I have been meaning to blog about this subject since last week when I noticed some posters on Townhall using State Department warnings to its staff in the Green Zone to prove how truly unsafe that area is and that the Surge has failed.
To refute these nattering nabobs of negativity I will offer up a personal observance. At one time I, being an Air Farce type, got sent to a remote site in a true hardship location: the Caribbean. Somebody had to do it!! Gentle cool breezes, beautiful clear water, friendly locals, civilian clothing authorized ... a generally posh gig.
This place was even more posh than other sites, we had real cliffs where we could dive off into that most perfect of water, seemingly body temperature and so clear you could see the sand over 40ft down. Which also helped when spotting barracudas. But I digress.
As I said, we could. Well the rotations before I arrived could. When I asked the guy doing the out-brief why it was no longer allowed, I got a Paul Harvey rest of the story moment. It seems the oh so honourable US Ambassador to this country was visiting the site one day and some of the guys on their time off were doing their best Acapulco cliff diver impersonations. The Ambassador caught them doing this fun though risky form of entertainment; he was quick on his decision on this, henceforth no one could go cliff diving.
Just remember this little story when someone waves State Department warnings in your face to prove things are falling apart in Iraq. State Department's idea of what constitutes danger is far more liberal than the military's concept; even when both entities are living in the same Green Zone.