Saturday, April 25, 2009

Not even the birds twitter in Maysan Province



















While Embed with the 1st Calvary Division at Hunter in Maysan Province I got a taste of what it is like for those in the military who are roughing it. No “surf and turf” on Friday night (lobster tails and overcooked steak provided by KBR are served on the larger bases every Friday). An American presence was introduced to the Maysan Province to stop the flow of 
weapons and insurgent across the Iranian border through the marshland in 2008. The 1st Calvary out of Forthood TX. was tasked with building two bases from scratch, Hunter and Gary Owen and to train the Iraqi border police.




When they arrived in August they slept outside with sand flies and camel spiders. They have been battling the elements ever since. While consuming a less than nutritious diet
and coping with frustration caused by teaching lacksidasisical students instead of fighting an enemy in a combat situation as they were trained to do. The most dangerous bullets they have had to duck were those from an Iraqi officer who didn’t put his safety on. The IP sprayed the company commander’s legs with bullets when greeting him with a handshake. PAO/Medic Schenk referred to going to breakfast as getting "plate of disappointment,” illustrating that many have kept a sense of humor.














All at Hunter have found their own way to cope while accomplishing their mission. Everyone has a stash of rations tucked away. Including the medic who is a good source for hand sanitizer. Their deployment is almost up and their mission in many ways a success, home is on all of their minds. Numerous caches of weapons have been confiscated since they beefed up security in the area. While many bases are being turned over to the Iraqis early summer, Hunter and Owen are still growing.




Maysan Province is home of the Marshland Arabs, a nomadic people who live off the land. Their environment was practically destroyed by Saddam Hussein, when he drained the marshes after the uprising in 1991. The marshes began recovering in 2003 when many of the dams were broken, re-flooding the area; however there has been a drought the last two years and the area is becoming barren again. The troops patrol the villages and take note of the peoples needs. The PRT (provincial reconstruction team) working in the area is trying to provide people with basic needs, which are numerous here.

At the border forts built during British colonial rule, the troops give lessons ranging from how to search cars to how to give an IV. The daily visits include a lot of tea drinking and hanging around. Lacking is enthusiasm from the IPs to learn and fuel for the generators so the forts are often with out electricity. Water buffalo, donkey, dogs and cats add to the mix. The marshland and encroaching desert make for a picturesque background to document the action. (or lack there of).

The drought over the last two years and water control issues stemming from Iran and Turkey have once again made life for the Marshland Arabs difficult. Through a translator a family told us their children were sick and requested water. In larger villages, there was an outbreak of cholera that killed at least four children. Boats line the side of a dried up stream. It is hard to image this land was once thought of to be the Garden of Eden.





Returning to The rirbase at Tallil I read about a new initiative introducing Twitter to Iraq. The U.S. State Department is sponsoring a "New Media Technology" delegation to "explore new opportunities to support Iraqi government and non-government stakeholders in Iraq's emerging new media industry." Since the Provincial reconstruction teams have their hands full with projects dealing with clean water and electricity I don't see the implementation of Twitter before the 2011 pull out.

"Breakfast time ... Lots of helicopters ... Met the president of Iraq ... Amazing palace," wrote Jack Dorsey, Twitters cofounder. Even he had trouble finding a place to go online during his mission to introduce Twitter to Iraqi officials The people of Maysan Province are lucky if they will get to hear birds “tweeting” since the water is all drying up. Jack Dorsey and the others in his group wont be leaving the Green Zone, I bet. He won’t get a chance to see Iraqi’s pressing needs as he “ tweets” away at the presidential palace.





10 comments:

  1. Julie...your work is fantastic. Your photos are truly inspiring; you have found your calling.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous5:22 AM

    Hi !.
    might , probably very interested to know how one can manage to receive high yields .
    There is no need to invest much at first. You may start to get income with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

    AimTrust is what you haven`t ever dreamt of such a chance to become rich
    The firm incorporates an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

    Its head office is in Panama with structures around the world.
    Do you want to become a happy investor?
    That`s your chance That`s what you desire!

