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This is an interesting contrast between our 2 cultures. we're more business like obviously. I think Islamic culture traditionally is laid back compared to ours. Probably not so super for security.

HERE
Quote:"The American soldiers would punish any Iraqis who verbally harassed us and take away their badges," she said. "Now we miss their protection."

some how i doubt she will be the last to utter that comment...
G,

Our culture values females more than theirs,so it goes w/o saying the ladies who are not old fashioned home makers only will miss the US influence.

Still,it is a positive move for them and us long term. I predict there will be breeches of security and there will be major explosions in there,but, the Iraqis are what they are,it is their nation and they will survive.
i meant about missing us in general, Palladin
My reply is not about how they treat their women, but in general how Iraqis will behave without US backing them militarily.
I think we will see repeat of Vietnam events after US pull out, they are just not ready for democracy, and need a strong dictator who will guide them slowly toward democracy.
G,

Some will for sure.

Kamil,

I tend to disagree. Right after WWI,these same folks were electing parliaments,this isn't their first rodeo. It also seems to me that the most extreme types who would revolt against a democratic result of any kind are hammered down pretty far already,sunni or shiite.

We aren't leaving immediately anyway,but,I see them as already doing more than voting as democrats,they've accepted the various results and at least since late 07 even the Sunnis have accepted them. Doing typical political stuff,withdrawing from a coalition,re-entering it,etc.

They had both the bad era of baathist rule and the cauldron from 03 to 08 of chaos and murder,there is reason to think most of them are glad to play this game.
it's a power vacuum, Palladin. We are the strongest tribe in Iraq. if we leave, someone else will simply fill that void.
G,

I don't see a power vacuum . The people elected this government,they are the power. There is no group remotely close to being capable of overthrowing this government with or w/o our presence,IMO.

It's not so different from us,we have 10 million different centrifugal forces tugging at our hearts,so do they. We're no more monlithic or patriotic than they are,IMO. Just look at some of our leftists demanding our own twice elected President be arrested and charged for crimes.
Iraqi soldiers, and other personell are of very little discipline and of low standards.

My main job was in the motorpool obviously, but combat serivce support gets raped for tasking all the time. You'll do stuff you never thought was in your MOS description out there.

When I was on the wrecker for convoys, I seen IA guys alot. They never stay in uniform at checkpoints, they wear their uniform however when they do wear it, and they are lazy - falling asleep at a security checkpoint while you're watching the road? Been done. Lighting fires and ruining nightvision and causing a distraction? Done. Taking off kevlars and body armor (Something I will NEVER do, and never have while out and about - all it takes is one guy with a rifle and some courage for a potshot), they do it all the time.

They aren't thorough, they aren't mean and the baddest mofos out there either. We used to bully the Iraqis coming in the FOB gate sometimes to keep them in-line, when I did that for a month. Not physically, but make them tear things apart for searching, no friendly words. The moment I was nice to a couple guys for about two days, they tried to sneak in cell-phones and stuff while smiling and thinking we're cool with each others. Kindness is weakness there and if you're too kind, they'll run all over you. Happens every time. Never trusted the job the Iraqi checkpoint before the gate did, stuff always got past them.

Iraqis working something isn't taken as seriously as us doing it b/c they don't have any sense of professionalism. Period.

Islamic cultures probably suck so bad b/c they are laid back: lazy. Most people in the Third World are it seems. No desire to advance something really. That's about all there is to it really. Just plain lazy, in everything I've seen Iraqis do.

Turning over the green zone to them probably was great politically, but I wouldn't chalk it up as a security advancement. Mall rent-a-cops do better than them. If you know of a really professional Iraqi force, let me know.
hey, welcome home! (?)

i have only heard of a few small Iraqi units exceeding in their expectations. but i would rather blame OUR insistance on training them and getting the hell out of there as quick as possible than blame them. they can hunt these terrorist murderers as long as they have a tatse for blood. if they take kick backs and would rather run and hide than do their jobs, we will only have to return in probably less than ten years.
Gunnen,

As you know,they have this saying "Inshallah". It is their culture and lifestyle. "Que sera sera". I don't know if what you observed is laziness or driven by this Inshallah.

Same difference. They see Allah as doing everything so they need not bother,whereas Christians and Jews see God as doing His role,we do our role.

One cannot succeed w/o the other.

A Bible Scripture states it succunctly somewhere in Jeremiah:

"Prepare the horse for battle,but,victory belongs to The Lord".

A Koran verse might say this if it were written by a red neck:

" Ain't no need to worry about it cause Allah is or ain't gonna see to it anyway".
Quote:"Why is the moon so cross?" the men say, calling Yasin by the colloquial term for an aloof, beautiful woman. "What are you doing after work today? Why didn't you call me yesterday?"
....
Iman al-Khalidi, a 23-year-old journalist, says she returned from a trip to the Green Zone to find a note containing a phone number inside her bag, supposedly left by a "lover who could who could not sleep" since he saw her at a checkpoint.

