The Heat Rises

I've finally rotated to the day shift for the first time while at TQ. Though it is almost over and I am about to return to the night shift, the day shift adds a bit of relief to the hectic schedule.

The heat has kicked up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. During flights the small two inch window in the aircraft provides nothing but hot air. It feels like a hairdryer is being held to the side of the aircraft and blown into the cockpit. With all of the windows, we are sitting inside a greenhouse, just without the humidity. Though the temperatures are rising, they are not as oppressive as the hot and humid air of Virginia during the summer. It is said we have at least 20 degrees to go before we hit the temperature ceiling. What I find to be the strangest of feelings is the evening temperatures of 95 degrees which almost bring a chill. Who ever imagined that 95 degrees would be cold?

By Bert Stover |  June 1, 2006; 7:56 PM ET  | Category:  Al Taqaddum, Iraq
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Posted by: che | June 14, 2006 01:19 PM

Jeez, Bert. If the heat is oppressive, turn on your cockpit air conditioner. The A/C on/off switch is 18 cm NE of the thingamagig modulator. Here's to flying in comfort and splendor in Iraq.

In Vietnam, we achieved A/C by removing both pilot doors from our Hueys. Ahhhh.

Posted by: Cavalry LTC | June 14, 2006 03:19 PM

cavalry LTC... you are a manly man doing manly things... in splendor no less!


Posted by: dave | June 14, 2006 03:47 PM

Ah, no doors! and a thingamagig!
To The Cavalry!
We've had some dirt flying around here lately. Hot, humid, and dry. No relief from Alberto in Dothan.
Want some wet wipes? I'll be glad to pack some up and send to you.

Posted by: Shirley Anne | June 14, 2006 05:14 PM

Why do you bother asking us to bookmark web sites when you cut all the info from those sites and post it here.

Get off the election fraud crap!

Bert, I've heard from friends of mine who served time in Saudi a few years back. They reported similar things about the temperatures. After a day of 120 degrees soldiers would throw on sweat shirts and sweat pants when temps dipped to 90. It is hard for me to imagine wearing full sweats while exercising in the 90 degree desserts of the Mid-east. I imagine you will be in for a shock when you return to the temps of Northern VA next winter.

Take care.

Posted by: Bill | June 14, 2006 05:28 PM

Stop posting comments that aren't responsive, ie, "che" and others. By not doing so, you are driving people away from this blog.

Posted by: Bryan Glass | June 14, 2006 06:46 PM

And is it a bad thing to drive people away from this blog?

Posted by: Just wondering | June 14, 2006 07:31 PM

On Waking Up Sleepless in the Middle of the Night
by: John Brown
TO: The President

FROM: A former American diplomat

SUBJECT: Waking up in the middle of the night

Mr. President: Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night? Do you? Do you ever wake up sleepless in the middle of the night?

What have you done in Iraq? Do you ever realize, in the middle of the night, what you've done? Do you?

1. You've caused over 2,370 American soldiers to die in an impoverished land that never attacked us. Was that the right answer to 9/11 or the "threat" from Iraq? Do you ever ask yourself that question?

2. Because of your Iraq invasion, thousands of U.S. enlisted personnel are maimed, physically and mentally, for life. What can you tell these victims of your war? That you're honored by their duty towards you, our "mission-accomplished" commander-in-chief?

3. Your decision to go to war has led to the death of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis. Do you have any remorse for this, Mr. President? Or was it that, for you, Iraqis only really deserved to serve as props in "shock and awe" -- your name for your made-for-TV porno/violence program at the beginning of the war, produced and distributed directly into our living rooms by the mainstream media? (Thank you, Fox News.)

4. Will you ever, ever accept responsibility for making torture all-American at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and elsewhere? And the Statue of Liberty -- why, tell us why, did you allow it to be replaced by that image of an abused, hooded, helpless prisoner on a box? Aren't you the least bit concerned at how America is seen by the rest of the world because of your war -- as a brutal aggressor nation, dismissive of the opinions of mankind?

5. What about your mercenaries ("Pentagon contractors") that our tax dollars pay for? Who are they? What are they doing in their multi-thousands in Iraq, and to the Iraqis? Do you know? Or don't you care to know?

