Sunday, June 29, 2008

Iraq - Day 14

Today started out with a trip back over to the other side of the base to finish the installation that we started yesterday.  Every thing went smoothly.  We get SQL configured and shrunk the log file that had grown to 800 GB (GB is not a typo).  I got it down to 50 mb (not a typo either) and fixed it so that it would not happen again.  The guys were so thankful, they offered to let us use their pool or laundry.  Working 12 hours a day, I'm not sure when that would happen, if ever, but it was thoughtful.

I have since learned a bit more about where I was and some things that have happened there, and it is not at all funny.  That was one of Saddam's favorite prison, torture and execution sites.  I looked up a little about the place on the web.  Here is a sample:

"Ahmad was Uday's chief executioner. Last week, as Iraqis celebrated the death of his former boss and his equally savage younger brother Qusay, he nervously revealed a hideous story. His instructions that day in 1999 were to arrest the two 19-year-olds on the campus of Baghdad's Academy of Fine Arts and deliver them at Radwaniyah. On arrival at the sprawling compound, he was directed to a farm where he found a large cage. Inside, two lions waited. They belonged to Uday. Guards took the two young men from the car and opened the cage door. One of the victims collapsed in terror as they were dragged, screaming and shouting, to meet their fate. Ahmad watched as the students frantically looked for a way of escape. There was none. The lions pounced. 'I saw the head of the first student literally come off his body with the first bite and then had to stand and watch the animals devour the two young men. By the time they were finished there was little left but for the bones and bits and pieces of unwanted flesh,' he recalled last week."
-- Sunday Times, London, July 27, 2003

The cages and cells are still there.  There are no pictures.  They are not allowed and wouldn't want them anyway.

One a happier note, we went from there back to tour Camp Slayer.  One stop that was pretty awesome was the Victory Over America Palace.  Here's a picture:


I'll put together a final picture dump in the next few days.  For now, I'm starting to think about my final assignments and the trip home.  Five days to go.  Six until I'm home, assuming all goes to plan.

Late poker update: I IM'ed into the Falstaff home game tonight.  Took a couple of hands down.  Got crap cards, but did hit one straight in about 10 hands.  I think I made Falstaff a small profit.  That shaves off a bit of my debt from the blogger game from 3 weeks ago. :)  I really appreciate them letting me slow the game down.  They are a good bunch.

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