The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

GOT THEM IP BLUES |

January 30, 2007

GOT THEM IP BLUES
Name: SGT Roy Batty
Posting date: 1/30/07
Stationed in: Baghdad, Iraq
Hometown: Yellow Springs, Ohio
Email: sgtroybatty@yahoo.com

An old man with a thin white beard is asleep in the back of the pickup truck.  He's wearing a terrycloth sweatsuit, brown, dirty, grease-smeared, emblazoned with the name of a Spanish soccer team. He looks pretty comfortable, curled up in a semi-fetal position, his shirt hiked up a bit over his little pot belly. Just taking a snooze in the warm golden January sunlight, hunkered down beneath the sides of the truck bed to avoid the slight chill beneath the afternoon's breeze. The only problem, of course, is that he is not asleep.

He has a small dent to the right of his forehead, and on the back of his head, just visible, is a very large hole, its edges splayed yellow with a hint of skull matter. Blood, dark red and thickly viscous, has flowed into a long pool that stretches down the entire length of the truck bed. Like all real blood, it looks very different from the red stuff you see by the gallon in the movies, and is thus somehow less...real? Is that the word? Back in The World, teenagers watch maniacs on silver screens slaughter people for fun. But in this back alley it is irrevocably real, and not fun at all.

I'm standing there with Denny, one of our IPLOs. We are remarking on the dead man to each other, using technical terms to dilute the more unsettling aspects of having to look at an executed grandparent lying on a metal floor.

"Can't have happened too long ago, the blood hasn't started to coagulate yet...."

"Yeah, but lividity is already setting in. Look at  the purple bruises around his eyes."

"Oh, right. What do you think?  9 mil?  Entry wound is pretty small, and the exit wound is not too big."

"Yeah. If it was an AK, the whole back of his head would be gone..."

"Yep, definitely a pistol."

The Iraqi cops hang back, behind us, next to the cement wall around their police station. They don't say much, an occasional word to one another muttered in Arabic. They look like a group of reform school boys waiting to see the principal. There may be a good reason they are so quiet. Perhaps it's because we are fairly damn certain they are the ones that murdered the old man.

Here's the deal. We were at one of our other IP stations, just a few blocks away, and got a call on the radio from "maneuver" that there had been a carjacking in our area. This would be the fourth one in a week, all right here in the mahallahs just north of Sadr City. All on Dynacorps trucks -- usually car carriers hauling uparmored SUVs to and from the various FOBs around Baghdad.

We had finished up our routine business at that police station and, as planned, came over to this one. As we pulled up, we noticed Grandpa dead in the police truck. The IPs seemed a little surprised to see us. They never know when we are going to show up, which is a good thing.

"What happened?" we ask.

"Oh, well, this is the driver of the car carrier that got jacked," they reply.

"Wow, that was quick."

IPs usually hate picking up dead guys. We've had arguments with them, usually in side alleyways at 2 a.m., about who is going to have to manhandle the newly discovered corpse and take it away. These guys must be really on the ball this time, to jet out to the crime scene and scoop up Mr. Hole-in-the-Head so quickly.

I feel sorry for him in a general sort of way, although that emotion has been hard to come by lately. He is the fifth or sixth dead guy I have come across in the last month or so. Still, he is someone's father, I'm sure; someone's grandfather, probably. Somewhere, a family will soon be wailing with grief. I don't know what possible threat this man could have posed to anyone, or why some scumbag felt inclined to blow his brains out the back of his head on this warm afternoon. I add the muted sorrow I feel for the man, and the undercurrent of resentment at whoever did it, to the dark whispering in the back of my skull.

It looks like he has been shot with a pistol at close range, although there is none of the gunpowder tattooing that would come from a point blank shot. Still, it's unusual that it would be a 9 mil. AK-47s are ubiquitous here, but pistols are in short supply. Except for the Iraqi Police, who carry and covet the black Glocks that we issue to them.

Grandpa is the second corpse we've come across from a carjacking that occurred in close proximity to Iraqi police. A couple of weeks ago it was a businessman, lying in the street right outside the Ministry of the Interior. We had just pulled turned the corner and, oops, there's a corpse in the road in front of us. It's disconcerting how quickly you get used to seeing that sight.Framed_batty_ips_street

This particular street has a whole series of checkpoints on it, designed to keep street traffic away from the government compound. Nevertheless, there he was, his head ventilated and leaking what appeared to be sticky raspberry jam. We stopped and asked the IPs on the checkpoint what had happened. Oh, it was a carjacking. Someone stole his car. Right here?  Oh yes, yes. Did you guys see it? Oh, sure, mistah, it was right in front of us. Did you shoot at the guys who did it? Oh, no, no. So you're telling me that a bunch of bad guys carjacked this dude five feet in front of your checkpoint, in broad daylight, stole his car, and somehow made it 500 meters down the street, past two other checkpoints, and nobody fired a single round at them? In a country where the police will empty a magazine of AK rounds at cars just to stop traffic?

Riiiiight.

Now Denny and I are leaning on the truckbed of the police pickup, looking at Grandpa, then at the IPs behind us. They don't make eye contact with us, suddenly enthralled with their pastel blue police shirts, or with something on the bottom of their shoes. Denny pulls out his digital camera and slowly starts taking pictures of the dead man, for his report to our higher headquarters. When he is finished, the IPs reluctantly move towards us. "We go now." "Ma-sahlam-ah." "Goodbye, mistah."  And off they go, driving quickly away. Grandpa lolls around as they bump their way across the potholes, somehow still asleep despite the rough ride.

Denny goes inside the police station, along with my squad leader and the other IPLOs. They have questions for the police chief. I go back to the little cordon of HMMWVs and our huge ASV, sitting at the entrance. We have been increasing our security while out and about these days, after what happened in Karbala the other day.

You probably read about it, or saw it on CNN. A group of American soldiers, including at least one MP, were at a provincial meeting in Karbala. Supposedly a number of new SUVs pulled up with what appeared to be American soldiers inside, wearing something like ACU uniforms, flashing American ID cards. They were summarily waved into the compound by the IPs who were guarding the place. These apparent soldiers then threw a number of concussion grenades into the conference room and burst in, shooting everyone present. Then they kidnapped two of the American soldiers, who were found murdered shortly afterwards, just down the road, left in the SUVs.

Bottom line: five dead American soldiers, as well as some local ministers and businessmen. That's the story, anyway. Since every American who was there was killed, what really happened is known only to the IPs that were present, and somehow they all miraculously escaped harm. Personally, I think the IPs just turned on them.Framed_batty_ips_compound

In any case, we are changing things up a lot, in an attempt to make sure that the same thing doesn't happen to us. Just the thing for a paranoid ex-Marine.

I'm searching everyone who comes into the joint. There is a steady stream of civilians coming into the compound for various legal reasons, and, more worrisome, a whole bunch of IPs in civilian clothes. Now, as any Iraqi vet will tell you, there is not really a standard uniform for the Iraqi Police, other than a vaguely blue shirt. That's it. No badge. No nothing. Sometimes just a blue collar peeking out above a jacket. Apparently even that is too stringent a dress code for some of these guys, and we have seen our fair share of dudes in jeans and a kaffiyah coming around the corner, brandishing an AK. Hey, whaz up, mistah. Just goin' to work.

Amazingly, these guys take umbrage when I stop them, and demand some ID, and pat them down. You would have thought that with the security situation the way it is in Iraq, at least the police would understand when we set up some basic procedures. But no. Every other guy protests when I go to stop him: "IP, IP, mistah. No, no." Some of the ID cards are ancient versions which are no longer issued. Many are expired. Occasionally they have no police identification at all. The cops tell me they left them at home, or forgot them, or something equally asinine. They are all armed, usually with concealed Glock 9 millimeters.

I've also started searching the civilian cars that come into the compound, and this evokes the same indignant response. Such was the case with Starsky and Hutch.

I come trudging back to our little checkpoint at the entrance, just as a small silver compact car weaves its way through the Haskell barriers.  Inside are two Iraqi guys, wearing civilian clothes. The driver is older, with a big Saddam moustache. His passenger is a kid -- looks like a teenager. Starsky, the older one, is wearing the tan suit jacket that seems to be the new fashion rage among IPs since Saddam's execution. Hutch is wearing a jogging suit, which is very common for younger Iraqi men.

My driver, already on guard, mentions that they had just come in a few minutes ago, and he had checked the car and found nothing. They had stayed for a few minutes, then left, and now were coming back inside for some reason.

"Indak heiweyah?" I ask Starsky.  Do you have ID?

Starsky mumbles something in indignant Arabic, and finally produces an ancient yellow IP badge, the kind issued a couple of years ago, long since obsolete. Still, not that unusual, for this station anyway.

I am about to let them go when I spot a bit of wire sticking out from a black jacket on the backseat of the little Daewoo Crown sedan. I open the back door, move the jacket, and find two folding-stock AK-47s underneath. All of the Kalashnikovs that belong to the IP station have wooden stocks on them, and painted ID numbers on those stocks. These AKs are not standard issue. Not to mention that you are not supposed to have them in a civilian car, while wearing civilian clothes.

I ask Hutch, the young guy, if he has ID. Hutch decides to get mouthy with the big, shaved-head infidel who is blocking his way. It becomes apparent that he doesn't have any ID. I've never seen him before. In fact, I've never seen either of these jokers before, and with the discovery of the AKs, I'm not feeling very charitable.

Get out of the car, asshole.

Starsky gets out easily enough, with a bit of an anxious grin beneath his moustache, but Hutch continues to talk shit, moving slowly. I tell him I am going to search him -- "Taftish!" -- and motion for him to turn around and raise his arms.

Hutch spins around on me as soon as I touch his side. He clearly doesn't want to be searched, and he's not going to cooperate.

Fine with me. I slam his body back around, up against the side of the sedan, and I'm not terribly gentle about it. Grandpa's face is still a sharp image in my head, his grizzled white beard speckled with blood. You guys might be badasses with unarmed senior citizens, but I promise you, it will not be so easy with me. My driver moves behind me, his M4 coming up to cover Starsky in case he gets stupid, too.

Hutch is still not done. I go to pat down his arm, and he brings it back at me, trying to pop me with his elbow. Now, I'm 6 foot 3, I weigh 235 pounds, and I'm wearing an additional 60 pounds worth of assault rifle, grenades, ammo and body armor. He weighs maybe a buck fifty soaking wet. When I bounce his head off the hood of the car it sounds like a rifle shot. I slam his arms out to the sides of his head on the hood, and kick his legs out wide to the side with the same degree of tact and diplomacy.

Hutch gets the point.

As soon as I frisk his torso, I find out why he doesn't want to get searched. Hidden up underneath his running jacket there is an assault vest filled with loaded AK-47 magazines. He's got four of the damn things under there, 30 rounds a piece in each mag. Call me paranoid, but I'm really curious as to why these guys are trying to sneak in here with over 120 rounds of AK ammo and two hidden assault rifles.

The earpiece to my tactical radio buzzes urgently. It's my squad leader. Apparently he is watching this little piece of drama from somewhere around the station house, probably up on the roof.

"Whoa, whoa, SGT Batty, just search him, don't beat 'im up!  Gotta watch that temper, jarhead!"

I turn to my right, facing the IP station, and reach up with one hand to key the mic. The other hand is securely around Hutch's neck. He ain't going nowhere.

"Hey, Sarn't, this guy is trying to come in here in civilian clothes, in a civilian car, with two hidden AKs, and an assault vest full of mags under his clothes. And no fuckin' ID card. And then he wants to get stupid about it."