6. You said you wanted to "rebuild" Iraq -- but isn't it true that all you've really done is construct a Roman-Empire-style camp, a "Green Zone" for Iraqi collaborators (whom you now mistrust) and U.S. personnel in the heart of Baghdad that is an invitation to insurgent mortars? Haven't you -- tell the truth -- destroyed in Iraq more than you have built? Haven't you?

7. You say Iraqis now live in a land of "freedom" -- but what kind of freedom? How can it ever be like the Four Freedoms of Franklin Delano Roosevelt -- freedom of expression and worship, joined with freedom from want and freedom from fear? As electricity fails and bombs terrify citizens in Baghdad, where is the freedom you promised Iraqis, Mr. President?

8. Your occupation of Iraq has led to a bloody sectarian conflict. Why do you and your ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad now blame the Iraqis for their problems? Don't you share responsibility for the desperate situation they are in?

9. Your trillion-dollar binge of destruction in the cradle of civilization -- who will pay for it? The widows of our soldiers? Our young people, already too debt-burdened paying for their educations? Or their baby-boomer parents who may see their pensions evaporate to support your war?

10. Why can't you truthfully tell us, Mr. President, the reasons you led America into war? Was it for the WMD, for regime change, for the oil, for grand neocon visions, to avenge your father, to win elections at home? What were your real intentions? Are you afraid to tell us? Or is the truth that, deep down, you never really knew?

11. And, Mr. President, as you contemplate another war, this time against Iran, won't you ever wake up in the middle of the night, and stop more madness before it is too late?

John Brown, who writes regularly for Tomdispatch and, is a former diplomat who resigned from the State Department over the planned war in Iraq, compiles the Public Diplomacy Press Review, available free upon request at the site.

Copyright 2006 John Brown
Published by: Tom Dispatch

Posted by: All American | June 14, 2006 07:43 PM

I live here at TQ, too (LSA Springlake), and I think 90 degrees is FREEZING! Good to know I'm not crazy...

Posted by: SGT B | June 14, 2006 09:04 PM

Hi Bert and Company,
Stay cool and hydrated. It is crazy that 90 feels cool, but real. Take care over there, at least the weather will be more stable. Thinking about you guys all the time.

To all the other doomsayers and defeatists, take a break. History will judge this whole thing in the end. Your points of view will either be vindicated or dismissed. Your silly little articles, cut and paste whining, and whipped dog mentality make no difference. This war is already engaged, to late now, we must all make the best of a bad situation. Cutting and running is just not a viable option. The Iraqi people will win this war in time. Please, stop with the "wake up" crap. The people involved in this thing (you sideline give up now crowd are not included) are wide awake and feeling the hurt every day. Your pointless protests only make it more painful for the troops. You are not helping the soldiers, you are helping the insurgency. They love your words, they hear what you say. You may hate the war, hate George Bush, whatever; but make no mistake that the enemy just loves you. If we can deprive the enemy of hope, they might just decide to stop getting killed every day and join the new democracy. Is that such a horrible thought for you guys? That some good may come from the war in the end. Why would any of you so called "all americans" and "blue, red, white" folks want a new democracy to fail? Do you all hold so much hate in your hearts that you would rather see the war go bad vs Bush get a talking point? Let it go, there is much more at stake here than your dislike of what happened before, or the current President. I have said it before, your "get out now" nonesense is worse than stupid, ignorant, and unrealistic. It is quite literally getting good troops killed on the ground. If this enemy observed a united front against them, the whole thing might already be over. I know this is a waste of time, your minds are made up. I will submit this for your narrow minded dismissal: An Iraqi just helped kill the head of terror in that AO. The Iraqi Army and police are on the job in the capitol. They are fighting back, and you all say we cut and run? What nonesense.

Anyway, to all the troops, our thoughts and prayers are with you. To the Dawgs, keep em barking. The first beer is on me.

Posted by: CW2 Hill | June 15, 2006 01:53 AM

CW2 Hill, you present the classic straw-man argument no less than 3 times in your post... a typical tactic for those who cannot defend their position and have no useful ideas to articulate.

your pathetic rant against no-one in particular make you look like a fool. If you honestly think arguments on this blog are getting your countrywo/men killed, i submit that if any insurgent happened accross this, they'd laugh mightily in your direction.

Posted by: dave | June 15, 2006 09:18 AM

Always oppose unprovoked big power attacks on smaller, weaker countries. Always.

