A draft of a proposed Army handbook to be distributed to soldiers in Afghanistan is proving to be very controversial.
“Americans traditionally are ignorant and closed-minded when it comes to other cultures” are the first words in the handbook.
Sitting at home watching TV and enjoying other implements of triumphalist America has deadened our soldiers to their first responsibility: Sensitivity to other cultures. For if we are sensitive they won’t hate us and be forced to blow themselves (and us) up.
Many of the confrontations with the noble, brave and loyal Afghans occur sadly because of a lack of empathy for Muslim and/or Afghan values resulting in non-cultural norm reactions from Afghan security forces such as shooting Americans in the back and/or shooting them in the back of the head.
The 75-page manual is part of a continuing effort by U.S. military high command to remain empathetic in the face of suicide bombings, shootings and/or stabbings by Afghans aggrieved by triumphalist American arrogance.
To foster displays of empathy and cross-cultural harmony, U.S. soldiers stationed in Afghanistan are urged to avoid the following topics of conversation:
- The role of women in society.
Americans are arrogant in their assumptions that women are equal partners and must be more sensitive to the traditional view that women can have their clitoris circumcised or their nose cut off if they engage in improper sex.
- Making derogatory comments about the Taliban
Sure they want to return Afghanistan to the 9th century. Sure they harbored Bin Laden causing 9/11. But are Americans any better? One word: Halliburton, Dick Cheney and old white men. Technically that was more than one word but you get the point: Americans are evil.
- Criticism of pedophilia
While many Americans view pedophilia as a private matter it is regrettably true that many in our army disapprove of a grown man having anal sex with a ten year old boy. This must stop. Pedophilia is a cherished tradition in many Muslim cultures.
- Displays of Christianity
Christianity is a racist and triumphalist religion. So around Christmas time instead of wishing an Afghan colleague a “Merry Christmas” or even a “Happy Holidays” (too Jewish) why not pick up a Koran and read this book of peace? After all, Jesus was a Muslim
While the new handbook is expected to meet with slight resistance at first, Army commanders are confident that it will be accepted and cherished as a source of sensitivity and cross-cultural engagement for decades to come. (449)