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.


Blogger VRWC said...

present for you:


Tuesday, July 18, 2006 at 5:23:00 PM GMT+4  
Blogger Walt said...

Decent link. I am not real sure about the Malaria deaths however. I am majoring in international health and it is my impression that Malaria causes about 1M deaths worldwide annually. That 3 million figure seems high even if they are referring to the Earth rather than the US.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 at 5:53:00 PM GMT+4  
Blogger kanrei said...

Hi Walt,
1 month out of the last 29? Wow! That really sucks. Don't worry about when you get back. I think you will fall right back into the swing of things. So much you have been without, you will probably be even more receptive to what is here and notice things we never do.
Have fun Thursday. Sounds like things are moving forward there.
Here, with Israel/Lebanon going on, we are not even getting bad news from Iraq anymore really. This blog is my last source for news from there. Keep it up.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 at 6:45:00 PM GMT+4  
Blogger Walt said...

Thanks Kanrei, I appreciate it. I wouldn't really call it news though, just random thoughts.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 at 7:03:00 PM GMT+4  

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