Michael's Dispatches

Of Concern

231 Comments

Monday, 08 March 2010
Kandahar, Afghanistan

Yesterday, an American involved in the war effort handed me a document. It was an email from a Lieutenant Colonel in the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan. His unit is in combat seven days a week. To be clear, I did not get the email from the officer and I have never met him.

The email is about the abysmal, unsafe conditions which some of our most dedicated troops are living in, at a remote base run by the Spanish military in Afghanistan. All deletions [xxx] are by me. I have the entire email. The serious and disturbing allegations are found in the second and third paragraphs.

Please note, that the failure to support permanent US troops at this Spanish base constitutes real negligence about their ultimate safety. And that comes on top of a degree of harassment that is shocking among allies.

The message begins:

Gentlemen,
I just finished spending a couple days with TF [xxx] at [xxx] and visiting all of our sites that we have troopers located at. Great progress continues to be made in the [xxx], but several items need some help ASAP:

[Para 1 deleted]

2) Qal E Naw: The Spanish are not interested in helping in anyway, and are trying to make us decide to leave based on their unacceptable treatment of Americans. Our refuelers [soldiers who refuel helicopters] that are living there have to run out, unroll the hoses, pull security, and roll everything back up. They have asked for gravel along the FLS as it is currently calf deep mud, but the Spanish refuse to make any improvements. They asked for a T barrier (just one) to put at a 45 degree angle outside the fence where the FARP [Forward Arming and Refueling Point; where helicopters land for ammo and gas] has to be set up so they can run for cover in case there is small arms fire, the Spanish say no and refuse to make any improvements. They asked for a small gate where their billets are located so they can access the FARP directly rather than going a half mile loop to get out the gate, but the Spanish said no and refuse to make any improvements. They [sic] guys are living hard (we understand that) but have to do laundry by hand as all of their stuff is stolen if they turn it into the laundry, they discussed this with the Spanish, but they refuse to many any improvements.

USFOR-A needs to energize someone to develop a viable, enduring plan for this FARP that isn’t reliant on the Spanish. This is a key hub for fuel (since we can’t get trucks to [xxx] or [xxx]) so let’s improve this location to better support those guys living out there on the edge by themselves. They refused to allow a Marine detachment that was dropped there to come into the wire or feed them overnight. Our refuelers had to fight the Spanish to bring them in and squeeze them into the two small tents that they have and give them MREs as they [sic] Spanish wouldn’t feed them. Is this how we allow our Coalition partners to treat Americans?

3) BmG: Who ever briefed that they have gravel there has never been there. We arrived during a TIC [fighting] and a MEDEVAC mission. The aircraft have to land/park in a field that has no gravel and then they sink into the ground. They have to be moved everyday to pull them back out of the mud. If we can’t get gravel, how about putting some AM2 matting, stakes and a couple of Red Horse guys on a CH-47 and fly them in to build a couple of pads just big enough to park an individual UH-60 on? We’ve been pushing the gravel issues since last fall and are no closer to a solution. Those guys are living in fighting positions. When it begins to warm up in the next month, that field will be untenable without gravel or AM2 matting. We don’t want to lose MEDEVAC capability there because we couldn’t put in two pads. We did a MEDEVAC [troop(s) wounded] and Hero [troop(s) killed] mission while I was there and the next day as well, let’s not forget that they are on the tip of the spear, we owe them more.

I would like to discuss these Saturday to see what the way ahead is going to be.

ATW!

On that note, the email closes.

So, our soldiers and Marines, living in rough conditions at the far tip of the spear, apparently are being treated with contempt, with all basic support denied, from laundry to the conditions of the field on which our troops do their thankless job. If this report is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, the Spanish are endangering the lives of our warriors by failing to provide basic safety.

To the extent that there is an international dimension to this potential problem, requiring a diplomatic solution, it deserves the immediate attention of our civilian leadership. Our able Secretary of Defense will likely wish to investigate, and bring it up with our Spanish allies for any corrective measures that might be in order. I will personally see that this gets to Secretary Gates. When Secretary Gates gets wind, we can rest easy that proper attention is forthcoming.

Sincerely,
Michael Yon

 

Say something here...
You are a guest ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Troy Cain · 9 years ago
    What is going on here. how could a senior military officer leave that area w/out someone head or @ least stay there {being a pain in the spanishes ASSes} till something was done.

    Be the soln not just complain about it {although, this is the media job}.

    can't believe how our soldiers are being left to fend for themselves!!!!!!!!!

    Cpt Cain
  • This commment is unpublished.
    El Héroe Ibérico · 9 years ago
    The American freeloading servicemen are very funny
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Magellan · 9 years ago
    The spanish body count at afganistan is more than 80. I suggest any american commander involved in the operation mentioned to stop moaning and go direct to the spanish commander on the field to see what is wrong, as it doesnt look average spanish behaviour.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    magellan · 9 years ago
    Can´t believe some of the comments I have read about Spain and the Spanish Army. If this attitude passes on to the general spanish public, the already high public pressure to withdraw the troops from the afgan mess is going to be too much for Zapatero, who is losing in the polls for the upcoming elections and desperately searching for something to turn the tide.

    Nevertheless, if you like history, you could learn the troubles the Roman Republic had because it could not adequately manage its Italic Allies; They were lucky to have Caius Marius -himself an Italic- to quell the rebellion that ensued due to Roman mismanagement of the Italic Troops.

