Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A teeth-breaking defeat

A Taliban commander vowed to inflict a “teeth-breaking defeat” on British forces in Afghanistan. A good phrase, properly chilling, slightly reminiscent of The Iliad, but dude, have you seen British teeth?

The BBC, to whom he gave that interview, pointed out that the armed men who kept trooping through the frame were the same three guys over and over.

Have I been over-using “dude”? I blame Hurley on “Lost.”

Max Hastings writes in the Guardian that when British soldiers occupying Basra in 2003 were turned into policemen with no training (because being a cop is so easy that any guy with a gun and a uniform can just do it, right?), they were, “in effect, invited to invent their own system of local justice, because Bush and Blair had failed to make provision for any other.” And what they invented was “wetting” looters (by the way, about that word “looter” – Basra was under siege, with no economic activity going on; people trying to scavenge food were no more looters than were Katrina victims) in the canal, which we now know was a widespread practice. I’m not how soon it was ended after the 15-year old drowned.

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