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Thread: Law and order
08-17-05, 07:42 AM #1
Law and order
Law and order
By ALBERT McKEON, Telegraph Staff
Published: Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005
Sometimes a slender, military-issue pair of ballistic sunglasses forms the thickest of barriers between a U.S. Marine and an Iraqi citizen.
Some Iraqis, seeing the futuristic-shaped eyewear, have accused Marines of possessing X-ray vision, an ability to penetrate clothing. The Marines, obliging to show they wear nothing more than conventional shades, hand them over. The Iraqis try them, but quickly say the Marines turned off the X-ray function.
John Yurcak has accepted these cultural quirks. He's learned that Iraqi logic - rooted in Islam, and reliant on Allah to reach the simplest of solutions - differs from the secular American approach to problems.
"If God wills it," Yurcak often hears.
Yurcak is trying to will law and order into an Iraq brimming with democratic promise but often unsettled by violence. To succeed, he's blending Iraqi reason with the practicality of his experience as a Marine lieutenant colonel and Nashua police officer.
His successes will feed into the larger U.S. military goal of training 135,000 Iraqi police by the end of 2006. The sooner Iraqis can enforce their laws and protect their citizens, the sooner American troops can reduce their presence.
"Every day is like crisis management," he said last week while home on leave. "You have to get creative."
Yurcak, 39, leads the Marine effort in establishing police forces in Al-Anbar, Al-Karbala, and An-Najaf provinces and half of the Babil region. He oversees the training and equipping of special police commandos, border and highway patrol, and regular police - all divisions of Iraq's national police force.
To relate the geographic scope of his undertaking, Yurcak pulled out of his computer bag a military handbook on Iraq. His coverage territory was superimposed over a map of several U.S. mid-Atlantic and central states, essentially the battleground of the Civil War.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
ONE PROUD MARINE
Once a Marine...Always a Marine
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