A food fascist at war…

US commander in Afghanistan bans burger and pizza bars at Kandahar base Famously sober General Stanley McChrystal calls for an end to the junk food culture at top military base.

So says the headline in the Guardian.

Remarkably, there are branches of Burger King, Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen and TGI Friday’s, among others, at Kandahar airbase. Afghanistan, and by all accounts they’re remarkably popular**, which illustrates perfectly that this is what the troops want. So why close them?

**Or they are until this puritanical tosser closes them down.

A brown-nosing Sergeant Major Michael Hall, with his sights clearly set on promotion, says that McChrystal’s ideas will help to “accommodate the troop increase and get refocused on the mission at hand”. Which is quite possibly the most egregious bollocks to come out of this war so far. And one of McChrystal’s aides has piped up, petulantly, with “This is a war zone, not an amusement park!”. OK, but don’t forget that the US army actually contracted with these companies to set up shop, and are profiting from the various enterprises – McChrystal’s plans will surely put a crimp in that.

Think about this for a minute, though, and consider just how bloody-minded and unreasonable McChrystal is being. These men – and women too – are risking their lives on a daily basis (they may not be on the front line, but they are very close to the Taliban’s heartland at Kandahar city – hardly a safe place to be). Isn’t it, therefore, better for morale to allow troops to eat the sort of food they actually want rather than submit to the whim of some food fascist fuckwit of a general? After all, they’re spending their own money in the fast-food joints, the US army doesn’t have to pay (as I said, it actually profits from them), so what’s the problem?

The question of whether the likes of Burger King, Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen and TGI Friday’s should be profiting from the war is rather more valid, and worth asking (as is who staffs these outlets, and are they getting paid enough to also risk their lives?). Nobody seems to be doing so, though.

By way of comparison, the UK’s huge Camp Bastion base in Helmand Province has only a miniature Pizza Hut, housed in a shipping container. That’ll make sure they don’t enjoy themselves too much!

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2 thoughts on “A food fascist at war…

  1. jeeeezus.. this shows the total lack of understanding of the real world by US officers, I know, I’ve been there! Take a close look at the crap that US serve their combat troops in the field, designed to be eaten cold if no heating is available most US soldiers I knew always took a pack of strong spices and or Tabasco to mask the vile taste. I had Yanks offering me cash, souvenirs and even issue items of uniform and equipment in exchange for the British rat packs I was issued with! Kandahar is used as a R&R area for some of the multinational force out there, and the chance to use the PX (their answer to our NAAFI) and shops and restaurants is a great release. Add to this the number of civilians working there, everything from Laundry staff to the Thai massage parlour (yes they can get a relaxing massage and ONLY that). these people are also entitled to use the restaurants too.
    These fast food outlets offer food which, eaten to excess and without exercise to burn the calories off, could be seen as unhealthy. The people working out there, military and civilian, burn up a lot more calories than people in normal civilian jobs, the main exception to this are the US officers who do nothing more strenuous than smoking a cigar and wafting off a load of verbal “bovine excrement” about the eating habits of their troops.
    Don’t even let me get started about the way the Yanks serve up “chow”, all 3 courses on one tin plate/tray…

    • Yep – MREs are notorious. Even starving refugee groups have refused to eat them (though whether that’s apocryphal I can’t say – memory says it’s true, but I can’t recall where it was).

      Ron.

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