I can’t believe I am leaving this place. I have been “granted” (read “told’) to stay 2 extra days but that’s ok, I keep hearing the coolest things. Unfortunately for you, many times I have to be vague so as not to give away information that could be used to harm us or the Iraqis. But I will attempt what I can.
One of my fav soldiers told me today how he was distracted by a phone call right when the biggest explosion took place of which he ever was a witness. Otherwise, I would have a film of it! It was a cache of rockets that the Demolition squad was disposing of that my friend’s group had found.
But here is the interesting part. In his group is a Russian-American. Some of the missiles were Russian-made. When asked to tell what was written on them, the Russian translated the word as a term that could mean “chemical” or “medical.” The boys blowing the stuff up didn’t care but he and his buddies quickly brought their gas masks to bear!
Then there was that huge windstorm here a few weeks back, remember? I mean huge. We had TV satellite dishes down everywhere. 20 miles from here (again, due to vagueness, I won’t even tell you which direction) the boys found the sand had blown off and exposed some huge cement barriers. Underneath, Special Forces apparently found barrels of chemicals.
It makes sense when you consider Kirkuk is where the Kurds are and that is whom Saddam loved to WMD. Interesting, eh? But in truth, it is irrelevant to our purpose here. So are these neighborhood rumbles in a few key locations that are supposed to indicate a looming civil war.
Because each day, the government here gets stronger and more organized. Each day, American forces train IPs (Iraqi Police) better. Each day, bomb caches are found and destroyed. Each day criminals and insurgents (often the same) are neutralized and information gained. Each day infrastructure is built and improved. Relentlessly American and Iraqi forces move this country further along in democracy and civilization. Nothing can stop the progress. I will miss being abreast of it all.