    I feel good, I began to take up income with the help of this company,
    and I invite you to do the same. If it gets down to select a correct companion who uses your savings in a right way - that`s AimTrust!.
    I take now up to 2G every day, and my first deposit was 1 grand only!
    It`s easy to start , just click this link http://irigozowi.envy.nu/nahipy.html
    and lucky you`re! Let`s take our chance together to become rich

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous6:58 PM

    Good day, sun shines!
    There have been times of troubles when I didn't know about opportunities of getting high yields on investments. I was a dump and downright pessimistic person.
    I have never thought that there weren't any need in big initial investment.
    Now, I'm happy and lucky , I begin to get real money.
    It gets down to select a correct partner who utilizes your money in a right way - that is incorporate it in real business, parts and divides the income with me.

    You can get interested, if there are such firms? I have to tell the truth, YES, there are. Please get to know about one of them:
    [url=http://theblogmoney.com] Online investment blog[/url]

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous8:51 PM

    Good day, sun shines!
    There have were times of troubles when I felt unhappy missing knowledge about opportunities of getting high yields on investments. I was a dump and downright stupid person.
    I have never thought that there weren't any need in big initial investment.
    Now, I'm happy and lucky , I started take up real money.
    It's all about how to select a proper companion who utilizes your funds in a right way - that is incorporate it in real deals, and shares the income with me.

    You can get interested, if there are such firms? I have to answer the truth, YES, there are. Please get to know about one of them:
    http://theinvestblog.com [url=http://theinvestblog.com]Online Investment Blog[/url]

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous12:23 AM

    Good morning

    We do not agree with this year BRIT awards 2010 decision.

    Please visit our little web survey

    http://micropoll.com/t/KDqOnZBCWt

    Lady Gaga can not be better than heavy metal

    Poll supported by BRIT awards 2010 sponsor femmestyle
    [url=http://www.femmestyle.ch/tips/index.html]nach schönheitsoperationen[/url]

    PRINCE HARRY WISHES HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BRIT AWARDS
    With a special birthday message from Prince Harry for the 30th Anniversary of the BRIT Awards

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous7:08 PM

    Good day!

    For sure you didn’t here about me yet,
    my name is Peter.
    Generally I’m a venturesome analyst. recently I take a great interest in online-casino and poker.
    Not long time ago I started my own blog, where I describe my virtual adventures.
    Probably, it will be interesting for you to find out my particular opinion on famous gambling projects.
    Please visit my diary. http://allbestcasino.com I’ll be glad would you find time to leave your opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I feel good, I began to take up income with the help of this company,
    and I invite you to do the same.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous5:05 PM

    Tully has put assistant Coach bags
    and men's Coach Poppy
    in charge of getting the Flames ready for Thursday's opening match. The Coach Madison
    was sitting on a couch in the basement of her row house. One of the athletes asked with a laugh if the Coach Luggage
    was expecting.
    Among a huge range of daidaihua
    present in the market. lida slimming
    makes weight loss easy and quick. Though there may be enormous companies introducing slimming capsule
    . This is exactly what slimming capsules
    do. Also there is no need to cut down on food while you are taking lida
    regularly. lida daidaihua
    detoxify your body thereby expelling all the harmful toxins in your body.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous4:39 PM

    The Lyford Cay Denomination serves as a community resource in favour of ecumenical and Bahamian families. Lyford Cay Grammar offers a exorbitant pattern Nursery through Luxurious Inculcate education. Through a multi-cultural environment that promotes perception amongst multiform nationalities, students are provided with the opportunities and resources to appropriate for cross-cultural learners and responsible citizens. Lyford Cay Clique is an distinct, non-denominational, lifetime school. The high school is a non-profit-making metaphysics ens governed before a Game table of Directors.

    http://kapyce.wordpress.com
    http://azufejosa.wordpress.com
    http://ivimen.wordpress.com
    http://ecilili.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete