A Dustbowl Where a Breadbasket Should Be

 

That big blue space west of the City of Baghdad, Mada’in Qada, was where I was deployed in Iraq. It is part of the agricultural belt that rings Baghdad. We also had an assumed risk are south of Mada’in in Wassit Province and, for about six to eight weeks, we had southern Diyala Province, which is just north of Mada’in. Eventually my Brigade Combat Team (BCT) also picked up Mahmoudiya Qada. This gave the Army’s non-modular, legacy brigade  the entire southwestern, southern, and eastern belt/approaches to Baghdad. That’s a lot of territory for 4,500 people to cover. Since this is going to be a photo/picture heavy post, I’m going to put most of it under the fold in order to not swamp the front page.

Mada’in, meaning the two cities, draws its name from Mercez Mada’in (the Center of the Two Cities), which was located where Salman Pak now is. If you see that little peninsula on the map, the Steya Peninsula, where the Tigris river is bisecting Mada’in and Mahmoudiya Qadas, Salman Pak is on the right side of the river. Apparently there was once a bridge or palace or underground tunnel or all three that spanned the river, hence the Center of the Two Cities designation. The Steya Peninsula is home to the Arch of Kesra/Kesra Palace, which is the largest freestanding mud brick parabolic arch in the world. Its on the World Heritage list and in October 2008 I was part of a team from the brigade, and from our infantry battalion in that area, that escorted an Assistant Secretary of State for Heritage on a visit to the arch. This was notable for two reasons: 1) this was the highest ranking Bush 43 Administration official to actually travel out of the Green Zone and 2) the US, as one could imagine, was very concerned that the arch not fall down or become damage while we were occupying the country as it is important to both the Iraqis and the Iranians. The Arch of Kesra, as seen from out the side of the Blackhawk I was riding in, can be seen below.

100_2218

You can see that even here, which is less that two kilometers from the Tigris, its almost bone dry. Normally the tribe that lives in this area made its livelihood farming with water pumped from the Tigris. This was, unfortunately, impossible back in 2008 for two reasons: 1) the power grid was not in good condition, so there wasn’t a lot of energy/electricity for the pumping stations to work consistently (more on this in a bit) and 2) an Iraqi Army Tank Battalion had occupied the Steya Peninsula, largely squatting on the tribal farming lands, as part of their defensive position to interdict extremists trying to reach Baghdad.

Salman Pak is also famous for the Salman al Farsi Mosque. Salman al Farsi, sometimes referred to as Salman the Barber, was a companion of Prophet Muhammed and was his barber. While Salman never converted to Islam, he is considered to have lived a righteous life and locations associated with his life are important to Twelver Shi’a Muslims. The mosque is believed to be built upon Salman’s remains, though it is unclear if he is entombed under the mosque or of it is just part of him, like a Catholic reliquary. The Salman al Farsi Mosque, as photographed from the Arch of Kesra is below:

100_2209

The mosque, or more accurately its waqf/administrative council, is the largest land owner in Salman Pak and a significant portion of the Salman Pak marketplace is built into the walls surrounding the mosque – like an arcade. Through 2009 the mosque was in dispute as there was a fight over whether it should be a Sunni or Shi’i mosque and as a result was locked and not being used. This was a huge blow to the local economy as it also shuttered the stores built into the spaces in the mosques external, outward facing walls and because it reduced the amount of pilgrims that would come to the city to see the mosque and pray there. Combined with the Arch of Kesra also being closed, this was a huge economic issue. In October 2008 my team was able to identify the local individual who was the keeper of the official documentation on the mosque and we directed the appropriate Coalition military leadership to him in an attempt to settle the matter and get the mosque reopened. I don’t think it really did any good and as far as I know the mosque is still closed.