Posted by: draw | June 15, 2006 09:37 AM

Well Dave, I guess you and I are both very predictable. I think you are wrong, and history will judge it all. Time will tell if either point of view is correct. Let us both wait and see. Keep em straight up there in the great north. Your eternal adversary,

Posted by: CW2 Hill | June 15, 2006 09:55 AM

While overall, I probably agree more with CW2 Hill than Dave, I have to ask CW2 Hill why we have to wait and see if we are right or wrong? What if we are wrong? What if this is a disaster as so many state? Waiting till the end to see if you are right is a very ignorant idea. Let's debate this now, logically, so we can shape history and so all of us (US, Iraq, & the World) will be better off in the end. Waiting until the end to see a result makes no sense. Let us shape the result through discussion. But certainly, this blog is not the place for this debate. Our warriors deserve better from us, all of us. From both those who support the war and those who do not.

Doing the work of angels in hell is no simple task.

Stay safe CWO2 Stover and thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

Posted by: Lextalionis | June 15, 2006 10:44 AM

Because for right now, the only option is to win the damn thing and not leave them all in a sectarian slaughter. That is why. The pundits and historians can talk about the cost vs gain of the entire conflict later. That was all I was saying to Dave. I think the cut and run path would make it all for nothing, and that should not be allowed to happen. I was making a reference to future historical perspectives. For now, no debate, no hand wringing, just victory. Victory for all involved, except the enemy. Who knows, even the enemy one day can decide to pull a voting booth handle vs a trigger. I was there, and none of the parties involved should suffer for nothing. Regardless of how we got there, lets make some good come from it. That is all I was trying to say.

Posted by: CW2 Hill | June 15, 2006 12:47 PM

Our son is flying over there right now also. May God Bless and protect them all. Lets keep the terror as far away as possible.

Ole 'che' worries about elections with his conspiracy theories. Let me tell you the truth, my mom was threatened with bodily harm by union thugs when she challenged the drunken derelicts brought in by the union. The derelicts could not even read the names the union thugs had given them. Who lies about election more?? -- the liberals

Posted by: Been there before | June 15, 2006 10:06 PM

It really doesn't matter if you agree or not with the reasons we are in Iraq. The fact remains, we are there. Being that the situation, the only option we have is to finish the job that was started and leave Irak better than we found it because if we don't it will come back to haunt us for generations to come. Our world has gotten progressively smaller with each jump in technology. What was once the other side of the world is not right in our face so we have no choice but to deal with it. If you don't like the situation as it is, exercise your right to vote the next time the elections come around. We have the greatest give on the face of the planet, the ability to choose our leaders, and we did. If you don't like the choice, fine! Vote for somebody else next time. But in the meantime, support the men and woman who are doing OUR bidding. We chose the guy that sent them over there. We chose the guy who is their supreme commander. I'm pretty sure most of the service personnel serving in Irak would much rather be home with their families and friends. If you want to blame someone for what's going on over there, take a look in the mirror and do more to make sure that someone else is elected. If you think that what's happening is what needed to be done, then continue supporting your elected officials - but remember - those voicing discontent are exercising their free speech rights. The same right that we our troops to protect, and that so many good men and woman have given their lives to protect. To Bert and CW2Hill, keep you heads down, and your spirits up! Give the bad guys hell (or better yet, send them there)and watch your six. God's speed to all of you.

Posted by: James | June 16, 2006 09:42 AM

Can you guys in Iraq please answer a question for me?

Who are you fighting in Iraq? Please understand I am not trying to degrade anyone's service and hold no grudge. I am not an American but I am concerned about the state of the world today. I have heard reports that 5% of the insurgency is Al Qeada and foreign. So in your battles in Iraq do you know who you are shooting at? Are you shooting at Al Qeada fighters or are you shooting at Iraqis? Seems to me if only 5% of the insurgency is foreign then you can't be fighting the war on terror but rather you are taking sides in a civil war. Hard to understand how you Americans can equate Iraq with terror? You guys are the troops on the ground so you must know who you are fighting, as a concerned citizen of Earth I would appreciate if you could tell me who you are shooting at in your battles, then maybe I can get a better understanding of what your country is doing and why.


Posted by: Baha man | July 13, 2006 11:02 PM

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