A change in travel plans made it possible for me and Phin to stay at the JVB Hotel at Camp Victory across from one of Saddam’s palaces.
It was one of Saddam’s favorite places to hold meetings and the place his last interview on network TV was held before
he was hanged. The chair he sat in for the interview remains and is used by guests. The luxury is eerie but welcome. It isn’t a five star hotel anymore as the stars above the grand entranceway claim. It has bunk beds in the roomsand serves food brought in from the main mess hall, but high ceilings, lush curtains, elegant furniture and marble floors offer unexpected elegance fitting of a five star hotel.
Compared to some of the accommodations here, maybe the five star rating does still hold.Visiting dignitaries, VIPS,and special guests like us who end up stuck at Camp Victory use the hotel. A group in a think tank looking into an early withdrawal from Iraq mandated by congress (stared under Bush’s administration) is here. The Buffalo Bills cheerleaders, who are spending a week in Iraq performing stayed in the room across from me. A team of comics sent over by Lone Wolf Entertainment, who often perform for the troops were here too. WeI interviewed Olivian Arrington and Mo Amer about what it is like performing in Iraq. The 1-124 CAV from Dallas TX is running the place during their time in Iraq.
image description-bottom up- Phin Percy outside hotel on veranda overlooking manmade lake and Palace, Olvia Arrington and Mo Amer ( comedians) , the rest Cheerleaders and me at the hotel