Rite, Another letter from Baghdad!!
Today – or rather this evening – I’m the night supervisor; I am waiting for a friendly fire exercise to commence. We were warned that it was going to happen – this way when we hear the BOOM! We won’t have to grab our flak vest and Kevlar and put the patients on the floor or run to a sandbagged milvan.
This is in response to the other night – “they” decided it was too quiet and we needed some excitement so “they” decided to lob about 20 mortars towards our compound. Fortunately “their” aim really really sucks and only one or two fell within the berm of the camp. CP Anaconda that is – big place. None landed near the 21st CSH berm area. So in response our guys are firing out towards…gee – I really don’t know WHAT we are actuality firing at – it’s a physiological (ed: psycological?) thing – hopefully it’ll keep the mortar lobbers away from the compound, ‘cause “they” don’t know what we are firing at either.
Of course the mortar attack happened about 2 day after the UN bombing – and we still had 17 UN casualties here. They were a bit upset when things started to go BOOM and we had to put them on the floor (the walls of the patient areas are ½ sandbagged, so, as mortars tend to explode UP rather than sideways, this is deemed sufficient. Give me a deep foxhole covered by a tank anytime – but hey – that’s just me…) any way – needless to say – it didn’t go over too well with our visitors.
Which brings me to the latest UN statement.
OK, the UN did NOT want the US to provide security for their compound – they did not want a big US presence around the area. So they used the security forces they have been using – Iraqi security forces – which predated the war and were part of Saddams security forces…
So after the bombing Anni – or however you spell his name (ed: Kofi Annan, I'll bet)– states he thought the US should have had Baghdad settled enough post war that that kind of security shouldn’t have been needed. Then went on to intimate that it was the US responsibility to provide security, whether or not the UN wanted it – as we, being the security force, knew better and therefore should have provided it anyway. And oh, yes – the decision NOT to request US security was a local decision, not a general UN decision. For crying out loud – just where are these people’s brains anyway??!! Besides splattered??!! You can't make me believe the general UN counsel didn’t KNOW or APPROVE of the decision to keep the US presence to a minimum?
This from a group which has Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya as the new head of the UN Commission on Human Rights (which committee happens to include such liberal and gentle countries as Vietnam, Algeria, Zimbabwe, Sudan and China.)
And who had Iraq slated as chair of a UN conference on disarmament set for this spring?!
Oops – guess we screwed up THAT conference!
OK, enough. I’ve got to stop reading the web news.
On a good note – WE HAVE FLUSHING TOILETS!!!!
AND sinks with running water.
Believe me, the joys of flushing and watch your waste flow away should not be underrated!!
The toilets came in an expanding milvan, connect it to a water bleb, provide a DEEP ditch for the waste water, add a pump and a contract for someone to empty the waste tank, and viole' – a flushable toilet! Wow!
And to be able to WASH your hands after using the toilet – man, is this the life or what?
Beats the hell out of the pit toilets we’ve had till now.
Now if we could only get rid of the sand fleas. Little buggers really bite. And when you are sitting over a pit toilet, they bite areas you really don’t want bit. Specially as you can’t scratch it. In public that is.
And get some decent food in here. Going to have to have someone send me some hickory farm summer sausage – or macaroni and cheese one-cup thingies. How ‘bout a nice thick steak? Medium rare please, and all the trimmings – drool, slurp.
Breakfast is always the same. Scrambled eggs – powered of course – sometimes they are even yellow – usually a green-gray color though. Fried potatoes. French toast. Occasionally even KETCHUP to cover it all. Usually not though. Boxes of shelf stable milk. Juice from Oman. Or Jordan. Occasionally beef bacon. Yes, BEEF bacon. sigh
Lunch – MRE
Dinner: Hideous chicken, mystery meat or tasteless spaghetti – lots of grease, little sauce – unless the grease is the sauce? Or chili Mac (see above).
Of course you COULD go over to the main dfas to eat – rumor has it they sometimes have steak there. Of course, don’t eat the macaroni salad. We had 16 people in our ER one night after eating the macaroni salad. And LOTS more just treated at the TMCs and aid stations here. All of who ran out of phenergan and IV solution so had to make runs (good pun) to the 21st CSH for resupply. We ran out of emesis basins. And yes, we clean and reuse EVERYTHING.
Oops. Had to leave for a minute. Boom-boom. Yup, friendly fire. Had to make sure no one panicked.
We got rid of our UN guests yesterday – UN got a dedicated flight to Jordan for its victims. I still think we should send them a bill for our services.
Well, that’s about it for the last couple of days – let me know how things are going.
Kboom – sound like the tank hit something.