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July 2007

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International Affairs

July 09, 2007

Marines Mentor "Spray and Pray" Iraqi Troops


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


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 03, 2007

The Baghdad Chef Speaks On Camera

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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April 23, 2007

France Libre?

Presidentielle_3 Nicolas Sarkozy is currently leading the French presidential race, so why should you, the typical American, care? 

As the closest thing France has that passes for a conservative, Sarkozy has run on a pro-"homeland security" platform.  In a country where hundreds of cars are burned every year by disgruntled "youths", the notion of lowering the crime rate has become increasingly attractive among the Brie-eating class.  .   

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