Staying the Course in Iraq


Fore! More Years! At Least!

U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Jacob Boyer
No grunts, please: A sergeant and a captain tee off at the Camp Victory driving range.

While Americans were being shelled Tuesday by White-House-driven propaganda from General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker in D.C., rebels bombed our Camp Victory in Baghdad, a little-noticed Xanadu that illustrates the golf between us and the Iraqis.

Five years ago we “liberated” Saddam Hussein‘s sumptuous Al Faw Palace and planted the Pentagon’s flag there.

By now we could have returned the palace to Iraq’s citizens, who are dying of the heat, among other things. But all we’ve done is given it a friendlier second name, Camp Al-Nasr, for PR purposes aimed at Iraq’s surviving Arab populace.

The only lifeguards with a good track record at Camp Victory are probably those at its pool — here’s a photo of the actual palace swimmin’ hole.

On Tuesday, the sixth anniversary of 9/11, Camp Victory, the U.S. military HQ, was shelled. Here’s an AP report from this morning:

A fatal attack launched two days ago against the sprawling headquarters base of the American military in Iraq was carried out with a 240 mm rocket — a type of weapon provided to Shiite extremists by Iran, a U.S. general said Thursday.

One person was killed and 11 were wounded during the “indirect fire” attack Tuesday against Camp Victory, which includes the headquarters of Multinational Forces-Iraq. …

The attacks came despite the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began Thursday for Iraq’s Sunni Muslims, and Friday for the country’s majority Shiites. Tradition requires faithful to abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset during the monthlong observance. …

The attack was overshadowed by congressional appearances by Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker in Washington.

And talk about surges and track records: How about that Christopher Harris! I still remember his Ironman Triathlon at Camp Victory in October 2005. The U.S. Army captain conducted his one-man surge while his wife competed in Hawaii’s Ironman Triathlon.

But Iraqis are pretty fortunate, too. Praise Allah for good timing: Ramadan’s month-long fasting coincides perfectly with the current food crisis. As IRIN reports:

The monthly food rationing system on which millions of Iraqis depend is not working properly, according to officials. They warn that delays in food deliveries will have a serious impact on those fasting during the upcoming holy Islamic month of Ramadan (beginning around 13 September), when Muslims go without food and drink from dawn to sunset.

The shortage of food can’t be that serious if they’re already fasting. Mind if we play through?