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Author Topic: Bagram Baloney
Mohamad Khan
Babbler # 1752

posted 01 October 2002 12:42 PM      Profile for Mohamad Khan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Doubts set in on Afghan mission

Every soldier I spoke to was the same, proud, committed, raring to go. But a few minutes later I was wandering towards a long line of plastic portable toilets. I was hailed by two young soldiers lounging in one of those huge American Humvee jeeps.

Clearly these two were not part of the guided tour.

"Excuse me sir," they asked. "But do we really have to say this baloney?"

The actual word they used was a little more colourful.

"What baloney?" I asked. They handed me a small laminated card.

On it were instructions on how to deal with journalists. Every soldier had been given one.

These were not just general ground rules. It actually listed suggested answers:

"How do you feel about what you're doing in Afghanistan"?

Answer: "We're united in our purpose and committed to achieving our goals."

"How long do you think that will take?" Answer: "We will stay here as long as it takes to get the job done - sir!"

From: "Glorified Harlem": Morningside Heights, NYC | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 2799

posted 02 October 2002 04:18 AM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, that's not a good move. The Canadian military has learned to trust its soldiers in this respect, after getting burned for this kind of thing.
Canadian guidelines are you can say whatever you want to the press, as long as it is within your area of expertise. Those questions the reporter asked are a little close to the line, but because he asked "how do you feel.." that is within a soldier's experience. The soldier can answer honestly, as long as his answer doesn't stray into the realm of politics or public policy - because regulations state that soldiers cannot express political points of view in uniform, or on government property, or as a military representative.

So the soldiers could answer: "Well, sir, I'm tired of being cooped up on this base all the time. I'm pretty much ready to go home."

But not: "Well, sir, this mission is a f*king joke! We aren't doing anything but occupying an oppressed people! Send us home!!"

From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged

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