29 November 2010

Don’t volunteer for nothin’

From the Soldier side: I’m sure by now you’ve all heard about the 6 Americans killed in Afghanistan by an Afghan either dressed up like a cop, or he was a cop. And last night I watched one of the news type reports (TV Show- “60 Minutes") ran a story about the not so high speed cops in Afghanistan. Illiterate, dope smoken’ corrupt and all.

I haven’t been to that lovely place, but I’ve been to other places. First of all, you have to forget the notion that cops in places like that will be anything close to what we have in “First World” countries…like the US, Australia and most of Europe.

Take for example when I was in Bosnia. We traveled around in civilian cars and in civilian clothes. (No, we weren’t spies, we did mess kit repair). I lost track of how many times a member of my team or myself were stopped by the local cops--- and the first thing they asked for was “lunch money.”

Their line was usually: “My partner and I have been out here all day and we haven’t had lunch yet. 10 or 15 KM would sure be helpful.”

The Bosnia cops with white hats did traffic enforcement

(In Bosnia the cops don’t drive around much, but stand on the side of the road—holding up a sign with “STOP” on it…expecting you to pull over. This saves them using a lot of gas, but easy to know where they’re posted and avoid that area. We were with SFOR, so they couldn’t arrest or cite us.)

The first time I heard them ask for money, I was shocked. I know we’ve had corrupt cops in the US, but I was brought up doing police work where we’d haul somebody’s ass to jail for shit like that. After I got to know some of the cops in Bosnia, I realized that they were barley able to pay the rent and buy food for their family. So, that was the reason for the car stops. I noticed that they only stopped nice cars…so I started to just use our shitty looking Volks Wagon Passat after that.

A year later when I was in Iraq, within my first week of being on missions, I talked to a local cop in the wonderful city of Mosque—Fallujah. I found that many of the cops there couldn’t read….or write. I asked how they wrote tickets and reports…and they just looked at me funny. I guess writing wasn’t important.

When I was in Fallujah, my team was attached to the USMC. The officer in charge and the NCO in charge were both civilian cops (USMC Reserves). So we got along great. One day at Camp Fallujah, a bus full of brand new Iraqi cops came in. The cops were all brand new rookies. They had been sent to Fallujah from other cities in Iraq to help restore law and order after the “Battle of Fallujah. These Iraqi cops were all ordered to go to Fallujah for 2 weeks, and then they’d be returned home.

The bus full of the bastards all wanted to quit. They didn’t want to be away from home for 2 weeks. I got pissed. Really, really pissed. Here I was going to end up being away from my home for a total of 2 years because of 9-11. 9 months for Bosnia and 15 months for Iraq. Two Friggen’ Years of my life helping other countries get their shit together…and these little maggots couldn’t stay away from mommy for 2 friggen weeks! Totally useless little maggots.

After we’d been in Iraq for several months, “they” (never knew who the hell “they” was) sent out a request for all the American Military reserves and National Guard serving in Iraq…..”they” wanted to know who were police officer back home and if any of us had were trainers.

I read between the lines…I figured that “they” were looking for those with civilian cop experience to help train the Iraqi Police.

I didn’t volunteer for that job. By that point I had already seen how fu—ed up the Iraqi Police were. I knew I didn’t want to get anywhere near those dumbasses if they were holding weapons. Even if they weren’t trying to kill us, they had so many negligent discharges that they seemed to suffer more that way than from the insurgents.

I didn’t fill out the form…and when asked about it later by one of my bosses, I just said I was more useful doing what I was doing at that time. I didn’t want to admit that I was really afraid of getting shot in the back by a retard with an AK.

(If any current or former I.P.s are reading this and you’re offended….tough shit…. But that shouldn’t be a problem since most I.P.’s can’t read.)

Youtube Iraq Police training





Coming soon: "Don't stand too close to a naked crazy man." 


TheNewMagoo said...

Maybe the difference is that in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and most of Europe policing started from the philosophy developed by Sir Robert Peel:

# The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime & disorder.
# The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.
# Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
# The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
# Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
# Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.
# Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
# Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
# The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

Whilst other countries will have a less... um... disciplined attitude to it? Less of a profession and more of a job?

Sorry for the essay :)

Is the crazy naked man story a "police side" one?

Anonymous said...

1. Think you're 600 miles north of the same thing.
2. When I was a kid, used to live in New Mexico and run around northern Mexico, because....
3. Two sets of cops there, back then. Federales, who were well trained and did their job and Rurales who were on the take.
4. Almost never saw the first group up in the mountains. If you couldn't avoid the second, usually cost a picture of Andy Jackson to get off the hook -real or contrived.
5. Not sure how things are there now. From what I hear, it's a good place to stay away from.
6. Anyway, by the time I got out to the real third world, the notion of unpaid local police sustaining themselves by shaking down all and sundry -wasn't too surprising.
7. There have been a couple dozen cases of Afghan cops or soldiers shooting down US troops advising or assisting them.
8. Disarming yourself among the locals is a recommended COIN and negotiating tactic.
9. Takes bigger balls than I have.
10. Once assisted a fairly high ranking USMC officer on a UN observation deal. We were not permitted to be armed.
11. He asked me if I was armed. Dragged a small automatic pistol from inside my crappy, Second Chance, body armor. (Didn't lie to my superiors in those days)
12. He said that was okay, he was armed too.
13. He was obviously checking to see: 1. if I was a credulous moron & 2. what kind of back up he could expect if we got a bite of a sh*t sandwich.
14. Your avoiding the issue by not volunteering is the school solution.
V/R JWest

Wrexie said...

If that Bosnian copper held up that little stop sign on a Houston freeway, some bubba would pull out his shotgun thinking it was target practice day.

Maybe we should send Bubba to Iraq? I think Bub could top them all at negligant discharges.
..just point 'em in the right direction.