A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

small mercies

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on April 18, 2008

Its Friday evening, a little after 10 pm, and I am contentedly sipping tea and painting my nails while watching an old, old Lebanese film mercifully subtitled in both French and English. The main characters are hardworking villagers from … somewhere.

The men have what I think of as Muslim names (like “Hamid”, although as I type this I realize that the only Hamid I know is Moroccan, not Lebanese), the women wear tight-fitting 1940s-style shirt-dresses, everyone drinks arak and there seems to be a local Druze debke team called in to perform sword dances and acrobatic feats every few scenes. It could be Lebanon, but I think this film may be set in La-la-land 🙂 .

I spend the early evening out having drinks with two friends, but I love the coziness of a Friday night at home. And tonight in the back of my mind I’m saving a thought for the US military in Baghdad, thanks to the US Embassy in Kuwait’s latest email:


To: All American Wardens

From: Consular Section

Subject: Warden Notice 2008 – 8

Please circulate the following message, which was sent by U.S. Embassy Baghdad without additions or omissions immediately to all American citizens within your area of responsibility.

Begin text.

Previously it had been mandatory for all personnel under the authority of the Chief of Mission to wear body armor, helmet and protective eyewear when outside. This is no longer necessary however it is still recommended to keep Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) readily available in living quarters. Limitations regarding movement outside of hardened structures have also been lifted for Chief of Mission employees.

The text continues with a reminder that the State Department does not encourage travel to Iraq (and who does these days?). I don’t support the Bush administration’s decision to go to war with Iraq and I don’t support most of the decisions made regarding our presence and behavior there since. But it does break my heart to think of how the requirement to don all this gear – better though it now may be – only puts US forces at a further remove from the Iraqi population.


2 Responses to “small mercies”

  1. Tantalus said

    I wonder how easy is it to run, duck and cover when one is wearing gear that adds at least another 6-10 kilograms of weight to maneuver?

  2. Michel said

    The USA should issue this “body armour” to all the children in Irak and Afghanistan or leave well enough along and get the &%^* out of there.

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