So let’s talk agriculture, or the lack thereof. Iraqi agriculture works off of an irrigation canal system. For those from New Mexico or Arizona or Spain and parts of Mexico you’ll know this as similar to the acequia type of system where water is pumped from primary to secondary to tertiary canals – the last of which are what are used to irrigate specific farms and fields. Water is pumped from pumping stations along the river, in the case of where we were the Tigris and Diyala Rivers. Unfortunately the Coalition Provisional Authority had determined that the Iraqis would fix their own power system – both generation and transmission, that they had ten years to do so, and that they were to do it by implementing a private system. The result of this was that even though we knew where the pumping stations were and where the power lines that needed to be repaired and rewired and reconnected were, our Engineering Battalion wasn’t allowed to do anything about it. So no reliable/regular power, no water, no reliable water, no irrigation for palmyries and fields. And this led to other problems. Because everything had become so dry, the highly saline nature of the Iraqi ground had taken over. So even if water could be pumped, a season or two of throw away crops would need to be planted to draw the salt out of the ground. Our Civil Affairs company recommended sorghum, but without water…

This is a picture taken while in a Blackhawk as we were crossing over the Tigris River:

100_2214

You can see that there is some greenery and some of the fields have crops growing. However, once you get farther away from the river, things get bone dry:

100_2237

Here’s some shots from the Four Corners area in Mada’in. Its where the major North-South and East-West roads intersect. There’s a market on the Northwest and Southwest corners, a shopping center with a restaurant on the Northeast corner and just north of that was a patrol base.

100_1464

In the picture above are local Sons of Iraq guys that were escorting us. Behind them is the restaurant I mentioned and where their leader took us for lunch. This was to show everyone how much wasta/influence he had that he could bring a member of the brigade staff to a restaurant… The food was excellent!

100_1461

Here you can see some of the market. Most of the food, especially the packaged stuff was being imported from Turkey, Iran, and/or Syria.

 

100_1440

This is not the local petting zoo… It is the local butcher shop. And I’ve spared you the pictures of the butcher plying his trade.

 

100_1433

Here’s another shop. The market had plenty of stuff for sale, sundries, dry goods, and other food stuffs, but where a lot of it should’ve been local grown/produced, it was, unfortunately having to be imported.

 

100_1426

This is a cow (Inoright?) belonging to an internally displaced family. They brought it with them when they fled south to stay with relatives. This area was west of Four Dunhams in the center of our Area of Responsibility. Parts had patches of green surrounded by lots of dry dusty land.

 

100_1303_01

Let me just tie this all up by indicating, as Villagio often points out in comments, that the drought conditions are a primary driver to the problems in the Levant. My team began tracking this in Fall 2007 when we were informed that our brigade wasn’t going to Northern Iraq, but instead was going South and East of Baghdad. Even if you could get all the various sectarian and ethnic groups to back off and stop fighting, until something is done to mitigate the drought conditions, resource competition will always be a major source of conflict in the Levant.

71 replies
  1. 1
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I do not know why the guy doing something unspeakable to a balloon is appearing at the top of the post. I’m also not sure why everything seems to be indented and offset. I’m sure there’s a good reason though… I must have missed a staff meeting or something…

  2. 2
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Perhaps a dumb question, but… How much of the drought is climate change driven?

  3. 3
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Alain and Tommy are tweaking the layout. It’s nothing you’ve done. :-)

    Thanks for the informative post.

    Is there enough water in the rivers to restore irrigation if/when the fighting stops? If not, was there discussion about what to do about it? (Deep wells? Desalination plants in the south? Something else?)

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  4. 4
    trollhattan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Droughts come, droughts go like O’Reilly’s tides, and while it’s impossible to hang a particular climate event in a particular area on human-caused climate change, when it’s historical in scope and mimiced elsewhere one can reasonably begin to connect the dots. California’s has no precedent in the historical record for the current drought, which isn’t equaled until one goes far back into the paleoclimate records.

    I’m really concerned about India and Pakistan when they have a climate-triggered diaspora. They have nukes in addition to a cumulative nearly two billion people.

  5. 5
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @trollhattan:

    I’m really concerned about India and Pakistan when they have a climate-triggered diaspora. They have nukes in addition to a cumulative nearly two billion people.

    That’s a cheery thought.

  6. 6
    trollhattan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I kill at parties. [Kidding, in case my parole agent is viewing.]

  7. 7
    Mike J says:

    @trollhattan:

    and while it’s impossible to hang a particular climate event in a particular area on human-caused climate change, when it’s historical in scope and mimiced elsewhere one can reasonably begin to connect the dots.

    I heard a great analogy on NPR. Say you’ve got a slugger on a team that hits 25 HRs a year for two or three years. Then he starts hitting 35 a year and it turns out he started using steroids. It’s impossible to say that the homer he hit against the Giants in the 3rd week of August was because of the steroids, but but you can look at the season and see something was up.

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike J: And that is what I was wondering. Obviously climate change comes into play, but to what extent? Does some of this reverse when certain local conditions change or is this the new normal?

  9. 9
    jnfr says:

    Fantastic post. Thank you so much for the information.

  10. 10
    trollhattan says:

    @Mike J: @Omnes Omnibus:
    We keep a pet climatologist at work and I’ve mostly adopted his standard disclaimer about what we can know and what we might expect. It’s a yoooogly conservative avocation because the computer models and data streams are still pretty crude so everything they say is couched in probability and statistical terms, but down the road they should be able to literally bridge the gap between climate modeling and weather forecasting. That should be interesting.

    Even if current events aren’t the new normal they take residence in our data sets and affect data-gathering, evaluation and projections going forward. California’s drought doesn’t nudge the needles, it shoves the holy hell out of them. Hopefully the usual cast of morons won’t stop us from changing our policies and procedures in response.

  11. 11
    Anoniminous says:

    There are two ways to alleviate the drought:

    1. Make it rain … & lots of luck with that (but see below)

    2. Pump water from ????

    Eventually, if we hold our mouths right, Global Climate Change should cause a weather shift that will make the Levant more moist by increasing rainfall in the region as we have recently seen in Yemen. Of course they’ve gotten 20 years of rain in one week but … HEY! … can’t have everything!

  12. 12
    catclub says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: My understanding is also that green areas nearly bring their own water, so when the Sahara desert turned no longer green, the rain went away, as well. If you could slowly bring back some green – plants – you might also slowly get more rain. Instead, the opposite has happened. The Tigris and Euphrates breadbasket has exhausted much of the land’s fertility – since it has been under agriculture longer than any other place in the world. With loss of fertility comes the vicious cycle of loss of green and rain.

  13. 13
    Anoniminous says:

    Since this is what I do, in part …

    @trollhattan:

    yoooogly conservative avocation because the computer models and data streams are still pretty crude

    It’s crude because Turing/von Neumann machines can’t do iterative function computation; they crap out, – if one is lucky, at the eighth iteration, most times don’t get that far. Second, trying to accurately Model complex – as in Complexity Theory – iterative dynamic phenomena subject to sensitivity to initial conditions using intellectual tools based on Set Theory is a hardy-har-har – can’t do THAT either. Can do it using bifurcative mathematics except for the minor problem nobody has figured out measuration and it’s kinda hard to do arithmetic if you don’t know what numbers you’re supposed to be using …. and when …. and how.

    But we DO have some really cool graphs to look at.

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I can’t say, its outside my area of expertise. But I can’t imagine its helping. One of the big problems is that the states upriver of Iraq – Syria and Turkey – are pulling more water to compensate for the drought. This leaves less for the Iraqis.@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: The USDA guy assigned to the embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team (ePRT), who was a water expert, determined that Mada’in is sitting on top of an aquifer and worked up a plan to test drill to determine how deep and once through how much. The ePRT team leader refused to back the pilot drilling project and instead set up a program for the Iraqis in the area to take micro loans to rent hand drills to try to tap the aquifer instead. This never got anywhere for a number of reasons. After Saddam Hussein and the Coalition Provisional Authority the worst thing to ever happen to Iraq were the provincial reconstruction teams…

  15. 15
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    After Saddam Hussein and the Coalition Provisional Authority the worst thing to ever happen to Iraq were the provincial reconstruction teams…

    Sadly, I can believe that.

  16. 16
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Stop yer shouting #15!

  17. 17
    sharl says:

    @trollhattan: That severe drought affected much of the Fertile Crescent that extends through Syria and Iraq. A NASA report said it was really bad during the winter of 2007-8, while some academic researchers say the drought happened over several years (2007-2010).

    Both of those links primarily address the problems in neighboring Syria, but in eye-balling Adam’s map vs. the one in the that NASA link above, it looks like the range of the drought might have at least partially covered the area where Adam was deployed (though it looks like the most intense part of the drought was north and east of Baghdad).

    The authors in the second link conclude that global warming due to human activity was a contributing factor to an already bad situation, and helped to promote the unrest and protests in neighboring Syria that led to today’s civil war.

  18. 18
    Wordpress Developers says:

    Ok, so not sure how the layout got gunked up like that, must’ve been a mis-click. Thought I just un-did it and fixed the problem but it’s back. This is why when your eyes are tired, you don’t keep pushing yourself!

