Letter from Iraq

It has been a rather quiet month in Habbaniyah.  The big gun goes off now and then and we hear small arms fire coming from some directions and helicopters fly over at tree top level sometimes.  But we are used to all that.  It has become routine for most of us.  
But there is Intel that the terrorists want to steal a civilian vehicle (an American made SUV perhaps) pack it with explosives and use it to blow up some of us here.  Sometimes you don't know whether they are doing it because it's about headlines or about blood lust or both.  The work is said to pay well whatever the motivation. 

As for the Iraqis we see here it is likely that some of them are...well, inclined to the work, so to speak.  You just don't know, you have to wonder about it.  They have their ID, so, they can move around among us.  There are places where they can't go, of course, but there is so much of this movement you have to think that we have become too complacent about it.  Is that guy a terrorist possibly?  Maybe, maybe not, but it is very likely that he knows someone who is. 

The bottom line is that Iraqis have been killing each other for many centuries for 'reasons' that most of us got out of our European originated systems long ago.  The terrorists, however, have something quite different in theirs.  By now so much killing has taken place that a settling of scores within the 'Schism' will take a long time, too long for US patience to wait it out.  For the time being we are waiting because, at this point in time, being in Iraq is about waiting.  The insurgents from Iran or Syria and their in-country terrorist friends are waiting, too, by the way.
  

David Newland works for a private contractor in Iraq
It has been a rather quiet month in Habbaniyah.  The big gun goes off now and then and we hear small arms fire coming from some directions and helicopters fly over at tree top level sometimes.  But we are used to all that.  It has become routine for most of us.  
But there is Intel that the terrorists want to steal a civilian vehicle (an American made SUV perhaps) pack it with explosives and use it to blow up some of us here.  Sometimes you don't know whether they are doing it because it's about headlines or about blood lust or both.  The work is said to pay well whatever the motivation. 

As for the Iraqis we see here it is likely that some of them are...well, inclined to the work, so to speak.  You just don't know, you have to wonder about it.  They have their ID, so, they can move around among us.  There are places where they can't go, of course, but there is so much of this movement you have to think that we have become too complacent about it.  Is that guy a terrorist possibly?  Maybe, maybe not, but it is very likely that he knows someone who is. 

The bottom line is that Iraqis have been killing each other for many centuries for 'reasons' that most of us got out of our European originated systems long ago.  The terrorists, however, have something quite different in theirs.  By now so much killing has taken place that a settling of scores within the 'Schism' will take a long time, too long for US patience to wait it out.  For the time being we are waiting because, at this point in time, being in Iraq is about waiting.  The insurgents from Iran or Syria and their in-country terrorist friends are waiting, too, by the way.
  

David Newland works for a private contractor in Iraq