The radio is silent for a minute. Apparently the news has set my squad leader back a bit. Meanwhile, a small crowd of uniformed IPs are swarming out of the front gate of the station, and coming towards us.

"Well, what are the numbers on the stock of the AKs?  Maybe they are detectives," says SSG H. in my ear.

"That's what I'm trying to tell you, Sarn't. They're folding-stock AKs, hidden in the back. Not issued IP weapons."

The crowd of IPs have reached us. The largest one, one of the "officers" is pointing at Starsky and Hutch. "IP! IP!" Some of the guys from our trucks have dismounted, and are keeping them back.

"Ummm, okay. I'm coming down. I'll bring a translator; see if we can figure out what is going on." My squad leader clicks off.

Some of the IPLOs join the crowd, and eventually my squad leader and platoon sergeant also join us, along with their translators, and the whole crowd of Iraqi cops starts doing the usual Arab argument act, with stiff-armed gestures and lots of loud gibberish. It's a regular little fiasco.

Eventually it all boils down to this: Starsky and Hutch are the bodyguards of one of the IP majors, although that major is not here today. They drive him around in a civilian car to blend in. The officers from the IP station vouch for them, so they are allowed in.

As usual, several key questions never get answered. Where did the AKs come from? Why are the guys here in the first place? Why does Hutch not have any form of police ID? And why are they trying to come in here, armed to the teeth, if the major is not even here?

This illustrates a significant problem we have with the police in Iraq. What happens if they do something improper, or illegal? Since Iraq is now a sovereign country, we don't have any real authority over them. If Starsky and Hutch did do something illegal, all we could do is detain them and hand them over to their own guys. Who will promptly let them go.

Which is what happens this time. Starsky and Hutch drive off in their silver Daewoo, Hutch glaring resentfully at me in the rear view mirror as they go. I hope, at the very least, that the message has gotten out, not to mess around with the Americans, or at least not with the big, tattooed one. The LT and my squad leader congratulate me on the catch, and tell me that I am definitely the guy for the front door job. You better believe I will continue to be aggressive on the checkpoint.

The next day we are back at the same station, and the saga of the carjacking continues. Word comes from Dynacorps that the vehicles stolen from Grandpa's car carrier were uparmored SUVs, coincidentally the same kind of vehicle that was supposedly used in the hit in Karbala.  Seems like the carjackers in this area have been specifically targeting them.

These particular SUVs were being transported back to Kuwait, since they were inoperable for various reasons. As soon as we get to the IP station, lo and behold, we are told that the IPs have located the missing SUVs. They are in the junkyard of a local tow truck company. The same tow truck company that contracts for their station. There is, conveniently, no word on how the SUVs got in the junkyard, or where they were found.  Nada.

We mount a quick little raid on the junkyard, in case it is a trap. It's not, and we quickly locate the SUVs, since they are the only torched vehicles in the place. Yep, they're completely gutted, a total loss.

Sounds like someone figured out that they didn't work, and decided to torch them to destroy any evidence. And then gave them back to us, so as to reap some kudos for their investigative efforts.

After we leave the IP station, having documented the VIN numbers on the trucks, we get a weird call from our TOC. Somehow they have information that a driver from one of the earlier carjackings is being secretly held in the detention cell of our IP station. Soooo, we go back to our station, and try to find the guy. Who isn't there.

So what does it all mean? What's the point of this long story? Well, the Administration, and the Iraqi government, are putting a lot of emphasis on the Iraqi security forces being able to take over and run the country. Prime Minister Al-Maliki said last week that, properly equipped, his police forces could assume complete control of the country in the next three months.

Problem is, the type of issues that we are dealing with day to day, as just described, are not uncommon -- quite the opposite. They are de rigeur for operating with the Iraqi police forces. Keep in mind, this is after four years of training and equipping  these guys. At best, the Iraqi police are corrupt and incompetent. At worse, they are one big criminal gang, and outright insurgents to boot.

