Before hearing an address by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta in Afghanistan yesterday, a group of American Marines were ordered to leave the tent where they had assembled for the address, disarm, and then return to the tent to hear Panetta speak. The explanation?
According to Maj. Gen. Mark Gurganus, who issued the order: "I wanted the Marines to look just like our Afghan partners."Nobody's that important.
Gurganus explained that the decision to bar weapons was because of Panetta's presence: "I mean, you got one of the most important people in world there."
However, buried in that explanation is a mixed message. How exactly does "looking like our Afghan partners" secure the safety of Leon E. Panetta?
Or was this order merely another knee-jerk to this administration's PC comfort? Are Panetta's sensibilities so acutely sensitive that he cannot bear the sight of armed U.S. Marines in the same tent as unarmed Afghan soldiers? Is that what we are supposed to believe?
Then don't invite Afghan soldiers.
Allen West has a few words on the subject. From the Congressman's facebook page: