British (Officers) Describe Ugly Americans

I have no idea if it is true that US forces in Iraq are acting like a bunch of racist Rambos; I would hate to have it be so. But even if it isn't true, it ought to worry people just a little that our closest allies, the British, a people not renowned for their progressive attitudes about foreigners and non-whites, believe it to be true.

British commanders condemn US military tactics – Iraq

Senior British commanders have condemned American military tactics in Iraq as heavy-handed and disproportionate.

One senior officer said that America's aggressive methods were causing friction among allied commanders and that there was a growing sense of “unease and frustration” among the British high command.

The officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said part of the problem was that American troops viewed Iraqis as untermenschen – the Nazi expression for “sub-humans”.

Speaking from his base in southern Iraq, the officer said: “My view and the view of the British chain of command is that the Americans' use of violence is not proportionate and is over-responsive to the threat they are facing. They don't see the Iraqi people the way we see them. They view them as untermenschen. They are not concerned about the Iraqi loss of life in the way the British are.”

(via Juan Cole)

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2 Responses to British (Officers) Describe Ugly Americans

  1. California says:

    The British military are actually quite sensitive at dealing with civilians. Not having massive force at their disposal all the time like the US, they have to use their capabilities more intelligently and humbly rather than intimidation and “kicking ass”.
    If you went back to their imperial heyday when they were militarily dominant, you’d probably find similar attitudes to the US military’s now.

  2. MP says:

    I wonder if the northern Irish share the view that the British are reluctant to dole out asskickings.

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