Wednesday, January 24, 2007

APO'd Is Right

One Wisconsin business owner has learned a very expensive lesson - the first rule of doing business is to use tact.

With tact having been thrown aside, here is the gist of the story. A soldier based in Iraq inquired by email from the tactless company a simple question - did their store ship to APO addresses (a military based zip code)?
To Whom it may concern:

Do you ship to APO addresses? I’m in the 1st Cavalry Division stationed in Iraq and we are trying to order some mats but we are looking for who ships to APO first.

SGT Hess
This is not an unusual request for information on the soldiers part, as many internet based businesses do not ship out of country, let alone to a war zone. The first order of doing business in battle is to identify companies you can purchase creature comforts from that is not military issue or available at the nearest PX. All new boots on the ground are soon filled in on this essential bit of information from those who are already there. What was unusual (and that has pissed me and a whole lot of other people off), was the reply...
SGT Hess,

We do not ship to APO addresses, and even if we did, we would NEVER ship to Iraq. If you were sensible, you and your troops would pull out of Iraq.

Bargain Suppliers
This military based story has been verified by Snopes for authenticity. Not too often does Snopes weigh in on media stories concerning war - probably because most are leaked by "annonymous" sources who do not have the clearance or authority to be discussing what they do or do not know for a fact in the first place. Kind of hard to pin down the truth in a story if no one is willing to 'fess up, but in this particular incident Snopes had the goods on the guilty party and aptly named their webpage dedicated to the story "APO'd".

A PO'd is right. Publius Forum, has been watching the story since the news broke locally in Wisconsin. Inquiries to Discount Mat owner Faisal Khetani, who is an American Muslim of Pakistani descent (according to Fox News) by Resa LaRu “Warchick” Kirkland who is a correspondent for Publius resulted in the following mixed dialog from Khetani:
“As I told my local reporters, the individual who made those statements has been held responsible and liable and what they spoke of apo addresses is absolutely true, but the second half was their own personal opinion and not the opinions of the company.”

Where Khetani mixed his story up is,

"I will say this, my company most certainly doesn’t support the war, and we do hope that the policies will change. However the personal opinions stated by the former member of were very strong and personal and other members within our company certainly feel that his actions were not justified."

But just to set the story straight Kirkland had obviously made inquiries into Khetani's beliefs and allegiences and received this threat in reply:

"you can be sure that there are million of muslim activists as well that will do something about your foul statements…. your statements against Muslims and your direct insults will not go unheard, I assure you."
It would appear that Mr. Khetani is in the process of learning a huge lesson in tact. First, whatever you say can and will probably be held against you in the media. Second, the world is getting rather small, for the large part in thanks to the internet, when a commentor on the USA Today site stated that he was from Khetani's hometown in Wisconsin and as the story goes there locally, by people who know him, it was Khetani who responded to the email, not an employee. Third, in the world of news media and bashing, no stone is left unturned (especially, when you throw the first one yourself), leaving no stone to hide under.

As far as stone's go, Khetani has been obviously living under one for quite some time. He doesn't know much, if anything at all, about the country he lives in and how things work here. He also isn't much of a very appreciative gus either. Or so it would seem, in responding to the soldier he was corresponding to. His family comes from a poverty striken third world country, yet he can't appreciate the freedoms and blessings upheld for him by the likes of the very soldier he dissed. He also apparently has not grasped the concept that when you are wrong, you don't threaten someone by throwing the Koran at them along with the entire Muslim community. Possibly, Khetani thought he could intimidate Kirkland because she was a female. Now isn't that thought stone age? But hey when you are waving a Koran as a threat, I guess that kind of dates a person anyhow. If there is any truth to the story from the USA Today commentor about who really wrote the email, than swearing on that Koran is probably the thing to do too. Afterall, the Koran says it's OK to lie to an enemy. Khetani most assuredly thinks he is a good Muslim, who's got a problem with enemies. He is finding out now just how easily they can be made and how many he has.

Can you say boycott? That is the equivalent of a financial jihad ya'll.

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posted by Is It Just Me? at 12:43 PM