Sunday, July 24, 2005

A Break From The Office:2

PART VII: During our stay in Baghdad we guest at the U.S. Embassy! The embassy building was once Saddam's Presidential Palace and it was an ominous feeling to walk down the halls and use the marble stair cases and think, "Saddam used to walk these halls and use these stairs". It helped me see first hand how big of a dirt bag Saddam was. He had complete control over all the money coming into Iraq and while he was living in dozens of palaces across Iraq the people of his country were living in the worst poverty I have ever seen. His Presidential Palace was huge! Giant chandeliers, a huge swimming pool, marble flooring, thick wool carpet, A/C, movie theatre, but my personal favorite was the pictured DFAC (Dining Facility)! I thought I had died and gone to heaven! Steak, Shrimp, Lobster Tail, Enchilada’s, Taco Bar, Burgers, Wings, Chicken Fingers, Salad Bar, Dessert Bar (blueberry cheesecake!), Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Bar for lunch and dinner. And for breakfast they had Real French Toast, Real Eggs, Fresh Fruit, Real Hash Browns, Real Pancakes, Biscuits and Gravy! (Man, I suddenly got real hungry.)

PART VI: This is, or was, the headquarters for the Baath Party. The Baath Party was Saddam's political party, like a Democrat or Republican. Bunker Buster Bombs hit this building and as you can see it destroyed the part of the building that was above ground, however the subterranean bunker below it wasn't even scratched! I was told that by a reliable source that a German company built the bunker. No wonder Germany didn't want to go to war with Iraq.

PART V: This is a nifty looking bridge in Baghdad. I was surprised to see some decent engineered structures because all I see in my area of operations are mud huts or shabby looking cinder block houses. This bridge allows traffic to cross Tigris River. Cool, eh?

PART IV: This is a cool looking island palace that sits on a lake in Saddam's hometown of Tikrit. During the initial push into Iraq most of Saddam's wealthy supporters fled and left palaces vacant. Once abandoned, palaces were gutted by the poorer class, occupied by locals or turned into a FOB by Coalition Forces, which was the case here.


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