OK ladies and gents of the studio viewing audience... I'm in Baghdad and my brain is somewhere in the Matrix, and I'm sure somewhere in there I went completely friggin bonkers... either that or I'm sitting in a padded cell somewhere waiting in a haze for the docs to come in and either dose me with my next med or to complete the lobotomy... I'll explain as we go...
OK... when last we left the Intrepid Reporter of Baghdad Fame, he was overwhelmed by the sights, sounds and yes, even the smells of Baghdad. To whit, 2 out of the 3 things have changed, and 1 hasn't. I'll give you a hint... back in the day, ('04 to '05) Lil Country and I used to begin the day with the following scene:
Setting: The cab of a Ford F250 King Cab, two contractors Big Country and Lil Country climb in and start the vehicle.
Big C, (sniffing air loudly): "Dude, did you shit?"
Lil C, (looking offended): "Naw dude, that’s just Iraq!"
Yes, the smells are still the same, a piquant aroma of burning plastic, trash and the heady undercurrent of urine and dried human feces... think of an open sewer, then add some 'spice' to it. Nice huh? However, it’s the ONLY thing that remains the same.
The changes here are insane. No gunfire other than the ranges, which seem to be going on almost ALL the time. I can tell a range from a gunfight as the range has nice orderly pauses in the automatic fire... time for them to reload and aim carefully for the next set of targets. The sounds of a running gunfight tends to blend together and multiple calibers can be easily distinguished... as they said in Heartbreak Ridge "That is the sound of the AK-47 assault rifle, the preferred weapon of our enemy, which makes a distinctive sound when fired at you!" Truer words have never been spoken. So anyways, the ranges are going full time, and amazingly, the Iraqi Army is ALL over the place, and not only that, they are NOT wearing baclavas.
The dork in the back wants to know what a baklava is and why would the Iraqis be wearing Greek Pastry? Sheesh it takes all fucking kinds don’t it? OK. The baclava is pretty much a ski mask ok? Difference between a ski mask and a tactical baclava is that a tactical one is usually made of nomex, which (theoretically) is fireproof, or at least extremely fire resistant and flash resistant. Important things in the soldiering biddness as it were. The importance here is the Iraqis, besides not wanting to lose their rather copious eyebrowz is that they needed to hide their identities. The fact is, back in 04 and 05, if a dude was ID’d as an Iraqi National Guard or Police working with the dirty Invading Christian American Crusaders (their words, not mine!) then not only they would be at risk, but the cowardly fucks who were part of the insurgency would go after their families, hence the need to cover up and hide their identities.
Not anymore however. All the guys I saw going out to do the dirty to the bad guys last night were wearing only Body Armor and weapons… and quite a few fucking weapons I might add. All were carrying M-4 or M-16s which shows how far they’ve come from the days of the ubiquitous AK 47. They looked professional, and truth be told, mean as fuck. Like pissed off and ready to take back and KEEP their country. I wish I could feel bad for the insurgents, but I can’t so fuck ‘em!
Other things… ah yes.. part of the reason I’m sure I’m in a padded cell somewhere… well I was staying for a short period of time (my ‘acclimatization’ as it were) out at another company’s AO. That was good until I was evicted to Camp Victory… specifically Camp Liberty. I had to go down to the ‘Mayors’ Cell’ which is sort of the control and commander for all of the trailer parks here in the base. I went in and the kindly Master SGT hooked me up with a room. The trailer in question is supposed to be close to where I’m constructing a base of operations for the new company. The key had “6-441A-B” written on it which means Pad 6, Trailer 441, room either A or B.
Pad 6 is where I used to live in 04 and 05. I wasn’t prepared however, for the shocker of a lifetime, which goes to prove that I’m either permanently insane, or I’m actually in the Matrix, inside a tube or red goo with wires up my ass, powering a super genius computer or some such shit.
441 was the EXACT SAME TRAILER AND ROOM I lived in back in 04 and 05.
I’m officially ‘blown away’ now because of this. I’m temporarily in what used to be Lil Country’s “Blue Room” until I can move back into what we used to call “The Ponderosa” come Sunday. My old room is currently being used by some of our temp help, so Sunday I move back “Home” so to speak. Tell me I’m not tripping please?
Ok, besides that, I’ll go into some more later without compromising security. Needless to say, this is the EASIEST money I’ve ever made, and the danger is FAR over rated. I’ll holler more soon, and until then, I remain, The Intrepid Reporter.