I don't see where is the harassement and the insults, let alone paying less values to women...
I don't think the laziness has anything to do with religion, but with geographic location. All my life I have been noticing that people who live in warmer climates are lazier than those who live in North.

Some popular Moslem sayings are:
Allah Helps Those Who Help Themselves.

Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel.
Kamil,

Substitute God for Allah and I've had my Mom give me that line a lot!
My theory where poeple in the north had to develop the sens of work, rationality, economy and technologies to survive the cold winters.
In cold countries like Rusia can't be Third World ones because poeple living in shacks and dressed in rags would froze on their feet.
Fredledingue Wrote:My theory where poeple in the north had to develop the sens of work, rationality, economy and technologies to survive the cold winters.
In cold countries like Rusia can't be Third World ones because poeple living in shacks and dressed in rags would froze on their feet.
I will agree with that. In addition, people had to plan ahead and cooperate to survive the winter. Thus, small tribes would not do very well. However, a counter example is the Eskimo. As they say, the exception proves the rule.

In addition, in cold climates, people are healthier, since there are few debilitating diseases. For example, in the US colonial days, northerners lived an average 10 years longer than southerners.

One cannot rule out some kind of advantageous genetic mutation that occurred in the northern countries, but not the southern ones.
Kamil Wrote:I don't think the laziness has anything to do with religion, but with geographic location. All my life I have been noticing that people who live in warmer climates are lazier than those who live in North.

Some popular Moslem sayings are:
Allah Helps Those Who Help Themselves.

Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel.

It has to do with upbringing and culture. All of you are forgetting one very simple but extremely important point: most adult Iraqis grew up under Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. Virtually all Iraqis who have positions of responsbility(the ones over 30) did. In a dictatorship, people survive not by having civic virtue and working hard for the sake of the community, but by looking out for themselves, saving their energy whenever possible, and opportunistically doing anything to help their own family.
Anonymous24 Wrote:It has to do with upbringing and culture. All of you are forgetting one very simple but extremely important point: most adult Iraqis grew up under Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. Virtually all Iraqis who have positions of responsbility(the ones over 30) did. In a dictatorship, people survive not by having civic virtue and working hard for the sake of the community, but by looking out for themselves, saving their energy whenever possible, and opportunistically doing anything to help their own family.
This is the "recent history determines social behavior" theory. It ignores the long history of tribalism, religion and such affiliations in the ME culture. The dictatorship of Hitler did not affect the Germans in a similar way. The dictatorship of Stalin was partly possible due to the fact that serfdom was only abolished in Russia after 1900. This cultural artifact explains why so little initiative exists in the Russian hinterland today, not Stalin's dictator ship. This is not to say that recent events do not shape behavior, only that a long history can be more important. Japan is a notable exception, and maybe China will also turn out to be one.
I won't debate which is right. However,I think culture is driven by a totality of history more than immediate history. I wouldn't discount the psychological affects of a Saddam or Stalin,but,the basic culture exceeds even Islam.

I've been studying some works by a Christian author recently named Kenneth Bailey. He's written several works,all based on understanding Jesus and His comments better by understanding eastern culture better that the comments were spoken into.

What seems to me amazing is the culture for example in Palestine today is strikingly similar to what it was 2000 years ago,before Jesus ,before Mohammad ,etc. Bailey asked hundreds of locals various questions and found the culture and the architecture today is what was there then.

The place where Jesus was born,those kind of homes are all over Arabia. The parables such as the "Prodigal Son" are so much more interesting and meaningful when we know what the people hearing Jesus expected from a father and a son back then relative to inheritance,etc.

It's a "shame" culture,it was for Jews and Arabs. It still is a shame culture. Islam has had no major change there.

If you read "The Jewish Wars" by Josephus,you might forget you're reading about Jews and 2000 years ago and think you're reading about radical Muslims in 2009 AD. NUTS. There is no other way to describe the general culture then,insanity,religious fanaticism,hatred,criminals using religion and murder in too many hearts.
Interesting observations, Anon24. I have come across similar statements about the ME. I think that recent history and the cultural past do affect people.

I am completely astounded by the lack of cultural progress by certain societies, e.g. the Palestinians you mention, some tribes in S. Africa and perhaps some tribes in Indonesia. A PC type would call me culturally biased, perhaps, but it is for me hard to imagine how individuals could enjoy life in some very structured or repressive societies. Yet, as I read history, this was the human condition for most millenia. People worked, celebrated, loved, hoped and died without all the leisure, luxury and "rights" that we all enjoy.

I think that people in the US are uniquely divorced from their past and family/tribal structure. The "extended family" is only chosen by a few, not required as an instrument of survival and influence. Perhaps those who live in Europe can tell us how it is there.
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