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While many U.S. troops in Iraq are bracing for an increase in terrorist attacks coinciding with the Islamic holy month, other soldiers, including officers, are cringing at new requirements that include “sensitivity classes” on how to “understand Ramadan and the Islamic culture,” reports Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
“I am disturbed by a trend here that is occurring as we serve here in Iraq,” one Army major told the premium online intelligence newsletter edited by the founder of WND. “I am a Christian and so are most soldiers here, as they would probably identify with that religion if not practice it.”
He tells the story of one of his men, performing the duty of guarding civilian Iraqis working on a U.S. military base. When it was time for lunch, the soldier was told he could not eat because the Army wanted to be sensitive to the fasting Iraqis.
“I understand the concept,” said the officer. “But isn’t that forcing us to learn about Islam and even practice its principles? Who cares if Muslims want to fast. We don’t force a guy not to eat. This is the equivalent of forcing our soldiers to practice Ramadan fasting.”
There has been no fast from terrorist violence in Iraq this Ramadan.
The top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, reports a significant spike in violence in and around Baghdad beginning with the onset of Ramadan last Monday. Suicide attacks, he said, are at their highest levels. Murders and executions are currently the No. 1 cause of civilian deaths in Baghdad, and operations against sectarian death squads have been stepped up, the general reported.
The bodies of 40 men who were shot and had their hands and feet bound have been found in the capital just before the weekend. All the victims showed signs of torture, police Lt. Thayer Mahmoud said. They were dumped in several neighborhoods in both eastern and western Baghdad.
On the first day of Ramadan last year, a Sunni Muslim suicide bomber blew up a Shiite mosque in Hilla, Iraq, in the middle of a memorial service, killing 25 worshippers. This year, on the first day of Ramadan, a Sunni suicide bomber in Baghdad killed 35 people who were lining up in a Shiite neighborhood to buy fuel. The same day, the severed heads of nine murdered Iraqi police officers and soldiers were found north of Baghdad.
“I don’t know how sensitivity training of U.S. troops is going to solve the real problems facing this country,” said one Army veteran of two tours of Iraq.
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