Cigars in the Sand

Commentary, Notes and Pictures from my time in Iraq

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Location: Baghdad, Iraq

Farmer by genetics, Lawyer by training, currently "vacationing" in Iraq and advising the Iraqi government on border security issues. Before moving to Baghdad, I served in the White House as Deputy Counsel for the Homeland Security Council. I can be reached at opusxryanathotmaildotcom.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Why "Cigars in the Sand"?

A few folks have asked me why I titled this blog "Cigars in the Sand." I was inspired by an interview General Tommy Franks gave with Cigar Aficionado a while ago :

"Gen. Franks: . . . It is relaxing. And during the course of the Iraq war, on a number of occasions, I'd sit outside in a number of Middle Eastern countries and just sit by myself and smoke a cigar. You know, I find that it's possible to spend a little too much time talking and not enough time thinking.

CA- Contemplation.

Gen. Franks.- If you just want to think, there's nothing better than taking a good cigar and sitting under a tree, sitting in your room, and just sit there and smoke a good cigar. It's important to look at a cigar from time to time, when you're smoking it."

I have found that cigars give me the same moments in Iraq: a time to think about the days events, a time to think about what needs to be done tomorrow, and a time to celebrate the passage of another day surviving in a war zone. I have been blessed with many friends who have sent me some wonderful cigars. I give away most of them to the men and women of our armed forces. I always make sure to take a few extras to the borders when I'm travelling.

So "Cigars in the Sand" is my place of contemplation. I guess I'm doing this more for me than for you.