Monday, February 27, 2006

Letter 18

Hello everyone, I know it has been a little while since I've written everyone a letter to let you all know how I am doing. The weather here is finally getting nice, it is about 78 today with a low around 50. The situation here is tense, there is a curfew imposed throughout most of the day to try and keep the violence down. Our commandos are on alert ready to go on missions and thus we are also on alert, because if they go out, we have to go out with them. The other night they responded to a report of several vehicles entering a mosque with weapons possibly preparing for a jihad. Several elements from our commando brigade responded and were attacked as they approached the mosque. When we arrived at the scene the commandos were firing at a sniper who was up in the tower. The commandos then stormed into the mosque and captured the insurgents. There were a few commandos wounded in the attack but I'm not sure how bad. The next day there were hundreds of Sunnis at the mosque protesting the attack. They believe that the mosque itself was attacked instead of the terrorists that went into it. It is a very intense situation here right now, and I hope that things start calming down soon. Either this will all start to settle down, or we could see a civil war erupt between the Sunni and Shiia. In case anyone was wondering, the Shiia and Sunni are variations of the Islam, kinda like Catholic and Protestant. Except these two groups really hate each other. The Sunni are the ones most responsible for attacks against the US and they were in power while Saddam was president. The Shiia were persecuted under Saddam and now they are in positions of power because the Sunnis refused to vote during the first drafting of the constitution. I'm going to try to remain as safe as I can and hope that things start to cool down over here. I'll try to send some pictures a l ittle later today. Take care and I'll write back more often now that I have my computer back and the internet is,Billy

Friday, February 24, 2006


2/24/06 I can’t believe that I am going to say this but I agree with Jimmy Carter. I actually think the management of the 6 ports in the United States by the United Arab Emirates company is not necessarily a bad idea. I have heard many Democrats arguing that they will stop the deal (Hillary) or talking about how concerned about Homeland Security they are (Charles Schumer and Pete King). Many Republicans are upset and are arguing that the deal is bad for security because putting an Arab company in charge of the ports operations is like putting a fox in charge of a hen house. This is a much more realistic argument from those that actually have real concerns about national security. I have heard so many distortions of the deal that I am getting confused. As I understand the deal, these 6 ports were being managed by a private company in Great Britain. That company has been purchased by a company in the UAE. That company is mostly or wholly owned by the UAE government. The management of the ports will continue to be handled by a company in a foreign country. It changes from Great Britain to UAE. It also changes from a private company to a public company. I have seen hysterical articles about the 6 ports being sold to the UAE Company but that is not the case. The management of the ports will change from one set of foreigners to another. The security at the port is still going to be handled in the same, inefficient way by Homeland Security and the US Coast Guard. NO changes in security are expected. The only way the management team can impact the current security processes is by changing the manifests issued stating the contents of the containers. (As if that couldn’t happen now!!). I have heard many complaints about the UAE prior to 9/11. They did banking for al-Qaeda they were friendly with Osama, etc. Since 9/11, all I hear about is what a good job they are doing for us. The port in Dubai is the busiest port for the US Navy outside of the continental US. The air base there is essential to our operations in the middle east. I have heard from many places of the cooperation of the government there in the war on terror. I have also heard that the reliance of UAE on US tourists is amazing. They couldn’t afford to damage the US economy. All in all, I think that this is probably an neutral impact on our security. I do, however, think that all this said, it is a good idea to review the issue with public comments. I usually nut not always agree with George W. Bush but in this case it galls me to not only agree with him but with Jimmy Carter (President Peanut) as well.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Letter 17

2/1/06 Hey Everybody, How is everyone? I'm good, well, I'm cold and tired right now, with a mild cold, but other than that I'm good. I'm staying positive and I'm excited that Amy is going to have a little girl. We've been working on names when I'm not running around here doing some crazy missions. The Iraqis have conducted a couple of big operations and of course we don't find out about it until the last minute, which means we have to jump through a bunch of hoops in order to get them cleared to conduct whatever type of mission they are doing. We basically act as a liason between them and the U.S. forces, but enough about that. So, if you didn't know, we are expecting a little girl and I know Amy is really excited to have someone to go shopping for and shopping with. She already has me wrapped around her little finger. I'm always thinking about her and things to get for her. The weather has been cold with some rain, no snow though. We may be moving again. They are talking about moving us back to the building we originally moved out of. At least they are also talking about moving us into single rooms, all of us this time. We'll see what happens. Amy got my computer fixed so I hope to be able to send more emails and I'll also send more pictures. Just wanted to let everyone know that I'm always thinking about you and I hope that you all are doing well.