Guidelines for Iraq-bound Marines
The Fresno Bee
02/04/07 13:30:12

The Marines and Army have intensified cultural awareness training in an effort to avoid some behavioral blunders that had plagued the military in Iraq. Here are some tips on Iraqi culture from a class for Marines at Camp Pendleton, Calif.:

- Never touch a Koran.

- Don't be surprised if an Iraqi man greets you with a kiss.

- A 40-second handshake is not unusual.

- Never admonish a man in front of his family.

- Talking to a girl is permissible, but not a woman.

- Be careful when brandishing a pistol, which was the weapon of choice among Saddam Hussein's henchmen.

- If in doubt about a custom, always ask a local. Never assume.

- Never make a promise that you cannot keep.