On Sunday morning, one Romanian soldier was killed and five others were injured in Afghanistan.
I suppose that’s a “normal” piece of news, as soldiers do die while on missions in hostile countries, including some 23 total Romanians (1990-present) but the more I thought about it, the stranger this became.
First, Duane Butcher, the charge d’affairs at the American Embassy in Bucharest (the head diplomat since there is no ambassador at the moment) expressed his condolences:
I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Second Lieutenant (promoted posthumously) Claudiu Vulpoiu, who was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan.
I would like to extend my personal condolences and those of the United States of America to their family and friends, as well as to their fellow soldiers.
His sacrifice was made in pursuit of a noble cause, opposing extremism in Afghanistan and providing a better future for all its citizens. The valor of Romania’s soldiers in the NATO mission there is admirable and the United States is proud to have Romania as one of its closest allies.
It’s relatively easy for D-Boy to be “deeply saddened” because he just cuts and pastes the same exact response every time a Romanian soldier dies in Afghanistan or Iraq.
But why in the world is Duane Butcher offering condolences in the first place? It’d be normal and expected for the President of Romania to offer his condolences because the dead soldier was a member of the Romanian army.
But Claudiu Vulpoiu wasn’t fighting for the American army. Romanian soldiers in Afghanistan are there as part of a NATO mission. The head of NATO is currently a Danish man (Anders “quid pro quo” Rasmussen), not an American. It’s true however that the head of the NATO forces in Afghanistan (called ISAF) is an American but he hasn’t said one word about Vulpoiu’s death.
Even stranger, the official reports about NATO casualties in Afghanistan haven’t mentioned the Romanians at all. They skip from March 16, 2014 right to April 1, 2014.
The ISAF casualty reports are anonymous (no names given) but even so there’s no mention of the Romanians. We know from the Romanian media that a suicide bomber blew himself up near the Romanians’ vehicle, which caused the one death and the injuries to the other five men. Yet there’s not a word of this on the ISAF website at all.
Those Romanian soldiers were under the command of both the Romanian military as well as NATO but not in any way, shape or form working for the American government. Supposedly Vulpoiu, who was 41 years old with a wife and child, gave his life for the “noble” cause of helping the people of Afghanistan. So why is it the American ambassador’s job to express condolences his family and to thank him for his sacrifice?
The German ambassador to Romania didn’t say shit about Vulpoiu’s death. Neither did the French, British or any other NATO-member ambassador. Hell, even the President of Afghanistan didn’t mention it. Only the Americans feel it incumbent upon themselves to constantly mention the “noble sacrifice” of Romanian soldiers.
How in the world did this kind of American noblesse oblige become so unremarkable and ordinary?
Note: ca obicei (Romanian) and kak obichna (как обычна – Russian) both mean “as usual” and it’s obvious that the etymology of these two phrases is closely intertwined
If I were Mr. Vulpoiu’s widow, I’d tell D-Boy to jam his fake condolences up his ass. But I’m especially sorry for Mr. Vulpoiu’s kid because one day he’s going to grow up and ask why his father had to die and the sad answer is that his dad gave his life for absolutely nothing at all.