Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Driving around the IZ in Baghdad

This is the UNISEX bathroom on the third floor balcony. I feel sorry for any females that go in there. Its really small the doors on the stalls hit the hand washing sink. I know guys that can't shut the stall door their knees get in the way.

Jim Taylor came in the other day and we took some pictures and drove around the IZ abit. The Cross Swords are out at Saddam's old parade grounds. One of the hands is missing. I had heard that the swords were going to be demoed There are allot of Iraqi soldiers around we did not get out of the SUV. I have new picture click on the link New IZ pictures. Jim took some nice pictures. I have been yelled at for taking pictures so I am a little shy about it.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Another dusty day in the Middle East

Well, I guess its Summer now with all the dust storms that will bring. The insurgents like to throw an IDF over the wall during dust storms. IDF stands for Indirect Fire which means rockets and mortars. It is easier for them to elude coalition forces during a dust storm. It is still pretty quite as far as IDFs are concerned. I have 167 days until my flight home which I am calling The Freedom Flight.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

FOB Prosperity

Well this first Picture is the stairs at the Palace at FOB Prosperity. There are 100 stairs to my office on the third floor. Three of us moved our office to the third floor. Its a nice View from up there, but I would not want to do it again. The Palace is bombed out and there are allot of tiles loose. The bottom of the stairs there is a little library. I think it should be a Hard Hat area.

This a relief in the Palace it shows the US forces bombing babies. There is another relief next to it that is covered up because, I am told its too offensive to the soldiers,

This Picture show the roof of the Palace and not much left. Prosperity is tactical and there are some tanks around.

There is a soccer field in front of the palace. My office is on the right high balcony above the two smaller windows. The floor directly below us is wiped out. I will post some pictures of the view from the balcony.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Under the Rino bus

Well it was ground hog day at camp victory everyday for a long time and one day it suddenly change. I came in in work and was told I was going to the IZ (International Zone) but they did not know when. Well the plans changed and I came in the next day at 7pm and they said you are leaving for the IZ midday the next day. So that night I backup my computer profile and went home and packed up my hooch and now I am at FOB union. When they gave back the palace in the IZ everyone that was working there had to move somewhere. That somewhere is FOB union. One of my coworkers Ed said he didn't want to go so I got to go. That is how I got under the Rino Bus. The Rino above is troop transport convoy style to the IZ. Its an armoured bus and it travels with other troops in MRAPs. It does not take long and your there. My guess is I will have more to blog about now. Fob union is close to the new Iraq embassy. My department is still trying to find a suitable place to setup a new office. Tina the deal maker is working at getting us a place in FOB Prosperity so hopefully we are getting a place today or tomorrow.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Nuri Al-Maliki

This is Nuri Al-Maliki he is the current prime minister of Iraq the one on the left. For the most part, a deceit guy. His party is called the Islamic Dawa Party. Which earlier in the month had some candidates killed in Basrah. Read about it here
Nuri is not running for reelection he is trying to keep his job by getting some of his party members elected. Iraq has a Parliamentary system and Nuri can be voted out by a vote of no confidence. His party is secular, which means it believes in the separation of church and state. If the guy beside him Muqtada Sadr can get enough seats in Parliament Nuri days are numbered.

The election violence has been getting worse each day. Three Sunni canidates were killed this week. Read about it here

The Sunnis will at least try to get elected this time around in 2005 they boycotted the elections. There will be bad blood if they do not get elected. (and then some) Some have speculated about an alliance between Kurds, Sunni and Dawa Party. To take on the Shiites majority. The election last time in 2005 started wars between all the ethnic groups. The elections process always seem to redress the conflicts here in Iraq. I think the fears are the same as they were in 2005. The election result will tell the tale of when it will be possible for the US to withdraw. I have not seen any changes here at Victory and I think everyone is waiting for the outcome of this election. I am out Y'all.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Barack Obama 16 months or SOFA

Well change has come to Washington. President Barack Obama is still saying 16 months and we will be out of Iraq. The SOFA agreement says 2011. Which will win out, we will have to wait and see. The soldiers are hoping they don't have to come back to Iraq again. Most have been here for two tours and extra long ones at that. I think that's why they were glued to the TV during the inauguration speech.
The contractors all talk about how nothing is changing. It seems we should be planning for when the troops leave the cities in less than 6 months.. No word on that subject. Maybe they are waiting until after the January 31st Iraqi elections. One of my coworkers who has spent some time here and Afghanistan, said we came in a hurry and will be leaving in a hurry too. It should be interesting to see what happens next.
I am out.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The bottom of my shoe to you

In this part of the world showing someone the bottom of your shoes is an insult. You have to be careful how you sit in public. If you cross your legs you should not show you shoe sole to anyone. So when the Iraqi journalist threw the shoe at Bush is was sort of a big insult in a middle eastern way. It has also made the shoe thrower a hero and celebrity in the Muslim world.

The people of Iraq are going to be voting on the new security agreement at the end of January. So hopefully that will go through. There is already talk of troops staying in the cities past the agreed on date of June 30th. They say its to advise and train the Iraqi police. I don't think the people above are going to like that very much and could possibly vote down the security agreement now known as SOFA in January. There are political changes on the horizon for Iraq and the next few months will tell if the new government can handle it.