Thursday, March 11, 2010

THE PROBLEMS for the US troops in the Spanish base in Afghanistan make it to the front page of the World section of La Vanguardia, one of Spain's most respected newspapers (it's not what it used to be in the good old days, but at least it's not as anti-American as the others are). It's a pretty big and visible piece, which is basically an explanation of Michael Yon's post, whom they mention by name.

The article also includes this reaction from Spain's ministry of Defense (I didn't get any response to my request for comment, BTW):
We don't know if the problem is real. For the moment, we won't comment on this matter. In fact, we only have knowledge of an email making the rounds among US servicemen. It's an internal channel to which we have no access. In any case, if the problem exists the US should come out publicly with it and communicate it officially. For the moment no one has filed any complaint. And under these circumstances, we cannot issue a statement".
(my translation)

There you go. They say are not aware there is any problem, and that it's all an anonymous email. So it looks like either the commanders on the ground are keeping this from their commands in Madrid, or the ministry in Madrid is lying, or at least playing with words and shielding themselves behind the lack of official complaint from the US (I assume there's been plenty "unofficial" complaint, since I don't think they'd quietly accept this). Of course, the critical point is not whether they comment or not, but whether they're doing anything to solve the situation or not. But still, it would be important to know where in the chain of command this got lost if it did. Or if someone is lying and, in that case, who.