As unbelievable as it may seem, yet another US city just can’t seem to get it.
First Berkeley, CA, tries to block additional federal funding for a Marine Recruiting Center with text that said the Marines were “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” (a stance the Mayor of that left-handed city has since backed down on).
Now, lovely Toledo Ohio won’t permit  the urban exercises planned by a company of Marines based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in downtown Toledo.
The Toledo Police were aware of the plans, but evidently Mayor Finkbeiner didn’t find out until the last minute. They’ve been conducting these exercises in Toledo since 2004 (granted, the last time was May 2006). Still, how in the world can the mayor be surprised? Better yet, the Toledo Police announced it to the public on Tuesday, but on Friday, a short while before the troops were going to arrive, the Mayor canceled it. Where has he been? And why cancel, really?
“The mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people,” said Brian Schwartz, the mayor’s spokesman.
“He did not want them practicing and drilling in a highly visible area.”
Oh my goodness. This guy has issues. Where I grew up (60’s and early 70’s) in New Haven, CT, we were used to seeing all kinds of military equipment and troops around town, either transporting or on maneuvers, and I don’t recall there being any issue with people being “frightened”. And that was during the height of the Vietnam conflict… when everyone hated the government and the military. At least today most people are smart enough to at least appear as if they support the troops.
The plans were to use, what I presume is, a relatively vacant part of downtown, including the mostly vacant Madison building.
I certainly understand the concern that the good mayor has about people in 2008 reacting to military types running around downtown with guns and such in a controlled environment like a vacant downtown and an empty building… no, wait, I DON’T.
If anything, you’d think exposing the public to the valuable preparations these Marines go through would be educational, and inspiring.
Before he left downtown for Perrysburg Township, Major O’Neill said he was not sure what type of training, if any, his unit could undertake without access to downtown Toledo.
Here in Iowa, I can’t officially speak for the City of Des Moines (I live in West Des Moines, anyhow), but I can’t think of any reason that the Marines couldn’t use downtown Des Moines for their training… shoot, we’ve got an abandoned department store (Younkers) they could use, and I’m sure the citizens would be proud to support the work of our troops. And I bet we’d even pay for the travel expense.
For Toledo’s sake, let’s hope we don’t have to fight a war on our own soil.
Hat tip: memeorandum. Content from the Toledo Blade web site . Also blogging: Little Green Footballs , Michelle Malkin , and The Jawa Report . Berkeley content from Dread Pundit Bluto  and Bitsblog.