Mood: accident prone
Topic: The US Military
For nearly 12 months, every time I went from my compound to the Palace, I had to pass through a Marine checkpoint. During that time, I have seen the Marines beef up the checkpoint. At first it was simply a bunch of Marines who were supported by two machinegun nests perhaps 30 yards from the checkpoint. Then, they added speed bumps. Shortly after that, they added a lot of jersey barriers. Then, they added thick metal wires that could be used block off the road in an emergency.
The Embassy closed the check point because the felt that the Green Zone was safe enough that they could no longer justify keeping the Marines there, and they are apparently relying on nearly security contractors to provide the level support that they believe is adequate. All the same, I would rather have a small group of Marines serving as a line of security around the Palace than relying on a bunch of security contractors who can't speak English.
And in other news . . . according to early election returns, Iraqi voters choose sectarian parties rather than one of the handful of nation-wide parties. Nine out of 10 Iraqis in the Shiite Muslim provinces of the south voted for religious Shiite parties, according to the early results from the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq. Nine out of 10 Iraqis in Sunni Muslim Arab areas of central and western Iraq voted for Sunni parties. Nine out of 10 Iraqis in the Kurdish provinces of the north voted for Kurdish candidates.