American Soldiers Refused Thanksgiving Dinner If They Didn’t First Sign a Statement in Support of BushPhaedrus links to an interview in Intervention Magazine with an American soldier serving in Iraq who has some startling things to say. Here’s a taste:
What did you think about President Bush’s Thanksgiving visit to Iraq?I was there when President Bush came to the [Baghdad] airport. The day before, you had to fill out a questionnaire and answer questions, that would determine whether they would allow you in the room with the President.
What was on the questionnaire?
“Do you support the president?”
Members of the military were asked whether they support the president politically?
Yes. And if the answer was not a gung-ho, A-1, 100 percent yes, then you were not allowed into the cafeteria. You were not allowed to eat the Thanksgiving meal that day. You had an MRE.
What’s an MRE?
Meals ready to eat. We also call them “meals refused by Ethiopians.”
About this questionnaire, it raises a serious question about whether military personnel, or civil servants for that matter, should ever be asked questions by their supervisors about their political beliefs. It also raises the whole question of freedom of speech. In particular, the circumstances under which members of the military have freedom of speech.
There is none.
Is a soldier free, for example, to speak to the media if it is in support of the president and his policies, but not free to do so if in opposition or if raising uncomfortable questions?
If you are spouting good things about the president, you are allowed to speak. If you are saying anything negative, you are not allowed to speak.
There’s a lot more and it’s must-reading. You don’t want to miss this. Scroll down to the post titled “Support The Troops! Or Give ’em Lip Service, Anyway” and read it for Phaedrus’ comments, then go read the whole interview. It’s a mind-boggler.