Thursday, June 12, 2003

Idle Relections on a Warm Baghdad Night

12 June, 2003

It is a warm night tonight, as it is every night here. You sleep sweaty, you wake in a pool of sweat. I would rather be here than in the Kuwaiti desert, given the two options. Of course, I would rather be at home with you!
Today, much of the regular stuff happened: AK-47s, large amounts of cash, prisoners, motorcycles, 1000 125mm tank rounds were captured. This evening I was handling coordination between two helicopters and some scouts on a sting of a house. The house was searched, and only one bullet was found.
Earlier today, some soldiers brought a prisoner in. I sat listening to the soldiers speak about this particular catch. The British soldier (Brit, but in the U.S. Army) obviously derives some pleasure, as do they all, at terrorizing the detainees. I can’t say they don’t completely deserve some punishment – but not to the point where we become like them (I have some more thoughts about this). He said, “After beating the shit out of him, he started getting loud, so I got about this far (showing a millimeter with his thumb and forefinger) and screamed in his face. Then he shit on himself! He really shit on himself!”
Everyone was laughing. He then shared that the man stank of crap, and that this was the second time a prisoner did this. That made me suspicious. Not only that, but there is no interpreter working after 1700, so we never get anywhere, just miscommunication. Today, a sanitation truck was dumping raw sewage into a field, so my office took it. It was a massive, very modern tank truck. Well, they got pictures taken with it, like little kids – full of grins. I don’t know, I don’t understand the amusement. The truck was returned this evening.
I also visited the little kids along the fence today and gave them some food. Again, they seem like little animal-like creatures (they most certainly aren’t) scattering for food. I don’t talk much to them. I just smile and look past or around them as I give them food. To look them in the eye is to initiate the begging sequence that ruins their innocent image. So I hand out food, then continue on my way back to work. I don’t even have that much food.
Israel is in crisis again, that wretched place. God, if only the left-wing Jews could come to power! We need a balance the world over. Well, I am going to bed – to pray for peace. I love you Nora, I just finished a letter to you! I hope it is a love letter. You are so special to me, so wonderful. You are my peace, you are my answered prayer!


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