That puts them in a great position to keep order and even bring good to pass. I believe they will. In fact, after their aid mission to the Tsunami victims began, the approval rating there for Americans doubled, from about 30 percent to about 70 percent. It turned hate into appreciation and respect. So, I think good work is afoot here. What do you think?

Pics 1 & 2: look at the girl's faces, compare

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