Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hungry like the troops

This past spring brought us the unpleasant tale that US troops in Iraq were systematically underfed, receiving only two meals a day, and that Marines were knocking on the doors of Iraqi households asking for food.
Nick Andoscia went to Iraq. And hunger soon followed.

"I got a letter," says Karen. "And he had called me before that. He said, 'Send lots of tuna.' "

Nick told his mother that he and the men in his unit were all about 10 pounds lighter in their first few weeks in Iraq. They were pulling 22-hour patrol shifts. They were getting two meals a day and they were not meals to remember.

"He told me the two meals just weren't cutting it. He said the Iraqi food was usually better. They were going to the Iraqis and basically saying, 'feed me.' "
As if this wasn't enough to blow another hole in the White House's "support the troops" meme, we now have yet another grim tale stateside: military families, strapped by long delpoyments of their soldiering family members and unable to make ends meet, are collecting donated food.
As the Iraq war marches toward its fourth anniversary, food lines operated by churches and other nonprofit groups are an increasingly valuable presence on military bases countywide. Leaders of the charitable groups say they're scrambling to fill a need not seen since World War II.

Too often, the supplies run out before the lines do, said Regina Hunter, who coordinates food distribution at one Camp Pendleton site.

“Here they are defending the country. . . . It is heartbreaking to see,” said Hunter, manager of the on-base Abby Reinke Community Center. “If we could find more sources of food, we would open the program up to more people. We believe anyone who stands in a line for food needs it and deserves it.”

The base's list of recipients swells by 100 to 150 people a month as the food programs streamline their eligibility process, word spreads among residents and ever-proud Marines adjust to the idea of accepting donated goods.
This story is a couple of weeks old and apart from the travesty presented here, why aren't the Democrats pointing out the craven hypocrisy of the Republicans regarding the troops? It certainly isn't hard to do. Or, for that matter, why isn't the media? ... uh, never mind that last question.

This behaviour is well-known. From short-changing troops on body armour and armoured vehicles to chronic underfeeding and abusive treatment of the wounded -- all while Halliburton's profits continue their ceaseless upswing since 2001 -- the Bush adminstration has been allowed to spill their drivel about "the troops" for far too long. But now, while military families stand in food lines, what is the White House engaged in? Why, refactoring the rhetoric of "stay the course" into a new, new strategy of renaming the same policy of do-nothingism in Iraq and calling it "adapting to win." This is governance as joke, a joke that is a long, long way from funny.


Post a Comment

<< Home