The Brit Way

Occupational hazards aren't so intense in southern Iraq, outside the U.S. sphere

Back at Catterick, Major Mason said the Royal Irish sends a third of its troops through a basic Arabic course. He wanted to give his soldiers a more exhaustive language course, but the training schedule hasn't allowed it. Still, British units land in Iraq able to speak more Arabic than their American counterparts. On patrols like Wiseman's, such training is evident.

In the Samawah market, Wiseman attracts an entourage of Iraqis—kids begging for candy, men asking about reconstruction. When he leaves, Wiseman waves goodbye, and his subjects wave back.

No gunfire. No riots. In southern Iraq, the occupiers have maintained peace and consent for another day.To say a uniquely British approach is the key to that consent is unfair, when Americans up north who take many of the same measures are rewarded with bloodshed.

While cars explode and people die in central and northern Iraq, the south appears to be moving closer to security, paving the way for the British occupation's relatively orderly end, beginning perhaps as early as next April.

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