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Welcome to Bernie's Iraq

Iraq..Today's Images of an Ancient Land

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Since the beginning of time, as mankind knows it, the Middle East has been at the center of civilization and Iraq in particular has played a significant role.  Some interesting facts were published on the web and have been circulating since the United States got involved over here.  I've copied them here just as food for thought.

Local Kids Outside of Camp
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A Picture Does Paint a Thousand Words

Did you know.............
  • The Garden of Eden was in Iraq
  • Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq, was the cradle of civilization
  • Noah built the ark in Iraq
  • The Tower of Babel was in Iraq
  • Abraham was from Ur, which is in Southern Iraq
  • Isaac's wife Rebekah is from Nahor, which is in Iraq
  • Jacob met Rachel in Iraq
  • Jonah preached in Nineveh, which is in Iraq
  • Assyria, which is in Iraq, conquered the ten tribes of Israel
  • Babylon, which is in Iraq, destroyed Jerusalem
  • Daniel was in the lion's den in Iraq
  • The three Hebrew children were in the fire in Iraq
  • Belshazzar, the King of Babylon, saw the "writing on the wall" in Iraq
  • Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried the Jews captive into Iraq
  • Ezekiel preached in Iraq
  • The wise men were from Iraq
  • Peter preached in Iraq
  • The "Empire of Man" described in Revelation is called Babylon, which was a city in Iraq

Something else to think about.....Since America is typically represented by an eagle, Saddam should have read up on his Muslim passages.  The following verse is from the Quran, (the Islamic Bible).

Quran(9:11)- For it is written that a son of Arabia would awaken a fearsome Eagle.  The wrath of the Eagle would be felt throughout the lands of Allah and lo, while some of the people trembled in despair, still more rejoiced; for the wrath of the Eagle cleansed the lands of Allah; and there was peace. (Note the verse number!)

(Billy Cooper)

Just some interesting thoughts along with a bit of history.  This is a land rich with history, laden with conflict since the beginning of time, and it continues to be significant in its impact on the world.  We are living in interesting times, and I have to say that being here has been a life experience that I don't think I'll ever adequately understand or be able to describe.

 

To the right of this column I have added a link that you can click on and visit.  There's lots of interesting things to read on this website about the military occupation over here, and all of the US led Coalition Camps are listed.  Follow the steps below if you'd like to see the particular camps I've lived and worked on as well as a couple I've had the chance to see along the way.

Once you're on the homepage, go to the third column and click on IRAQ OCCUPATION...then go to the right column and click on US OCCUPATION FACILITIES....Once there, beginning in the left column find each camp by name and which city it's in.  Other camps I've listed below are under the heading of 'Presidential Palaces' and 'Other Places' which you will see when you scroll down the page.

  1. Camp Anaconda (Balad) The very first camp I landed on after arriving in Iraq from Kuwait.
  2. Camp Speicher (Tikrit) About 150 miles north of Baghdad and just west of the Tigris River.  I lived there for the first two months of my tour over here.
  3. Camp Liberty (Baghdad) Formerly known as Victory North, this area makes up the largest part of what's known as the BIAP area. ( Baghdad Int'l Airport ).  Within the BIAP area, marked off by the red boundary line on the satellite map to the right, are actually six different camps.  This is the first camp I lived on when I transferred down to Baghdad back in August.  It's also where Johnnie had been living and working since he arrived.  Needless to say it was great to be able to be with him again and begin sharing our lives together right here in Iraq!
  4. Camp Stryker (part of BIAP) I spent a little time with another medic there getting familiar with the other side of the base here.
  5. Camp Slayer (also known as ISG-for the Iraqi Support Group and also part of BIAP).  I spent three weeks there covering for a medic who'd gone on her R&R.  I worked with a PA there named Glynn who was great to work with.  Just a nice guy and a very experienced PA who taught me alot about clinical medicine.  This camp will always have a very special place in my heart; it was when I was working here that Johnnie proposed to me one starry night!!!
  6. Camp Cuervo (also known as Rustamiyah, in southeast Baghdad) Another camp I worked on to cover for a medic's R&R.  I finished my two weeks there just before my first R&R to Italy with my kids.  That was an "interesting" experience, to say the least.
  7. Camp Victory (formerly known as South Victory--when North Victory's name was changed to Liberty, there was no longer a need for the North/South distinction.  This has been my permanent 'home' since November.  All the camps within the BIAP region are connected and we're able to travel between them rather freely..with customary checkpoints of course!!  I have a good story about me 'cruising' through a US checkpoint.. If you look again at the satellite map to the right, you'll see two large man-made lakes.  Johnnie and I live right between them.  To the left you can see the airport; the flight line the most visible landmark.  From just about anywhere on the base, you can see the air traffic control tower. 
  8. The International Zone (formerly known as, and still often referred to as the Green Zone, is in Baghdad proper-where all the government buildings are.  I've made three trips into the Green Zone by way of convoy.  The Combat Support Hospital (CSH) is there.  We, as medics, sometimes have the responsibility of escorting patients who need to go there for treatment that neither we nor the military base clinics can provide.  The CSH is located in Saddam's (former) private hospital.  EMPHASIS ON FORMER!  Going downtown is always 'interesting'. 
  9. Camp Hope (also in the Green Zone) I had an overnight stay there after making a trip to the CSH as a medical escort.

I did quite a bit of traveling and moving about when I first got here.  Most of the camps I've been to were all within the first four months that I was over here.  It was good to experience different places, but after awhile, the moving around was getting old and the reality is...if you've seen one camp, you've seen them all!  The desert is the desert, period.

One other point about the names of the camps....if you visit the website you'll see that the camps have several different names, and they're often changing. (I've noticed that the military likes things to change things, constantly.  They have also given the Arabic translation as a second name to each camp.  Then, just to confuse everyone a bit more, each camp has an alpha-numeric designation as well.  That's for logistical purposes, coding on time sheets etc.  At last count, that I'm aware of, there are at least 80+camps throughout Iraq.  And there are more being constructed all the time.  This project is definitely not a short-term one for either the military or the many civilian companies that are here doing the support work. However,  most of the bases will be downsized over time and only the larger, strategically placed ones will remain for the duration....the duration of what, no one seems to know.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Satellite view of the camp I live on.
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This is the actual area where I live. It's an American led coalition military camp.

Incoming RPG captured on film on a camp up north.
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One of my co-workers heard the familiar 'whistle' and had his camera handy!

The famous Crossed Sabres in Baghdad.
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My partner, David had climbed up into the hand.
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When the army first got here, Baghdad was open for us to tour, but not anymore.