View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Tuesday, April 08, 2003
Where are the MPs? This is what MPs are for. For the British soldiers to say that they're not responsible for law and order may be technically true - those soldiers aren't. But divisions carry with them MPs, whose job it is exactly to establish law and order in captured areas. I don't agree with the ICRC on much, especially their disdain for 6-pointed stars as uniquely religious symbols, but they're right on this. When we go into an area, we're responsible for keeping this sort of chaos from erupting.

As for the man whose family was lost, that's a terrible, terrible thing, but a sad side-effect of war, soon to be over, we hope. It's disingenuous of the paper to fold the two together. Collateral civilian casualties are something we've tried mightily to avoid, probably resulting in our own dead, and the writer is correct that the man's grief is exaggerating his bitterness. That story doesn't belong anywhere in the same article as a story about the lack of MPs.

The Post has been running columns for the last three weeks about how we're not welcome, people don't put any hope in us, and civilians are getting clobbered. Anthony Shadid has written a couple of dozen articles, all on one of themes or the other. It's part of the whole effort to gauge how well the "hearts and minds"campaign is coming. Every time I hear that phrase, I think of Chuck Colson.

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