Thursday, September 15, 2005

Goodnight, Baghdad

Marble walkway down to the lake

Yet another sink

Spooky down on the deck

One of the guest villas lit up... some general at work?

Still working in the adjoining palace offices

Shades of CNN, 1991! Up on the roof under a nice fat moon, shining down on Baghdad and Camp Victory, the nearby airport to the west, sprawling downtown to the east.

A different room in the Perfume Palace... beneath this ceiling are offices and cubicles with our people working away, but around them is splendor

Once again, my place of work over here - the Perfume Palace. A nice shot I took today...

Sign reads, "RANDOM ANTI-TERRORISM MEASURES IN EFFECT! Sorry for the Inconvenience."

I never noticed anything particularly "random"

A little Copper Polish and you're set

Chicks with guns... they still like to shop

All the treasures of Babylon and Mesopotamia...

The PX also has a "Bazaar" -- since most of the soldiers will never get to spend any relaxing time in Olde Baghdad's shopping district, they've imported an actual bazaar, with real Iraqis selling real junk.

Cinnabon? Seattle's Best Coffee? Burger King? Why, this is paradise!

What kind of base would go without a Burger King? Note the dirigible - there are a number of them and they serve a purpose up there.... hush hush.

You can't ask people to leave their weapons at the door - the door would look like a supercharged armory! So, you just try not to bump into anyone in the aisles

The PX! Everyone's favorite place - we went today because Pflueger was leaving this evening for the US

I haven't gone to the pool yet, but may do so if I get an hour off work on Saturday... almost everyone here works seven days a week, actually (oh yeah, they're soldiers)

Idyllic, isn't it? What is now Camp Slayer / Camp Iraq was a sort of upscale retreat for Saddam and Uday/Qusay's favored VIP guests... the three each had Palaces here (including Perfume and Al Faw) but the place is dotted with villas, promenades, this pool.... like San Antonio's Riverwalk, without the Hooters franchise

Entry door to the Perfume Palace

The Perfume Palace, behind its protective skin

Despite the violence, some people are riding their bikes to work... oh, wait - this is inside the base, behind tons and tons of concrete. I guarantee they're also armed - everyone is.

On the wall of Al Faw Palace... I believe it means, "Under New Management"

Pete Fisher of MNC-I, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence under Gen Zahner