Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Iraq was a strategic hot spot during World War II. Guarded heavily by the British, the United States and its allies feared Hitler would use the country as a bridge between Europe and India. It was also an important Persian Gulf port for the United States to move supplies to Russia. Above all, Iraq held great military importance because of its oil fields and pipelines to the Mediterranean.
In 1943, the Army compiled a 44-page booklet for the few hundred soldiers who would be deployed to Iraq. Called Instructions For American Servicemen In Iraq During World War II, it offers a bevy of tips and illustrations on how to get along with people in the "mysterious East" that seem poignant today. You'll find excerpts from the book below.
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YOU HAVE been ordered to Iraq i-RAHK as part of the world-wide offensive to beat Hitler.
You will enter Iraq both as a soldier and as an individual, because on our side a man can be both a soldier and an individual. That is our strength - if we are smart enough to use it. It can be our weakness if we aren't.
American success or failure in Iraq may well depend on whether the Iraqis (as the people are called) like American soldiers or not. It may not be quite that simple. But then again it could.
WHAT IS THIS IRAQ?
WHAT is Iraq, anyhow? Well, it's a lot of things, old and new. It is one of the oldest countries in the world. In Baghdad, the capital city, you will see street merchants selling exactly the same kind of pottery that their ancestors sold at the time of the Arabian Nights. Not far away you will see great dams and modern refineries equal to the best you have seen in America . . .
Iraq Is Hot! Probably you will feel Iraq first - and that means heat. Blazing heat. And dust. In the daytime Iraq can be one of the hottest spots in the world . . .
Or maybe the first thing you notice will be the smells. You have heard and read a lot about the "mysterious East." You have seen moving pictures about the colorful life of the desert and bazaars. When you actually get there you will look in vain for some of the things you have been led to expect. You will smell and feel a lot of things the movies didn't warn you about.
MEET THE PEOPLE
But don't get discouraged. Most Americans and Europeans who have gone to Iraq didn't like it at first. Might as well be frank about it. They thought it a harsh, hot, parched, dusty, and inhospitable land. But nearly all of these same people changed their minds after a few days or weeks, and largely on account of the Iraqi people. So will you.
That tall man in the flowing robe you are going to see soon, with the whiskers and the long hair, is a first-class fighting man, highly skilled in guerilla warfare. If he is your friend, he can be a staunch and valuable ally. If he should happen to be your enemy - look out! Remember Lawrence of Arabia? Well, it was with men like these that he wrote history in the First World War.
But you will also find out quickly that the Iraqi is one of the most cheerful and friendly people in the world. Few people you have seen get so much fun out of work and everyday living. If you are willing to go out of your way to understand him, everything will be o.k.
Difference? Of Course! Difference? Sure, there are differences. Differences of costume. Differences of food. Differences of manner and custom and religious beliefs. Different attitudes toward women. Differences galore.
But what of it? You aren't going to Iraq to change the Iraqis. Just the opposite. We are fighting this war to preserve the principals of "live and let live."
Right now Iraq is threatened with invasion - as America is now. The Iraqis have some religious and tribal differences among themselves. Hitler has been trying to use these differences to his own ends. If you can win the trust and friendship of all the Iraqis you meet, you will do more than you may think possible to help bring them together in our common cause.
No Preaching. You probably belong to a church at home, and you know how you would feel towards anyone who insulted or desecrated your church. The Moslems feel just the same way, perhaps even more strongly. . . . It is a good idea in any foreign country to avoid any religious or political discussions. This is even truer in Iraq than most countries, because it happens that here the Moslems themselves are divided into two factions something like our division into Catholic and Protestant denominations - so don't put in your two cents worth when Iraqis argue about religion. There are also political differences in Iraq that have puzzled diplomats and statesmen. You won't help matters any by getting mixed up in them.
The "Evil Eye". Many of the Iraqis believe in the "evil eye". This is a good deal in their minds like putting a "hex" on a person is to people in parts of our country. If you stare at people, especially children, someone may think you are the possessor of an "evil eye", and are trying to put a curse on the person you are staring at. . . .
Manners Are Important. Handshaking in Iraq is considered an important part of good manners. You will be greeted with a handshake on every occasion that you meet an Iraqi. His handshake is cordial and sincere. Return it in the same spirit.
But do not touch or handle an Iraqi in any other way. Do not wrestle with him in fun, and don't slap him on the back. Any such contact is offensive to his idea of good manners. Above all never strike an Iraqi. . . .
They do not drink liquor or eat pork. So respect their feelings and do not drink in their presence. Never give them pork to eat or offer it to them even in fun. . . .
Moslems do not let other people see them naked. Do not urinate in their presence. They do it squatting and dislike to see people doing it standing up. These things may seem trivial, but they are important if you want to get along well with the Iraqis.
Iraqi Hospitality. If you are entertained in an Iraqi city home, you will probably find dishes and silverware and customs somewhat like our own. But do not eat too much of the first course of a meal. There is probably more coming. . . .
Coffee drinking is equally popular in the city, country, or desert. Even a shopkeeper may offer you a small glass of coffee. Do not refuse it or throw it away half-drunk, even if it does not taste like our American coffee. If you are offered a second cup, take it, and also a third. But it is customary to refuse a fourth. . . .
SOME IMPORTANT DO'S AND DON'TS
Keep away from mosques.
Smoke or spit somewhere else - never in front of a mosque.
Keep silent when the Moslems are praying (which they do five times a day) and don't stare.
Discuss something else - NEVER religion or politics or women - with Moslems.
Avoid offering opinions on internal politics.
Remember that the Iraqi are very modest people and avoid any exposure of the body in their presence.
Knock before entering a private house. If a woman answers, wait until she has had time to retire.
If you are required to sit on the floor in an Iraqi house or tent, cross your legs while doing so.
If you should see grown men walking hand in hand, ignore it. They are not "queer."
Talk Arabic if you can to the people. No matter how badly you do it, they will like it.
Above all, use common sense on all occasions. And remember that every American soldier is an unofficial ambassador of good will.
Ben Montgomery can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 310-6066. Word for Word is an occasional feature excerpting passages of interest from books, magazines, Web sites and other sources. The text may be edited for space but the original spelling, grammar and punctuation are unchanged.