    I remember everyone in this forum that the casualty roll for the Spaniards is more than 80.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    mjp · 9 years ago
    the best soldier in the world is Spanish, provided they do not send him to stay home.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Galland · 9 years ago
    I am Spanish and am utterly ashamed of this happening. I beg your pardon for our little-minded attitude towards your fighting comrades. The only reason I can think of for this shameful behavior is that our government has mandated "0 casualties", out of fear of public opinion, and that means getting far from real combat units (that means US units in general). We abandoned you in Iraq "thanks" to our current government, it's really no surprise that we are undependable now. Again, my sincerest sorry from my coward-looking country, and thanks for defending the West World.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    El Cid · 9 years ago
    I'm Spanish and has Great Honor (The World's Best Infantry, U.S. Marines were born of our Marines and are also Spanish Legion, Regular, MOE, etc ...). After reading some disparaging messages to the troops of my nation I am very angry with America because they blame (except theft of course) of the Orders of the Governor of my country (President Zapatero and Defense Minister Chacon) satisfying Commander of the base (or is not the duty of a soldier following orders?). In Spain my current government in Afghanistan says "NO WAR" just a conflict with such a thought of my country's troops will not be effective. Also the lack of material of Spanish troops (bullet proof vests with many years of use, old cars without adequate protection, and economic crisis have reduced funds for the Spanish army, etc ...) undermine the effectiveness of the troops.

    I would therefore ask that before you criticize, insult and threaten become better informed on the subject. (We had the May 2, 1808 did not you please take yours too)

    Excuse me for my bad English
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Isma · 9 years ago
    The day than the better of the US Soldiers could be compared with the worst of the Spaniards, call me... and I laugh in your face.

    In the angry 200 years of ridiculous existence of the USA, don't exist the day, that can compare with the worst Spanish day... what's USA without technology? A group of bastards, who fight for money... USA don't have army, have soldiers...

    You want that Spaniard fight and dead for you? And what do USA for the Spaniards? Cowards.

    "I read that the Spanish soldier was the best in History. Now, watching them figthing in the Eastern front (against communism) I comprove it".

    USA, go home.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Isma · 9 years ago
    Per cert,

    USA is the country whot thinks that Spain is in SouthAmerica, that Europe is a country... yes!! A great country. lol

    With a great History... be careful, 200 years... wow... fantastic!!

    Go home bastards.

    PS: who sais: "Shoot the bastard". I want to see that. Behind the PC it's so easy... "home of the braves". lol
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Spanishronin · 9 years ago
    Hi to everyone.
    I am Spanish too, and well, what to say about this.
    Here in Spain nor the army, neither the governmente have said nothing, but here we know the things are not going well in our army.
    Our soldiers has old vehicles, they lack of basic equipment for army exercises so no imagine in a war like against the talibans. And as our goverment says "the world is happy", well, there is no money for our soldiers, there is only money for our politicians trips, meals, cars, ...
    Our soldiers are dying, as well US soldiers, and from other places and I believe these problems beteween our armies should be fixed in the political way, but the soldiers from both countries have not to forgot who are the real enemy.
    Is sad there is a stupid goverment here in Spain, if only you know a bit more about our internal affaired probably US soldiers would give even their pants to our soldiers.
    Well, is the tradition in our history, good soldiers and army, good people, awfull politicians.

    Please, don´t blame all of us. A lot of people here in Spain don´t forget how Zapatero ran away from Irak like a coward. That issue is a black point in our army list. Hope the things change in thee future.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    mjp · 9 years ago
    Lake Ilmen ?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    alex · 9 years ago
    years ago more or less, the defense minister of Spain said: It is better to die than to kill, when questioned him about the mission in afghanistan. If in Spain the government still has not acknowledged that there is war in afghanistan and our soldiers were killed in action receive the pensions of victims of terrorism. While Zapatero. is president did not expect anything from us.

    A greeting and good luck in the war from Spain.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    mjp · 9 years ago
    Lake Ilmen?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    EL Cid · 9 years ago
    http://www.diarioinformacion.com/alicante/2009/10/27/mejores-swat/944914.html?pIdFoto=3894152

    The 9th Annual U.S. Army International Sniper Competition in Fort Benning,Georgia.
    31 Teams..Winner Spanish Team!!!!

    It's in Spanish, but run it through the Google translator and it will be readable.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    EL Cid · 9 years ago
    See this:
    http://www.diarioinformacion.com/alicante/2009/10/27/mejores-swat/944914.html?pIdFoto=3894152

    The 9th Annual U.S. Army International Sniper Competition in Fort Benning, Georgia.
    31 Teams...The Winner Spanish Team!!

    It's in Spanish, but run it through the Google translator and it will be readable.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Another Spanish · 9 years ago
    Isma, you are a good proof of why we have almost always been behind the rest: "what's USA without technology? A group of bastards, who fight for money... USA don't have army, have soldiers... You want that Spaniard fight and dead for you? And what do USA for the Spaniards? Cowards."
    You show the typical communist/socialist mentality so common here in Spain: "I am LAZY (yes, uppercase), Government give me EVERYTHING"

    The US have given you the nuclear energy you waste with the PC they have invented, the light bulbs you see with, the phone you use to call, the TV you watch, the cars you move with, the airplanes you fly on, etc. etc. etc. etc. I am sure you would mindlessly join Hamas just to give pleasure to your brainless AntiAmerican feelings, your poor knowledge of their language (2nd language in our schools) shows how instructed you are to make allegations against anybody outside your little town.
    You are a shame to us all Spanish people.