I keep reading news reports that talk about how the Mehdi Army has "infiltrated" the Ministry of the Interior and all of the police agencies.  "Infiltrate" is such an evocative word, bringing to mind images of dark clad guerillas scaling chain link fences in the middle of the night. That simply isn't the case. These guys have not surreptitiously snuck into the MOI. They are not hiding, or operating clandestinely, whispering quietly to each other in secret meetings after work. They've been outright hired by their buddies, particularly after the Shia gained control of the Iraqi government. Every IP station I have been in has Shia and Mahdi Army propaganda posters openly displayed inside it. They are not working to bring down the system. They are the system.

These are our buddies, our comrades-in-arms, with whom we are supposed to bring Jeffersonian democracy and security to this wonderful country. This is the hope to which our President is pinning the success of his plans. To tell you the truth, I don't think our IPs know it, or are particularly worried.

They are too busy washing Grandpa's brains out of the back of their pickup truck.

Comments

Thank you for a straight forward, as unbiased as possible story of your day.

It was brilliant.

It sounds like the driver held in the IP station is very unlucky. As a civilian, as a Buddhist opposed to violence and as a parent with an interest in a viable future for the planet; Baghdad doesn't look too good. It sounds like the cluster-fuck from hell. Foreign policy from the outside, mixed with Iraqi problems have created a real monster. I used to joke with my friends about what would happen to the middle east if GWB became president. The Big Joke happened. I heard some quotes from a NSA head in the eighties. He said we had started two wars, one a war of occupation; and another, separate secretarian war. One has geographical boundaries and one doesn't. I'm awfully sorry you are over there, though you seem to have a really good attitude about it. We "voters" blew it in a big way. Unfortunatly, ignorance isn't bliss. I had read my kid your previous post. (edited) We noticed your intuition on the on the IP station. Keep using those antennea! You're obviously doing your best to stay alive so there is no need to remind you. I'll talk to the luck deities. We need you to stay alive and keep writing.

Please let all of your brothers and siters-in-arms know that those of us who have always been opposed to invading Iraq under the administration's false pretenses have ALWAYS decoupled this war from our unflagging support for all of you. We do not want to see any more of our men and women die or become wounded on a fool's mission. You are our precious treasure. We want you home.

Sarge, a very good clear description of the basic problem. Pity the CiC doesn't read.
Keep those antennae wiggling.

And another thing, I don't think you guys were sent there to bring democracy to Iraq.The first thing a democracy would do is nationalize the oil fields; and how would that help? I think what was supposed to happen was: invade, wave a wand, say "Democracy!" and wait expectantly. Tap foot, shrug, and annoint a sucessor to Saddam. One that doesn't bite the hand that feeds, behaves well with contractors, and can make the oil fields pump on time. I think the situation melted-down hotter and faster than the administration would have ever believed.

Nice catch at the door!
It was pointed out to me that 'Indak heiweyah' also can mean 'do you have any hobbies?'
Kind of a sick twist.
Good luck!

The veep is the CiC's best insurance against impeachment.

SGT Batty, your post is the single clearest description I have read of the futility of our war goals in Iraq. Our "allies" don't want what we want ("Jeffersonian democracy" -- that's a good one!); they want a Shia state, and they want to get some of their own back after so many years of Sunni tyranny. In a country cobbled together by foreigners from an assortment of hostile sects and clans, where gangsterism has been the government for so many years, what else could be expected?

I must add that my respect for you and your fellow soldiers increases with every Sandbox post I read. Your unswerving fidelity, even in the face of complete absurdity, is due the highest respect from all of us.

