Azara Blog: Police exam in Iraq

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Date published: 2005/02/08

The Guardian published sample exam questions for the new Iraqi police force. They are so silly you have to wonder if the Guardian is just taking the piss, but it is not yet April Fool's Day.

"Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person is: (a) torture; (b) interview techniques; (c) interrogation techniques; (d) informative and reliable."

Well the Americans clearly believe (b) and (c) so what is an Iraqi police recruit supposed to say.

"In a democratic free society the role of police is to protect: (a) the citizens; (b) the leader; (c) the state; (d) the military."

Well the police should protect everyone, so the correct answer is (a)-(d).

"The police basic standard of conduct requires: (a) all citizens to be treated with respect and dignity; (b) information to be shared with the local community; (c) special treatment for privileged persons and organisations; (d) bribes to be collected for services."

Well for most police services in the world (c) is certainly true (why else does Bush get 10000 police to protect him when he comes to London). And (b) might also be a reasonable choice depending on what "information" they are talking about.

"Human rights can be taken away from a person: (a) never, human rights are inalienable; (b) if the government says so; (c) if the accused has committed a serious crime; (d) in time of war."

Well most people in most countries seem to believe the correct answer is (b)-(d). After all, the British and American governments already practise (b), and most countries practise (d), and many people push for (c) (e.g. for alleged paedophiles).

"Which of the following could be a suicide bomber?: (a) male; (b) female; (c) child; (d) all of the above."

Well the only point of this question must be that the American policy of shoot first and ask questions later should be the same for the Iraqi police.

Not only are these questions silly, they are downright patronising. Answer the questions the stupid obvious "Uncle Tom" way and you go to head of the class.

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