    eres tonto del culo
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Francisco · 9 years ago
    Soy un soldado español de la Infanteria de Marina de España,no he estado en Afganistan y por lo tanto desconozco si esas acusaciones son ciertas o no.Conozco a muchos compañeros españoles que han servido en Afganistan y no han tenido ningun problema con los americanos,todo lo contrario,han tenido muy buenas relaciones.Si dichas acusaciones son ciertas,yo, como soldado español y tambien como ciudadano español me sentiria tremendamente avergonzado por tales actos y pediria la depuracion de responsabilidades de los autores de dichos actos.Hasta ahi estamos todos de acuerdo.La mayoria de los comentarios que he leido son vomitivos ya que solo buscan el ofender a España sin fundamento alguno.No se puede generalizar sobre un pais entero.España entro a formar parte de la OTAN en 1982 y hemos estado en todas las misiones internaciones desarrolladas tanto por la ONU como por la OTAN con una hoja de presentacion intachable.Pero lo que mas me ha ofendido son los comentarios relacionados con la retirada española de Irak en 2004.Para acusar hay que saber de lo que se habla,nuestro actual presidente de gobierno en las elecciones del 2004 prometio la retirada de las tropas españoles de Irak antes de que ocurriesen los atentados del 11 de Marzo.Una vez ganadas las elecciones,nuestro presidente cumplio con su promesa y retiro las tropas españolas de Irak.Bien es cierto,y yo lo admito,que las formas en las que las tropas españolas fueron retiradas no fueron las adecuadas,pero.....ESPAÑA NO RETIRO SUS TROPAS POR EL ATENTADO DEL 11 de MARZO,NO LAS RETIRO POR COBARDIA SINO POR UNA PROMESA ELECTORAL,PORQUE MAS DEL 80% DE LOS ESPAÑOLES ESTABAN EN CONTRA DE DICHA GUERRA.Asi que un poco de mas verguenza!!! Y si el soldado español se caracteriza por algo es por SU VALENTIA!!!.Somos un pais pequeño,pero tenemos una gran historia,y NO TOLERO CIERTAS ACUSACIONES PUBLICADAS EN ESTE FORO CONTRA ESPAÑA!!! SI SE QUIERE SER RESPETADO ANTES UNO HA DE RESPETAR.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ali Ahmad Mansoor · 9 years ago
    Why American troops protest if they are on same conditions that Spanish. They need more protection? They have more fear? I see many times American troops and Spanish troops and I can see more fear on the face of Americans. They can only be braves after a weapon carried in an armored vehicle?. What Americans need to not to have fear. Are they chickens or soldiers?. Where are hard Americans Soldiers.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    mamen · 9 years ago
    I am sure, this journalist is a trickier man. But, my question is. What is his interest to create a problem between allies? Is a traitor, is a bastard? This issue only support taliban. If they are problems loyal acting is to translate its to authority can solve. Or not?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Domingo · 9 years ago
    This is our president, no comments

    http://webalia.com/imgs/zapatero.jpg
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Antonio · 9 years ago
    Great comment on Isma's one. She/he is probably a well feeded happy belly, as those many we have in Spain. USA keep up being first country in the world, you deserve it. We, on the other hand, only deserve what we have... a stupid comunist president whose IQ is lower than his shoe size. I wish I could run out of here someday and live in a sane country, like yours.

    You want to know who's responsible for all this? Easy, ZAPATERO, keep that name in mind, as he will go in history for being the WORST president in a democratic (said who?) country.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    jon ander · 9 years ago
    solo hay una cosa que un soldado español, no va a perdonar, la arrogancia.
    Tal vez al coronel Usa, se le olvidó pedir las cosas, por su nombre, con un por favor.

    El soldado español es desde epocas preromanas de la siguiente manera(entre muchas otras):

    una tenacidad en la defensa hasta límites insospechados, tozudez hasta la desesperación, desprecio absoluto por la vida propia (y en ocasiones por la ajena), crueldad, generosidad, imperturbabilidad en las derrotas (de manera general, no nada más terminar), y sobre todo austeridad.

    Si en el frente os encontráis a un soldado mal afeitado, sucio, con las botas rotas y el uniforme desabrochado, cuadráos ante él, es un héroe, es un español.
    General de Artillería Jürgens.

    Son indisciplinados, pero no he visto soldados más valientes. Aún no han cedido un palmo de terreno. Yo sé que los nuestros están tranquilos cuando tienen a los españoles de vecinos de sector.

    Opinión de Adolf Hitler recogida por Von Ribbentrop en sus memorias.

    Ni hablar. Los españoles son el único pueblo mediterráneo verdaderamente valiente e immediatamente organizarían guerillas en nuestra retaguardia. No se puede entrar en España sin permiso de los españoles.

    Frase pronunciada por Hitler, luego de invadir Francia, cuando algunos generales le propusieron también invadir España.

    "Considerados como tropa, los españoles son una banda de vagabundos.

    Para ellos el fusil es un instrumento que no debe limpiarse bajo ningun pretexto.

    Entre los españoles, los centinelas no existen más que en teoría.

    No ocupaban sus puestos, pero si los ocupaban es durmiendo.

    Cuando llegan los rusos, son los indígenas los que tienen que despertarles.

    Pero los españoles no han cedido nunca una pulgada de terreno.

    No tengo idea de seres más impávidos. Apenas se protegen.

    Desafían a la muerte.

    Lo que sé es que los nuestros están siempre contentos de tener españoles como vecinos de sector.

    Si se leen los escritos de Goeben sobre los españoles, se advierte que no han cambiado desde hace cien años.

    Extraordinariamente valientes y duros para las privaciones, pero ferozmente indisciplinados"


    Adolf Hitler.


