From: Adams, C.H.  Mr. (CIV)

Sent: Sunday, August 01, 2004 11:15 PM

To:   The Fellas

Subject: RE: Last Monday morning in Baghdad

 

Picture this moment in time.

 

Last night, I said goodbye to two friends.  One of them is in his high 60's and one is in his 70's.  They both work for the Trade Bank.  They both do good work.  They both have grandchildren and great grandchildren and even great great grand children in the United States and Britain.

 

One is a Chaldean Christian and the other is either a Chaldian an Abisyrian (misspelled?  Abysinian?) or some other ancient Christian religion that started around the time Christ was alive.  I can't remember the name.

 

They daily drive the streets where the bombs go off and people are vaporized or shredded.  And, 2 or 3 times a week, they come to the Palace to work with us and stand in line at the Little Assassin's Gate to get into this place and then they put up with American silliness in financial management.  Last night, after we finished our work on Letters of Credit coordination issues, I gave them a ride back to the gate and walked out to the point where they could flag a taxi.

 

We were standing there, in the street, 40 or 50 feet from where a VBIED (Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive device, or VERY BIG Explosive Devise as we like to joke) was set off about 3 weeks ago, shaking hands and saying goodbye.  Evidence of past large explosions is plain to see at this location.  It struck me that I have been unable to complete anything since I've been here and that none of the "simple" working goals that I thought were obtainable had been obtained.  And, I wanted to stay.  I didn't want to leave my friends.  And I didn't want to stay.   In my heart and I know that the national (Iraqi) goals and objectives I have been working on won't be accomplished until they are able to do it themselves and we take our fingers out of it.

 

And, I wondered if they would survive all the killing.

 

They know of my frustrations in getting things done.  And, as we shook hands and they got in the taxi to leave they said (and this is a paraphrase), "Eddie (heavy emphasis on Eddie), NO!  Thank you.  Thank you for being here, thank you for helping us.  We're better off than we were."  

 

Last night, I saw on TV that the oldest and maybe the only surviving Chaldian Church (building) in the world was blown up.  That is the church that at least one of these guys attends.

 

Were they there?  Are they alive?  Are they injured?

 

I just now got off the phone with them.  They're fine.

 

Their last words were ,"Eddie!" in their commanding way, and "Thank you" in their gracious way.

 

Those old farts.

 

48 hours left in Iraq versus the rest of my life.

 

I'll stop complaining.

 

 

C.H. Adams

Accountant, Coalition Provisional Authority

Presidential Palace (Sagar Al Qadasiah)

Baghdad, Iraq

 

Countdown to Iraqi Sovereignty:  0 Days

Mabruk al Iraq al Jadeed!

(Forward the New Iraq!)