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  • #2176770

    Hello from Iraq


    by protiusx ·

    Well hello everyone. I am officially in Iraq. I got into town yesterday and I have got to say that it seems that the Iraqi people really have a since of nationality and are trying to get their new country onto it?s own legs. I will keep everyone updated on what the latest happenings are but until then As Alam Allacom.

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    • #3331586

      It would be nice…

      by house ·

      In reply to Hello from Iraq

      To get some unbias media. Thanks fo your communication with TR… Mr. Miami is there somewhere, but hasn’t told us anything. Thanks and keep in good spirits.

      Oh yeah… stay safe too. 🙂

    • #3331577

      Have a nice time

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to Hello from Iraq

      Remember not to use your left hand.

      Thought of setting up a Blog, would be interesting.


    • #3331536

      pics and blogs

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to Hello from Iraq

      Keep your head down.

      Would love to hear first hand from someone without an agenda what it is like over there.

    • #3331482

      Hello Back!

      by jellimonsta ·

      In reply to Hello from Iraq

      Hello back Protius. Keep safe!! 🙂

    • #3331430


      by tomsal ·

      In reply to Hello from Iraq

      Stay safe. I agree with the others it would be very nice to hear unbiased reports from a regular hard-working guy like the rest of us.

      • #3331422

        Is that…

        by jellimonsta ·

        In reply to Cool

        Hard-working or ‘hardly working’? 🙂

        • #3330482


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Is that…

          We ARE talking about a TR regular here.

    • #3331419

      Right back at ya!

      by jessie ·

      In reply to Hello from Iraq

      Keep your head down, stay safe. Come on in and argue with us on occassion 🙂

    • #3330647


      by faith_michele ·

      In reply to Hello from Iraq

      Please do keep us updated. Knock on wood a lot and have someone watch your back at all times.

      May this time go fast for you.


      Read Psalm 139:5, if you want.

      • #3330613

        Not out loud though

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Hello

        A suitable passage from the Q’aran might go down better.
        Don’t ask me for a chapter reference though.

        • #3329902

          Don’t forget to duck!!!

          by bhunsinger ·

          In reply to Not out loud though

          And psalms should be ok, Old tewtement is revered by Muslims

    • #3330504

      Stay safe

      by salamander ·

      In reply to Hello from Iraq

      …and good luck!

    • #3330483

      HELLOOOO! Can you hear me okay?

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Hello from Iraq

      Well good to hear you made it alright.

      Have you been before? It would be interesting to get before and after opinions.

      ANY CARS!!!!

      and watch out you don’t get mistaken for an Iraqi by US troops.
      (c’mon, you didn’t think I could resist did you?)

      Stay safe!


    • #3329934

      Good to hear from you

      by montgomery gator ·

      In reply to Hello from Iraq

      Hope it goes well, and I wish you and the Iraqi people well. Now only if Al Zarqawi could be captured, it will be a great day for the Iraqi people.

    • #3329896

      Try and sample some of the local cuisine

      by neilb@uk ·

      In reply to Hello from Iraq

      Pacha is a slowly cooked combination of sheep’s head, stomach, feet and a variety of other meats in broth. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!

      Keep safe. If in doubt, duck. Most of all, enjoy yourself. This is all new in every which way!

      Fiimaan illaah and we’ll see you later.


      • #3329622

        Neil, ever hear of amoebic dysentry??? There is more than one way to die.

        by sleepin’dawg ·

        In reply to Try and sample some of the local cuisine

        Until you’ve been there and in those conditions don’t joke about it.


        • #3329595

          Chill out, Dawg

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to Neil, ever hear of amoebic dysentry??? There is more than one way to die.

          But make sure the food’s been well cooked!

          While I accept that the country has had a bit of a kicking lately they were – except for their choice of leader – pretty civilised. It’s not THAT bad there, now, and to suggest that it is is typical Western arrogance. As far as I know people are neither starving nor eating rats to survive. Disease is not reportedly out of control.

          Amoebic Dysentery (correct spelling!) is a mainly tropical disease caused by trophozoites. Although dangerous if untreated, it is easily treated ans symptoms are very apparent. Although not pandemic it is found in Iraq – mainly because UN sanctions prevented the importation of Chlorine and water-treatment spares.

          I’m sure that Protius will take whatever precautions are recommended. Boiled or treated water and properly-cooked food and he won’t get ill! But that applies anywhere. To suggest that he CAN’T go to an Iraqi home or restaraunt if invited and eat the food suggests that you consider that Iraq society has reverted to some form of savagery.

          I will joke about whatever I want.

        • #3329586

          I wonder if it has changed, but

          by faith_michele ·

          In reply to Chill out, Dawg

          they had e-boli in their water when we first went over there. We couldn’t even use the ice in drinks. I agree that the food is good though.

        • #3329524

          Re: dysentery-so I made a typing error-sue me; but were you ever there??

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to Chill out, Dawg

          Until you’ve spent some serious time on the ground in these types of areas i.e.: not as a tourist, one shouldn’t be too glib in taking local hygienic standards as a given. Not being a medical type in any shape or form, I’ve managed to avoid most of the maladies that travelers encounter when in a foreign environment by taking a few precautions and the main one has been to approach local food and drink with a certain degree of caution. You may not realize it but most medical officers spend more time treating these types of ailments. They are usually minor in nature but ask yourself how effective any soldier is with his pants around his ankles while taking a dump. If one gets injured in that type of situation, the embarassment is usually worse than the injury. Our metabolisms are different which is not to say we are civilized and they are savages, far from it. I just meant that until one is fully acclimatized, one shouldn’t indulge themselves too heavily in the local cusine or most definitely water. As for Iraq society reverting to ‘some form of savagery’, I said nothing about reverting. Life amongst these peoples is a very cheap commodity; their own as well as ours. Yes you can make friends with locals on an individual basis but one ignores the overall danger of the masses at their peril.
          One doesn’t have to go to Iraq to experience ‘travelers tummy’. I wish I had a dollar for every Englishman I’ve heard complaining about a case of the ‘trots’ after having nipped across to France or Spain for a holiday. I’ve said this is a minor problem but none the less debilitating to the sufferer. A few pills and a bit of time usually sees you alright.


          P.S.: When in the tropics (Congo) we were told to make sure every little scratch got treated. I ignored this once and a minor scratch (from shaving no less) made my face in the area of the scratch get swollen out of shape. If it happens just once, you make sure it never happens again. If it had happened to a local it would have been inconsequential but our metabolisms just weren’t up to coping with the local bugs. The worst part of it was listening to the doctors lecture on the necessity of immediate treatment of any injury, no matter how minor (and mine was really minor – a shaving nick of all things. I had assumed that shaving with hot water and soap eliminated the risks. Turned out I was wrong.)

        • #3329498

          Dawg, settle down

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to Re: dysentery-so I made a typing error-sue me; but were you ever there??

          No. I’ve not been there. I’ve been to lots of places either working or as a tourist and have generally survived unscathed by drinking tea, bottled water, beer or fizz. I avoid ice like the plague (in the US just so I get more beverage) but I always eat the local speciality (Tripe a la mode de Porto just once!).

          Really, though, it was a light-hearted “hello” to an old sparring partner. I did pick a dish that sounded unappetising to a western palate to make the joke obvious! Maybe not obvious enough.


        • #3329496

          Neil I knew you meant it as a joke but unless…..

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to Dawg, settle down

          You’ve been there and under the conditions he is living in, you haven’t earned the right to joke about it and in case you are wondering I have eight inches of stainless steel tibia for my license. Same type of people just a slightly different locale. Try to think of yourself as a target. Not for a minute or two but 24/7. Now remember what curiosity did to the cat. Get the idea now??? I lived like that for a year and a half and yes I did have some friends amongst the locals. Damn fine people but forty some odd years since my time there, my right leg is still a more accurate predictor of weather than the national weather services except when I’m in the UK when it always indicates rain. 😉
          Protius is an old sparring partner and I’d kind of like to see him stay that way. We seldom agreed on matters of faith but I no less wish him well in his present endeavours. Again I will say try thinking of yourself as target 24/7. Paranoid, you say??? Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. Paranoia can keep you alive.

          Dawg 🙁

        • #3329486


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Dawg, settle down

          Either give up on it of get used to it, believe me.

          You’re talking to someone who constantly shares the most tasteless, racist, sexist (and outdated) humour on TR, often proudly and admittedly. Yet feels a need to try and set people straight with his global wisdom while trying to accuse others of tasteless humour, don’t you dawg?

          How far do you wish to take it, 1000 posts? 2000 posts?

        • #3329474

          Oh Oz, when it comes to racism and bigotry, I bow at the feet of the master

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to Neil

          Let’s keep it civilized this time around; Hmmmm?
          I didn’t attack you, so why revisit old territory? Let’s not go there unless you want me to remind you that as far as I know you are the only one who has ever had a post pulled for overt racism??? Hmmmmm??? Let’s keep it clean and not bother everyone with a lot of bygones. Recently we’ve actually had some somewhat intelligent exchanges. Let’s try to maintain that and avoid personal invective.

