WEEK 28: This is the weekly essay before my mid tour in 2007. After this entry, I’ll likewise take a three week break before the next installment. What does Jessica Simpson have to do with Baghdad? Read-on.
Before I even boarded the airplane to come to Iraq, I knew we had better than a fifty-fifty probability to be extended. I ran the dates through my head. I didn’t see how the next Division would be ready in time to make it back to Iraq. So, I scheduled my leave for the backside of the half way mark. This way, I wouldn’t have too much longer if we were extended and I would have good weather wherever I went.
I was not surprised the morning I learned of Secretary Gates’ announcement. It still took the wind out of my sails for a couple of days. In the end, the extension makes sense. I haven’t ever played a game where overtime was called in the second quarter. In this situation, it beats finding out at the two minute warning we have overtime.
The last two minutes of this half have been rather frenetic in the information world.
We have a renewed Rewards program and we are making reward posters as if they were a photo of Jessica Simpson in an American flag bikini and Battle Dress Uniform trousers. By the way, my section voted Ms. Simpson the official pin-up girl of the War on Terror.
The Brigades will soon be able to approve their PSYOP products. This will give the Division more opportunity to develop a good PSYOP series or go to the Near-Beer stand. My Brigade counterparts may be somewhat sorry they have this when they have to do all the work that goes along with it. If we could’ve convinced higher headquarters to allow us to release the names and photos of detainees after the Iraqis have done it, we’d have another seven points.
Al Qaeda is backed up inside their twenty and may soon be run out of the back end of the end zone. The tribes are turning against Al Qaeda. Yet, Al Qaeda is claiming its followers should not believe the reports the tribes are turning against them. Penalty! Al Qaeda claims to still hold Ramadi. Penalty! Al Qaeda is even defending its image. It is denying it hurts other Muslims. Penalty AND loss of down!
For the Hail Mary of them all, Moqtada al Sadr is back in town.
Aside from some western media treating him like he is another Red Grange, the so-called firebrand cleric was rather docile. He took his deep shots on the Coalition by calling for our departure. Incomplete pass. We are still here.
If the Government of Iraq ever votes for us to leave and it passes, we declare Iraq a functioning democracy and go home winners. To summarize the rest of his speech, Moqtada reached out to the Sunni, called for peaceful demonstration and to not combat the Iraqi Security Forces. Three yards and a cloud of dust, he’s running back into the political process.
Wow! All this fun is enough to make me cancel my leave to see what happens next. Get real. Tell me what happened when I return. I won’t be watching the halftime show. I’m going to Disney World!