REPORT FROM IRAQI... VIA INSTAPUNDIT
Good news and no spin from the frontlines:
The elections required a lot of work in this area but went off without any major violence. From what we have seen, nationwide turnout was very good. One of the constant comments here was that in America, people stay home because of the rain; here people vote in spite of mortars. (Mortars are like the worst hail storm you have ever seen, but a little worse).
Recently, we have gone out and operated with the Army. The particular unit we have worked with is a cavalry unit. Even though they now drive tanks, they still wear "riding" boots, large belt buckles and for formal occasions, cowboy hats. Surely, they think many of our customs and traditions (dating back to naval combat of the 18th century) are just as strange.
The Cav is located at a much larger installation which means KBR chow. It is amazing that food that would be sniffed at in most middle school cafeterias seems like dinner and a beer at El Charro over here. Their installation is a former Iraqi army base, so it feels a lot more like a military base than the poultry processing plant in which I live. In fact the cinderblock barracks are almost as nice as Hess Hall (saying something is as nice as Hess is wierd) and are nicer than the barracks that I stayed in at Camp Pendleton.
Army tours are almost twice as long as Marine tours (13 vs. 7 mos.) and these guys were nearing the end. Their morale was high but needless to say they were looking forward to getting home.