YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE IRONY OF THE TERM “MILITARY INTELLIGENCE”. AMERICAN TROOPS DESERVE BETTER;
GIVE OUR TROOPS A BURGER
[From what I hear, war is kind of hard.
People trying to kill you, castrating rules of engagement, long separation from home and family, extended stays in the worst parts of the world.
Seriously, it sounds like no fun whatsoever.
Yet it is the reality of tens of thousands of American men and women who have been sent, in the uniform of our country, to foreign battlefields. For them, it’s not the evening news, it’s the daily grind.
So time off is precious.
If there comes a few minutes in the day or week when, for half a moment, a GI can let is hair down a bit and relax, when he can de-stress just the slightest bit, that’s a good thing.
And for a while, at the Kandahar Airfield, they’ve had a good thing. A small and simple good thing, but a good thing nonetheless.
Inside the fence at the Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan, there has been a little taste of home in recent months.
There has been a Burger King, and a Subway, and a TGI Fridays, and a sunglass hut, and a Tim Horton’s. Also a basketball court and an ice hockey rink, and a little stage where musicians can perform.
It’s been nice. It’s been good for morale.
It’s been a place for soldiers and Marines on their third and fourth combat deployments of this war to escape the near-constant tension of combat and disappear for a few minutes into a Whopper and a milkshake.
It’s been a heaven on earth for our troops.
But the general says it has to go.
He had his sergeant major chide our heroes, telling them they weren’t at an “amusement park.”
As if, after years of watching their buddies get blown up, they had any confusion on that point. As if, after years of rotating in and out of two wars, they deserve to be talked down to by the general’s lapdog.
As if the brass is going to begrudge the GIs a burger.
Yet, that is what is happening.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Obama’s man in Afghanistan, has ordered that the small cluster of American businesses be closed. All of them opened with the cooperation and invitation of the military. All of them are typically thronged, demonstrating their popularity with the troops, and all of them are going to be closed.
Bye, bye Subway.
The official reason is that there isn’t any room for these businesses. The actual reason is that our Afghan “hosts” feel that these businesses are an unwanted intrusion of Americanism into their culture and society.
Apparently, they are threatened by french fries.
Apparently, they have so much chip on their goat-herding shoulders that we offend their dignity by our presence.
And apparently, our military’s senior leadership is so politically correct and obsequious that, at the first hint of Afghan upset, we grab our ankles.
Some Third World kleptocrats, the flower of a culture that can’t even fight for its own freedom, resent the fact that we build restaurants with inside plumbing and our troops have to take it in the shorts?
When confronted with a choice between Afghan bureaucrats and American soldiers, our general chose Afghan bureaucrats. He chose to short the American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who use the Kandahar Airfield as their base.
He chose to take away their burger king.
**The hockey rink and Tim Horton’s get to stay, but only because the Canadian officer corps still has a backbone and a brain. **
The American generals have no such parts.
So the last best place to get some R-and-R between patrols and convoys is closing. American heroes, the men and women who are doing our will in Afghanistan, get the short end of the stick.
Which seems a pretty poor way for a supposedly grateful nation to show its respect.
It is galling that we can ask these men and women to leave sweethearts and families and travel half way around the world, and then give them the shaft. Many of them are Guardsmen and Reservists, stressed by multiple deployments, torn away from higher-paying civilian jobs, and now the general thinks TGI Fridays is too good for them.
Which is a bunch of bunk.
This is worth calling your congressman and senator over. A couple of weeks ago, Republicans and Democrats lit up the phone lines to Washington, on opposite sides of the health-care debate. On this issue, presumably everyone can agree – the troops are being cheated. Maybe this is a chance for Republicans and Democrats to agree on something and see what they can accomplish for good.
Because somebody needs to stop this.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal might be a spineless weenie who is willing to throw our troops under the bus.
But we aren’t.
Give them back their Burger King.
Make sure you call your congressman and ask him to make that happen.
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2010](“http://www.lonsberry.com/email_columns.cfm”)