13 January 2005

By now, everyone has heard about Prince Harry's monumentally poor judgement in wearing a nazi uniform to a party. Many are even proclaiming that he isn't fit to attend Sandhurst, the top British military academy. But I haven't heard anyone mention what, to me, is the supreme irony in the whole situation. Harry wore the costume to a party with the theme "colonies and natives," or something to that effect (which is in itself appalling to those of us with liberal, multicultural sensibilities). I happen to think it's appalling for another reason, besides the inherent evil of colonialism: the British military that Harry wants to join is currently engaged in Iraq, which is (guess what?) one of those wacky former British colonies that the princes were celebrating at their party. And I'm sure Iraqis would love to hearken back to the good old days when the British exploited their ethnic differences for political gain.

I suppose the chances of Prince Harry actually serving in Iraq are approximately the same as the chances of David Beckham getting sent over there, but it makes you wonder what kind of officer corps you're getting out of these places. It's even more worrisome because the British are supposed to be the "sensitive" troops, who know how to deal with the "natives." Sheesh. Who are we kidding?

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