Sometimes the BBC takes my breath away; usually for it’s selective reporting and America bashing … today for it’s stunning honesty. It comes in the form of a BBC reporter, embedded with US troops, comparing them to stereotypes and his own UK warriors. The result is … shocking.

First, about American creativity, or lack thereof:

I had always thought of the US army as an organization that did not exactly ban creative thinking, but severely limited it at lower levels.And there were Lieutenant Carlisle and Sergeant Perez wondering how important waving and smiling were in Arab culture or considering the value of removing your sunglasses when speaking to Iraqis.Awkwardly perhaps, but the gist is that American soldiers are creative, and allowed to be so. Then, about American sense of responsibility:

I wondered how Iraq did not exhaust the positive energy or intellectual curiosity of a man like Dorian Perez.

You can marvel at the Americans’ can-do spirit, as some British soldiers do.

You can see it in terms of America, the world’s hyper power staring failure in the face and refusing to accept it.

But in the sergeant’s case the will to carry on comes from a sense of responsibility towards the people of Iraq.

Sergeant Perez buys the so-called pottery shop analogy that seems singularly appropriate to the Dura market: if you break it, you own it.

You may view the BBC reporter’s observations as being laced with condescension, but then there was this:

From the odd glimpse or overheard remark, I do not doubt that the second platoon contains the odd bad apple or loud-mouth, but as my time with them went on I became aware of an uncomfortable feeling.When eventually I was able to identify it, I realised my unease concerned British soldiers, and how they compared with these Americans. Carlisle, Perez and the rest seem brighter, stronger and more committed.The British army still has many outstanding qualities but it has had great difficulty recruiting for the past decade.Many recruits who would once have been thrown out have been pushed through the training establishments. In many British infantry battalions 15% or 20% are now Fijians or other Commonwealth contract soldiers.The Americans, by contrast, may have had some recent problems staffing their army but they have been able to retain more of a sense of common purpose and drive.

You can find the whole article HERE.

This article first appeared in Celestial Junk

Be Sociable, Share!