Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Advice from the past

A handy guide from 1942

See this from Andrew Sullivan. The pdf is the thing to read. I disagree on his money quote; I would go for:

"You aren't going to Iraq to change the Iraqis. Just the opposite. We are fighting this war to preserve the principle of 'live and let live.'"

or maybe:

"Iraq has great military importance for its oil fields, with their pipelines to the Mediterranean Sea."

or perhaps, from the conversion table:

"100 Dinars........................................$402.00"

Today 100 Iraqi dinars is worth less than 8 US cents

And finally, the fact that this copy, in a university library in Dallas, Texas, was last borrowed in 1956.

The pamphlet is full of nuggets. Do read it.

1 comment:

Patrick Kidd said...

It's wonderfully fascinating right from the first sentence. How did Americans go from pronouncing Iraq as "i-RAHK", as the guide says, to "EYE-rak"?

Also, it is interesting to see how the Americano-centric view of country sizes has changed. In the wartime guide, Iraq is described as "about the size of the state of Montana". In today's CIA factbook, however, Iraq is now described as "slightly more than twice the size of Idaho". [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/iz.html] What has Montana done to fall out of favour with the comparators? Both states were Democrat under Roosevelt but have been solidly Republican (with the exception of 1968) ever since.

I am also intrigued by the advice "do not wrestle with an Iraqi in fun". I assume that is to be taken literally, although it could be meant figuratively today.

And as for "be generous with your cigarettes" - in this cancer-conscious age might that not be an even sounder piece of advice, perhaps giving out cigarettes laced with opiates to make them less angry?