    "Los argentinos tienen dos sangres, la española y la italiana, si sacan su sangre italiana ganaremos la guerra, pero si sacan su sangre española podemos perder la guerra. - Ministro de Defensa Británico a Margaret Thacher, duante la Guerra de las Malvinas.


    Saludos
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Antonio · 9 years ago
    Lo siento mucho, Francisco, pero solo recojemos lo que sembramos... somos la verguenza del mundo. El pasado es solo eso, pasado. El presente es por lo que la gente nos conoce y desafortunadamente nuestro presente es patetico. Somos el hazmereir del mundo, empezando por Europa, nuestros "aliados", lo cual es doblemente triste. Pero bueno, no pasa nada!!! Tenemos nuestro paro, nuestros sindicatos y los 400 euros para una tapita y una birra... que mas se puede pedir?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Sertorio · 9 years ago
    No cabe duda, de que en este hilo tan interesante, se pueden encontrar estupideces escritas tanto por norteamericanos intoxicados en un McDonald, que no saben que más de la mitad de los territorios que hoy forman parte de EEUU, fueron en su momento parte de España (desde Florida, hasta Alaska, pasando por Texas, California, etc, etc...); como por parte de españoles idiotizados por la basura que propagan ciertas ideologías políticas, tipo comunistas, socialistas y compañia. Por desgracia en España tenemos que sufrir especialmente a éstos.

    Pero la verdad, es que el estado actual de las FFAA españolas es penoso, mensajes arriba un declarado militar norteamericano decía que había un gran problema con la politización de las FFAA, y es cierto. El mecanismo de control social es tal y como ha comentado. Como es cierto que la dirección gubernamental de éstas, sobrepasa lo ridículo en el mejor de los casos. Y como es cierto, que el pueblo español, parece perdido en un mundo irreal; probablemente por comodidad, y por falta de cultura política, sustituída por mucho sectarismo.

    Seamos serios: En la propia España hay mucha gente que está harta de la mala utilización de las FFAA en Afganistán, y que sienten vergüenza por ello, que no se creen la memez de la "misión de paz" del presidente Zapatero. Que saben que es una guerra en la que deberíamos estar en los puestos de más esfuerzo y sacrificio, como mandaban las RROO de Carlos III, y eran la tradición de siempre del Ejército Español, y de esa marina que gobernó los mares, no hace tanto tiempo.

    Por favor, si hay alguien serio por aquí, que lea esta revista, en la que se se habla de alguna de estas cosas.

    http://www.ejercitos.org/revista/4.zip

    http://www.ejercitos.org/revista.php

    Perdón por la publicidad, pero es importante que se sepa que en España, hay quien siente vergüenza por el gobierno que tiene. Y que saben lo que es un ejército de verdad.

    Saludos
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Casto Méndez Núñez · 9 years ago
    Spanish soldier are, unfortunally, under the orders of a socialims-nacionalims catalan ministry called Carmen Chacón. She ordered not to combat until they are under atack . José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero are a coward man, and a friend of the islamins, who help him with the 11-M bombs to being president.
    Spanish soldiers are brave and patriots, not our president and ministry of defense...
    "Más vale honra sin barcos que barcos sin honra."
    Casto Méndez Núñez (puerto del Callao 2 de mayo de 1866)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Blas de Lezo · 9 years ago
    I guess there is plenty of ignorance from both sides with some bright exceptions. In any army there are tons of crap that anyone would like to hide. The great US Army with all their money (just think that their budget is roughly the same amount of the next 20 world´s armies added).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures is at risk for a clumsy ally. Oh, dear God, western civilization is at stake!
    So, they are very angry because an spanish officer "refuse" to help in something and claims we are a gang of thieves that stole their clothes.
    Well, to begin with this I must state a few questions.

    - Are you sure it is an Spain´s duty to do those things? Spanish commanders in overseas missions do just EXACTLY what they are ordered to. Otherwise they are dismissed.
    - Are you sure your clothes were stolen? Maybe the treacherous Afghan wind just fade them away. Anyway, if you let that your clothes had been stolen more than once in a war zone is because you are an moron/cretin/idito(choose what fits you best if you understand any). If any of my soldiers would come with such a complaint he would be immediately arrested...for being an stupid, the worst crime in war times.
    - Are you sure that the LC asked so following military regulations or he just asked "nicely", the way US commanders usually treat their allies. You "americans" are well known for being very polite and not arrogant or obnoxious at all!!! And yes, we Spanish are very famous for not being proud,or haughty. It seems nobody is perfect!
    - If the number of comments from USA advising to let us alone, put us in jail or simply shoot us to death are the most popular idea of how to treat an ally that is trying to help you( in a war you started.)..no wonder you are the most hated country. I don´t need to imagine how you treat enemies, I saw it by myself. Don´t blame us if we don´t want to be too related with you.
    - And to other “wise guys”, our rules of engagement are probably the most restrictive of all NATO. Lately our soldiers killed an Afghan approaching with a motorbike to a convoy that ignored the THREE warnings (laser point, Whistle, and warning shoots befote shoot to wound, not to kill) and it almost start a nacional debate…and of course our yellow stripe government gave money to the family because it could not be proved he was a taliban( the convoy continued). This is with what our army must deal with…


    - Leaking a complaint to the press instead of following the regulations is something used by politicians, not officers and gentlemen. No wonder that lots of US officers finished their careers as politicians. Probably they intended so when joined the army.

