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« June 2007 | Main

July 2007

July 12, 2007

Fallujah--From Near, from Afar

My first embed in Iraq was actually my second embed in Iraq, which of course doesn’t make sense, but like a lot of things in Saddam’s former police state, a broad explanation is always needed and even then you’ll often contradict yourself.

Complacency_kills

Every Marine base has this reminder written on the walls.  "It's the little things, the details that become routine and the false sense of security that get Marines killed," said by many, many Marines

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Proper I.D. Please!

Pic_0165_2 "In Their Own Words"

Lance Cpl. Williams gives a great account of the use of the ID cards.  It pays to proper ID and you'll hear why in Cpl. Williams' own words.....

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July 09, 2007

Marines Mentor "Spray and Pray" Iraqi Troops

Marine_instructor_ezelIraqslogger

Habbaniya - All Marines are riflemen, but can Marines master all rifles? With security as the key for bringing stability to a war-wary Iraq, Marines are tapped to train a novice national army with a shaky reputation.

It's a clear, hot day beneath the Al Anbar sun, 50 miles northwest of Baghdad. Habbaniya is a former British airbase ceded from the Ottoman Empire after the First World War. Next to the long runways that required more space to take off are the remains of an upscale ex-pat community. The British officer—a respected position of social mobility in a class-fast society—could live a very comfortable life in the post-Great War Iraq of the 20's and 30's. The type of life where the help were confined to the Coolie Town and Olympic sized pool parties entertained the lady of the house while the husbands gathered for Pimms at the officer's club after a day of test flying aircraft.

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July 08, 2007

THE "GOOD WAR"

Afganmap2The “forgotten war” or the one that should have been remembered, Afghanistan is a place that looks suspiciously like Palm Springs despite the occasional IED and the lack of senior citizens. The craggy landscape is vast, mountainous and, from perspective of the aircraft, far beyond the view of my eyesight.  This is the “good war”, the legal and justified war, but like the sibling to the prodigal son, the son who did everything right,  Afghanistan is often neglected.   

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July 07, 2007

Iraq's Illegal Immigration Problem

Iraqflag2 Title02 On top of busted sewers, unpaved streets, faulty electricity, the city of Fallujah, in the Al Anbar province, had a problem with illegal immigration. Foreigners were filtering into the city, taking up whole neighborhoods and driving the locals out. The populace felt intimidated and didn’t protest much. Besides, there were plenty of Fallujans who felt they needed to support the new arrivals in a show of solidarity. But when city security butted heads with the ideology of violence, most Fallujans decided they just wanted peace of mind and the extreme measures they took were meant to provide just that.

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July 05, 2007

LIVE FROM BAGHDAD! The Press' War

TvscreenI wrote this story for The National Review on Thursday, July 5, 2007.  I would welcome your feedback on this article and feel free to share your personal views. Just look for the comment button at the conclusion of this story.

Logo_new_afbee0 In Baghdad, at an informal meeting of the incoming U.S. ambassador to Iraq and members of the media, the ambassador got an earful about how difficult it was to cover this war. Despite the dainty hors d’oeuvre and wine (in the first real glasses I have seen since my arrival in Iraq), the press brought out a laundry list of issues preventing them from doing their job: checkpoints, transportation, the bureaucracy of blood tests at the border, and the need for more personal security.  For what was supposed to be a meet and greet, the greet did not last long. Ambassador Ryan Crockerwas gracious, and some thanked him for inviting us to his home, which was rumored to be the former residence of Saddam’s sister. But like so many things here in country it’s not always possible to separate the rumored from the real. Discerning facts from fiction is an obstacle the media trips over daily.

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July 03, 2007

The Baghdad Chef Speaks On Camera

Iraqichef
I had the privilege of eating at a restaurant in Baghdad and had the greater privilege of meeting the chef who prepared the meal for those seated at our table.  He was a quiet, yet, friendly man who is an excellent chef and also owns the restaurant.  I wanted to find out how he felt about the conditions of the city he calls home and what, if anything, he misses about Saddam Hussein in power.

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July 02, 2007

Hear it "In Their Own Words"

Inownwordslogoshadow Corporal George Quinton Rhubi was born to be a Marine.  After all, his father was a Marine and he says, "It's all I know."  Just before a day of handing out soccer balls to the children of a neighborhood that had seen some of the fiercest fighting in all Iraq, Corporal Rhubi sat down to talk about his life as a Marine and why he chose to serve.

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