    Sorry folks, and especially you, Adam. I’ll see what I can do, it’s a layout formatting issue that I’m on track to solve.

    – Alain

    Edited to add:
    Think I fixed the problem, and again, my deepest apologies. A mis-click unselected the template for the main view so the layout was squished, etc. Especially on such an important post! I’m done for the evening, tired eyes and hands, and very tired brain. Good night to all

  19. 19
    trollhattan says:

    @Anoniminous:
    Heh-heh, you said “bifurcative!”

    Used to sit in on meetings where the fate-and-transport modelers would try and mansplain how they had predicted how contaminants would move through the three phases in various soil types, both without remedial action and while capture and treatment were underway, and it made me less sad I crapped out in math around the time I encountered calculus.

    Just identify the nouns and verbs for me, and I’ll go do my thing. Madness lives there, I’m pretty sure.

  20. 20
    Anoniminous says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    How much of the drought is climate change driven?

    That’s the 6 billion dollar question.

    Put it this way, the drought in the Levant is:

    1. entirely consistent with Global Climate Change

    2. dramatic micro-climate change, e.g., rainfall, is a predicted effect of Global Climate Change

    3. wild oscillations of phenomena, e.g., extreme drought punctuated by extreme rain events, during the phase transition to a new stable climate regime caused by the forcing effects of Global Warming is consistent with Global Climate Change

    & blah, blah, blah.

    Does this “prove” the thesis? No. But there’s no better explanation, everything that is happening in the Levant and elsewhere is consistent with Global Warming, and these events were predicted to be affects and effects of Global Warming.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The funniest/weirdest thing I ever saw was as we were coming into country. The brigade command group and senior staff, as well as the battalion commanders and XOs, all went to the COIN Academy at Camp Taiji. There we got several in briefs including one from a PRT that was actually working north of Baghdad. They briefed us on their centerpiece proposal: providing those $200 wifi enabled laptops that were created in support of educational development in developing countries by, if I recall correctly, a professor at MIT, to a girls school. They can be field stripped to their components in about five minutes, are supposed to be durable, etc. The girls school was in a rural area in one of the provinces north of Baghdad and in a predominantly traditional area. Nice idea.

    So I asked the following: 1) did anyone survey the parents to see if this was okay with them? No, but the school headmistress thinks its a great idea. 2) Did anyone talk to the local sheikhs and imams (often the same guys) to get an endorsement? No, the headmistress things its a great idea. 3) Was their any risk assessment done at all? No, the headmistress thinks its a great idea. Followed by why are you asking these questions?

    Well, I replied, here’s the most likely, and also deadliest, course of action: the headmistress is going to be found dead, the school will be burned down, the laptops will, conveniently be missing because their components can be procured removing four screws in under five minutes for IED components, several of the girls attending the school will be honor killed, and the IEDs will be used against the Coalition Forces assigned to that Area of Responsibility. I then recommended that they just cut out the middle man and have the commander of the brigade they’re partnered with blow up a bunch of his own trucks and kill a bunch of his own Soldiers.

    They were not amused. My brigade commander was sitting stock/ramrod straight to keep from laughing, my deputy commander was laughing hard as were several of the battalion commanders and brigade staff.

    Nice people, meant well, not a clue.

  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WordPress Developers: You guys are working hard. No need to apologize as far as I’m concerned.

  24. 24
    raven says:

    @Adam L Silverman:” the worst thing to ever happen to Iraq were the provincial reconstruction teams…’

    Ah, the old Strategic Hamlet Syndrome.

  25. 25
    sharl says:

    Oh, there is also a Guardian article based on that PNAS article linked above. It also focuses on Syria, although perhaps some of the thousands of Iraqi refugees who fled to Syria were maybe uprooted by the drought back home (just speculation on my part).

    I originally wondered if Saddam’s diversion of river water in the 90s to make things unlivable for regime opponents hiding among the Marsh Arabs had a long term affect that would be large enough to be felt late in the next decade, but didn’t find anything about that possibility (though I didn’t look real hard). Apparently such draining has happened on several occasions between the 50s and the 90s, though, and I would think that large scale and repeated messing with a river system would have some kind of effect.

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sharl: the drought was to the north, but that just means more water drawn upriver and less available down river. Combine that with insufficient ability to pump water and you’ve got a bad situation. People leave their farms looking for work. When they can’t find it, they’ll take money to do bad things: criminal, terrorist/insurgent, or both.

