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February 28, 2009

US Soldiers Party In Baghdad Nightclub

Even the most ardent war supporters admitted victory in Iraq wouldn't look like victory in WWII but thought they would know it when they saw it.

This may be what it look likes.

The American soldier stepped out of the Baghdad nightclub. In one hand, he clutched his weapon. In the other, a green can of Tuborg beer. He took a sip and walked over to two comrades, dressed as he was in camouflage and combat gear.

Inside the club Thursday night, U.S. soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division ogled young Iraqi women who appeared to be prostitutes gyrating to Arabic pop music. A singer crooned soulfully through scratchy speakers to the raucous, pulsating beat -- an action that Islamic extremists have deemed punishable by beheading.

Twenty minutes later, several drunk men coaxed an American soldier to dance. He awkwardly shuffled his feet, wearing night-vision equipment and a radio, joining the women and boisterous young men in an Arabic chain dance around tables covered with empty beer bottles.

...Club manager Salah Hassan said Thursday's visit was not exceptional. "The Americans come here four or five times a week," he said. "They buy drinks and pay for them."

Others at the club said the soldiers had been there more than once. "I love the Americans," said Amal Saad, a petite young woman with blue contact lenses and thick red lipstick. "I like it when they come here. I feel so safe."

"Many times, I went with them in their Humvees," she added. "They took me to shops and bought me chocolates and gifts."

Now, there's a couple of problems with this.

First it likely violates a shit load of regulations (remember it took a special order from Gen. Odierno for the troops to have a beer during the Super Bowl and that was while on base). I'm guessing drinking off base while on patrol is going to land this guy in a pile of shit so deep he may not be clean for years. I'm betting this type of thing won't be happening again anytime soon.

Second, not every place in Iraq is likely as secure as this area and even in this type of area things can change quickly. I'd hate to see Americans killed or injured because they let their guard down.

All that said, this is stuff that was simply unimaginable during the dark days of 2006-2007. Unfortunately, too many people who said Iraq could never emerge from sectarian strife are in positions of high power today. Their lack of vision and commitment to the Iraq war does not bode well for their stewardship of America's national security.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:49 AM

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