Secrecy News

A New Iraq Culture Smart Card

“Don’t use your left hand for contact with others,” advises the U.S. Marine Corps in a new edition of the Iraq Culture Smart Card (very large pdf) which is distributed to military personnel in Iraq. “It is considered unclean.”

It seems late in the day for such niceties. Amid the daily brutality of the Iraq war, there is probably little to be gained by courtesy or to be lost by mere rudeness.

But the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity evidently thinks otherwise.

The MCIA has produced an updated Iraq Culture Smart Card, dated May 2006, which features rudimentary information on Iraqi customs, religion and language. A copy was obtained by Secrecy News and is available here (in a very large 22 MB PDF file).