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9) I just had a visit in my room from Aziz. He is a big, gentle, very friendly Iraqi engineer who heads up our group of site inspectors. Although today (Friday) is their holiday, he came into the office to get some stuff to take on a trip to Mosul tomorrow. THAT is a dangerous trip! I pray he will make it safely!
I asked him what’s new. He replied that a car bomb once again went off near his house out at BIAP. It blew out most of the windows in the house. It is the second time in two weeks that has happened — and the eleventh time overall since “the end of hostilities,” as he describes it with a big smile. He said “maybe the owner of the glass factory is doing this!” I can’t believe the patience and forbearance of the Iraqis in the face of all this.
10) I was going to conclude with that last item, but since I’ve just returned from a visit to the United Nations compound, I feel compelled to unburden myself of what I learned there.
The reason for my trip was to escort two of our engineers to one of their X-ray machines which was not working. The compound is in the Green Zone. Iraqis can’t go there unescorted so my DoD badge was needed to get us all in. I was quickly recruited since we assumed lives were at risk with this inoperative X-ray taker.
When we arrived at the GZ we were quickly checked up and down by the 3rd ID (Infantry Division). As always, they checked the bottom of the car, not because they think we are bringing in a bomb, but because it is possible someone else affixed a bomb to our car and we are the carriers. Hooked up to a proper timer such a bomb could kill dozens of people.
Once the 3rd ID finished with us, they directed us toward the UN checkpoint, which was no more than 25 yards away. When we got there we had to blow our horn to get someone’s attention! Soon enough a blue helmeted UN soldier came out and apologized. He said he was drinking his tea. The soldier is a member of the Armed Forces of Fiji.
When he began to check the bottom of our car again, I objected very mildly. I pointed out that the chore had just been completed by a U.S. soldier in the company of a sniffer dog. He remarked that the UN does not accept the results of U.S. Army inspections, as thorough as they might be. Further complicating our trip was the fact that our driver Osama was armed with a pistol and he was made to surrender it. I didn’t have to do anything because today I opted to wear only my body armor and to finesse my usual arsenal. The memory of Yasser Arafat speaking to the UN General Assembly with a pistol dangling from his holster persuaded me not to repeat the insult.
When we finally arrived at the entrance to the UN compound we were greeted effusively by another five members of the Fijian Army. I said to the Sergeant that I felt I had just met up with 60% of the Fijian Armed Forces. He said, “Oh no, sir, we have 2,000 troops!” He did point out that the soldier next to him was actually an Indian soldier on loan to the Fijians and was now wearing a Fijian uniform. I have no explanation for why the Fijians can’t stock their Army with Fijians and are forced to borrow from the Indian Army.
When we were finally brought into the presence of the X-ray machines we were all flabbergasted. There was no long line of dying patients waiting to have their insides checked out. It turned out they were airport X-ray devices. The Fijian Army had basically “blown up its equipment” by plugging it into an outlet with the wrong voltage!
So the UN was letting people into their compound by making believe the X-ray machine was working when, in fact, it had blown its cork! I asked the female Sergeant if that worried her. She replied: “No one will do harm to the United Nations.”
You should not believe those reports that the UN has permanently fled from Iraq to their usual hideout in Cyprus since the car bomb explosion that killed about 25 of their people last year. I know the UN is back because I was at their compound less than an hour ago, and you should see the fantastic security set-up they have this time!
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online