• How to Get Drunk in Iraq

    September 19, 2011

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iraq, Other Ideas

    Huffington Post has an excellent article about the World’s Largest Embassy (c) in America’s 51st State, Baghdad, and the crazy money being spent in Iraq for, whatever.

    The photo shows one dedicated State Department official hard at work inside Baghdaddy’s, the Embassy’ s own bar, built as part of the $1 billion compound with your tax dollars. Isn’t it good that your tax dollars paid for a bar to be built in Iraq so our diplomats could get blind freaking drunk? Isn’t it good that we celebrate our Muslim hosts by drinking like thirsty fish inside the Embassy? Look at him– he smells like… victory. Remember, fat drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

    The book has a whole chapter about Baghdaddy’s so look for it.

    The HuffPo people were nice enough in their article to quote me as saying:

    “The Embassy is a fortress designed to keep both people and reality out. Entering the Embassy from the field is one of the most surreal experiences that’s available without pharmaceuticals.”



    Read the whole article here. Last time I checked the article had over 3000 comments. It shows you care.



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  • Recent Comments

    • Roger Lafontaine said...

      1

      The sleaziest pornography has more dignity than this.

      09/19/11 6:19 PM | Comment Link

    • Saigo Takamori said...

      2

      Peter,

      You don’t have to ridicule your FS colleagues to make your point. Yes, there was (is) fraud, waste, and abuse in Iraq, but must you take personal shots at people? I know the guy pictured in the photo above, and while he’s certainly overweight, he’s serving our country, just like you did. He made sure that the radios I used to ensure my own people were accounted for after rocket attacks were working.

      You can disagree with our pollicy, but show a little f-cking respect for the individuals who serve.

      ST

      09/20/11 12:11 AM | Comment Link

    • Administrator said...

      3

      I don’t have a lot of photos from Baghdaddy’s, so you can send me some and I’ll run them, replacing this one.

      The people I am not supposed to ridicule are, as an organization, seeking to punish or fire me, so forgive a little bitterness. Nothing personal against the guy in the photo, who I do not know personally.

      09/20/11 12:16 AM | Comment Link

    • Administrator said...

      4

      Received via email, reposted here:

      Dear Peter Van Buren:

      Nicely snide in the way that you FSOs consider themselves better than anyone else. I like especially your characterization of the “Real Man with a biker beard. Angry tats and an NYPD baseball cap” whom you met during your BSR session.

      Eeeew. Probably doesn’t know what fork to use. A sample of the detested homo sapiens Red Neck. Probably couldn’t pass muster at HST. Carve his initials into the Franklin Desk.

      Like all too many FSOs you never bother to ASK about the people you meet. Too busy, no doubt, making preconceptions or pigeon-holing them as red necks, neocons, or wackos.

      He had all those because his day job had been undercover cop, targets: dealers and biker gangs.

      But all you saw were tats and beard.

      You embody what is most wrong with State’s culture, and why HST should probably be bulldozed, razed, and started afresh.

      Yeah, you get some things right in your chapter: the execrable ratio of non-Arabic speakers to what the job demanded, the parchment-thin level of cultural/religious preparation.

      But so what? Like most FSOs you are a chronic complainer.

      If you wrote without the super-sized chip on your shoulder—take a look at Vice Admiral Milton Miles’s “A Different Kind of War” as a template—you’d win a lot more of your readers’ hearts and minds.

      If you wrote without the whines and sighs and let the irony speak for itself, you’d have a lot more credibility.

      IMHO, at least.

      John Weisman

      aresddog@yahoo.com

      09/21/11 12:49 PM | Comment Link

    • Administrator said...

      5

      Thanks for writing John. Sure, my sarcasm crosses the line at times, a risk I take when I chose to write in this way instead of straight exposition.

      But you miss the point.

      This is not just me complaining about things I don’t like. It is about why our efforts as a nation failed in Iraq. The things I make fun of and whine about are not annoyances to me. They are reasons to explain the waste of lives, time and money in Iraq. The point is not to pick on the ex-cop doing the training, the point is to show that State wasted that time and money, and squandered an opportunity to really give us the preparation we needed to maybe succeed in our nation’s goals in Iraq.

      09/21/11 12:54 PM | Comment Link

    • former PRTer said...

      6

      Hey, I don’t want to pile on, but when you imply that the Embassy is culturally insensitive to “our Muslim hosts” by allowing Baghdaddy’s to open, you’re off base.

      A lot of Muslims drink. I’ve been on booze-ups with Iraqis a few times, in Iraq, Amman and the USA, and with Saudis in Bahrain. I’ve had my interpreter suggest that the way to this or that Iraqi official’s heart was with a bottle of JWB.

      Stay away from the cheap shots, there are enough HVTs to hit.

      09/24/11 5:26 PM | Comment Link

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