    To finish this, I must say that is very arrogant to look at your allies from an ivory tower paid with the 5% of the GNP of a big country.
    Next time just think that Spain only use a 1% of their GNP in their military Budget. And don´t make me tell how is spent (waste, really) It´s a big effort for us to help an ally and unfortunately after 35 years of dictatorship (and centuries of war) our army is not very popular among Spanish.

    We are now an “small” country but the main reason we are is because we spent some centuries using all our Money in stupid Wars all around the World. All empires fell for the same reason…too many Wars. I hope you´ll learn the lesson before…

    Anyway, if finally our officer is to blame for this incident, I offer my most sincere apologies, but as I have stated befote precedents don´t help your claims very much. So do not judge so lightly with such a poor information and understand that being an ally is not being an slave.

    I believe it´s our duty to help you and in my opinión Al-Qaeda must be wiped from Earth
    We shouldn,t be afraid from them, they should be very afraid of US.

    Ps: Don´t forget that with all your power and money invested in this war your army is also hand-tied…not as much as us, but you are too. Try to be more understanding.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Spaniard · 9 years ago
    Qué triste es ver a españoles resentidos con ZP tirar mierda contra su propio país, en vez de defender a nuestros soldados. Y lo digo por muchos de los que han escrito aquí, en especial de Castro Méndez Núñez. A vosotros no os importa una mierda España, lo que queréis es fustigar a ZP. A mí tampoco me cae bien, pero en un caso como éste tenemos que hacer piña en torno a las FFAA y defenderlas. Aprovecháis para sembrar discursos paranoicos como que ZP es amigo de los islamistas. No sois personas sanas. En serio. Si de verdad os preocupáis por España, cada vez que habléis de política en foros internacionales, defend al pueblo, a sus instituciones y a las FFAA. Yo también critico a ZP, pero que eso se quede en casa.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    avanter · 9 years ago
    Please, it is too serius. Give us proves of that. Names of the officials by example.

    We are dying there because our goverment don't give us what we need.
    What I can imagine is that we don't have concrete, whasing machines, neither gravel. The last milk supply to our troops was corrupted (look our newspapers: www.elmundo.es www.libertaddigital.com).
    Our JEME ("spanish pentagon chief") said one month ago that the spanish solider must learn to survive and fight with no resources (from the spanish army), but using the resources that can find by himself (spanish DoD magazine- january).
    Perhaps they are applying this new doctrine. We invented the "guerrilla". Now we are developing "bandolering" in Afganistan. :-D (I'm crying).

    You can't imagine a US goverment allowing to a local governor to forbid and punish the use of english languaje in (eg) California. It is happening in Spain. So have pattient with our soldiers.
    Bye
  • This commment is unpublished.
    avanter · 9 years ago
    ponerte de nick spaniard indica tu nivel de sinapsis neural. Es una raza de perros inglesa, y nos llamaban así los ingleses para despreciarnos.
    Y mas que ponernos verdes internacionalmente, se trata de explicar lo inexplicable. Nuestra tropa no tiene la culpa si no les envian calzones ni jabon ni lavadoras.(suficientes)... ¿desde cuando tenemos lavadoras (suficientes) en misiones de este estilo?? Pero si no hay agua para ducharse, la vamos a tener para lavadoras. No me extraña que no se las presten a los de otros paises.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    avanter · 9 years ago
    11M: Queremos saber la verdad.
    fue titadine o C4. Y no goma2eco y vale ya.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Blas de Lezo · 9 years ago
    Avanter...No estarás confundiendo Spaniel con Spaniard? En la enciclopedia británica no sale tal aserto....
  • This commment is unpublished.
    A Spaniard in US · 9 years ago
    I am a Spanish living in US. I love this country and I am American citizen. I don't know if this comment reflects a reality because I don't see any reason for that behavior from Spaniards. However, if it is true I am sorry for myself and in behalf of all people that in Spain love America.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Blas de Lezo · 9 years ago
    I´M VERY ASHAMED for the ignorance of a compatriot. To let it clear:
    Spanish Navy Infantry DOES NOT come from the US Marines. The corps was created more than two centuries before(1537)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Navy_Marines
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Blas de Lezo · 9 years ago
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Navy_Marines

    I´m very ashamed for the ignorance of one of my compatriots.

    Spanish Navy Infantry does not come from the US Marines...It was created more than TWO centuries(1537) before the USMC.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Gabriel Martin · 9 years ago
    All these problems with our troops are because of the president we have now, Spain has 40 millions citizens, half of those hate american people and the other half do not. Our formal president Jose Luis Zapatero is friends with Castro and Hugo Chavez, like I said half of us do not agree at all with this president and his political actions, as you know he is the one that took out our troops from Irak after the terrorist attacks in Madrid, Obama is a good friend of him as well and as the american president he should do something about this as well, send our president a firm message that these things will not be tolerated by the U.S Army or by the government, after all, europe is europe thanks to all the Americans that gave their life in that continent. God bless America and do not forget that all spaniards do not think alike.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Juan · 9 years ago
    I arrived few days ago from QeN, and I have to say that the situation is not easy for nobody. There are daily shootings and the TIC (troops in contact) situation is continuous every time we leave the base. The logistic convoys are always escorted and harassed under enemy fire when we have to support the coalition forces detachments around. This is the main important think that all of the people in this page forget. We fight everyday for the coalition and for the freedom. We don’t fight for countries. Nobody fight alone.

    The logistic situation in QeN is difficult, and the Spanish and Americans work together to solve it. The Spanish base is under construction and will be finished this summer. Now they are moving from the old base to the new one.

