Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Halfway. Wow. Feels like I've been here a lifetime, yet I can't recall more than two or three days here. Perhaps thats memory suppression. Perhaps it'll all come back when I'm elsewhere.

The weather is soo nice. I didn't know Baghdad could be this hospitable, livable. It heats up to about 80 at 2 PM, then cools to as low as 40 now during the night. We started using the heater this week. Mostly because Cliff's a woman.

A Milestone, and yet . . .

In spite of all the bad news, maybe because of it - some glimmers of hope have arisen in Baghdad. I can't eleborate for several reasons, but maybe CNN and FOX and others will in the months to come. Its so enticing, thrilling, seductive to be so near the center of the world's attention and to be two weeks to two months ahead of the news cycle, (on some subjects they're ahead of us - I get alot of my Baghdad news from the same sources you do). But on other subjects - the media has no way of knowing. Either its "secret-squirrel shit" within the Army, or some insider information from the State Dept. And a very rare sometimes - it develops within your grasp and runs out between your fingers like water.

Hope springs eternal . . . Its every bit as human, every bit as axiomatic, the twin - of morose pessimism, desperation, emotional exhaustion. Every action, every pebble-drop in the big pond reverberates. Its never all bad or all good. Just as when the news seems all rosy, an unseen actor - our next and future enemy is sowing discord, exploiting, crouched and waiting. Invariably, and intuitively - when the news seems all bad, it isn't. And it can never be.

The enemies of evil bide their time, lay careful plans and wait. . . For history to call. The call to unite and overcome goes out, touches every broken human heart - and the exhausted and exasperated villain-curs recoil, in a horror that is singularly theirs.
Fear and sorrow comes to us all, and soon they will know it too. They own this brand of sorrow. For all eternity. The sorrow of Judas.
. . . it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. Acts (ch. IX, v. 5)

Suffice it to say, (I can't help myself). There are folks who are fed up. There are folks who are discovering their voice. There are folks who have abandoned fear. When gluttonous fear overstays his visit, over-indulges in the heartache of millions, he becomes irrelevant and unwelcome.
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. Proverbs (ch. XVI, v. 32)


All the best to all who suffer for truth. Best regards to those who labor in obscurity for love of brother; humanity. Health to those who draw lines in the sand.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalms (ch. I, v. 3)

God save the heroes of Iraq. May you all get to be acquainted with them. May history forget their enemies.
Remember Lot's wife. Luke (ch. XVII, v. 32)

May peace reign.

For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; . . . Ephesians (ch. II, v. 14)

They that sow in tears shall reap joy. [Psalms 126:5].

Vegetable Garden

Encouraged by previous successes, Abbas has asked me to solicit vegetable seeds from you.

Here he stands in the plot he's having the guys clear of weeds. Its got a dedicated pipe and hose, and its already subdivided into several paddies. Anything YOU CAN SEND will be appreciated. These guys can/will eat anything that succeeds, and in this plot (with full sun most of the day), and in this soil - I imagine they'll grow like weeds. And of course "Greenery in Baghdad" will be able to post to you your growing contribution to winning the hearts and minds in Baghdad. There's something like a food shortage here in places, owing to decreased agricultural production, inaccess to markets for farmers and such - and any of the myriad problems you can imagine with 47 security checkpoints and three car-bombs between a given farm and the produce markets in the city.

Here's myself and some of the guys on the same plot.
As always:
Mastin Greene
US Embassy Annex
MNFI PRT Baghdad

New growth, Old Garden

Fans of this website will remember the Marigolds which sprouted first in the first "Garden" posting. Well, here they are at about four weeks.Lovely color, growing strong.
Lillies, which hadn't sprouted before, now litter the bare area.
A Black-eyed Susan taking shape.

More lillies, of at least three varieties.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Garden Expansion

Regular readers will recall the beginnings of a garden at the PRT. Well, Alex from Britain came back from R&R with more seeds so we expanded it to include another lanscaping plot. Here's a row of sunflowers shooting up about three days after we planted them.

About three inches tall now, they've been growing for about 12 days now.

A sprig of corn shooting up.

Some kind of creeping vine that Alex planted.

Another view of another vine.

Saddam's Apartment

Folks will recall from previous post, this apartment was burning after the invasion. (Still haven't gotten to the bottom of that).

This is the way the place has looked since we got here. Scaffolding and "under repair."

And here it is one fine morning. Work complete, scaffolding gone.

Those are two Brits going to work, in the foreground. Noticeable for their different camouflage patterns.

Shiny and new . . .

And then here recently, amidst some of the Iraqis turning up for work, a low cloud - barely visible behind the blue dome.

It was a neatly shaped and peculiarly dark cloud. Peculiar too, that it was all alone.

My worries proved true. This was the wafting smoke on a cool morning from a car bomb that struck near the IZ.

Radio Check

These photos are courtesy of Easy T's cell phone, taken over one month ago!

Sorry for the hiatus. We haven't had a proper day off in three weeks now. When the PRT's not using us, the company is.

Things are getting busy in the Governance section of the PRT. So my freetime is devoted there, often till 8 O'clock at night or so.

Here's the view from inside, doing a radio check during one of our systems checks one Saturday morning.