Via Yglesias, I see that someone has dug up an old WWII-era War and Navy Departments’ guide to Iraq. Reading it is, as the author of the guide might say, a hoot. Most interesting to me was this section on “differences.” After listing all of the differences between Americans and Iraqis, the guide continues:
What of it? You aren’t going to Iraq to change the Iraqis. We are fighting this war to preserve the principle of “live and let live.” Maybe that sounded like a lot of words to you at home. Now you have a chance to prove it to yourself and others. If you can, it’s going to be a better world to live in for all of us.
Official WWII government instruction manuals valorising the idea of “live and let live”? Imagine that–placing strategic priorities ahead of drippy ideological platitudes! The neocons will be very unhappy with the freedom-hating bureaucrats at the War and Navy Departments.
Other useful tips to the American soldier fighting Hitlerism in Iraq: “Keep away from mosques”; “Your move is to stay out of religious and political arguments altogether.” Some advice never goes out of style.