  27. 27
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @raven: honestly there have been a lot of bad things. Some we/the US have been responsible for while trying to do the right thing, some we’ve had nothing to do with, some were predictable follow on effects of what we did.

    We have a huge moral debt. Given how our domestic politics work, and that I’m honestly not sure we wouldn’t make things worse, I highly doubt we’ll pay it.

  28. 28
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @raven: The other problem with that, as Fall points out in his Theory and Practice of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency, is that concept was based on a modified spreading ink spot concept. The spreading ink spot was developed for use in Arab North Africa and it worked there, in combination with other methods, because the center of the spots were the oases. Eventually everyone had to come into the oases for water. So you could take them, hold them, and folks would come to you allowing you to reconcile different groups and then expand to the next oasis.

    Vietnam didn’t have oases and neither does Iraq. I mentioned this to the folks who did the last set of revision to 3-24/Counterinsurgency. They didn’t seem to get it. The way the Army produces doctrine is hit or miss.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Adam L Silverman: This is, as the story goes, what is really driving all the unrest in Syria…displaced rural types looking for non-existent work in cities and then finding themselves more and more alienated from their own countrymen, looking for some plausible reason why all these bad things are happening to them, and suddenly they find the reason: they’re not of our tribe, be it an actual tribe, or a religious sect, or whatever. These same fissures are obvious in this country.

    Old maxim: every country is three square meals away from a revolution. We take too many basic things for granted. Perhaps it’s my military training, or perhaps it’s my higher education, but I think about these things. Few things make you as appreciative of indoor plumbing like spending six months in a CAT hut in Honduras without running water. And that was relative luxury for Army types who are used to sleeping in tents when deployed, the AF guys were just appalled at the primitiveness of it.

  30. 30
    Anoniminous says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    As Brecht put it, “Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral” which is untranslatable but “First get the grub, then get the morality” comes close.

  31. 31
    Anoniminous says:

    BTW, “whacky” (sic) weather is becoming the “norm” (whatever that means). As hurricane Abigail shows:

    Abigail — the first storm ever named, hurricane-style, by the British weather agency — slammed Scotland on Thursday night with hurricane-force winds and the threat of an entire month’s rainfall in just 48 hours.

  32. 32

    I then recommended that they just cut out the middle man and have the commander of the brigade they’re partnered with blow up a bunch of his own trucks and kill a bunch of his own Soldiers.

    I do believe I hear a note of Steve Gilliard in your narrative.

  33. 33
    ThresherK says:

    The photos look like something out of a movie.

  34. 34
    Mike J says:

    @BruceFromOhio: Tied the boats down on the dock here in Seattle this week, ready for the howler coming in tonight.

  35. 35
    Corner Stone says:

    C’mon, Jets. Throw a corner fade to B Marsh.

  36. 36
    Helen says:

    Appreciate the comment numbers. Thanks Tommy.

  37. 37
    Cervantes says:

    Thanks for writing about your experience in Iraq. Glad you made it back OK.

    I particularly appreciate the photographs. Thanks.

    Salman al Farsi, sometimes referred to as Salman the Barber, was a companion of Prophet Muhammed and was his barber. While Salman never converted to Islam, he is considered to have lived a righteous life and locations associated with his life are important to Twelver Shi’a Muslims.

    He was, in fact, a convert. His Farsi name was Rozeba. Salman was the name given to him when he converted.

  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: The AF would, wouldn’t they?”

  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Helen: That won’t endear you to CS.

  40. 40
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: CS feels like a number. Might work for a song…

  41. 41
  42. 42
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Old Bob Seger song, guess you’re too young.

  43. 43
    Helen says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The numbers were awful earlier today. I kept my mouth (fingers) shut. They look way better now. Trying to be nice. It is very difficult.

    Anyhoo; CS loves me.

  44. 44
    chopper says:

    @catclub:

    this is true of the rainforest in the Amazon. the trees evapotranspirate enough water vapor to create a low pressure area that draws in moist air from the ocean creating rain. when it’s dry the trees basically do this to make the needed rain happen.

  45. 45
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cervantes: I find that interesting, because that’s what I thought. I can’t remember where I came across that his conversion was not a settled issue. I’ll have to go back and recheck Tabari one of these days.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Helen: No, dear, you love CS. He may or may not reciprocate.

