Saturday, July 24, 2004

Ass Monkeys and Other Professionals in Iraq

Eric Jewett gives us a day-in-the-life of a security worker for Negroponte in Iraq.

The security lead had made a call back to their team room in the palace and miracle of miracles they decided to send up the Blackwater aviation “Littlebirds” to rescue us. Since my first days here I’ve wanted to fly in one of the littlebirds, but the opportunity had never arisen. For the most part everyone agreed that to get a flight you’d have to be a woman, and worthy of their attention, but I had found the loophole! We hoofed over to the visitor helipad and a half hour later in came Blackwater’s MD-80 Littlebirds. A littlebird is a very small helo, just a pilot, co-pilot and room for two people to sit in on the floor in the back with their feet on the skids below. The Blackwater aviation team is affectionately called the “Ass Monkeys” since when they aren’t flying cover for Negroponte’s (or previously Bremer’s) motorcades they sit out by their hangers and just pass the time. That is all a façade though since they are all former Special Forces pilots and are consummate professionals, but there skill and work load allow them to ferment a certain laid back attitude that belies their seriousness once in the air.


Belmont Club offers continuing commentary on Gloria Arroyo's capitulation to the terrorists and its consequences. Check here and here.

Ever since the Philippines capitulated to terrorists in Iraq armed gangs in the region have been ever more ready to intimidate sovereign governments and extort money. The Arroyo surrender differs qualitatively from the Spanish case because Zapatero had already announced his intention to withdraw Spanish troops long before the Madrid attack of March 11, 2004. In the case of the Philippines that sovereign nation, which guards its "dignity" and "sovereignty" jealously when dealing with the United States, obsequiously bowed and scraped before a nameless group of extortionists.


I have to include this link provided by the ITM Brothers to a story about Samir, the guy who pulled Saddam Hussein out of his spiderhole.

Samir says, "I was like, 'I got him.'" We all reached him and pulled him out. And we say Saddam Hussein he looks really old. He looks disgusting." There was also anger. "You want to beat the crap out of him. He destroyed millions in Iraq. I'm one. I left my family 13 years ago because of him."

Saddam couldn't fight back, but he did speak out. "He called me a spy. He called me a traitor. I had to punch him in face. They had to hold me back. I got so angry I almost lost my mind. I didn't know what to do. Choke him to death. That's really not good enough."

For Samir, this was sweet justice. One of Iraq's own, now a U.S. citizen, helping arrest one of the world's most wanted fugitives. "I said 'Who are you? What's your name?' He replied, 'I'm Saddam.' Saddam what, I asked. He said, 'Don't yell. I'm Saddam Hussein."


I just finished reading the first chapter of the online edition of The 9/11 Commission Report. I am so angry I can't see straight. I am a registered Democrat. If a Democrat were in the White House for 9/11, nothing would have been done after this tragedy. I voted for Gore but I admit that he would have said something like, "Hey, let's all talk about this." Screw that. Vote Bush in November if you have any sense.

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