OK, so 200 Marines stationed in Grand Rapids, Michigan, piled on to five buses and came to Toledo, Ohio, yesterday to practice some urban patrol exercises. The Toledo police knew about the request for the three-day exercise well in advance, but somehow Mayor Carty Finkbeiner didn’t see the memo requesting permission for the event. So when when the first bus arrives at 3:20 p.m. and Staff Sergeant Andre Davis steps off, he is greeted by a city employee and told that the mayor wanted him and his soldiers out of town by 6 p.m. “I wish,” Sgt Davis drily remarked, “they would have told us this four hours ago.” [Update: a reader points out that it is incorrect to refer to Marines as “soldiers”: soldiers serve in the army, not the Marines. I regret the mistake. I further regret referring to SSgt Davis incorrectly as “Sergeant”!]
I gather that Mayor Finkbeiner (a Democrat, readers will be surprised to learn), like the folks in Berkeley, California, can’t think of the United States Marines without having the first lines of “The Destruction of Sennacherib” float through his head (“The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold . . .”) “The mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people,” said Brian Schwartz, the mayor’s spokesman.
Gee, isn’t that a shame?
Lance Corporal Brandon Bukrey-McCarty recalled how useful such training was when he had been deployed in Fallujah in 2006-2007. The training, he said, “got me used to looking up on rooftops, looking around every alley, every open door.”
Too bad, Brandon! Carty Finkbeiner thinks having U.S. soldiers in town will frighten the voters, so your comrades will just have to do without that training.
The company’s commanding officer, Major Jeffrey O’Neill, was disappointed by Carty Finkbeiner’s cold shoulder–it would, he noted, be difficult to find a suitable alternative venue for the exercise–but “we’re Marines,” he said, “We’ll adapt and overcome.”
I have no doubt about that. I hope part of the adaptation will be to present the City of Toledo–or maybe Carty Finkbeiner himself–with the $10,000 tab that the aborted exercise cost the Marines.
Mayor Finkbeiner can boast on his official website that Tony Packos Restaurant in Toledo was “made famous on the television show M*A*S*H.” But when he has an opportunity to help the men and women who in real life protect this country, including the City of Toledo, he refuses to grant them the sort of permit he would routinely give to a bunch of anti-American activists who wanted to organize a protest march down Main Street. I think it’s disgusting. If I lived in Toledo, I’d be wondering when Carty Finkbeiner was up for re-election and would look forward to sending him out on a 6:00 p.m. bus at the earliest opportunity.
Hat tip for this item to Instapundit.
[Update: A resourceful reader suggests writing Mayor Finkbeiner to express your appreciation for his superb leadership. Good idea. Here’s the address: [email protected]]