  48. 48
    Helen says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Yeah, maybe. But that’s not for you to say.

  49. 49
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Helen: That is true. I was just offering a warning… Do as you will. And go with my blessing….

  50. 50
    Suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Blah blah blah MY PARENTS ARE AWESOME, blah blah blah JUST SAYING.

  51. 51
    Suzanne says:

    @Suzanne: HAVE I TOLD YOU ABOUT MY PARENTS YET. Just saying.

  52. 52
    jayboat says:

    I hope another comment about the site layout is ok on this thread.

    The space on the upper left of the front page needs to be the latest post.

    List the recent posts at the top of the right hand column. (and for dog’s sake just title it ‘recent posts’. The way it’s set up now looks redundant and clunky. The latest post is the most important item you offer and that upper left-hand piece of real estate is your most valuable part of the front page.

    Publication design has a few basic rules, follow them.

  53. 53
    jayboat says:

    and you dont need to tell us they’re front page posts, we know that- they’re right there on the front page.

    rant off.

  54. 54
    danielx says:

    I then recommended that they just cut out the middle man and have the commander of the brigade they’re partnered with blow up a bunch of his own trucks and kill a bunch of his own Soldiers.

    ATTACKING THE WORST PLACE OF ANY (the Hürtgen Forest)…. The 28th had regained full strength but only with many replacements untrained as infantrymen, under officers and sergeants plucked from anti­aircraft units and even the Army Air Forces. Ernest Hemingway, who for several weeks would live in a fieldstone house south of Stolberg near the village of Vicht while filing reports for Collier’s, suggested that it would “save everybody a lot of trouble if they just shot them as soon as they got out of the trucks.”

    The more things change, the more they remain the same.

  55. 55
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suzanne: Hey, I happen to think my parents are pretty okay, but I didn’t introduce them into the conversation.

  56. 56
    Arclite says:

    The part about not fixing the power grid is especially frustrating. It’s like the USA learned nothing from the Marshall Plan.

  57. 57
    NotMax says:

    Curious, Adam, if your omission from the contact list is intentional or an oversight.

  58. 58
    NotMax says:

    @jayboat

    You’re far from the first to state the same, but every additional voice aids in bolstering the case.

  59. 59
    sharl says:

    @NotMax: Adam’s omission from the Contact List was brought up very early in this process. Tommy acknowledged it, but hopefully it didn’t subsequently fall off their to-do list.

  60. 60
    Suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Just saying.

    Am I annoying you yet! I’m trying.

  61. 61
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Suzanne: You are pretty brave to make those kinds of comments. Are you unaware that people in g*d mode can lock you out of here ? And find you other places and do the same? I’d tread lightly.

  62. 62
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @NotMax: It’s an oversight, being that Adam is a fairly recent frontpager.

    ETA: That question was asked in a previous post by Adam and that was his answer.

  63. 63
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: One of my hooch mates was a USAF admin type, down there in Honduras on TDY like the rest of us, but in his case, he had never been exposed to wearing combat boots, and had no clue as to how to blouse his pants in them. We had to edjumacate the noob on many things. To his great credit, he approached the whole thing positively and learned fast and well. We didn’t turn him into a grunt by any means, but he could at least properly blouse his boots.

  64. 64
    Amir Khalid says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:
    The initial omission of Adam Silverman from the contact list was an oversight. The continued omission might start to look like something else.

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: I have to get them an email address for it. I also told them to deal with it last as getting everything else correct was the priority. I’m not being left out, I’m not avoiding it.

  66. 66
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Amir Khalid: Considering the stability problems that we were having last night, that seems to have been addressed and the updates and tweaking to the comment system today; as far as priorities go, I’d still chalk it up to oversight.

    ETA: NM, what Adam said.

  67. 67
    David Koch says:

    There is a lack of agriculture because Iraq doesn’t have any Pyramids to store the grain.

    Everyone knows that.

  68. 68
    NotMax says:

    @Dvid Koch

    What do you think all the ziggurats were for, then?

    :)

  69. 69
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @NotMax: Beat me to it, damn you NotMax! Damn you to heck!

  70. 70
    raven says:

    Did the blog die last night?

  71. 71
    Sherparick says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The stupid, it burns, it burns.

Comments are closed.