Pretty Dull day today. Had a meeting with the Sheikh’s Council in my Nahiya (County) about 20 Sheikhs, and the local mayor, and maybe 3 of them I trust. The Head Sheikh, Sheikh Adnan, Looks like a very tan Lee Marvin. There's another one, Sheikh Amur who looks like Father Guido Sarducci from old SNL reruns. The Iraqi Army Major I work with, Major Kareem looks (I swear) just like Eugene Levy from SCTV.
After the meeting that would not end (imagine watching C-Span with a Gaelic voiceover) we had lunch. We call it a "goat grab” They served us broiled goat/lamb and chicken on a big bed of rice, peas, noodles, raisins, almonds and peanuts. You get a stack of Pita bread and tear pieces of the meat off and wrap it into the pita and eat it. All with your right hand only. (They wipe their asses with the left hand, Kind of like we do with lefties during elections.) There were no forks. Not spicy at all, and very tasty. I expect I'll be on the shitter for the next few days.
The Sheikhs all bitch about the same things, they want public works projects in their towns, and we want them to guarantee security and turnover dipshits to us. They balk and say that they can control their people, but people come from other areas to plant IEDs and attack Americans. We say bullshit and tell them we can't pay for the public works until the area is secure. Lather, Rinse, and Repeat. Third Verse, same as the first. I imagine that this will go on for a year or so.
Sheikh Adnan is pretty likeable, and seems to be a pretty honest broker. I will work with him offline (one on one) to get things done. He told me yesterday that sometimes he will have to say things to me in front of the other Sheikhs that he does not necessarily back. I understand that he has to do it to save face. I also told him in no uncertain terms that I didn't really care what he said to me in front of the other Sheikhs, as long as we remain respectful to each other. I told him
that if he disrespects me, I will drag him through the streets in cuffs and put him in a very dark place. It seemed weird to say that to a 50 year old man, but he smiled and told me that he was glad to see that I had backbone... and that there are very few people who would ever say that to his face and he respects me for it. I believe him.
He asked me is I was a prince or a Sheikh in America because I had so many tanks and soldiers. I didn't want to tell him the truth, because it would actually hurt my position with him, so I told him that America does not have Sheikhs or princes, but I was personally commissioned by the President of the United States and placed in command of the company under his authority. (This, of course, is true, but not exactly forthcoming). He was Very Impressed by that.
As Top and I walked through some towns today, a couple teenage boys started cussing at us in Klingon. We didn't have a clue what they were saying. So I started insulting them back. I got creative, because they all know American cuss words. "Very funny, Meatstick. You know, my son has more clothes in his sock drawer than you've ever owned in your life." Nice Donkey. My son has a bike, a tricycle, and a wagon that he doesn't even play with 6 months out of the year. Keep laughing. This is only the second time we've invaded your sorry-ass country. How many Iraqis do you think are in America right now that don't drive cabs or work in 7-11's?
This went on for about 10 minutes until Top and I got bored with it.
It's weird what passes for amusement in these parts.