Pentagon: Mosul an Inside Job


We have the now have the Pentagon pledging to find out how a suicide bomber got into a mess hall at Foward Operating Base Marez, and killed 22. Maybe the right question is "what took him so long" given this grunt-eye description of the base from earlier this summer:

HAJJI SHOPS: These are located through out the FOB. All of them owned and operated by an Iraqi citizen and all of their stores remind me of 99 Cents Only stores back home. Most of the stuff they sell is pure crap. But they sell junk food, sodas, ice cream. These guys are making a fortune off Joe. A lot of them also sell bootlegged DVD's, Cuban cigars, refrigerators, washing machines, bicycles, and if they don't have it, they can get it for you.

MINI AAFES PX: What's cool about this place is you can shop with your ATM card or Star card here. Buy all your soap, shaving, foot power stuff. They also sell DVD players, TV's, Protein Powders, Magazines, CD's and DVD's. What's interesting is that they sell condoms at the PX (Trojan non-lube). People buy them too, which makes you kinda wonder.

THE FRUIT JUICE STAND: Located next to PX, owned and operated by an Iraqi lady and her husband. For two bucks you get a big cup of banana strawberry smoothie or whatever fruity combo you want. Which are great on the extremely hot days here when you just want to chill out with a cold drink. I'll usually buy like 2 of them when I go there.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: is available on FOB Marez. But is very unreliable. They run when ever they feel like it, and they don't drive on Fridays, its like a holiday or day off for them in this country. We've got Iraqis driving these third world looking buses around the FOB, that are un-air conditioned most of the time, but they play authentic middle eastern music. Sometimes they won't even pick you up, they'll just drive right past you. Your best bet is to hitch hike a ride from a civilian contractor.

More on FOB Marez here and here.