          Dawg :^O

        • #3329465

          Oz, Dawg

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to Neil

          Oz, No worries mate (as they say where Col comes from) I’m getting the hang of it.

          Dawg, I reserve the right to joke about ANYTHING. If I offend someone (and I do try not to) then they are quite welcome to put me straight – but only if I accept their censure. In this case, I don’t. It was, is and will be a bit of fun to let PX know that I want him back safely so I can kick his biblical arse round the block in the next discussions.

          The building in which I once worked was blown up by the IRA with us evacuated round the corner and the guy who sold me my paper every morning was killed. I can do target. Did target for years. Still doing target and I reckon from two directions, now.

          But I can joke about it and I’m pleased that I can joke about it.

    • #3329623

      Put your trust in your buddies and weapons before the ‘good’ book!!!

      by sleepin’dawg ·

      In reply to Hello from Iraq

      Come home safe.


      • #3329584

        Thank you

        by protiusx ·

        In reply to Put your trust in your buddies and weapons before the ‘good’ book!!!

        My trust will always be in the Lord. He will never leave me nor forsake me but man will always fail in this regard. I am not saying that the US military will abandon me in my time of need; I am saying that God is infinitely more caring and loyal than any human has the capacity to be.
        That being said I am not one to venture off base and in fact the Army has pretty much confined me to where I am. Not that it is at all bad here. Great facilities and right now the weather is like southern California (well without the rain).
        The thing I find most interesting is all the multinational forces here. I didn?t know the Italians had military on the ground here. I?ve seen Australians, and Brits, Italians, Koreans, and Poles so far.
        One thing I find kind of disturbing though are the TCN?s. TCN stands for third country national and they are predominantly Indian, or Pakistani, or Bangladeshi, or Philippino, or Oriental. They are given the service and clean up jobs which are by far the hardest and most unpleasant and also the most critical. I don?t think they are treated very well by the Arab populous and are somewhat looked down upon. I am encouraged though by the attitude of the coalition troops. In Kuwait Arabs will often strike a TCN and think nothing of it.
        I am against racism of all kinds and I hope that the status of these folks are brought up.

        • #3329522

          TCN’s. A sad fact but nevertheless a true one.

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to Thank you

          Add Palestinians to that list. Arabs, regardless of their nationality, tend to treat their refugee Arab brothers with a certain amount of disdain, especially in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. For what it’s worth, Palestinians outnumber native born Kuwaitis in Kuwait.


        • #3329519

          Some American once said……..

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to Thank you

          Praise the Lord but pass the ammunition. Words to stay alive by. Hmmmm?

          That’s my point: Stay alive, stay safe.
          Best wishes


    • #3329585

      I heard some good advice

      by faith_michele ·

      In reply to Hello from Iraq

      from a ranger. He told a story about almost driving right into an ambush. The only thing that saved him was that he paid attention to his gut reaction. Don’t ignore those signs of trouble or if the hair stands up on your neck. Even a feeling that something isn’t right. Like I said before, always have someone watching your back.

    • #3328813

      The other side of the Italian Story

      by protiusx ·

      In reply to Hello from Iraq

      I wanted to write to you all and give you the other side of the story regarding the Italian journalist incident here. The news has made a huge deal out of what happened and while it is unfortunate that the Italian security specialist was killed, it is important to understand what happened, why it happened and how it could have been prevented.
      Here in Iraq it is standard operating procedure to stop your vehicle well in advance of the gate or check point that you are approaching until directed to advance by the soldier who mans that post. Once directed to advance the driver should turn off any head lights and approach very slowly. Once at the first soldiers position the driver should come to a complete stop and everyone in the vehicle is required to present ID. Once the soldier has confirmed the ID of the cars occupants then they are allowed to proceed through the check point.
      The reason for this defense in depth is that a suicidal car bomber will approach the gate or check point at a high rate of speed in an attempt to breech the gate or check point in order to detonate the bomb as far inside the military perimeter or base as possible. The soldiers are under standing orders under these conditions are to fire at the cars engine compartment in order to stop the vehicle from advancing forward.
      The Italian security personnel who approached the gate to the base were traveling at a high rate of speed and would not stop or slow down when told to do so. They were given verbal as well as visual indicators telling them to stop. They continued to approach the gate at a high rate of speed and the soldiers at the gate fired upon the vehicles engine compartment in order to disable the car. This is what caused the shrapnel that killed the security personnel and injured the journalist.
      As I said before this is unfortunate but it was avoidable and unfortunately the communist movement in Italy and the leftist media in the US is doing what it can to undermine the efforts of the International community in Iraq in attempting to help a freely elected government from rightly taking power in Iraq and thereby improving the lives of the Iraqi people.

