Scorpions and Spiders and Snakes, Oh My

With the heat has come an invasion of local wildlife. Scorpions, camel spiders and sand flies are the most common, with an occasional snake. Most sightings occur at night. Fortunately none of us have been caught completely off-guard -- e.g. stung by a scorpion while pulling on a boot.

About two months ago, one of the pilots woke up with tens of sand-fly bites all over his arms. Few of us have had problems with the flies, but those that have face the danger of Leishmaniasis, a skin-eating, parasitic disease. Basic prevention entails using insecticide and wearing long sleeves and pants. For the most part, the fly population has decreased due to extremely hot temperatures, but in some of the cooler buildings there are a few stragglers.

The scorpions are active at night, when the temperature drops. The other evening, a baby scorpion almost crawled onto my arm when I was opening the door to the crew chief office. As the door opened, enough light shone through for me to see the insect crawling down the wall and to move out of the way. Larger, more mature scorpions were uncovered during some equipment-moving. Some soldiers have tried to feed the scorpions. THey seem to like camel spiders best.

Camel spiders also lurk at night. Some are as big as a human hand and resemble the baby aliens in the Sigourney Weaver flick "Aliens." If a camel spider is out during the day, and it seems they are running at you, they are really chasing your shadow. They are just looking to beat the sun.

By Bert Stover |  July 12, 2006; 7:30 AM ET  | Category:  Al Taqaddum, Iraq
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WORSE THAN SADDAM

A local journalist told me bitterly this week that Iraqis find it ironic that Saddam Hussein is on trial for killing 148 people 24 years ago, while militias loyal to political parties now in government kill that many people every few days. But it is not an irony that anyone here has time to laugh about. They are too busy packing their bags and wondering how they can get out alive.

Posted by: REALITY | July 18, 2006 05:11 PM


Thanks to the us invasion and occupation...

Baghdad starts to collapse as its people flee a life of death
By James Hider, of The [LONDON]Times, from Baghdad


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-3-2268585-3,00.html

Posted by: Reality | July 18, 2006 05:13 PM

WORSE THAN SADDAM THANKS TO US INVASION

Over 3,000 Iraqi Civilians Killed in June, U.N. Reports

BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 18 -- An average of more than 100 civilians per day were killed in Iraq last month, the highest monthly tally of violent deaths since the fall of Baghdad, the United Nations reported today.


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/18/world/middleeast/18cnd-iraq.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Posted by: REALITY | July 18, 2006 05:18 PM

So Reality what are you trying to say? Iraq was better off under Sadam than Bush? Because in all "reality", at this time, GWB is the president of Iraq.

Posted by: Jamal | July 19, 2006 11:09 AM

There are some who feel like -- that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring 'em on. We've got the force necessary to deal with the security situation.

Posted by: Reality | July 19, 2006 04:05 PM

There are some who feel like -- that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring 'em on. We've got the force necessary to deal with the security situation.

George W. Bush

Posted by: Reality | July 19, 2006 04:05 PM

Even lockstep Republicans are bailing out of this unmitigated disaster.

Rep. Gil Gutknecht (Minn.), once a strong supporter of the war, returned from Iraq this week declaring that conditions in Baghdad were far worse "than we'd been led to believe" and urging that troop withdrawals begin immediately.

Posted by: Come home alive | July 20, 2006 09:30 AM

The shift is subtle, but Republican lawmakers acknowledge that it is no longer tenable to say the news media are ignoring the good news in Iraq and painting an unfair picture of the war. In the first half of this year, 4,338 Iraqi civilians died violent deaths, according to a new report by the U.N. Assistance Mission for
"It's like after Katrina, when the secretary of homeland security was saying all those people weren't really stranded when we were all watching it on TV," said Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (R-N.C.). "I still hear about that. We can't look like we won't face reality."

Posted by: Face reality | July 20, 2006 09:31 AM

Republicans and some conservative Democrats who have backed the president's call to stay the course are finding it increasingly difficult to square their generally optimistic rhetoric with the grim situation on the ground in Baghdad and other cities.

Posted by: The grim reality | July 20, 2006 09:33 AM

Bring Saddam back into power, only he can control this horrible madness that is Iraq!

Posted by: stepper | July 20, 2006 11:25 AM

no, no, no... c'mon people, every day the situation is improving in IRaq

Freedom is on the march

and just look how the US has transformed the region by creating this bulkhead of democracy in Iraq

really, its a heckuva job

Posted by: dave | July 20, 2006 11:47 AM

Blah Blah Blah, broken record played by terrorists, defeatists, and one cynical Canadian friend of ours. It is way to late to run away. Even more would die if we cut and run.

Posted by: Good Grief | July 20, 2006 08:00 PM

Good Grief gets it right.

Meanwhile let it be noted that scorpions are arachnids, not insects.

Posted by: J. C. | July 21, 2006 02:06 AM

cynical?! defeatist?

im an optimist, just like W.

the rise in #s of dead Iraqi's mean freedom's at hand and democracy is on the march

have we broken a record yet?

and its never too late to run away... just ask dick cheney

Posted by: dave | July 21, 2006 08:18 AM

Hang in Reality; There are many of us that hear you loud and clear. Problem is we can't seem to get the Liberators(GWB)and gang to listen to reason, not yet anyway. Stay safe, change is going to come.

Posted by: selah | July 28, 2006 03:41 AM

What nonsence is this i'm reading?

"Freedom is on the march

and just look how the US has transformed the region by creating this bulkhead of democracy in Iraq

really, its a heckuva job"

"the rise in #s of dead Iraqi's mean freedom's at hand and democracy is on the march"


True we have transformed the region,Iraqi women and children dead by the thousands'
Afganistan on fire, Lebenon women and children being bombed,Syria and Iran are preparing to defend themself against this bulkhead of democracy.

What are you thinking? We did not win in korea, we were run out of viet nam they seved our head on a platter in Lebanon, eat our lunch in Somilia, we can't find the tallest man in Afganistan. We procaimed victory in Iraq two years ago and since then thousands of our brave military men have lost their lives there. How do you invision feedom and democracy marching anywhere?

If it takes the life blood of thousands of lives to bring democracy about who needs it? If democracy is as good as you and GWB proclaim it to be people would be stealing it. Instead we find it nessary force it down peoples thorat with guns and bombs? Pl-eeeze.

Posted by: sleah | July 29, 2006 03:33 AM

What nonsence is this i'm reading?

"Freedom is on the march

and just look how the US has transformed the region by creating this bulkhead of democracy in Iraq

really, its a heckuva job"

"the rise in #s of dead Iraqi's mean freedom's at hand and democracy is on the march"


True we have transformed the region,Iraqi women and children dead be the thousands'
Afganistan on fire, Lebenon women and children being bombed,Syria and Iran are preparing to defend themself against this bulkhead of democracy.

What are you thinking? We did not win in korea, we were run out of viet nam they seved our head on a platter in Lebanon, eat our lunch in Somilia, we can't find the tallest man in Afganistan. We procaimed victory in Iraq two years ago and since then thousands of our brave military men have lost their lives there. How do you invision feedom and democracy marching anywhere?

If it takes the life blood of thousands of lives to bring democracy about who needs it? If democracy is as good as you and GWB proclaim it to be people would be stealing it. Instead we find it nessary force it down peoples thorat with guns and bombs? Pl-eeeze.

Posted by: selah | July 29, 2006 03:34 AM

i like to see spiders and spiders but not me getting bite by one so that is why i kill the normal house spiders!

Posted by: Kimberly R. Berry | August 8, 2006 03:32 PM

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