Iraqi "No Spin" update

Escribbler writes about many different subjects. One is our on-going football tournament in Belize, Two is the Internet and Blogs, Three is Football in England, Four is poking fun at George Bush, Five is life in Belize and Six is the regular update from Iraq.

Here is the latest no spin news from my friends brother who is serving his time in the US army. These articles are always unedited and this one was written today.

"Hello All, I figured I would start this week off with a list of good things here in Iraq. Sun tea......that's about all I could come up with. We are finished the first week of Ramadan, the holiest time of year for muslims. It is about a month long, is always in the ninth month of the muslim year and begins with the sighting of the new moon over Mecca. It commemorates Mohammed receiving divine revelation of the Qur'an. It is a period of spiritual "dryness" ramida. The goal is to develop or reaffirm Allah conciousness. The main way of participating is fasting from sunrise to set, "sawm". The day begins with Suhoor a pre-dawn meal and ends with iftar, after sunset.

The fasting includes even no water for most. Pregnant women, children and the infirm are exempt. Eid al-Fitr is the celebration feast that ends Ramadan and is a big party. In the past attacks against US forces have decreased during this period but attacks against Iraqi Army, Police and civilians have increased.

One problem is that during this period families gather after dark for meals together. This is complicated if there is a curfew, so our curfew is raised to 1100pm. Also people often gather at Mosques so crowds of people are more common during Ramadan. The insurgency uses these things to change their methods of attack. Of course the Mujahadeen can eat during Ramadan, Allah allows this.

The Iraqi soldiers still fast for the most part so the "Muj" are fit and the ISF are weak during this time. Crowds at night, and near Mosques allow the "muj" to move weapons and themselves around more easily and the late curfew can allow car bombers to get closer to their targets than during the day. The upcoming elections are more concerning to us than Ramadan. That is coming up soon and we do not know what turnout will be here. Last year only one tenth of 1% came out to vote, so improvemnent is well within reach"

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