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, January 25, 2005

The Great Camel War of '05


Remember these guys?? They are a few of the camels that roam around the al Waleed Point of Entry on the Syrian border. They played a prominent role in my latest trip out to the borders.

One evening I was meeting with the commander of the Iraqi forces in his headquarters when my radio squawked a report from the Marines that there was "heavy fire" coming from the Iraq camp towards the Syrians. After some investigation, here's what we were able to put together: The above 3 camels and one of their brothers escaped the confines of the Point of Entry. The owner decided to send out a 5 man search party to recover the camels. The search party inexplicable decides that if they walk directly on top of the berm separating Syria and Iraq, they will be able to see on both sides and have a better chance at locating the camels. Of course, the Syrians - who are located much closer to the berm than the Iraqi camp on the other side - see the outline of 5 strange men on the berm (it's very dark at this point), and pop off a few rounds from their AKs. The Iraqis in the camp see AK fire coming over the berm from Syria and think the Syrians are engaging them. They immediately "unleash hell", but with PKCs instead of wimpy AKs. I can only imagine what the Syrians thought when they saw the return fire.

We were able to calm things down before anybody got hurt. One of the camels, however, didn't fare so well. He was taken out, and his 3 humped brethren were captured by the Syrians. We are in the process of setting up a meeting to facilitate greater cross border communication, and to make those camel-stealin' Syrians return them to their rightful owner.

There is no way I could possibly make up a story this amusing- although its probably not too amusing to the camels.