There Are Soldiers, And There Are Soldiers

This entry may fail to gain the sympathy of any readers.

When the weather is right I can listen in on one of the Spanish-speaking radio stations from further south, from Tampa, I think it is, and today the weather was right.

I experienced a bit of a linguistic cross-ponderation as I listened to the news update on this station (a perhaps too-colorful sidenote on this station: the only other time I got good reception on this station I heard Di'-me, Isabela, usted gustaria de hacer un threesome? That's a great testament for the melting pot, or the shrinking world, if you prefer). The announcer was giving the same news all the other stations were giving, that is, that Bush is sorry, that we are sorry, and that the behavior of a few rogue soldiers does not reflect our values as a country. Yep, yep, got it.

The cross-ponderation occurred when the announcer spoke of the abuses perpetrated by American militares. Now, when I think of American soldiers doing those things, one of the ideas that immediately comes to mind is failure of discipline. But when I think of militares abusing their power like that, it just seems to fit. Soldiers march around in neatly pressed Class B uniforms or all decked out in full battle gear. Militares always wear their BDUs, be they khaki or green; they never wear helmets, but prefer green canvas baseball caps; and they almost always have a snub-nosed submachine gun hanging from a shoulder.

I think the Anglo-Germanic concept (or at least the working out) of soldiering is unique in the past few centuries. It's much for natural for men (men!) with guns to behave the way the soldiers at the prison of Abu Ghraib did than the way the "hearts and minds" Marines have been.

The guards certainly behaved in a human fashion. But, in view of the Anglo concept of soldiering, those militares did not behave like soldiers.