(BAGHDAD, Iraq, October 23rd, 2003) -- U.S. soldiers in Iraq are getting a taste of America at the Baghdad airport. That's because an American fast food giant has opened shop for them. And they say a Whopper beats a military meal any day.
Napoleon once said that "an army moves on its stomach." He didn't say, however, what is supposed to go into its stomach.
Seven days a week, lines form early at Baghdad Airport outside the Burger King, the only American fast food chain to conquer a foothold in Iraq. And there's money in these Whoppers and fries -- French or Freedom -- you decide. The operation rakes in around $15,000 every day, making it one of the 10 busiest burger kings in the world.
"Business is great. It's fantastic. I'm really happy to be here serving the troops. They're all happy about it, and we're happy."
All ingredients are imported, with the staff brought in from neighboring Kuwait. Only authorized personnel are allowed into the airport complex, which means few Iraqis have had a chance to sample the cuisine.
The soldiers say a burger is the perfect antidote to the notorious standard military ration, the Meal Ready to eat, or MRE. The reason? As Shawn Ashle with the Third Brigade says, "It wasn't packaged three years ago."