Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Times, They Are A Changin

Times, They Are A Changin
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
5:04:00 AM CST

16 Mar 2004

Tuesday, day off. Laundry again. Sitting here just watching it line dry. Ooo, doggies, what fun! Received a notice from KBR that per orders of the post commander, all gold tents will now house 10 people and all green tents will house 12 people. This is due to the expected influx of people from CPA and others what will soon arrive.

I was talking to a Sgt in line at finance yesterday while waiting in line to cash a check. He was reconfirming what I had already heard about closures and expansions in Iraq. CPA is the central palace in downtown Iraq currently used by Mr. Paul Bremmer and the embassy crew. Since this site is to be closed by the end of April, all or most of these people will be moved to Victory. The downtown palace will be handed over to the new government of Iraq after that.

When all is said and done, Victory will house around 30-35 generals AND the American embassy. It will be a pretty high-profile place with plenty of activity. This is why North Victory is growing so fast. They have to get the new BX/PX up and have all the amenities in place for the Big Boys when they arrive here. Can't have them shopping in a tent or trailer for their cookies and Gatorade, can we now? That might be too, ummm shall we say, "enlisted" for them.

Actually, the new big BX/PX complex will also replace the one over at BIAP. BIAP is also scheduled for closing by the end of June. The airport will turned over to the new Iraqi governement and opened for civilian and international traffic. So if the US can't fly military planes into Baghdad International, how, per se, do you resupply 30-35 generals with everything they must have *NOW*? You know how cranky they get when they can't have their "things and stuff" RIGHT NOW.

As it looks now, flight operations will be moved over from Baghdad up north to our site in Balad at Camp Anaconda. That camp is suuposed to grow like gangbusters in the next few months. All we can count on is change.

Another consideration is how the November election back home might impact our missions here in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Once again, torn between two political parties. My views are more similar to those of the Log Cabin Republicans moreso than the Democrats. But to those that know me, that shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. Although I am dead set against a couple of Bush's domestic policies, continuation of his foreign policy in these two countries is nothing short of vital. Vital to the new local governements survival and vital to security on issues dealing with world-wide terrorism. We absolutely can not allow what has begun here to come unraveled. Having the opportunity to live here and see the differences we are making for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan has convinced me of that.

The Stars and Stripes (military newspaper) is packed with stories of what we are providing the people of both nations here and how we are working with them to improve their lives. It may not be as happening as fast as we all would like, but it is happening. These are stories that don't make it in the newspapers at home because there isn't any blood and guts to splash all over the pages in living/dead color. Blood sells papers, getting schools up and running does not.

Read in the Stars and Stripes today that the new Spanish government elected in yesterday has threatened to pull out all troops from Iraq by June 30th if the UN doesn't take over here. Boy, that sure has the terrorists that blew up those trains shaking in their boots. It's hard to believe that the Spanish nation that booted ALL the Muslims out of their country in 1492 (with zero tolerance and zero regrets) is now kow-towing to a small group of terrorist Muslims that have just viciously killed 200 of their countrymen. Boy, that will sure show them bad guys who is boss! I'm sure that they will think twice about messing around with the Spanish Government again (whimps!). Next thing you know, the Spanish Government will be providing free office space for Al-Quaida in exchange for NOT setting off any more bombs. With friends like this, who needs enemies?
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