      • #3328800

        I’ve seen some pretty unbiased info about it

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to The other side of the Italian Story

        It is reported here to be an issue of confusion more than fault.

        “The US says the car was speeding, despite hand signals, flashing white lights, and warning shots from US forces. Ms. Sgrena says her car was not speeding and they did see any signals. This personal account, filed prior to the shooting, explains how confusing and risky checkpoints can be – from both sides.”

        “It’s a common occurrence in Iraq: A car speeds toward an American checkpoint or foot patrol. They fire warning shots; the car keeps coming. Soldiers then shoot at the car. Sometimes the on-comer is a foiled suicide attacker (see story), but other times, it’s an unarmed family.”

        “You’re driving along and you see a couple of soldiers standing by the side of the road – but that’s a pretty ubiquitous sight in Baghdad, so you don’t think anything of it.”

        “Another problem is that the US troops tend to have two-stage checkpoints. First there’s a knot of Iraqi security forces standing by a sign that says, in Arabic and English, “Stop or you will be shot.” Most of the time, the Iraqis will casually wave you through.

        Your driver, who slowed down for the checkpoint, will accelerate to resume his normal speed. What he doesn’t realize is that there’s another, American checkpoint several hundred yards past the Iraqi checkpoint, and he’s speeding toward it. Sometimes, he may even think that being waved through the first checkpoint means he’s exempt from the second one (especially if he’s not familiar with American checkpoint routines).”

        Christian Science monitor:

        They haven’t tried to place fault as I see it but they have recognized it as a problem due to confusion.

        Here’s a real warped report from Borneo bulletin, so I can see where you got your view of how it is reported.

        ROME (AFP/dpa) – The Italian journalist wounded by US troops shortly after her month-long kidnap ordeal ended, on Sunday fanned a growing diplomatic rift between Rome and Washington by suggesting the US soldiers deliberately tried to kill her.

        Giuliana Sgrena, wounded when the convoy taking her to safety was riddled by US fire near Baghdad airport on Friday, said she may have been a target because the Americans opposed negotiations with her kidnappers.


        Here’s the story as presented by the left wing Canadian CBC. Apparently not quite as accusational and simply several views that are yet to be compared. Certainly reading this story, you can also see this as a result of the confusion as mentioned before.

        Again, as reported by lefty Canadian news, this story makes no accusations either, it merely explains the incident and views from several different parties, US, Italian, Personal and Iraqi.


        So I guess maybe Canada’s news isn’t quite as far left focused or one sided as many seem to think. I think in this specific case, it has proven to be quite fair in the sense of simply providing various sides of the story for the reader to follow or further investigate, rather than making accusations either way.

        In fact both Canadian stories seem to point out quite clearly that the soldiers fired because the vehicle was moving toward them quickly and that there were warning shots and then shots to stop the vehicle, just as you have explained. They EXPLAIN Giuliana Sgrena’s opinion and both seem to also point toward the confusion between the two parties and what happened. I don’t think that either are misleading or inaccurate based on your confirmation of the story you have shared.

        Thanks for the info though!

        Stay safe!


    • #3350587

      The truth about the Iraqi People

      by protiusx ·

      In reply to Hello from Iraq
      I just finished watching this movie. It is fantastic and I would highly recommend it to everyone. I would even recommend it to older children to help them understand the truth about what is going on in Iraq. There are no talking heads, no right wing or left wing conspiracy. It is Iraqi people talking about their daily lives and how things have changed for them. It shows the nationalistic bonds that exist regardless of religion. My hats off to the producers. If anyone should get an award they should.

      • #3350551


        by oz_media ·

        In reply to The truth about the Iraqi People

        The 6 minute clip they offer seems VERY familiar as does the title. I am sure a similar or identical show was aired in Canada in February.

        The feelings are mixed, some say they were happier with Saddam, some not. Some kids are happy and want to grow up to be doctors, as have children in Iraq for many years. Biology and related fields seem to be the profession of choice there for some time now, the University has always prided itself on it’s biology courses.

        But I am positive that same show, if not a similar show with the identical title was aired here just a few months ago.

        It’s not BAD but people are never themselves or speak truth in front of a camera, especially when just left to their own devices, then their own personal biases are shown in what and whom they film.

        I have seen more compelling footage from hidden camera interviews in Iraq with citizens spoken to in the streets or their homes though.

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