Thebastidge: How bad is it?
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    ********************Southwest Washington Surplus, your prepping supply store********************

    Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    How bad is it?

    Marie asks:

    "Is it bad there like the news shows on tv?"

    Well, I'm no expert yet, I can only give my imperessions;

    Here in the IZ, you hear gunfire all the time, but it's mostly from the firing ranges- there's one on each side of us. You do hear mortars and bombs now and then. the first couple days, I heard several loud explosions, then nothing for several days, but the last couple of days I have heard some more. In the last two days, there have also been announcements of controlled explosions. A voice comes on a loud speaker and says something to the effect of, "There will be a controlled detonation in 10 minutes in the area of X. Do not react!"

    Makes me think, "What, are they gonna give you 'two for flinching'?" punch-punch!

    Ramadan has started, so it's possible that more VBIEDS and other exlosions will be disturbing the peace- it seems the insurgents generally save some big push for Ramadan.

    However, I haven't personally seen anything explode or had anything land near me yet.

    I'm suspicious of everyone in the IZ that doesn't appear to be American. Many TCNs (Third Country Nationals) make so little money, that it would be easy to bribe them, and from what I understand, the Iraqis who work in here are constantly being threatened with violence and death for being collaborators. Even people who are just coming in to clean the toilets and make a living.

    The IZ has a very porous border. We're constantly reminded of that, and the somewhat more hardened compounds within the IZ (like the embassy compound, where I live) have armed guards and checkpoints even though they are within the boundaries of the supposedly safe zone.

    Military folks are required to wear their IBA (Individual Ballistic Armor) when going from compound to compound within the IZ, even when wearing their PT gear. They carry their weapons at all times as well, though they carry them unloaded with ammo to hand. It's somewhat odd to see people running around in Army PT gear with flak vests and helmets toting their weapon.

    Contractors aren't required to wear IBA, but I wear a Second Chance (Thanks, Dan!) under my shirt most of the time. We're not allowed to carry weapons in the Embassy compound, even unloaded, so I'm only issued a weapon when we plan to go outside the IZ. honestly, I would prefer to wear it all the time, because as I said before, I don't trust most of the people in the IZ.


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