Sunday, January 01, 2006

El-ahrairah's Iraqi Diary

(posted from an e-mail at El-ahrairah's request with no editing done, at his request)

Happy New Year from the Great El-ahrairah. I had the Cap’n post this to The Warren for me since the military is kind of "anal" about blogging (it’s considered a waste of military assets). Anyway, after a week on vacation with my wife in Dubai, I’m now back in my Iraqi home-away-from-home-away-from-home. For all you readers who are stuck in the clutches of Old Man Winter, the vacation village were we were staying put on a special dinner Christmas Eve where we were "entertained" by a belly dancer. I got to dance with her, but my wife "forgot" to take any photos. We spent the morning of Christmas Day swimming in the ocean and catching some rays. That night, we went on an evil desert SUV safari where we got to take a ride on a camel, eat some barbecue and watch yet another belly dancer.

But, all good things must come to an end, so I said goodbye to my wife at the airport and then started my travel adventure to Iraq. This time, instead of going thru the land of bratwurst, beer and sauerkraut, I decided to go to Iraq thru one of the smaller, richer Middle-Eastern nations in the region. My trip was not without its problems, but nothing that was a show-stopper and I wasn’t forced to waste hours/days/weeks sitting in a military passenger terminal waiting for airlift. Unfortunately, instead of taking a C-17 into Iraq, I was forced to fly on a C-130. We landed just as the "dead-enders" lobbed a couple of mortars at the base, so we had to beat-feet to get off the C-130 and run to a "scud bunker" until the "All Clear" signal was given. I’m still wondering who split the beans that The Great El-ahrairah was on his way back to Iraq. Someone needs to practice better OPSEC. Remember, loose lips sink ships.

The base hasn’t changed much since I left in July last year. Most of the buildings that were in the process of going up are now finished except for two warehouses. It looks like they stopped working on them the minute that I left. There is now a Popeye’s Chicken restaurant on the other side of the base along with another BX. About the biggest change is the addition of concrete sidewalks in the housing area. Last year, when I got here, there were sidewalks made of wood to keep you from walking in the mud when it rained. They were later removed at the end of the rainy season and now have been replaced by nice concrete sidewalks. A skateboarder would be salivating at the thought. We’ll see how they hold up during the monsoon season. My room is located in the same area where I was before, so it’s just like going back home.

The unit that I’m attached to decided to have their own New Year’s Eve party (the squadron’s was some lame Mardi Gras party) so we sat around eating Pizza Hut pizza ("La Pizza!"), playing Uno and watching TV. For many of the military, spending New Year’s Eve without alcohol was probably a new experience. For me, this is what we normally do on New Year’s Eve.
Anyway, I’m here until April. The dead-enders in Iraq, AKA terrorists (not to be confused with the dead-enders in America, AKA Defeato-crats) tried to take me out this morning with another mortar attack, but they missed. They just wanted to make sure that all us infidels don’t forget that this is a war zone, not Club Med of Mesopotamia. So, remember, whatever your political persuasion, at least the Great El-ahrairah knows more about what’s going on in Iraq than Senators John "War Hero" Kerry, Edward "Der Schwimmer" Kennedy or Harry "Bad Example" Reid.


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