Monday, December 25, 2006

Zen and the Art of Sandbags

Iraq has two things in abundance ; Sand and Oil, well three things if you also include kalishnikovs. And as a reader asked why so many sand bags. Everything in Iraq is sandbagged, on any military base or outpost there is nothing but sandbags. Sandbags surround the Portaloos, every single doorway is side entered due to being sandbagged. Every outpost and guard post is sandbagged.
Every rooftop has sandbags on them. You get so used to sandbags that they become invisible.
But they provide security they stop bullets and if a mortar lands then there is only a sandbag between you and the lord above, and I have not even mentioned Hesco Barriers yet.
The Marines we were embedded with had a plan and strategy behind the sand bag filling. They were planning on pushing deeper into the city and establishing a new security outpost, and they do this virtually overnight. So Achmed wakes up the next morning and lo and behold he has a new police station down the road complete with over a hundred thousand sandbags or shipped in the dark and hand carried and put in position, if you wonder why Marines are so fit try being in a human chain as you move thousands of 40 lb sand bags up four flights of stairs.
Sandbags also have another function

... Interviewing tall Marines for tv well just level the playing field by standing on a sandbag


Anonymous said...

Somehow, Mr. James, we don't think standing on a sand bag next to a big Marine is going to actually level the playing field.....but nice try. Very interesting blog! especially written on Christmas Day, and you are still thinking about sand. We are glad someone asked you about it. May be a stupid question..but what can they grow to feed themselves in all that land of sand....or is there some real dirt in places, like along the rivers? And if it gets so muddy maybe it is just a sandy soil? We've been told, a lot, that the sanitation is really bad over there and the guys get stomach ills just from walking in it through the streets. Have also heard that Iraq has a different smell to it. True? If that is true do you take medicine with you in case you get sick while there or will the Military give you something? They did fix your toe...didn't they. And do the Military Hospitals do a lot for Iraqi civilians too? Happy New Year, Mr. James, and we hope you will have your friends back with you by then. Thanks again for a Christmas blog.

LoveAmerica said...

Thanks for explaining that, Mal. I understood the security part of it. Guess I just lost sight of the fact that it's a constantly evolving mission.

And, thanks for doing your matter the number you filled.

(If anyone else has a stupid question, forward it to me. I'll be glad to ask it.)

Happy New Year!

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