Sunday, July 15, 2007

The dress code at the Blue Star restaurant inside Baghdad's Green Zone now calls for vest and hat.

Flak vest and Kevlar helmet, to be precise. And it's a good thing.

At least four mortar rounds hit inside the Green Zone about 1:30 p.m. Saturday, killing two Iraqi civilians, according to a U.S. soldier who could not speak for attribution because he's not authorized to talk to reporters.

Meanwhile, a State Department official, after initially denying that State had ordered its 1,000 Baghdad personnel to wear protective gear, said that a copy of the order obtained by McClatchy Newspapers was an undiscussable security breach.

There's nothing more credible than an official memo from an embassy. One must always issue a memo:

"As a result of the recent increase of indirect fire attacks on the International Zone, outdoor movement is restricted to a minimum," it states. "Remain within a hardened structure to the maximum extent possible and strictly avoid congregating outdoors. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is mandatory until further notice.

"Public places that are not in a hardened structure - such as the Blue Star Restaurant - should be frequented only in conjunction with the use of your PPE."

Take a memo: Get out of Iraq.

While some 100 British embassy workers and about 55 United Nations personnel living in the Green Zone sleep in hardened housing, State Department personnel sleep unprotected.

Asked how State could require workers to walk around outdoors in body armor while making them sleep in unprotected quarters, the embassy official said: "I wouldn't characterize it as being a mixed message."

U.S. embassy workers, speaking on condition of anonymity, have told McClatchy that they're angry and scared.

They'll get hardened sleeping quarters when construction of the new American embassy compound is complete. That's expected to be this fall.

Until then, just curl up in the fetal position.


At 6:13 PM, Blogger GottaLaff said...

Sweet dreams.

At 7:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, you've convinced me... my next vacation will be in Iraq. Maybe I can find a nice time share bunker to hole up in.

At 10:20 PM, Anonymous uneasyone said...

My deepest sympathies to all career personnel abused in this fashion. "Loyal Bushies" can take their chances.

At 11:21 PM, Blogger gimmeabreak said...

well, now it explains why State can't get anyone to go over voluntarily and now are threatening employees with mandatory deployment there.

Many U.S. diplomats refuse to work in Iraq


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