Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Got Any Fries to Go With That, Sheik?

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

U.S. military bases in Afghanistan will soon no longer be "Home of the Whopper," as military officials have decided to pull the plug on most private food vendors, which have been deemed a waste of resources. That means troops will no longer be able to spend their hard-earned combat pay on fast food burgers, fried cheese sticks, soft-serve ice cream, pizza and more.

While some have questioned the very notion of fast food franchises being available to troops in battle zones (profiteering, misplaced priorities, etc.), I feel that people who are risking life and limb overseas should be able to partake of the “comforts of home” whenever possible. And this is coming from a vegetarian who avoids most fast food (ok, except for pizza).

If having access to junk food that’s available on every street corner back home means taking away water, power and other vital resources from military operations, however, then the “sesame seed buns” probably do have to go.

This story raises a larger question about the wisdom of the privatization of war, i.e., private companies supplying goods and services right in a war zone. Maybe some of the other private interests – that are not only using up resources (including lots of taxpayers’ money) but, by operating outside any oversight, undercutting whatever legitimacy we have in the region – need to go as well. The burger joints are merely attacking our troops’ digestive systems, not massacring civilians.


Jack K. said...

You raise an interesting question. On one hand the troops deserve to consume foods that are familiar. They do need to have foods that will give them strength and aid endurance.

They don't need foods that will impair their health.

One of the "rationales" for using contract service providers is to free up more personnel to do the combat mission.

I couldn't agree more with the idea that said contractors might be working without oversight. However, those involved with food service will be overseen. It's the other "security" contractors who need to be reigned in.

Pete Bogs said...

Jack - As you are ex-military, I'm extra glad you chimed in. True, we can't have troops eating junk all day or they won't be in shape to do their jobs. It's probably better for them as an occasional meal, as it is for anyone.

As for the security contractors, Blackwater changing their name to Xe doesn't change anything; they are mercenaries.

PS: How am I still getting spam posts with word verfication on???

boneman said...

an answer I have come up with.
Not that it makes a LOT of sense, but, here goes.
Why do you get spam with word verification?
Because there are over a billion people in China. Offering someone two dollars a day to type in the verification is no problem whatsoever, I think.
I, too, tried some gigs on them. Best I found is putting moderator onto any post after fourteen days.
(good news, bad probably have an infestation of posts with spam.)

And, speaking of spam...with everyone in the army that is in the army, surely one of those guys knows how to put together a grease burger from here.
So, maybe if homesickness steps in, just get Mr. Greaseburger into the chow hall for some KP time, fix everyone up with a whopper, or a bigmac or whatever there is, thankyou.
I'm fairly cetain a grease burger isn't bad for anyone, though.
I mean, if it was as bad as pot or worse, it would have been made illegal already.
Well, maybe.
Just found out that somewhere near four hundred people die of aspirin every year here in the USA.
How many overdoses on pot?
In ten thousand years?
Still zero.

boneman said...

that should read have an infestation on your old posts....

Pete Bogs said...

boney - I have seen some old posts with dozens of spam comments. The bastards! I'm sure you're right about the cause. Am I going to have to write up more about China on here?

As one of the linked articles points out, the troops can get all the chow they want - including burgers - for free in the mess hall (do they still call them that?). But I guess sometimes you crave a specific taste that Halliburton's cooks can't deliver.

Nice to see you.