May 20, 1991: Kani Masi and Begova

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

Mon 20 May

Haney's foot hurts badly. He decided to go into Silopi to have it checked, and found out it was broken. I went out with British Navy LT John Howells to Baloka, Kani Masi, A and C Companies, Begova, then in to Zakho for the NGO (Non-governmental organization) meeting. I stayed through it just to see what was going on, but it was mostly a talk fest and there was little information of real interest for our team.

This is a good point to talk about the NGO's. They live in Camp Red Eye, their tents are adjacent to ours, they use our mess hall, and they get along very well with us. They include professional relief workers and volunteers who signed on for a few weeks to come down and help out. Many of them had never worked with the military before, and they were apprehensive about dealing with us, but their comments are invariably favorable. Most of them have no romantic illusions about human nature. I mentioned the problems we sometimes had maintaining order and one of them said "It's amazing how nasty you sometimes have to be to help people".

Spanish MP's are guarding the road by the camps now. We got home about 2000. The British Marines strike me as a very likable, relaxed lot, articulate, competent, and confident. Since they are well-disciplined themselves, they have little need for external discipline.

Kani Masi

Kani Masi was a destroyed Kurdish village. There was a British detachment there and a UN refugee center.

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This Chinook is transporting water bladders.

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As I was going through my slides, I found that some had a black band along the bottom where part of the shutter was not retracting properly. Backtracking through the slides, I found the exact frame where the malfunction occurred.

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How Not to Build a Road

Gulf War Image There's a low pass here on the road from Zakho to Begova and Kani Masi because soft red shale has been eroded. Unfortunately, it also crumbles easily, so the road up the pass is in a constant state of near-collapse.
Gulf War Image Looking down, the red shale contrasts conspicuously with the resistant white sandstone.
Gulf War Image The view from the pass is spectacular.

Back to Camp I

We went back to Camp I briefly to attend a UN and NGO meeting

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One of Life's Little Mysteries

How this Kurdish kid at Camp I happened to get a T-shirt with a molecular diagram of the mineral beryl, in Spanish, no less, and then happen to wear it in front of maybe the only person in theater who would recognize it, is indeed one of life's little mysteries.

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Created January 10, 2000; Last Update 11 June 2020