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July 18, 2003 by AK

Let me digress from the gallant loser thread. I promise to continue with it later. Let’s move over to policing Iraq. I’m ready to admit that Americans did a great job kicking Saddam’s ass. But the US Army seems to have two problems there: a) the need to maintain order; b) something that could be guerilla warfare.

I’m puzzled by this guerilla thing. First, where can these partisans be hiding? There are no mountains or jungle in Mesopotamia. Can they count on broad popular support? Hmm… I kind of doubt it. Of course, I know nothing, I’m just trying to be logically consistent. So suppose guerillas are an anomaly. Policing, though, is a day-to-day work, and regular troops aren’t normally trained to do it.

What should Americans do then? The first-best answer should be: get the Iraqis police themselves. How realistic is it? You tell me. In the short term — that is, while we’re still alive — why not import some kind of police force?

Requrements: should be tough, impartial, keep a distance; a reasonable superiority complex is tolerable as long as it doesn’t piss off the guarded. I’d say Germans, but West Germans have gotten too liberal and just plain lazy. The perfect answer would be — East Germans! Too bad they don’t exist as a nation but it’s worth trying to pick German policemen, servicemen, security guards, etc., who grew up in the East and have some Communist Police/Army experience (I don’t mean Stasi of course). They’d show Iraqis how to love freedom!

I don’t even know if I’m joking here. Sometimes a non-corrupt, rules-based dictatorship is better than disorderly democracy; too bad the former is a pure pot dream. I’ll conclude by mentioning that, for millions of common Soviet people, East Germany was a land of prosperity and order, — and indeed it was, in comparison.


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