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Thursday, April 14, 2005

STOP! In the name of love!

I was just listening to that Supremes classic when I read this post on Michelle's blog. It describes how one Marine in Iraq improved checkpoint procedures:
Fick has written a book, "One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer," about what he learned in Iraq. The book will be published this fall. He told Pelley he learned the hard way that standard checkpoint tactics donít work.

"The hand and arm signals are hard to see, theyíre hard to interpret. The warning shots are difficult to see, almost impossible to see in daylight," says Fick. "Almost impossible to hear in a speeding car at a long distance. Usually, the last resort for us was attempting to fire into the engine block."

"Attempting?" asks Pelley.

"Almost impossible to do. A lot of that is Hollywood fantasy," says Fick. "I had a platoon that included many Marine snipers who are some of the best marksmen in the world. And they couldn't do it consistently."

Fick told 60 Minutes Wednesday that after struggling with the Pentagonís checkpoint procedures, he improvised; he stole an Iraqi stop sign.

"And at every checkpoint we set up after that, we put the stop sign down the road near the wire, and it was hugely successful," says Fick. "[It] worked very well."
So we've been shooting up whole families of Iraqis because it never occurred to anyone but Fick to put up a stop sign?