Of course, banning alcohol in the military, especially combat zones, makes sense. Based on this report, however, one must wonder if the deciding factor is more the need for constant sobriety, or whether it’s the need to “keep in mind all host nation laws and customs regarding alcohol consumption.” After all, “Drinking alcohol isn’t illegal in Iraq but is banned under Islam.” Moreover, if Muslim aversion to alcohol is being accommodated in the West, surely Westerners must be compelled to observe such laws in the Islamic world: It’s called “tolerance” — one-way tolerance, that is, a la dhimmitude.
“US troops in Iraq get to drink beer for Super Bowl,” from the Associated Press, January 9:
BAGHDAD (AP) “” American troops in Iraq will be allowed to drink beer without fear of court-martial for this year’s Super Bowl “” an exception to a strict military ban on drinking alcohol in combat zones.[…]
A copy of the waiver said the consumption of alcoholic beverages will be limited to Feb. 1-2 and service members can only have two, 12-ounce beers each.
Odierno also appeared to acknowledge the sensitivity of drinking alcohol in an Islamic country, particularly considering the game falls during a holy period for Iraq’s majority Shiite Muslims.
The waiver orders commanders to “keep in mind all host nation laws and customs regarding alcohol consumption” and “to exercise discretion and good judgment in enforcing these guidelines and restrictions.”
U.S. troops have been banned from drinking, possessing or selling alcoholic beverages under a general order that also bans them from possessing pornography and other activities. They can face a reduction in pay or rank or even a court-martial if they violate the rule.
The Washington Post reported that several service members said the only other time the ban was lifted was in 2005, for troops operating under the Baghdad command.
Drinking alcohol isn’t illegal in Iraq but is banned under Islam, and extremists have frequently targeted liquor stores…