Since the piece I mentioned yesterday is pretty well picked over (“Greyhawk” seems have the most thorough and convincing debunking), I’m digging into the pseudonymous Baghdad Diarist’s two earlier New Republic contributions. I wonder if readers can help me out. The first, from January, was “War Bonds” (subscription required). It begins thus:
In Baghdad, a busted infrastructure has left entire neighborhoods navigable by vehicle only. The sector we soldiers patrol is known unaffectionately as “Little Venice” because of the dark brown rivers of sewage that backwash from broken pipes. The biggest fear in these parts isn’t sniper fire or IEDs, but a flat tire that forces you to wade through the reeking fluids.
Has anyone heard of a Baghdad neighborhood that is nicknamed “Little Venice” because of streets filled with sewage? I ask because some Googling turns up a Little Venice in Baghdad, but it’s a neighborhood of villas in the Green Zone (mentioned here). Does it make sense that soldiers in Iraq would assign the same nickname to a different place in the same city? Wouldn’t that be confusing?
The second Thomas piece was “Dead of Night,” which appeared last month (again, sub. required). I’m not an expert on firearms, but this seems weird to me:
Someone reached down and picked a shell casing up off the ground. It was 9mm with a square back. Everything suddenly became clear. The only shell casings that look like that belong to Glocks. And the only people who use Glocks are the Iraqi police.
I’ve Googled in vain for evidence of 9mm cartridge that features a “square back.” As far as I can tell, 9mm Glocks fire the same type of ammo as the Beretta M9 — the standard-issue Army sidearm. Am I missing something?
If you have any insight, contact me through john at johntabin dot com.