    There are several Americans liaison in the Spanish operations centre of QeN, and all the problems among units (not countries) should be solved through them. But at this time there is a high level of mutual cooperation and collaboration between 82nd Airborne and the Spanish units. I have met these Americans officers and they are happy with our collaboration.

    But, there is a problem with the small unit that lives in the airport terminal in QeN. The soldiers that refuel the choppers. They arrived in November due to a increase in the refuelling capability for a specific operation. They were going to stay there only for few days, later weeks and it seems to be month. In that time, Spanish Base Commander requested them about their needs, but they said that they were going to leave that place soon. The US soldier’s conditions were very hard, with only one dirty WC and no hot meal. The building were they lives are not Spanish installations, so we can do nothing for them. They are there due a personal agreement with the airport director (afghan).

    The solution is to determine if the refuel detachment is really need to be maintained, establish the needs for the soldiers (food, lodging,…) and sign an agreement of support with the Spanish Base Commander (a few lines document). But the “provisionally” situation doesn’t allow doing so. But the 82nd Airborne Commander has to take the initiative to solve the problem, don’t leave the people with boots in the ground to do so.

    Anyway this personal are supported as much as the Spanish can do, and we consider them brothers in arms and friends. I have a lot of pictures of them playing football in the parking lot, and working really hard refuelling the Apaches and from the USMC KC-130.

    I understand that is very easy to put your opinion in a web seated in your warm chair but think in the people that are doing the hard and dirty job. We understand ourselves very well and I’ll never leave an allied and a friend without my support. Please, we are at war, did you noticed?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Magellan · 9 years ago
    So, if I do understand correctly to the previous post by Juan, the american unit that is doing refueling arrived for a especifi operation thought to be brief, but they had to stay longer than expected duevery likely to unexpected events so common in war situations.

    Also I understand that they are living in quarters outside spanish control, dependent on afghan authorities.

    Juan also said that the spanish commander requested info about the specific needs of the US soldiers and was told it would be a brief stay.

    An also I understand that the means to solve this situation exist under current regulations, and that no need exists for US and spanish people to quarrel in this forum about a minor incident among allied troops.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Antonio · 9 years ago
    This person defines himself as a "red", remains seated in front of a passing US flag in a military parade, considers Spanish presence in Afghanistan as not a war event.
    On the other hand looks desperately to appear in a picture with the "good"Obama, because Bush means all the evil of the world.
    Spanish troops and officers are good, generous, disciplined and brave. Pleasse do not question this.
    Just help us to kick in the ass out of the office this bad President.

    Antonio, former Spanish NCO.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Angel Santana · 9 years ago
    Spanish people is, historicaly, antiamerican. The efforts of Aznar goverment to induce a normal feeling of partnership between Spain an USA, had been disolved by the actual President Zapatero. Actually, the critics about the way, and treatment of our forces in Afghanistan are commons and very hard. Soldiers down in battle are treat like men who had suffered an accident and their sacrifice are not rewarded. It.s, in certain way, normal that moralship of the troop and officers are low and they do not want to risk their lives in a conflict not recognized and rewarded by their own goverment. It is a shame, but spanish people are suffering the acction of a radical socialism, destroying the economy and making friends like Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro etc. Wiht Aznar Spain was a first division country; whith Zapatero, Spain looks like a "not aligned country" from cold war era.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Spaniard · 9 years ago
    "Spanish people is, historicaly, antiamerican.", said by Angel Santana.

    That is simply not true. Spain had America as an inspiration for the first Spanish Constitution of 1812. Also, the Spanish Army fought in the side of America in the war of american independence, along with France, and against Great Britain. They were allies of America then, and warm friends. And USA knows perfectly that Spain helped them to get their independence. Today, Spain and USA are also allies and friends. We have so many things in common, that it would be a nonsense to focus on our differences. Of course, there are people in Spain as in USA that dislike each other, but the majority of spaniards and americans know that our alliance is for the greater good, and we support each other.
    Historically then, americans and spaniards have many things in common. Pride, individuality, admiration of courage, a deep sense of individual freedom, and a respect of the multicultural aspects that make up our nations.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Salvora · 9 years ago
    1.- I'm a Spaniard and I'm pro-American. I strongly disagree with PM Zapatero cold policy toward USA. But your comments are really offensive. Fortunately, your Government is pretty much polite than your citizens. Otherway, you can keep Afgan War for yourself, and pay it all.

    2.- The situation referred in the mail could be true or could not. Imagine it's true. Perhaps it's Spanish fault... or perhaps not! When somebody is rude with you, it's possible you did something wrong with him.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Avanter · 9 years ago
    El vocablo spaniard se "implementó" en el siglo XVII, cuando los ingleses querían referirse de forma despectiva a los españoles. Procede en concreto un tal Drake que djio "So please your Majesty, to singe the King of Spain's beard; it has grown somewhat too long." Es decir, Spani'ard, en la pronunciación del pueblo llano.

    The term spaniard was implemented in S XVII, when the english want to mention with a injurious term to the spanish. It cames from a pirate called Drake, that said to his client "So please your Majesty, to singe the King of Spain's beard; it has grown somewhat too long.". So spani'ard (spain's beard) in slang.

    So, I prefer to say that i'm spanish (born in Spain). The people from the rest (USA & Canada) of America are "colombianos", "mejicanos", or south-americans.

