Iraq Update 8.28.05
Greetings all. Wow did I crash and burn earlier this week? I got some sort of stomach thing that just knocked me on my duff. It took me a full 3 days to get back up to speed. However, I think I’m better now. I worked out hard today and survived so that was a good thing
I’ve spent some time trying to re-schedule some training and travel back home but they (the illustrious and all knowing Headquarters) keep changing the damn rules and policy. I just hope I can get ‘er done. Hopefully I will be out of here either next week or the week after. I am definitely ready for a change in scenery. Although I’m really thinking when I rebuild the back yard fence, I might just do it with T Walls. They’re not real pretty but they sure are durable. Of course it’s probably a little overkill in that the neighborhood hasn’t experienced any rocket or mortar attacks probably since John C. Fremont made his ride from Sacramento to Monterey. I actually do think a canon or two was fired around Alviso but it wasn’t much of a battle. Gee, how did I get off on that tangent!
We finally moved into our new office space. This space used to be the king’s bedroom when Iraq had a king. It’s unbelievable that there are 63 palaces in this country. It’s just amazing how the luxury is placed into these edifices but the outsides look very similar and have a limestone brown appearance to them. We moved all of our files, computer systems, guns, equipment, etc. There’s a little more space for Investigations so we are happy with the move. It also gets us away from the upper agency echelon which is just fine with me.
We were having a philosophical discussion concerning the Iraqis and the dilemma in this country. Here they are authorized to have an AK-47 in their residence but they are forbidden to take it outdoors. They have insurgents and street thugs controlling the streets as they care less about running around with AK-47’s, explosives, or whatever else they want to carry. If the citizenry try to take action against these street hoodlums from their residence, the bad guys just locate their residences and put a RPG in it. We feel that there is a lot of similarity between this scenario and when the mafia was controlling the streets of Chicago and Cicero and they controlled the local authorities. Either the police or the military is going to take control of this country or the people will get fed up and you’ll see vigilante action. I think it’s only a matter of time. Of course with vigilante action, innocent people can be hurt or killed.
It’s amazing to watch the news media continually provide nothing but negative stories about this country. I would be naпve to say there aren’t some major hot spots but there are also parts that are running fairly smoothly. Of course those smooth running places are the same spots where people are very alert about anyone new or strange coming into their area and, when they do, the authorities are contacted and they do something about it. I’m primarily referencing the Kurdish areas which seem to have little trouble.
I’m convinced that the newsies don’t want to see the big picture of what can happen here. If Iraq falls into civil war and the Sunni’s start getting whacked, you need to remember that there is a lot of this tribe in the neighboring countries who may be inclined to step in. Another thing to consider is Iran. Iran is a major exporter of oil and Iraq has about the third largest oil reserves in the world. Can you see the pattern on that one? Yet another thing to consider is the insurgency movement. If the coalition forces moved out tomorrow, do you really think that Al Qaeda or other factions would be satisfied, go home, and leave the rest of the world alone? Not hardly. It would just give them a firmer base. Now let me throw another spin into this. If any of the above were to happen, do you think Israel is just going to sit by and just let this thing grow and grow? I think not and I don’t think Israel will be compassionate and/or selective. Of course after what the Jewish people have been through in the past, I can understand why they have a harsh view of things.
Please excuse me for being on a political tirade. I was talking with a few of the workers here. One of the young janitors speaks English. He was talking about some Saddam supporters in Fallajuh that were featured protesting claiming to want Saddam back. He was pointing out these people and asking why they supported Saddam so much. I answered him with the question, were these people wealthy and enjoyed a lot under Saddam. He replied that they did. I then asked are they still enjoying those benefits. He said no. I said then you can understand why they want him back. His eyes grew in understanding. The more I’m around the common Iraqi the more I see a populous that just wants to be free, be able to earn a living, and live.
We are having our emergency drill sometime tomorrow. That’ll be a lot of fun. I have to check on my trailer mate. I came in with this guy and he’s been a great person to share the trailer and common bathroom. He was running today and got a hernia. Now understand we have a great trauma center but that’s about it. They showed him how to pop it back in and said he needs to get back to the states and get it taken care of. Consequently, he’ll be leaving soon.
I’ve sure been thinking a lot about hunting. Hopefully I’ll be able to get in the woods a little bit on my return trip but it’ll be luck if it happens. We seem to be over the dust season. There hasn’t been a dust storm in weeks and I hope it stays that way. The nights are getting a little cooler. Understand I didn’t say cold, I said cooler. It’s still in the mid 110’s during the day time. I can break a sweat going from the palace back to my hootch every time. The bathroom is still hot as ever. When you go to shower, the water that comes out of the cold tap is hot enough to bathe immediately.
I cleaned out my hootch on Friday. You would not believe the dirt on the floor. I mean it looks like I took a shovel full of fine dirt and threw it in there.
I met up with a family friend here in Iraq. We are good friends and the husband is a retired Marine Corp Colonel. He was here in Desert Storm and now he’s a consultant. It was great meeting up with him today. I’m hoping that we can have dinner a few times before he departs. He’s part of a team assigned to a general performing military reviews. That’s a real good thing as he can get a helicopter ride wherever he needs to go. We can get on one for official business but we need to jump through hoops to get on it.
Well, that’s all for this letter. Hopefully next time I’ll have more news on the return trip. Thank you all for your good thoughts and prayers and thank you for those who send e- mails. It’s always nice to hear from home. Best regards. Bob