I must say, you have a very "lighthearted" way of describing a situation that is anything but... You are a gem of a military person, of which we are all proud... Take care, stay safe, and a very very heartfelt thank you for everything...By the way, Have you seen the "dog" lately? :)

This discription of the state of the Iraqi police forces that we are supposed to be training should be required reading for every one of the Congressmen who support W's war. Here is a unique suggestion (huh?): evidently the Iraqi's don't learn much from our guys (could it be that they just don't want to?) so why don't we just find the guys who are training the insurgents and hire them, they seem to do a hell of a job motivating their troops.

So very glad to hear from you today Sarge. Every day without a posting brings dread and worry about you and your buddies fate. Glad to hear you’re safe.

My feelings today echo many of the other postings. How do you continue day after day doing an impossible job, in a country that doesn’t want you, working with ‘officials’ that are most certainly part of the problem? I commend you and your fellow troops...

Please know that the majority of the people that I know and work with want all of you home safe and sound and back with your loved ones as soon as possible. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a word spoken against any of our troops and I wouldn’t let it pass...

Have you ever thought about just collecting your blogs and publishing them? You have a gift with the written word, and your thoughts need to go out to a wider audience than this blog can provide.

Stay SAFE!

This sums the Iraq mess up very nicely. I will be encouraging everyone I know to read this posting.

Capt Doug Traversa, USAF

Thank you for such a well-written honest account of what you experienced as well as your thoughts on it. It's an amazing read. I wish you a happy, healthy and safe return home to your family and loved ones.

Yours is the best explanation of the ambush I have come across. Iraq is just Vietnam without the palm trees and jungles. Let's get out! Come home SGT. Batty safely!

Nancy Pelosi was on NPR during drive time this morning, giving a much less detailed but equally honest explanation of the "readiness" of the Iraqi police and Army. She agrees with you. She's not impressed, and all she hears from the Iraqi government is that they want US$$$ Billions. With a B. It seems like they really aren't interested in getting their troops trained, just getting what they can out of the US (maybe their retirement accounts) before we go home. Thank you all for continuing to do a thankless, and probably pointless, job. Stay safe!

another great post, Sgt. You described so well not only what happened but your own thoughts and reflections. Unfortunately, your posting just underscored for me what a mess Iraq seems to be....shame our pres and v.p. don't read--and believe--your dispatches!

Stay safe, Marine. (once a marine, always a marine?)

What a hopeless situation.

Stay safe.

Thanks as always, folks, for the great comments. I was a little worried about this post because I usually avoid clearly commenting on the political aspects of this conflict. My hope is that people will get a sense of the day to day realities, and draw their own conclusions from them. A couple of you (OrygunDuck, longeagle, and others) touched on 'how do you keep driving on with an absurd mission'? Like those of you who served in Vietnam, the mission really doesn't matter. I knew, coming here, that the mission was pretty much shot. We drive on because our lives, and the lives of our soldiers depend on it. It was that, and the desire to see whether or not I could hack it that brought me here. And that made me reenlist last week, after much soul searching. I know I will back. Unless, of course, the voters and the administration get their act together. In any case, I had to admit to myself that I am a Soldier, and that, when it comes right down to it, I enjoy certain aspects of this. It's like playing a fairly serious hand of poker everytime you roll out of the gate. Besides, it's great material for writing--and yes, Orygunduck, I am hoping to publish a book of these posts, if and when I get out of here. Thanks again, everyone. Now go register to vote!

Sgt... Be careful, please... We love reading your posts, we appreciate your sacrifice, but please stay out of harms way... God be with you, God bless you and Thank you...

Sorry we can't get into this political crap. If if was taken care of back in the 90's you and our daughter might not be there now. We do understand how bad it is there. Take care and keep safe Sgt. and company!

Glad your on our side, stay safe and God Bless you. All of you.

Thanks Roy for the brilliant, insightful posts Roy, it keeps me coming back day after day to see if the nexus6 will post again. What pains me is the reality behind it as I sit all too comfortably behind this suburban pall. Congrats on re-enlisting and living life to your tenor.