    Few people in Spain know the procedence of "spaniard" because of PSOE education plans. (the socialism goverments of spain).
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Stephen Page · 9 years ago
    Who needs enemies?
    The US has only these true allies: The English, Canadians, Australians & New Zealanders.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Casto Méndez Nuñez · 9 years ago
    Como bien dice aventer spaniard es un apelativo despectivo usado desde siempre por los anglosajones hacia nosotros los españoles (spanish). Se ve, como también indica aventer, que has recibido educación socialista de la LOGSE.
    Mire usted, yo soy reservista voluntario y quiero a mi país y a las FFAA mucho mas que usted con absoluta seguridad, por eso me permito distinguir entre un presidente y su pueblo, y, por supuesto, entre este y las FFAA, donde es muy ampliamente despreciado.
    Cuando Bush fue presidente de EEUU muchos de sus compatriotas lo criticaban dentro y fuera del país si contemplaciones, que para eso es un país democrático, y nadie allí ponía en cuestión su patriotismo.
    Casto Mendez Nuñez, contralmirante de la Armada española y héroe del Callao, rehusó el nombramiento de teniente general por parte del gobierno provisional de España en 1868, porque para él la Patria estaba por encima de cualquier gobierno.
    The Infantería de Marina (Navy Infantry) or Spanish Navy Marines is a corps within the Spanish Navy responsible for providing amphibious warfare from the sea utilizing naval platforms and resources. The Infantería de Marina is fully integrated into the Spanish Navy Structure.
    It was formed in 1537 by Charles I of Spain (also known as Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor), making it the oldest marine corps in the world, drawing from the Compañías Viejas del Mar de Nápoles
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Navy_Marines
    ¡¡HAY QUE LEER MÁS Y ESTUDIAR (NO LA LOGSE) ANTES DE HABLAR!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Magellan · 9 years ago
    Beautiful comment from Mr Page. Would you like perhaps that the rest of us leave NATO and stay out of your, lets say, Thanksgiving family meeting? Not only the Spanish, but The French, the Italians, The Germans and all the like?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Magellan · 9 years ago
    Mr Yon, sometime has passed already since this issue went public. Do you have any confirmation on the alleged rude treatment that the Spanish troops dispensed to the US soldiers? If this were the case -and I am a Spanish myself- that is unacceptable behaviour, but I find that hard to believe. Do you confirm that?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Marsh · 9 years ago
    In defense of Spain (somewhat), I wouldn't single them out for being anti-American like many people here have done. Most of the world hates America with a burning passion frankly - often our closest allies especially. I couldn't believe how many Canadians, Britons, Australians, Germans, etc, really just flatout hated me simple because I was an American. So when traveling abroad prepare to get flamed. Which might come across as bizarre to most Americans since we'd consider the allegation of being anti-Canadian or anti-British or anti-German as simply ridiculous. But anti-Americanism is very, very real.

    Conservatives in countries like the UK have even had to actually make pro-American political ads in order to try and counteract the rabid anti-Americanism there; to give you an idea of how bad it is. And a public poll conducted in Germany if I remember correctly actually showed a majority of Germans believing America is a greater threat to world peace than Saddam Huessein...

    I also don't know how often people watch foreign media but it amazed me to find out just how America-obsessed the rest of the world is. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that many people living outside of America follow American political elections even more closely than they follow their own elections.

    And there's almost always a negative news report about America every single day in the foreign press. They're constantly harping on Gitmo, Gitmo, Gitmo, more Gitmo, America's refusal to adopt the Kyoto treaty, Gitmo, our awful support for Israel, our crimes against humanity committed daily in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gitmo, our 3rd world health care system, Gitmo, our attempt to militarily takeover Haiti, Gitmo, our barbaric support for the death penalty and gun ownsership, Gitmo etc.

    It almost seems like their liberal media and intellectual elites have an agenda of bashing America and reassuring weary taxpayers that their skyhigh taxes are really all worth it. I mean, think of the alternative: they could end up like America! The horror!

    Combine that constant stream of anti-Americanism with our glaring cultural and economic dominance and you get some ugly jealousy mixed in as well. Afterall, nobody likes to be reminded that their country isn't as important as another country. Which I personally suspect is one of the main not-so-secret motivations for further growing the power and scope of the European Union beyond all reason.

    On a continental scale they can at least start to rival America in both economic, geographical, demographic and military strength. Indeed, many Europeans speak of the need for a less America-focused "multi-polar" world and refer to America as a beligerent and dangerous "hyper-power". Many Europeans would like to see Europe rival America and offset our global influence on geo-politics especially.

    Most Americans are simply unaware of this petty and treachorous backstabbing (like the shock over this Spanish treatment of our soldiers in Afghanistan displays) and need to read more German and French news especially in order to see the direction our supposed allies are moving towards.

    It's my opinion that if the Europeans want to play hardball then so be it. We should demand full repayment for the Marshall Plan (plus interest), pull out of NATO (and all other one-sided security agreements) and if they refuse to pay up then we should start underminding them diplomatically just like they're constantly doing to us.

