Uncle Sam is getting a little weird. Make that a lot weird. Having dumped hundreds of billions of dollars into a sinkhole called Afghanistan -- populated by misogynistic, pederastic, tribalistic and religiously supremacist primitives -- to no avail, he has hit on a new plan for winning those ever-elusive Afghan "hearts and minds."
Uncle Sam has decided that the answer lies in the latrine with the U.S. Marine Corps. No kidding. When nature calls, Uncle Sam has decided he wants every U.S. Marine equipped with a map and compass, or some other way of knowing direction. This is to ensure that no U.S. Marine in Afghanistan urinates in the direction of Mecca ever again.
Now, there's a winning strategy.
It's still OK, of course, to spread baksheesh (payola) indiscriminately, chase jihadis into twisting mountain gorges, clear any road laced with improvised explosives - blow up, even, and bleed all over the place. Just make sure your sense of direction is sharp when it really counts.
Take spitting. According to an article in the North County Times, the word is: Ix-nay on itting-spay toward ecca-May, guys. If there's a pinch between teeth and gum while you're hiding out in a cold valley, figure out where Mecca is (2,000 miles away) before letting anything out of your mouth. Oh, and when it's time to catch some shut-eye "when sharing a base with Afghan army troops" - if you can sleep, given the frightening odds an Afghan National Army soldier might turn his gun on you - don't, whatever you do, let your combat boots point toward you-know-where.
That would be "culturally insensitive" and, therefore, it seems, worse than anything Afghani (or Pakistani) jihadist butchers might do (beheadings, rape) because they, as Muslims, are automatically "culturally sensitive." Apparently to compensate, senior Pentagon brass created something called the USMC Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning to teach Marines to exist in the Islamically approved fashion.
When Marines learn not to excrete in the direction of Mecca - home of the black cube known as the Kaaba - and not to sleep with their boots toward Mecca, what are they really learning? They are learning to become intensely sensitized to the whereabouts of Mecca; how to be guided by that magnetic north for Muslims as a matter of the most personal habits and hygiene, all in accordance with Shariah (Islamic law). They are learning to act like Muslims.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em?