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.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Route Irish

That's the name the military has given for the short (about 8 or so miles) road between the airport and the Green Zone. Now comes an editorial with a further description:

"The road itself is horrifyingly ugly, as most airport roads tend to be, only more so. Hastily patched craters dot the highway, paving over metal and viscera torn apart by car bombs. The scorched husk of one such vehicle lies near the airport's outermost checkpoint. Further on, flattened palm groves, which the Army bulldozed after insurgents used them as cover to launch ambushes, line the road. Tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles occupy them now. Above them, Blackhawk helicopters and Apache gunships glide through the sky. Beyond all this lies a bleached landscape--cement walls, Saddam-era housing blocks, and bombers in waiting."

Yep, its certainly an ugly road. And [NOTE TO MOM: Don't read this part], having been behind the wheel a time or two on Route Irish, its no picnic for driving either. For those of you I'll see on R&R in March, remind me to show you some of the video of the route.

I agrre with the columnist that Route Irish needs to be secured immediately. It's an embarassment that it hasn't been done already. But it also gives a bit of perspective on my task: how can Iraq be expected to secure its 1400 miles of borders when the Coalition can't even secure an 8 mile stretch of road in Baghdad?