    The socialist European welfare state model is currently on the tipping point. All it will take is a reclusive, spiteful America to bring it all crashing down. Which I think would actually be doing them a favor in the long run...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Spanish Soldier · 9 years ago
    Ok, maybe I'm missing something here, but this hasn't been proved true yet, has it? And if it is true, why has it happened, as someone mentioned above, maybe they didn't bring the issue up properly to the right person or as another guy mentioned, the refueller guys were only supposed to stay for a few days and no provision was made for them, who knows? But you were all too quick to judge the spanish, we've been called cowards, smelly, useless,thieves, we should be shot, the marines should be flown in and take over the base, we should be ignored and just do whatever you need without counting on us,etc. Great! And you still wonder why Americans are not liked by their own allies? I've seen this sort of prejudice and arrogance from americans more than once, but I've never seen it from any other servicemen of any other nation.
    I've worked with many different nations and the only difference I've seen is the amount of money their nation spends on them, but I haven't seen big differences in profesionalism between servicemen doing the same job, but you seem to think that your troops are brave and profesional just because they are americans and our troops are cowards, useless, etc...because they are spanish....Right now, if I was the spanish commander on that site and I got wind of the bullshit you were talking about us I would throw you out, I would put my career on the line just to spite you, arrogant bstrds I just hope he is more professional and even headed than me, I'm sure he is, that's why he gets the big bucks, as I'm sure that the US soldiers working alongside the spanish don't have any complaints about them and viceversa.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Blas de Lezo · 9 years ago
    Dear Marsh,
    Yes, USA is an "hyper-power", really "THE hyper-power". As I stated before your military budget is bigger than the next 20 countries added. Your influence in economics, cultural and political terms in the rest of world is huge....WHY in the world you are surprised that the rest of the world fears/hates/admires/envy you? It have been the same way since the beginning of mankind.
    French will never forgive you for saving their asses two world wars in a row. UK will never accept that they would had lost both wars without your help but it´s easier for them to accept you as they think you come from them, also they feel better looking at you as a bunch of rich red-necks that shatter their language . Germans will never(hardly) accept you for the opposite reasons.
    The Marshall plan did not help with this, as I said about french people usually resents against those who are in debt with. By the way, there were not Marshall plan in Spain. We were not eligible since we were a fascist dictatorship...thing that did not suppose any problem ten years after when USA needed some bases to fight the cold war(you are as pragmatist as british, which I admire).
    When Spain was the hyper-power(yes, very long ago but it was so) we had to stand with the same crap. Black Legend is called and it was made from a lot of bullshit created to justify the attacks against us. I don´t mean that everything was a lie, but most part of accusations could fit easily with the countries which were accusing Spain. Agit prop of those times...And if you want to know more you can find the same against Romans, British, Egypt,...The bigger the empire was the bigger the lies. Yours is very big, still young but with no real opposition ...by now if we except the inside opposition Michael Moore´s type.
    About your ideas about weapons, death penalty, health care I insist on what I just said...you have enough opposition inside your country for being surprised. Also, if you are the actual empire why in the world you act surprised when the rest of the world is very interested in your internal affairs? They have a lot of influence around the world. Problem is that average US citizens do not realize it. Maybe you should be worried that the rest of the world does realize it.

    And last but not least, Europe does not want to compete against you in the military way, we just don´t want to become a colony of your economic superpower. Excuse us for trying to compete but I thought US were always with the free enterprise and europeans are just trying to make commercial agreements not just to compete against US but with(not against) all the world.
    About the Marshall plan, IT WAS A VERY GOOD BUSINESS FOR USA!!!(Also for europe I don´t deny it) It´s funny how you try to state that it was like a gift that USA´s generosity sent to europe...
    The UE is spending billions every year in "structural funds" to emerging europeans countries and that happens because is absolutely proven is a very good business for both sides, not because the great generosity of Germans/French/UK/Italy/Spain(yes, Spain too) hearts. Maybe the idea was inspired by Marshall Plan I have to admit. When any idea is good....

    So, please stop complaining about how badly the rest of the world mistreat you. Try to be more critic with yourselves because you are far from perfect as all empires have been. It´s the problem when you are powerful, natural trend is to abuse of it and if you check fairly you´ll find loads of shit to be ashamed with....


    We spanish have learned about it, probably too much because it seems we just want to remember our dark side and anyone who claim that there were good things too is immediately qualified as an A-grade fascist.

    Funny thing is that there are hints that the same is starting to happen in the US. Remember, your worst enemy is inside you.

    Kind regards,

    Ps: For the record, I believe there are lots of good and excellent things in the US and probably my idea of democracy is closest to what US have than an european social democracy model...but believe me, there are also very good things at this side of atlantic sea.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Blas de Lezo · 9 years ago
    Who need enemies?... Definitely you need them. Otherwise your weapons industry would fall in bankruptcy...and if you don´t know I am eager to tell you. USA is the world´s biggest arm dealer. If there were not enough wars out there your economy would be in serious trouble.
    Arms "commerce" is wonderful. They are made with the state of the art technology so lots of money is used in R&D that is after used in other fields that gets competitive advantages. Good for the economy.
    The best brains can be attracted not only for great salaries but for patriotism too! Great motivation that usually pays off.
    When you have a license to sell weapons is like printing your own money (oops, US Government already do) most popular and best sold weapons have no patents rights and are highly demanded...No surprise that politicians insists on keeping the internal market.
    On the contrary, and the best (there are more but I´m quite tired)...everything is destroyed in the war or become obsolete so fast that you can start over and over. Yep, no wonder one of the most profitable funds invest in that field.

    Yes, if USA would not have enemies they should have to invent/create them. It´s a luck that USA never, ever, ever have done such a nasty thing.

    It´s not surprising that so many US citizens seems so eager to make more enemies, even among their allies...Business is business.

Reader support is crucial to this mission. Weekly or monthly recurring ‘subscription’ based support is the best, though all are greatly appreciated.  Recurring and one-time gifts are available through PayPal or Authorize.net.

supp

supp

Quick link to Paypal.me

PayPal me donate 300x300

Venmo1

To support using Venmo, send to:
@Yon-Michael

My BitCoin QR Code

Use the QR code for BitCoin apps:

189

Or click the link below to help support the next dispatch with bitcoins:

subscribe