The Occupiers’ Guide to Iraq

US troops in Iraq who don’t speak Arabic must fall back on pictures

When you don’t have the words, use pictures. That’s the principle of the Iraq Visual Language Survival Guide. This foldable, pocket-size pamphlet gives new meaning to the phrase “point and shoot.” Its maker, Kwikpoint, which claims to have 250,000 guides in use on today’s battlefields and has contracted with the U.S. General Services Administration to continue supplies through 2008, publishes these mini-images to assist with every activity, from weapons searches to eating lunch. Along with the “universal icons” for communicating during surrenders and searches (right), this guide also helps soldiers chat pictographically about trip wires, bomb-making, and the facial hair of the enemy.