That's great, Hawkwood! You are the first and only person to catch the connection with the name :)

Sergeant, thank you for your posts. As much as it twists my stomach to read them, I appreciate the straight-up reports. It sounds like you're doing your job as best you can, as far as they'll let you.
Better a pissed-off IP than a blown-up station. Stay safe!

So you re-upped! I don't know whether to laugh or cry - or maybe be envious.
I totally missed the name thing. I thought you were the son of Sgt. Nick Fury. ;-)

Dude, I figured your mom must a sci-fi fan. Stay out of the rain!!!

Batty - Just got back to the Sandbox after a week or so away. Great stuff, as usual. The reason I went back to Vietnam the second time had nothing at all to do with the politically proffered cause for which we were told we were fighting. By then I knew they were full of shit. I went back for exactly the same reasons you went and for which you reenlisted . . . my fellow soldiers.

If you've ever wanted to hear from the U.S. soldiers, our "boots on the ground", than you don't want to miss either of these reports.

http://dutyinthedesert.blogspot.com/

Thank you for an outstanding critique of events in Iraq. Based on the situations you described and the incident on January 20th I believe that we have a meld of the success of American training and supply of equipment to the IP and their inherent duplicity. Regarding the other comments posted all I can say is "I'm with you guys". Stay safe and keep your head down, come back to the world soon.

I will be heading back over for tour #2 at the end of the year. Things have gotten worse over there since the last time I was over... The day that "Karbala" happened was one of the worst days of my life... My husband was there that day, one of the injuried 3 from the station. It's a shame that even though we, as soldiers, want to help but that we don't seem to be getting anywhere.... You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

God bless you, SGT Roy.

I love reading your posts! You write so beautifully about such horrible situations. I wish your stories would be required reading for everyone in charge in D.C. Better yet, let's get some of them over there to guard gates with you.

Thank you for all you do. You are priceless...

Thanks, Sarge, for everything. If you ever leave the service, you have a hell of a future as a writer.

It took a long time but your assessment of what happened in Kabala has been finally verified:
A previously undisclosed Army investigation into an audacious January attack in Karbala that killed five U.S. soldiers concludes that Iraqi police working alongside American troops colluded with insurgents.

The assault on the night of Jan. 20 stunned U.S. officials with its planning and sophistication. ...
................
The whole article is on Mother Jones blog - July 13th.
.....................
Leaked Army Karbala Report Shows Iraqi Police Collaborated in Ambush on US Troops

USA Today has obtained the internal US Army investigation report on the ambush, kidnapping and killing of five US troops at a meeting with local officials in Karbala last January 20, and its findings are devastating.
..............................
I'm sure it is no satisfaction to you to have been proved to be right but just thought you might have missed this very late report.

Don't know how you guys and gals do it. I thank you with all my heart and pray for you daily.
Please come home safely.
Sara

Great blog article about this topic, I have been lately in your blog once or twice now. I just wanted to say hi and show my thanks for the information provided.

I have got read through plenty created by type those of feelings versions,as well as the when i here's empathetic that will subsidize this the majority bloghomeowners language seem similarly to even as waste,only mail might struggle to, i for example discover firm internet page,as well as shedding better perception happier as well as a will be able to understand a situation outstanding,and consequently inform respect all of your portable while

this part of blog "The measure, opposed by private lenders and critics of an expanding federal government, was included in a package of proposed changes to an overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system." was very interesting, thank you!

I am very glad to found this blog. It was great to read your perspectives in this post!

I love going to the market as fruits and vegetables are fresh!

Sarge, a very good clear description of the underlying problem. Pity that the ICC does not read. Keep these antennas wiggling.

Thanks
Rex

Good stuff as per usual, thanks. I do hope this kind of thing gets more exposure.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c5f3053ef00d8342e6b2a53ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference GOT THEM IP BLUES :

« Previous Article | Main | Next Article »




Search Doonesbury Sandbox Blog

LINKS



About

My Photo

FEATURED BOOK