are certainly greater issues at hand in Iraq than some drunken idiot
trying to hand feed a tiger... only to be surprised when the animal
mauls him. Not surprisingly, the caged 14-year old tiger
was shot dead by a fellow U.S. Comrade-In-Arms who was reacting to save
his buddy... or to vent anger on the tiger for acting like a tiger when
faced with some dimwit
The killing of a caged animal pales in comparison to the greater imperative of dealing with daily death and destruction in an occupied country. It's not only the messenger, but the message that's being conveyed which is the most galling to the international community. And that message is NOT one of any semblance of respect.
The usual justification would go something along the lines of turning the victim into the perpetrator. "It was the tiger's fault.. and what was the onlooking soldier supposed to do? Let the tiger kill him?"
No, of course not. But let's assign responsibility on those who are responsible.
Drunk or not, the behaviour of Americans in Iraq is what Iraqis are using to form... or bolster... opinions of the United States. Military personnel might get a crash course in Do's-and-Don'ts prior to settling in on foreign territories, but no one seriously believes these people are paragons of diplomatic virtue.
But common sense is both fashionable and well received around the world. And if this were only more 'left-wing anti-American media hype', it wouldn't strike the collective sensitive nerve as much as it has.
The military personnel in Iraq are facing mounting frustration and an ominous future. Few would envy their position.
One would hope the gravity of their mission would bring out the best in personal integrity... not irresponsible sophomoric teenage pranks.
And no, I don't have any sympathy for those who needlessly and recklessly tempt fate... and lose.
At least the tiger had its comeuppance.