Also in the Times today there is a picture (which I presume is from the American military) showing a GI the American and British flags and the words This Marine is not afraid and we stand with our British brothers and sisters Perhaps they should of added** unless it’s in London, then you’re on your own**
For those who know better, it won’t send any kind of message at all. The military will often impose travel restrictions on its members, or place certain areas off limits. As an example, when I was on normal liberty in the Navy (meaning off for the evening or the weekend) I couldn’t travel more than fifty miles away from the ship without direct permission.
The British needn’t worry that the service members won’t be spending their money in Britain. They will, they’ll just be spending it in shops and pubs closer to Lakenheath and Mildenhall.
I wonder if the “Bird In Hand” pub is still open at Mildenhall. It was the first place I ever saw a wet t-shirt contest live. It was also my first experiance with Carlsburg Special Brew. I don’t remember how that night ended…
U.S.A.F. E4 Mac Guffin*, R.A.F. Lakenheath, '84-'86.
I spent three months there one week. Seriously, though, I spent “English summer” (three weeks in June) there about five years ago. We went into London every weekend, and even though it sets you back a little scratch, it’s about eight million times more fun than the hip, swinging pubs of East Anglia – the “Bird in Hand” being a notable exception, but also having somewhat more limited seating than, say, Leicester Square.
This directive sounds like it was handed down by a colonel or a general who still doesn’t realize he’s in a different country. I say send our boys in. They’re more aware of their surroundings than the average civilian, they have some first aid training, and their presence is reassuring. And don’t tell me there’s a “credible threat” now when the CIA couldn’t be bothered to discover the threat beforehand. Al Qaeda’s m.o. is several high-profile attacks at once – have we ever seen them do a follow-up attack?
We didn’t tell our military to stay out of New York and DC after 9-11. We send a really counterproductive message (and engage in the worst kind of Blue Falcon* behavior) by telling our people “Don’t be afraid! Just act afraid.” It makes me pretty pissed, especially when the Mayor of D.C. rode the Metro to calm people down here after 7-7.