Friday, July 29, 2005

Another Useful Exercise 

A Palestinian security officer jumps over his colleagues, Wednesday, July 27, 2005 during a visit by Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia at the training camps of the newly recruited Palestinian security forces in Gaza city, who will be deployed in the Jewish settlement area following the disengagement plan. The Palestinian Authority's security apparatus is bloated in manpower but underarmed, and it suffers from professional apathy and abuses of power despite fundamental changes since the death of longtime leader Yasser Arafat, an independent group said Tuesday. However, the Palestinian Authority's decision to reform its security services ahead of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip next month can lay the groundwork for further reform, the report stated.(AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo)
Note: click on picture for full size original.

Cool. Nice reform. This should do the trick. Extra practice to supplement the usual training regimen of burning tire leaps and barbed-wire crawls. This will get the troops ready to control Gaza after the disengagement, no problem.

Has it not occured to them that Palestinian society might settle into a more civilized pattern, better for its own people, if they tried a few other exercises, like maybe:
I know some of you might object to such criticism based solely on this picture. After all, isn't it misleading to characterize the entirety of PA security training and reform based on one PR picture?

Actually, yes it is. But what is completely fair is to say that this PR photo-op is the leadership's planned and intentional response to serious charges against the security apparatus. After all, they went out of their way to invite the photographers and plan a photogenic schedule of events. In effect, by showing their troops practicing for the International Law Enforcement Circus rather than training for effective policing of their community, they are telling us:

Nonsense! We're not bloated and corrupt! We're unfocused and disinterested.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: