Monday, July 31, 2006

Eventful Day

So, today was pretty eventful. It started out normal enough but then got weird.

I awoke a bit late today so I could cash a check. We are only authorized to cash 300$ per week, so you constantly have to go back and get money. Some of you might be thinking “what in the world do you need 300$ a week for in Iraq”, and you would be right. But when you make large purchases it can take forever to gather all the money. For example, if you buy a 1000$ rug it means you have to cash a check every week for a month and still have no spending cash. In my case I had to buy a 650$ plane ticket for myself and followed that with a 400$ ticket for a girlfriend of mine. So, I have no money. Well now I have 300$ but I have to give it to the travel agent and then I will have no money.

Anyway, I got my checked cash and was on the way to work, but I couldn’t get in because of a suspected VBIED at an Iraqi building. They have these false alarms all the time, and it takes EOD like 4 hours to clear these cars. What happens is that a dog will sit while inspecting a vehicle. If that happens they shut everything down and you just have to wait for EOD to give the all clear. Well I am not going to sit in my car for 4 hours waiting so I headed back to the hooch. I made it in later and caught up with what I had missed.

Right now, I am a bit edgy. We have a warning system here at the Embassy called the “Giant Voice”. It used to go off every time an explosion occurred in the IZ, but now it just goes off when an explosion occurs inside the embassy compound. It is essentially a huge speaker system and it incorporates a loud speaker for PA announcements as well as a wailing siren similar to those in England in WWII. It is a very eerie sound. I am sure the Israelis can attest to that right now. So after they play the wailing sound for about 30 seconds the announcement goes on.

It says”Attention in the Embassy Compound, Attention in the Embassy Compound! We are coming under indirect fire. Mortar rounds are impacting inside the Embassy Compound. Seek Cover, Seek Cover, Seek Cover.” And some this is not a drill stuff and a couple other things. A hooch is considered cover so I am just sitting here typing. I guess I could make a run for the Embassy or go to a bomb shelter, but I am not that worried about it. If they get me then they get me. I am a needle in a haystack.

But that doesn’t mean I am not a little edgy. You see, normally they tell you to take cover AFTER the rounds have landed. It’s after they land that you don’t have to worry about them. Duh. Well, I didn’t hear any land so I am wondering if they know something I don’t. At any rate. I wish they would sound the All Clear so I could go to my friends house. If I go outside now the Marines will see me and make me go to a shelter and sit on my but for 2 hours doing nothing. Screw that.

So I was able to go to the PX today as well. Since I couldn’t get to work I decided to pick up a few things I needed. The PX here is not as big as the ones at LSA Anaconda or Camp Victory, but it is about 10 times bigger than when I first got here. I am not complaining about it. They have pretty much everything you need.

Well anyway, that is about it. Let me find some cool pictures.

My old company got a certain contract and we had to paint our white vehicles blue. Here is the Iraqi Paint Shop out in our parking lot. LMFAO.

I forgot to post this on my Condi thread. I got to shake her hand and say a few words as well as snap this rather good shot. Disregard, It won't load.


Sunday, July 30, 2006


I was looking at my Site Meter just now. Apparently it will show you what page someone came to you from and I found the following:

Try this, go to Google and Google these words:

10000 euro thailand shoot someone

How funny.

So that made me remember these pics:

Here is me with my H&K MP5-K and Walther P99.

And this is my buddies heavily modified AK-47. He has since added a Surefire flashlight and an EOTech 552 holographic sight. Nice.


Secretary Rice

What an amazing woman Condoleezza Rice is. She is absolutely one of the brightest and well spoken individuals I can think of. I think it is fantastic that people like her and Colin Powell are able to accomplish so much in their careers. I have so much respect for both of them and really hope to see at least one of them become the President or Vice-President in the next few elections. I can’t think of a better time or better people to break the historic “white male only” line of Presidents. I would be proud to serve in the Army with Dr. Rice as the Commander in Chief.

Special note to Condi:

If you read this, I encourage you to run at least for VP. I am a standard white male and I know plenty of other standard, random white dudes that will vote for you. Race will be an issue for some for sure and you are a chick, which is not so great, but I know you could probably win and believe me I am an expert. Take this opportunity to move from 4th in line to 2nd in line at least. And keep up the good work. I hear a lot of people blathering on badly about you on CNN and BBC and other liberal MSM networks (is that an oxymoron?), but don’t you worry about them. Normal people like and respect you. Oh yeah, if you need an NSA when you get elected, I will gladly take the job. Better yet, promote me to 5 Star General and let me lead an assault on the Middle East.

Ok, so speaking of the Middle East, what the hell is going on? What in the world can we do when we have so many fanatics running around? Kill them all?

Some dudes just got killed in Qana in Lebanon. Some kids too. But guess what? They were all warned to leave. Don’t give me the argument that the roads were bombed, I don’t care. Drive as far as you can then march your happy ass out of there if you feel that you are an innocent civilian and don’t want to die because your husband or father or brother is a maniac. If you live in a house with a maniac don’t come crying to me when it gets blown up. You are just as guilty as the maniac if you stay and allow it to continue. If you are not a maniac and you are married to maniac, wait until he is asleep and then kill him. Slit his throat and take your butt out of there. Easy. So stop moaning about your dead kid when you allowed him to be in the presence of a maniac. You are just as much at fault.

Is it regrettable that children died? Of course it is. Nobody wants to see dead infants and children. But, like they say, war is hell.

Speaking of hell, there are a bunch of Hezbolla supporters destroying the UN compound in Beirut. Break out the napalm. Bomb each and every one of those American flag burning Jew haters. I watched that protest for an hour just hoping to see a huge bomb explode and blast all those protestors to bits. Why didn’t the UN bomb them? They were under attack were they not? Why didn’t the biggest contributor to the UN, the United States, bomb them to protect our investment? I don’t know, but you put me in charge and I guarantee that crap would not go un-punished.

I would be the best president the world has ever seen. I would also be the most hated and feared. You guys that hate GWB would be 1000 times angrier if I were President.

So anyway, on BBC World I heard a former Lebanese ambassador to the United States blathering on about why there were American flags being desecrated at an anti-Israel rally. It was a long bunch of the normal hate speech but it boiled down to “US tax payer bombs are killing babies in Qana”. Get a life. I would love to have seen him die right there on the spot. I wish the Israelis had snipers in some of those buildings dropping anyone with a Hezbolla flag. He also blathered on about how the Arab world has not been shown respect for the last 50 years. He is dead on accurate with statement. Look at them. Almost all of them act like primates. How can you respect that? Some of my most trusted Muslim friends have made statements that are so ridiculous I won’t even post them. I had a girlfriend that told me she truly believed that GWB paid Osama to fly planes into the WTC. She was dumped on the spot. I have no time for lunatics like her.

I also dumped another girl because she insisted I become Muslim. No way is that going to happen. I am barely a Christian, no way in hell I am going to put up with that Muslim crap, I don’t care how hot she is. She said “If you love me you will convert”, so I said “If you love me YOU will convert”. 2 can play at that game. Anyway, she’s gone. I don’t have the time.

Anyway, speaking of women. All you women appear to me to be crazy. For example, I have known this one particular chick for about 2 years. We have been on a few dates and I like her. Well recently she began to email me and call me much more frequently and asked me to take her to dinner and to spend time with her by the pool and to go to Karaoke night at the embassy (not much else to do, get over it). She also sent me pictures of herself (clothed unfortunately) and just basically has been flirting like hell with me for the past 2 weeks. And, I am not the type of guy that picks up on overt flirtation very easily; it has to be absolutely in my face before I will actually get the hint. So this girl gave me all the hints. I decided to press it a bit so I invited her to dinner and then to watch a movie at my hooch. She shoots back that she has had a boyfriend for the last 2 months. What?! You have been flirting with me all this time, and yes, it was flirtation, and then you want to drop a boyfriend deflection on me? Crazy chick.

I met another crazy chick today. I saw this very beautiful girl talking to a girl I know in the hallway where I work. Later, when I saw the girl I know, I asked her what her friends name was that she was talking to earlier. She asked me why I wanted to know so I told her. “I think she is beautiful and would like to take her out to lunch to get to know her”. What a mistake that was. This other girl has now called me 4 times, added me to her MSN messenger list and sent 5 emails and 3 text messages and I haven’t even been properly introduced! I can tell she will be a stalker so I aint returning any calls. Lunatic chick.

Anyway, that’s my Sunday post. Time to watch some news and hopefully not get hit by the 5 o’clock rockets.

Here is a picture of me on a scooter in Thailand. Man I love Thailand.

Here is a pic of a rock. The name of the rock is “Sleeping Grandpa”. Man I love Thailand.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

No Tiltle

Slow day today. Yesterday was Friday so there were slightly more visitors to where I work than usual but nothing unusual occurred.

Lunch was interesting however; I met a former USSR officer that spent 4 years fighting in Afghanistan and the early 80s. Now he lives in the States and works for KBR. He had some pretty decent stories about what went on while he was there. Small world.

I am hoping to take leave next week for about 6 days. I have been invited to attend a military wedding at the Edinburgh castle in Scotland. I still have to sort it all out at work but I don’t think it will be a problem. I am very excited about this and I hope I can sort all the details. My sister would be joining me as well. She does a pretty good job at finding decent dudes with some decent money but I am hoping to find her one a little closer to her own age.

Anyway, not so much going on. Tonight I am going to watch some Animal Planet and call it a night. I really should work on school but I am so overwhelmed right now I don’t know how to start. I am working on a masters in International Health. I like working abroad and this degree will help me be able to continue doing just that. After all this stuff here in the Middle East dries up, which it eventually will, I will be primed to branch off.

January 2008 people. You guys are going to see massive changes in Iraq around January 08. The new US embassy is on-time for a July 2007 completion. By the time everything is all said and done and people are actually living and working at the new embassy it will be about January 2008. When that happens, many of the buildings in the International Zone will probably be handed over to the Iraqis and the US presence will change significantly. The embassy is massive BTW. I am not sure exactly how big it is but let me tell you, it is big. They have at least 6 cranes that seem to be working around the clock to get the thing built. I was at the US Chancery today. I gave a lift to 2 soldiers that didn’t know where it was and needed a passport. The Chancery is about 10000 times smaller than the new embassy. I can’t wait to visit it.

Here are some pics from Romania. I got to visit with a Legionnaire buddy of mine there. 5 nights in Bucharest and about a week in Transylvania. This is from the drive to Transylvania. Beautiful eh?

This is a really cool shot of some beer. Look at the size of those beer bottles! They actually had tables that were concave to allow fat beer guts to belly up and they would slap out 6 pints at the same time. They really know how to drink in Romania, and Czech Republic.


Friday, July 28, 2006

Enchiladas and Innovation

Today I managed to get about an hour to lay out. It has been several days and I am starting to look like Casper again. I am reading Bremer’s book about his time in Iraq and so far it is pretty interesting. I am particularly interested in reading it because as a Captain I worked for the Coalition Provisional Authority in the Directorate of Operations and Infrastructure and dealt with many of the people he mentions in his book.

While I was walking to the pool a rocket flew overhead and landed somewhere but didn’t explode. It was kind of creepy like it always is, but I went ahead and hit the pool anyway. It wasn’t really near me and if you hear it, you are generally safe.

While I was sitting at the pool I was thinking about the problems in Iraq and how to solve them. Don’t worry, I didn’t, so you will still be able to watch all the failures on TV and still be able to moan about what is not going so well. But what did strike me was how resilient and innovative the Iraqis are, and that makes me hopeful that whatever the setbacks, they will pull thru this.

Here is an example of innovation. The last company I worked for tasked me to have 2 rooms constructed on the roof of our villa. I hired a local construction company, gave them the general layout and specifications and they set off to build it. Well, Iraqi construction techniques are primitive to say the least and an OSHA worker would have a filed day here, but they still managed to build the room using sheer brute force and physical labor. At times I was thinking they were intentionally doing things the hard way just to take longer so they could earn more. It turns out that I was right and wrong about that. They were indeed doing it the hard way, but that is the way they are used to operating. Why buy a jack-hammer when you can employ 20 guys to beat the concrete with a pick axe for less. You get the job done and still employ 20 more people. Anyway, one morning as they were nearing completion I noticed a rather large bag of bottle caps. When I saw it I thought “damn, they have drank a lot of soda today” and pretty much left it at that. Well later in the day, on the roof of one of the rooms, I noticed some wire screens that had been attached to the roof so that they could apply the mortar. They had used the bottle caps as nails to hold the various sections of mesh together.

At the pool I saw this:

Very innovative. I am not sure who did it, but it still is pretty cool that someone made lanes where none existed using junk.

So tonight was apparently “Mexican Food” night at the embassy dining facility. I prefer the steak and lobster night and am particularly fond of the “Mongolian Stew” night, but I like Mexican food.

Anyway, I sat in the back part of the DFAC where they have TVs but unfortunately all they are playing now is Baseball which is the gayest sport on Earth. So I sat down and a young Army Specialist sat down across from me. His name was SPC Chavez. SPC Chavez was not a US citizen but would soon be getting his citizenship because of his service in the military. I think that is great, and it was nice to hear about how he managed to legally immigrate and join the Army. His older brother became naturalized the same way. Good on him.

And I am passionate about preventing illegal immigration of any sort. So when I sat there eating my enchilada and thought about the millions upon millions of illegal Hispanic immigrants as well as the enormous legally immigrated Hispanic population I began to wonder if the good old fashioned hot dog was in danger of being replaced by the taco and the enchilada.

I don’t blame the Mexicans that choose to flee to the US. I would do the exact same thing if I was in their position. I blame the useless, incompetent, cowardly, retarded, self-serving elected officials in office today and for the past 40 years or more. They should all be fired, every last corrupt one of them. And we should have a popular vote to decide what to do about the southern border.

We should have an absolutely impenetrable physical barrier along both borders set back 1 mile into our sovereign land and there needs to be measures that will ensure no living person can cross our borders illegally. We should employ mine fields, and the use of deadly force should be authorized if ANYONE approaches within 1 mile of our borders. The area should be well marked, lighted and heavily armed. If a person approaches at an unauthorized location, 1 warning shot should be fired and if they do not turn around, drop them and bury them where they land. We need to have radar along the borders to detect any tunneling and if tunneling is detected that location should be bombed with our most powerful weapons to destroy the tunnel and whatever is in it. We also need to have the same level of security on the East and West coasts. It must be impossible for any vessel above or below the sea to reach US soil without authorization and every single ship should be inspected. Every container on every ship that is, and it must be impossible for someone to exit a legal ship and enter illegally. We have enough unemployment, we can hire and train them and they can be inspectors.

Anyway. Those are my thoughts on illegal immigration.

Here are the partially completed rooms I was referring to:

Notice they just smashed the wall away to make room for the ladder.


Summer Ball Photos

Here are the pictures from the Summer Ball at the UK Embassy. What an awesome time that was. BTW, it is 1230 PM here and that is when I get to watch O’Reilly. He just had a piece on oil. How are you guys dealing with the price of gas? Wow, I was just on TV, we don’t get commercials on Fox here, we get all these Fox news extras and they just showed me sitting in a chair watching them film the “Baghdad Idol”. Some Air Force officer won it. She wasn’t bad, and was offered a recording contract. Anyway, how in the world do you guys deal with the price of gas? 3 dollars a gallon? What a joke. The last tank of gas I bought in the United States cost me about $1.20. I can remember paying $.97 when I lived in Georgia. This situation is out of control. We need to develop a car that runs on coconut juice or something. We can’t keep paying this much. It would cost me $75 to fill my tank 1 time at 3 bucks a gallon! I fill it 4 times a month. And all that money goes right to some fat Arab or Exxon. We have to fix this.

We have to get our own oil and we have to develop a car that runs on something else. We need to get out of the Middle East and let them swim in their oil instead of our cash. Screw this.

Later I will post about immigration. Bottom line is that we need to re-deploy every soldier in Korea to our southern border. More to follow on that. CalifChris, if you are reading this, send me an email with your thoughts on immigration so I can add them to my post. I believe you are an expert on the topic and welcome your input. Please do not mention Bush unless you also mention every president in the history of the United States:)

This is me and my date having dinner. It is a horrible picture of me, but none of you probably noticed.

This is me on the dance floor. You had to search didn't you?!

GEN Casey.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Not Boom

I have to think of more titles because “Boom” is getting worn out. Today I was startled when 2 loud rockets exploded within minutes of each other and then I heard a huge car bomb. Those car bombs are very loud. A few of you military guys have heard large mortars and rockets explode but you may not have heard car bombs. They are about 3 to 5 times louder than rockets. A while back I was walking near Checkpoint 2 when a humongous car bomb exploded outside the checkpoint. I was at least 200 meters away and there was a T-Wall between me and the explosion so I was in no danger, but let me tell you, it was freaking loud. I hit the deck so fast that time. Also, the only guy injured was the one driving the vehicle. I love when suicide bombers only blow themselves up, it really cracks me up. Just like when they blow themselves up trying to make them. I wonder if they get their virgins if all they did was commit suicide basically. I don’t think you are entitled to virgins just for committing suicide. Well I hope they don’t, it would serve them right.

I can imagine what the Israelis are feeling right now. They are getting close to about 100 rockets a day. The rockets they get are the same as we get, but we are lucky to get more than 2 a day. The most I have ever experienced is 15 a day in early 04, but 100 a day! I am not at all surprised at their reaction to these rockets. I am surprised they didn’t just nuke the dudes.

I have to make sure I tailor this remark carefully because I found out my boss was reading this. IF we get 100 rockets a day, I am gone! I don’t think it could happen because the security patrols in Baghdad in particular have really ramped up and there is talk of sending in more US forces and it hasn’t happened yet.

Why is the city still out of control when there are about 50,000 Iraqis guarding it? Simple. The guys guarding it are from Baghdad. The guys policing the streets are not able to enforce the laws because they will be punished by their families. For example, the average Iraqi Police is not going to shoot his cousin for setting up an IED. What they need to do is bring people from the South to police Baghdad and send the Baghdad natives to the West and North. Send people from the North to police the South. That is the only way it will work.

Today was a quiet day at work. Like I said earlier, Thursdays are like Fridays here so there wasn’t much business and tomorrow will be absolutely dead. Fine I guess. Tonight I am going to the embassy bar named “Lock and Load”. I really love that title. It is only open Thursday night and it is usually pretty packed with embassy staff.

I am a commercial pilot so I love aviation talk. Check out this website: The guy is blogging his trip across the States. Nice reading.

Not much else to say today. Let me find a cool picture and I will post it and leave it at that.


This is a pic of me in a restaurant in Prague. I look perturbed at the guy because he kept coming over and serenading us with his violin. Normally I would like a good serenade for my date, the problem is that my date was my sister.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mozilla Firefox

Get Firefox!

Well folks,

Microsoft let me down. This browser worked where Internet Explorer would not work. I haven't had it long but it appears to be faster and more stable than IE. I give it a thumbs up so far and will promote it till it fails me.


My deputy is Kurdish. Well he is American now, but he was born and raised in Kurdistan till he was about 35. I will just leave it at that for now because his story could fill many blogs. A very interesting man to say the least.

So anyway, today I was thinking more about leaving Iraq and I began to wonder why Kurdistan doesn’t leave Iraq. I asked “G” what he thought. I also met a Kurdish 2-star General who was visiting G and I asked him what he thought about an independent Kurdistan. And I also met another dude that works in the National Assembly as an aide to one of the useless politicians what he thinks.

They all told me that they would love to see a free and independent K-stan. But they all, independent of the others, told me it was not possible because of Turkey and Iran and more importantly, they have no friends. They are all convinced, and I believe them, that if the US or ISRAEL would back them (or some other big EU country) that they could gain their independence.

Why don’t we back them? Obviously it is complicated but look at this. Why the hell shouldn’t K-stan go their own way? It was the Brits that created Iraq; why not let it be the US that unmakes it. Just give K-stan to the Kurds and be done with it. Here is why I think it would help. Too many cooks spoil the broth right? You have Christians, men, women, Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish politicians in Iraq all trying to put there 2 cents in. Take away the Kurds and there is less to argue about, worry about, complain about and waste time talking about. Just let them go.

And, K-stan, in contrast to Iraq, is beautiful. There are hills and trees and it even snows there. The people are way more like us than the Iraqis. I have walked around without body armor and unarmed in centuries old markets in Arbil and Suleymania. No problem. They don’t care. They look at me because I am a 6’3” white boy with blonde hair, but that’s about it. I am a curio there. They could care less. They want to make a better future for their children and that is it. Bring back Bremer, sign CPA order number whatever’s next and make Kurdistan a separate sovereign nation. So what if the Turks get pissed? What are they gonna do about it, become more anti-American? What is Iran gonna do about it?

Speaking of Iran, we need to nuke them. We also need to nuke Syria and Saudi Arabia and throw Egypt in there just for good measure. And France.

Funny thing about France. Today an Iraqi accused me of not looking American. I was not surprised, this happens all the time but usually in Asia and I am getting blamed for being a Canuck, a pom, or a kangaroo. Anyway, this dude said I looked German or FRENCH! I nearly had a heart attack. I asked him why on Earth he thought I looked like a frog and he said it was because I had blonde hair and green eyes. Apparently he must have met the 1 French guy that has blonde hair and green eyes. I explained to him that his comment was insulting and that nobody likes French people so he shouldn’t accuse people of being French. He understood and apologized. I didn’t have to shoot him.

Well anyway, that’s about it. Tonight me and my buddy are going to a BBQ at the Bearing Point compound and then we are heading to the Blue Star Café at the RTI compound for some drinks. Should be fun. I can stay late because my AC is broke again so I aint going in tomorrow till it’s fixed.


Here are the pics I couldn't previously post. This is a cute Thai girl near a sign marking the path of the tsunami in Phuket. My hotel is about 3 meters away from this location.

This is a cool monkey in Penang, Malaysia. What a great trip that was

This is from petra in Jordan. A must see place for anyone. Absolutely amazing place with so much history.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pleasant Day.

Today was a good day. A good friend of mine is visiting Baghdad for 3 nights so I got to meet up with him for lunch and we intend to knock a few back tonight and relive our 2 trips to Thailand. The great news is that he thinks he may be able to hook me up with a job in Kuwait! Yay! Now, ordinarily I deplore going to Kuwait as much as I deplore a lot of Kuwaitis but I really need a change of scenery and the Program Manager position will allow me to travel all over and still present a rewarding job.

Kuwait pretty much sucks. For 1 thing, it is dry. But anyone wanting a drink can get one, you just pay a high price to the cab driver and he will sort you out with some moonshine. I hope I don’t go blind. Anyway, when you leave Kuwait on a civilian plane as I have done twice now, you better order your drinks fast. No sooner than they get wheels up and start serving drinks do the Kuwaitis begin to devour any alcohol on the plane. Both times, all the alcohol on the plane was consumed within 1 hour. I asked the stewardess if they doubled up on the booze for flights out of Kuwait and she said no, they carry 4 times the regular load. And they still drink it up.

Anyway, they need to get over that no beer thing.

So the other reason Kuwait sucks is there are no nightclubs. There are no places for men and women to socialize. Basically you have to strike up conversation at the malls or in coffee shops, but even that can be difficult. You might as well forget about a Kuwaiti girl too. Many Saudis travel to Kuwait and there are some extremely hot Saudi chicks, but all they want to do is smile at you and then run away. They are very childish. Besides women in general are hard to handle, what with mood swings and all, but throw Islam into the mix and it is a recipe for disaster. Arab Muslim women are among the most beautiful I have seen on Earth. They have a nice skin color, beautiful eyes, jet black hair and curvaceous bodies. BUT, when they are Muslim you have a whole new set of problems that I don’t feel I need to list and the “no sex” thing is only 1 of them. So if you want a date you have to find a pinoy or Indian chick. They are also not that bad. I think Indian women are not generally thought of as that hot, but let me tell you, I have seen bunches of them are off the charts. Anyway.

Kuwait also sucks because of Kuwaitis. I am referring to Kuwaiti citizens, not residents. The residents are fine; it’s just those pompous citizens sucking off the oil money you have to watch out for. There are about 300,000 or so of the really wealthy ones and they are a handful. For example. If you are walking in a mall with 5 of your buddies and you notice you are all walking next to each other and that you are basically a moving roadblock for oncoming traffic, you will move so someone can pass by you, right, I do. Well these creepy bastards don’t. So I don’t either. I will ram right into them. I rammed one dude so hard his head robe fell off. I didn’t even turn around. We are the ones that liberated your towel headed country, you move. Another time I was at the Kuwait Hilton, nice place that I highly recommend BTW, at the Dairy Queen and this insolent little Kuwaiti girl kept trying to push me away from the counter. I finally shoved her aside and told her to stop stepping in front of me or I would smack her. They learn it from their arrogant parents. One thing about smacking. You can smack people in Kuwait and Dubai. A buddy of mine smacked some dude because he said the girl he was with was a whore. She wasn’t so he smacked him. When the police came, he told them what he said and they smacked him again and told him to leave. I just love that. You say or do something stupid in public and wham, you get a smack. It is even OK to smack other people’s children. If they are running around crazy and the parent isn’t there, it is A-OK to just smack them. The parents will actually thank you. If that little girl did one more thing to me she was going to get a real smack, right on the back of the head.

Also, the women wear full ninja gear all the time. They wear the really bad kind where the eyes are covered by mesh. If you see one of them behind the wheel of a moving car, move out of the way because they will crash into you. I don’t particularly dislike the women, but they really need to do something about that ninja suit thing. Look at our women, we said they couldn’t vote and they all withheld sex so now they can vote. Just kidding, but they really do need to sort that out. Till then I have no sympathy for them. When I was in Malaysia I saw a dude in a g-string euro trash swimsuit on a jet ski. He was out there having a great old time…with his ninja on the back of the jet ski! Out in the ocean with 40 pounds of cloth dumped on this chick and he is running around in a thong! I was so close to ramming him. Anyway, he must have been a moderate radical fanatic because he allowed her to swim. I saw her swimming at the pool the next day dressed in a full black body suit, black mask, black gloves, black boots and black sunglasses. She looked like Shamu in the pool. That is the other thing, she wasn’t even attractive. These self absorbed Muslim men need to grow some security. They have to be the most insecure, untrusting people on the planet to subject women to these things. What a joke.

Ok, that being said, I will still move there in a nano-second. The job is great and the benefits are great. I have it lined up with my buddy and 1 other dude there that if I secure the position that we are going to rent a nice 6 bedroom on the beach. (A room and an office for each of us) That is exactly what I need after being in this shit hole for so long. I can’t find a job in Thailand that pays a decent salary so I am just going to have to find a beach somewhere else. Thailand jobs are soooo bad (pay wise). I found a job that would require a Doctorate in the States and would pay well over 150K but in Bangkok, the pay was 3000 a month. Who can live on that, get real.

But there is 1 good thing about Kuwait that is awesome. It aint Baghdad.


Monday, July 24, 2006


I was hoping to get this posted before 1700 but it is now 1659 so I know that isn’t going to happen. I was going to hit the Green Bean at the palace to be in a secured location for the almost daily now 1700 rockets. But then I said screw it. The chances of me getting hit are so remote that it is almost negligible. I haven’t ever been that worried about rockets and I don’t intend to start worrying about them. If they get me, fine, but they probably wont.

Anyway, My AC was broke again today so I left a bit early. I meant to use it as an excuse to get some sun but I got lazy and decided to watch TV.

I watched some news about Lebanon. What a mess that is. My 2nd best friend is Lebanese and he is so pissed about what is going on that I think he is probably spitting fire. I feel bad for him but I also feel like Israel is doing what they have to do. I hope that Hez do not fire chemical weapons at Israel. If they do that, the Jews will nuke Tehran faster than you, too late, they already nuked them. I actually wish they would nuke Tehran. I wish we would nuke Tehran. Will someone please nuke Tehran?

So anyway, not a whole lot of news today. My deputy returns from leave tomorrow so I can get back to letting him do everything and start working on my schoolwork. I am getting a masters in international health and I am so far behind, and I owe so many papers that I doubt I will ever get it done. Oh well, I tried. Who needs a stinking masters anyway. Just a garbage piece of paper. Whether or not I have a masters is irrelevant, I can still do anything, but you know those HR pukes. They want you to have this qualification or that and they are bigger idiots than you, but they get to determine if you get hired. What a joke. I could do their job in 2 seconds. The only jobs that require skills are those like doctor, lawyer, and stuff like that which can’t be made up. I am a manager. I can manage anything. I don’t have to be a doctor to manage a hospital and I don’t need a MBA from Harvard to so. Hell, there are about “0” jobs that I can’t do.

Deleted paragraph here.

So anyway, I apologize for not posting pictures. For some reason this computer just wont do it. I have tried so many times, but it never works. Something is happening on this particular computer to prevent me from posting pictures. I am pissed. Nobody reads this crap, but hopefully they look at the pictures. So I am trying to post the pics at work but I don’t have all my pics at my laptop at work. I need to synch my drives but I am too lazy. Ok, I will do it sometime this calendar year I promise.

Anyway. You guys have a good one.

Oh yeah, death. Today a massive car bomb exploded and in addition to waking me up, killed a bunch of civilians. These clowns need to stop the madness. When I was in the States I lived in a residential neighborhood and I knew pretty much all the cars that parked there. It is no different here. These fools know when a new car appears. They also know that if a car parks on the street and the driver never gets out that he aint fixing a flat, he is waiting to detonate the explosives. BUT, these idiots don’t do anything about it. I live in a country where it is perfectly acceptable to shoot someone in the head. I can walk into Baghdad right this second and shoot some lunatic in the head and nobody can do anything about it. There are many times when I wanted to walk right out of these gates and start shooting people but I didn’t. Well the Iraqis can. If they see a car bomber, they can mow that dude down and nobody is going to do anything about it. They see a weird vehicle with a scared looking fanatic in it and instead of shooting his ass they allow their children to walk right by him. No problem, go to school Johnny. Too bad he blew himself up right when Johnny was walking by. Oh well. I don’t get these guys. Why don’t they stop it? Why don’t they fight back? I know that if I saw a car bomber parked on my street in the US that I would at a minimum call the police. These guys do nothing. What a joke.



Sunday, July 23, 2006

Bad day at work.

So anyway, yesterday was pretty rough. I am actually a bit surprised at my reaction to that last round. I normally do not have a reaction even vaguely similar to that. I think it is partly due to the fact that I have been here so long and am so stressed. My contract expires in September with my current company and I have no plans to renew it nor do I intend to stay in Iraq. I wish I had started this blog in Feb 04 when I got here but oh well. Anyway, so once this job is over, I am going to probably move to Dubai. I have friends there and it shouldn’t be too difficult to break into the expat community there.

That was a huge run-on paragraph. Oh well, this aint grammar school.

Anyway, I overreacted yesterday. It turns out the rocket was at least 20 meters away therefore NOT making it the scariest rocket ever. So I freaked out for nothing. I live in a 20’ by 8’ trailer which is surrounded by a 3 foot thick wall of sandbags. Now, a rocket can go right thru a sandbag wall but the shrapnel cannot. This means that if the rocket explodes outside my trailer, no matter how close it is, I am good to go. I might be bleeding from the ears, but I will be fine. Also, it means that the rocket (or mortar) has to land IN my trailer to hurt me. 20 by 8 trailer in all of Iraq, you do the math. Now that being said there are things which make my chances higher. I am situated close to the Embassy and the Chow Hall. Those are prime targets. If the insurgents fire at either target it is feasible they may miss and hit me. But it is highly unlikely.

So I am simmered down from yesterday but what some of you, (Oz, Kanrei, Am1st) said got me to really start thinking about WTF I am doing in Iraq. I thought about it a lot today because my AC is broke again so I didn’t go in to work.

First and foremost I am here for the money. Let’s be real, anyone who works cares about money. I will not get on here and lie and say that my salary is not a huge factor in why I stay, but there is a lot more to it than that. For example, because of my contracting jobs I have been able to visit more than 20 countries in the last 3 years. That is something I wanted to do my whole life. I have paid off all my debt which I thought would take about 16,000 lifetimes in under a year and managed to save and invest money to secure my retirement. This experience has left me financially secure and believe me, that would not have happened otherwise.

Additionally, I get to interact with the Iraqis. The building I run houses the National Iraqi Assistance Center. Iraqis can go to the NIAC and get all sorts of direct help. For example, if a soldier runs into a civilian vehicle by accident, he can give the Iraqi a card and they take the card to the IAC to get reimbursed. I get to help with that. I store more than 50 wheelchairs that I am able to help deliver to people that can’t afford wheelchairs. These are only a few of the reasons I stay. I would be bored beyond belief to work a normal 9-5 in the States. In fact I doubt I will ever return permanently. There are so many other things I want to see and I can’t be tied down to some US job that pays nothing and offers little vacation time. You know that in Australia you start your job and they start you with minimum over 30 days paid leave annually? And that is not even high compared to Europe where some places give you 60 days the first year you work for a company. In the US you are lucky to get 15 days a year. Screw that.

So the bad day at work thing. I had a bad day yesterday for sure. I was rattled and I was very nervous. Oh well. No time to complain. I have a good job here and I like it. If I get whacked it will be doing something I enjoy and I can honestly say I will have died a happy person. I would rather die in Thailand at the age of 80 with my own private yacht, but whatever. The bad day at work isn’t here; it is everywhere else that people are not happy doing what they are doing. Yes, it is dangerous here but statistically there is a better chance of getting offed in Detroit or in a car crash.

Ok, so that is it for me. It is 1837 and nary a bomb so I shall commence to watch Animal Planet.

Boom Part III

This is going to sound melodramatic but oh well. Tonight I had the closest near death experience in the last 3 months. A rocket landed about 10 meters from where I was laying. I heard the explosions from 3 incoming rounds so I ran outside and took up a prone position on the ground between the sandbag walls. It was then that I heard a sound I have never heard. It sounded similar to those WWII whistling sounds you hear on TV when bombs are dropped, but higher in pitch and much faster, more menacing. Normally the rockets sound like ghosts or big zippers, but this was different (because it was so damn close) To be honest, I have thought for sure I was going to die a few times and this time was no different.

I will just stop there. Those who have never experienced this couldn’t understand. It is really scary. Any dude that comes back from Iraq and brags about how they weren’t scared is a liar. Period. They, like I, might not have panicked, but they were scared.

Anyway, I had to evacuate my hooch due to its close proximity to the UXO. So I went to the Blue Star restaurant and drank a shit load of brews to calm down. They finally opened up my section about 30 minutes ago so I can get back online and post this.

So I am done I think. They got me. The rockets got me.

Disregard. They aint gonna scare me. I will just be sure to be in a secure location at 1700. I will look for something in the Sudan or Lebanon and then I will pop smoke. The chances of another rocket landing that close again are slim, I have sandbags, and I am not going to run away from a few rockets. Sorry for being wishy-washy. Hell, I shouldn't even post this, but I had a few so here it goes. Maybe I will delete it tomorrow.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Little things.

It really is the little things that matter most sometimes. Last night I had the great fortune to be invited to the UK Embassy for the Summer Ball. I have to brag a bit to be able to tell you this but I guess I have to. There were only 200 attendees. There are 200 people a lot more important than me that didn’t get tickets so I was extremely grateful to have been invited and allowed to bring a date. The only deal with that was that I had to bring one for the guy that invited me. Getting 1 date can be a challenge, 2 is darn near impossible. For anyone other than me that is:) Seriously there are about 10,000 people in the International Zone and only about 5% of those are women. Further break down the ratio of good looking women, those in the right age bracket etc… and you can see the dilemma. Anyway I have tons of cool pics that I have yet to retrieve from my camera which was left at the embassy by uhhh mistake.

Among the attendees were of course the ambassadors from the US and Britain, but I was surprised to see GEN Casey. I have seen him a few times in passing in the hallways of the embassy but last night he wore his dress greens and it is always impressive to see a 4 star general with all their medals. I don’t know that much about him but I know that Patton would be envious of the medals on his chest.

Like I was saying about the little things. The food at the UK embassy is roughly equivalent to that which is served here at the US. KBR provides both. But at the UK embassy, they have a cook, and everyone knows the cook and the cook provides more of a catered appearance than the assembly line chow hall we have at the US dining facility. Do not misinterpret for a moment that I am complaining about the food I get. I most certainly am not. I eat better than a lot of people. I am pointing out the little things. So the food there, while not completely different from what I am eating tonight was just ever so slightly different to make it special.

Well after dinner, which started at 2030 and ended at about 2300, we started dancing. I am a 6’3” white boy with the dancing skills of a weeble-wobble. It turns out that my absolutely gorgeous date, who is half Italian and half Peruvian is also the teacher of the weekly “Salsa Night” lessons at the liberty pool. Uhoh! So the microsecond they play the first beat which happens to be Shakira’s “Hips don’t lie” she is dragging me to the dance floor. If you are a person that dances this might seem silly to you, but to those of you who are allergic to dance floors I am sure you will see what I am getting at. Anyway, she is dragging me to the dance floor and there is no one else there. It is about to be me and her and 198 people watching. I am scared shitless to put it mildly. It was about halfway there that I realized I already had a date, so I didn’t need to worry about impressing other chicks and more importantly, that every eye would probably be on the hottest chick in the room dancing in synch to “Hips don’t lie” and that I would be last thing anyone was watching. So I accepted my fate and went on up there.

It turns out that I was right, nobody looked at me, and by the time other people saw us up there they joined in and I moved us to the back and blended into an ever-growing crowd of dancers.

So when they closed the bar at 0200 we decided to go jump in the pool. We first stopped off and grabbed a few bottles of red wine (can’t remember what kind) and then stripped to our skivvies and jumped in the pool. It was fun splashing about. Well as the sun was coming up, I don’t know what time, we put parts of our suits back on and exited the embassy.

It was absolutely fantastic. And it was one of those rare little things one gets to experience that makes living in this God forsaken hell hole a little bit more bearable.

Pics will follow I promise.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Boom Part II

Well I was going to take the day off from posting because I feel lazy tonight but 2 large explosions just served as a powerful reminder that I better get some stuff down while I can. I just hope I don’t buy it while I am on the toilet. My roommate has orders to drag me into the bedroom and put a beer in my hand. Some guy got killed inside this compound while he was taking the morning shower. That sucks.

This is the 3rd day in a row that at about 1700 we have gotten incoming. Today 1 round landed near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which is next to the Iran-Iraq War Memorial and started a fire. KBR fire department was called and they put it out.

The other landed near the water point. It’s a single place for all the water trucks to fill up their tanks and make deliveries. That one resulted in a casualty. I do not know what the casualty is but it sounds serious.

Well about the Tomb. It is really cool. I took lots of pictures when I was here in the Army but I did not bring them with me when I returned. I want to show you the tremendous difference from 04 to now. It used to be run down and decrepit, but now it has been fixed up pretty nicely.

So anyway, I get a report 3 times daily that summarizes all the major Arabic media outlets; web, TV, and broadcast. Usually they all focus on the same 3 things. Those things change everyday but usually at least 2 of the 3 main topics are the same on all outlets. Then it summarizes the next 5 or so things that are being talked about. You know what? The Lebanese thing is barely making a blip. Today’s report said nothing at all about Lebanon. Now I know that the report is focused mainly on what is being said about the Iraq war, but still I was shocked to not see anything at all.

What else? Oh yeah, the ball is tomorrow, I am so looking forward to this. So I decided to impress my date and get her a corsage for her gown. She actually brought 3 gowns don’t ask me why. Women. So I called a buddy of mine and asked if he could go to the flower shop and get me one. He said sure and went over there. Then he called me and asked me what color to get. Red. Then he brings it back to me and guess what? It is the most God awful ugly FAKE corsage you could ever imagine. I am going to give it to her anyway to see her reaction. I hope she doesn’t lie and say she likes it. I hope she laughs and says that she won’t wear the gaudy thing. I will let you know what happens.

So my AC is sort of fixed which is good. Now the trailer is cooled to about 90. Tolerable but not very pleasant. Oh well. Funny thing about heat like this, while you never get fully accustomed to it, it does tend to get more bearable. At the end of spring I told my buddy it felt like it was over 100 today. He laughed and said its been 110 for the last 10 days. I guess I am used to it. But you never felt heat till you go to Kuwait! The second I stepped off the plane I exploded with sweat from the heat and humidity. Kuwait is unbearable. So is Dubai most of the year.

Speaking of Dubai. That is one cool city. I heard that 18% of the world’s cranes are in Dubai. Everyone has their own skyscraper it seems. But it is weird, sort of fake, like Vegas. Everything is its own little micro city. Each skyscraper has malls, restaurants, gyms, you name it. You never have to leave if you don’t want to. But Dubai also has a huge expat community. It’s a little tough to break in, but once you do I hear you are set. I am hoping to get an operations job at the airport and pop smoke here.

Well anyway here is the picture I tried to post yesterday. Hopefully it will work. My computer sucks so it might not. It wont. Take 3 tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006


It is hot today. The facility I run used to be a huge parking garage for the Iraqi Convention Center. Once we took over, the Brits moved about 56 medium size trailers in to provide accommodation for the UK embassy staff. Well, they finally built their real Embassy and then everyone moved out to the embassy compound. This coincided with us turning the Convention Center back over to the Iraqis, so we moved all the offices in the center to the former British living containers. Well, the parking garage is about 75 times smaller than the center so we really had to pack it in. More people=more heat. The Brits had about 60 air conditioning units, we are now over 100. This means that in addition to the heat produced by the bright orange ball, we also have over 100 tons of hot air being discharged into the building. That means that the inside temperature is about 20 degrees hotter than the outside temperature. And to make matters worse, all the ACs have safety switches to shut them down when they get to hot. So we end up with no AC in the trailers. Not good when the ambient temperature is over 140.

So anyway, mine broke today at about 1300 so I left early. I have an invite to the British Embassy Summer Ball this Thursday so I used the time to get my suit ready and find where my date lives. She gave me the worst possible directions so it took about an hour to find her villa. I am really looking forward to this. Things that seem normal in the States are a rarity here. For example, we have a Burger King, but I never go there. When I fly out I will eat at a McDonalds just to have something different. I am scared that when I get back to the States that I wont know how to act. I have only been in the US for 1 month in the last 29 months. I forgot what it looks like. I have a truck and a boat that are fading in the SC heat.

Anyway, I was the victim of credit card theft on my last vacation. I just found charges on my account for over 2500 dollars in plane tickets I didn’t buy. My bank refunded all the purchases but I am still pissed. I am very protective of my information especially in 3rd world countries so I don’t know how it happened.

I talked extensively with Hidar today. We are working a few deals now and if one of them pans out I am good to go. Anyway, he said that, and I wasn’t fully aware of this, the militias are controlled by the political parties. Hmm. He said that all the killings have very little to do with religion. I have stated earlier that I have drank beer with Christians, Muslims both Sunni and Shia, together. The real rift is not because Sunnis don’t like Shias, it is as Hidar puts it “Only about the chair”. He says to me that people want each others chairs, meaning jobs. If this guy has a good job and good money and authority that every other Iraqi wants to knock them off their chair. Hidar says that Iraqis are very bad about this and are unique about it in the Arab world. So the militias are tools to secure power for the politicians, who in turn help their tribes attain power.

Hidar also said that there are many crooks in Iraq, even during Saddam. He thinks now, many crooks have positions of authority and are using violence to make money for themselves. I asked him if he meant like the mob and he said yes, but worse. I have talked about the Iraqi governments callous selfishness before. I have told you how they have VVIP lanes and put VVIP on their badges. This government is 100% concerned about themselves and every Iraqi, other than politicians, has agreed with that assessment.

Today at lunch my friend and I were discussing our own government. There are so many similarities that it is remarkable. The only thing my government cares about is getting re-elected and having power too. No different than the Iraqis. So maybe my point is that because the Iraqi government is screwed up Iraq is screwed up. Maybe it is not because we didn’t plan for the peace so to speak. Maybe if the Iraqi government would stop dicking around with villas and cars and security teams and jobs for their family members and badges and access to this or that building and who said or did what to whom and what position they are going to have and how long they get that position and start worrying about freaking Iraqis, they might be able to square this stuff away.


Here is a cool Thailand pic. Disregard, wont load. My internet sucks so bad.

Monday, July 17, 2006


I like explosions. I like to watch things blow up and I really like to blow things up. Incendiary grenades are some of the most fun things in the world to play with. But, I just had a rocket explode about 300 to 400 meters away from me. I know it was a rocket because it did not have the sharp crack of a mortar or the distinguishable sounds of an RPG and it certainly wasn’t loud enough to be a VBIED. I was about to write this post when it exploded so I had to run to the bomb shelter about 50 meters away from me in case there were more.

Booms are also occurring in Lebanon. Not good. I know a few Lebanese and all of them are sane. One of my buddies in Dubai had to cancel his vacation planned in Beirut due to the war. I hope they sort this out soon. I sort of hope they don’t just so we get the chance to get into a bigger war in the Middle East. I am not 100% convinced yet, but I am getting very close to making the statement that if we do launch into war with Iran or North Korea that I am going to go back onto active duty. I have not resigned my commission and could get back in as a Captain. And quite frankly Captain is where you want to be. Or Platoon Leader. You are with the troops and are actually effecting change rather than sitting around making PowerPoint presentations and worrying whether or not you are going to make “full” Colonel. I can skip that part, keep me as a Captain. I am not sure because to put it quite frankly, I am tired of booms and I feel I have done my part. I think 10 years in the Army, including a year in Iraq, counts as doing my part.

But the title of this post is not really meant to be about war. It is about the sonic boom that will be heard in about a half an hour when the shuttle re-enters from orbit. I am in awe of the accomplishments made in modern science and the shuttle is just a small part. We actually landed a satellite on a meteor. I cannot wait to see what advances are made in the coming decades. I want to see nano-technology grow and I really want to see us being able to manipulate genes. I would really like to determine if my child would be born with blue eyes or green eyes. There are some scientists that even think it may be possible to cause humans to see infra-red light. Sign me up for that operation.

A good friend of mine is a scientist. He is working on a project that originates in space. He's working on using cosmic rays to x-ray Maya pyramids to make a map of the ruins. Yes, very cool. Here is the link: (cooler link)

So here’s to the boom! May the only decent space ship on our planet land in the greatest country on Earth safely and let us see what advances their short space mission can offer to future generations.


Here is a pic of me near some distinctive towers.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Totally Random Questions

Today was largely uneventful. I talked to my friend Hidar today and asked him what the Iraqis feelings were towards the goings on in Lebanon. He said they don’t care. I asked if he thought the Iraqis were mad at the Israelis and he told me no. He said the Iraqis just want peace.

I do think he might have given a slightly politically correct answer on this one so I am going to ask some more people.

Anyway, I was thinking about Saddam today. There is a rumor that Saddam was originally held at the Main Presidential Palace in the poolside residence. The rumor is that there is 2 way (2 way or 1 way?, whatever you know what I am talking about) glass in one of the rooms and that Saddam was forced to watch as a bunch of military and civilians frolicked and drank beer by his pool. I highly doubt it is true, but it is damn funny if it is.

Anyway. I would like to know if Bush has talked to Saddam since he was captured. Has he called him? Have they brought Saddam over to be questioned? I think it would be hilarious to find out that Bush called Saddam just to say “I told you so”.

I also would like to know if Bush got a phone call before Israel started bombing Beirut. I am confident he probably did, but I don’t know for sure. I would love to see a transcript of that one. “Uh, Bush, what are you gonna do ifn we bomb Lebanon?” “Hell, bomb em, Bomb Iran while yer at it! Fine by me”.

Anyhow the last thing I want to ask is why is the USD worth less than any currency? The US economy is the most powerful in the world so should our dollar be. I am tired of going to the bank and getting 1400 dinar when my brit counterpart gets nearly 2500. What a joke. The US GDP is only about 1 trillion less than the GDP of the ENTIRE EU and is neary 3 times bigger than the supposed powerhouse, China. We should be the ones getting 1.8 pounds when we give them 1 dollar not the other way around. At least the difference in the value of the Euro is not so significant.

Anyway, here is a picture with a shark in Sydney harbor. Zat, you been there?


Saturday, July 15, 2006

Border Security

We have to secure our borders now.

I could end at that but it just makes me so mad that I feel like rambling on.

Every elected official in government today needs to be fired. End of story. They have done nothing to address the problem other than play partisan politics and yak about this and that.

If you love your country, do not vote for anyone that does not support sealing the southern border first, and then figuring out what to do with all the illegals that are already here. That is it plain and simple. If they are not on the bandwagon, do not vote for them. I am usually not a person that votes on single issues, but this is too important not to. I don’t care if the person wants universal healthcare, transitioning to the Euro, free abortions for all and the right to burn the flag, as long as they want to seal the border I will vote for them.

We have almost as many Mexicans in this country as there are Brits in Britain for God’s sake. Our illegal population is over half the total population of Australia. That means for all intents and purposes that we are losing the country. Slowly but surely, we are losing it. Look at the rate of the Hispanic populations increase in child births.

Anyway, if you get it, I have already said enough. If you don’t get, then you need to do some research. Go to talk to CalifChris on Drudge, he is as knowledgeable as anyone I know about this topic. Did you know that most criminals are males between the age of 18 and 35? Did you know the murder ratio in Mexico is about 6 times what it is in the US? Did you know that about 80% of all illegal immigrants are males between the age of 18 and 35?

If you are an open border, shamnesty supporter chances are you haven’t even got this far, but if you have, please educate yourself and please vote rational people into office that will deal with this issue.

This is a picture of me with a guy that aint gonna get my vote.


Friday, July 14, 2006


Hi everyone. Not too much new today. Like I said yesterday, I have the day off today. I already did my laundry so I didn’t have to do anything today. I went in to work for a few hours and checked my work email. Thankfully, conditions have improved significantly at the compound so I am able to access the internet from my hooch.

Anyway, I was watching Fox news showing some rocket damage in Israel. That is an altogether common experience here in Iraq but it is not nearly as bad as it used to be.

In Feb 04, I would drive all over in unarmored vehicles. I used to drive by myself on the BIAP road (RTE Irish) all the time or with 1 other person. We were able to eat in Baghdad restaurants until well into May.

Unfortunately, things abruptly changed. IEDs became common and several contractors were killed by drive by shootings in Baghdad. So the fortification started. Bremer said in his book that he was not altogether pleased with the choice of locations for the Green Zone, but the original determination was made for several reasons one of which was the fact that it was in the center of Baghdad. They wanted our main base centrally located so we could interact with the locals so to speak.

Unfortunately, they began to use extremely unconventional tactics which forced a change on our part. For example, in early 04, teams carried 9MM MP5s mainly for close protection inside buildings. That all changed. Teams began using more and more larger caliber weapons including crew served weapons and belt fed fully automatic machine guns. It was mandatory to use the bigger weapons to stop vehicles.

I have posted this link before but I think it so good that it warrants posting again.

He better explains how the situation became what it is.

Anyway, due to the actions of a few, the lives of many are suffering. There are several projects including hospitals construction that I would love to bid on. I know the right people here and could probably make a fortune in reconstruction efforts. BUT, the security situation is too bad to pursue many of these projects. I am not going to hire a 2000$ a day team to visit remote sites and prepare estimates. It is just too dangerous.

Early 04 saw very little indirect fire but as we approached May and June and even in April, the amount of indirect fire was astonishing. Sometimes we got 15 rockets or mortars a day, everyday. But in Jan 05 it started to decrease. We were lucky (lucky) if we got a few per week and by the end of 05 a few per month. In all of 06 I don’t recall more than 10 rockets or mortars that have landed within a mile of me. Unfortunately 1 landed about 300 meters away which is no big deal and 1 landed about 15 feet away. That 1 might have been bad news for me but thank God it didn’t go off. Gotta love a dud.

Anyway, the doom and gloom main stream media, yes the “Evil Liberal MSM” exists, like it not, only reports when something bleeds. It is a fact. But it is also a fact that many things are changing for the positive here. (And some negative, that is also a fact).

Tonight I am going to watch some TV. Fortunately I get Animal Planet and I am going to watch Monkey Business. I love that show. And I love monkeys. Hopefully I can find a good monkey picture and I will post it.

Ok I found it. This is from Panang in Malaysia.

And before you start lecturing me about illegal maonkey trade, know this. I did not give them any money and I reported the monkey to the police. I doubt they cared, but there really isn't much I can do about it. I wish there was.

This is a picture of my buddy that we took in Amman at the Dead Sea. Israel is in the background. The next picture shows a zoom of the GPS, it reads -401 meters. Pretty cool. You guys all should go to Amman and experience the Dead Sea.

Since I am talking about Jordan, here is a good shot of me in Petra. Absolutely awesome place to see. Disregard, it wont load.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Another dull day

Sorry I couldn't post yesterday. I had an invitation to attend a weekly BBQ to get some burgers. Unfortunately the guy with the tickets couldn't make it so we ended up at the Chinese restaurant. I use the term restaurant liberally. We actually made the decision to go back to the restaurant because we did not get explosive diarrhea the last time.

The standards of cleanliness here are well, not here. They think good meat is when you slit the throat of a cow and then hack it up and eat it. They don’t hang it or anything. When I was in Jordan I asked for a thick steak and all it was was a thin slice of beef folded in half to make it look thicker. They have no clue. Man I can’t wait till my next vacation to get a decent bottle of red wine and a nice juicy grain fed Argentinean steak.

Today is laundry day. I am doing my laundry now. It is also Friday. Thursdays are the Middle East version of Friday. It is also about time to go get a drink at the Embassy bar, which is called the “Lock and Load”. I always laugh at that because there are all these signs saying you can’t drink while armed but nobody is there to enforce it. I have a cool picture that I can’t find right now of me standing next to the “No drinking While Armed” sign with an AK47, a Walther P99 and a 16oz Carlsberg. Priceless. I also have to post my picture with the thermometer needle buried past 135.

So what is all this with Israel and Lebanon? Not good for Lebanon.

I heard a joke a while back:

Osama Bin Laden, a Canadian and an American engineer are walking along and find a genie bottle. They rub it and the genie pops out and offers them each a wish.

The Canadian requests that his homeland be blessed and bountiful and that all the inhabitants receive good crops. “BAM, Done!” says the genie.

It is now Osama’s turn and he asks for a wall to be built around the entire Middle East. He wants the wall to be so high and so thick that no American or Israeli armies can ever cross it and that they be left alone. “BAM, Done!” says the genie.

The American engineer asks the genie how high the wall is. “200 feet” and he asks how thick it is “40 feet”. The engineer does some mental calculations and says “Fine, fill it up”

Well I like the joke anyway, but it brings me to my point. More of a question than a point. When is genocide OK? Is it ever OK? I think I know the answers to those questions. What more, or less, can Israel do with the Palestinians? Really, what have they not done that will make the maniacs happy and should they even bother? I know that the Palestinians have lost the moral high ground with their tactics but the Jews are not innocent little white lambs either. Israel has committed atrocities on the so called Palestinians but they have not bombed busses.

So what ever to do? Smallpox is a pretty bad disease. Smallpox was eradicated. Smallpox is not a problem anymore. Yeah yeah, now I am a radical. Oh well. What else can they do? What more can they concede short of Israel itself? These lunatics will never be happy until all Jews are dead and they are sitting in the Holy Land. Fight fire with fire, peace thru strength.

What would you do if you lived in Israel? What would you do if nearly everyday your loved ones were killed? I know what I would do.

Anyway, just my thoughts, you don’t have to like them.

Here is a shot of me and my buddy in Kuwait. I am actually 6 foot 3 but next to this giant I look short. We took the picture here because of the "Diplomatic Man Salon" in the background. I got another from Dubai in front of the "Bin Laden Trading Company" and yes there is a relation.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Today I was shocked when 2 large explosions occurred near my building.

It turns out 1 was a car bomb and the second was an IBIED and both explosions rocked my trailer. I have been within 15 feet of an exploding rocket and I can tell you that this explosion was louder. The one that landed 15 feet from me caused my teeth and hair to hurt and I don’t think I saw in color for about 15 minutes. This one was louder.

And they are an almost daily event. The daily life of the average Iraqi can put them into contact with all sorts of perils including the increasing number of kidnappings. My great friend Arkhan is a Sunni and lives in a predominantly Sunni area of Baghdad. Today he called me and asked for help. Last night, someone threw a rock thru his window. The rock contained a note and written on that note in blood was a warning to him to get his family out of Iraq in 7 days. Currently I cannot get them to Dubai or Jordan but I may be able to get them to Syria or Egypt. If any of you have relatives in either Syria or Egypt please help me find this man a job. He is an electrical engineer and he speaks pretty good English. His brother was an Iraqi Army General. The reason I bring up Arkhan is because he is a typical Iraqi. He is not rich. He does not own a home. Houses sell for about 1M USD in Baghdad. He is a rational person and could care less if someone else is Shia or Christian or Buddhist. Most Iraqis are very similar to him.

My good friend Hidar went through the extremely difficult process of entering the Green Zone today to visit me for a meeting. We are working a few deals to try to provide bridges to southern Iraq and in Kurdistan. He was very anxious when he entered my office and was sweating profusely. It was about 2 PM here. It turns out that the reason he was late for our meeting was because of a street closure. Those explosions I mentioned earlier happened less than 50 meters from where he was standing, waiting to get in to see me. He was not harmed.

Both of these men are good men. I know many others that are equally respectable most notably my brother Ali who has been transferred to the US for his protection. I would trust all 3 of these guys with my life and on 2 occasions have done so.

And I have learned from them. I have asked them questions and they give me honest answers. And what they tell me is that Baghdad is not safe. In some areas a man will be cut with a knife for wearing shorts or for sporting a goatee. But, they all tell me they think they are better off than when Saddam was in power.

I do not know what the future of Iraq will be. BBob mentioned on Drudge that there is a fundamental difference between us and them. And there is. But there are also fundamental similarities. They want to lead a free and prosperous life as much as we do. I am not going to get on here and lie about my feelings. When I arrived in Iraq in February 2004 I really thought I was making a difference and that is why I volunteered to come. I saw it as my duty to support my country the same as when I enlisted on January 16 1991. Which coincidentally was my 18th birthday.

What makes me emotional is the fact that had I been allowed, I would have been sent to Iraq to fight in the first Gulf War. My dear friend Hidar, who was nearly killed by the bombings today, was an Army Captain during the war and actually fought against US troops. I told him I was extremely glad that he wasn’t killed by MY Army.

There is no animosity. Soldiers fight. Just like boxers. You don’t hate your opponent. I don’t hate Iraqis, I never have. I feel sorry for them. I am sorry that they live under conditions that most of us would die in. Some of them live in such squalor that they would beg to be a Katrina refugee. But you know what? They still maintain. As bad as it is, they still smile and laugh and do business.

I know people with stories so painful that if I told them some of you would actually cry. But the guy telling me those stories still maintained. The Iraqis will defeat this insurgency. Every Iraqi I have met, every last one of them, wants peace and wants a stable government. They think the government doesn’t do anything to help them and in some regards, they are correct. But, they all want peace.

Peace will not be achieved however, unless they decide the killings must end. It is up to each individual Iraqi to NOT let the insurgents fire mortars from their roofs. Some Iraqis have decided to guard their own streets which the US military decries. I think it is a fabulous idea. They have to make a stand. When they are all saying “not on my street” they will have a chance and will succeed.

Anyway, just my thoughts, take em or leave em.

Here is a picture from Prague. Man that owl had stinky breath.


Monday, July 10, 2006


I told a buddy of mine that my site was back online and since then I have recieved a number of hits on my page. I know that it is from Drudge and I appreciate it. I wish I could go back to DR but I cannot. I feel too strongly about certain things and people I thought could be trusted cannot therefore I am done with DR. I can't waste my time trying to explain my thoughts to peoiple that have an obvious 100% opposition to what I say. That is what is known as pissing in the wind and I aint gonna do it anymore.

Anyway, I know that a lot of traffic today was due to a DR post, there could be no other explanation for the sudden surge. Thanks Rcade. I will try to post relevant material when I get it and I will relay my personal stories.

Like I said earlier, I would have to write a book to completely explain my theories. Please do not extrapolate certain sentences and try to make a judgment about my character or my feelings. I think that is dishonest and ridiculous.

You have to live with these people to fully understand their thinking. It is not like normal people. IT is completely irrational. Earlier I said that "the rational reaction to freedom from oppression and liberation from tyranny is happiness, that is not what we got". I stand by that. That would be the rational reaction, but these people are not rational. Do you want to blame GWB for that? Fine blame him. The fact is that these people SHOULD have been happy that we liberated them but instead they used freedom as an opportunity to persecute others.

These people, sometimes referred to as primates, are just that. Go to Arbil. You will swear that you are walking in a 3000 year old city, and you are. The only difference is that instead of selling silks and herbs, they are selling DVDs and cameras.

We were wrong about the reaction of Iraqis. I admit that. BUT, the only logical answer is that what we were doing would benefit Iraqis. It is the Iraqis themselves that have chosen to murder each other, not us.

GWB is not to blame for Iraqis killing Iraqis, Iraqis are.

Anyway here is a shot of me in Thailand. You guess what is wrong with the picture.


Another great day in Iraq

Today was fine. I got out of work early and was able to get to the gym early enough to lay out by the pool. Me and my buddy were talking about Iraqis today. We have come to the conclusion that they can't be helped. They are pretty much all insane. The reason we think this is hard to explain without writing a book but it goes something like this.

I used to work at a private security company. We had Iraqi guards that guarded our villa. The guards had a porta-john. The guards didn't use it because it was not clean. I had a bathroom built for them, complete with shower, bodet, and toilet and sink. They still did not use it. They prefer the hole in the ground because it is, apparently, much more sanitary. How an exposed septic hole can be considered clean is beyond me. Anyway, what I am trying to say is that until they can accept the fact that shitting in a hole in the ground is disgusting, they will never advance.

Another observation. At the Iraqi Convention Center there is a back entrance. The back entrance is for VIPs only. Well guess what? The Iraqis created a separate entrance into the back. They created a VVIP lane next to the VIP lane to get into the VIP parking lot. What? They actually put VVIP on thier ID cards. I see these clowns everyday talking about how they are VIPs and VVIPs. They are VVCs, very very clowns.

The tribal nature of their relationships and the fact that they still have rank within families is ridiculous. They can't advance when they are stuck on themselves that much. I mean really, outranking a sibling? Anyway, they need a Saddam type leader.

Most of the Arab world believe that Iraqis are liars and crooks. I have been here 2 1/2 years now and am starting to understand why. They are really only interested in themselves. Not that that is such a bad thing, but they take it to an extreme.

Anyway, that is my ranting for the day. They are not all bad, but they do all seem to be pretty insane.

Here is a picture from Australia.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

My first post

Hi everyone. I had to take my last blog down for personal reasons but this is the new and improved version and it will remain for a while. Things have been very hectic for a while here in Baghdad but are starting to settle down. I got back into working out after a short hiatus and am feeling the pain.

As with my last blog, this one will be sure to include many pictures. Words are 1 thing but photos are the heart of any good blog IMO.

At any rate, here are some photos from my most recent vacation in Australia and Thailand. Tomorrow I will start the real posts about life in Iraq. I do hope you enjoy them.