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Spoils of war?

According to this story, George W Bush has Saddam Hussein's handgun in his office - the empty gun that Hussein was clutching when he was captured.

I thought that looting, taking the weapons of enemies as trophies of war, that sort of thing, was considered inappropriate. In fact, it merits disciplinary action, reduction in pay, even dishonorable discharge.

Excellent example you're showing there, W. Way to set the high moral standard for our troops.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 1st, 2004 01:45 pm (UTC)
You've got to wonder whether he'd prefer to have Saddam's head mounted on the wall... I guess the only thing that stopping him is the (understandable) outcry. The pistol is bad enough!
Jun. 2nd, 2004 12:05 am (UTC)
The regulations on spoils of war are stupid.

I'm not certain I'm remember the number correctly, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000 Beretta 92 pistols, precisely the same pistol that is currently the official sidearm of US military forces, were recovered by our military from weapons caches in Iraq still packed in grease and in factory fresh condition. Instead of equipping troops in Iraq with these weapons, or at least adding them to the army's inventory, these weapons were de-ordnanced and destroyed. Tax money is lost both in the purchase of such weapons rather than using recovered weapons, and is also lost in the time gun technicians (a.k.a., soldiers tasked to armory) must spend in the de-ordnancing process.

While I agree that the bit of Bush acquiring Hussein's personal sidearm is chumpery, I strongly disagree with the general policy the military must abide by with regard to spoils.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )