Example: [NewsMax.com, 2003]
U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton forced U.S. troops stationed at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan to wait for their Thanksgiving dinner last Thursday while she and her entourage arrived late, then cut in line and were served first.
A soldier who witnessed the scene tells NewsMax:
"Thanksgiving Dinner started at 3 p.m. that day, so the line was forming around
"Once she got there," our source maintains, "Clinton and her entourage bumped everyone in line, forcing them to wait almost an extra hour."
[Rest of article here]
Origins: Although President Bush's surprise morale-boosting Thanksgiving Day trip to Baghdad to share holiday dinner with U.S. troops serving in Iraq garnered most of the headlines, U.S. Senators Hillary Clinton of New York and
While the President made a relatively short 2½-hour visit to Baghdad, the two senators undertook a four-day jaunt which included:
- Traveling to Islamabad, Pakistan, and meeting with the U.S. ambassador and embassy staff.
- Traveling to Kabul, Afghanistan, and meeting with the
U.S. ambassadorand embassy staff, with a group of Afghan women leaders, with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and with Brigadier General Lloyd Austin (commander of the Combined Joint Task Force-180in Afghanistan).
- Traveling to
U.S. basesin Bagram and Kandahar (Afghanistan) and sharing Thanksgiving dinners with U.S. troops.
- Traveling back to Islamabad and meeting with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
- Traveling to Baghdad, Iraq, and meeting with
U.S. Ambassador L. PaulBremer (head of the Coalition Provisional Authority) and Lt. GeneralRicardo Sanchez (the commander of U.S. forcesin Iraq), with international NGOs (non-governmental organizations) providing assistance to the Iraqi people, and with Iraqi women leaders, as well as sharing several meals and visits with U.S. civiliansand troops stationed in Iraq.
- Traveling to Camp Wolverine (a transit camp for American military flying in and out of Iraq) in Kuwait and meeting with
Lt. GeneralJohn Abizaid, commander of CENTCOM (U.S. Central Command) as well as sharing breakfast with U.S. troops.
- Traveling to Kirkuk, Iraq, and meeting local Iraqi leaders, plus sitting down for a final meal with
Similarly, some soldiers stationed in Baghdad reported that the extra security necessary for President Bush's visit denied them the opportunity to have any Thanksgiving dinner at all, as related in this excerpt of a letter to the military newspaper Stars and Stripes:
As part of the main push during major combat, our battalion was scattered all over the battlefield. We supported other units and paved the way (and roads) that others would use to get to the front lines. Our D9 teams helped push units as famous as the
During the war, Meals, Ready to Eat were naturally the way to go. They were appreciated, even by the vegetarians who had only crackers and cheese after the veggie meals were gone. Now that we're stationed at Baghdad International Airport almost
The one thing that they find a requirement was denied to them. They understand that President Bush ate there and that upgraded security was required. But why were only certain units turned away? Why wasn't there a special meal for President Bush and that unit in the new dance hall adjoining the
Twenty officers and soldiers from Queens, Ithaca, Geneva, Brooklyn, Homer, New Rochelle and other places across New York dined with the senators.
Senator Clinton received a generally warm reception from members of the military, who are often perceived as conservative and Republican.
After the meal, more than a dozen soldiers formed a line to have their photographs taken with the former first lady. A half dozen asked for her autograph, often inscribed to their daughters. One soldier had
"It's great that she came here," said Capt. Jim Mullin, a 29-year-old from Mahopac who pointed out that Senator Clinton could have spent the holiday with her famous family. "It's selfless, something I respect."
| Afghanistan and Iraq Trip Report |
Last updated: 27 January 2007
Davis, Paul. "Sen. Jack Reed Fields Questions from Quidnessett Fifth Graders." The Providence Journal. 4 December 2003. Fisher, Ian. "Yesterday, Hail to the Chief; Today, Hail to the Senator." The New York Times. 29 November 2003 (p. A8). Henson, John. "Hillary's Thanksgiving: Corned Beef Bash." News-Chronicle. 4 December 2003 (p. A4). Lehr, Russell. "Democrats Did Spend Holiday with U.S. Troops." Sioux City Journal. 11 December 2003. Morris, Vincent. "Hillary Plays Second Banana; Visits Iraq Lauding Bush Trip." The New York Post. 29 November 2003 (p. 5). Mulligan, John E. "Reed: Saddam's Capture Doesn't Remove Obstacles." The Providence Journal. 15 December 2003. Payne, Les. "Iraq Photo Op." [New York] Newsday. 30 November 2003 (p. A30). Rohde, David. "Senator Clinton, in Afghanistan, Calls for More Foreign Troops." The New York Times. 28 November 2003 (p. A1). Russell, Sgt. Loren. "Bush's Iraq Visit." Stars and Stripes. 3 December 2003. Sisk, Richard. "Hil Hails Troops in Baghdad, Raps Prez." [New York] Daily News. 29 November 2003 (p. 9). Wagner, Thomas. "Senator Clinton, in Afghanistan, Celebrates Thanksgiving with Troops." The New York Sun. 28 November 2003 (p. 6). The Huntsville Times. "Thanksgiving Visit Leftovers." 8 December 2003. NewsMax.com. "Bagram GI: Troops Waited While Hillary Chowed Down." 2 December 2003.