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...And Finally...

To combat the onslaught of attacks on US/NATO soldiers in Afghanistan by their supposed allies, the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police, Afghan Defense Ministry officials have published pamphlets about Western culture, optimistically hoping that all that 'green on blue' gunfire (35 attacks last year - 45 this year and counting) is just the result of cross-cultural misunderstanding.

As the guide helpfully points out, "Even minor cultural differences can create misunderstandings and rows... If you or your coalition partner gets angry, stay away from each other until the situation becomes normal... Coalition troops may ask about the women in your family. Do not take offence, they just want friendly relations with you."

Helpfully the guide points out a few no no's for G.I.s trying to get home in one piece - like putting your boots on the table, blowing your nose, or sticking your middle finger up (yes, you - you goddam cracker) but runs shy of pointing some of the more obvious faux pas commited by the occupation and has nothing to say about how 150,000 troops occupying the country for 11 years, the killing of tens of thousands of civilians and the propping up of Hamid Karzai's notoriously corrupt government might just contribute to a less than total sense of concord with their American guests.

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